A Short Impromptu Walk from Arnside.
Route. Arnside - Red Hills Road - Knott Lane - Arnside Knott Wood - Heathwaite - Far Arnside - Park Point - Arnside Point - Frith Wood - Blackstone Point - New Barns - Arnside.
Notes. Wet and windy it was Sunday, sounds like the lyrics from a song. Around late morning my better half Sue decided we were heading out for lunch, when she mentioned Arnside I suddenly smelt salt water on the sea breeze, heard the mornfull cry of sea birds, we threw some walking gear in the boot, well you never know.
Lunch over (and a good one it was) the wind was still howling but vast rents in the cloud cover allowing the sun to escape, with rays of light racing across the estuary, and the fact plenty of other walkers were heading down the coast we decided to join them. After wandering south a while, two steps forward one back, leaning into the oncoming wind we decided to ascend the narrow ginnel climbing between the Beach Walk Cafe and the old boat yard, this deposited us on the tarmac of Red Hills Road, we'd head for the woodland of Arnside Knott, and hopefully some shelter.
The surface of Red Hills Road guided us to Knott Lane which in turn ushered us up hill to Arnside Knott car park, we passed the car park entering Arnside Knott Wood, The route we followed continued over the shoulder of Arnside Knott. Once at a major path junction we joined the Far Arnside path descending through pastures on the edge of Heathwaite, on reaching Hollins Farm more field paths guided us to Far Arnside and the coast.
Along the jagged edge where limestone cliffs meet the shifting sand of Morecambe Bay and sylvan Arnside Park falls into the Irish Sea (when the tide's in), round Park Point and Arnside Point we wandered, through Frith Wood above the limestone cliffs of Blackstone Point to access New Barns. We risked wandering across the bay (not always a good idea) before striding out, the wind at our backs to our starting point.
view route nap.
Looking to Whitbarrow above the Kent Viaduct.
Sylvan Meathop Fell backed by the Newton Fells, seen from Knott Lane.
Arnside Knott also seen from Knott Lane.
Descending the pastures of Heathwaite looking to Silverdale and the Lancashire coast.
Heavy rain sweeps the horizon. This is the 190 square miles of Morecambe Bay, the largest expanse of tidal mudflat's in the United Kingdom, believe it or not it's only an hour to high water.
Morecambe Bay, born out of the last ice age, retreating glaciers dumped sand and soft sediments in this vast basin, as sea levels rose the bay flooded, the sand and mud is around 260ft deep now, it's a beautiful place but dangerous, the combination of four major rivers, the Kent, Lune, Wyre and Leven, plus smaller ones such as the Bela and Winster drain into the bay, fast rising tides, quicksand and shifting channels make it an unpredictable place, over the centuries many lives have been lost. On a brighter note why not cross the bay with Cedric Robinson the 25th Queens guide to the sand, just out of interest the first guide was Thomas Hogeson in 1548.
On the cliff top path near Park Point looking to Hampsfell.
We've shunned a walk across the sands, it looks too wet, instead you get cliff top views to Grange over Sands and Hampsfell.
The rolling hills of the Newton Fells and the limestone cliffs of Meathop Fell seen from Arnside Point.
Frith Wood seen from the shingle bank at White Creek.
It looks like some bad weather's sweeping across the upper estuary, the Kent Viaduct backed by a hazy Heversham Head.
Spectacular views as we exit Frith Wood.
Grubbins Wood seen across New Barns Bay.
Ripples in the sand, caused by unidirectional flow, want to get heavier, with a dip at an angle to the flow as well as down stream, all you need to know is that's Meathop Fell over there and when the sands like that it's usually soft but safe to walk across.
Viewing Frith Wood across New Barns Bay with Hampsfell rising above Holme Island to the right.
Sue strides out up the estuary, they'll be a cup of coffee to be had back in Arnside.
Whitbarrow Scar as seen across upper Morecambe Bay.
The Compensation Pier at Arnside with early evening views down the estuary.
Back at the parked car, and the tide still hasn't come in.
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