9 go mad in the North – Silverdale Rambles, Birkrigg Common and Roa Island   2 comments

Our last 3 days and very nice mix of local walks and a day out on the SW Lakes Peninsulas

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

Along with the Northern Funsters friend and kids we took an en-masse ramble around the local sights. The air was clear and still cold but the showers of the morning had gone. It was really rather splendid.  All these little spots have names but I can’t remember most of them (Mark I’m sure will take pleasure in correcting me and putting me right!)

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

The kids had great fun exploring a very well hidden rift cave. Alas it was too narrow for middle-aged wobblies like me

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

We went down to Woodwell, a very pleasant warm and sunny spot with a natural spring and pond. We spent a very happy hour sitting around and chatting, watching the myriad of insect life, fish and tadpoles that inhabit the surroundings.  Talk moved on to newts and how they are becoming increasingly rare in the UK. Mark has read that they do inhabit the pond but in all his many visits he’s never seen one. Luckily several pairs of eyes are better than one and we soon saw one, the two, then three, several in fact. It was a real highlight. I didn’t take any pictures for some reason but I think Mark did so you’ll have to wait for his blog reports. I haven’t seen newts since we bought some for our garden pond when I was a kid. We watched the swim into pond weed and never saw them again!

On the way home we went via The Lots. The views across the bay were simply magnificent as were the wild flowers and especially the orchids. The stiff breeze made it pretty difficult to get a decent macro shot alas but the wider views more than made up for that

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

Not hard to see why Mark and his family love it here so much when you have these views on your doorstep

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

Our last full day saw us take another trip to the beaches and commons around Roa and Piel Island. After stocking up on food we headed to Birkrigg Common for a picnic. Never heard of this place but it’s  a really fine area of open common land with expansive views across the bay. It’s perfect for al-fresco eating on a warm May weekend. Except this was a cold and very windy May weekend. Some judicious arrangements of cars and tarp created shelter and we did what we always do and ate far, far too much food, huge hunks of bread, cheese, pate, pies and the like. It was grand. I love a good picnic and this was a fine spot for future reference.

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

We had planned to take another trip to Piel Island but such was the length of time needed to eat all the food we couldn’t fit it in and went straight to Roa Island for some more tidepooling. Possibly due to the cold weather and water and the fact that it wasn’t an exceptionally low tide but it wasn’t quite as great as last year. However “not as great as last year” is not much of problem as this place is just crammed with stuff anyway. We saw the usual huge numbers of crabs, small fish, anemones, sponges, shellfish and the like and spent a very happy couple of hours poking about, turning over stones and the like

The highlight was this pipe fish that TJF spotted just swimming about in a shallow pool. A magnificent specimen. Never seen one in the UK and it was a special find.

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

Again for some reason I only took a few photos. Most likely that I was too absorbed in poking about. Like most other childhood activities I still love these sorts of things as an adult. I was distracted as I easily am, much like my errant children. Like father like son/daughter I suppose. The views across to Piel Island were still fine although not as sunny as promised.

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

The day was finished off in style with more al-fresco eating, a very fine Chinese takeaway in Ulverston, eaten in the park where the kids enjoyed a seriously bouncy zip-wire. Actually the day wasn’t quite finished. When we got home there were two small and I guess young deer in the garden nibbling on the shrubs. We spent several minutes watching them treat the garden like home, entranced.

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

A real treat, the only wild animal I’ve ever seen in my garden is a rat!

It wouldn’t be a week in  Silverdale without a trip to the Pepper Pot through Eaves Wood. To draw our week to a conclusion we took a last stroll up there before we headed home. The perfect family walk with trees to climb, rocks to scramble on and superb views.

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

silverdale, woodwell, caves, the lots, roa island piel island, peel island, birkrigg common, pepper pot, eaves wood

A fitting finale. Another amazing, fun, entertaining and hospitable trip so a huge thanks to our hosts for a wonderful time. I just wish I’d taken a few more photos 🙂

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2 responses to “9 go mad in the North – Silverdale Rambles, Birkrigg Common and Roa Island

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  1. Yes, there are lots of names – some of them actual and some private ones of our own devising. I’ll make sure I include them all in my post whenever that happens.
    About the newts – I have seen them there before. When I first moved to Silverdale (which is over 20 years ago now – how scary a thought that is!) I saw them several times and even became a little complacent about it. I don’t think that I’ve seen them since – so it was a real treat to see them this time. My friend and colleague, the Proper Birder, says that they like warm weather, so the fact that that afternoon was probably the only warm and sunny one we had was significant – a bit of luck.
    The deer, roe deer, are fully grown. You may be right about them being young though – the buck’s antlers don’t have many points – I’m not sure whether that works to age a roe deer or not.
    What will we do next May – I for one will be at a loss!

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    beatingthebounds
    • I had no idea (there is a joke in there somewhere) that roe deer were that small. It will be an empty May next year without the now regular get together. I may not put on quite so much weight though 🙂

      Like

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