The Shifting Sands of Morecambe Bay.

Start. Arnside.

Route. Arnside - New Barns - Blackstone Point - Arnside Point - Park Point - Far Arnside - Silverdale - Eaves Wood - King William's Hill - Castlebarrow - Middlebarrow Plane - Arnside Tower - Arnside Knott Wood - Copridding Wood - New Barns - Arnside.

Notes. I went for a bike ride yesterday (28th May), after a lot of puffing and blowing I found myself in Arnside draining my water bottles. When I'd got my breath back I scanned the foreshore, god I've missed the old place. So today at not quite the crack of dawn I parked on the Promenade, the tide was well and truly out, the sand and mud packed solid, the sun was beating down, the mercury already rising. My route was simple, wander to Far Arnside then cut back across Arnside Knott.

Down the estuary I wandered, Morecambe Bay mud hard under foot, the going easy, I even ignored my own advice and cut across New Barns Bay before rounding Blackstone Point. The seeds of a different route were already germinating, the sand and mud so hard it made sense to wander across the bay as long as possible. Now if you look at the route map it looks like I've been paddling all the way, not so the channels have moved, next time they may have moved back but for now it was easy, safe walking.

I wandered across White Creek, passed Arnside Point, once at Park Point a channel and soft sand forced me onto the cliff top path for a short stretch. Before reaching Far Arnside I was back on the sands, the seeds of change had germinated, I altered my route. The sands along this stretch of coast are usually boot sucking mud, sometimes even dangerous, the walking is hard, not very pleasant, but not today, a walk in the park, if only it was always like this. I wandered on to Silverdale Cove then decided to carry on to Silverdale.

Once at Silverdale I wandered in land, followed Emesgate Lane through the village, nipped into the local shop for some breakfast, then decided to head onto Castlebarrow to dine. Passed the library and St John's Church I wandered, once at the junction of Emesgate Lane and Bottoms Lane a finger-post invited me to Eaves Wood, I obliged instantly climbing into the dappled light of this beautiful woodland.

With way-marked paths to guide me I ascended King William's Hill then wandered on to Castlebarrow, a limestone scar gifting the visitor with stunning views over Morecambe Bay. An old friend resides on this scar, the Pepper Pot, no need for social distancing he's an inanimate object, a pepper pot shaped obelisk built to commemorate the jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887 and, I wouldn't have to share breakfast with him.

I sat ages soaking up the atmosphere and wonderful vistas, the distant views were stunning, I could just make out Piel Castle and the southern tip of Walney Island far across the bay to the west. Fully refreshed with a full stomach I headed west to be met by a dry stone wall, the wall guided me to a stile allowing access to Middlebarrow Plane and Holgates. From Holgates I joined a narrow track that ushered me between tall hedgerows to the gaunt remains of Arnside Tower, the path then passed Arnside Tower Farm before climbing the farm access road to reach Silverdale Road and a finger-post promising passage to a number of destinations, I opted for Arnside.

With a good path under foot I wandered over the shoulder of Arnside Knott, the shade of Arnside Knott Wood took the edge off the heat, on reaching another finger-post this time promising passage to New Barns I opted for a final stroll along the fore shore. Through the dappled light of Copridding Wood I descended, the path ejected me onto the estuary at New Barns, a very different estuary than the one I'd walked down earlier, the place was crammed with families and sun worshippers, social distancing was almost impossible, I didn't really care as I zig zaged my way through the crowds, this had been the best outing since the start of lock down and I'd be home in time for lunch.

view route map.


Early morning views, the sea front at Arnside seen from the path next to Ash Meadow House.

The route ahead, along the edge of Grubbins Wood then round the far point in the shadow of Frith Wood.

Enjoying the early morning, looking back towards Arnside.

Whitbarrow as seen across the sands of upper Morecambe Bay.

Crossing New Barns Bay (not the way I'd recommend) looking to Frith Wood and the white washed buildings of Grange over Sands.

The sylvan slopes of Hampsfell seen from the edge of New Barns Bay.

The remains of the short jetty at Blackstone Point.

The limestone cliffs of Meathop Fell seen from the sands opposite Arnside Point.

Striding out over the sands viewing Park Point backed by the vast ark of the Lancashire coast.

Looking to Know End Point with the notch on the skyline being Clougha Pike above Lancaster.

Footpath through Arnside Park.

On the cliff top path looking to Silverdale Sands.

Looking over the channels and shifting sand of Morecambe Bay to the long finger of Humphrey Head.

Back on the beach, approaching Far Arnside looking to sylvan Arnside Park.

Dominating the horizon the woodland and flower rich grassland of Heathwaite.

The vast expanse of Morecambe Bay, from Heysham with it's power stations on the left, and the limestone of Humphrey Head to the right.

Silverdale Cove viewed from a very different angle than normal.

Dappled light in Eaves Wood.

Stunning views from Castlebarrow.

Wandering between overgrown hedge rows leaving Holgates, in front of me the Arndale face of Arnside Knott and....

....just around the corner the gaunt remains of Arnside Tower.

The view north east from Arnside Tower, the limestone cliffs of Farleton Fell.

Near Arnside Tower Farm looking to the woodland and scree of Arnside Knott.

Hampsfell seen from the edge of Copridding Wood.

Before descending into the tree cover, tantalising views to the blue/grey hills of Lakeland.

back to top

back to list