Looping the Lune

A four-mile fool-proof circular walk

So many walks have hidden pitfalls where walkers suddenly find themselves at a loss as to the correct way to go. This walk is very easy to follow and that problem should not arise. The footpath is blatant in places, very clear in others, and where it is not you can’t miss the river – the banks of which will be your companion for two thirds of the four miles.

The terrain is almost entirely flat, with no steep or prolonged ascents. It is at the foot of a river valley so it can be muddy in places depending on the weather, especially when negotiating the kissing gates. Children and able older people who can manage the distance will be able to negotiate it. There was just one stile to step over.  It is not suitable for wheeled vehicles once you leave the cycleway.

Is it far?

My pedometer clocked 6.6km (4.1 miles) It took one hour and a half, at a casual pace with no breaks.

A third of the walk is along a well-used footpath / cycleway following the course of a disused railway it then follows the northern bank of the lune, crosses the river and returns to the cycleway by following the southern bank.

You will need:

  • Very sensible footwear (boots or robust country walking shoes). Parts of the walk can be muddy even when the weather is dry if there has been recent rain.
  • This, or another, route guide.

You may also benefit from:

  • Weatherproof clothing
  • An ordnance survey map (OSL41 covers the whole walk area)
  • Refreshments

Part one: the disused railway

Start at the Bull Beck car park LA2 9QR. During daylight hours there is a snack bar much frequented by motorists and (motor)cyclists, and a toilet block, and it is from the latter that you begin the walk.

Cross the A683 to join the path on the far side and turn left to head westwards towards Lancaster.  Walk in that direction until you cross the River Lune and come to a stone commemorating the 400th anniversary of the persecution of the Pendle Witches. Turn right just before the stone to join the northern bank of the Lune.

Take the waymarked path to the right of the witch stone down to the river.

Part two: the north bank

Walk upstream following the river. In places the grass is so lush that a path may not be evident, but just stick close to the river bank and you can’t go wrong.  

Caton Moor windfarm, away to the south, features significantly in the novel Ice & Lemon.

Eventually the path enters woodland and is much more apparent but also muddier.

Not long after emerging from the wood you will see the Thirlmere Aqueduct ahead.  Cross the river here by using the well-marked and fenced path between the pipes.

Cross the river via this bridge.

Part three: the south bank

Turn left to pick up the southern river bank and continue upstream.  As with the earlier section, the path is more defined in some places than others, but just enjoy a close association with the mighty Lune.

When you come to a farm track you have the chance to slightly shorten the walk by turning right onto the path (then turn left when you reach the disused railway), or continue by bearing left to remain with the river, and it will guide you directly back to the disused railway path.

Turn right onto the track and after a hundred yards or so you will be back at the start.

Locally inspired fiction:

Eventually we saw a most remarkable sight.  Three angelic windmills that later became ten and they were turning.  That in itself was not remarkable for we were travelling with a tailwind, but not far from their base we saw something none of us had seen since the night of the Event: light pollution.

And so we hit upon the Caton Community.

To read more Ice & Lemon, click on the pic.

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