Walking

Glasson Dock and Lancaster Canal Spur

6.0 miles | 9.6 km | 67 m Ascent | 6.3 Naismith miles | Alison Kinder & Colin Stroud
The Lancaster Canal features in a number of Bentham Footpath Group Walks – not entirely surprising given that Bentham has a Lancaster postcode, and canals generally offer scenic walking opportunities. This time, we explore Glasson Dock and the Glasson Branch – one of the last parts of the UK canal network to be built, before the railways largely replaced water transport.
From convenient parking at Conder Green, we first head inland first through farms and up to the Lancaster Canal at Galgate. We then go south along the towpath until we get to the junction with the Glasson Arm, which we follow all the way down to Glasson Dock – one of the few places where our canal network connects to the sea.
The return from the Marina and Dock is via a disused railway line offering great views of the estuary, and there are several opportunities along the route to combine this easy and generally flat walk with pub lunches.

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School Knott and Orrest Head

7.2 miles | 11.6 km | 368 m Ascent | 9.0 Naismith miles | Susan Badley
A quick glance at our website shows how much we like the fells to the East of Windermere – not only are they easy to get to from Bentham, but they are less crowded than some other Lake District destinations and offer some stunning views. This walk adds to our portfolio and starts from Ings where there is convenient parking.
We head toward Windermere via the viewpoint at School Knott, and then re-cross the railway and the A591 to find a route up Orrest Head via Common Wood.
We carry on heading north until we get to Far Orrest, then on to Town End via footbridges over Trout Beck. Finally, we return to the A591 near the Brockhole visitor centre, where we catch a bus back to Ings.

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Dentdale

5.6 miles | 9.1 km | 302 m Ascent | 7.1 Naismith miles | Rick Clapham
Dentdale is one of the more popular gems of the Yorkshire Dales, and so not surprisingly, Bentham Footpath Group visit regularly. Every time we come here there is something different to see, and this time we start from the Church Bridge and take a riverside path downstream for a short distance before coming back to the centre of the village via the picnic area. We then head up the enchanting Flintergill, visiting an open air museum and enjoying a viewpoint, before climbing to the Occupation Road overlooked by the Megger Stones.
After following the Occupation Road for about a mile we head back downhill along a green lane to High Nun House, then cross the minor road and head down to Deepdale Beck which we follow downstream back to the Dee, which we then follow back to our starting point.

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Buckden to Yockenthwaite

8.3miles | 13.3 km | 262 m Ascent | 9.6 Naismith miles | Sandra Craggs
In February 2024, Bentham Footpath Group visited Kettlewell and walked up to Starbotton – where we crossed the river Wharfe. It occurred to us at the time that just a few miles further upstream was Buckden, another great starting point for walks in the Upper Wharfe valley. So, this time we drive just a little further and base ourselves at the convenient Yorkshire Dales National Park car park in the village and head out on the Pennine Journey path through Rakes Wood, along Buckden Rake, and on to Cray High Bridge where we enjoy the waterfalls. From there we head to the opposite side of the valley and walk down to Cray where we pick up a path that contours around the steep sides of Langstrothdale Chase above Hubberholme before falling to Yockenthwaite.
We then head back down the riverside path, now on the Dales Way, and soon arrive at Hubberholme and its beautiful church before finishing with a gentle stroll back to Buckden. As well as waterfalls, this walk offers great views, limestone pavements, ancient woodlands, and locations that you may well recognise from the TV series “All Creatures Great and Small”. Why do we start with a picture of a mouse? . . . read on.

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Ingleborough from Clapham

9.6 miles | 15.4 km | 751 m Ascent | 13.3 Naismith miles | Bernie & Sheila Garrett
One of the (many) advantages of living in Bentham is easy access to the Yorkshire Three Peaks. The group has taken various routes up each, and in this excellent walk we tackle Ingleborough again. Why? – because it’s still there as Mallory might say.
Most walkers start at Ingleton, but we take the slightly less common starting point at Clapham and approach the peak via a route that passes Clapdale Wood and Ingleborough Cave. We then take an optional short diversion to look at Trow Gill, before continuing slightly further north to find an easier route uphill across Clapham Bottoms and on to the famous Gaping Gill. After that there’s a steep climb up Little Ingleborough before we finally reach the peak, where we enjoy fine views and note bronze age remains and a demolished hospice. The diversions just tipped us over the 15km limit that we use to mark a walk as challenging but leave those out and it would be moderate – though still steep.

