Love Wild Swimming? Have you ever thought about dipping your toes (and hopefully the rest of you) into a cool, sparkling lake or tarn? Wild swimming is becoming ever more popular, so what makes people take a plunge into a cold, wet lake? For a start the water is a breath-taking refreshment to your body, the view is completely different from down below the bank and after the shock of the cold water it galvanises the heart. Cumbrian lakes are now cleaner, safer and more accessible than at any time in living memory and the health benefits of a wild swim or a natural dip are well publicised. Take proper precautions and wild swimming can be a safe and fun way to enjoy the outdoors. On a warm, calm day wild swimming is a really special experience. So stay safe and the shimmering waters will reconnect you with the natural world around you. A couple of great wild swimming places in the Lake District are: 1) Grisedale Tarn Set in Grisedale Hause in a gap in the Helvellyn range, between the valleys of Thirlmere and Ullswater, Grisedale tarn is a perfect place for high, wild plunge. It has gently shelved banks and some useful flat boulders for ease of access and sunbathing. 2) Derwentwater Derwentwater is one of the finest swimming lakes in the Lake District. It is three miles long and surrounded by dramatic, rugged mountains. It is surreal looking up at the scenery when you are in the water swimming between the little islands. Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
Holiday rental in Grange-over-Sands: Whether you like exploring, rambling or simply relaxing, Lothlorien holiday rental in Grange-over-Sands is a perfect choice for your staycation. Set on the edge of Morecambe bay it is within easy reach of the Lake District. In fact, the southern end of Windermere is less than 8 miles away at Newby Bridge. Lothlorien boasts bay views, a large enclosed garden, off-road parking and free fibre broadband. We are pet and dog friendly and welcome well-behaved pets. What more do you need to have a relaxing break in this beautiful part of the country? Check availability and prices below. Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
Chapel Island Walk: We have enjoyed a lovely walk out onto Morecambe bay today to visit Chapel Island. When you reach the Island you can see the ruins of an ancient chapel built by Cistercian monks from nearby Conishead Priory around the 14th century. The purpose of the chapel was to serve the needs of travellers and fishermen working on the sands. The Island lies on the path of the ancient crossing from Cartmel to Conishead. It would have been a place of haven to travellers caught out by the tide.
Nine Standards Rigg is a collection of large cairns sitting high on the fell above Kirkby Stephen. It is believed the cairns have stood on this site for over 800 years. Furthermore, there is evidence there may have been as many as 13 cairns at one time. The Coast to Coast walk made famous by Alfred Wainwright runs over the summit where walkers can enjoy panoramic views across the Eden Valley. Although the summit is within Cumbria the Nine Standards Rigg lies within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
The Hazelmere cafe is situated on Yewbarrow Terrace opposite the duck pond in Grange-over-Sands. The cafe is an independent, family run business and has been owned by the Stubleys family for nearly 40 years. They aim to use local food and suppliers wherever possible. Everything they make to serve is made on the premises by their extensive team of chefs and bakers. Furthermore, baking continues throughout the night to ensure freshness. Their popular artisan breads are being used by many local restaurants and eateries. Alongside their very busy deli, bakery and restaurant they also have an upstairs showroom and shop which houses the famous ‘Dorothys Teas’. Dorothy the owner of the whole business has travelled the world extensively searching for many of the teas that you see in our showroom shop today. The shop now boasts over 120 different teas and tisanes to choose from! The Hazelmere has been featured in numerous national food magazines and newspapers, as well as on television. Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
Eleven Great places to eat out in Grange-over-Sands The Grange area boasts a fantastic variety of pubs, inns, restaurants, cafes and tearooms to suit all budgets and tastes. From a Michelin starred dining experience to afternon tea, the area offers exceptional food and drink. You are never far away from one of our many independently run businesses offering delicious food and drink. Here is a sample of what’s on offer: The Estuary on Main Street, Grange-over-Sands; L’Enclume in Cartmel; At Home Cafe & Bistro on Main Street, Grange-over-Sands; Thyme Out Coffee House & Restaurant at Devonshire House, Grange-over-Sands; Choco-Lori of Grange – Handmade Chocolate Shop, chocolate Cafe & Bar on Main Street; The Netherwood Hotel, Lindale Road, Grange-over-Sands; The S Café on Yewbarrow Terrace, Grange-over-Sands; The Cavendish Arms in Cartmel; Clare House, Park Road, Grange-over-Sands; The Pheasant Inn in Allithwaite; Hazelmere Café on Yewbarrow Terrace, Grange-over-Sands; Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
