Tag Archives: morecambe bay

A Canal Walk To The Sea.

So here’s a throwback post to August and our stay in Arnside on the Cumbrian Coast. A short train journey away is the characterful town of Ulverston, a place we have visited several times before. The towns cobbled streets and plethora of independent shops, cafes and pubs make it a great destination for generally mooching about. After a ‘ mooch about’ we would be heading along the World’s Shortest, Deepest and Widest Canal, for a walk to the Sea.

Ulverston.
Laurel & Hardy….and friend.
Movie theatre inside the museum.

The morning we visited Ulverston it was exhibiting typical Lake District weather! To escape the rain we spent a good hour or so in the towns Laurel and Hardy Museum. Stan Laurel was born in Ulverston in 1890 and must surely be  it’s most famous resident. The museum has a good selection of the comedy duos memorabilia,  as well as a small cinema that plays Laurel & Hardy features on a loop. Our dog Hugo was made welcome and humoured us as we chuckled our way around. 😊

After a lovely lunch at the nearby Stan Laurel Inn we were suitably refreshed for a canal side walk. Ulverston Canal is a former Ship Canal which linked Ulverston to Morecambe Bay, one and a half miles away.  Completed in 1796 ,the waterway claimed to be the shortest , deepest, widest …… and straightest Canal in the World. Once upon a time passenger ships to Scotland and London embarked from here as well as cargos of local slate. But when the Railway arrived in Ulverston in the 1840s, the record breaking Canals fortunes were on the wane.  By the end of the Second World War Ulverston Canal was no longer in use.

Start of the walk at Canal Head, with views of The Hoad Monument behind us.

Today the waterway offers a serene amble from Canal Head in the town to Canal Foot with its splendid views over Morecambe Bay.  A footpath on the less industrial side of the canal is a popular stroll. There’s even a pub at the end. An incentive indeed!

Flowering Rushes.
A Map Of Ulverston Canal.
Canal Side Retreat looking out over a  million lily pads.

We saw lots of wildlife as we walked along. Plenty of waterside wildflowers and much of the surface was covered in Lily pads. Mute Swans, Comerants, Moor hens and Mallards swam and dived amongst them.

Old Man’s Beard , aka Travellers Joy.
Swanning off.

Half way along Ulverston Canal is a Rolling Bridge, the only one of its kind left in England. Forgotten about  for many years  , it was a history enthusiast who discovered the significance of the bridge and it was given Grade ll status in 2012.

Rolling Bridge.
More Lily Pads.
Juvenile Swans.
112 Foot Sea Lock, the only lock on the canal.

Before long we were at Hammerside Point , Canal Foot. Here the former Ship Canal meets the Leven Estuary. What a splendidly unexpected place…

Out to Sea.
Sign by the small car park at Canal Foot.
Leven Estuary.

For some reason I forgot to take a photo of The Bay Horse Hotel  from the outside ,so below is a distant one I found online. The former Coaching Inn enjoys stunning views over the Bay. Once upon a time it was from here that brave travellers would make the perilous journey by stage coach, over the sands to Lancaster. The arrival of the Railway probably saved a lot of lives!

Bayhorse Hotel with conservatory.
A white horse, not a Bay 🐎 horse, inside the Inn.

After a drink in the pub we retraced our steps back to Ulverston.  On the way an unassuming wooden shed near the Lock Keepers Cottage peeked my interest, especially when I saw its ‘ Welcome Humans ‘ sign?

Lock Keepers Cottage.
Welcome Humans!
Inside the shed.

Whilst looking it up online later, I discovered that the Shed is part of an interactive Art Installation Project called the Last Human Coro Shed . Perhaps not what you would expect to see where a canal meets the sea…..

Goodbye Morecambe Bay.

Thanks for joining me. 😊

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ’•

2021 Is Cumbria’s Year Of The Coast. β›΅πŸŸπŸŒž

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. πŸ™‚

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.

Kirkby Lonsdale.

