The Second Half and into Extra Time in Silverdale and Beyond   7 comments

So on we traveled through the length of Wales and beyond to Silverdale and a visit to “Our Friends in the North”. They’ve been down to see us the past couple of years so this time it was our turn to mess up their house, eat all their food and generally make a nuisance of ourselves 🙂

As you can see from the slideshow below we had a fine old time

But you want to hear, I know you do. Ready, let’s begin

As is traditional on these house swaps the first day was grey wet and miserable. Fortunately the kids had a plan. Laser Quest. Oh deep joy, running about a warehouse in the dark with a bunch of noisy kids. At my age. Actually it was great fun and most of the kids were friendly and eager to join in the team games with grumpy strangers like me. The day was almost a 100% success but DB Junior managed to split his lip open and spent the next day in hospital having it repaired. He took it all in his stride and was very brave, bless him. He’s not one of the Dangerous Brothers for nothing

The next day we just took the rest of the kids out for a local walk through the woods and up Arnside Knott. A pretty gloomy day but we made the most of it and the kids enjoyed the usual tree climbing antics and poor DB Jr didn’t miss out anything too exciting while he was in hospital

silverdale, arnside knott, arnside tower

silverdale, arnside knott, arnside tower

silverdale, arnside knott, arnside tower

It was then time for ED to show us the sights. He’d been promising to take us to the SW coast of Cumbria near Barrow and it didn’t disappoint. We stopped off for lunch at Aldingham, deserted and peaceful we spent a very nice couple of hours chilling, digging holes, making temples out of pebbles and an absolutely pathetic attempt to light a fire using dried seaweed and a flint-stone (Fred or Wilma, who knows). Where is Bear Gryllls when you need him

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

On to one of my longed for visits. Piel Island and what a place. The childish delight of a small ferry boat ride to a perfect little grassy island with a ruined castle.

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

The high tide mark was just a long line of crab shells, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Oyster Catchers paddled and pecked.

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

The views across the sands to Walney Island and over Barrow to the Black Combe where I’d walked a few weeks before were sublime even on a pretty grey day

The castle is substantial and extensive and clearly you were once able to climb to the top of the keep. Health and Safety seem to have put a stop to that – villains of the piece. Most of the grassy areas outside the castle seem to open for camping. It would be a fine place for a couple of days. Just a shame there’s no pub on such a small island. But, no, there is a pub as well. Be rude not to pay it a visit so a pint of shandy and a lemonade for the kids was very much in order.

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

We only had a couple of hours and the island deserves much more, a return visit needs to be made with a picnic to really explore the island over a full day. I just loved the unusual views of estuary, boats, sand-banks and unusual structures. It’s rare in these small British Isles to find somewhere unique and that was Piel Island

Back to mainland for a beach BBQ at Aldingham to finish the day. But no, one more final treat in store. ED has often told me of the tidepooling at Roa Island (where you catch the Piel Island ferry) and that due to the currents or nutrients or some such the pools under the Lifeboat station are teeming with life. We had to wait till nearly 8pm for the tide to go out but it was magnificent. I’ve never seen so much stuff, hundreds of crabs, anemones, fish, worms crowding every pool. Even the clouds parted and we had some late golden sunshine.

aldingham, roa island, piel island, barrow in furness

I’m in my element in such places and the kids had a ball. It was a shame it was so late and starting to get dark when we had to tear ourselves away and head home. I could have stayed for hours. What a top day

Saturday brought on a Yorkshire Dales walk. ED has been telling me about his renewed enthusiasm for the Limestone scenery and I was keen to revisit. It was a warm and sunny day in Silverdale but as we headed west it clouded up and by the time we arrived in Stainforth it was gloomy with drizzle in the air. We lunched in the rather bland picnic area by the car park and set off for a walk to take in Catrigg Force and the Ribble

Catrigg Force was great in a dark and gloomy sort of way, tucked in as it is in a wooded ravine. Very hard to do it justice with photos.

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

Onward and upward onto the fields and stone walled pastures. The sun made a fleeting appearance and the fields, full of wildflowers were enchanting

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

As we approached the bridge over the Ribble the sun burst forth from a rapidly clearing blue sky and everything was bathed in sunlight as a dramatic contrast to the earlier grey.

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

We stopped and lazed on the grass (others rolled about in it) and all was well with the world.

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

However we had plans for a BBQ in the sun so we pressed on past the excellent Stainforth Force (try saying that after a few beers) where a group of teenagers were swinging from the trees and plunging into the brown water. It had turned into  stunning afternoon to accompany a very fine walk indeed

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

stainforth, stainforth force, catrigg force, river ribble, upper winskill, lower winskill

 

4.5 Miles

4.5 Miles

Our last day and we headed to Sizergh Castle for some easy strolling around the gardens. It’s a beautiful spot and there were loads of diversions for the kids including a sort of adventure course in the woods. I satisfied myself with playing photos of the kids, flowers and wildlife in the large pond that sits in front of the castle.

sizergh castle

sizergh castle

sizergh castle

sizergh castle

And that was that. We returned for an outrageously oversized lunch in the garden (joined by a very striking dragonfly) and then set off for home.

silverdale

A huge thanks to ED, TBF and the family for making us so welcome and relaxed. It was a really great few days and here’s hoping we didn’t outstay our welcome and that we get an invite for next year – lots more to see and do! 🙂

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7 responses to “The Second Half and into Extra Time in Silverdale and Beyond

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  1. It was great to see you all. A storming few days. I was only sorry that the fiasco on the Wednesday put a bit of a damper on the Thursday too, although the weather was doing a pretty good job in that regard all by itself.
    Storming photos, even if too many of them feature me and my ‘outrageously oversized’ gut. Oh heck – you don’t think there’s a connection do you?

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    beatingthebounds
    • I think you have something there Holmes. I enjoyed both the Wednesday and the Thursday, it was just a shame for poor Sam (and you!) to have to lose a day of holiday. Our holidays are always a bit mental with travelling. These half term weeks have been great just for relaxing at a more easy going pace.

      It was a cracking week and you were all the perfect hosts, memorable as always 🙂

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  2. That Piel Island looks fun – are you allowed to camp there?

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  3. Pingback: Catrigg Force and Stainforth Force | Beating The Bounds

  4. Great photos of the waterfalls in difficult conditions, many of them are tucked away in dark ravines like those. It reminds me that we have never visited Catrigg Force and Stainforth Force despite many backpacks in those parts, must rectify that some time.

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    • Catrigg is a little gem, tucked away and likely doesn’t see that many visitors. Stainforth was stunning in the afternoon sun. Like you I’d never visited either. It reminds me I should carry my Tripod whenever I’m walking so I can get some better shots in darker places

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