Date - 2nd October 2020 Distance - 6.5 miles
Ascent -
not recorded
Map - OL7
Start point - Shore parking, Silverdale (SD 4516 7709)


Summits Achieved

No summits were reached on this walk



It was Thursday, and Dad was visiting Uncle Keith.

"Dad will have an enjoyable day, topped off with lunch at the Sparrowhawk", said Allen.

"The food there is excellent and Uncle Keith loves to go there as does Dad", added Grizzly. "Uncle Keith is well known there."

"Can I have another mug of tea, please?", asked Southey.

"Of course pal", replied Shaun, the mug and filling it with steaming tea.

"The Chorley cakes are delicious as always", said Tetley. "They have become one of my favourites."

"Thanks", replied Grizzly.

Allen was helping himself again. "Love the caramel shortbread, Little Eric. It is truly scrumptious."

"You're welcome pal", he replied.

Shaun had the iPad in paw. "I have been looking at Keswick forecast for next week, when we are at Armathwaite Hall with Dad. It is not particularly good, at present apart from Monday."

"Hmm", mused Tetley. "Dad usually likes to spend Monday in the hotel. But I guess if the weather is fair he will take us out."

"Well we have plans in place", said Southey.

"Yes", agreed Allen. "We have devised a walk from Caldbeck that takes in the next village Hesket Newmarket, and if the weather allows for a second walk we will be doing the circuit of Loweswater."

"That will be lovely", said Tetley. "It is surrounded by fells on all sides and will bring back happy memories of the days climbing them."

"So", said Grizzly, "It's just a case of keeping our paws crossed, that the forecast will improve as the days go by."

So content we looked forward to next week.

Later we were sitting quietly reading, when our peace was disturbed by Allen. He bounded in breathlessly crying, "great great."

"Whatever is the matter", called out Southey. "Now just calm down and get your breath then tell us."

This he did then said, "we are walking tomorrow."

"Really", replied Little Eric gleefully. "Dad has had a busy week and this is the last thing I expected."

"Well", explained Allen, "as the lunch meet up with Uncle Paul and Aunt Sheila had to be cancelled, Dad feels up to a walk."

"Where are we going?", asked Shaun.

"Doing a walk from the Silverdale and Arnside book. Starting from Silverdale and walking along the shore then back via Arnside Tower", replied Allen.

Knowing that the first part was along the sands, Grizzly grabbed the iPad, to check the tide times. "It's low tide in the morning so that part will be fine."

"Wonderful, here's to tomorrow", cheered Tetley.


The Walk

So we awoke to bright skies, and were to enjoy a fine day with sunny intervals and light winds.

Dad got his gear loaded and hearing the hatch slam shut, Allen called out, "come on pals time to get settled in the car."

"As Dad set off, Southey asked, "how to we get to the start."

"Through Carnforth then on to Warton, taking the road under Warton Crag.", said Grizzly. "Then on to cross the railway and turn left, then go right into Silverdale and along Stankelt Road, to turn off down Shore Road, that ends at the beach."

There is parking on the beach, but Dad was able to park by the roadside just before.

So Dad ready we strolled down to the sands. Southey was looking at the instructions. "The author says to walk out across the turf."

"What turf", replied Grizzly looking at the expanse of sand.

"Ahh", replied Southey. "A lot has changed since the book was published in 1986".

So Dad strode out. It was a bit muddy as the tides are high a present. We kept quite close to the shore, passing the rocky cliffs of Red Rake.

Grizzly said, "that deep red gash is where miners once tunnelled for copper and haematite. The entrance is long collapsed."

This borders the pebbly beach of The Cove. "We have been here many times", commented Tetley.

"What is that circular hole?", pointed Little Eric.

Grizzly replied, "it is a phreatic cave, worn by water pressure when the water level was higher and possibly enlarged by man."

As we continued by the shore two more caves were passed. We peered inside and ventured a little way into the second one.

Looking away from the shore the vast expanse of Morecambe Bay stretched out before us. Low on the horizon is Morecambe where we live and the square buildings to the right are Heysham Nuclear Power Station. Little Eric said, "wave to our pals at home lads."

Walking on Shaun said, "we should loop out away from the shore now and then come in again. We are heading for the end of the caravan site at Far Arnside."

Facing our route direction, Tetley pointed", the sun is shining on Grange over Sands with Hampsfell rising behind."

Closer we could see a pebbly beach. Southey advised, "go just past that round that small rocky promontory then cross the rocks to gain the path in the woods."

"Ooh look, a seat", called out Little Eric. Then peering at the dedication plaque, he read, "it is Brett Barker's bench. Underneath it reads, please sit and enjoy the view."

