A Circuit from Arnside including Beetham Fell and Dallam Park.

Start. Arnside.

Route. Arnside - Black Dyke Road - Arnside Moss - Carr Bank Road - Hazelslack - Underlaid Wood - Fairy Steps - Beetham Fell - Beetham - Heron Corn Mill - Dallam Park - Park Road - Summerhouse Point - Sandside - Arnside.

Notes. I had business in town this morning, sounds important, it wasn't, anyway it was raining. After trudging around in the wet stuff a while, I headed home to be greeted by the first rays of sunlight cutting through slate grey cloud. Things were looking up, I grabbed some walking gear and headed to Arnside, the route was devised on the short drive down, and an excellent route it turned out to be, a little wander through local history.

I left Arnside via Black Dyke Road, passed the railway station and on to the foot of Briery Bank I wandered, directly across the road a finger-post points the way to Hazelslack. Said path guided me over Arnside Moss, across narrow Carr Bank Road and on to Hazelslack with it's impressive ruinous 14th century pele tower, at Hazelslack I joined the old corpse road. This path links Arnside to the consecrated ground at Beetham, there are many such coffin routes in Cumbria, nearly all have legends to tell, most are haunted, this one seems to be an exception, no ghosts just good walking through exquisite scenery. Following in the footsteps of many a funeral procession that past this way before me, I wandered over Beetham Fell, two flights of stone steps ushered me over the Whin Scar cliffs one being the ever popular Fairy Steps. Over Beetham Fell I wandered, the path is now fenced, rather disappointing, after descending past a ruined cottage I emerged in pastures above Beetham.

After descending into the village I turned right, wandered passed St Michael's Church displaying a fine 12th century tower, then on to the road junction, down the hill I walked passed some fine old cottages to join the lane leading to the Heron Corn Mill. From the mill car park a narrow stile allows access to Dallam Park. I entered, way marked paths guided me through this 190 acre deer park depositing me in the lane opposite the fine pile of Dallam Tower, I then followed the River Bela out of the park and onto the coast. With sea washed turf under foot I wandered on, the track bed of the long dead Arnside/Hincaster railway ushered me into Sandside, the original line ran behind the properties on the sea front, I followed the lane that replaced it, passed some industrial lime ovens and on to a guinnel that leads to the sea front and the delights of the Ship Inn, ignoring the inn on this occasion I wandered along the sea front, accessing the railway once more where the road dips and a gate opens onto the shore. With the track bed under foot it was easy walking back to Arnside.

view route map.


About to cross Arnside Moss looking to Beetham Fell.

Hazelslack Tower a ruinous 14th century pele tower, originally a building was connected to the east side, the line of the roof is still visible.

Striding out an old corpse road under foot, looking to Underlaid Wood and the heights of Beetham Fell. The north of England has many such burial paths, a common feature of the late medieval period, bearers stuck to established tracks for fear of cursing farm land, many of these routes passed over water, it was widely believed the spirit was unable return to it's home in life if water blocked the way, the water in this case was Arnside Moss considerably wetter than it is today.

The first tier of the Whin Scar cliffs, and the route up.

The ever popular Fairy Steps, folk law tells us corpses where hauled up this low cliff, there's a perfectly good path around the south side if you don't fancy the tight squeeze, but if you do and can manage it without touching the sides the fairies will grant you a wish.

Viewing Arnside Knott and the upper reaches of Morecambe Bay after squeezing my frame through that narrow cleft in the shot above.

Unfortunately the route over Beetham Fell is now fenced, a notice at the start of the fenced section gave the land owners excuse, I can't remember what it said, something about tree disease.

A welcome way marker, destination Beetham.

Farleton Fell over Beetham.

St Michael's Church and 12th century tower.

The Wheatsheaf, Beetham, welcoming guests since 1609, originally a farm house catering for travelers before becoming a coaching stop on the route between Lancaster and Carlisle.

Milnthorpe as seen from Dallam Park, many walkers over the years have asked me what the tower was for? St Anthony's Tower was built by Henery Smithers as a monument to the great reform bill of 1832, a calibration of the right to vote, basically it was a V sign to the owners of Dallam Tower who voted against the bill.

The towering limestone cliffs of Whitbarrow as seen from Dallam Park.

Dallam Tower, a pele tower stood on this site from 1375, demolished when the present house was built in 1720-23.

Seen from Summerhouse Point the Sandside sea front, until the 1860s known as Sandside Milnthorpe, the port of Milnthorpe stretched along the sea front, the building of the Arnside Viaduct in 1857 and subsequent silting up of the estuary drove the final nail into it's coffin, the port handled cargoes including coal and guano, sea bird excrement used as fertilizer.

The Bela Channel with views to the hills of Lakeland.

Industrial lime kilns at Sandside, lime was burned 24hrs a day fueled by coppice wood, the residue would be transported by rail.

Views down the estuary from Sandside.

Whitbarrow seen from Sandside.

We've had an unintended wander through history today, we're finishing on the track bed of the Hincaster/Arnside rail line, opened in 1876, the passenger service ended on 4 May 1942 and the track between Sandside and Hincaster Junction was lifted in 1966. A short branch from Arnside to Sandside lasted until 1972 to serve local quarries.

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