Tag Archives: Arnside

Arnside Break.

Although I shared a very lazy story post when I got back from my holibobs on the coast, I do think  it would be a  shame if I didn’t blog a little bit about my stay in lovely Arnside.

Arnside is a village on the Kent estuary, where the river meets the sea, overlooking Morecambe Bay. A former fishing port, the resort is now a popular little holiday destination.

We stopped at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks which is situated on the sea front. Dating back to 1660 the pub is one of the oldest buildings in the village and a cock pit still exists under the restaurant floor. Today’s guests can enjoy simple pub food, a good selection of ales and gins and a warm welcome, canine visitors too.

All Arnsides seafront views take in the impressive 50 Span Viaduct , with regular trains making the crossing over the River Kent. The Railway Station is excellent with great services to Carlisle, Lancaster and Manchester. Oneday we took a train to nearby Ulverston , the coastal route is truly stunning and definitely worth doing. 🙂

On a clear day the diminutive Arnside Pier must surely have the best vistas of any seaside pier. The Lake District fells are misted over in the above picture though.

I love the 2 Minute Beach Clean Stand on the sea front. Litter pickers and bags are provided and anyone can go and do their bit. I must admit the beach was noticeably rubbish free. 🙂

There are some lovely local businesses in the village to mooch round. I loved them all ! I did treat myself to a few things including a cute fox pin from The Little Shop and a bottle of gorgeous smelling hand lotion from Homeleigh Vintage .

Make sure you wander up Pier Lane when shopping. There’s a fab sweet shop, a cupcake shop and a wonderful art gallery there, all almost hidden from view.

And we can also recommend the bijou but belting The Wayside Cafe near the railway station for coffee, cakes and delicious brunch options.

I do love a pub with a view. 🙂 Arnsides other watering hole The Albion has possibly even better estuary views than Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. We certainly had a few beverages sat outside of an evening.

As new visitors to Arnside we got incredibly excited ( ok I got incredibly excited) on our first night when a sound rather like a wartime air raid siren suddenly filled the air. Having read that a warning siren precedes the arrival of the Arnside Tidal Bore, I immediately started scanning the horizon for an impressive wave rushing up the estuary. An hour later ourselves and a couple of other tourists were still sat watching ( and freezing our bits off, the wind had gotten up) whilst all the locals had disappeared inside. The Bore didn’t make an appearance !

It turns out that the Sirens tend to go off regularly anyway, but it is only in certain high tide conditions that a tidal bore occurs.

If you want to keep an eye out for the bore virtually The Arnside Chip Shop is home to the Pier Webcam and there are a couple of good videos to view on the website. Also I have to say , awesome fish & chips !! But be warned , this is a very popular chippy….

We fancied a fish & chips supper one evening and the queue didn’t seem very long. When I placed my order at the counter though, the apologetic server told me there would be a 1 Hour 20 minute wait! She then gave me this chunky ‘ vibrating device’ that counts down the time and starts vibrating even faster when your order is done. Cut to us sat outside The Albion with a siren booming across the bay and a constantly vibrating handbag. 🤣 Our supper was definitely worth the wait but as the wind had whipped up we took it back to the room and consumed with mugs of wine. 😊

There are some great beach walks from Arnside to Sandside or the pretty village of Silverdale. Or you can head up Arnside Knott for scenic views over the bay. Signposted from the village, the Knott is a small hill with big vistas and well worth the climb. Known for its varied wildlife especially wading birds and rare butterflies , the whole area is a nature lovers paradise. 🙂

Dark Red Helleborine.

A myriad of footpaths Criss cross the Knott and surrounding countryside. A beautiful place indeed. 😊

Hopefully you have enjoyed my little tour of Arnside as much as we enjoyed our visit to this quirky and delightful seaside village. 💕

2021 Is Cumbria’s Year Of The Coast. ⛵🐟🌞

I have recently found out that 2021 has been named Cumbria’s Year Of The Coast ! Many people flock to the lovely Lake District , yet the  county also has over 100 miles of diverse coastline to explore. Known for its secluded beaches, coastal walks & wildlife and dramatic sunsets, Cumbria’s coastline is very much a hidden gem.

