Arnside – Arnside Knott – River Kent round
Arnside a beautiful and peaceful village, south of The Lake District in Cumbria, is situated on the boarder of Lancashire and faces the estuary of the River Kent on the north eastern corner of Morecambe Bay. Arnside and nearby Silverdale both lie within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The railway line crossing the River Kent Estuary by an impressive viaduct opened in 1857 and connects Arnside to Barrow-in-Furness, Ulverston, Grange-over-Sands, Carnforth and Lancaster. Up until the 19th century Arnside was used as a local port but the building of the viaduct caused the estuary to silt up. The viaduct, which stands on 50 piers and is 522 yards long, was rebuilt in 1915 and in July of 2011 underwent major structural improvements to provide passengers with a smoother quieter and faster ride. The work to the viaduct took sixteen weeks costing £12 million. Arnside is very popular with tourists and holiday makers and the thriving active community makes this village an appealing retirement haven. There are also many local and interesting walks around Arnside Knott and along the shoreline. The Cross Bay Walks across the sands of Morecambe Bay are held several times a year but due to fast flowing tides, ever changing channels and quicksand’s it is a dangerous place to walk without the help of the Queen’s Guide. With each high tide Arnside is subject to a fast rising tide caused by a combination of the large area of Morecambe Bay narrowing rapidly at Arnside and the second highest tidal range at Barrow-in-Furness these give rise to a tidal bore up to a height of 12 inches.
Arnside Knott is a hill that rises out of the estuary and stands at 522 feet and the views from the summit across the Kent Estuary, Morecambe Bay and the fells of the Lake District are outstanding. The area is owned by the National Trust and is one of Britain’s best sites for butterflies.
The River Kent originates at Hall Cove in the hills above Kentmere and flows for 20 miles into the north of Morecambe Bay. The river is a designated Special Area of Conservation and home to many types of wildlife and wading birds it also an important habitat for the endangered White-clawed Crayfish. Morecambe Bay is the largest expanse of intertidal mudflats and sand in the UK and reveals 310 square kilometres of sand when the tide goes out. The bay has rich cockle beds that have been fished by locals for generations. Twenty-three Chinese cockle pickers drowned on the 5th February 2004 after being cut off by tides that travel as fast as a galloping horse.
We park at the side of the road near the toilets. We walk forward along the road to the pier. We walk to the end of the pier for a view then back to the road and turn right we then turn left at The Albion pub and follow Silverdale Road steeply uphill. We then turn right at the sign for Arnside Knott and Red Hills Road. At the next junction to the left we walk forward through the gate opposite sign posted public footpath Dobshall Wood and Knott Lane. We follow the track by the side of the field until we come to a gate. We go through the gate and turn left and then take the left fork and follow the narrow tarmac road. Just before the car park we take the footpath on the left next to a bench sign posted Arnside Knott Wood and walk uphill following the path. At the wall and the wood in front of us we turn left and follow the wall which bears round to the right to a gate on our right. Before we go through the gate in the wall we admire the views. We walk forward on the path for a short way and detour left to the Arnside Knott summit pillar. We then turn right and head forward to rejoin the path we were on next to a bench supported with two stone stacks. We carry on forward on the path through Arnside Wood passing a bench on the left over looking Morecambe Bay. The path starts to drop down and when we come to two benches on the right we bear to the left and follow the main path downhill until we come to a wall with a gate and a footpath sign in front of us. We go through the gate and follow the path to Far Arnside. When we reach Hollins Farm we turn left on the right hand side of the farm and then turn left over a stile in the wall we head forward to the small road and then turn right to Far Arnside and the caravan park. We walk into the caravan park and bear to the right and when the road splits we take the right fork sign posted White Creek. We pass a place called Pebble Row on the left and then at a sharp bend to the left at the end of the park we take the path opposite into the trees between some large stones. We follow the path through the trees and when the path splits again we take the left path towards the bay. We now just keep following the path along the edge of the cliff passing a bench on our left before reaching another caravan park. We walk through the park and then turn right following the concrete road round to the left following the tree line on our right this leads to the foreshore. We walk along the foreshore and round the head land until we arrive back at Arnside and then make our way along the road back to our car.
This is an easy to moderate walk with moderate inclines up to Arnside Knott.
Approx 6 miles using OS map OL7, The English Lakes South eastern area.
Arnside is in the southern area of Cumbria.
From the M6 going south take junction 36 then turn left at the roundabout towards Kendal and go under the M6 and then after a short way take a left turn the B6385 to Milnthorpe and go under the A6 carry on forward on the B5282 into Arnside.
Toilets and Refreshments
There are public toilets with disabled facilities in Arnside and for refreshments there are two pubs The Fighting Cocks Hotel and The Albion pub and restaurant, a sandwich bar and cafe, a bakery cafe and pizzeria, a fish and chip shop and some shops including a post office and three general stores.