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Path along the shore from Plumpton Hall leading back to the Canal Foot
Path along the shore from Plumpton Hall leading back to the Canal Foot

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Route No. 699 - Tuesday 28 November 2017
Ulverston Canal Foot, Canal Tow Path,
Plumpton Hall, Plumpton Marsh coast path
6km circuit - English Lake District . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL7 The English Lakes South-Eastern Area

Note: Route 719 is an extended version of this walk that includes the climb to Hoad Hill Monument


The sea lock at Canal Foot next to the small car park where we started our walk
The sea lock at Canal Foot next to the small car park where we started our walk

Setting off from the car park across the canal bridge
Setting off from the car park across the canal bridge

We were very lucky with the weather and it was a fine bright sunny day with the low autumn sun picking out the autumn colours on the trees and hillsides. There was a lovely view out over the bay to Cartmel Sands and a pleasant view northwards over the fields to some low hills.

This week my wife & I are having a short break in the Lake District staying in a very nice pub not far from Hawkshead. Today we drove to the little town of Ulverston on one of the arms of Morecombe Bay and parked in the small car park on the coast at the Canal Foot (map ref. SD 313 776).

Steel sculpture/relief of a steam engine by the tow path
Steel sculpture/relief of a steam engine by the tow path

View across the River Leven estuary to the Leven Viaduct on the Furness Railway
View across the River Leven estuary to the Leven Viaduct on the Furness Railway

Start of the tow path by the Ulverston Canal
Start of the tow path by the Ulverston Canal

Following the tow path with industrial sites across the canal
Following the tow path with industrial sites across the canal

Following the tow path with industrial sites across the canal
Following the tow path with industrial sites across the canal

On the south side of the canal there is a large industrial area screened by trees. I think that the shapes of the industrial structure look quite interesting across the canal & through the trees. Along this part of the canal there were numerous swans feeding on the weed on the canal bottom.

From the car park we crossed the bridge over the canal by the lock at the seaward end of the canal. Once across the bridge we turned left to the canal tow path where there is an iron sculpture of a steam engine. We walked along the tow path towards the town centre.

Following the tow path with industrial sites across the canal
Following the tow path with industrial sites across the canal

Following the tow path with industrial sites across the canal
Following the tow path with industrial sites across the canal

Part of a large group of swans on the canal
Part of a large group of swans on the canal

Disused railway crossing the tow path
Disused railway crossing the tow path

Hoad Hill about 1.5km adead
Hoad Hill about 1.5km ahead

Continuing our way along the tow path
Continuing our way along the tow path

The tower is to commemorate Sir John Barrow who was born in Ulverston and was a founder member of the Royal Geographic Society (See Wikipedia). From the crossing with the disused railway we continued along the tow path for about 800m and passed under a railway bridge across the canal. About 100m from the railway bridge we turned right off the tow path to follow a public footpath.

After about 1km along the tow path we crossed a disused railway track. the rails are still in place across the tow path and there is a footbridge across the canal on the old railway bridge. There is a footpath along the disused railway bed to the right of the canal. Ahead of us we could see the tall monument on Hoad Hill about 1.5km away. The monument is designed to look like a lighthouse but it has never been a lighthouse.

Sir John Barrow Monument on Hoad Hill
Sir John Barrow Monument on Hoad Hill

Furness Railway bridge over the canal & tow path
Furness Railway bridge over the canal & tow path

Our right turn off the tow path to follow a public footpath to Next Ness Lane
Our right turn off the tow path to follow a public footpath to Next Ness Lane

Public footpath to Next Ness Lane
Public footpath to Next Ness Lane

Crossing a factory entrance to Next Ness Lane
Crossing a factory entrance to Next Ness Lane

After about 150m we followed the road around a sharp right hand bend. After about 500m from this bend we came to a short stretch of road that was completely flooded, about 15cm deep so we just had to paddle through it.

