Through Sunshine and Storm.

Start. Arnside.

Route. Arnside - Grubbins Wood - New Barns - Blackstone Point - White Creek - Park Point - Far Arnside - Holgates - Eaves Wood - Pepper Pot - Waterslack Wood - Middlebarrow Quarry - Black Dyke - Hazelslack - Underlaid Wood - Fairy Steps - Cockshot Lane - Haverbrack Bank - Sandside - Arnside/Hincaster railway - Arnside.

Notes. The grim summer continues, thunder storms drift in off the Irish Sea tracking along the Lyth, Kent and Lune Valleys as they always do in these parts, it was one of these tempests that forced me into a late start. The storm passed leaving the landforms of South Cumbria bathed in the most beautiful light imaginable, grass and rock, tarmac and concrete steamed as the sun warmed the land. If this was the aftermath of a good downpour I could stand a soaking or two, I grabbed my bag and waterproofs before driving over steaming tarmac. Thirty minutes later I stepped from the car in Arnside, the sun was shining, thunder reverberated across the sky, the storm passed behind Arnside Knott, the first of many.

My route today followed the estuary south, over a concrete path followed by estuary mud, I rounded New Barns Bay then Blackstone Point before crossing the shingle beach at White Creek, a narrow cliff top path guided me to Far Arnside from where I made my way through Holgates entering Eaves Wood guardian of an old friend the Pepper Pot. Keeping the boundary wall to my left, I picked my way through delightful woodland, over limestone pavements treacherously slippery after the rain, care was needed, the path soon swung right away from the wall to reach a junction guarded by a mighty oak, I turned sharp left, a good path conducted me between limestone scars depositing me at the entrance to the disused Middlebarrow Quarry. A short walk through fields followed, just before entering Hagg Wood a finger-post invited me to Hazelslack and the Fairy Steps, I obliged passing through the remains of Arnside's once prosperous salt industry. The path continued to Black Dyke Road, with tarmac under foot I strolled the few yards to the next finger-post, Hazelslack, this path conveyed me through scrub into cow pastures before stepping onto an ancient coffin road at Hazelslack.

This coffin road one of many across the north of England, guided me over low limestone cliffs as far as the Fairy Steps, after ascending the narrow cleft I paused a while, had lunch before heading north above the limestone cliffs of Whin Scar. A long stretch of woodland rambling followed before stepping onto Cockshot Lane, a few yards over tarmac saw me step into yet more woodland. Guided by small arrows I ascended Haverbrack Bank, trees obscured the views for much of the climb then suddenly I stepped from the woods onto open fell, stunning views over the Kent Estuary, north over Lyth Valley and South Lakeland welcomed me, as did the rumble of thunder, the weather gods were angry, black cloud bubbled up across my return route. Quickly descending to a narrow tarmac lane I turned left, the lane guided me to a road junction, left again, a couple of hundred yards along this road a permissive path leads to the Sandside sea front but most importantly the shelter of the Ship Inn, when the rain hit I was sitting under a rather large parasol watching the deluge, sipping lager shandy feeling rather smug. The storm over I let the estuary guide me back to Arnside, along the Sandside sea front before stepping onto the embankment of the Arnside/Hincaster branch line, this excellent path transported me through yet another deluge before reaching Arnside.

view route map.


Latterbarrow seen across the upper reaches of Morecambe Bay.

A distant Grange over Sands viewed across the Kent Channel.

Sheltering under the branches of an old oak, in a vain attempt to keep dry, forced to take the camera out of the bag as the Arnside boar raced up the estuary, not very big today but traveling at speed.

On the fringe of Grubbins Wood looking back up the Kent Channel.

Rising from upper Morecambe Bay the sylvan slopes of Hampsfell.

Viewing Meathop Fell from New Barns Bay.

Wandering along the tide line looking to Grubbins Wood across New Barns Bay.

Approaching Blackstone Point.

Sunlight dances across the rising waters of the Irish Sea, I'm standing above the cliffs at Blackstone Point surveying the scene.

Striding out on a narrow cliff top path with views to Know End Point across Silverdale Bay.

Seen from Holgates, Know End and the vast crescent of the Lancashire coast.

Grey on a milky horizon, Humphrey Head reaches out into Morecambe Bay.

On King William's Hill with an old friend, viewing Warton Crag across Silverdale.

Slippery today, one of the limestone pavements in Eaves Wood.

En route to Middlebarrow.

Nearing Hazelslack and the old corps road, viewing Hazelslack Tower.

Towards Arnside Knott from above the Whin Scar cliffs.

On Haverbrack Fell, a wonderful place to view the upper reaches of Morecanbe Bay, Lyth Valley and the mountains of South Lakeland.

Strolling over the tarmac surface of a lane with no name, hemmed in by colourful hedgerows.

Whitbarrow as seen from the Ship Inn.

Storm clouds (noisy ones at that) over Haverbrack Fell.

Whitbarrow seen from one of Cumbria's favourite fishing marks, the sea front Sandside, better fished in the months leading up to Christmas, when we were kids this short stretch of water produced bags and bags of eels this time of year, gifting us with great sport, all ghosts now.

Ahead is Arnside and it's Knott, but first a wander along the disused track bed of the Arnside/Hincaster branch line.

Views to the hills of South Lakeland, dwarfed by the advancing storm.

On the Arnside/Hincaster track bed looking over the salt marsh just to the north of Arnside.

Viewing the Kent Estuary from the pier at Arnside.

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