Image Credit - Glen Duckett.

Warton Crag Nature Reserve by Glen Duckett.

Walk length: 2.5 miles around 2 hours at a leisurely pace with a rest stop and admiration of the fine views.

An impressive short walk, with views of the Bowland fells, Morecambe Bay, Lake District mountains and Yorkshire Dales. The walk is on clearly signposted footpaths, with some climbing of rocky outcrops, so not suitable for those with mobility issues or small children. This is also a spot frequented by rock climbers and boulderers, who are often seen in the area around the carpark at the start of the walk.

Warton Crag nature reserve is part of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and jointly managed by Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council, as different parts of the area are owned and managed by these respective organisations.

The limestone pavement and topography provides a rich abundance of wildflowers and wildlife throughout all seasons, and as such it is a fabulous area for foraging throughout the seasons!

Start at the carpark by the Old Schoolhouse Brewery:

1. From the car park, follow the rocky track leading steeply up past the quarry faces and rock climbing area. Turn right at the top and go through the gate. At the boulder, turn left and follow the waymarked path heading west, across the limestone pavement. Here you will find an abundance of wildflowers and herbs. Head towards the ‘Rocking Stones’, which are on the left towards the top. Leave the footpath and head over to see these limestone blocks, with fine views across Morecambe Bay, look north to the Lake District mountains and then east to see Ingleborough and the Yorkshire Dales in the distance.

2. Return from the ‘Rocking Stones’ back to the waymarked footpath and follow this up the hill towards the beacon at the top. There is another fine viewing area here to enjoy. The beacon was originally positioned to warn people of invaders in centuries gone by. There are many Hawthorn and Blackthorn (Sloe) bushes in this area that are great for collecting in autumn/winter to make jellies and chutneys or sloe gin! Remember, hawthorn berry seeds are poisonous, but it is safe to cook the berries with the seeds, but discard seeds before eating!

3. With the beacon on the right, follow the footpath through mixed countryside. A great spot for raspberries and blackberry picking in the summer!

4. Follow the footpath to the back of Warton Crag, where you will reach the signposted Occupation Road. Turn right here and follow the road downhill, uphill and then steeply downhill through fabulous woodland with drystone walls to either side.

5. Before you reach houses on your right, you will see a gap in the wall on your right. Go through this and follow the footpath through woodland, passing fields of livestock. There is an abundance of wild garlic and nettles in this area. Again, there is a great diversity of flora and particularly birdlife in this area. Following the footpath, this will lead you back to the boulder and gate where you ascended to the ‘Rocking Stones’.

6. Follow the path back down and go an enjoy the warm Lancashire hospitality at the Old School Brewery. They have great food at their new outdoor kitchen, stunning handmade pork pies and a range of craft ales. Indoor and outdoor seating available. Family and dog friendly. 

How to get there:

By car: From M6 junction 35 for Carnforth, follow the A6 to the traffic lights in the centre of Carnforth. Turn right and follow the road to reach Warton village. Look for the George Washington pub and turn left after this at Crag Road. The carpark is on the right just after the Old School Brewery. Use postcode LA5 9PL.

By public transport: Get the 49 bus from Lancaster bus station to Warton. Get off the bus at the George Washington pub.

Click  for further information:

Warton Crag

Arnside and Silverdale

Responsible Foraging Guidelines

List of plants to forage here (list not exhaustive!)

  • Apple mint 
  • Blackberry 
  • Blackthorn (Sloe) 
  • Crab apple 
  • Damson
  • Dandelion
  • Dock 
  • Funghi (various)
  • Gorse 
  • Hawthorn
  • Hazel 
  • Honeysuckle 
  • Marjoram 
  • Nettle 
  • Raspberry 
  • Sorrel 
  • Thyme
  • Viola
  • Wild Garlic
  • Wild Rose




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