So I thought I would share some of my own moments by the sea as well as note down a few places I would like to visit next time I’m in the area. Happily my August Summer holiday will be split between two seaside settlements this year. We have our usual weekend away with friends booked in Ravenglass plus the four following nights further South of the county in Arnside. Happy days. 🙂

Allonby.  A former fishing village, Allonby was also a popular Victorian sea bathing resort. It retains some interesting old buildings including the handsome Reading Rooms built by Alfred Waterhouse , who went on to design London’s Natural History Museum & Strangeways Prison.  Charles Dickens and fellow writer Wilkie Collins  stayed two nights at The Ship Hotel on their 1857 walking tour of Cumberland, after Collins badly sprained his ankle in the Lakeland fells.   Today the village is popular with painters who love the light and Solway sunsets.  The beach is a mixture of dunes, shingle & sand , perfect for walking the pooch.  A great place to indulge in Fish & Chips is the local chippy ‘The Cod Father’.  Where to stay ~ the former home of artist Percy Kelly is a beautifully renovated holiday cottage. Percy Kelly’s Cottage.

Scenes from Allonby.

Arnside.  The views over Morecambe Bay toward the Lake District are stunning from the charming seaside resort of Arnside. Pretty shops, tea rooms and pubs line the sea front. A Victorian promenade and small pier adorn the village and the beach is sandy but tidal, so visitors must beware of changing tides. Organized Cross Bay walks are a popular hiking route from Arnside to nearby Kent Bank.  Every few weeks a siren sounds in the village, warning of a natural phenomenon  called a tidal bore , a fast  incoming wave that sweeps across the estuary.  Where to Stay ~  enjoy scenic  views over the bay  from  Ye Olde Fighting Cocks  pub with rooms.

Arnside with the viaduct in the distance.
Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk.

Baycliff.  Our first holiday with  Hugo was in a beachside cottage at Baycliff, a small former fishing and farming community that looks over Morecambe Bay.  Baycliff  has a pretty village green and two pubs. A vast beach of shingle and sand offers ample opportunity for walks and bird watching , a two mile stroll east brings ice cream ( or coffee and cake ) rewards if you drop by  Bardsea’s Chill & Grill . Also nearby is Ulverstons Buddhists Temple for World Peace whose gardens, woodland trails, beach, cafe and gift shop are open to everyone. Where to stay ~  practically on the beach if you can at the nautically inspired Driftwood Cottage.

The beach at Baycliff.

St Bees.  Alfred Wainwright recommends that walkers dip their boots in the North Sea at St Bees , the starting point of his Coast To Coast Walking Route. 182 miles later and those aching feet can seek solace in the sea at Robins Hood Bay.  For me a wander along St Bees sandy beach or atop it’s red sandstone cliffs is quite enough.  RSPB St Bees Head is home to colonies of seabirds including  guillemot and razorbill. And the 11th century priory in the village dedicated to St Mary and St Bega features some colourful stained glass windows.   Where to Stay ~ Former Railway waiting room transformed into comfortable self catering accommodation. The Station House.

Sea Pinks and the Start  of the Coast To Coast walk.
St Bega Statue. Image ~ Contours.co.uk

Bowness-on-Solway.  Bowness is a small coastal village which was once the site of a sea facing Roman fort called Maia. Situated on the Western edge of Hadrian’s Wall ( no longer visible), the settlement is the start/finish of another long distance walking route, the Hadrian’s Wall Path. There are a couple of pubs , a cafe and  free range chickens were wandering along the village road when we visited last year. The Scottish coastline is clearly seen over the Solway Firth and nature lovers have The Solway Wetlands Centre and RSPB Campfield Marsh to explore. Where to stay ~  Glamp in luxury in a fully equipped wooden pod at Wallsend Guest House & Glamping.

RSPB Campfield Marsh.

Grange Over Sands. It was the railway that brought well heeled Victorians to Grange, turning it from a small fishing village to a genteel holiday resort. With its pretty gardens along the promenade and vast views over Morecambe Bay ,the town is a lovely place to visit. Over time the sands have shifted and it is salt marsh meadows that  now seperate Grange over Sands from the sea. There are a good selection of independent shops and businesses in town, a park with an ornamental duck pond and the Save Grange Lido group continues  its campaign for the restoration of the 1930s marshside art deco lido. Where to stay ~ relax in style whilst taking in the views. Bay Villa bed & Breakfast.

