Stage 2: Ulverston to Dalton — Cistercian Way
Alex Foxfield planned a hike.
February 5, 2021
During this stage you explore the historic towns of Ulverston and Dalton-in-Furness, with a visit to the delightful villages of Great and Little Urswick, situated by a beautiful tarn. There is much in the way of architectural interest – impressive parish churches and a pele tower lie en route.
At 10.1 miles (16.3 km), it is an easy walk with little in the way of elevation change. This should give you plenty of time to explore the towns and potentially choose a few more detours to places of interest.
You start from Ulverston, the birthplace of Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy fame. If you have time, I highly recommend the Laurel and Hardy Museum for gaining insight into the life and works of this iconic comedy duo.
The Way leaves Ulverston and initially heads back towards the coast to visit the former Augustine Conishead Priory, with fine views across the Leven Estuary. After the priory, head west on Red Lane and then south across fields towards the parish of Urswick.
On a warm day, Urswick Tarn makes for a splendidly serene lunch spot. You pass the parish church of St Mary and St Michael’s, which is Grade I-listed, before leaving Great Urswick for Little Urswick and heading west towards Dalton-In Furness.
Birkrigg Common is a possible detour to the east. Its many trails offer fine views of both Morecambe Bay and the fells of the Southern Lake District.
The Way takes you into Dalton, a former administrative centre for the peninsula. The 14th-century, Grade I-listed Dalton Castle is a conspicuous sight amongst the more modern buildings in the town. This pele tower was built by the monks from Furness Abbey to defend against marauding Scots.
Dalton has a number of accommodation options, from hotels to guesthouses. Its train station is on the Furness line, offering connections to Barrow, Ulverston, Grange-over-Sands and Lancaster.
February 8, 2021
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