Kendal Fell, Cunswick Scar, and Scout Scar Walking

Kendal Fell, Cunswick Scar and Scout Scar may be Lakeland hills, but they are a world away from the major fells of the central Lake District. With gentle ascents, scrubby wildflower meadows, limestone scars and panoramic views of Morecambe Bay, the Lakes, Dales and Howgills, these hills offer a tranquil retreat from Kendal. There are paths all over the place, and if time is limited the route can easily be shortened. Looking at the map, this walk may appear to cross much of the same ground on the outward and return journeys; but the lie of the land is so intricate here that following parallel paths just a few metres apart will give two completely different experiences.

Above the clouds on Scout Scar  © Chris Scaife
Above the clouds on Scout Scar
Fetching Map

Detailed description

SD5147792627 From Kendal Town Hall, head uphill on Allhallows Lane. At the Black Swan Hotel, turn right onto Low Fellside, then after a short distance follow Sepulchre Lane uphill, passing a tiny park on a Quaker burial ground. At a right-hand bend in Sepulchre Lane, take the steps up to the left to emerge on Serpentine Road and proceed to Queen's Road. Now walk right along Queen's Road, with the Serpentine Woods to the left and the town of Kendal below and to the right. Opposite a row of garages, take the paved road diagonally uphill to the left, passing the start of the Alphabet Trail. This winding trail to see a sculpture for every letter of the alphabet, through the Serpentine Woods, where deciduous trees grow on limestone pavement, offers an entertaining detour.

SD5110392831 Follow the track around the edge of the woods and then take the path that ascends steadily to the top of Kendal Fell, which lies just outside the National Park boundary. In spring and early summer, this way up the fell is a haven for butterflies and orchids. At the top, take the stepping stones across the golf course and descend, via a couple of narrow stiles, to the footbridge across the A591. Now follow the obvious path up towards Cunswick Scar and, after crossing a stile in the drystone wall, turn left.
The view to the north-west from Kendal Fell  © Chris Scaife
The view to the north-west from Kendal Fell
© Chris Scaife

SD4938193879 Follow the path south through the limestone grassland, interspersed with hawthorns. After just over a kilometre, Gamblesmire Lane is met at the corner of a wall. Take a right here, keeping the wall on your right-hand side, aiming roughly towards the large aerial. Follow the path past the aerial, and past the parking area, to cross the Underbarrow Road, then go through a metal gate on to Scout Scar.
Looking west from Cunswick Scar  © Chris Scaife
Looking west from Cunswick Scar
© Chris Scaife

SD4879292380 Take the path up to the right and now head south, following the edge of the limestone scar. There are magnificent views from here. Looking south-west across the incongruously flat Lyth Valley, Whitbarrow Scar is a great mass of limestone and forest, whilst far off to the west, the Coniston and Langdale Fells can be seen as jagged protuberances. The actual Scout Scar summit is not far along, and is a fairly nondescript place. The Mushroom shelter, 270m south of the highest point, is a more obvious feature. This was built in 1912 as a memorial to George V and marks the slightly lower southern summit, which Wainwright treated as the top. Continue south along the edge of the scar, as far as a large cairn above Barrowfield.

SD4867790705 Turn left here and walk to the ridge, then head north back up to the Underbarrow Road. Now return past the aerial to Gamblesmire Lane. Stay close to the left-hand side whilst heading north on Cunswick Scar, with Scar Wood below and to the left. The obvious path leads up to the large cairn at the summit - another wonderful viewpoint. Descend on the broad track leading south-east and cross the A591 again by the footbridge. Immediately after the bridge, turn left and descend, soon reaching Helsfell Hall - a 16th century house that is now used as a barn.

SD4999393831 The path now skirts around Kendal Fell, through several fields, past some allotments, and then emerges onto Queen's Road. Cross the road here and follow Low Fellside downhill. This narrow lane offers a fairly typical view of the Auld Grey Town and leads down to Allhallows Lane, which can be followed back to the Town Hall.

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Further Routes

by Chris Scaife

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