Heysham in the sunshine….

Well after a quite frankly awful day yesterday, where rain well and truly stopped play, it was good to welcome the sun back today. Honestly I would prefer the freezing and clear days to the warmer and wet days, at least you can wrap up and get out. With that said we headed down the coast to Heysham, the last spot to explore on the Lancashire coastline and parked up just above the start of the promenade (which continues for nearly five miles to the other side of Morecambe) and walked towards Morecambe.

Most of Heysham Sands is sandy but as the tide recedes (a long way!) an area of seaweed covered stones is uncovered before more sand. As with much of this coastline getting to swim in the sea is quite a hike – not that that is an issue for me! But it does mean that there are miles for dog walking as long as you take care of the rapid tides.

After a couple of miles, once we reached the furthest point in the promenade on our Morecambe walk, we about turned and where the promenade ended, venture up into the village to take a look at the two 8th C churches. St Peters Church is thought to be the oldest current church in Britain, boasting more than a 1000 years of continuous worship, sitting proudly on the headland, looking out across Morecambe Bay.

Along side are the remains of St Patrick’s Chapel from the same era, but alas allowed to turn to ruin.

Next to the chapel are some rock hewn graves, over looking the sea – not a bad place to go!

Around the corner, the Heysham car ferry dominates the skyline and rather overshadows Half Moon Bay.

A large beach with lots of lower tide sand, albeit quite stony and seaweedy at first, great for dog walking but you need your wellies.

Another pleasant surprise and a 5ish mile walk in the sun! How lucky are we?

Two thoughts of the day:

It is only human nature to make a mental picture of what you are about to experience but isn’t it lovely when you get it so wrong?

Do chocolate raisins count as one if your five a day?

Silverdale and Arnside an unexpected delight….

Another stunning winter day, barely a cloud in the sky and hardly any breeze – can do this kind of winter! Today we are bound for Silverdale and Arnside, though admittedly my expectations were not that high as they are both nestled well within the Estuary of the River Kent – well I was wrong! We parked up in Silverdale a pretty stone village with a few shops and pubs and walked down to the beach.

Wow! Miles and miles of virtually empty sand, a little on the muddy side in places and broken by lots of little streams, it carries the same warning as the rest of Morecambe Bay, that of hidden quicksand and rapid incoming tides but there were enough others walking across the sands to feel safe. Poppydog enjoyed a good run around as we gradually wandered along the shore northwards.

We visited Cove cave up in the cliffs, before sitting awhile in the sheltered cove, with Poppydog being entertained by chasing stones.

From here we took a route inland along the lanes and footpaths back into the village. A gentle circular walk of about 3.5 miles.

Next stop a bit further inland up the Estuary to Arnside, another pretty stone cottage village with a couple of shore side pubs and cafes doing a good trade on this sunny Saturday afternoon.

There was plenty of shoreside parking (free) though only a few spaces going begging but we soon found a spot and set out for a riverside walk. With eye catching views of the Kent Viaduct, first constructed in 1856 and some 477m in length and the Lakes snow covered mountains adding to the vista, I can think or worse places to stop for a pint and lunch!

The river runs alongside at this point so there isn’t an opportunity to venture across the sands but a lovely walk south along the shore which eventually takes you around the corner to Arnside Point, where the sand is more accessible.

We didn’t go that far today but I think we may well return as there are acres of woodland just above the shoreline to make a great circular walk for another day.

Just a bit further north up the road this view across the estuary at Sandside was too good to miss!

Two thoughts of the day:

How lovely to spend the day exceeding expectations – mind you most days I am totally enthralled by what I find – how lucky.

I aim to catch the tidal bore – which as incoming tidal wave particular to this estuary and occurs about an hour and a half before high tide and is most noticeable at a high springtide – Watch and see.

A long promenade at Morecambe….

Another lovely sunny day, still frosty and very cold but perfect. We drove down to Morecambe parking up at the north end of the promenade, looking out across Lancaster Sand, Morecambe Bay to the snowy peaks of the Lake District.

The sand here looks quite muddy and not particularly safe to venture across but as we neared Morecambe the shoreline became more sandy with several manmade harbours.

The North Shore is still a bit scruffy with the sand a bit stony.

On the promenade was this magnificent sculpture outlining the mountainous skyline across the bay. The suns angle made it a bit difficult to capture but each peak was named – though to be fair still quite difficult to match to the actual skyline but I was impressed!

The Stone Jetty in the centre of town, separates the North and South Shores.

We wandered down to get a closer look across the bay, but didn’t loiter as it was a bit breezy and exposed!

