Humphrey Head Outdoor Education Centre, Grange-over-Sands

4.3
#7 of 8 in Parks in Grange-over-Sands
Wildlife Area · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
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Humphrey Head is a limestone outcrop situated south of the village of Allithwaite in Cumbria, England. It is whale-back-shaped and accessible for walkers, giving views over Morecambe Bay to Lancaster, Morecambe, Heysham and over the Leven estuary to Ulverston. There is an Ordnance Survey trig point at the top.

Since 1906 it has been the home of Humphrey Head Outdoor Centre, currently operated by Mere Mountains. Most of the Head is a nature reserve, managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust since 1992 although still owned by the Holker Estate. On the eastern flank is a wood with permitted rights of way. It used to be possible to walk to the end of the outcrop by walking on the sands to the west of Humphrey Head, but changes in the sands have rendered this difficult (although still possible in wellies) (2011). To the east of Humphrey Head is a marsh which forms part of Kents Bank.

Humphrey Head is the traditional location for the killing of the last wolf in England, in about 1390. Folklore has it that the wolf descended the fells from near Coniston where it had caused havoc among the sheep flocks. After it attacked a child in Cark the country-folk chased it to the end of Humphrey Head where it was killed with pikes while hiding among the rocks.

Below Humphrey Head there used to be house with a spring. The water was reputed to have therapeutic properties. Miners from Durham used to walk here just to take the water. All that is now left is a rusting lead pipe and a clear trickle of water.

On the rock face lies a memorial to William Pedder who died in August 1857, it reads: "Beware how you on these rocks ascend Here William pedder met his end August 22nd 1857 Aged 10 years by permission".

Humphrey Head is the subject of a chapter of Wainwright's book The Outlying Fells of Lakeland, although he says "Not by any exercise of the imagination can Humphrey Head be classed as an outlying fell of Lakeland" as although it is "outlying", the summit is 172 feet (52 m) and "a fell it is certainly not". He describes a walk from Kents Bank railway station.
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Humphrey Head Outdoor Education Centre reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
4 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We had never heard of this place but at a visit to the Lakeland miniature village, we learned that the last wolf in England was caught here. We had a lovely walk, mostly flat with a little scrambling....  more
    We had never heard of this place but at a visit to the Lakeland miniature village, we learned that the last wolf in England was caught here. We had a lovely walk, mostly flat with a little scrambling....  more »
  • Fantastic place for peacefull stroll , great place to clear your mind, nothing but huge skies and views ... Want to shut off and forget, couldnt think of any where better. 
    Fantastic place for peacefull stroll , great place to clear your mind, nothing but huge skies and views ... Want to shut off and forget, couldnt think of any where better.  more »
Google
  • We stayed here as a self-catering hostel rather than an outdoor centre. Lovely big common room and a cosy side room with great view and sofas. Also a great kitchen. Soundproofing between rooms and common room was also good. However, lighting in bedrooms was blazing bright or pitch black, doors to rooms very heavy (impossible?) to open for smaller kids, toilets a long way from the rooms. We had a good stay at new year though.
  • Absolutely stunning place. Ideal for walkers, climbers and children. Views are spectacular across the bay looking back to morecambe. Wildlife in abundance. Airfield nearby which takes parachutists out and you can see them clearly. Not suitable if you have trouble walking or wheelchair/pushchairs. Keep an eye on tide times.

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