Tag Archives: Arnside

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. 🐶

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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. 🙂