Whitbarrow Scar and Lord's Seat

Whitbarrow Scar situated, just off the A590, to the south west of Kendal is a limestone escarpment which is relatively rare in the Lake District. Most of the rock here is volcanic, formed from the ash and magma thrown out in eruptions, or igneous intrusions through weaknesses in the rock already laid down. Limestone, on the other hand, is sedimentary, formed from the shells and corals of a long ago sea. Although it is quite a hard rock it is prone to erosion by the very slight acidity of rainwater. This creates little pools and channels in the rock which over thousands of years form the clints and grikes of the classic limestone pavement more associated with the nearby Yorkshire Dales.

The exposed top of Whitbarrow feels like it is in two different sections. The abrupt southern end, overlooking the Kent estuary up to the wall beside Chapel Head Scar is largely rolling upland that happens to be limestone. Crossing the wall on the way to Lord's Seat small outcrops of mini-escarpments jut above the grasses and juniper. There are many more trees on this side. The whole of the top is grazed by a hardy breed of cattle.

The northern area is a National Nature Reserve. The plaque incorporated into the grand cairn on Lord's Seat is inscribed: "This reserve commemorates Canon G.A.K Hervey 1893 - 1967 Founder of the Lake District Naturalists' Trust". The Cumbria Wildlife Trust manages much of the land.

The small hamlet of Mill Side is the easiest place to start this walk. There is an informal layby just across the cattle grid from the A590 - signed Beck Head and Mill Side - where half-a-dozen cars may park.