The Annual Silverdale Gathering – Year 2   6 comments

Last year my mate Mark and his family, bless them, invited all of us, kids and all to his place for an autumn weekend. The weather was appalling, all low cloud and rain but we had a great time anyway. They were kind (or mad) enough to make the same offer again this year so I diligently asked if they could arrange for some better weather this time. Despite a spell of crappy weather that preceded (and followed) the agreed weekend they pulled out all the stops and the weather was glorious, warm and wonderfully sunny.

Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay

Their eldest A is now well into her maps and walking and was the nominated hike leader. The plan was a local classic, a wander around the coast to Arnside, returning to Silverdale via Arnside Knott.

7.8 miles, 1,000 feet of ascent

A had very thoughtfully included 4 play areas en-route to keep the younger ones entertained and the first of these was a few hundred yards from the house.


Small boys (and girls) in the park….

It was a stunning morning. The play area had a zip wire and we spent a good 30 minutes dragging and throwing the kids around at high speed and seeing how many could hang on at one time.

I think the kids would have stayed all day but the adults had seen enough. We pressed on through Holgates caravan site (and another play area!) and set out across the fields towards Far Arnside.

Silverdale, Far Arnside

Strolling towards Far Arnside

Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay

The meadows here are some of the finest I know and the views across Morecambe Bay were breathtaking. We hit the coast at a wide pebbly beach of white limestone that was dazzling in the autumn sunlight.

Silverdale, Far Arnside

Beach near Far Arnside

The kids were soon off playing in the rockpools and mud, searching for life. Me and Mark were looking at the fossils on the recently exposed rocks some of which were pretty decent in size.



It was far too nice a spot in the warm sun to ignore so despite the fact we’d only walked a mile or so it was time for a lunch stop and a cuppa, some us engaged in the usual banter, others taking the time to catch 40 winks.

Silverdale, Far Arnside

More Fossils

We watched as a large group of cross-bay walkers made the dangerous (but well-guided) walk across the Kent estuary. You can read about Mark’s experience on this walk here

The walk around the headland past the various coves towards Arnside is splendid and the views across the Kent to the low wooded hills of the south Lakes were marvellous.

Arnside, Kent Estuary

Coastal walk to Arnside

As the tide was out we dropped onto the sands and continued on the estuary. The flat expanse away from the cliffs gives a totally different perspective and the kids had limitless space to run around.

Arnside, Kent Estuary

On the Kent Estuary Sands

Arnside, Kent Estuary


As we approached Arnside the sand turned to mud and we got a little taste of the cross-bay hazards as kids and adults alike, slipped and sank into the oozing silt. Funny and frustrating in equal measure and with little surprise that B and S managed to get muddier than everyone else put together.

Arnside, Kent Estuary

“We should be over there”

We paused in Arnside for a well-earned ice-cream and watched the Kent Bore as it surged under the railway bridge.

Arnside, Kent Estuary

Arnside Railway Bridge

D was pressing us to continue, a little frustrated at the general slow pace of the walk and keen to get back to house for some “Golden Time” whatever the hell that was. It was getting late so we started the climb through the town towards Arnside Knott (via the third play-area of the day). We reached the top to a truly superb view across the Kent to the Lake District Mountains and even as far as Snowdonia.

Arnside Knott

Lake District from Arnside Knott

The Knott is another to add to my list of “small hills with disproportionately good views” or “hills with a high reward to effort ratio”. The golden autumn colours contrasting against the deep blue sky were stunning. The adults played “name that peak” while the kids played in the trees.

Arnside Knott

Proper fun

Arnside Knott, Kent Estuary

Across the Kent Estuary from Arnside Knott

Arnside Knott, Kent Estuary

Rogues Gallery

The sun was starting to set so we continued home via Arnside Tower and the final play-area of the day at Holgates.

