A Coastal Walk from Arnside.

Start. Arnside.

Route. Arnside - Arnside Station - Sandside - Milnthorpe Bridge - Dallam Park - Haverbrack - Wray Cottage - Cockshot Lane - Longtail Wood - Underlaid Wood - Whin Scar - Fairy Steps - Slack Head - Leighton Beck Bridge - East Coppice - Hawes Water - Moss Lane - Red Bridge - Red Bridge Lane - Eaves Wood - King William's Hill - Pepper Pot - Middlebarrow Plane - Holgates - Far Arnside - Park Point - Arnside Point - White Creek - Blackstone Point - New Barns - Arnside.

Notes. This was a splendid excursion taking in a large slice of everything this humble limestone peninsular has on offer. A greedy slice of estuary walking to the north and south of Arnside, coppice woodland by the truck load, wild flower meadows and limestone grassland, cliff and scar, even a lake an enigma in limestone country, the rock is porous allowing water to permeate through into underground river systems.

It was blowing a howling gale when I left Arnside, the trees lining the old railway line to Hincaster were engaged in a wild dance, limbs flaying in all directions. I'd accessed the old railway track via Arnside station, the start of a wonderful two and a half mile coastal ramble to Milnthorpe Bridge over the River Bela at Dallam Park. Once in the deer park for a change I followed the tarmac lane passed Dallam Tower into an avenue of mighty trees, in the shadow of the tree cover a finger-post invited me to Haverbrack, I obliged crossing a field to access the small hamlet.

With a stoney track under foot I wandered passed buildings ancient and modern, at Wray Cottage a finger-post indicated the ways to Cockshot Lane, two choices I chose a short way-marked path through woodland. From Cockshot Lane I joined the path signed Hazelslack and Slackhead, a bit deceiving as this trod also accesses the Fairy Steps, quite a bit further along the path there is a sign. Once I'd ascended the narrow highly polished cleft in the Whin Scar cliffs I stopped, it was coffee time, and what better place to rest.

I'd just got comfy when an invasion force arrived, a large contingency of Fylde Ramblers, as they were handing out cake and included me I wasn't in my usual hurry to leave. Once I did I traversed Beetham Fell turning right at the first path junction, this wide path ejected me into Slackhead above Beetham. I followed what I believe is called Leighton Bridge Road, it clung to the high ground, conveying me past some rather smart properties before descending to Leighton Beck Bridge. Here I stepped back into fields, the start of a walk through wild flower meadows, sheep and cow pastures and coppice woodland. With way-marked paths to guide me I made my way to Hawes Water, a hidden gem in Silverdale's crown.

Hawes Water a delightful tarn fringed by reed beds, guarded to the west by alder and willow, a marl one of only two bodies of natural water remaining in Lancashire. I turned south a good path ushered me to Moss Lane, which in turn guided me away from Hawes Water, I crossed the railway line at Red Bridge, Red Bridge Lane then shepherded me to Eaves Wood. Another gem, way-marked paths ushered me between the plantings of Victorian entrepreneurs, passed Lilly-of the-valley fighting for light under small-leaved limes, under the canopy of giant beech trees, through hidden grassy glades and passed giant wood ant nests, over King William's Hill to visit an old friend, the Pepper Pot. I sat a while re-acquainted myself with this stone obelisk built to commemorate Queen Victoria's jubilee, drank in stunning views over Morecambe Bay and the hills of Bowland before moving off. With a dry stone wall to guide me I wandered down hill, west to a narrow stile allowing access to Holgates, after initially walking north I turned west, between holiday homes I walked to gain access to a field path that guided me to Far Arnside and the coast.

Once at the coast cliff top paths shepherded me along the edge of Arnside Park above the shifting sands of Morecambe Bay, I stopped for another brew at Park Point before scrambling down the cliff to enjoy a exhilarating walk over the sands of the bay. Passed Arnside Point I wandered, across White Creek then round Blackstone Point, with Arnside now in sight I strode on up the estuary making sure I walked around New Barns not across it, the short walk up the estuary ended outside the Albion, downing pint shandy's enjoying stunning views across upper Morecambe Bay.

view route map.


The White Scar cliffs of Whitbarrow seen from the salt marsh to the north of Arnside.

Looking back to the white washed buildings of Arnside.

Approaching Sandside.

The Newton Fells seen across the sands and swift flowing river channels of upper Morecambe Bay.

Whitbarrow seen over the confluence of the rivers Bela and Kent.

A moody view over Milnthorpe Sands, across the horizon sylvan Hampsfell.

Farm buildings at Haverbrack.

I'm out on a limb here, it may be Fox Tarn, or perhaps Haverbrack Tarn, it may have once held a supply of fresh fish for the Dallam estate, or not, all I know is that across the skyline is Hutton Roof Crags with Farleton Fell behind the tree to the left.

Rising above the tree tops of Underlaid Wood, Arnside Knott as seen from Whin Scar.

Wild flower meadows near Leighton Beck Bridge.

A novel sign, the old county border, it may mean nothing to you but between 1889 and 1994 the counties of North West England were Cumberland and Westmorland, in 1974 they became Cumbria pinching a bit of Lancashire and Yorkshire's West Riding along the way, still no wiser, the bits we nicked were the hilly bits, it may have been unintentional but the government at the time gave Cumbria all the good bits, the Coniston Fells, the Howgill Fells plus half of Whernside.

Descending through wild flower meadows looking to Gate Barrows Nature Reserve.

A gem in Silverdale's crown, Hawes Water.

An old friend the Pepper Pot with magnificent views over Morecambe Bay.

Grey on the far horizon the hills of Bowland.

Dappled light across Morecambe Bay with the two squat towers of Heysham Power Station clearly visible.

Walking along the ragged edge where Arnside Park meets the sands of Morecambe Bay.

Viewing Know End Point from the cliff top path near Park Point.

Striding out under limestone cliffs with sand under foot and the wind at my back.

Arnside Knott as seen from White Creek.

The high skyline is Hampsfell seen from White Creek.

Rounding Blackstone Point.

The remains of the short jetty at Blackstone point, once used to transport iron stone and farm products to similar jetty's scattered around Morecambe Bay.

Frith Wood across New Barns Bay.

Under the tree cover of Grubbins Wood looking towards Arnside.

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