With staycations high on the agenda this year, Wil put the gift cards he received for his 50th birthday towards a couple of nights away in the pretty South Lakeland town of Kirkby Lonsdale . Luckily he invited Hugo and I along too. πŸ˜‰

Kirkby Lonsdale lies at the edge of the Lake District , retains a Carnforth postcode from its former Lancashire days and is minutes away from the Yorkshire Dales National Park too. An excellent base for lots of exploring then!

The town itself is incredibly picturesque with plenty of old inns, fantastic eateries and quirky independent shops. It’s also very dog friendly, which is great when your holidaying with a certain lovable labrador. 🐾

The Royal Hotel on Main Street.
Room 2.
The Bath πŸ›€.

We stayed in the very accomodating Royal Hotel opposite the Market Square. This elegant Georgian townhouse has tastefully furnished rooms and friendly approachable staff. We couldn’t fault it!

Though to be fair all the local businesses in Kirkby Lonsdale are super friendly and very happy to be recieving visitors once again. πŸ™‚

After arriving and checking in at The Royal on Friday evening we took Hugo for a walk through town and headed straight out for a couple of drinks. Fortunately we managed to find seats without booking ( hurrah!) , everywhere was buzzing but not rammed. We especially liked the warm local feel of The Orange Tree and those good vibes in The King’s Arms .

Orange 🍊 Tree Refreshments.
Belated Birthday πŸŽ‰ the King’s Arms.

I took a couple of Summer evening photographs of the town between pubs.

St Mary’s Church and The Sun Inn.
Ruskin’s View. A painting of this vista by Turner was much admired by Ruskin, who described it as ‘ One of the loveliest views in England’.
St Mary’s churchyard is a haven for wildlife.

Saturday promised to be a scorcher of a day . After a tasty breakfast at the hotel we went for a wander before the shops opened and then took Hugo for a walk along the river Lune.

Royal Hotel Breakfast.
Devil’s Bridge.
Hugo living his best life. 🀣

The nearby River Lune is spanned by the three arched Devils Bridge and is an attractive riverside amble from the town. The bridge is a popular spot with motorcyclists and there is a long established butty & brew van that always does a roaring trade. We also saw two guys being egged on by friends to dive off the bridge…and they did! It’s a well known dare spot for such jumps, but probably shouldn’t be encouraged. πŸ™

Beautiful listed building ‘ The Old Manor House’.
I love the street names in Kirkby Lonsdale. Salt Pie Lane named after the hot salted mutton pies on sale here in former days.
Jingling Lane. πŸ€—
There are plenty of cute shops in town , such as Abraham’s Store.
Bath goodies shop.
And Parma Violet, to name but a few…

In the afternoon we decided to drive to nearby Sizegh Castle . The National Trust property was pretty busy, but the estate is so large, it is quite easy to avoid people. Dogs are unfortunately not allowed in the gardens but are permitted in the cafe and within the grounds. We ended up walking a good eight miles or so around the estate. Phew!

I did have a peek in the garden.
Vivid blue irises were in bloom in the garden.
Buttercups.
Small Heath πŸ¦‹.
Views across to the sea from the estate.

Once back in Kirkby Lonsdale we needed an ice cream to cool down. A long queue was forming outside The Milking Parlour on Jingling Lane. Although this new ice cream shop has very positive reviews, we were keen to jump the queues. Chocolat on New Road is a delightful little chocolatier that also sells deliciously decadent ice cream. They were so good!

Ice Cream Waffle Cones in Chocolat. Oh yes. 😊

After all the walking and the ice cream treats we headed back to the hotel for a while. We reemerged later for another night out , having booked a table at a lovely restaurant called Plato’s . The food here was excellent and the staff made a big fuss of Hugo. We also had a couple of drinks in local brewery tap house The Royal Barn ~ my favourite tipple was the rhubarb flavoured Rosie Pig Cider. 🐷

The Royal Barn.
Plato’s.
A savoury custart tart in Plato’s. Yummy. πŸ™‚

On Sunday morning it was time to check out of our hotel after breakfast. We had such an enjoyable stay, stopping in the Royal had been a great experience. The whole town is loving recieving visitors once again. πŸ’—

Before heading home we drove thirty minutes to the coast for a walk along the foreshore at Hest Bank near Morecambe. It felt good to take in the sea air and enjoy the vast views of Morecambe Bay.

