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Walk 3: Capernway and the River Keer






Water is the theme of this level walk beside the canal and River Keer. It also passes the wildfowl-rich Pine Lake and adjacent sand and gravel workings en route to Warton village, with its connections to historical figures, fine ecclesiastical ruin and a Nature Reserve. Washington House, near Warton Post Office, proudly flies the Stars and Stripes flag. This perpetuates the link with George Washington, the first President of the USA, members of whose family emigrated from Warton as early colonists. Nearby St Oswald’s Church displays his family tree, together with that of Winston Churchill, who had close links to the village by marriage. Towering above the cottages is Warton Crag, vast steps of limestone, partly quarried, partly natural. Steep paths to the top are rewarded with ample views. The Crag is protected as a Local Nature Reserve and SSSI, famous for its wildflowers and the butterflies and moths which feed on these. Distance/time: 6 miles (9.5km)/3 hours. Please note: walkers are politely reminded to observe the Country Code, which includes the following: • Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work. • Guard against all risk of fire. • Fasten all gates. • Keep your dog(s) under close control. • Keep to public paths across farmland. • Use gates and stiles to cross fences, hedges and walls. • Leave livestock, crops and machinery alone. • Take your litter home. • Help to keep all water clean. • Protect wildlife plants and trees. • Take special care on country roads. • Refrain from unnecessary noise.

Walk Waypoints

  1. 1 From Market Street, cross the traffic lights and continue along Kellet Road to the canal bridge. Before the bridge turn right down to the play area and on to the canal towpath. Turn left along the canal towpath, water to your right. Just before you first pass under the M6, Warton Crag can be seen on your left with Warton below it. Beyond the motorway bridges is a long rural section, reed-fringed and peaceful. Pass beneath Kellet Lane bridge (No.130), and continue for half a mile along the towpath to reach Capernwray Bridge (No. 131). The route to Warton is left here, but it is worth going on a few yards to the canal aqueduct over the River Keer. Here, you can see the old mill, the railway bridge and the entrance to the former quarry which is now a caravan site.
  2. 2 Return to the canal bridge, and leave by the steps. Walk ahead along the lane (don’t cross the canal!) to cross the stile ahead at the junction, perhaps 100 yards on. Turn right down the field, and pass beneath the imposing railway viaduct. Bear left, and follow the river bank downstream to the road at Upper Keer Bridge. Here, cross over the river, and continue downstream along the other bank. The lakes to your right are good bird watching areas. Pass under the M6, and trace the edge of the Pine Lake Resort development. Where the river goes under the link road, turn right to the entrance road of the resort. Cross this and continue along the perimeter for 100 yards to come out onto the A6. Carefully cross the road, and head up Threagill Lane towards Warton. At the road, turn left to the village and then left along Main Street.
  3. 3 Continue past the church, with the ruins of the 14th Century Old Rectory opposite, to arrive at the Malt Shovel Inn on the left. Turn left across a small open space next to the inn to a small gate in the corner. The route passes between some houses to a road. Look for a path about 25 yards to the right with a signpost pointing to Millhead. This takes you to into a field, where you follow the path to the left, and, crossing a second field, arrive at the playing fields and the settlement of Millhead. At the road, turn left to walk the short distance back to Carnforth.

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