Archive for the ‘Arnside’ Tag

And Then There Were Three   21 comments

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A couple of weekends back and a big change for the family. TJS having worked hard for his A-Level results was now about to start on his own way in the world. With full car and empty wallet we dropped him off and helped him settle in to his new life at Lancaster University. Four years of hard work and new experiences await him as he starts his Masters Physics course. He’s taken everything completely in his stride and seemed totally at ease with settling into life away from home. In fact they had set up all kinds of events for his welcome day and was eager for us to go! In truth the fact that he seemed so ready to go made the prospect much easier for me and TBF as parents.

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Its a new life for us to get used to as well. Luckily we have our good friends Mark and his family who live nearby and offered to put us up for the weekend. That also helped to soften the blow of the changed circumstances. We managed to fit in a series of fine walks over the weekend around our commitments with Danny and their weekend plans.

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After dropping Danny off in Lancaster we had time for an afternoon walk. As you know from my many previous visits to their home, there is a huge range of wonderful interesting walks that go straight from the door. First one, we followed Mark as he took us a tour that included Arnside Knott.

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After cutting through Eaves Wood we passed by Middlebarrow Quarry. (I’m sure Mark will correct me if I have any of the locations or maps incorrect – there are so many paths around there, not all marked on the map, that its impossible to be 100% sure where I am. Not that it matters, its all wonderful). Its huge but you’d never know it was there unless you went looking for it

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Across a huge open pasture with views to Arnside Knott and Arnside Tower. The railway line was close by and there a few people clearly waiting for a train to pass through. More on that later.

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As we emerged onto the upper slopes of Arnside Knott the colours told us Autumn was on its way and the views, as they always are from up here, were superb

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Here is the stream train crossing the Arnside viaduct over the Kent that the spotters must have been waiting for

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One of the finest of the UK’s small hills in my view. Me and Mark played the game of which one we thought was best between Carn Fadryn and Arnside Knott. I think it was an honourable draw. 🙂

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In the late afternoon sunshine the changing colours of the trees was spellbinding.

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Throw in the sunlight behind the clouds and it was all rather splendid.

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TBF looking cold

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Fungus-mongous!

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A view down over Silverdale village

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And the setting sun.

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A respectable 6 miles for a late afternoon walk

Arnside Knott

Next morning one of the DBs was being confirmed at a local church so me and TBF went for a short stroll down to Jenny Brown’s Point and Jack Scout

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It was a pretty dull morning and very cold and windy. However even though I was without my local guides I managed not get lost!

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A view across Morecambe Bay towards Lancaster

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A view towards Grange over Sands from  Jack Scout

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Another 5 miles to the total

Jack Scout

After a fine buffet lunch we were out again. Back across The Lots (one of my favourite spots around here). The weather had changed to bright sunny intervals and heavy showers

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I don’t mind those sorts of days. Its wothn putting up with the odd soaking when you get clear spells and dark brooding skies like these

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We wandered back through the edge of the village and along The Row (dodging another shower) and then up into Eaves Wood. The light in the trees was sublime

 

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Emerging on to the top near the Pepper Pot the storms were still tracking across the horizon, missing us fortunately.

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A storm completely covering Heysham and its power station – it was clearly visible a minute or two earlier

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And the Pepper Pot itself.

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Another 4 miles in the bank and almost 15 miles over the weekend. Not bad for a few strolls

Eaves Wood

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So a contrasting weekend of emotions. A mix of pride and sadness that TJS has now left home to follow his own path and seems to coping so well, and a great weekend spent with good friends. Huge thanks to Mark, TBH and the family for helping us through the weekend, putting us up and feeding us amazingly well as they always do! 🙂

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A Favourite Revisited   15 comments

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Another day with our NW friends and another cold but much brighter day. It seems that whenever we stay this walk or a derivative of it always seems to be on the agenda and no bad thing. The coastal walk from Silverdale around the coast to Arnside, returning over Arnside Knott is a classic and one that always brings a smile to my face. The variety of scenery and great views is a winner, this time further enlivened by a fine lunch.

