Lancashire's Grizedale and Nicky Nook lie on the edge of the Forest of Bowland close to Garstang. Hundreds of thousands of people drive close by on the M6 each year, and most probably have no idea what an inspiring walk starts and ends just a few yards away in Scorton.
We began our trip in Scorton and followed Snowhill Lane past the Church and over the Motorway before taking a footpath off to the right by Snowhill cottage. This path led us briefly through woods before joining Tithe Barn lane. We walked up the road to its end before turning right to join the footpath up Grizedale at Slean End. The path here was wonderful, walking off-lead through trees, adjacent to Grizedale Brook and then on to Grizedale Reservoir. The dog absolutely loved it, paddling in in the Brook at every opportunity and seemingly sniffing every bracken leaf along the way. His sense of smell was though far better than his eyesight, and he didn't spot the startled Deer which took flight up the steep slopes of Nicky Nook on hearing our approach.
Eventually our route took us out of the woods on the track to Fell End Farm, where we crossed a metalled bridge before taking the footpath left, through fields of grazing sheep, to the summit of Nicky Nook. The view out over Morecambe Bay was fantastic, so we paused a while for some doggy treats, and to make friends with a lovely 13 month old black Labrador who is soon to embark on her guide dogs of the blind training. Having made a brief mental comparison of our mad Spaniel, and the many demands that would be made of the Labrador over the coming months, I wished her owner luck and we made our way past the Tarn towards Scorton. Part way down we came across a bench which allowed me to have a rest and admire the view whilst the dog chased his ball down the grassy slopes.
Tired and contented, we rejoined Snowhill Lane for the short walk back to the car.
Although this walk involved some short stretches of walking along the lanes, and the dog could not be off lead on the top of Nicky Nook, this is still a fantastic walk for dogs (and their owners!)
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Doggy rating 9/10