Grange over Sands, Cumbria Sunday 27th January 2013

Today’s Walks

Strenuous Leader : Rowland Nock   Distance: approx.9.5 miles

Height Gain, approx. 250m.

We will wend our way out of Grange up through Eggerslack Wood to Hampsfield. From here we pass High Hampsfield Farm, heading northwest before turning south to ascend the Hospice summit on Hampsfell. If the weather is kind we can enjoy the glorious views over Morecambe Bay.

Our onward journey takes us west to Cartmel, passing the beautifully impressive old Priory. We will then trend back to Grange via the golf course, Eden Mount, and the promenade, hopefully in time for our well-earned tea & tiffin.

Moderate Leader: Jean & Leo Keenan   Distance: 8 miles

Would moderate walkers please assemble outside the toilets situated in the park. A charge of 20 pence is required for use of.

Leaving Grange, we make the ascent through Eggerslack Woods and head for the Hospice for our coffee stop with fine views over Morecambe Bay. From here we are onto the Cistercian Way going through Pit Farm and into Cartmel for our lunch stop.

After lunch there will be some road walking before heading over the golf course, Spring Bank and Carney Well, and back into Grange.

Leisurely Leader: Hazel Anderton & Ruth Melling   Distance: just under 6 miles

We walk first to the north east of Grange along Eggerslack Wood, then up and around an area called Hampsfield before turning west and back towards Grange. We had to make the walk shorter than usual; however if the weather is good we can add on a section which takes us up to the Hospice and the panoramic viewpoint.

We came across a few muddy places near the farms, which could be avoided by walking on the banking alongside. But the walk has been planned to go along tracks and quiet country lanes to make sure that we have some mud free sections.

The route is varied and very pleasant. We go along woods, fields, heathland, limestone outcrops and finally along the promenade and through the park back to the coach and refreshments. There are some fine views north towards Cumbria and south overlooking the Kent Estuary. Better still if we get up to the Hospice.

Easy Leader: Nicole & Allan Fraser   Distance: 5.6 miles

We start the walk going north with a climb through Eggerslack Wood. We then descend gradually to the village of Lindale, and should enjoy a good view over the valley. At Lindale, which is halfway, there is a good place for lunch. The walk continues on a path across the plain to Low Meathop and turns right along a quiet road back to Grange, finishing with a short stretch along the promenade to the railway station.

Notes On The Area

Once a small coastal village, Grange-over-Sands was transformed into a fashionable resort by the coming of the Furness Railway linking it with Lancaster. Villas and hotels were built to take advantage of the exceptionally mild climate.

Though the sands are not safe for bathing, this is more than compensated for by the extensive promenade gardens along the sea front. Due to the mild climate these boast rock-plants, alpines and even subtropical species. Away from the hotels, shops and cafes there are some lovely walks, none nicer than the path behind the town which climbs through the magnificent limestone woodlands, rich in wild flowers. The path leads to Hampsfell Summit and the Hospice, a little stone tower from which there is an unforgettable view of Morecambe Bay and the craggy peaks of the Lake District. The Hospice was provided by a pastor of Cartmel in the last century for the ‘shelter and entertainment of wanderers’. An external flight of stairs leads to a flat roof and the viewing-point. See if you can work out the riddle scrawled on one of the walls!

Grange is also the starting point of the ‘Cistercian Way’, an exceptionally interesting, thirty seven mile footpath route through Furness to Barrow, linking many sites of Cistercian interest.

Cartmel is one of the prettiest villages in Furness, consisting of a delightful cluster of houses and cottages set around a square, from which lead winding streets and arches into charming back yards. The village is dominated by the famous Cartmel Priory, founded in 1188 by Augustine Canons.

The sands of Morecambe Bay are notorious for the dangerous incoming tide which sweeps in by a bore, faster than a galloping horse, surrounding sandbanks and softening them into quicksands before covering them. At low tide there is a safe passage along certain routes. Before the days of rail and car there were recognized highways across the sands, saving the long journey around the bay. However, the channels and quicksands frequently changed position, so the monks of Cartmel Priory provided a guide service for travellers. These days the service is provided by the official sand pilot, Cedric Robinson, who takes groups of intrepid walkers across the sands. (to attempt this without a guide is folly in the extreme!).