After about 200m along the footpath, it led us to a public road called Next Ness Lane. At the end of the footpath we crossed the entrance to an industrial site and then continued along Next Ness Lane.

Public footpath leading on to Next Ness Lane
Public footpath leading on to Next Ness Lane

Right hand bend in Next Ness Lane at Oubas Hill
Right hand bend in Next Ness Lane at Oubas Hill

Flood on the road at Next Ness - We just paddled through
Flood on the road at Next Ness - We just paddled through

Continuing along the road beyond Causeway End
Continuing along the road beyond Causeway End

House at the bend nearing Moss Nook
House at the bend nearing Moss Nook

Following the road towards the bridge over the disused railway
Following the road towards the bridge over the disused railway

Just beyond Causeway End the road bends round to the left and we continued along it for almost a kilometer to the houses at Moss Nook. Here the road bent round to our right again. We followed the road for about 350m from Moss Nook to a bridge over the disused railway (map ref. SD 310 789). The disused railway was completely flooded just here.

Beyond the flood there was a turning on our right to Next Ness. There was a sign here indicating a footpath to Plumpton Hall via Next Ness, the disused railway track and a field path. Just now the fields are very wet & muddy so we continued along the road past Next Ness farm and Causeway End.

Continuing along the road beyond Causeway End
Continuing along the road beyond Causeway End

Houses at Moss Nook
Houses at Moss Nook

Bridge over the disused railway, flooded here
Bridge over the disused railway, flooded here

Looking back across the fields to Hoad Hill on the left of the photo
Looking back across the fields to Hoad Hill on the left of the photo

Bridge over the Furness Railway
Bridge over the Furness Railway

Fox posing across the field
Fox posing across the field at the limit of my camera

National Trust sign at the shore path
National Trust sign at the shore path

We continued along the road past Plumpton Hall and out to the National Trust sign at the path along the shore (map ref. SD 313 785). The National Trust sign marked the entrance to Plumpton Marshes, a strip of salt marsh along the shore of the bay, mainly to our left, but at the NT sign we turned right to follow the path along the shore back towards the Canal Foot.

We continued for another 150m to cross the road bridge over the active railway and walked along the road towards Plumpton Hall. There was a large field on our left that extended down to the salt marshes on the shore of the bay. We paused to look at the view and my wife spotted a fox ambling quietly across the field towards the shore. It sat on a grassy bank and was still for long enough for me to get a photo, a lovely sight.


View across the field to the Leven Estuary

Passing Plumpton Hall heading to the shore
Passing Plumpton Hall heading to the shore

Following the shore path towards Canal Foot
Following the shore path towards Canal Foot

View from the shore path to the Leven Viaduct  across the River Leven Estuary on the Furness Railway
View from the shore path to the Leven Viaduct across the River Leven Estuary on the Furness Railway

The shore path dropping down to the open shore
The shore path dropping down to the open shore

Following the path over the grass & rocks along the shore
Following the path over the grass & rocks along the shore

Dilapidated lock gates at Canal Foot
Dilapidated lock gates at Canal Foot

We followed this road back to the car park at Canal Foot and the end of our walk. The whole route was about 6km and it had taken us almost two and a half hours to walk. On our way back to the pub where we are staying we stopped at a very nice cafe on the lake side in Coniston with lovely views across the lake, where we had our lunch.

After about 300m along the footpath we left the scrubland and came out onto the open grassy shore with patches of flat rocks. Where they were wet the rocks were quite slippy. The view across the bay was lovely in the bright autumn sunshine. About 300m before we reached the Canal Foot the path joined the tarmac road in front of the houses.

Following the path over the grass & rocks along the shore
Following the path over the grass & rocks along the shore

Following the path over the grass & rocks along the shore
Following the path over the grass & rocks along the shore

Sign by the small car park at Canal Foot
Sign by the small car park at Canal Foot

Following the path along the shore back to the Canal Foot and the end of our walk
Following the path along the shore back to the Canal Foot and the end of our walk

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