Grange Over Sands.
Morecambe Bay potted shrimps.
Grange Lido. Image ~ Air Pixels Media.

Haverigg. Situated at the mouth of the Duddon Estuary, Haveriggs golden sandy beaches have Blue Flag Status. The village has a recently opened Wake Board & Water Park , guaranteed fun for all ages! And RSPB Hodbarrow Lagoon is within walking distance. Look out for the 7 tonne sculpture ‘ Escape To Light’ by Josefina de Vasconcellos , situated by the Haverigg Inshore Rescue Station. Where To Stay ~ Family & dog friendly camping and glamping options at Harbour Lights Campsite .

Haverigg cottages.
Port Haverigg Aqua Park ~ photo from their Facebook page.

Maryport. A seaside resort with a rich maritime history and once the location of a Roman port, Maryport enjoys access to a vast sand & shingle beach and all the amenities of a typical coastal town. The Lake District Coast Aquarium is based here as well as the Senhouse Roman Museum on the promenade. Bob over to the village of Mawbray to stock up on local cheeses from The Cheese Shed. Where To Stay ~ Ann’s Hill Lodge & Cottage in nearby Bridekirk for a romantic getaway.

Senhouse Roman Museum. Photo ~ Senhouse Roman Museum. .
Miles of golden sands , Maryport. Photo ~ A Ball.

Ravenglass. The charming and sleepy estuary village of Ravenglass is the perfect place to chill with an ice cream ( if you can find the almost hidden Ice cream Hut ) on the rocky shore. Ravenglass is the only Cumbrian coastal settlement to be included in the Lake District National Park. Wast water, England’s deepest lake is 20 minutes drive away. Discover more of Lakeland by venturing on the The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway whose steam trains take visitors on a seven mile journey through the spectacular Eskdale countryside. Travellers can hunt for waterfalls, secluded tarns and enjoy a pint at the Woolpack Inn, recently voted Cumbria’s best pub. Where to stay ~ the railway station in Ravenglass has sympathetically restored two Pullman Coaches into quirky self catering accommodation.

Ravenglass Estuary.
All aboard the Ratty Railway.
Seven go to Eskmeals Nature Reserve ( a short drive from Ravenglass). Photo ~ F Middleton.

Silecroft. Silecroft it seems, is all about the beach! When the tide is out a vast expanse of shingle and sand appears, making it popular with horse riders, dog walkers and kite flyers. Both Murthwaite Green trekking centre and Cumbrian Heavy Horses offer beach riding , the formers horses appear galloping along the sands in the opening credits of Country file. The slopes of Black Combe Fell offer a scenic backdrop to Silecrofts seascape and rare Natterjack toads breed in the area. The beach has free parking, toilets and a shoreside cafe and there is a pub and store in the village. Where to stay ~ admire Silecroft Sunsets from a beautiful beach side cabin with hot tub .

Cumbrian Heavy Horses. Photo ~ Cumbrian Heavy Horses.
Wren enjoying the views. Photo ~ B Hudson.

Silloth. With its wide tree lined streets and attractive town green, Silloth-on-Solway is a classic example of a Victorian seaside resort. Victorians would come here to enjoy the mild climate and invigorating sea air, visitors today can enjoy those too as well as a lively year long programme of events held on the green. The town benefits from a sandy stretch of beach with dunes , a terraced promenade and amusent arcades. Other attractions in Silloth include a Vintage Motorcycle Museum and the unique Big Fella Sculpture by artist Ray Lonsdale. Where to stay ~ the Greenview Guest House overlooks the bay and has an in-house bistro.

Silloth Scenes. Photos ~ A Garley.

Walney Island & Piel Island. At eleven miles long and one mile wide Walney Island is the eighth largest island in England. It is seperated from the industrial port town of Barrow in Furness by Jubilee Bridge. The North and Southern tips of the island are nature Reserves, South Walney Reserve is home to Cumbrias only Grey Seal colony. Kite Surfing is a popular passtime at Earnse Bay which has a large shallow sandy beach. Piel Island is a much smaller island with its own castle and pub. An ongoing island tradition dating back to the 18th century proclaims that each pub landlord becomes ‘ King Of Piel Island’. The Ship Inn has recently reopened and a ferry runs from Roa Island during the summer months. Where to stay ~ Wild camping is available on Piel Island. Or cosy up nextdoor to a lighthouse in The Hide on Walney.

