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Saturday, 25 February 2017

Round the Bay (2017)

Friday 24th February '17

Rock climbers and to a lesser extent walkers are always looking for a route (in rock climbing language a "good line")  that satisfies the aesthetic.

My home town of Arnside lies on the edge of the bay designated Milnthorpe Sands on the map where the river Leven flows out into the larger Morecambe Bay. Who wouldn't one want to walk round that bay from Arnside to Grange-over-Sands? No clever answers please.

Fortunately we are blessed with a railway viaduct connecting the stations at Arnside and Grange so the return journey is easily accommodated. I have walked and cycled this route before and it was time yesterday for a repeat.

An early 7:15 am start rewarded me with the morning sun rising to light up the distant snow covered hills of the Lake District, and casting a magic glow across the low-tide sands of our bay. Apart from a few cyclists on the Tarmac sections, over the whole seventeen miles, I only met one pedestrian, a dog walker at the start just out of Arnside providing a brief chat; remarkable.

On a previous "Round the Bay" I was chasing Geocaches and discovered a perfect little bay on the north-west shoreline just before the path leaves the shore to go inland (SD 461 808). There is a gate on the left just before the shore path enters a little cutting, and you descend and veer right to find the bay. There was a cache hidden high up on a mini rockface involving a couple of moves - all very satisfying. That bay is perfectly distanced for a lunch stop on this walk, sheltered and with views back across to your outward journey, and Arnside and the viaduct, and there I passed a pleasant twenty minutes with a sandwich and coffee.

I arrived at Grange station at 2:50 for a train at 3:05 - perfect.

Back home I was able to round off this classic walk with my customary hot bath, now thanks to the new boiler (see  previous post for much discussion about that "Gone toEarth" ) I was able to turn the hot tap on at full and luxuriate, with endless hot water at a proper temperature.

Combi boilers are ok providing you over specify.

Just out of Arnside - old railway embankment - sun has not quite got to work yet

Snow on Lake District hills

Back to Arnside and the viaduct

Following the old railway.
 There is a Geocache high up on one of these walls a bit further on that I didn't have the bottle to climb up to a couple of years ago. I'm waiting for Bowland Climber to be tempted.


Zoom across the bay to Whitbarrow - one of my favourite haunts

River Leven from the A6 near Levens Hall

My perfect lunch-stop bay

Meathop Hall

My Round the Bay coincides with the Cumbria Coastal Way depicted by the red line


AlanR said...

Glad the boiler is 'erm boiling. Your photographs are awesome Conrad.

Gayle said...

Glad to hear that the boiler is doing what you bought it to do and thus the expenditure has been immediately justified.

Sir Hugh said...

alan R - Thanks for your comment. It's good to know there's somebody out there reading this stuff.


Gayle - Yes, it has been worthwhile, but I can't help thinking the cost could have funded a good long backpack with accommodation only, ah well...

Alan Sloman said...

But can you really beat the pleasure of leaning back in a hot bath and dozing? All the muscular aches and pains ebbing away?

Money well spent, Sir. It readies you for more walks like today's excellent stroll.

Sir Hugh said...

Alan Sloman - d'accord!

Anonymous said...

bowlandclimber will be tempted when the weather improves. He is busy lumberjacking in the garden at present - followed by lots of restorative hot soaking.

Sir Hugh said...

BC - Watch out for branches wrapping themselves round your ankles.

Ruth Livingstone said...

I'm amazed how you deal with this walk so effectively, Conrad. For me it was a massive slog and a few miles beyond my comfort zone! Love the photos.

Sir Hugh said...

Ruth - It makes a difference when you know the route and you're not stopping all the time to look at the map etc. There is quite a long section of road at the end, from Meathop that is a bit wearisome.