Friday, 13 September 2013


Arnside → Carnforth

distant-fells.png Distance: 8.95 miles
Ascent: 149 metres
Duration: 3 hours 35 minutes

The unloved coast paths
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Today we crossed from Cumbria into Lancashire; we completed the Cumbria Coastal Way and picked up the Lancashire Coastal Way. Both routes were devised and described by Ian and Krysia Brodie. Both routes suffer from a distinct lack of love.

park-point.pngThese routes should be gems, but there's a sense that the local authorities haven't taken them to heart. It's one thing devising a long-distance route, but it needs constant support if it is to continue to thrive. Currently the signage is patchy at best, and downright misleading in places. For example, today we passed a notice that told us the path ahead was diverted. It was - back in December 1999 - but no-one had thought to remove the notice once the diversion was cleared. In other places the path has been narrow and overgrown.


new-barns.pngEnough moaning! Today's walk has been delightful, particularly the stretch from Arnside to Silverdale which begins with some beach walking before rising to follow the tops of low cliffs with stunning views across the expanse of Morecambe Bay. Yesterday's mist lifted so the full panorama of the Lakeland Fells provided a stunning backdrop.

county-border.pngThe county boundary is near Silverdale, on the first of the day's sections of road walking.

misleading-sign.pngAfter a short spell back on the beach we followed the road again and it was at the junction of Hollins Lane and Lindeth Road that we came across the aforementioned diversion sign. It seemed to refer to the path beyond the road end near Jenny Brown's Point. We're glad we ignored it: this is a glorious spot, with an old chimney standing firm against the tide on the shoreline.

chimney.pngWe were soon at Crag Foot, the start of our final leg of road walking to Carnforth. Here we came across an old man who walked with a gnarly stick. "I've been walking Warton Crag for fifty years," he told us, "but found two new paths up there today." May he ever retain this delight in exploration!

Our walk finished after we crossed the River Keer just west of the town: the second of the three west coast gaps now complete. Only Somerset to go now.


We took the train back to Arnside, and have two further activities to recommend. First, Carnforth railway station. It was here that the 1945 romance Brief Encounter was filmed, and many of the buildings have been converted into a wonderful set of museums; the tea room occupies some of the original station rooms and is decked out with plenty of film memorabilia. We could have spent hours here, especially since the volunteers running the visitor centre were so keen to chat.

Secondly, this evening as we dropped down to the river at Arnside we saw its tidal bore! Admittedly today's tide didn't make for a particularly high wave, but to see even a few centimetres of water racing upstream was quite a sight.

Posted by pab at 18:01 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!