An Arnside Amble

The weekend after my walk from Grasmere I felt like getting out again. Saturday promised to be a fine day, if blustery, so I had a think about where to go. I didn’t fancy driving so decided on taking the train over to Arnside for a ramble along the coast.

The Arnside and Silverdale Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty (AONB), is one of those places off the beaten track which are great for getting away for a walk through some beautiful, varied countryside with lots of “added interest”. Some people are lucky to live there!

From the train station it’s a short walk to the promenade. It looked like it was high tide or, probably, just after.

I took the riverside path heading out towards Morecambe Bay

Reaching the salt marsh bay at New Barns I could see that the tide was starting to recede.

I carried on along the stretches of salt marsh and sandy beach until I reached Arnside Point, which is probably the start of the bay proper. After this point I’d have been paddling in the sea or sucked down into quick sand so I climbed up the slope up on to the cliffs

and carried on towards Far Arnside. I walked through the caravan site, then through the fields. My route then took me through a second caravan site

until I reached Arnside Tower. I stopped for a while to refuel although it was difficult to find a spot that was sheltered from what was quite a strong wind. It seemed to be coming from every direction as it swirled around the ruins of the ruined pele tower.

I carried on past the nearby farm and along a short stretch of road before turning off up a path into the woods at the bottom of Arnside Knott, which provided some shelter from the wind.

I climbed up through the woods to the top of the modest hill with extensive views which pack a punch. On a good day it’s possible to see almost the whole extent of the Lake District mountains but long distance visibility wasn’t so good so the fells were largely lost in the haze. Nevertheless the view was still worth the climb!

After walking along the ridge, stopping off at the main viewpoints, I made my way down the steep paths back towards Arnside via the riverside, stopping off at a small cafe near the restored fingerpost – you can just see it in the picture below. It’ has very limited seating which was all taken but I enjoyed a coffee and cake sitting on the bench next to the signpost.

A nearby information board tells us that The old County of Westmorland erected 139 numbered cast iron Fingerposts between 1894 and 1905 cast by Joseph Bowerbank at the Victoria Foundry in Penrith. The signposts were all numbered and this one, which stands on the riverside path close to the coastguard station was number 5. It was restored by David Gosling of Signpost Restoration Ltd. The sign’s located well away from roads carrying motorised traffic, but when it was erected over 100 years ago the inland paths would have been very important thoroughfares in a tourist resort. 

I carried on back towards the prom.

It wasn’t so late, about 3 o’clock so I decided I’d catch the direct train back to Wigan at 4:30. That gave me enough time to carry on along the river on the concessionary path on disused railway line across the salt marsh towards Sandside. Although it had clouded over, it was still warm despite a strong wind.

The marsh is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a breeding ground for birds such as oystercatchers, lapwings and curlews. I saw several of all of these, and possibly a marsh harrier (being attacked by oystercatchers!) as I followed the path .

The sign was quite clear that walkers should stick to the railway line path and keep dogs on a leash to protect the wildlife. The rules clearly don’t apply to everyone.

I reached the small settlement of Sandside then turned round and retraced my steps (walking into the wind!) back to Arnside.

I arrived in good time to catch my train.