Arnside Knott, Kent Estuary, Morecambe Bay

Setting sun over Morecambe Bay

Arnside Knott, Arnside Tower

Arnside Tower

On a whim Mark asked if a few stragglers wanted to walk back via the Pepper Pot, a local obelisk and view point. An inspired decision as the view across the bay as the sun set was truly magnificent.

Morecambe Bay

Sunset over Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay

Sunset over EWO

Silverdale, Morecambe Bay

The Pepperpot

A fine finish to an awesome day with just one final piece of the jigsaw left. A stonking curry from the local takeaway, including the hottest Dhansak I’ve ever eaten. Life doesn’t get much better than this. You can read Marks version of events here

The next day started promisingly but it was colder and windier. We took a short stroll around the village starting at the cove. The kids played on the rocks and explored a somewhat dank and smelly cave.

Silverdale, The Cove

Cave at The Cove

Silverdale, Kent Estuary, The Cove

Across the Kent Estuary

We wandered across the local meadows and lanes and paths around the village but it was clear the weather was on the turn as the skies turned grey.

Silverdale, The Lots

The Lots

Silverdale, Woodwell

The cliff path at Woodwell

We took a look in the library window at the details of the hoard of treasure found by a local man. You can read some of the details in Mark’s post here.

After an enormous buffet lunch back at the house we took the kids out for a game of cricket in the park. It was a close and intense affair between the adults and the kids. Fortunes ebbed and flowed but it came down to the last ball. The scores were tied and all the Hard-man had to do was run a single. He buckled under the pressure and holed out to one of the kids. Still honours even and pride intact but he will forever rue the day he bottled it 🙂

A truly magnificent weekend to lighten up the onset of autumn and winter. Both kids and adults had a great time and a massive thanks to Mark and his family for hospitality and generosity


6 responses to “The Annual Silverdale Gathering – Year 2

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  1. Had a sneak preview of this video a while back (you did take your time to post!) and was amazed that you found such apposite music. Quite nice too in a very mellow way.
    Seems to me you have a better set of photos here than I took – shall have to lift my game! Some of your captions made me titter too. ‘More old fossils’ indeed.
    S and B always get muddier than everybody else put together. Took them orienteering in the dark last night for Halloween, but didn’t manage to lose them.
    Great weekend. Sure we’ll do it again next year.
    The route of our ascent up Arnside Knott differed ever so slightly from the one shown on your map, but I don’t suppose that matters much.


  2. I found the track with search for “Golden Time” – it was the only track that came up, probably wouldn’t be a type of music I’d buy a whole album of but it did seem to fit quite well and it grew on me. Did you tell TBH about the mistaken identity 🙂

    I just get good photos because I take so many – more luck than judgement. I guessed the route on the map and did it in rather a hurry, didn’t realise it was that far – not bad especially for the smaller kids.

    Great weekend and that Saturday was one of the days of the year. Sometimes everything just drops into place for a memorable day. Proves that all you need is some good company and to see the kids all having a great time on a simple walk to make it a day to remember

    And curry as well!


    • It was a great day.
      I didn’t see the distance under the map. No wonder some of the kids were flagging! A has done that walk regularly for quite some time and I’ve always told her that it was ‘ooh, about 5 miles’. Should I confess?


      • I was surprised as well – I’d have guessed 5 miles as well. Definitely tell the kids, they’ll be proud as punch and you can then pitch 5 mile walks as way less than they’ve done before 🙂


  3. I enjoyed very much “being there” thru Your great photos. You are lucky having fossils. In Finland we do not have them due to Ice Age. What we have yet, are

    Giant’s potholes

    Rock paintings

    I would love to see some day fossils.

    Thank You for this great post.


    • Thanks Matti. The fossils were covered by a layer of soil until recently when a storm washed it away and exposed the rocks and it’s treasures and history underneath. I didn’t scale the photo but I guess that fossil was about 15cm long and they were everywhere. It was an amazing a fun day with all the families together, glad you enjoyed the tale and the photos


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