The Crook O’Lune, Caton, Lancashire, is a great spot for idyllic walks, tougher walks, picnics, dog walks, cycling or just for getting some good old fresh air within beautiful surroundings. Located not far eastwards from J35 of the M6 it provides such an easy access to a day of relaxation or a day of earnest walking through the Lune Valley. Even Monty and Jasmine love the walks around here, tiring themselves out every time.
The name comes from the way the Lune River cuts back on itself here at 180 degrees right and then goes 90 degrees left. The river finding and prevailing in its way around harder rock leaving a shape much like a shepherds crook. The central focus for visitors to the Crook O’Lune is around the car park and picnic area at Caton. Even those just passing by in the car for a quick picnic get a grand view. The background is filled up the middle with the river upstream and the Yorkshire 3 peaks behind. Ingleborough and the flat top unmistakable.
Just within a couple of minutes from here you can venture down to the riverside. Old rail bridges and a stone bridge add to the settings. The old rail bridge is not for cars but you will see many a pedestrian or cyclist wandering across for the view, or to venture on the other side of the river.
The area has inspired people for many generations. William Wordsworth said it should not be missed and he saw many a great view beyond this for sure. Perhaps the view over Crook O’Lune is more famous to those interested in art. High on the hill behind the car park and up off the A683 is the spot known as Gray’s Seat. The lookout was named after the poet Thomas Gray whom described the great overlooking view of the Crook O’Lune in words (in the days before photos it was poets who tended to provide travel inspiration with their descriptions, eg Wordsworth and Gray). Turner was inspired thus to go and sketched and water coloured it into one of his most famous paintings. There is a path up to Gray’s view today… however, do not expect a view nor the ability to see what these creative greats saw exactly with their oen eyes. Gone is the expanse from above there and today you will be met by a view of thick trees right in front of you, and nothing more.
It is however very worth the walks beside the river in either direction, miles of paths and in Summer the place is full of green against the blue sky and waterways. You can head in any direction from the car park and have a great walk. And no need to go high to get a superb view of the area.
Woods, waterways, open fields, birds galore, cycleways, good footpaths and history, all within reach for many and all ages. A Lancashire beauty spot indeed!