August Ramble: Fairy Steps and Haverbrack
Veronica volunteered to lead this month’s walk and chose one of the most popular and scenic in North Lancashire. After the heavy rain of the previous week, the excellent drainage of the limestone country was most welcome.
The Longridge contingent got off to a bad start, due to a confrontation between a ‘bus and a police car at the Broughton Crossroads, blocking the A6 and necessitating a long detour via the Horns Inn and the Roebuck Hotel, making us a little late for the start.
Our starting point was at the junction of the River Bela and the Arnside road, from where we quickly entered Dallam Park for quite a long stretch, with the famous deer much in evidence. Eventually, we arrived at the paper mill and turned west along a narrow, overgrown path to a lane, followed by a steep ascent along a path through the woods. The low cloud and mist had now given way to hot and sunny conditions which caused much stripping off of waterproofs along the way.
Eventually we arrived at the famous escarpment of Whin Scar and its well-known cleft of Fairy Steps. This was our designated lunch stop, but due largely to the unbridled zest of our leader, we arrived a half-hour early, so, as we are a democratic group, we were offered a choice of routes and chose one that took us on to The Great Northern Quarry. The top of the quarry was now the venue for lunch and to admire the breathtaking views across the Kent Estuary and Morecambe Bay.
From the quarry, it was now a steady descent down the coast road and across to a pleasant path that followed the sands. As the tide was in, the water was almost to our feet. Eventually, we arrived at the River Bela again and back to the start.
Many thanks to Veronica for re-introducing us to an old friend, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. The walk gave us a lot of variety, good views and the quality of the facilities – stiles etc were first class.