"Ok, that's what we will do", replied Tetley. "And, we can have our picture taken too."

Dad than sat and we looked out. "Uncle Brian would have loved to sit here, lads", Dad said. Then the emotions hit him and he just cried his eyes out.

"Oh Dad", sniffed Allen. "We all miss him so so much."

Dad then said, "I was so blessed to have such a wonderful friend to share such a big part of my life. Nearly 50 years. How fortunate."

Then after a few more minutes quiet reflection we settled again in the rucksack and Dad strode off. Followed the path that at times clung perilously close to the very edge of the cliffs and provided expansive views of Morecambe Bay. Grizzly said, "the author says it is probably the most scenic coastal path in the north-west."

Allen suddenly said, "A wild flower. It's Field Scabious the same as the one we saw on the last walk that Bracken and Moss identified."

Some of the route ran through woods as we continued on past Park Point and then on to Arnside Point.

Soon after Arnside point the path went right to reach a gap in a wall. Shaun was intently looking at the map. "There is a dotted path on this side of the wall. So keeping this side we will pass a junction then come to another junction. Turning right there we will be on the track leading through Arnside Park referred to in the instructions."

Here we met a local couple and Dad had a chat with them and some laughs about experiences on walks. The lady like Uncle Eric is not very comfortable near cows, so Dad related the tale of our experience last week near Hazelslack blocking the stile and Dad having to force his way through.

It may not look it from the picture but the path climbed steeply through Arnside Park, getting Dad's heart rate up. Finally the gradient eased and levelled and we came to a gate and kissing gate into the National Trust land known as Heathwaite. "We are on track", confirmed Southey.

The woods gave way to an open grassy area, with another fine view of Morecambe Bay. Southey then said, "we keep left and follow the path to a major junction by a gate."

"Where now?", asked Little Eric.

"The bridleway signed Arnside Tower", replied Shaun.

Suddenly there was a beep. "What's that?", said Grizzly.

"The GPS", replied Tetley.

Pulling it out of the pouch Dad said, "the batteries need changing. There are new ones in the rucksack."

This done, and after passing through the gate, Dad then strode off along another wide track in woodland, that was a joy to walk, below the slopes of Arnside Knott.

We met a couple from Lancaster, and Dad stopped and chatted to them for a while. Like us they agreed what a super area this is to walk. The lady spotted us, so, Dad introduced us and told them about his teddy collecting.

So onwards but soon Dad stopped saying, "the walk book has fallen out of my pocket."

"Oh dear", said Allen. "It is such a useful book. We don't want to lose it."

Shaun said, "we used it at Heathwaite, so it must be around the junction area."

So we hurried back. The couple we had chatted to were sitting were sitting on a seat there and Dad asked, " I have dropped by walk book. Have you seen it by any chance."

The gentleman replied, "A lady spotted it and asked if it was ours. She put in on top of the gatepost."

"Phew!!", said Dad, "that's a relief."

So Dad had another little chat with them and also mentioned our website.

The book safely tucked in his pocket, we now retraced our way along the path. After a while Allen called out, "there's our old friend Arnside Tower."

Soon now we came to the road between Arnside and Silverdale. Shaun said, "cross over and along the access to Arnside Tower Farm."

Hearing a sound, Little Eric said, "I think we have been transported to Switzerland. That's a cow bell." Then pointing right he said, "it's round that cows neck."

"Well I never", said Tetley. "In all the years walking, I have never seen a cow wearing one of those."

Southey said, "it's right here on the path avoiding the farmyard."

"That must be the cows', calf", pointed Allen.

Then as Dad strolled on, in the fenced area left, two young pigs followed us.

Now by the wall on the right the path climbed past Arnside Tower.

Once again Grizzly regaled us with his knowledge, reminding us what he had told us the last time we were here with Uncle Eric, in early August. "So pals, Arnside Tower was built in the second half of the 15th century and is an almost unique example of Cumbrian pele tower. They were built throughout the border regions of northern England and southern Scotland because of the threat posed by Border Reivers. Constructed of limestone rubble, the tower was originally five storeys high, measuring 50 feet by 34 feet. The tower was constructed with an adjacent wing of equal height built onto the side in a style common in Scotland, but rare in English tower houses. It suffered a serious fire in 1602 but after repairs remained in use; the historian Anthony Emery states that the tower was in use until the end of the 17th century, but the historian Roy Palmer states that William Coward and his sister Agnes Wheeler lived there at the end of the 18th century. One of the walls collapsed around 1900. As of 2014, English Heritage considered the condition of the castle to be very bad and urgent works are required. It is Grade II* listed building."

