Far from the mad­den­ing crowds

Lancashire Life - - Society - WORDS AND PHO­TO­GRAPHS: John Lene­han

The Kent­mere Val­ley is one of the more se­cluded and qui­eter places in the Lake District and there­fore is less crowded. The vil­lage of Kent­mere has a lovely church and pretty cot­tages and Kent­mere Hall. The down­side is that park­ing is at a bit of a pre­mium the up­side is that it is a lovely place to walk.

In my fell rac­ing days, I used to run the Kent­mere Horse­shoe which is ba­si­cally a route from Kent­mere and takes in all the

Make the most of a lovely win­ter’s day and take a fes­tive stroll in the beau­ti­ful and quiet Kent­mere Val­ley

moun­tains that sur­round the Kent­mere Val­ley. I thought it would be a nice to have an eas­ier day and ex­plore the val­ley it­self. It proved to be a very beau­ti­ful and very in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

1Leave the Vil­lage In­sti­tute car park and turn left up­hill then fol­low the road. Ig­nore the foot­path sign­post say­ing ‘Up­per Kent­mere and Kent­mere Reser­voir’ on the right and keep on un­til a track goes right just be­fore a house called Green­head.

There is a sign say­ing ‘Pub­lic Foot­path Kent­mere Reser­voir Only’ point­ing up the track. Pass two gates on the right with a sign say­ing ‘Green­head Barn No En­try’ and, with a wall on the right, go up to a steel gate. Go through this and then af­ter a short dis­tance bear di­ag­o­nally right and go down­hill to a tar­mac road and fol­low this left up­hill.

Note: There used to be a lake south of the vil­lage hence the Mere in Kent­mere but this was drained in 1840.

A small sec­tion still ex­ists; Kent­mere Tarn fur­ther south down the val­ley. Kent­mere Hall has a Pele Tower built in the 13th cen­tury as de­fence from raid­ing Scots.

2The road forks at Har­trigg. Take the left fork and go up to a wooden gate with a stile and a sign say­ing ‘Pub­lic Foot­path Only No Ve­hic­u­lar Ac­cess’. Cross the stile and fol­low what is now a track and keep straight on to a stile and a gate, cross the stile and then keep on the track down­hill to an­ther stile and gate, cross the stile and keep on the track to an­other stile and gate, cross this.

3Reser­voir Cot­tage is a white build­ing on the left with an out­door cen­tre fur­ther to the left. There is a track to the left just past the cot­tage and it is worth tak­ing a de­tour up this to look at the old slate quarry work­ings. The holes drilled for the ex­plo­sives can still be seen in the quarry walls. There is an en­trance to an old slate mine but don’t be daft enough to go down there. Re-join the main track and carry on go­ing up­hill past the mine spoil on the left to­wards the reser­voir.

Note: Reser­voir Cot­tage was built for the main­te­nance per­son­nel for the reser­voir.

ABOVE: Dra­matic views of the val­ley RIGHT: Au­tumn colours in the Kent­mere Val­ley

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