~Arnside from Silverdale~
30th August 2010
August Bank Holiday Monday and a lot of study and thought resulted in the walk as described below. Crowds and traffic problems are common issues on this day of the year and parking might also be a problem. The forecast was for fine weather and I decided on a walk for Karen and I in semi-new territory (for me), not too far from home. Easy to get to and a back-road escape for the resultant trip home....
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk
Leighton Moss Car Park
Initially I put the car on the north side of Silverdale station in a little unofficial and sign-less car parking area. Then I thought better of it and moved the car to Leighton Moss RSPB Car Park. There appears to be lots here for bird-watchers and Karen and I thought we would probably have a look around the visitor centre when we got back.
There is a public footpath across the golf course and this was pure nostalgia for me. I had a holiday with a friend and his family in Silverdale when I was about 10 years old. We got junior passes and played golf many times on this course. He was quite good and went on to marry one of Englands's finest professional golfers; I was not and concentrated on other sports.
The Row, Silverdale
We are heading for Eaves Wood and I was hoping to see the cottage where I stayed all those years ago, but I didn't, it was somewhere up there.
Eaves Wood on King William's Hill
The plan is to walk around the base of this hill (to the left) and then cross Middlebarrow Plain on the way to Arnside Knott.
We have walked through the top end of Holgate's Caravan Site where lots of folk have enjoyed the weekend, I presume.
The path leads close to Arnside Tower, which, according to the notice, is Private and Dangerous! Probably true.
Then we took the path up the South-East flank of Arnside Knott, through dense woodland. Towards the top, views appeared:
The Kent Estuary
Arnside Knott is about 600ft asl and offers great views in all directions. Here we can see the Kent Viaduct which takes the railway across the sands of the Kent Estuary. Whitbarrow is the first hill you can see beyond the viaduct.
A finely painted trig point adorns the summit. The views from here are hindered by the trees.
Arnside Tower and Middlebarrow Plain
Karen finds a seat
Heysham Power Station is at the far end of Morecambe Bay.
Big zoom into Lakeland. Will that be Gummer's How in the middle ground?
On the way down to Arnside, aimed for the corner of Arnside Park, known as Copridding Wood. Grange-Over-Sands is over the water.
We walked along the shore line towards Arnside. We were looking for the Beach Walk Cafe and soon after passing the Coastguard's building, we found it tucked away up a narrow lane.
Beach Walk Cafe
We ate well here, see RRR later. I told Barry the owner, that I knew Dave and Edith Brown - frequenters of this place. Dave had recommended it to me, when I asked about food stops in Arnside. Dave writes his own website and viewers should take a look, there's lots of walks in this area, all with full route descriptions and informative text. The linked site will open in a new window.
The Kent Viaduct
We have arrived in Arnside. There is nowhere to park and late arrivals are driving around in circles. We had a look along the promenade, dodging the crowds and without undue delay left Arnside and started heading back to Silverdale.
We left Arnside and headed for Black Dyke, this brings you to a footpath along the fields, back in the direction of Silverdale. The railway line is up on the embankment to the left. Initially we thought we might get the train back, but on such a fine day we decided it was easy enough to walk back, especially along this flat route.
Last look at Arnside Knott before we disappear in to the woods of Middlebarrow.
This quarry is no longer in use. Presumably exhausted due to its encroachment into King William's Hill and the base's proximity to sea-level. There must surely be an alternative future, maybe recreational use for this hole?
Arnside to Silverdale Railway Line
The footpath crosses the line and heads back to Silverdale via Waterslack and Red Bridge.
The train we would have caught if we had not walked back. We had a brew in the RSPB Visitor Centre where we had parked the car, for free. It seemed like the right thing to do.
After the walk, I drove back to Burnley via the country roads through Bentham to the A65 - I didn't fancy the confluence of traffic from the Lake District and Blackpool where the motorways meet, north of Preston.
Walkers: Karen and Me
Time taken: 4hr 30 mins over a distance of maybe 7 or 8 miles.
Route: Silverdale Station, Golf Course, Eaves Wood, Arnside Tower, Arnside Knott, Copridding Wood, Shoreline, Arnside, Black Dyke, Middlebarrow Quarry, Waterslack, Red Bridge, Silverdale Station.
Weather and conditions: Sunny Periods throughout.
Greetings Count: Steady. The first people we saw on the car park were a couple from Burnley whose two children are the same age as ours (i.e. 6 school years apart) and were in the same classes at the same junior school. Small world!
Richard's Refreshment Review: The Beach Walk Cafe is a small and friendly cafe. Run by Barry for 18 years, kept alive by the frequent visits of the Browns, closed on Tuesdays. Great value for money and the additional hot water with the teapot is always welcome.
The Menu - fetch your spectacles.
I reckon that's probably cheaper than the cafes in Arnside centre.
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2010 ©