A Circuit from Silverdale including Heathwaite, Arnside Knott, Castlebarrow and Heald Brow.

Start. Silverdale.

Route. Silverdale - The Lots - Silverdale Cove - Cove Road - Holgates - Far Arnside - Arnside Park - Heathwaite - Arnside Knott - Arnside Tower - Eaves Wood - Castlebarrow - Silverdale Park - Silverdale Green - Woodwell - Heald Brow - Jenny Brown's Point - Jack Scout - Cows Mouth Cove - Silverdale.

Notes. This was take two of a walk I'd attempted in February this year, a walk that went terribly wrong, twisted ankles and all that, I played safe today steering clear of the Morecambe Bay mud, keeping to field paths and single track roads on the walk to Far Arnside. What followed was a ramble through delightful woodland, limestone grassland, a slice of history ending with an airy cliff top ramble back to Silverdale, almost everything this area of outstanding natural beauty has to offer.

My day started wandering through The Lots above the fisherman’s cottages on the edge of Silverdale Bay, the path descended to the Cove where a tarmac lane lead inland, I followed this lane to the road junction where I turned left to make my way to Holgates. A metal gate allows walkers access to the holiday park, a finger post directed me to Far Arnside, I obliged crossing the park to enter meadows for the short walk to the village, after passing through the delightful hamlet the lane guided me between rather smart holiday homes before permitting me to enter the woodland of Arnside Park. There's an awful lot of forestery work taking place in these woods at the moment, coppicing a traditional way of harvesting the wood in many parts of British Isles, this opens up the woodland to many rare plants and insects, a sustainable way of managing the forests. Unfortunately for me it meant two paths I intended to ascend to Heathwaite were blocked, a rather long walk west followed, which would have been far more interesting along the cliff top path, eventually a third rather muddy path carried me up the hill.

This was a steep climb in places passing more coppiced woodland, before a gate allowed access to Heathwaite, an interpretation board described what I may see in the woods, it also invited me to wander where I liked. I left the main path there and then, a faint trod guided me between trees, I was hunting for the views, I stepped into Cowslip Field to be greeted with wonderful views over the Lancashire coast. I continued along the path cutting in and out of the woodland before reaching a parting of the ways, finger-posts pointing in all directions, it was Arnside Knott for me. The steep climb that followed allowed me to explore the woodland before drinking in the views from the summit of this weather and ice sculptured limestone hill, views far better than it's 522ft would suggest. My visit over I descended to the north-east to pick up a dry stone wall, this guided me down to the road, with tarmac under foot it was a short walk to Arnside Tower. Rising behind the tower Middlebarrow Wood adorns the slopes of King William's Hill, I crossed a ladder stile to start my ascent. Through more coppiced woodland I ascended, scrambling up limestone scars on a path that lead into Eaves Wood, after stepping over a stile in a dry stone wall I turned right to follow a path that eventually lead to Castlebarrow, the summit of King William's Hill, home to the Pepper Pot with stunning views over the Silverdale landscape, a landscape I was about to cross.

Way marked paths aided my descent, yellow arrows directed me to a path leading down the side of Woodlands, I descended to access Bottoms Lane, a few hundred yards over tarmac followed before a finger-post invited me to Silverdale Green. I followed this path through cow pastures before entering what is widely believed to be the original village of Silverdale, it's a delightful place, I passed through the hamlet to access the main road, across the road another finger-post promised I'd reached the path to Woodwell. Through woodland and meadows, over limestone pavements I wandered before descending a limestone cliff to reach the spring and pool at Woodwell. My route continued along the edge of a meadow, sandwiched between broken limestone cliffs and a dry stone wall I soon stepped onto Hollins Lane, directly across the road a metal farm gate allowed access to a narrow lane, this lane I followed, when it ended I stepped into the fields above Heald Brow. I soon found myself descending a slippery path, safely at the foot of the hill I turned right to make my way to Jenny Brown's Point. After rounding the point a tarmac lane guided me to Jack Scout, this is a special place, limestone grassland rich in wild flowers, wild scrub and shrubs providing breeding grounds for song birds and food for migratory birds passing through, it can also boast one of two cliffs on the Lancashire side of Morecambe Bay, one I was about to attempt to descend.

High above the precipitous cliffs rising from Cows Mouth Cove I stood, somewhere along the fence line was a limestone gully rising from the cove, the Jack's Rake of the Silverdale coast, the easiest way to find it is to follow the fence line north. I descended this slippery gully, after squeezing under two tree limbs the descent was easy allowing access to the cove and most importantly the cliff top path back to Silverdale.

view route map.

home.

Striding out through The Lots, in spring and summer these meadows are alive with displays of wild flowers including Green Winged orchids, a group of walkers admire the views over the bay, I'm more interested in the woods of Arnside Park directly in front.

Above Red Rake looking down on Silverdale Cove.

A reminder autumn's approaching, a splash of colour as I enter Far Arnside.

In Arnside Park, a clearing in the woodland allows stolen views of Hampsfell across upper Morecambe Bay.

From Cowslip Field wonderful views across the shifting sands of Morecambe Bay.

Heald Brow provides some wonderful views over a vast ark of the Lancashire coast, magical silvery seascapes and scudding cloud.

On the south-western slopes of Arnside Knott with wonderful views over Arnside Park and Morecambe Bay.

Standing above the southern scree slopes of Arnside Knott soaking up the views as far as Ingleborough just visible on the far horizon.

Not quite on the summit of Arnside Knott, with views like this who cares, sandwiched between land and sky Moercambe Bay.

I took this from my brew stop, sunlight on the White Scar face of Whitbarrow backed by a litany of Lakeland giants.

On my second cuppa, looking over Underlaid Wood and Arnside Moss to Farleton Fell and Hutton Roof backed by the Middleton and Barbon High Fells,

The oldest building in the parish, Arnside Tower.

Standing on Castlebarrow, the Pepper Pot's to the right out of shot surrounded by half the population of Silverdale, looking to the village probably deserted, with the sylvan slopes of Warton Crag to the left.

A delightful sleepy corner of Silverdale, Silverdale Green believed to be the original village of Silverdale.

This is where the residents of Silverdale Green would have originally got their water, the spring at Woodwell.

In the meadows above Heald Brow, hoping that dark cloud will pass in the other direction.

Coastal erosion at Jenny Brown's Point, every year more and more salt marsh is being eaten away by the tides of Morecambe Bay.

The Smelt Mill chimney at Jenny Brown's Point, all that remains of a copper smelt mill believed to date back to the 1790s when copper was in great demand.

Sylvan Warton Crag seen from the smelt mill chimney.

Distant views to Clough Pike from the shore near Jenny Brown's Point.

Another stunning view from near Jenny Brown's Point, across the skyline the hills of Bowland.

Cows Mouth Cove, not named on the OS map, a local name for an important coastal feature, this was one of the few places along this coast where a breach in the cliffs allowed the cattle drovers from Ireland and Scotland to bring their beasts ashore after driving them across the bay, imagine the scene, we're not talking a few cows here, thousands of black cattle an armed drover leading them ashore through this narrow gap in the Silverdale cliffs.

A bit narrow but reassuring, the cliff top path leading me back to Silverdale.

Arnside Knott conquered earlier today, seen over Silverdale Bay.

Backed by The Lots, the cottages on the edge of Silverdale Bay.

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