Piel Castle from Walney Island. Image ~ South Walney Nature Reserve.
Seal pup on at South Walney. Image ~ Cumbria Wildlife trust.

Whitehaven. Whitehaven is a Georgian port town and has more than 250 listed buildings. It’s early fortune came from sea mining, coal transportation to Ireland and also the trading of rum, spices and slaves from Africa. This colourful and somewhat dubious history is recorded in The Beacon Museum and The Rum Story . There is an attractive harbour and beach in the town, from where it is possible to take a cliff top walk to St Bees. Where to stay ~ Fine dining & boutique rooms Georgian Townhouse Hotel .

Whitehaven harbour. Image ~ Sally’s cottages.

Hopefully my post has given you a taste of what the beautiful Cumbrian Coast has to offer…..

Thank you to my lovely photograph contributers.

Silloth Scenes ~ A Garley, Wren enjoying Silecroft Beach ~ B Hudson, Maryports Golden Sands ~ A Ball, Seven go to Eskmeals Nature Reserve ~ F Middleton, Ravenglass sunset ~ J Blackburn.

Three Cumbrian Seaside villages visited with Hugo. 🐕

If your looking for miles of dog friendly coastline then you’ve hit the jackpot in Cumbria. Because most people head for the lakes and fells, the beaches are almost always quiet, few having any dog restrictions at all.

We recently spent four nights in the coastal village of Ravenglass, and visited a couple of other seaside resorts whilst we were there. All three are served by the Cumbrian Coastal Railwayline.

Ravenglass. A tiny harbor village, Ravenglass has an ancient history. The Roman settlement of Glannoventa stood here and was an important naval base. The remains of a Roman bathhouse lie on the outskirts.

The beach is a mixture of sand, shingle and mud. There are lots of well signposted walks along the coast or up into the fells. Our dog Hugo enjoyed running here and his favourite nearby hill walk from Ravenglass was a mornings yomp up Muncaster Fell.

Nearby pet friendly attractions include Muncaster Castle ( dogs are allowed in the gardens, grounds, cafe and can watch the flying hawk displays & heron feeds) and The Ravenglass & Eskdale Narrow Gauge Railway.

Hugo was made a fuss of in all three of the pubs in Ravenglass. We ate out at The Ratty Arms & The Pennington Hotel. Both were very good. 🐶

Ravenglass

Useful sign. 😉

Hugo rides The Ratty ( Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway).

Yummy food at The Pennington Hotel.

Ravenglass.

St Bees. Twenty minutes north of Ravenglass, St Bees is actually named after an Irish medieval Saint, St Bega . Bega ( a beautiful & devout princess) fled across the Irish Sea by boat, having been promised in marriage to a Viking Prince. She had other ideas, preferring to live in religious solitude on the English mainland.

I’m not sure if St Bega liked dogs ( there is a statue of her and her rowing boat in the village center) but the beach she landed on is a great place for a bracing walk. We took Hugo to the sands at Seacote Park, where there is a caravan park, lifeboat station and beach cafe. I don’t think dogs are allowed inside the cafe but as it was a nice day we had icecream on a bench outside and Hugo was brought water & dog treats.

St Bees is the start of the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk and the cliff top ( safely fenced off ~ Phew!) is also ideal for walkies. Look out for all sorts of seabirds. The cliffs at St Bees head are an RSPB bird reserve.

The beach below St Bees Head.

Cliff top flowers.

On the cliffs.

Anchor from shipwreck.

Arnside. A pretty estuary resort, Arnside resides in the Arnside & Silverdale Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is from here that I took part in The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay walk with Wil and Hugo, three years ago. This iconic organized hike across the shifting sands of Morecambe Bay must not be attempted without an official guide.

On our latest visit Hugo had a good run on the beach but there are also plenty of coastal and inland walks to do in the area including Arnside Knott and along the shoreline to Silverdale. Do make sure you listen out for the sirens that are sounded to warn of the incoming Arnside Tidal Bore, a high tidal wave that happens once a month in Arnside’s estuary.

