When I had my springer spaniel Barney during the first five or so years after moving to Arnside, and later with my daughter's springer, Jake, I walked extensively on local footpaths. After that local walks became less regular.
My friend Bowland Climber called me on Tuesday evening and said he would like to renew his acquaintance with Arnside and Silverdale where he also walked with his family years ago.
There were new gates, trees felled and footpaths which were definitely non-existent when I first came to Arnside, especially in the environs of Arnside Knott. I actually got lost exiting New Barns caravan site on paths that I frequented several times a week years ago. I can't believe that I have lived here for twenty years now.
The forecast was unusually wrong. Walking round the coast to Far Arnside we had quite unpleasant penetrating rain for half an hour or so.
We noted the contrast between New Barns and Holgate's Far Arnside caravan sites - the former with its badly surfaced roads and tracks and generally untidy appearance, and the latter with everything to the highest standard - perhaps the best presented static caravan site in the UK?
Weather improved as we crossed The Lotts, a pleasant cropped pasture leading into Silverdale. Eaves Wood saw us climbing up to The Pepper-pot, a large well built cairn celebrating Queen Victoria's jubilee. I have only been there a couple of times before and despite its size and elevated position on a prominent clearance of limestone you don't see it until you pop up from behind only about thirty yards from this popular landmark.
Our return passed Arnside tower and then back over Arnside Knott. The best view is from the seat on the summit plateau overlooking the Kent estuary and across to The Lakes. There is no view from the trig point and I normally give that a miss, but we diverted the extra hundred yards to find that the trig has been painted in eggshell blue and white in a strange, inexplicable pattern - I wonder why?
That was an enjoyable eight miler with non stop conversation. In particular BC updated me on his recent impressive traverse of the new coastal path from Helmsdasle to John o' Groats. It is currently being furnished with infrastructure and for the moment it is pretty tough going according to BC, but he predicts it will become one of the best long distance paths in the UK when volunteers have put stiles and bridges and whatever in place - all very interesting.
|Exiting Arnside - we walked round the beach to New Barns|
|The coastguard station, and further on the sailing club|
|Round the corner to New Barns|
|Holgate's recycling - looks like Heinz Beans are popular on their menu|
|The Cove at Silverdale|
|The elusive Pepper-pot - distant Bowland Hills on horizon|
|Ignore green route and red and blue straight lines - my Memory Map is scattered with prospective, previous, and daydream routes|