Monday, 18 January 2016

A Winter Walk: A Coastal Circular Route from Arnside. . .

With all the constant rain the UK has experienced over the last two months, it's been ages since we've out on a good, long walk.  And I love winter walking in the UK - the light is just amazing.  The Liverpud had to recce an upcoming walk near Arnside on Saturday and I was happy to come along.

Arnside is located just south of the Lake District on an estuary leading out to Morecombe Bay. We parked on the northern bit of the town looking north towards the Lake District.  While it was a little nippy out, the air was perfectly still with no wind, as you can see by the unrippled water.

A quick look to the right and you can see the Howgills and Tebay Fells all covered in snow.

But we headed in the other direction, around the headland.  There was a lovely frost on the grassy dunes that bordered the beach.

And frost on the pebbles too.  Across the estuary you can see Grange-on-Sands.  I've previously done some walks from there, so it's nice to be on the other side of the water.

Morecombe Bay is notorious for its dangerous quicksand so you definitely can't venture out too far without a guide.  And the sand was distinctly wobbly under the feet, even near the shore.  We didn't sink down much further than an inch or so, but I preferred to stick to the icy bits - I love the crunchy sound of breaking ice under the feet.

Turning the corner of the headland, we emerged into the pale daylight and a lovely landscape of sand, ice and tufty, frosty grasses.

Then we started climbing up the hillside.  You can see how far the tide goes out on the bay, but again, the peacefulness of it all can be quite deceptive. The tide can come in very, very  quickly.

Our walk was half coastal and half in the surrounding woods which had their own peaceful beauty.

With great views of the bay through the trees.

We then headed inland where we came across this gorgeous herd of cattle.  I don't know what breed they are but they looked very woolly.

I love the hardiness and resilience of the wind-swept trees that line the bay.  We were very near Silverdale at this point and thoughout the walk, we kept venturing back and forth between two counties - Cumbria and Lancashire.

En route to our highpoint of the day - Arnside Knott - we passed the ruins of Arnside Tower, built in the 15th century. There were lots of signs forbidding entry but it was still fascinating to walk around it.

We couldn't linger however as it was starting to snow and we still had a hill to climb.  Unfortunately when we got to the viewing point at the top, the flakes were quite large and coming down fast.  It's a pity because the viewpoint has a couple of maps pointing out all the different peaks in the Lake District that you can normally see from here.  Fingers crossed the weather is clearer when we do this walk again with our rambling group.

The winter woods do look lovely though.

And so back to the car.

The UK being what it is -  i..e not very prepared when there's snow - we decided not to linger and treat ourselves to a pub dinner, but to head home in case the roads got a little slippery.  The snow fortunately was not sticking and we made it home safely.  But oh, it did feel SO good to get out into the countryside again.

1 comment:

Sallyann said...

Looks gorgeous. Your photography is stunning. Sat with the knitting crew taking about you (in the best possible way) and we wanted to show our friend your blog. Just inspiring as always Maylin