There are many walks round Silverdale but this route taken from Cicerone, Walks in Silverdale and Arnside surpassed them all in terms of serenity and variety.
The OS map is littered with footpaths around Silverdale, all of which appear to be well signposted and many pass through National Trust land which have interesting local information posted on them. One noted that if you sat down in the adjacent meadow you would be able to touch 25 different plant species. Believable.
This post won’t explain the entire route, just show you some of what there is to see and give some idea of location. The book starts from Crag Foot (SD 47738), but as I am a member of the RSPB, I parked at the RSPB centre at Leighton Moss. From there head for the station and then over the golf course. The club was clearly fed up of stray walkers, there was no chance of missing the signs.
After passing through some limestone woodland the path drops in the wetland, Lambert’s Meadow. So wonderful to see grasses uncut and full of wild flowers, especially the prolific pink of Ragged Robin.
Wind through the varied greens of Burton Well, Woodwell and Heald Brow as you move from woodland to meadow and back. Though on the map it is clear the route is never that far from civilisation, it feels more like the middle of a hundred acre wood.
Then, briefly, the sky opens up the crossing of Leighton Moss. Take a short detour if you have time and visit one of the hides to see waders and waterfowl. This time I had to be satisfied with a thrush, at least that is what I think it is? Cross the marsh in the direction of Quaker’s Stang, now what could that be?
Climb up again into a thick green meadow. An overwhelming sense of calm in the flower strewn space, paying homage to a vast oak, kindly pointing the way on its immensely ancient trunk.
From a ridge adjoining Warton Crag there is a majestic line of beech trees, beyond which Leighton Hall can be seen in the valley. Not open in the evening I can recommend a visit to this hall still used as a family home. The walled garden was used by Peter Rabbit in the film of Beatrix Potter’s life.
Descent is by way of the Hall and its tennis court. A farm track opposite the hall entrance continues the path. At the end is a causeway crossing Leighton Moss and another chance to digress into one of the hides and wildlife watch, given time.
From this small watery wilderness it was only a km or so back to the visitors centre and my car and the end of a perfect summer’s evening walk.
More pictures here.
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