Bluebells

CC202  BLUEBELLS   bluebells

Bluebells flourish in May and early June and so this is obviously the best time to do this walk. However even out of bluebell season it is a pleasing walk through woods and meadows and along quiet country roads. This route offers impressive views of the Middleton Fells. En route you will pass acres of rhododendrons which come into flower a little later than the bluebells.

For parking - leave Kirkby Lonsdale on the B6254 signed Kendal. After 3 miles, as you leave the village of Old Town there is a right fork. This is the Old Scotch Road. Follow it for 2 miles where you will see a footpath sign on the right to 'Rigmaden'. There is space here for a couple of cars.  
 
 1. Go through the gate and follow the broad, rutted track up towards the masses of rhododendrons ahead on the right. As the path winds over the hill you will catch glimpses through the rhododendrons of a shimmering sheet of water, Kitmere. The lake takes its name from 'Kit' Wilson an innovative landowner of the late 19th century. The Wilson family are still the owners of the land here. There is no right of way through to the lake. 
2. Carry on ahead to cross a track to a gate.
It is worth stopping here to take advantage of the panoramic view of Middleton Fells ahead and the Howgills over to the left. Go through the gate and keep with the wall on the right, all the way down the field to another gate. Cross the stream (in dry weather this may disappear altogether) to join a broad track downhill for 3-400 yards. Turn left at the sign, down through the woods to a gate. Go through, passing a stone-built stable on the left, on a clear path down to another gate and the road. Turn right and continue for half a mile until you pass on the left, a gated mansion house, Rigmaden Hall.

3. One hundred yards past the Hall there is a metal gate on the right. Go through this and follow the track up to the wood. Another metal gate admits you to the wood and the broad path leads you past a derelict cottage on the right. Bear right past the cottage and up to a way-marked gate. In the field beyond bear left and up to the further of two gates, also way-marked.

4. Keep to the right of the barn to a gate. Carry straight on through and down as though to the farm building ahead. Here, just short of the farm, turn right onto a tarmac lane. Walk up the lane for a little more than half a mile. At the junction with the Old Scotch Road turn right for a mile and a half to take you back to the car. 
 

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