Cockerham.

A lovely walk in an uncelebrated part of our uncelebrated county. 

Start/finish: Cockerham Village Hall, Main Street. LA2 0EF. (While there are no restrictions to using the car park out of courtesy readers are requested to phone 01254 791650 beforehand to seek permission.
 

Distance: 6 ½ miles 10k

 

Time: 3 - 4 hours

Grade: Easy
 

Map: OS Explorer 296 Lancaster, Morecambe & Fleetwood.

 

 Map by kind permission of Johnston Press

Directions:

1. From the car park turn left onto Main Street and then at the junction with the A588

 

turn right towards Lancaster. After passing a new housing estate turn right onto a bridleway called Willy Lane.

 

Follow this for half a mile to a cluster of buildings marked Uptown.

 

After the lane bends left towards Uptown take a green track on the right accessed by a

 

wooden gate. Follow the grassy track to its end and then go through a metal gate.

 

Bear left towards and electricity pylon. Just beyond it go through a gate

 

and follow the path as it crosses

 

two large arable fields skirting high ground to the left and then gently drops to a wooden footbridge.

 

Go straight across the next field and after a stile in a fence

 

cross the next field to a second footbridge. After this turn left following the line of woodland on the right. After a pair of metal gates

 

look for a stile on the right to enter the woods. Keeping to the path 150yds later exit the woods.

 

Now in a large pasture climb a small slope and cross to hedgerow on the far side. Turn left. After a metal gate

 

look for a stile on the right. Cross this turning left to pick up a farm track

 

leading to Cock Hall Woods. Follow the track through a neck of woodland and onto Cock Hall Farm.

2. As you reach the main buildings of the farm turn right onto the farm road.

 

After 250yds turn left over a stile in the hedge. Following the hedgerow on the left keep ahead to a corner on the left leading to

 

a renovated house and drive. Follow the drive as it leads to a large farm complex. Keep ahead

 

through the yard to reach the A588 Lancaster Road. Turn right (and keep right as there is no pavement on this sometimes busy road). In a little over 200yds

 

turn left onto a footpath accessed by a stile on the drive of a property. Keeping to the hedgerow on the left

 

keep ahead for over half a mile negotiating stiles and footbridges at field corners. After a track appears on the left continue for another 100yds into an open field and then turn left to climb the gentle slope of Thursland Hill. There is no obvious direction sign to let you know you are on a right of way but at the next hedge join the track

 

leading to the top. For purists the trig point is to the right beyond a quarry pond.

 

To my mind this little hill is one of - yes you've guessed it - the finest viewpoints in the county. On a clear day the wide sweep of Morecambe Bay is to the west, the Lakeland hills to the north and the Bowland Fells to the east are all on magnificent display and you are just 75ft above sea level. Continue on the farm track to Norbreck Farm.

 

When you reach the farm drive turn left onto a path close to the farmhouse

 

and then immediately right over a stile. Resuming a southerly direction cross a pasture to a stile in a fence

 

and then continue over a double stile in a hedge. In the next field aim slightly left of the large barn at Hillam Farm. After a gate go through the yard

 

to reach Hillam Lane.

3. Turn right. Follow the lane as it bends left

 

at the entrance to Norbreck Farm. After crossing a cattle grid the way meets a junction

 

with a handsome memorial seat. Here follow the left fork towards Patty's Barn.

 

As you near the farm complex take a footpath on the left. At the stile follow the waymark pointing right. This leads to a stile in trees.

 

Over this cross a footbridge and the following the fence line on the right keep ahead across the runway of the Black Knights Parachute centre keep ahead. After two wooden footbridges

 

an enclosed path will lead to the A588. Cross the road turn left and walk 250yds along the pavement. At a white picket gate

 

turn right onto a footpath leading towards a church. Just before the church take a footpath on the left

 

which leads to its drive and back to the village hall.

 

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