Wading bird sculpture by the car park at Hest Bank.
Along the foreshore to nearby Bolton Le Sands.
Windswept trees.
Praying Seashell at Red Bank Farm, Bolton Le Sands. The sculpture looks over the mudflats where 21 Chinese cockle pickers lost their lives in 2004, they were caught by the incoming tide. 😦
Rocks at Bolton Le Sands.
Yellow Flag Iris. Spot the snail.
The Shore Cafe, Hest Bank.

There is free shoreside car parking over the level crossing at Hest Bank and a couple of cafe options on route between there and Bolton Le Sands. Lots more in Morecambe.

Have you any weekends away planned?

To The Sea.

I have been craving ‘ a sea fix ‘ for some time now. Today was finally the day that I got my fix. We headed to Heysham on the Lancashire coast and parked at Heysham Nature Reserve behind the power station. After typing Heysham Nature Reserve into Google maps it told me that we had visited the reserve two years ago. Scary that it remembered. 😜

Heysham Nature Reserve is still open , however the car park and facilities are currently closed. We managed to find a spot near the entrance and Hugo had an off lead wander. At some point we ended up on the rocky shore in front of the power station. Un surprisingly it was easy to social distance beside a nuclear power station. 😊

We walked as far as the striking rust coloured South Pier lighthouse and retraced our steps back to the car.

Rocky shore.

Behind the power station.

Yellow Rattle.

Greater Knapweed.

Hugo inspects the thin strip of beach.

Sea & sky.

Lesser black backed Gull.

South Pier Lighthouse selfie.

South Pier Lighthouse.

Oyster catchers brunch time.

It was around 11-30 and already cracking the flags at nearby Half Moon Bay when we parked the car on the small car park there. In fact it was getting a bit too hot for Hugo. After a short walk along the cliffs as far as the St Patrick’s chapel remains, we called it a day. Looking back on my post from two years ago, we had a hot weather visit then too! No beautiful new sculptures at that time though. Fab to see the recent editions. 😊

Oyster catcher sculpture.

Half Moon Bay.

Ship Sculpture looking over Half Moon Bay.

Ship Sculpture.

My first ever sighting of a Whitethroat. πŸ™‚

St Patrick’s Chapel.

Rock cut coffin graves.

Goodbye beautiful Lancashire coast. Until next time. ❀️

Sixteen Pet Friendly Places Visited With Our Dog.

As my other half and I are ‘owned’ by a bouncy black labrador, our days out and holidays are often planned round walks and pet friendly places. With this in mind, here are a few of Hugo’s ( and our) favourite haunts, over the last 3 years.

Allan Bank , Grasmere, Cumbria. There are not many National Trust properties that allow dogs inside. A charming exception, a short walk from Grasmere, is a former home of poet William Wordsworth. Not every room is decorated however, so this Georgian Manor  has a relaxed carefree vibe.  The grounds are worth an explore too and include a woodland walk and gardens. Sadly there is no cafe on site at present, though you are welcome to make yourself a brew. Open this year from the 10th February. You can read about our visit here.

St Annes Beach Huts, St Annes, Lancashire.  What better base for a day at the seaside than a beautiful beach hut! We spent a memorable day with Hugo in St Annes a couple of summers ago…. and we do need to repeat the experience. The huts are fully equipped with a fridge, microwave and radio. The sands in front of them are dog-friendly all year round. stannesbeachhuts.co.uk

Another Place, Crosby Beach, Merseyside.  An atmospheric and thought-provoking art installation. 100 iron figures grace Crosby Beach, all identical , all modelled on their creator Antony Gormley, all stand staring out to sea. A stunning spectacle and a great place for a bracing beach walk. Pay and display parking but there is also free parking at nearby Crosby leisure centre.

Allan Bank, Grasmere.

