Easter Sunday walk to Arnside…

A glorious warm, sunny day, much like the day before. We left a car at Arnside and then set off from home to walk there via the coast. ‘We’ was TBH, A, B, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, the Doctors A and S. Baby S stayed at home with his grandparents, since he wouldn’t want to be carried, and the walk was too far for him. (And he could enjoy the undivided attention of his grandparents and be spoiled rotten.)

We began with an ascent of Castlebarrow, where A remembered the location of the geocache and gleefully shared that knowledge with the uninitiated members of the party. Dr A recounted participating in a colleague’s project which involved tracking the movements of a study group using wrist worn GPS. Apparently he got some funny looks on the tube since people thought that he was electronically tagged. This sounds like the same sort of thing that Google offer using your mobile phone. Why anyone would want to have their every movement monitored is beyond me. I’m put in mind of a remark by Borges to the effect that God can understand the locus of a man in the same way that we can grasp a simple geometrical shape.

From Castlebarrow we left Eaves Wood, crossed Holgates Caravan Park and then a couple of fields to Far Arnside. The small camp site at Hollins Farm had spread into several additional fields for the bank holiday weekend. Presumably evidence of the much touted new popularity of British camping holidays in the face of flaky sterling. Through Holgates’ annexe and into the woods. This section of woods is the best locally for daffodils, but this year we have missed them at their best – most were looking a little dried up and sad. The path drops down to the shore – we sat on the shingle for an early picnic stop. Well – the adults in the party did. A and B were far too busy exploring, clambering on the rocks and throwing stones.

A found some substantial pieces of drift wood…

From which her uncle created a sculpture…

Whilst we lunched, a coastguard hovercraft sped across the Morecambe bay mudflats…

…and stopped close by…

…to warn some other walkers that the tide would shortly come rushing up this modest channel and might cut them off. We know this because the little family group paddled back across the channel and told us. My first encounter was with their dog which leapt up and left my shorts liberally covered in wet mud. ‘She’s always doing that, she’s a nuisance’. To which there are many obvious rejoinders, all of which I swallowed since experience suggests that people who can’t control their dogs (or indeed their kids) are very rarely grateful for pithily expressed advice.

Gazing out into the bay, it was possible to make out a bore rushing along the main river channel to the north.

The kids had discovered a much larger piece of driftwood, which they had christened ‘the bridge’, and were having great fun balancing across it.

Naturally we adults felt compelled to join in. The Doctors decided to cross in opposite directions…

….which inevitably led to difficulties in the middle…

We rejoined the cliff-top path. A commented on the coconut scent of gorse flowers.

I remember photographing this same bush last year under very different conditions.

A little further along the path, I met an old colleague, now retired and looking very well on it. As we talked the bore that the coastguard had warned of passed, expanding the channel most impressively. As is often the case a couple of sea birds rode in on the first wave. Later we would see Kayakers doing the same thing. Are the seabirds simply enjoying themselves in the same way that the Kayakers are?

As we rounded the corner towards White Creek, we dropped down on to the sands.

From here it’s possible to follow the river all the way into Arnside, but with the tide rising fast we decided to cross the salt marsh with its many pools…

…to White Creek and take the shortcut from there to New Barns. In the wooded caravan park at White Creek, the anemones were basking in the sun…

 

At New Barns, just as had been the case when we visited this time last year, a mole catcher had been at work, and had left gruesome evidence of his efficiency…

It’s very sad that it seems likely that this is the only way I shall ever see these shy creatures.

From New Barns we took to the riverside again. This enabled me to add a short stretch of the river Kent that we missed in our visits earlier in the year. From the field by Grubbins Wood, I heard a strident, unfamiliar song and after a little searching amongst the riverside trees, found the culprit.

We often see Nuthatches on our garden feeders, but they never stay long enough to be photographed. This one posed for several shots, of which this was my favourite since it was caught mid-song. You can hear the song here.

The footpaths had been busy, as might be expected on a sunny bank holiday weekend. As we approached Arnside we passed several fishermen – we watched one land a fluke. There were also a few dinghies out on the estuary enjoying the high tide and the stiffening breeze…

I used to do a little dinghy sailing with my Dad when I was a kid. I must work out how to share that pleasure with my own nippers short of forking out for a boat.

The tide, although not at its highest point, was well in, and the wet muddy condition of the path suggested that there may have been some very high tides of late.

We arrived at Arnside prom, and the the car, at the same time as another Coastguard vehicle – this time an amphibian thing with caterpillar tracks, much to B’s delight.

We sat on the promenade and enjoyed a well earned ice-cream.

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Easter Sunday walk to Arnside…

4 thoughts on “Easter Sunday walk to Arnside…

  1. beatingthebounds says:

    I have to say I’m very pleased with it myself. I’m beginning to realise that perseverance and luck play a very large part in getting photos like that.
    I did see some photographers with some preposterously large lenses recently though – that would maybe help too.

  2. Looks like you had a great day out with reasonable weather. Here we seem to have had sea fret much of the holiday period.
    I echo your sentiments about some dog owners. I don’t like other peoples dogs sniffing round me uninvited and I don’t let mine pester others.
    We have similar ‘problems’ with shallow beaches and fast flowing tides here on the Lincolnshire coast which can cut off the unwary and holidays are busy times for the volunteer inshore lifeboat crews.
    Beautiful capture of the Nuthatch singing.

  3. beatingthebounds says:

    We had a great day with fabulous weather – I’m still a bit pink. Sorry to hear about the sea fret, I tend to think that you get better weather in the east on the whole.
    What really annoys me is the half-hearted apology and the expectation that you will laugh off their dogs eccentricity. Try shouting aggressively at a dog owner whose yappy dog has reduced your small child to tears – they don’t like it, but they don’t seem to see the parallel to the behaviour of their pet. Sorry – I’ll get down off my soap box. As always, it’s the exception that gives other dog owners a bad name.
    I know the Lincolnshire coast pretty well, since I am a yellow-belly myself and many childhood holidays were spent in Skeggie, Mablethorpe etc. I seem to remember that the latter had particularly treacherous sandbanks and tides. I went back to Skegness not so long ago and was amazed by how beautiful the coast was at Gibraltar Point.

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