Favourite Walks–Arnside Headland To Silverdale Beach
We discovered Arnside as a family when we stayed there in a holiday home a few years ago and fell in love with it. The holiday was curtailed when I collapsed on the bedroom floor and inexplicably went into hypothermic shock and had to be wrapped in sleeping bags for a few hours and taken home, it marked a difficult end to a magical start, but it didn’t put us off.
We’ve returned many times since and our favourite walk is around the headland to Silverdale and then back over peak of Arnside Knott that looks down over Morecambe Bay to the south and the river Kent’s estuary and the Lake District to the north.
I like to park in the free riverside car park that’s right at the start of the promenade, it get’s a bit water-logged at times, but I’ve never failed to find a spot. From there it’s a delightful walk along the ‘promenade’ with Arnside village centre to my left and stunning view of the Lake District across the river estuary to my right.
The walk I follow starts well, as a well maintained concrete path that tracks the estuary bank, after a while it becomes a natural rock path, that’s easy to walk on but uneven and then gradually becomes a more difficult loose rock beach that can be hard on the ankles. It’s worth persevering on the beach though for the views across the estuary (below). Sometimes when the tide’s in the rock beach is under-water so it’s necessary to find a route up to the wooded path than runs parallel to the beach.
The essence of the walk is to follow the rocky headland all the way around to Silverdale and depending on how high the tide is, how muddy the beach is and how over-grown the woodland path is you need to find your own way, but on this walk I left the beach once I’ve passed a large area of salt marsh after rounding the headland. I joined the woodland path just behind the seat pictured below.
The woodland path affords fantastic views of the heavily eroded rocky limestone cliff face and beach, with stunning views of Morecambe Bay.
The path also has lovely woodland stretches that provide a welcome break on a sunny day. Every time I walk along the path I remember my youngest twin girls running through the woods on either side of me playing with walki-talkies, “this is buddy 1, calling buddy 2” it never fails to make me smile, unfortunately they are not with me today, I’m listening to podcasts instead.
This stretch of the walk is really magical, there’s something especially compelling about rocky cliffs, eroded stones littering an empty beach with stunning views beyond that melts my heart, especially when experienced along with all the memories of past walks with the family, I can’t get enough of it.
Eventually this phase of the walk comes to an end at Holgates Static Caravan Site, which nestles into the hill side, enjoying these same stunning views. Every times I walk through this site I feel my wallet straining in my pocket to invest in one, but the desire gradually fades over the following few weeks.
Leaving the caravan site I took the road towards Silverdale for a short while, and then took the public footpath towards Silverdale that runs through the touring part of Holgates caravan site. After joining the road again I then passed a few very quaint cottages and followed a dead-end road that led back onto another cliff-side path.
This path had magnificence views looking back to the cliffs that I’d just walked
Looking forward from the same point is a tree that I’m always surprised to see still standing tall, one of these days it will be on the beach and a sad reminder of the erosion that’s taking place on all of our coastline.
The path eventually crosses a field that deposited me in Silverdale Village and I strongly recommend wandering around the village, because it’s extremely quaint.
Once in the village I turned right back towards the beach and there’s a lovely little car-park where I had lunch with a friend of mine who bought his VW camper, chairs and fridge full of cold drinks! The view from the car-park is stunning and there’s a nice grassy area for kids to play and lots of rocks and cliffs to explore.
After lunch I returned through Silverdale and took a random route back, following paths variously signed Arnside Knott and Arnside, coming across an old ruin on the way.
Then climbing up a woodland path the wound it way to the top of the Knott where I had fantastic views south, down onto the bay and much of the days walk
Turning around and from about the same spot and looking north I could see the earlier views of the walk, but from the higher vantage.
The rest of the walk is down-hill following tracks that are signed Arnside and it’s stunning views all the way to the village and my car, which was parked just next to the start of the railway bridge.
It really is a spectacular day out. I left my car at about 11am and returned at about 4pm, but I followed an inefficient random route, without a map or GPS, and had a leisurely lunch with Vince en-route.
I’m writing this up in Caffe Nero, the next morning, nursing sore Achilles Tendons and looking forward to brunch in Cleveleys with Debbie, followed by a movie.