The latest new route on the VOOM blog comes from VOOM Ultra Runner Ross Jenkin. The route uses a short section of the same trails the Kendal Mountain Festival 10km trail run uses, and offers some fantastic views across the Lyth Valley towards Morecambe Bay.
Trail Running from Kendal
Since living in Kendal, I’ve been exploring all the trails I can and have found some cracking routes. I love combining the flat trails beside the river Kent with the limestone paths of Scout Scar and then to be rewarded with incredible views of The Lake District. Adding in a jaunt through Sizergh estate is a nice little bonus. If you ever want a tour, just hit me up on the socials!
Parking to run Scout Scar
The route and GPX below start from Romney Road Bridge in Kendal and there is some free roadside parking there along Natland Road, or paid parking at the nearby Kendal Leisure Centre. You could also start the route from Brigsteer Road either beside the old Kendal Racecourse, or at Helsington Church with its stunning views to the Bay.
If you're keen for a coffee and cake after your run then I'd recommend parking at Sizergh Castle National Trust site, or to avoid the parking fee on the road close to the Strickland Arms which the route also passes.
Step by Step Trails from Kendal
1) On the West side of the river head South, first on tarmac right beside the river and then onto a path, usually firm but can get muddy and slippery in the winter months. Follow the meanders of the river gradually back on yourself North, and then South again. There's no real place to deviate from the single track path.
2) Continue across the tarmac driveway and into the fields beyond when you reach the end of the single track path at the bottom of Scroggs Wood. Cross 5 or 6 open fields (some stiles to climb) whilst following the trodden path which stays close to the river. When the path eventually reaches the road go left (almost straight on) and run on the tarmac for around 50m.
3) Just before Hawes Bridge turn right off the road to remain on the West side of the River Kent. Its a good section of rough single trail, often a bit muddy and plenty of tree roots so keep your wits about you! This leads all the way down past the remains of the old Sedgwick gunpowder works, also passing Low Park Wood caravan park.
4) Once onto the tarmac lane take a right to climb gradually up Nannypie Lane, eventually passing under the main A591 dual-carriageway and going straight on at the cross road junction beside the Strickland Arms pub.
5) As you begin to climb again take a right sharply back on yourself passing a house before entering a steep field and crossing a small wooden bridge over the stream. Continue through the gate and steeply up the bank into the top right of the field.
6) You will start to pick up signs for Sizergh Castle, now heading north across a field. This could be the final stretch and time for a brew, if you've had the foresight to run from here! Otherwise head through the carpark following the hard packed gravel path north signed Helsington church.
7) As you climb on a narrow packed gravel path you reach a t-junction. Our route goes right and left shortly after to climb over a couple of open fields. This is the quieter option than following the direct track to the church. Our route converges with the other right beside the church and suddenly there are fantastic views across the Lyth Valley towards Whitbarrow Scar ( to the West and the Lakeland Fells further North/North West.
8) Continue North on the Church's tarmac access until you reach the steep Brigsteer Hill, notorious with local cyclists! Go right and climb for 50m or so before turning left through a gate onto the Scar. Next up you've got the longest unbroken off road section in this route, popular with walkers and its easy to see why with the views on offer.
9) Follow the trodden path still heading roughly north, climbing slightly until you head through another gate. Continue North on the well-trodden path with spectacular views of the Lake District ahead. The path brings you parallel to the cliffs of Scout Scar which drop away sharply to the Lyth Valley on your right - take care here as its a fair drop!
10) Continue until you reach the large stone cairn and then take a right turn up a bit of a climb, away from the scar edge. Looking back over the right shoulder you should see some great views of Morecambe Bay. After cresting the hill continue on the main path heading North East and don't deviate, passing a couple of dry stone walls.
11) The next interesting feature you'll reach is the old Racecourse, the large oval of which can still be seen, which we head straight across the leave the field over a style turning left to join Brigsteer Road. Follow the road over the A591 again, turning right soon after onto a gravel path.
12) The GPX file is useful at this point as we weave down the various residential areas, descending partly on roads and partly on footpaths between the streets. You then pass between Dean Gibson primary school and Kendal College, before emerging opposite Romney Road. A couple of hundred metres on the pavement and you're back at the Romney Road Bridge where you started!