Classic Arnside II.

Start. Arnside.

Route. Arnside - Station Road - Black Dyke Road - Arnside Moss - Hazelslack - Underlaid Wood - Whin Scar - Fairy Steps - Beetham Fell - Longtail Wood - Cockshot Lane - Haverbrack Wood - Haverbrack Fell - Storth Back Lane - Sandside - Arnside-Hincaster Railway - Arnside Railway Station - Arnside.

Notes. There’s a number of short walks from Arnside could be considered classic, to my mind all walks from Arnside tick the box. So today lets stride out through fields and woodland, drink in stunning views and taste salt air on the breeze as we wander along the upper reaches of Morecambe Bay.

After parking in Arnside we loaded up with provisions from the village shop, we then wandered along Station Road, when the road cut under a railway bridge Black Dyke Road took over, this in turn guided us to the foot of Briary Bank and a finger-post promising passage to Hazelslack. We left the road, walked passed a row of cottages, crossed the railway line before stepping into the fields of Arnside Moss, with green paths to guide us we continued to Carr Bank Road. Our route crossed it, a stile allowed access to more fields. Again with field paths under foot we strolled on to Hazelslack, dominating the tiny hamlet the ruinous remains of a Pele Tower.

Several of these fortresses dominate the landscape in this area, built around the 14th century as a defensive ring around Morecambe Bay, the biggest was Arnside Tower with others at Hazelslack, Beetham, Dallam, Borwick and Wraysholme, there are also towers at Sizergh and Levens but these have been incorporated into larger buildings.

From Hazelslack we stepped onto a corps road, a road of the dead. In the Middle Ages there were only a few mother churches in England that held burial rights, this meant corpses had to be transported long distances, sometimes through difficult terrain. The Arnside to Beetham corps road was one such route, at one point the coffin had to be hoisted up the side Whin Scar, a limestone rock face known locally as the Fairy Steps, metal rings embedded in the rock enabled the casket to be lifted up the limestone face. In 1866, the church at Arnside was consecrated, and the walk between Arnside and Beetham was no longer necessary.

We followed this route of old through cow pastures followed by woodland, we squeezed through the Fairy Steps before continuing over Beetham Fell, the path looped around another row of limestone cliffs before joining a wide trod descending gently through Longtail Wood depositing us in Cockshot Lane. A mere 50 yards of tarmac walking followed to access the entrance to Haverbrack Wood, the finger-post invited us to Storth or Haverbrack, it was the latter for us. Yellow arrows guided us through mature woodland, at a path junction (one of many) another finger-post directed us to Hollins Well and Milnthorpe, this path climbed a ridge line, I guess if not for the trees the views would be quite spectacular, we had to wait until we crested Haverbrack Fell before grand vistas revealed themselves.

Grand they are, over Milnthorpe Sands a jagged skyline of Lakeland favourites, a reminder it’s been quite a while since we graced their summits, the limestone cliffs of Whitbarrow, christened by our Norse forefathers White Barrow, they used them as a navigation beacon on their quest to settle the North West of England. Having soaked in the views we descended to a very narrow lane, this we followed down hill, it ejected us into Storth Back Lane a few hundred yards from a narrow ginnel that lead to Sandside sea front. With the estuary to our right we wandered towards Arnside. When the road dipped at a road junction a gate on the right allowed access to the estuary and a narrow path cutting under the embankment supporting the road, this narrow trod lead to an excellent footpath, this guided us above the salt marsh as it arched for just over a mile back to Arnside.

view route map.


Traversing Arnside Moss looking to Beetham Fell.

Viewing Carr Bank from Arnside Moss.

Hazelslack Tower one of several pele towers that dominate the landscape of upper Morecambe Bay.

The Arnside-Beetham coffin route, a superb foot-path through Underlaid Wood.

Can you ascend the Fairy Steps without touching the sides, the fairies will grant you a wish if you succeed, Sue can't so forfeits the wish.

Above the Whin Scar cliffs viewing Arnside Knott over Underlaid Wood.

Sue strides out over Beetham Fell.

Viewing Whitbarrow and the blue/grey hills of the Lake District from Haverbrack Fell.

Again views from Haverbrack Fell, Upper Morecambe Bay and the mouth of Lyth Valley.

The dramatic White Scar cliffs of Whitbarrow seen over Upper Morecambe Bay and the Kent Channel.

A magic view over the sun lit fields of Milnthorpe Marsh to the village of Levens clinging to the slopes of Sizergh Fell.

A wonderful play of light on the sands of Morecambe Bay, with the spectre of Red Screes on the horizon.

From Sandside views down the Kent Channel.

Rearing up out of Foulshaw Moss the dark cliffs and woodland of Whitbarrow.

Arnside on view from the track bed of the disused Arnside-Hincaster Railway.

A final view north over Milnthorpe Sands.

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