Heathwaite and Middlebarrow Plane.

Start. Silverdale.

Route. Silverdale - The Lots - Silverdale Cove - Cove Road - Holgates - Far Arnside - Arnside Park - Heathwaite - Arnside Knott Wood - Arnside Tower - Middlebarrow Hill - Middlebarrow Plane - Eaves Wood - Elmslack - Cove Road - Silverdale Cove - The Lots - Silverdale.

Notes. This was a short wander over Heathwaite and Middlebarrow Plane, a wander through wildflower-rich grassland and woodland alive with trees of distinction, elevated ground gifted us with superb open vistas over Morecambe Bay. The nice weather of the last few weeks has faded, the temperature plunged but the air is still crystal clear, an icy wind ripped across the shore line but that didn't stop us dining below the limestone cliffs on the Silverdale coast.

We left Silverdale via the wild flower meadows of The Lots, after passing above Red Rake (an abandoned copper and hematite mine), the path descended deposited us in Silverdale Cove, here we turned our backs on the bay, our route followed Cove Road to Holgates Caravan Park. Through the park we walked, way marked paths under foot, Far Arnside our intended destination. After traversing cow pastures we stepped onto the tarmac lane that cuts through the hamlet, again we wandered through a caravan park, part of Holgates, after entering the coppice woodland of Arnside Park we descended to the bay where we sat and had lunch.

Lunch over we spent some time hunting for a path we hoped would guide us up steep ground through the mixed woodland of Arnside Park, depositing us on Heathwaite, once located we ascended the hill. Again through coppice woodland passed some fine specimen trees, even though the path looked familiar (I have descended this way in the past) it stopped abruptly at a dry stone wall, I guess we took a wrong turn somewhere on the ascent. We hunted for a stile, unable to find one and, the fact a bloody great hole was in the wall made it obvious plenty of other people had come this way. We passed through the gap immediately entering flower-rich grassland, behind us, over the tree tops stunning views across Morecambe Bay.

Good paths ushered us over Heathwaite placing us at a major path junction, we turned right, this path descended to the Silverdale Road and Arnside Tower. Behind the tower a ladder stile allowed access to Middlebarrow Plane, we crossed said stile immediately ascending in the company of a dry stone wall. The path leads to Eaves Wood, but that was not our aiming point today, we intended to head for the limestone scar on the west end of Middlebarrow Plane. After passing through a kissing gate and ascending a limestone scarp a wide path greeted us approaching from the west, this we followed, sometimes wide and easy to follow, often narrow and difficult to trace, with all it’s faults it deposited us on a small limestone scar at the south end of Middlebarrow Plane, problem was we couldn't’t find a way off.

After a good look round we opted to descend in the company of a dry stone wall, this was a good move, it deposited us on the main path to Elmslack, we turned left towards the village. Once passed a number of bungalows and a row of cottages a finger-post greeted us, an invite to The Cove. With a well signed path under our boot soles we wandered through Elmslack, the path ejected us onto Cove Road, all that remained to re-trace our steps down to Silverdale Cove and over The Lots.

view route map.


Seen from The Lots, dark today Humphrey Head with Kirkhead (Tower Hill) to the right, through the gap Birkrigg Common.

Looking to sylvan Arnside Park with Hampsfell above Grange over Sands to the left.

Silverdale Cove with views to Grange over Sands, the cave perfectly round is believed to be a phreatic, carved by water pressure when the sea level was higher than today, later enlarged by man.

Daisies of some kind, I think.

Rising above the fields at Far Arnside, Heathwaite.

Viewing Know End Point from the Silverdale coast.

From the jagged edge where land meets sea views to Grange over Sands.

The high skyline, Clougha Pike rising above Know End Point.

Heathwaite's wild flower meadows, a surprise after emerging from the tree cover.

Spectacular views over the Silverdale coast.

The great sweep of Morecambe Bay viewed from Heathwaite.

Seen over the green fields and woodland of Silverdale, tree covered Warton Crag backed by the blue/grey hills of the Bowland Forest.

Over the silvery sands of the bay lies Morecambe and Heysham on the vast arch of the Lancashire coast.

Arnside Knott seen from the low limestone scar at the south end of Middlebarrow Plane.

From the same scar Heathwaite.

Viewing Heysham from the pebble beach at Silverdale Cove.

We started with a view from The Lots so why not finish with one, Humphrey Head and the lengthy finger of the Furness Peninsula.

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