Have a relaxing break in Grange-over-Sands. If your overseas holidays are off-limits this year, look no further than a relaxing break in Grange-over-Sands. With a mile long promenade, formal flowerbeds and smart cafes, what could be more enjoyable than looking out over the vista of Morecambe Bay? Furthermore, Grange has one of the mildest climates in the north of England. There are numerous local walks from Grange including Hampsfell with its panoramic views from the hospice. The hospice is a building given by the vicar of Cartmel as a resting place for travellers. Climb up the stone staircase for a 360-degree view from the Lake District mountains to the Isle of Man to Blackpool tower. Another favourite walk is to Humphrey Head, a striking limestone promontory jutting out into the bay. Humphrey Head is known for its important flora and fauna. It is also reputed to be where the last wolf in England was killed. If you are interested in bird watching, an estimated 200,000 birds visit the bay during the winter. Grange also has a diverse mix of independent businesses with Higginsons Butchers and Hazelmere cafe being the best known. So, for a holiday with a difference this year, have a staycation in Grange and enjoy your well-earned holiday. Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
Chapel House Woods near Staveley is on the southern edge of Windermere and covers an area of 333 hectares. Chapel House is situated within the Lake District National Park. Most of the forest was planted in the 1950’s and 1960’s mainly with spruce, larch, Scots pine and silver birch. Over the years, the woodland has been used in the manufacture of various items. Firstly, for besoms (a broom made of twigs tied together on a long handle) Secondly, in bobbin manufacture at nearby Stott Park Finally, for producing charcoal. There are still remains of the old charcoal pits in the woods. The woodland also contains many watercourses, marshes, bogs and ponds, including Simpson Ground Reservoir, which is accessible along forest tracks. The car park is at Barrowbanks, which is 6 miles from Lothlorien.
Levens Hall is situated just off the A6 at near Levens village. The hall (with pele-tower) is the largest Elizabethan house in the Lake District. The topiary gardens are world famous in their own right and are a must for any gardener visiting the area. The hall has a fascinating history including once being gambled away in a game of cards.
The Lakeland Motor Museum is a great local attraction with something for all the family. Besides being in a beautiful location, this modern state-of-the-art museum is a must for all motoring enthusiasts. Nestled in the scenic Leven Valley the museum is open to visitors seven days a week The museum opened its doors at its original site at Holker Hall in 1978. As a consequence, it has welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors. The current museum is a collection of some 30,000 exhibits collected over a period of 50 years. The collection is home to more than 150 cars and motorbikes, plus bicycles, pedal cars and other motoring related items. It is fair to say that the collection will unlock nostalgic memories for everyone. Furthermore, a separate exhibition is dedicated as a tribute to father and son, Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell. The pair between them, captured twenty one world land and water speed records in the Bluebird series of cars and boats. Donald Campbell was tragically killed on Coniston Water in January 1967, whilst attempting to break his own water speed record. Highlights include full-size replicas of the Bluebird car built in 1935, the Bluebird K4 boat, and the famous 1967 jet hydroplane, Bluebird K7. Café Ambio, which is on the same site, overlooks the River Leven and is an ideal spot for something to eat or drink. Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
This is an odd waterway as it isn’t connected to the UK’s canal network. In the beginning, Ulverston grew up as a centre for leather, copper and iron ore. In December 1796, England’s deepest, widest and straightest canal in the UK opened for business. Its length is entirely straight and on a single level. It is a lovely place for a stroll. When you reach the end you will be rewarded with fine views of the estuary and the railway viaduct. The canal was completed in order to provide the town with a waterway and port. It is situated one and a half miles from the coast. At 15 feet (4.6 m) deep and 66 feet (20 m) wide, it was intended to take very large deep-water ships. On the first day, 4 vessels including 2 brigs from London and a sloop carrying coal came up the canal and docked in the basin. The Ulverston Canal was once the starting-point for steamers to Liverpool, passenger ships to Scotland and London. Cargoes included local slate, bobbins, Coniston copper and gunpowder shipped to coastal towns around Britain. Unfortunately the arrival of the Furness Railway in the mid-1840s scuppered the canal’s long-term profitability. The canal was closed down for good in the early 20th-century. Today the canal still plays a role in the day to day life of the town; the towpath is a popular place to go for a stroll.
Sedbergh is England’s official book town which came about after the devastating foot and mouth disease in 2001. Many of the shops and cafes and even the chippy stock books of all descriptions. There is even a ‘book shelter’ in the old bus shelter. Westwood Books in the town has more than 70,000 books in stock. Located in Cumbria and in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Sedbergh is much loved for its beautiful setting in the Howgill Fells. Sedbergh sits at the confluence of for rivers – the Lune, Rawthey, Dee and Clough, which made it an ideal location for the textile industry. A remnant of the industry remains to this day in in the shape of Fairfield Mill. Fairfield Mill was rescued from closure in 2018, thanks to a huge fundraising campaign.