Castle Kennedy Gardens, Dumfries & Galloway.  If you find yourself in Scotland’s much underrated Dumfries & Galloway , these 75 acre gardens surround two lochs and the ruins of a 14th century castle.  Great for exploring, you can stay on the estate too, as we did here. πŸ™‚

 

Conishead Priory, Ulverston, Cumbria.  Although this Gothic Priory is now a Buddhist Retreat , the grounds, gift shop and cafe are all open to the public. We have visited maybe three times now with Hugo, for lovely woodland walks that lead down to the beach. A January trip saw the woods abundant with snowdrops. Look out for the Buddhist temple and a giant golden buddha!  Parking is free and you can eat with your dog in a comfy lounge,  next to the cafe.

A UFO ? ………..or Haslingden Halo.

East Lancashire Panopticans.  Have you heard of  The Singing Ringing Tree, The Atom or The Haslingden Halo? All three of these unusual structures are found locally in East Lancashire, and can be incorporated into interesting walks. For more information check out midpenninearts.org.uk 

Formby Point Red Squirrel Reserve, Formby, Merseyside.  Formby has a great dog-friendly beach with sand dunes and coastal pine forests which are  home to Lancashire’s only native red squirrel population. πŸ™‚ The Squirrel Walk is a must if you wish to see these cute tufty creatures. Parking at The National Trust Car park. Dogs on leads in the reserve. You can read about my visit   Sea Air ~ Squirrels and Naked Men on the Sefton Coast.   .

Ingleborough Show Cave, Clapham, Yorkshire.  We had no intention of touring this grand Victorian Show Cave but having stumbled upon it whilst walking along Clapham Nature Trail, we found that dogs are admitted. πŸ™‚ The tunnels are well lit, though low in places. The tours are interesting and the shop at the entrance sells snacks and souvenirs.  Find out more here  .

Inside Ingleborough Show Cave.

Ingleton Falls Trail, Ingleton, Yorkshire Dales. This 7km walk from Ingleton village is Β£6 per adult, including car parking. The trail takes in several stunning waterfalls and there are a couple of refreshment kiosks along the route. Walking boots are best worn and dogs may need  to be on lead in some areas. www.ingletonwaterfallstrailco.uk

Janet’s Foss & Malham Cove,  Yorkshire Dales.  The Yorkshire Dales is renowned for its beautiful waterfalls and Janet’s Foss is no exception. There is a stunning woodland walk from Malham village ( start at the Smithy) leading to the falls ( home to a fairy) and Gordale Scar. Another walk from the village takes you to the impressive Malham Cove , with its unusual limestone rock formations.  I blogged about Malham here  .


Hugo and friend at Janet’s Foss.

Lake District Boat Trips, Cumbria. Did you know that four-legged friends are welcome on the pleasure boats that cruise four lakes in the Lake District?  Hugo has taken trips with us on Windermere,  Ullswater , and Coniston. I am sure Derwent Water will be on our itinerary for 2018. πŸ™‚

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http://www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk/

 

Lowther Castle & Gardens, Penrith, Cumbria.  The imposing ruins and gardens within gardens of this nineteenth century castle are a joy to explore. Lots of events all year round and an amazing castle themed adventure playground for the kids. Dogs are also welcome in the cafe and the gift shop. lowthercastle.org

Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk, Arnside, Cumbria.  In 2016  we walked across the shifting sands of Morecambe Bay between Arnside and Grange-Over-Sands. As you can see walking actually means wading…partly. And some swimming for Hugo!   Bay walks are organized group walks and should not be attempted otherwise. You can read about our attempt here.

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Doggy Paddle.

