Walk: Coastal walk from Hest Bank Level crossing to Bayview.
Difficulty: Depends where you walk. Beach is very stony, but there are paths.
Accessibility: can be difficult terrain. Sturdy boots recommended and if going onto the Bay itself – wellies!
Parking: Hest Bank Level Crossing Grid ref: 468665
Hest Bank is a great walk for dogs and humans, offering a fantastic view of the south Lake District (you can see the Old Man of Coniston), of Morecambe Bay and Arnside Knott.
I park anywhere in the above picture. It’s free and right next door to a great little cafe that serves a wide range of food (their afternoon teas are good) and biscuits for your four legged friend. (they are allowed in, so no sitting outside in the cold!)
You can follow the road, keep to the grass verge or drop down onto the stony beach. I usually walk on the stony beach and follow my nose. There’s a great view of the Lakes especially on a beautiful summers day. When the tide is out (it always seems to be out when I go) there are many different wading birds feeding on the creatures left behind. (I know a Wildlife conservationist who could tell me what they were exactly!)
A rather dull day with heavy cloud cover, but a bit of a taster of the view. There were a few RAF jets screaming through the clouds, practising their runs through the Lake District valleys.
Looking back towards Morecambe which is just down the road. I read that Morecambe was suppose to be the Blackpool of the area, but somehow didn’t make it. It’s got a splendid promenade and the delightful Art Deco Midland Hotel on the front, but I will save that for later blog. Just love the rain showers in the distance.
Silly picture time. The Dog loves sticks, branches and logs to carry, but I think this one is beyond her. So she gave it a chew instead.
About halfway, there is cliff which you can walk either over or keep to the beach path, though the stones are like mini boulders and careful negotiation is required. It looks like it’s getting badly eroded and the red soil is seeping onto the stones. I prefer to drop onto the mud flats and avoid that area.
You come across this area when you walk beyond the cliff and come across the The Archers Cafe (a good half way tea stop, if that way inclined). It’s a massive grassland that stretches to the sea and hosts ground laying birds. It is riddled with this trenches and channels of water which The Dog loves. Some are quite deep and wide.
Here’s some more. They are full of water and mud, so don’t fall in!
The Dog found a more sensible stick to run around with.
This reminded me of the terrible cockling tragedy that hit Morecambe Bay in 2004 when 21 Chinese cockle pickers died when they got stranded out in the Bay. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Morecambe_Bay_cockling_disaster
The Bay is notorious for quicksands and fast flowing tides and has caught out many people. It is strongly advised to find a local guide to help you cross it, but some days I see people way out. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morecambe_Bay
Sheep usually graze up this end. At this point, there is a green warehouse looking building which is the Bayview Garden Centre. It’s a short walk up the lane for a cuppa and a bun.
When I get to this point I usually walk back along the mud beach though there is a large wide channel to negotiate. Just makes a change. There are several different routes to follow.
Just fancied doing a moody atmospheric photo here. The mud flats stretch for miles out to sea here. There is a row of houses who have a fantastic view overlooking the Bay and the south Lakes and I have envied them. And not too far to take the dog for a walk!
I love the way the sand and mud create fantastic patterns, and the little channels making rivets deep into the mud. It’s really a creative person’s paradise.
The remnants of the old Wharf here at Hest Bank.
Looking back towards the wharf. The mud was very gloopy and I got smothered.
Not the greatest picture, but an information board giving you some background to the Wharf.
This is the entrance to the Hest Bank car park. You have to cross the level crossing, but be prepared to for a while sometimes. It’s part of the West Coast line, so it serves the Virgin intercity trains, the local sprinters and lumbering freight trains. They seem to bring the barriers down ages before a train appears and often will wait for two to go through before lifting them again. It’s amazing how much traffic is on this line as the barriers are forever up and down.
A good walk if you need fresh air and spaces. It’s a big sky place and regardless of the weather, there’s always something to see. Enjoy.