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Bardsea and Urswick

7.4 miles | 11.8 km | 250 m Ascent | 8.6 Naismith miles | Terri Kwiecinska
In March 2024, Bentham Footpath Group walked at Flookburgh, and enjoyed views over the Cartmel sands to Bardsea. This time we are on the other side of the estuary for a great walk starting from Bardsea then heading inland to visit Urswick and its tranquil tarn. On the way we have the corresponding views back toward Flookburgh and the whole of Morecambe Bay. We also see a beautiful church, a curious three sided folly, get more than one ice cream opportunity, and pass the site of an ancient hill fort, before noting alpacas, highland cattle and a stone circle. We end by walking on the beach with opportunities to see and hear all the birdlife teeming at the margins. All this with free parking and public toilets.

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Wyresdale, Scorton

6.2miles | 10.0 km | 100m Ascent | 6.7 Naismith miles | Mary & Kate Taylor
For this walk we head southwest into Lancashire and park at the convenient Scorton Picnic site adjacent to the river Wyre, before we explore the riverside, the adjacent lakes, and the farmland in the Wyre valley as they come back to life as spring takes hold.
This is a walk without a great deal of change in elevation, and is quite short, so we class it as easy. However, it may be worth considering that in common with most riverside and valley bottom walks, how easy it feels may well change with the weather – heavy rain makes the paths muddy and slippery so if you are picking this walk for ease of use, make sure you pick a suitable day.

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Stocks Reservoir circular

7.8 miles | 12.6 km | 190m Ascent | 8.7 Naismith miles | Valerie Eccles and Mary Pickstone
Bentham Footpath Group members are lucky enough to have the Yorkshire Dales and the South Lakes within easy reach. But our good fortune is not limited to that – we are also on the edge of the Forest of Bowland, which of course includes Gisburn Forest and Stocks Reservoir – which we explore today.
This walk starts from a car park next to the remains of a church that was relocated to enable the reservoir to be built, and then loops anticlockwise around the water – meaning that there is not much climbing.
We have been here before (September 2022) and at that time the water levels were deliberately very low – as part of engineering works to increase capacity in the long term. This time we get to see the levels replenished and the works complete – the contrast is striking. On the way round, we see signs of the buildings that were abandoned to enable construction, traces of the railway that enabled materials to be imported, and foundations for the village that temporarily housed the army of builders, as well as a more recent and very poignant woodland memorial site.

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Around Gilpin Beck

6.3 miles | 10.2 km | 393 m Ascent | 8.3 Naismith miles | Alison Kinder & Colin Stroud
Sometimes our program works out such that we are in the same area for two consecutive walks – and that’s the case this time. This walk is at times no more than 200m from our recent Winster Valley walk, and at first we though that must be why a couple of locations looked familiar – we later realised that it is becase our equally excellent route at Lord’s Lot used a short section of the same paths from Spigot House to Bow Mabble Breast.
What does separate this walk from the earlier Lords Lot walk is the weather – we were rather unlucky this time. Despite that, there is much to recommend this walk – easy parking, rivers and tarns, woodland, working farms and some great views. Even in the rain it’s well worth the effort.

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Winster Valley

8.3 miles | 13.3 km | 391 m Ascent | 10.2 Naismith miles | Kate Rowe
Spring is such an optimistic time of the year, and getting out and about on a walk with friends is a great way to experience it. So the Bentham Footpath Group have developed an informal habit of taking a walk each year that celebrates the season by picking a route that features the best of the new daffodils or bluebells.
So, here is a “daffodil walk”, and as all Wordsworth fans will appreciate, it really has to be in the Lake District to be authentic – which means of course that as well as the spring flowers we get great views of the fells, tranquil tarns and on this walk, links to Arthur Ransome.
Although our focus was the daffodils, this is a great walk at any time of the year. We rate it as “moderate” based on distance and elevation change but you should be aware that it can feel challenging under wetter conditions.

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