Same walk, different weather

Following my visits to Gresgarth Hall garden in August and October, on both occasions I made the short drive along the road to Bull Beck picnic site where I parked up and went for a walk along a section of the River Lune, an area I first visited two years ago. There were two big differences in each of these two walks though. In August it had been a very hot day, I knew that dogs weren’t allowed in the garden at Gresgarth Hall and as I couldn’t have safely left them in the van they had to stay at home, however October was much cooler and being able to park in shade meant that this time they were included in my day out.
The weather was the second big difference. An almost cloudless blue sky and wall-to-wall sunshine in August but in October, in spite of it being beautifully sunny while I was looking round Gresgarth Hall garden, by the time I’d had a picnic in the van the day had turned cloudy and really dull. I almost decided against doing the walk but it was the dogs’ day out as much as mine so off we went, hoping that it wouldn’t decide to rain while we were a long way from the van. Apart from doing a slight detour in August both walks are the same and many of the photos were taken from the same places along the way so I’ve combined them all into this one post.
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Since my walk round there two years ago I’d discovered that it’s possible to cross the Waterworks bridge which carries three huge pipes taking water from Thirlmere in Cumbria down to the Manchester area, so in August I decided to make a detour and go across but I was soon to wish I hadn’t. At the far side of the bridge a path led through a pleasant meadow to an area of woodland and that’s where things became a bit difficult. The woodland traversed a steep bank which fell directly down to the river, the path was very narrow in places with partially embedded tree roots just waiting to trip me up and several parts of it had crumbled away leaving very little between me and the steep drop down to the water. Even without the dogs negotiating that lot wasn’t easy but I finally emerged from the trees unscathed and back on level ground by the riverside.
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On my October walk I bypassed the Waterworks bridge and as I got near to where Artle Beck flows into the Lune I spotted a Little Egret stalking around in the shallows, presumably looking for his lunch, then across the beck and a bit farther on I came to the Caton Flow Measurement Station, a small square building set on top of a round concrete pillar and looking rather like a tree house but without the tree.
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In August my walk had taken me to the far end of the pedestrian bridge close to the Crook O’Lune picnic site while my October walk took me under the bridge and up the riverbank to the opposite end though I did walk a little way back along the bridge for a shot of the river to contrast with the August photos from the same spot. From the bridge it was a mile-and-a-half straight path back to the van and I’d just got back there when it started to rain so I’d completed the walk just in time.
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The rain didn’t last long though, by the time I’d got back on the M6 it had stopped and a few miles further south the sky gradually cleared. Tired out from their long walk Snowy and Poppie were so quiet in their transport kennels I almost had to check that I hadn’t left them behind at the picnic site. Although the afternoon had been cloudy and grey my walk had been much more enjoyable with the dogs than my August walk had been without them, and with the sky becoming increasingly brighter on the drive back home our day out ended as it began, in bright autumn sunshine.

12 thoughts on “Same walk, different weather

  1. I agree, it’s a lovely area just there and I was very impressed with it the first time I went two years ago. It might just become a regular walk after each vist to Gresgarth Hall.

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  2. It’s a lovely stretch of the river there, although it’s been a while since I last visited. Is the tea van still at the car park?
    I’m glad you got back before the rain came. X

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  3. It’s a lovely stretch of river isn’t it, and so tranquil. There’s a permanent snack bar (Woody’s) at the Crook O’Lune picnic site and also a permanent one at the Bull Beck picnic site. Both have good reviews although I’ve never tried either of them yet. Toilets at both sites, paid parking at Crook O’Lune but Bull Beck is free.

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  4. It was a shame the sun had disappeared on my October walk, it would have shown the autumn colours up much better. It’s a lovely area though and one I’ll probably go back to sometime next year.

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  5. It was your blog which prompted me to go there for the first time two years ago and I was really impressed. It’s a lovely place for a walk though I prefer it in the sunshine πŸ™‚

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  6. It affects mood and everything, doesn’t it, Eunice? But it’s all on your doorstep and you can choose your moments. I’m sure the dogs don’t care a stuff so long as you are there enjoying it with them.

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  7. The dogs are always happy to be out wherever we go as long as it’s not actually raining properly – none of us are happy in the wet 😦 It’s surprising what a difference they make to a walk as well – I rarely walk without them and if I do I feel like I’m walking just for the sake of it. Poppie is 14 now but she can still walk five miles or more. We had a lovely sunny canal walk yesterday, one I haven’t done for a few years, but today it’s been back to grey skies again.

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  8. I remember a few years ago staying at the Premier Inn at Lancaster. It’s located just off of the M6 at junction 34 and close to the River Lune. I’ve always had a fascination for rivers and I wondered at the time what sort of countryside the river flowed through – and now I know thanks to your description and array of different photos Eunice. I always enjoy reading about places I know very little about, and your blogs do that every time 😊

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  9. I’m glad I’ve enlightened you Malc πŸ™‚
    There’s some lovely countryside along the A683 heading east from Caton and in many places the river isn’t far from the road – one day I’ll make it my mission to drive over to Kirby Lonsdale and stop along the route to take photos. In February 2020 a lot of the land was substantially flooded after Storm Ciara, there was so much water you couldn’t tell which was the actual river although fortunately it didn’t reach the road.

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