Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Meal Bank hike using Dales Way


Meal bank hike

My mum invited us on another hike from an old Ramblers' book. This one claimed to be a 6 mile loop from Meal Bank making use of part of the Dales Way. It started at the Meal Bank industrial estate which was sited to harness the power of the Mint River:

Mint River, Meal Bank, Kendal

We crossed back over the road and then into valleys that had been carved out by glaciers. This meant we spotted quite a few erratics as we passed through:

Glacial valleys and erratics

It wasn't just rocks that caught our eyes. There were some amazing old trees too:

Ancient tree

The book was informative about what we were passing. We went passed a ruined farm and the old sunken lane that had once served it:

ruined farm and sunken lane

The route crossed a variety of stiles. Some were rather overgrown to due a low footfall, one had a dog gate:

Cumbrian stiles on Dales Way

For a Bichon Frise the ladders and stone steps were too tricky to climb up. My mum and I got very efficient at playing pass the pooch:

Bichon Frise and stiles Dales Way

Many of the fields were full of beautiful wildflowers:

Wild flower meadow

It wasn't quite so pleasant on a very overgrown old lane and I had to carry Sherlock through:

Dales Way, Cumbria

He coped very well with all the bridges we had to use to cross becks and rivers:

Bridge over river Sprint

The railway bridge we passed under was more impressive, Docker Garths Viaduct carries the West Coast mainline:

Docker Garths Viaduct

By now we had gone further than the promised 6 miles so it was a relief to see Kendal in the distance:

Kendal in the distance

We came down to the road and one of the old Toll Bar cottages which took fees on the road from Appleby to Kendal:

Toll Bar Cottage, A685

From there it was a relatively short walk down into Meal Bank. It is a pretty little settlement which once had its own post office, woollen mill and snuff factory. Here is the full re.live video:

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