Pendle Sculpture Trail, Barley, Lancashire.  The natural world and the Pendle Witches have inspired this informative ( and stunning ) trail through woodland near Barley. Park at the village car park ( pay via an Honesty Box) and walk for one mile, passing a reservoir, to Aitken Wood.  I blogged about a pre Hugo visit  here.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, Ravenglass, Cumbria.  Traveling 7 miles through gorgeous Lake District Countryside on a miniature steam train is something you can happily do, in the company of a four-legged friend. πŸ™‚  There are hop on and off stops with many opportunities for lovely lakeland walks.Parking and Refreshments available at Ravenglass and Boot. ravenglass-railway.co.uk

Temple Seal Trips, Morston, Norfolk.  Dogs are welcome on these popular boat trips, where you can see seals basking on Blakeney point. Colonies of Grey and Common Seals as well as rare arctic terns. Definitely a must do. The red and white boats even have a part canine crew! We loved our experience and here’s my blog    to prove it. πŸ™‚

I can only apologise that most of our days out have been in the North of England. But maybe that will be an incentive to holiday here with your hound. πŸ™‚ If you have any recommendations for dog-friendly places to visit ( anywhere) please comment below.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heysham and Half Moon Bay.

The recent sunshine is making me long for the seaside. I shall have to make do by collecting my pictures together of a lovely coastal walk in Lancashire.  πŸ˜‰

When I think of Heysham, I basically picture it as a Ferry port and the home of Heysham Power Station.  I actually had no idea of how pretty the old part of the village is, and how full of history.

We parked up in the spacious village car park ( Β£1.40 for five hours)  and passed a few pretty tea rooms and shops on our stroll towards the start of our walk, St Peter’s Church.

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St Peter’s has windswept tombstones and uninterupted views of the sea. It has been here since Saxon times.

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The Coastal Walk is looked after by The National Trust.

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We headed through a patch of woodland and emerged onto a cliff top. Here are the 8th Century ruins of  St Patrick’s Chapel.

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St Patrick is said to have been shipwrecked here in the 5th Century.

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The Chapel looks out over ‘Half Moon Bay’.

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Definitely the most unusual burial ground I have seen.  Rock cut graves carved out of the headland.

The Rock- Cut Graves that surround St Patrick’s Chapel are actually not unique.  There are apparently similar graves in Hexham, Northumberland and in Ireland.  The body shaped hollows were carved for the VIPs of the eleventh century, mostly kings and priests.  I hope they had lids on!

We continued along the cliff footpath , heading towards the Ferry Port in the distance. It was quite a bracing day in May , so when we spotted the Half Moon Bay Cafe ,we warmed up with a hot drink.

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The beach allows dogs all year round. πŸ™‚

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Looking towards the Ferry Port.

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The Half Moon Bay Cafe is bright and friendly.  It sells a small selection of local art and doggy treats too. πŸ™‚

After a welcome brew we made our way back to Heysham, following another criss- crossing path over the cliff tops, an area known locally as ‘The Barrows’.

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Flowering Gorse.

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Campions.

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A pretty cove.

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Wil and Hugo.

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Bluebells.

Back in the village, I picked up a fantastic and quirky map of The Morecambe Bay and Heysham area from the Heritage Centre .  The ‘Seldom Seen’ series of maps , ‘map the hidden assets of Morecambe bay’ and are full of interesting facts. I especially like the phrase ‘ Beyond This Place Lie Monsters’. πŸ™‚

Seldom Seen Map.

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The newly refurbished Royal is a great place for lunch.

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Look out for ‘The Spirit of Heysham’ sign…..and a viking!

Vikings came to Heysham over 1000 years ago and today this is celebrated when the village holds  it’s annual  Viking Festival. This year’s event takes place 15th ~ 17TH jULY.

By all accounts I was very surprised by Heysham. Now I have my map , I’m sure I will be returning soon. πŸ™‚

 

Sunday Sevens September 18th.

Although there was a nip in the air early yesterday morning, it still feels like Summer here in North West England. Even though I have recently written aΒ Twenty Things To Do This Autumn. πŸ™‚Β blog post, the warm rays of Summer hang on. πŸ™‚

Last Sunday we traveled home from Grange-Over-Sands as we had stayed the night there after doing theΒ The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk.Β It’s well worth doing by the way! On our meander home to Clitheroe we stopped off in both Cartmel and Bolton Le Sands.

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A cute cafe cat relaxes outside The Mallard in Cartmel.

Cartmel is a pretty medieval village specially famed for it’s Sticky Toffee Pudding, ancient priory, busy race course and a variety of foodie shops. We had a little walk in the nearby woodland and enjoyed a hot chocolate in the village centre.

