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Late Summer Walk in Silverdale, Saturday September 15th, Leader David Miller

Reporters: Helen and Brian Richardson

The late summer walks, arranged and led by Dave and Vanessa Miller, were centred on the beautiful limestone area of the Lancashire/Cumbria border, where the limestone rock reaches right down to the shoreline and provides some unusual formations. The walks also included many features of interest.

On Saturday, the plan was to arrive at Eaves Wood Car Park, just outside Silverdale, Cumbria, at 10am, for a 10.15am walk start. However, the reality was a little different!

Several parties of us were late due to severe multiple hold-ups, and were relieved to find that Dave Miller was very patiently waiting for all who were expected, to arrive.

Finally, at about 11.30am, eleven walkers and two friendly doggies set off through the woodland, immediately finding ourselves walking on areas of limestone pavement, which is a main feature of the landscape in this area. Heading in a generally WSW direction from the car park, we soon reached the Pepperpot, (just N of Elmslack at Castlebarrow Head, SD461761). This unusually shaped monument was built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887, and here, we had a superb view southwards over Silverdale, and towards Morecambe Bay.

From there, we walked downhill in a N direction to Arnside Tower (SD 458769), the ruined remains of one of now only a few, of originally about 90, pele towers, which were built in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, to defend the area from invaders from Scotland—will they be needed again after 2014?.

Soon, after crossing the valley and a road, we headed NW and uphill onto Arnside Knott, another fine viewpoint, for a well deserved lunch stop, supplemented by Dave’s wonderful granola bars and Steve’s seemingly endless supply of Eccles cakes. Thanks to you both!

Dropping back down from the Knott, we headed E to walk through Hagg Wood, and then followed country lanes to Gait Barrows, another fascinating limestone landscape and nature reserve. Emerging from woodland, we found ourselves overlooking picturesque Hawes Water, with Challan Hall in the distance. Our walk followed alongside the tarn and Hawes Water Moss, and along quiet farmland paths and country lanes back to the car park.

To round off the day, we drove the few miles to Arnside, where we enjoyed excellent scones with cream and jam, liberally washed down with pots of tea at ‘Ramblers’ tea room. Highly recommended, if you are ever in the area!

This gentle walk was about 12km. The weather was kind, and, although it had looked as though it might rain early in the day, the rain held off and we had a mixture of cloud and occasional sunny spells. Thank you, Dave and Vanessa, for this excellent walk, which was much enjoyed by all who came on it.

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