Morecambe Bay Walk
Occasionally, in Arnside, or Hest Bank an eclectic gathering of people begin to linger on the shore line. Looking out to sea and over the sands. There is an air of ‘something about to happen’. Linger with them and you may be swept along and across the Bay.
Although Morecambe Bay sands are notorious and can be treacherous, with quicksand and fast flowing tidal bore, people have been taking the eight mile route across the sands, as opposed to 18 mile journey around it, for over a century. Take a look at the Ordinance Survey Map OL7 and you will find rights of way marked clearly over the sands. Granted, with warnings that they are dangerous. Though when I did find a little bit of history on the route, there have been surprisingly few fatalities on the actual crossings.
Walks across the Bay are usually with Cedric Robinson, the Queens Guide. A quick internet search and you will find they cross many times in the summer, usually raising money for charity. I have done this walk twice. Once more than 20 years ago and once in glorious sunshine last July, yes we did have some sunshine. We headed out from Far Arnside and at first appeared to be going in totally the wrong direction, to Morecambe. I was rather glad we had joined a walk raising money for Bay Search and Rescue and they were accompanying us!
The walk has no more challenge than its length and a bit of salty water. Though Rosie, my terrier did find the currents too much so I ended up spread liberally with sand. The Bela and Kent merge and meander over the sands however low the tide, so do expect to get wet up to your thighs. The river channel is constantly moving, as I learned one day when on the top of Arnside Knott. I was intrigued to find some coast guards on top of the hill. It seemed an odd place for them to be, a little far from the sea, but it gives a good view changing channel.
On approaching Hest Bank the sand turns green with Samphire. A delicious plant that can be picked and used in salads. The sheep that graze the marshes also love it.
For a totally different view of the Furness and Cumbria Hills take a walk across the Bay, and help a charity along the way.
The train across the bay makes an easy return to your start point.
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