"Thanks pal", said Little Eric. "Your knowledge adds interest to our adventures."

Reaching a gate, Shaun said, "last time with Uncle Eric we took the path that climbs over Middlebarrow. Today we want the one right along the edge."

This led out to Holgates Caravan Park and across the grass and along the tarmac road.

"I like that gazebo with the model yacht on top.", called out Tetley.

Signposts guided us on to pass the buildings and out onto the main road between Arnside and Silverdale.

Mostly our walks are within one county, but today was an exception. Having started in Lancashire, at some point along the coastal path we crossed into Cumbria. Southey pointed, "we are at the boundary again just here. Leaving Cumbria and returning to Lancashire."

So left to at a sharp corner, Shaun called out, "it's right towards the Cove."

At the shore, Southey said, "we have effectively done a full circle. We could return along the shore, but the author suggests taking the path on the cliff top."

With a laugh, Allen said, "I've lost count of the number of times we have walked this route."

After a gate the route opened out into pastures, the dominant feature to the left, across the walled pastures, being the tower of Silverdale church.

Ahead was a narrow gate in the cross wall. "Oh heck!", exclaimed Southey. "The cows are blocking the way again!"

"Huh", went on Tetley. "We seem fated with this situation."

Like last time, they did not move, so Dad had no option but to push the one standing at the gate out of the way. It grudgingly moved just a few steps.

Dad commented to a lady coming the other way with her little dog, about this being the second time in as many walks.

She picked her dog up, saying, "they seem to be friendly." Indeed, as she got through without incident.

The waymarked path led to an old wooden gate in the left corner and down steps to the road to go ahead and in a few steps turn right onto Shore Road, passing the Silverdale Hotel.

This place is of great significance to us all in the Hug. 40 years ago Dad moved to Morecambe and exploring the area came here. He saw a teddy bear that was a promotion for Boddingtons Brewery. He wanted to buy the bear, but having just bought a house and car there was no spare cash whatsoever, so Dad had to save up the princely sum of £9. Some while later, this done, he went back to buy the bear, only to find he had been sold. Dad was so disappointed, but happily they gave him a leaflet and he was able get one by mail order. This was Gladly, seen here on the left, with his dear brother Fred, who was Uncle Brian's special bear. They are joint Chief Hug Bears.

Grizzly said, "this place was Dad's 'Damascus' moment. The start of his teddy collecting, from which the Hug has grown and grown to currently around 570!"

Tetley added, "without this we would never have been adopted and our walking group would never have been formed. There would have been none of the wonderful adventures, nor would this website have come into being."

With these thoughts in mind, we continued along the road to shortly reach the car.

"What a super walk", cheered Southey. "Thank you Dad, as always for taking us."

"You're welcome lads. I can not imagine being without your company."

"Are you going for refreshments?", asked Tetley.

"Yes lad I'm going to see Martin and Sarah at the River Bela Cafe in Milnthorpe."

We drove through Silverdale, passing the church. "Look", called out Little Eric. "There's a wall postbox dating from the reign of Queen Victoria. Can you stop to get a picture?"

He managed to find a pull-in about 50 yards further on, and ran back with the camera.

A couple were looking at it too, and seeing Dad taking the picture the gentleman said, "we have one in our village too."

The lady said, "I did not realise there were postbox aficionados."

Quite what they would have said if Dad had told them it was our pal Little Eric who was the aficionado, we have no idea.

The box was embedded in the wall surrounding the church, so Dad took a picture. He was unable to find a position to get all the tower in, but that appeared in an earlier picture.

Grizzly said, "the present church was built in 1884–86 in the Gothic Revival style. It is constructed in local grey limestone with dressings in buff sandstone, and has a red tile roof. The plan consists of a four-bay nave with a clerestory, north and south aisles, a north porch, north and south transepts, a chancel at a lower level, and a west tower. The tower is in three stages, and has a moulded west doorway and angle buttresses. In the middle stage is a three-light window containing reticulated tracery, and in the top stage are two two-light bell openings on each side. At the summit is an embattled parapet with corner gargoyles.  The church has Grade II* listed status."

So now it was on to the River Bela Cafe. We sat in the car this time to enjoy our picnic. Lovely sandwiches, cake and tea.

Meanwhile Dad had a mozzarella and tomato pannini with fries then a delicious slice of chocolate cake all washed down with a pot of tea. On arrival the cafe was very busy, but then everyone went leaving just Dad. However more customers arrived. We are all pleased that the business is doing well. Dad had a nice chat with Martin and Sarah too.

So then home, after a grand day out!


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