A Round of Arnside Knott.

Start. Arnside.

Route. Arnside - Station Road - Black Dyke Road - Hagg Wood - Middlebarrow Wood - Arnside Tower - Arnside Knott Wood - Heathwaite - Park Point - Arnside Point - Frith Wood - New Barns - Arnside.

Notes. It was grey, miserable and wet, it was my day off work and I didn't fancy spending it staring at four un papered walls. After skulking around the house I decided to drive to the coast, have a wet wander around Arnside Knott. Lets not guild the lilly here this was always going to be a wet walk, we had more than our fair share of rain last night, I even planned a couple of diversions depending on the depth of any flood water encountered.

It was raining as I left Arnside, it would rain for most of the morning. Via Station Road and Black Dyke Road I made my way to the railway crossing, just before the crossing a few yards down a farm track a finger-post invited me to Waterslack, I obliged first wandering through a small paddock then onto the slippery surface of an exceptionally muddy path. This path with it's boot sucking mud and deep puddles ejected me into fields, after picking my way through a great deal of flood water I traversed them. Waterlogged paths guided me along the edge of the railway embankment, foot-bridges aided my crossing of over filled drainage ditches, I stepped into Middlebarrow Wood to join another boot sucking path.

I wandered west, every foot fall slid in a different direction than the last, once or twice I nearly ended up on my backside. After exiting the wood at Arnside Tower the going got worse, cattle had occupied the field, it was an ankle breaking mire, I carefully crossed the slope of the hill to reach solid ground. Dragging half the earth of Middlebarrow and Arndale around on the end of my legs, I tried to walk it off in the long wet grass bordering the access lane to Arnside Tower Farm.

Free of a considerable weight of earth I crossed a narrow road to access a bridleway cutting across the shoulder of Arnside Knott. Said bridleway then ushered me through Arnside Knott Wood to be greeted by a finger-post pointing in many directions, it was Heathwaite for me, a ridge walk through woodland and limestone grassland. The grassland bit saw me face the full onslaught of the weather, it was a relief to descend back into the woods. The path I descended deposited me on the coastal path just outside Far Arnside, I turned right.

With the coastal path under foot I wandered west round Park Point and Arnside Point, I crossed the shingle bank at White Creek before entering Frith Wood. It was while wandering through Frith Wood the sound of wind in the trees and haunting calls of sea birds on the vast mud flats was interrupted by another, the unmistakable sound of rushing water. The tide was coming in. I hurried to the edge of the wood, above Blackstone Point I got a good view of the bore racing up the estuary, not so big today but noisy and fast, I watched until it merged with the Kent Viaduct in the distance.

Exiting Frith Wood at a small disused quarry I noticed the upper reaches of the bay were flooding at an alarming rate, salt water fast covering my route to Arnside. Round New Barns I walked then up the estuary as muddy water spilled over the path edges. After passing the old boat yard I stepped onto the safety of a raised concrete path, my guide above the muddy waters passed Ash Meadow House back to Arnside.

view route map.


Seen through the murk of a grey Morecambe Bay day, Hampsfell with Meathop Fell to the right, to the left, not always visible on a clear day Holme Island.

Middlebarrow Wood seen from the fields of Arndale.

Looking to Arnside Tower with the steep slopes of Arnside Knott rising far right.

One of two drainage ditches crossed on this route, a little deeper and it would be a paddle.

Arnside Knott seen from the edge of Middlebarrow Wood.

The gaunt remains of Arnside Tower.

Arnside Tower Farm backed by Arnside Knott.

Tree roots in Arnside Knott Wood.

Traversing Heathwaite....

....and in the other direction, the shifting sands of Morecambe Bay.

A touch of colour on a wet grey day.

The mud, shifting sand and forever changing topography of Morecambe Bay.

My route through these constantly changing views.

Even on a grey day the views over Morecambe Bay are quite staggering.

At Park Point viewing Hampsfell above Grange-over-Sands.

Meathop Fell seen across White Creek.

On the far horizon, under brightening skies the long finger of Humphrey Head.

It's stopped raining, I'm looking west from White Creek, far left already mentioned Humphrey Head, to the right Kirkhead or Tower Hill, right a bit more Kent's bank then Grange-over-Sands. Did you know, until the early 19th century the village across the bay was called merely Grange, the local vicar got so tired of his mail being delivered to Grange in Borrowdale he added the prefix "over-Sands".

Small today but moving fast, the bore races up the estuary.

On the edge of New Barns Bay looking to Whitbarrow.

This shot was taken three minutes after the one above, testament to the speed the tide rises.

Walkers sods law, I'm almost back at the parked car and there's the edge of the weather front that's dogged my progress this day.

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