The village has a couple of dog friendly pubs and cafes. We chose to sit outside with the best ever fish & chips from Arnside Chippy. We also visited a very cute little jazz cafe opposite Arnside’s Railway station. Moochin About is a teeny tiny espresso bar with the cutest decor and vinyl jazz records playing on a record player. Sad to say no doggies allowed inside, purely because it is so small. There are two benches outside though, water bowls and the lovely owner brought out biscuits for Hugo and a collie customer. 🐕

Looking over the Kent Estuary.

Windswept Selfie.

Windswept Hawthorn.

Moochin About.

More Moochin About.

If you have a dog, what beaches do you like to visit with them?

I’d love to know. 🐩🐚🦀

The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk.

At the Weekend I got to tick something off my Bucket List and raise a bit of money for charity. Can’t be bad!  For a while now I have wanted to do ‘The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk’ which is a guided walk across the shifting sands between Arnside and Grange-Over-Sands in Cumbria. The walks are led by Cedric Robinson MBE ( the Queen’s Official Guide), who has been escorting thousands of charity fundraisers safely  over the bay since 1963. That makes him pretty darn experienced , wouldn’t you agree !

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The walk starts on the front at pretty Arnside. No Hugo is not seeing us off. He will be joining us for this 8 mile trek over the bay. 🙂

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There are about 200 people joining us too, dressed mostly in shorts and trainers or walking sandals. Some brought the kids and others bring four legged friends. We were soon met by Cedric in his trusty tractor.

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Cedric is a bit of a celebrity so he poses for a few photos with fans before we set off.

The sands are so beautiful and stretch out for miles in front of us. They are also very dangerous so it’s important never to cross without a respected guide.

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Even in such an impressive turnout, it is possible to enjoy the serenity of the seascape.

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Eventually we cross our first channel !  The River Kent creates the channels and we are soon paddling…….

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Even these little fellas are doing the doggy paddle. 🙂  One Jack Russell Terrier called Cato still kept paddling with his front paws in mid air,even after his owner picked him up. Aww!

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The water comes up to my mid thigh. Yep I’m a short arse!  Hugo does swimmingly well. 🙂

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I resigned myself to the fact that I would get pretty wet. So did Hugo ! Luckily the weather is kind to us and amazingly we don’t feel cold at all.

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We cross several channels in this way. The route is marked by Laurel Branches, chosen because their leaves do not drop.

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Cedric keeps an eye out for us all. I ask him if , as the Queen’s Official Guide, he has ever taken Her Majesty across Morecambe Bay. He hasn’t ( yet! ) but he has had the pleasure of accompanying Prince Phillip in the 1980s. He had to tell The Duke off for  driving his horse and carriage to fast over the sands!

Our walk takes a little over four hours and ends at Kent Bank station ,just outside Grange-Over-Sands. We amble back to our little B&B muddy, with aching legs and a great sense of achievement. 🙂

If you would like to donate to my  Just Giving  page please do. We are raising money for ‘East Lancs Hospice’.

And here is some more information about The Morecambe Bay Walk.

Ten things I enjoyed in Silverdale.

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Limestone chimney, Jenny Brown’s Point.

I’ve recently got back from a few days away on the coast. I decided I needed some refreshing sea air and as my other half loves the Lakes we compromised and chose to stay  just outside  the lovely village of Silverdale. Silverdale looks over Morecambe Bay and the coastline is rocky , the tree’s twisted into windswept shapes. I loved it there. 🙂  The village is actually in Lancashire, though quite close to nearby Arnside, which is in Cumbria. Here’s a wee list of some of the things I enjoyed in Silverdale. 🙂

1. Camping at Gibraltar farm.  The perfect campsite to pitch your tent  Gibraltar Farm  is a family run site on a working farm with stunning coastal views. There’s good hot showers, a little shop and miles of countryside walks on your doorstep.

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Windswept trees at Gibraltar Farm.

2. Breakfasting like a king.  Just across from the campsite  The Wolf House Gallery Cafe is somewhere you should definitely treat yourself to brekkie one morning. But don’t expect plain old bacon and eggs. How about Harissa roasted pepper,potato hash,fried eggs and honey pickled jalapenos or Buttermilk & Blueberry pancakes with bacon & maple syrup, to tempt your tastebuds. Yes we treated ourselves twice. 🙂

3. Local art and gifts.  The Wolf House Gallery ( legend has it the surrounding area was home to England’s last living Wolves) sells beautiful pottery, prints, ceramics and jewellery so after breakfast I just had to have a browse. And in the village itself there’s a lovely vintage shop called Vintage and Country , both are well worth a look.

