Thursday 8 September 2022

A Walk Around Arnside

No cruising today

We decided to add to our original plans with a walk on the edge of Morecambe around Arnside and Silverdale, parts of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Both bus and train were possible and so, with a dry forecast for most of the day yesterday evening, we provisionally planned to take a bus to Silverdale, walk around the coat to Arnside and catch a train back.

However, by the time we were ready to leave this morning, the forecast was for continuous light rain, perhaps for most of the day, certainly until lunch time. As a result, we opted to take the train to Arnside as this gave us the chance of taking an out-and-back walk if we became too wet.

The train, from Carnforth, only takes 10 minutes but did give us a quick glimpse of Arnside Tower, a ruined former pele tower. After alighting from the train - we were not the only ones coming for a walk - we found our way to the waterfront. Here we could now see the Kent Viaduct which carries the line onwards towards Grange-over-Sands.

A small stone pier was originally built by the Ulverston and Lancaster Railway Company - the second company to build a railway through Carnforth. There had been a simple wooden structure before. Although today the waters of Morecombe Bay seemed calm and benign, destructives storms do occur and it today;s pier is the result of several re-building projects, the most recent in 1984.

We walked past a small collection of shops and galleries. This was once a popular holiday destination many still come here today. We picked one of the cafes for a rather nice cup of coffee before really starting on our walk.

Continuing along the promenade we found several helpful information panels. After the arrival of the railway, a former very tiny hamlet grew quite prosperous and one of its noted commercial activities was building small fishing boats, often called Nobbies. This trade only ceased in 1986. The boat which inspired Arthur Ransome to write Swallows and Amazons was built here.

At the end of the promenade, the footpath follows the shoreline, sometimes a but rocky and at others on the sand and mud as the tide recedes.

We passed a large house - Ash Meadow - an elegant Georgian property with great views. It was built in 1818 for a local wealthy businessman and later became a boarding school for boys. Recently it hjas been converted into 12 apartments.

Starting in 1894 numbered fingerposts have been placed around Westmoreland, made in a foundry at Penrith. This one, Number 5, was specifically requested 'to assist the great number of visitors that come to Arnside but are strangers to the district'. It has had to be restored twice.

The misty rain continued so, alas, all of our pictures of the bay take on the same mysterious quality.

When we arrived on the train it was about high tide - but not a particularly high one. The edge of the water receded quickly and many notices around the area warn people about the dangers of the tide as well as the sands. However, we did not recognise the speed of the water flow until we noticed the stream behind this post sticking out of the water.

Our hope had been that we would find the cafe at New Barns open and offering something tasty for a snack lunch. When we reached there is was still a bit early for food and so, after taking advice from the cafe, we walked though the adjacent mobile home park to White Creek. Created from former woodland, the park seemed exceptionally well set out with each one well secluded from the neighbours and amongst mature trees.very

The creek is not perhaps the beach that signs indicate but in today's weather very attractive.

We continued around Blackstone Point, back to the cafe. Here we had our hoped-for tasty snacks - roast vegetable soup for Christine and a Crispy Chicken Wrap for Mike.

The occasional bright patch of sky out to sea gave us hope for a drier return but no sooner had we spotted it than the rain turned even wetter! Still, it was not cold and our clothes only really became wet near the end. By the time we returned to the station to return to Carnforth we had walked just under 4 miles.

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