Bowland & Pendle Walks
Caton Moor & Littledale
Date: 6th May 2013
Distance: 10.7 miles
Ascent: 1503 feet
Time: 5 hours 20 mins
With: Tim and Jack
Start Grid Ref: SD542649
A varied walk taking in Littledale, Caton Moor and finishing with a nice stretch along the banks of the River Lune.
Route Summary: Bull Beck Picnic Site - Holme Lane - Littledale Road - Cross Gill - Deep Clough - Roeburndale Road - Caton Moor - Kirkby Gill - Claughton - River Lune - Bull Beck Picnic Site
Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.
Walk Detail: My second walk this year with Tim and Jack from Bowland Walks the twin aims of this route was to combine a visit to the bluebells woods of Littledale with a ramble across the top of Caton Moor.
We met up at the Bull Beck picnic site just outside Caton and, as the cloud had yet to break, we decided to reverse the route I'd planned and head for Littledale first thus getting most of the road walking out of the way.
Littledale Road proved to be very quiet and, as road walking goes, quite pleasant with improving views of the north Bowland fells as we got closer to Littledale. It is just over two years ago since I first visited Littledale and I was really looking forward to seeing the bluebells again. Alas, everything seems to be blooming later this year, presumably because of the wintry weather in March and April, and there were hardly any bluebells to be seen.
Bluebells or no bluebells the path from Littledale Hall through the woods alongside Closegill Beck is still a delightful one. By this time the sun was breaking through the cloud and we halted at a nice spot just next to the stream before the short climb out of the valley where we had a small bite to eat.
From Deep Clough we followed Roeburndale Road for a short way before joining a track, unmarked on my map, which links up with other tracks accessing the wind farm on Caton Moor. Before reaching the latter we left the track to strike out across the moor to the trig point.
From a distance it had looked like there was a group of people running in circles around the trig point. It turned out to be runners taking part in Wray's annual fell race with the trig being the turning point. We waited in the sun watching the final few stragglers make their way up to the trig point and when they had all departed had a bit of fun taking photos of us trying (unsuccessfully) to some synchronised star jumps.
Caton Moor, or depending on which direction you approach Claughton Moor or Whit Moor, is a fairly modest 361m high. However, its location on the northern fringe of Bowland means that the top of the moor commands a wide view that encompasses the Lake District, Lune Valley and the southern Yorkshire Dales. It was a shame therefore that the hazy sunshine meant that our photos would not do justice to the views.
Leaving the trig point we rejoined the track descending past the wind farm before continuing down past Moorcock Hall to descend all the way to Claughton on a pleasant path on the outskirts of Kirkby Gill Wood. Crossing over the A683 we crossed a couple of large pastures to reach the banks of the River Lune.
The riverside path along the Lune was lovely, the regular presence of cows was less endearing and it is probably fair to say that both Tim and I found them a little unnerving. Thankfully we had Jack there to protect us!
Though quite long this was an easy and enjoyable walk with some nice contrasts. Had the bluebells been out in Littledale and the visibility a bit clearer on Caton Moor it would have been even better.