4. Wildlife Watching. Silverdale and nearby Arnside are a designated Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I loved nothing better than heading out with my camera to snap the various wildlife that considers this gorgeous habitat home. Below are a Little Egret, Common Spotted Orchid, a Shelduck and and a tiny orange butterfly.

And if you want to see Bitterns,Otter, Birds of prey and even more varied wildlife, RSPB Leighton Moss is just up the road. 🙂

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The Woodlands is a bar in someone’s House. 🙂

5. Find the Local’s Pub.  Silverdale has two very good pubs that serve really nice food. It will be easy enough to find the warm and welcoming Silverdale Hotel  and the recently reopened and refurbished Royal  in the village. But if you fancy hanging out with the locals , sampling good ale ( at very cheap prices) in 1970’s decor then why not hunt out THe Woodlands ( known as Woody’s ) on Woodlands drive. Not a food serving pub but they do do sandwiches and bags of crisps!

6. Walking to Arnside.  Nearby Arnside is a picturesque village that looks over the river kent estuary, it’s pretty promenade of shops and cafes face the Arnside viaduct. The village has two pubs and a train station. There are several ways to walk here including over the limestone fell of Arnside Knott but we chose the coastal path from Silverdale.I would say it’s probably a six mile hike through coastal woodland and over cliff tops. Breathtaking!

7. Buying plants for the garden. Ok a bit of a strange one, but I was kind of spoilt for choice in Silverdale. A couple of houses as well as The Woodlands were selling garden flowers on their door steps for charity. Really pretty ones too. I ummed and ahhed and finally chose a Red Hot Poker ( a lilac and pink one!) and a pink lupin. 🙂

8. Sit on Jenny Brown’s Bench and wonder ‘Who the heck was Jenny Brown?’  It’s an easy walk from the village to Jenny Brown’s Point.  Follow the country lane past Gibraltar Farm until you see a National Trust sign for Jack Scout on your right. We passed a lime kiln and criss crossed our way along until we came to a bench with stunning views and a sign. Maybe the mysterious Jenny sat here wistfully gazing out to sea. A whole flock of Shelduck congregated here and samphire grows by the rocks.

9. Walking in the footsteps of Literary Heroines.  I didn’t realise that when writer Elizabeth Gaskell holidayed in Silverdale , she actually stayed at Gibraltar Farm. Nope she didn’t pitch up a tent unfortunately. 😉 Mrs Gaskell resided in Lindeth Tower which is next to the farm house. I spied it through the trees and wondered how she ever got any writing done, with such fine views to distract her……  Another famed author, Charlotte Bronte visited Silverdale too as a young girl.

10. Biryani on the Beach.  On our last night we treated ourselves to an Indian take away from Silverdales only restaurant. Cinnamon Spice  does a delicious biryani and what better place to enjoy it than down by the shore watching the sunset  with a bottle of cider. Who says Romance is dead !

Have you ever visited Silverdale?  Hope my blog has inspired you . X

Sea air ~ Morecambe, Arnside and Silverdale.

Quirky seabird sculptures adorn the promenade in Morecambe.
Quirky seabird sculptures adorn the promenade in Morecambe.

Easter Monday and blue skies and sunshine. The perfect day for a trip to the coast. We ventured firstly to the Lancashire seaside town of Morecambe, taking the scenic route through the beautiful Trough Of Bowland. Thankfully we didn’t run over any pheasants on the way. The trough is highly populated with them !

Morecambe has gone through a little revamp since my last visit. The promenade anyway is looking fantastic with its quirky seabird sculptures. The iconic Midland Hotel was brought back to its former glory and reopened a few years ago. This imposing example of art deco architecture looks over the bay.

The promenade with the Midland Hotel in the distance.
The promenade with the Midland Hotel in the distance.

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After wandering along the promenade and admiring various sculptures, rhymes and the statue of Eric Morecambe we decided to head further along the coast for our lunch. Not before having a nosy in the Old Pier bookshop which is so crammed full of old books that if a shelf fell on you , you might not be found for days. 🙂

Arnside.
Arnside.

