Arnside, Cumbria Sunday 27th October 2019

Coach Leader: David Hatchard Coach Leaves at 5.00pm

Todays Walk

The usual message about choosing a walk suitable for you. Please read these coach notes carefully as they will help you to decide which walk will be the most suitable for you. For the safety and enjoyment of yourself and others, please try not to join a walk which is beyond your capabilities.

If you are struggling, please inform the walk leader so that he or she can make the decision to amend the walk by shortening it or having some rest etc.

PLEASE RESPECT THE WISHES OF THE GROUP LEADER. Please do not wander away from the group, or leave the group, for whatever reason, without first discussing it with the leader or back marker.

Strenuous Leader: Rob Rose
Distance: 10.00 miles

We leave Arnside following the rocky shoreline if the tide is out towards New Barns. From here we follow the coastal path to Far Arnside. We go through Holgates caravans to Silverdale coming back via Eaves Wood, Middlebarrow plain passing Arnside tower and then up over and over Arnside knott with lovely views of the estuary all the way.

Leisurely Leader: David Hatchard
Distance: 7.00 miles

Starting from Arnside, we follow the rocky shoreline past Frith Woods to Blackstone Point then up through the caravan park to New Barns. We then make our way up to Arnside Knott with wonderful views of the estuary and the railway bridge across the estuary. We then head back down through Red Hills and Dobshell Woods before coming back along the promenade to Arnside.

Depending on the weather it could be muddy in places.

Easy Leader: Jackie Gudgeon
Distance: 5.00 miles

From Arnside promenade we will walk along a raised path hugging the shore, then up a rising path to reach the road at the Youth Hostel. A little bit of road walking brings us to a lane then footpath to the foot of Arnside Knott.  We then follow a wide gravelled track through the car park, then skirting Arnside Knott to come out on the road opposite Arnside Tower Farm. Down the farm access road to pass the remains of Arnside Tower, then following an edge of wood track to reach Holgate’s Caravan Park. From here we cross fields to Priory Cottage and Far Arnside. Then wide woodland tracks to reach New Barns, followed by a pleasant walk along the beach back to Arnside. The tide should be pretty much ‘in’ when we reach Arnside, and on its way out by the time we return along the shore. Most of the first mile or so of the walk is uphill (short stretch a bit steep!) then fairly flat and easy going the rest of the way.

Notes on the area

Still popular today, Arnside, where the River Kent enters Morecambe Bay, was especially so in the 19th century when pleasure boats would arrive from Morecambe and Fleetwood, and barges plied the river, carrying coal and limestone. Then it was a busy little port in the county of Westmorland and the county’s only link with the sea, but one that succumbed as more accessible places robbed it of its trade. Before the 19th century, Arnside was only a small village, part of the parish of Beetham, and without its own graveyard, which meant that the dead had to be carried to Beetham for burial. The church of St James, built by Miles Thompson of Kendal, is late Victorian, and enlarged in 1884, 1905 and 1914.

Now, Arnside is a modest sized, unspoilt holiday resort of limestone-built houses and cottages. Arnside was originally a port for the mills of Milnthorpe, four miles north-east. It was also a base for fishermen who gathered flukes and cockles from the sands. Horses and carts would wind their way over the glistening wet sands as the tide receded and the fishermen would rake vigorously until the water rose to the surface, bringing with it a harvest of cockles which were boiled, then transported to the market. In addition, flukes, flounders and shrimps are plentiful in the bay and trade is still carried on today, although tractors have replaced the horse and cart.

The area around north Lancashire and southern Cumbria is dotted with limestone hills rising to just over 400 feet such as Warton Crag, Whitbarrow Scar, Hutton Roof, Arnside Knott and many others. Below these hills lie quiet villages built from the local stone. There is Yealand Conyers, Burton, Hutton, Levens, Arnside and Silverdale to mention just a few. It is a walkers paradise. There are many well marked paths and evidences of wild life and local history.

The estuary is a haven for coastal birds, and the surrounding countryside contains a wealth of flora and fauna, including deer, red squirrels, foxes and badgers, while anglers fish the fast-flowing estuarial waters for eels and flounders.

Arnside Knott stands above the village to the south, with distant views of the Cumbrian fells. Access is by rights of way only, though it has been in National Trust ownership since it was given anonymously in 1946. The Knott is surrounded by wooded hills, heathland and salt marshes that have done much to secure for Arnside and its neighbouring village of Silverdale in Lancashire the designation of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The village owes much to the coming of the railway during the 19th century. A splendid viaduct, originally built by the Furness Railway Company, connects Arnside with the north bank of the Kent, a service that today provides a vital and invaluable link between Lancashire and the towns and villages of Furness which once belonged to Lancashire.

The ruined remains of Arnside Tower stand in a wide valley to the south of Arnside Knott. It is a large pele tower, thought to have been constructed in the 15th century as a defence against raiding Scots.