The Hoad monument is a memorial to Sir John Barrow who was born in Ulverston in 1795. Built in 1850 from local limestone it was funded by local subscription. The Hoad is a 100ft scale replica of the Eddystone lighthouse. Above all, it was erected to commemorate Sir John Barrow who was a seafaring explorer and founder member of the Royal Geographic Society. Finally, this 1905 photograph shows the monument keeper – John Tyson in the uniform at the foot of the monument.
Roudsea Wood and Mosses is situated just off the Leven Estuary near Greenodd. The wood is one of the Britain’s most important woodland sites. To the east of the woodlands lie the bogs of Roudsea Moss and Holker Moss. Both were formed over thousands of years due to the very high rainfall in the area. These bogs have laid down deep peat deposits below the bog surface. Development of this landscape goes back to the early eras of geological time with much of the soil formed 450 million years ago. During the ice age, when the ice sheets retreated, vegetation began to recover, eventually developing into the woodlands you see today. The influence of man has been playing its part in the development of this landscape for thousands of years. It was in the 17th and 18th centuries when Roudsea Wood began to be manged on an industrial scale. The wood produced charcoal and potash for the local gunpowder factory at Low Wood at Haverthwaite. Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
Frank’s Bridge spans the river Eden at Kirkby Stephen. Built in the 17th century, the bridge was used for transporting coffins from the nearby hamlets of Winton and Hartley. Stones (at the far end of the bridge) can still be seen where the coffins could be rested on route. Legend has it that a ghost called Jangling Annas is supposed to haunt the bridge by jangling her chains. She is said to have been a prisoner at Hartley Castle who escaped in her chains and drowned in the river. Kirkby Stephen is 40 minutes by car away from Lothlorien.
Old Park Wood and Leven Estuary Old Park Wood is an ancient woodland situated on the Holker Estate. The area is managed for wildlife and conservation purposes and is an internationally important habitat. Accordingly, the woodland in the area supports a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Before the last world war much of the woodland was managed for coppice production. Young trees are cut to the ground level to encourage vigorous regrowth and a sustainable supply of timber. In the past, the material was used in gun powder production and to fire Lime Kilns in the locality. As a result, coppicing is carried out primarily to improve the biodiversity of the woodland and create habitats for wildlife. Opening up the woodland to create open spaces encourages smaller native shrubs and flowers. In addition, open spaces benefit moths, butterflies and birds. Furthermore, the Estate works with national bodies to protect this habitat and conserve wildlife such as the native red squirrel. This involves controlling grey squirrels using humane cage traps for instance. Wild Roe deer are also controlled to prevent damage to growing trees. Finally, the coppiced material is now used to make craft products and charcoal using traditional charcoal burners.
Prom Art in Grange-over-Sands from Sunday April 26th 2020. The craft fair takes place on the last Sunday of the month. Over 80 stalls set up along the Victorian promenade. From fine art, prints, photography and crafts from some of the region’s best artisans. Set along the promenade (with a stunning view of the Morecambe bay sands), hundreds of visitors and locals alike wander around the stalls. Even the brass band can be heard in the nearby Park Road gardens.
