Thursday, 12 September 2013


Grange-over-Sands → Arnside

pab-floodbank.png Distance: 17.27 miles
Ascent: 115 metres
Duration: 5 hours 55 minutes

The River Kent
« Kents Bank | Carnforth »

Remember the "great walks" I was looking forward to just a few weeks ago? Grange to Arnside was due to be one of them, but in the end we couldn't take the route we'd hoped to.

grange-sign.pngThe two villages sit on opposing banks of Morecambe Bay, and throughout the summer experienced local guides navigate tourists along the rights of way that cross the notorious quicksands of the bay. For as long as I've been planning the coast walk I've wanted to include a Bay Walk on the route, but all guided walks run from south to north, i.e. in the wrong direction. Then, at the end of August, I caught wind that this coming Sunday one guide was to "put on an event not attempted for over 30 years a walk to Grange over Sands and back again", half of which would count towards my coast walk. We were on! I booked time off work, contacted the guide and watched the weather forecast nervously. Last week though, the guide's plans changed along with the route, so we resigned ourselves to the alternative: a hike up and down the estuary of the River Kent.

broken-ccw-sign.pngThe route we took is the one described by Ian and Krysia Brodie in their book about the Cumbria Coastal Way. Describing the estuary and its scenery as "magnificent" and "superb", they enthuse that such elements "more than compensate for the bits of road walking".

I'd disagree, especially on a dreich, mizzley day like today.

berries.pngWe were fortunate not to find ourselves soaked to the skin by the end of walk, but that seems to have become a theme of this week: the rain started just as we finished.

cow-calf.pngThe road walking was better than could be expected - mainly down country lanes, with plenty of berries and fruit to be foraged in the hedgerows. At a couple of farms, sparkling clean, newborn calves looked curiously at this world they had been born into. The three or four miles off the road were on sheep-grazed flood embankments that should've been perfect viewpoints for the fells, were they visible behind the mist.

From Sandside a disused railway provided the final diversion from road walking, depositing us in Arnside beside the present railway station.

arnside-sirens.pngAs we headed back uphill to the Youth Hostel the stillness was broken by the wail of the bore siren, warning those still out on the sands that the tide was coming in - fast.

Posted by pab at 15:28 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!