Also home to Morecambe Lighthouse.

And these rather fabulous concrete Terns.

South Shore is a lovely wide sandy Bay and for the first time since Cornwall, Poppydog got a chance to play!

A lovely 7 mile walk in the sunshine, though my fingers and face were ready to get into the warmth of the car and heated seats are just the best invention!

Two thoughts of the day:

Can you believe it? Snow across most of the country but not here – I thought it always snowed up north?

Remember to fill up the kettle at night just in case the water container freezes up!

A crisp sunny day in Knott-End-on-Sea….

Another clear sunny albeit ‘brisk’ day with lots of lovely snow on the higher ground, making our journey down to Knott End-on-Sea a very picturesque one. We parked up in this flourishing seaside village and walked down to the sea front, disappointingly again there was much marshland before the sand could be reached, though the views across to the snow covered mountains of the Lakes made up for us not being able to access the beach.

Then just as we reached Little Knot at the point or the estuary, a lovely expanse of sand.

Unfortunately the slipway was closed for works so we couldn’t get at it but at least we know it’s there!

Also this sculpture demarking the spot where L.S. Lowry painted ‘The jetty at Knott End’ with Fleetwood across the estuary in the background.

Not a lot more to see, so we returned to the car and moved on to Cockerham ‘Sands’. A very remote place and unfortunately again the sand is somewhat distant from the shoreline.

Nice pink snow covered mountains in the distance, some muddy looking sand, seaweedy stones, a little lighthouse- Plover Scar Lighthouse and some Abbey Ruins (though they were across some rather waterlogged fields so we passed!) and that was Cockerham!

Now for some real excitement – when we got back to site I noticed that one of the wooden electricity pylons in the field above site was on fire! I checked with my binoculars first just to make sure I wasn’t mistaken and went to raise the alarm with the Wardens, however someone else had noticed and fire brigade were on their way.

They soon arrived in force!

The fire was soon extinguished but the Pylon was quite badly burned and we were advised by the wardens that the power was likely to be off all night as the pylon needed replacing. Now I have never tried operating the heating by gas – let’s hope it works as it is very cold! No worries, we were soon warm and cosy but went to bed early to conserve the gas supply and caravan battery. Fair play to Electricity North West – they were soon out working to replace the pylon and the power was switched back on at about 3am (I only know as my phone pinged as it went back on charge!)

Two thoughts of the day:

How on earth does a pylon catch light a few feet above ground especially when it is so cold?

Not much point in having a portable charger if it is not charged!!

Fleetwood, our most northern destination this year….

A bit of rain during the night but the day was dry, grey and with a chilly breeze so ok. We drove up to Fleetwood, which in fact, though only 29 miles away took well over an hour and an hour and a half on our return! That has been the only downside of this area – the traffic- way too much of it! We seem to have been able to avoid traffic since Newport (May) and there shouldn’t be too much when we get up into the woods of Scotland – yippee! Also I’m not sure where all the traffic was going as they certainly weren’t in Fleetwood!

We wandered along the beach from Rossall Point, where we got to last week towards Fleetwood.

The main beach here is Marine Beach, mostly sandy but enough Poppydog sized stones to keep someone happy!

This then becomes Ferry Beach (with a passenger ferry across the river Wyre to Knots-end-on-sea) where the sea meets the estuary (unsafe for bathing should you be tempted!).

At the end of Ferry Beach, on the promenade is this beautiful sculpture ‘Welcome Home’ by Anita Lafford in honour of the many past and present fishermen of Fleetwood.

And the diminutive Beach Lighthouse, standing just 10m high.

As the beach and promenade ran out to make way for the Docks we headed inland to look at the Pharos Lighthouse which unusually sits in the middle of a residential street (Pharos Street!) and stands some 28m in height. For boats navigating the sandbanks of Morecambe Bay the two Lighthouses need to be aligned (one on top of the other) to safely enter the Wyre Estuary.

Here you can see the Beach Lighthouse in the distance to the right.

We also walked up to have a look at Pagoda style Summerhouse built on the Mount (the highest sand dune), which is probably a nice place to sit and take in the view, but it is cold and time to make our way back!

A pleasant enough 5 mile round trip, but I certainly wouldn’t negotiate all that traffic again to make a return trip!

Two thoughts of the day:

I think we have done a pretty thorough walk of this stretch of coastline.

From Bude to Fleetwood – what a wonderful journey through 2018 – only 340 miles in the car but it has taken us 10 months and lots of fabulous beaches to get here.