Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Wednesday 1 January 2014 – Around Silverdale

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Silverdale is a favourite place, and suitable for days that promise to be wet, like this one. We much prefer to halt in the Silverdale/Arnside area on days when the higher Lake District hills may be less than pleasant.

After an easy journey from our overnight accommodation in Adlington (thanks, Robert, Lyn and Louise, for seeing the New Year in with us), we demolished some coffee in the company of some cyclists and set off at 10.50 from Leighton Moss RSPB Visitor's Centre.

Rain didn't dampen our enthusiasm as we wandered through the reed beds pictured above. Visitors to the public hide were enjoying the sight of otters frolicking in the distance amidst the many varieties of duck.

We passed a muddy area near Grisedale Farm, where sediment is being removed from the pools and ditches of the reserve. The organically rich sediment will be dried then used as compost/fertiliser to be ploughed into the fields, and the pools and ditches will attract more wildlife than when they were clogged with sediment.

Our route nudged the private grounds of Leighton Hall before taking a footpath up the hill towards Yealand Conyers.

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It really was quite wet. These sheep near Yealand Conyers looked pretty miserable.

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It's limestone country. There are some 36 lime kilns, in various states of repair, in the Silverdale/Arnside area.  Perhaps I should organise a ‘Kilns of Silverdale’ walk to complement the ‘Wells of Silverdale’ excursion. We now came across the Peter Lane Lime Kiln, before heading directly west on a good path to Crag Foot, and sloshing across soggy ground on the Lancashire Coastal footpath to Jenny Brown's Point, and another kiln.

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It wasn’t the brightest of days, and given the continuing rain and our lack of provisions, the Wolfhouse Gallery proved an ideal spot for lunch.

From here, a pleasant woodland path leads to Wood Well, which used to be Silverdale's principal source of water, and on through leafy ginnels (even in winter) through the back streets of Silverdale village.

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Beyond Silverdale, a couple of fields saw us at the Cove, enjoying views across the Kent Channel to Grange-over-Sands.

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There's a small cave to explore, but we headed away from the beach, past some alpaca, across the caravan park to Far Arnside, and on up the gentle slopes of Arnside Knott.

The rain had stopped. The sun came out. We enjoyed our first summit of the year, albeit at only 159 metres above sea level..

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Then we descended by a direct and vaguely steep path towards Arnside Tower, which is just beyond a farm where the tenant certainly knows how to look after his vehicles.

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The farmyard is in a similar condition, so it’s a muddier walker that emerges to the delights of the crumbling remains of Arnside Tower, a five storey Pele tower built in the 15th century and used as a house until the 17th century.

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The light was fading as we headed past Middlebarrow Quarry on the way to Hawes Water and then the RSPB Visitor's Centre, but at least we’d enjoyed a couple of hours’ respite from the rain and an excellent dose of fresh air to start the year.

Here’s our route: 21 km, 400 metres ascent, in about 5.5 hours.

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There’s a fuller slideshow, with 34 images, here.

7 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

Sorry I couldn't join you. For several years now I have met with a group of old climbing friends for New Year and New Year's Day. We normally go for a walk on NYD but they all voted to stay indoors in view of the weather. Looks like you had a decent day in spite of the rain.

Al said...

He parks the Hilux there cos its got a flat Battery!! Its easy to start on that hill.
Cheers
Alistair

Phreerunner said...

Yes Conrad, it was a shame you were otherwise engaged, I trust you had a good time playing Scrabble or doing jigsaws?!

Thanks for that info, Alistair. The Hilux tyres look great!

Chrissy Brand said...

I so like your adventures and posts. the Lancs coastal path is new to me and I shall explore some day...

Phreerunner said...

Thanks Chrissy. Maybe our paths will cross some day; in fact they probably have somewhere on a local towpath. I don't know much about the Lancashire Coastal Path but the Silverdale/Arnside area is rich with interest and is often an excellent alternative to the Lakes.

Dot said...

I remember walking a lovely coastal walk with you and family in Silverdale many years ago. Does the Wolf Gallery still have that enormous log fire?

Phreerunner said...

The Wolf House Gallery used to have a roaring fire and it's where we bought our watercolours by Jim Ridout, but the owners retired and the new owners have made many changes. The room where woollens were sold is now the main café/gallery area; it's much more child friendly, and there's a resident artist. The log fire is long gone.
The goods for sale there are no longer to our taste, but it's still a very friendly place that does excellent snacks and lunches.