Walk 2721 - printer friendly version
Scout Scar Limestone Ridge Walk
Author - Dave Melling
Length - 5.0 miles / 8.1 km
Ascent - 820 feet / 248 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference SD489889
Lat 54.293151 + Long -2.7865759
Postcode LA8 8AS (approx. location only)
Situated on the edge of the Lake District National Park, Scout Scar offers an incredible 360degree panorama view of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria. Trees bent by the wind, rare orchids and a dazzling array of butterflies add to the attractions. This is an excellent start or finish to a holiday as it only takes half a day, leaving plenty if time to reach your final destination.
The start of this Lake District walk can be a little difficult to find. The best approach is from Levens village and onto Brigsteer and then up the side of Scout Scar on the Brigsteer road, parking down the track at Helsington Church (grid ref. SD489889). Walk northwards back along the track to the Brigsteer road. Go right up the road and through the kissing gate on the left. Follow the obvious grassy track along the edge of Helsington Barrows.
Scout Scar and Helsington Barrows form a ridge which has a lot of limestone scree rather than the more familiar limestone pavements found further in east in the Yorkshire Dales. This is excellent habitat for a wide range of flowers including the unusual fragrant, fly and early purple orchids. The flowers of course attract butterflies such as the pearl bordered fritillary, northern argus and the wonderfully named thyme pug moth.
Pass through the stone wall going onwards to another wall where the track bears right alongside the wall. At the end of the wall cross the ditch and follow the path up to the gap at the top of the scar. Follow any of the paths heading generally northwards along the scar. Keep going north until the mushroom shaped shelter is eventually reached. Although modern looking the shelter was actually built in 1912 as a memorial to King George VI . A close inspection inside reveals a 360 degree annotated panorama on the rim of the dome. The views across are staggering and include Blackpool Tower, the Old Man of Coniston, the Langdales, the Howgill Fells and the Yorkshire Dales. Quite impressive for a hill with a height of only 230metres.
Having taken in the view head back southwards keeping to the edge of the scar looking for dip and a cairn above Barrowfield Farm. Follow the track that heads down the scar and through the trees to the farm. Follow the signs round the left hand side of the farm, turning left along the track go onto the path at the signpost through Honeybee Wood. As a mixed limestone wood this habitat provides a complete contrast to Scout Scar.
At the Brigsteer road go right downhill a short distance and onto the narrow lane on the left heading for Wells Garth. At the junction take the track up the hill. Continue upwards past the house and go through the gate into the field, following the well worn track After about 200 metres go up the field in a northerly westerly direction to return to Helsington Church. A short visit to the church reveals an unusual worked leather frontage to the altar with an early 20th century mural above it.