Next stop was a few miles up the coast to the pretty village of Arnside which looks over the river Kent estuary. We bought a bit of a picnic and ate it while’st watching the world go by. 🙂 There are a few gift shops,cafes and a couple of pubs on the front to peruse if you wish.

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And then it was back to Lancashire and the nearby village of Silverdale. We walked down to the cove and watched the tide coming in ( very quickly ) over Morecambe bay. Noticed lots of people out with dogs today. We have made the decision not to get another dog until the end of the year but seeing so many playing and having fun chasing sticks in the sunshine made us smile a little longingly.

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The cove at Silverdale.
The cove at Silverdale.

A yorkie surveys his kingdom. :)
A yorkie surveys his kingdom. 🙂

Hello from Silverdale.
Hello from Silverdale.

It was interesting to find out that Silverdale has literary connections. Elisabeth Gaskell wrote some of her Bronte biography here and Charlotte Bronte apparently holidayed here herself.

This post is my April blog for the #take12trips challenge. I really loved my day by the sea in Lancashire and Cumbria. 🙂

Camping in Silverdale :)

Ooooh I definatly need a little bit of sunshine. It is sooo grey out there and at times like these I wonder what can I possibly write about? So I thought I would go back in time and tell you about a lovely chilled camping trip we went on in May last year. I really love the sea side so I thought I would try and find a camp site on our own Lancashire coastline. The camping criteria with us is almost always somewhere that is dog friendly, in beautiful countryside and within walking distance of a pub. 🙂 We found the perfect place! ‘Gibralter Farm’ in Silverdale.
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The very name ‘Gibralter Farm’ conjours up warm sunshiney days and we were in luck! The campsite is situated on a working farm in the heart of the Silverdale and Arnside Area of Outstanding Natural beauty with gorgeous views over Morecambe Bay. We pitched our tent in the lower left field which is adjacent to a little wooded area where you can camp too.silverdale 084
There are lots of footpaths from the site and if you wander through the woodland there is a perfect little cove where we saw Oyster catchers and Shelduck. Ok I was more excited about the birdlife than my other half but yes I am a bit of a bird nerd!

A little cove.
A little cove.

Windswept tree.
Windswept tree.

Even he was impressed that Gibralter Farm has its own resident Green Woodpecker. I spent a lot of time trying to capture its vivid colours on camera but the best I could manage was this siluette shot.
Green Woodpecker.
Green Woodpecker.

We wandered into the village of Silverdale a couple of times. It has a convenience store,a butchers, tearooms, an Indian restaurant and two pubs ‘The Royal Hotel’ and ‘The Woodlands.’ If you like your real ales and somewhere a little different try ‘The Woodlands'( If you can find it!) which is run by the villagers in an old manor house.It is kind of a bizarre place which also had a pop up victorian tearooms in one of the downstairs rooms when we visited. 🙂
We also had lunch at ‘The Wolf House Gallery ‘ across the road from Gibralter Farm.It was a little expensive but the food was good.

Silverdale itself is in Lancashire and neighboring Arnside only two miles up the road is in Cumbria.Both are well worth a visit. Arnside is a pretty village facing the estuary with a tiny promenade of cafes and gift shops.We took our dog Jake here for some walks on the beach and he made friends with a local dog. 🙂

Arnside Estuary.
Arnside Estuary.

Sat outside the Fighting Cocks with views over to Morecambe Bay.
Sat outside the Fighting Cocks with views over to Morecambe Bay.

If you love your wildlife make sure you take a walk round the RSPB Leighton Moss Nature Reserve where you can see all sorts of water fowl in the reeds. Unfortunately as we had Jake there were not to many areas we could take a dog.There is one public walkway where you can walk the hound,on a lead of course.

Tufted Duck in the Reeds.
Tufted Duck in the Reeds.

And a stay here is not complete without sampling the local delicacy ‘Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimps’ which are caught in the shallow waters of the bay. We tried some in the nearby seaside town of Grange Over Sands.
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Gibralter Farm Campsite.
Gibralter Farm Campsite.

Hopefully we will try and head to Gibralter Farm again this year for a nice relaxing camping trip by the sea. 🙂