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Merlewood

Cumbria, England

Levens Park walking and hiking route

5.5km/3.5mi
Total distance
40m
Total ascent

Start Point - Long Layby atthe side of the A6 road, a short distance north of the entrance to Levens Hall (grid reference 496853). Approximately eight miles from Merlewood along the A590.

One of the finest 16th century houses in the north-west, Levens Hall has an Elizabethan appearance despite being founded on an earlier defensive pele tower. Owned by the Bagot family, it is open to the public during the summer season. Most notable is the garden, with exotic topiary. It has all the usual attributes of a visitor attraction, including shop and cafe.

Levens Park was initially laid out by Guillaume Beaumont between 1694 and 1710. Bisected by the R Kent, the park is well provided with fine trees, notably the 'Oak Avenue'. There are deer, goats and sheep.

In its short course from the mountains above Staveley to the estuary discharging into Morecambe Bay, the River Kent powered an enormous number of mills of various types in the early stages of the industrial revolution. Note where gunpowder mills providing explosives for the widespread quarrying industry of the Lake District. The route below is a most attractive short circuit with no difficulties whatsoever, largely through Levens Park, plus a section of the former Lancaster Canal (ref. walk no 10).

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Walk Instructions

Walk down to the junction with the more major road.

1) Immediately before the bridge over the R. Kent, turn left to go through a little gate at a 'public footpath Park Head signpost'. There is an information and welcome to Levens Park board. The route through the park is over grass, soon rising by the side of the R. Kent, excellent underfoot and with views including a minor peak (The Helm, near Oxenholme), seen through the trees ahead. Rise to a gate with squeezer stile; the main A590 road is now in view. Bear right, keeping close to a wall on the right. Pass another squeezer stile before joining a minor road at Park Head hamlet.

2) Turn right to follow the road; this is a very attractive area, rich in snowdrops in the early months and soon with the river below. At the A590, the track dips to squeeze under the road and above the river. Continue along a cul de sac lane; the river has mini falls and rapids with the apparent remains of a weir and mill pond before a junction with a more important road is reached.

3) Turn right, across the river. Some remains of an early water-powered gunpowder mill can be seen below. At the far side of the bridge go straight across another road to a squeezer stile and a 'Stainton and Canal Towpath' signpost. Rise over grass to a kissing gate, cross a narrow lane, go through another signposted kissing gate and continue to a solidly constructed stone bridge. This is on the line of the Lancaster Canal; under the bridge a section with some water can be seen.

4) Turn right, along a clear path which follows the line of the canal for some distance across a large meadow. Descend to a kissing gate, join a road bearing left to cross a bridge over the A590. There is a Lancaster Canal Trail signpost close to the near end of the bridge.

5) One hundred metres after the bridge turn right at a 'footpath to Levens Bridge' sign to re-enter Levens Park through a squeezer stile with gate. There is another of the information/welcome boards. A fine path follows the impressive 'Oak Avenue' through the park. After approximately three-quarters of a mile bear right to leave the Oak Avenue, along a delightful riverside track, soon rejoining the A6 road at steps/gate/squeezer stile. Turn right to pass point 1 and return to the parking area.

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Disclaimer: This route was correct at time of writing. However, alterations can happen if development or boundary changes occur, and there is no guarantee of permanent access. These walks have been published for use by site visitors on the understanding that neither HPB Management Limited nor any other person connected with Holiday Property Bond is responsible for the safety or wellbeing of those following the routes as described. It is walkers' own responsibility to be adequately prepared and equipped for the ‎level of walk and the weather conditions and to assess the safety and accessibility of the walk.

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