Monday, 20 April 2015

Just Us And the Sheep: Broughton-in-Furness. . .

On beautiful sunny weekends, many places in the Lake District can be chockfull with tourists and hikers, but if you stray a bit further from Ambleside, Grasmere or Keswick, there's still plenty of fantastic walking to be done.  The Liverpud and I recently went to recce a route out of Broughton-in-Furness, a small village northwest of Cartmel.  You can park for free around its lovely Georgian square where you can still see the original stocks used to punish crimes in the foreground of this photo.

One thing Broughton has is a FABULOUS bakery (note: closed on Sundays and Mondays).  It's just a few doors down from the post office and if you can step in and resist buying any of the sumptuous baked goods - sweet and savoury -  then I applaud your willpower but you are missing a treat. I bought the best Cornish pasty I've ever tasted this side of Cornwall,  a scrumptious almond raspberry slice, AND a Ginger Treacle Cake to take home.

But on to the walk.  Barely out of the town, you pass Broughton Tower, parts of which were constructed in the 14th century.

As beautiful as the manor is, the vista of what we're talking towards is even better.   Our furthest point in this circular walk will be the top of Stickle Pike among those hills on the left.

We hardly encountered a soul on the walk, but there were lots and lots of curious sheep to keep us company.

Big and little.

Very sweet meandering paths between stone walls. 

And lovely views backwards as we started climbing, where you can just about see the sea in the distance.

Getting closer to Stickle Pike now.

And as you skirt the hill, you get some great glimpses of the fells beyond.

As far as Lake District ascents go, this was comparably easy.  The tufty grass underfoot is very reassuring and there were lots of paths up to the summit.  Even though the wind was blowing something fierce as we climbed up, I never felt in danger of being blown over or falling on hard rock.

Here's the view east from the summit.

A very good place to have lunch. . .

. . . before heading down the other side back to Broughton-in-Furness after one more glance back. The whole circuit was approximately ten miles but after battling strong winds for most of the walk, both of us were completely knackered by the end of it. A good-feel-alive-knackering which is the best kind of course.


Sara said...

Fantastic, sunny springtime walking! I haven't explored the Southern part of the park yet. Looks like I wouldn't be disappointed. Do you think it is less visited in general?

Blithe Spirit said...

Absolutely (you can tell by the free parking!) I think the fringes of the Lakes are lovely - still tons of great walks and even though you may not be among all the famous fells, you can usually see them in the distance. You often get a glimpse of the sea too which is nice. So yes, I'd totally recommend exploring the edges of the Lake District. I know I'd really like to go walking north of Bassenthwaite and around Caldbeck which is supposed to be really nice as well. There's just so much to explore on foot.

Sara said...

Ah, good to know! I've only ever taken the train in and walked, but we're trying to plan a couple trips up this summer and autumn. There are so many beautiful places I've found in England so far, but this one speaks to me most!

I am headed to the Peak District for this next bank holiday. I haven't been yet and I'm excited to explore the area a bit and get over Kinderscout and do a couple days on the pennine way.