WALK 2 – EELWELL – BARMOOR MILL – NORTHFIELD

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Here is the second walk of the series – another easy one, at 3 miles, with lots to see. Beware! at time of writing, this route meets one unlawful barbed wire fence barring the way to a stile, with a right-of-way finger-post that looks as if it has been deliberately broken off to conceal the direction of the route. A report to the Footpaths Officer on the County Council is on its way.

Passing down the lane to the Backsides, the walk takes you past the church and Eelwell Lane. Although a road, there’s lots to see and speculate about. Eelwell House – was it a single story cottage or a store for the quarry and now well0hidden and ruinous lime-kiln? The lengthy ponds that follow the contours either side of the lane will have dominated the Northern aspect of Lowick – small wonder that the lanes are dead straight to facilitate the easy passage of laden carts.

The sharp bend at Grid ref 00610 40242 is marked by a safety barrier. As no one puts these out without an accident to prompt, one wonders who shot off the road and ended up in the deep waters below.

Follow on past the Dolls House and over the road to the lane to Barmoor Mill Farm, taking the track across the fields to the left after a hundred yards or so. This, my sources tell me, is the former road, leading its often boggy way past the Dry Burn. Watch out for the embanked way to the left. The same source suggests a railway connecting with the track, and has found a rail, buried in the ground as proof.

Footpath signs take to directly to the edge of the Barmoor Castle Caravan Park, with the track well marked by the landowner. From the photos in the gallery delight over the style left over the fence that has been removed, and see if you can spot the confusion created by two notices as you leave the Park for the B6525.

Cross over the B6525 to the stile over the wall. You’ll see from the map that the right of way actually takes you through the gate in front of the Northfield Farm Garden, but the stile is brand new and conveniently placed. Has anyone applied to divert the path officially?

This leads us to the unlawful treatment of the stile at 00485 39617. You will slide under the wire if you are prepared to drop to the ground on all fours. Otherwise, bring a suitable tool – like a heavy bag to shield you from the barbs of the fence. You surely cannot have thought I meant a set of powerful pliers that could deal with the menace once and for all, can you?

And that’s it – a brisk stroll along the B6353 brings you back to our start. Beware the footpath that is crumbling into the Low, and marvel at the first listed building in the village – the milepost beneath the Main Street sign, by the gates to the vicarage – itself listed, and showing more clearly now its forest of a garden has been tackled.

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