We stopped later in Bolton le sands near Morecambe for lunch. I wish I had taken some photos of the sea, however I did manage to take the following cute animal pictures. πŸ™‚

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Lapwing. One of my favourite birds.

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Ponies at Bolton le sands.

Giant rabbits at Red Bank Farm campsite which has a cafe and a pets corner, open to non residents too.

The giant rabbits reminded me of the book I have just finished reading. It’s calledΒ When God was A Rabbit.Β Has anyone ever read it? Β I loved the first half but the second half wasn’t as good.

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Yesterday I made some cookies. Why do they never look as good as in the recipe book? Ha ha.! πŸ™‚

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Dark Chocolate & Pistachio Cookies.

They are pretty tasty though ….and the recipe can be found in Sabrina Ghayour’s Cook Book ‘Sirocco’ ~ Fabulous flavours from the East.

This post is forΒ Sunday SevensΒ which is devised by Natalie at the blogΒ Threads and Bobbins.Β where she asks folks to share seven ( or more) photos of their personal week.

 

 

 

The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk.

At the Weekend I got to tick something off my Bucket ListΒ andΒ raise a bit of money for charity. Can’t be bad! Β 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 Β 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. πŸ™‚

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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 ! Β The River Kent creates the channels and we are soon paddling…….

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Even these little fellas are doing the doggy paddle. πŸ™‚ Β 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! Β Hugo does swimmingly well. πŸ™‚

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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 Β 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. πŸ™‚

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

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

Coastal Camping ~ Red Bank Farm. :-D

Hi Folks, I’m feeling all invigorated and refreshed after a weekend by the sea. Theres nothing like a blast of sea air to make you feel Alive, don’t you think. πŸ™‚

Red Bank Farm.
Red Bank Farm.

We decided on a campsite near Bolton Le Sands on the Lancashire coast. Red Bank Farm is quite an undiscovered little gem, looking over the salt marshes to Morecambe Bay.  And at only Β£6 per person per night, a bit of a  bargain.

The campsite itself consists of two camping fields for tents and campers, along with some static caravans. We pitched up in the top field , with its beautiful sea views. Facilities at Red Bank Farm include a clean toilet & shower block with hot showers, an undercover wash up area, laundry room and a rather nice cafe , converted from an old barn.

Archers Cafe.
Archers Cafe.

The very best thing about the site however, is the stunning location. We loved walking along the sea defenses every morning and especially early evening. The sky here is big and the sunsets are sublime. The salt marshes make for an interesting wildlife habitat too. Elver eels migrate here and all sorts of wading birds can be spotted including little egret. πŸ™‚

One morning we had breakfast in Archers Cafe. Wil had the Breakfast Bun which set him up for the day.  :)
One morning we had breakfast in Archers Cafe. Wil had the Breakfast Bun which set him up for the day. πŸ™‚

Little egret.
Little egret.

Salt marsh.
Salt marsh.

Prayer shell sculpture looking out over the bay.
Prayer shell sculpture looking out over the bay.

We saw lots of happy hounds enjoying the sea air. :)
We saw lots of happy hounds enjoying the sea air. πŸ™‚

The campsite is part of a working farm making full use of fresh produce in the cafe, including free range eggs( chickens roam freely around the site) and their own reared salt marsh lamb. There is also a pets corner which proved popular with the kids…..and big kids like me. πŸ™‚

Farm buildings.
Farm buildings.

Ducks !
Ducks !

Red Bank Farm from the lane.
Red Bank Farm from the lane.

The sea air on the Lancashire coast is proper bracing , but I have to say there is nothing better than wrapping up warm and taking a blanket, plastic wine glasses and a bottle of wine down to the shore to watch the sun set.

cheers!
cheers!

Reflection.
Reflection.

Wrap up warm.
Wrap up warm.

I am almost sorry we are back home now and the camping gear is all packed away until next year. The warm days have returned folks , so its the prefect time for a last camping trip to the sea side , in the September sun……