It was a good decision to postpone this visit for 24 hours. We were rewarded with a superb 'blue sky' day.
After another leisurely start we enjoyed coffee and cake at Leighton Moss bird reserve visitor centre, leaving it at around 11 am for a clockwise 19 km stroll around the coast to Silverdale, over Arnside Knott, down to Arnside and a bit more coast, then cross country past sunset at Hawes Water to a pot of tea at the visitor centre before it closed at 4.30.
There were many people about and the paths are well used by locals and visitors alike. Thankfully not as muddy as those around Alderley Edge, and the planning regulations seem to be more sensible here.
The top picture shows me approaching the old Smelt Mill Chimney at Jenny Brown’s Point, after which we meandered through Jack Scout, where the sun shone on these seed heads from a deep blue sky.
Both Wolf House Gallery and the Silverdale Hotel were closed. Perhaps they hadn’t realised that this Monday was a Bank Holiday on which they could have made good profits had they been open.
We’d anticipated our usual haunts being closed, so, with the tide out, we wandered along the slippery shore line to the cove.
There’s a bench, just out of shot to the right in the above picture, which makes an excellent luncheon venue.
Here’s the view over Morecambe Bay from the bench. You can see the Power Stations at Heysham on the horizon.
The robins hereabouts are not afraid of humans.
Nor are the mice. This is one of a pair who were busily constructing a nest in a wall. They ignored our attention, but if we had picked one up I expect a sharp nip would have been our reward.
Sue paused on the ascent of Arnside Knott to attempt some artistry with the frosted leaf litter.
Many pictures were taken from near the 159 metre summit of Arnside Knott. The views across the Kent Estuary to the Lake District were superb, with the higher summits such as Helvellyn and Skiddaw tinged with snow.
Our friends in Arnside – Conrad, and Ian and Rona, were all away, so sadly we passed Conrad’s local Spar shop and Ian and Rona’s house without the pleasure of seeing them. Though a stop of any consequence would have seen us finishing in the dark. The sun set as we passed Hawes Water, still with half an hour to go.
The bird watchers were still present in abundance as we approached the visitor centre well after dusk. We weren’t on a bird spotting mission today, but we did notice a Great Egret near Hazelslack.
Here’s our route – 19.5 km with about 400 metres ascent, taking a little less than five and a half hours.
I’m posting this to avoid getting too far behind. A slideshow will follow, and notes of birds and wild flowers observed this year. (Good intentions, anyway!)