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As always on a sunny day the walk through the village and Holgates Caravan Park was lovely, wild spring daffodils in abundance. This short stretch between Holgates and Far Arnside across the fields is superb with views over the bay and up to the Knott

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I’m sure I must have done this walk with the tide in but I don’t remember. My memory of this walk is of strolling across the sands and mud towards Arnside from somewhere near the point below. Whatever, the section along the narrow coast path is very fine

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The view across the Kent Estuary towards Grange

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And back towards Heysham Point and the Fylde

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We could see the high peaks of the Eastern Lake District still with plenty of snow. A fact we were reminded of as we turned the corner into the wind where the temperature dropped markedly

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The full tide made the final couple of miles into Arnside much more interesting. Not an exceptionally high tide according to Mark but as high as I’ve seen it

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The last passage into the village, had us scrambling across paths and diverting inland to drier ground

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All part off the fun of this walk

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Our lunch was at the eclectic Gado Gado restaurant. By that I mean the name is Indonesian but the food takes inspiration from many far eastern origins and it was all marvellous (the sweet and spicy duck was lush as was the less exotic Sticky Toffee Pudding). We stayed a long couple of hours and left with full bellies and a warm glow. Just as well as it had clouded over while we were inside and was now distinctly chilly

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A steep climb up the Knott to take in the views, climb trees (younger members) and complain about how far the climb is on a full stomach

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Even on a grey day it the views are majestic

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Our hosts took us on a path I’m sure I’ve not been on before, a high, narrow and quite exposed route above the southern slopes with great views over the bay and Silverdale village. Makes the Knott seem far higher than its modest 522 feet

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Our route home took us past the Arnside Peel Tower

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No idea how far the walk actually is, my OS route mapper says just over 8 miles but I’m sure its further

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Despite pigging out for lunch by the time we were home it seemed entirely acceptable to spread out a feast of meats, breads, cheeses etc as the round of scoffing began anew. It must have been the fresh winter air! 🙂

 

All Quiet on the Western (Blog) Front   4 comments

I’d like to say I’ve been too busy out-of-doors doing stuff since the summer to write-up blog posts. Not the case I’m afraid as in Football parlance I’ve picked up a knock. To accompany my bad knees I now have Plantar Fasciitis in my right foot. It’s very common affecting around 1 in 15 people and the causes are pretty poorly known. It’s an inflammation of the fibrous tissue in the bottom of the heel and very painful it is as well. For most of the summer I could barely walk at times and took to having a pair of crutches with me in case I needed help.

I decided rest was the best idea so I’ve not been out much in either September and October hence the lack of blog posts. Things are on the mend now though. A combination of calf muscle strengthening exercises, rolling a frozen water bottle under my foot, a support under the arch of my foot and an odd splint that I wear in bed seems to have improved things. It’s now just an uncomfortable bruised feeling rather than an excruciating pain when I put any weight on it. Hopefully that progress will continue (apparently in most cases it will eventually just go of its own accord) as the only other option are steroid injections into the foot which are most unpleasant I hear

Anyway, enough of my ailments and on to some photos from one of the regular gatherings. This time Silverdale at the home of Mark and his family. A fine weekend as always although I didn’t take many photos despite being out for a good part of the weekend. The weather was dry but a little drab and grey which probably explains my lack of photographic ambition. Saturday was the classic Silverdale to Arnside coastal walk returning via Arnside Knott. We took in the Apple festival (the edible ones, not a gadget in sight). Unless you count an apple juicing machine. It was run by an Austrian guy who we all agreed with expected puerility was Arnie, prompting the usual raft of “I’ll be back” and other such classic one-liners. Anyway it was fun and different and the kids had a ball

Sunday we took a walk to Jenny Brown’s Point, another popular local classic. Whatever the buildings were once used for (no-one seems to be 100% sure) they are slowly being re-claimed by the sea. We had some watery sunshine and some butterflies so finally I got the camera out and took a few snaps

silverdale, arnside, arnside knott, jenny browns point

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silverdale, arnside, arnside knott, jenny browns point

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A great weekend and big thanks to Mark and his TBH for putting us up, feeding us and making us abundantly welcome

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silverdale, arnside, arnside knott, jenny browns point

Incidentally one thing I have realised what a great aide memoire my blog is. I often use it to confirm what I’ve been doing in recent and longer term history. For September and October while I was resting up I must have been out a few times other than this weekend but without the blog or a clutch of photos I have no idea how I filled the other half a dozen weekends. Possibly I slipped into an alternate dimension and saved a bunch of blue skinned aliens from an oppressive evil overlord. Or maybe I just watched a lot of TV

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Fossils

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.

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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.

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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.

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On the Kent Estuary Sands

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ED & EWO

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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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Proper fun

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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.

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Setting sun over Morecambe Bay

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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.

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Cave at The Cove

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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.

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The Lots

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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

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