Kadampa Temple of World Peace Travel two miles south of Ulverston, along the A5087 and you will see the dramatic Victorian Gothic mansion that is Conishead Priory. It sits on a site originally occupied by a twelfth-century Augustinian priory. Over the years, the building has been a stately home, military hospital, miners’ retreat. The main building, Temple and grounds are owned by the Manjushri Buddhist Organisation. Kadampa Temple for World Peace This this large Gothic Revival building and Kadampa Buddhist Temple are close to Lothlorien and easily accessed by car or train. Furthermore, if you are interested in a visit to the Buddhist Temple, house or grounds, an introduction to Buddhist meditation, or in depth courses and retreats, Manjushri KMC offers an enjoyable and meaningful experience. Additionally, there is a free 15-minute meditation daily at 12.30 and 2pm in the Temple. Lothlorien is an ideal place to stay for visitors to the 2020 NKT-IKBU International Festivals in Ulverston. 2020 Festivals The Spring Festival – The Power of Compassion runs from May 22 – 27, 2020 and Summer Festival – The Joy of Kadampa Life takes place from July 24th – August 8th, 2020. Find out more about the Kampala Festival. Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
As you travel along the A6 between Levens and Milnthorpe stands a round, grey tower, on the hilltop close to Milnthorpe. St Anthony’s Tower was built by Henry Smithies to commemorate the passing of the 1832 Reform Bill – an excuse for folly builders all over the country at that time. The tower contains a vaulted ground floor chamber, and a first floor room reached by a winding external stair. Inside an internal stair winds up to the roof of the tower, where the stump of a flagpole is still visible. Furthermore, from the roof, the views over the Kent estuary will be stunning. During World War II, the tower was used as an observation post, being manned by the Home Guard. The building has been restored in the last few years but unfortunately does not have any public access. Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
Tarn Hows is probably the most popular beauty spots in the Lake District. It is pretty and picturesque especially in the autumn and winter. This popular Lake District attraction is close to Coniston and Hawkshead. You can picnic at the tarn, which is studded with islands. Furthermore, it is surrounded by a gorgeous conifer woodland with a backdrop of rolling hills. It takes an hour to walk around the tarn on its well-kept paths. The land here was donated to the National Trust by Beatrix Potter in 1930. What is less well known is that the tarn used to be three smaller ones called High, Middle and Low Tarn. In 1862, James Marshall gained the land and set about building a dam to raise the level. This along with other landscaping largely created the Tarn Hows we see today. Later he sold it to Beatrix Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, who eventually passed it to the National Trust for safe keeping.
Penrith Beacon forewarned of attacks by Scottish raiders down the centuries. There has been a Beacon on this site since 1296 and a building here for more than 500 years. The present monument was built in 1719 of sandstone taken from the hill. This structure replaced an earlier structure and was restored in 1780. The first beacons here were piles of wood and branches replaced by pitch-boxes. More recently there has been an illuminated cross at Easter, but was stopped due to vandalism and fire risk. The path to Beacon Hill pike begins on Beacon Edge on the outskirts of the town. The pike is 937 ft (286 m) high. From the summit you get views over to the Lakeland fells and Eden valley.
Dalton was historically the capital of Furness and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Dalton Castle is a 14th century pele tower built to assert the authority of the Abbot of Furness Abbey. Over the years it has been used as a courtroom and a gaol. Furthermore, it was formerly the manorial courthouse of Furness Abbey. The castle is open 2pm to 5pm on Saturday afternoon during spring and summer. Addmission is free. You can enjoy a walk around the historic buildings around the Market Place. Look out for the unique cast-iron shop front at No51 Market Place. There is also an elegant drinking fountain, the market cross and the slabs of stone used for fish drying in the 19th-Century. Dalton also boasts the home to the earliest recorded book club in the world established in 1764. Another interesting face is that the artist George Romney was born at Beckside, Dalton-in Furness in 1734.
The pretty village of Kents Bank is the setting for Lothlorien holiday cottage. This Grange-over-Sands holiday accommodation is situated on the edge of the ever changing sands of Morecambe Bay. Morecambe Bay is one of the last wildernesses left in England and is a sand plain of one hundred and twenty square miles. Kents Bank takes its name from the River Kent which once ran close to the shore. Today, due to the shifting sands, the shore is more of a salt marsh with springy turf covering the immediate shoreline. Lothlorien holiday-let is a five minute walk from the shore and railway station. Kents Bank is famously known as one end of the internationally renowned Cross-Bay route. This dangerous route was once regularly used by horse-drawn coaches crossing the sands to and from Lancaster. Right until the mid-nineteenth century, the ‘main road’ from Lancaster to the Furness peninsula continued to be across the bay. As a result, shifting sands changed the ‘normal’ route between Hest Bank and Kents Bank which has been deemed too dangerous. Subsequently, the historic cross-bay route now goes between Arnside and Kents Bank. Check our availability Looking for accommodation? Check out our availability and book online today. Book Now
Abbot Hall (now known as Lambert Manor) is located on an ancient site dating from about 1160. It stands on the site of an ancient dwelling built for the Abbot of Furness. The medieval buildings of Abbot Hall have long since disappeared. Since the Dissolution of the monasteries, Abbott Hall became, for a long time, a private residence, passing through various families’ hands over the years and around 1900 was used as a school. In later years is became a Methodist guest house. The current mansion was built in the 1840s, partly through the work of Mary Lambert, perhaps the wealthiest lady to ever have lived in Cartmel. Miss Lambert also built Boarbank Hall and left bequests to St Mary’s church in nearby Allithwaite. For many years, Abbot Hall ran successfully Methodist guest house. It has recently changed hands and been renamed Lambert Manor Hotel. Finally, was told a story by Cecil Hayman, who lived at Kents Bank railway station in the 1930s. He remembered trains stopping at Kents Bank full of passengers going to Abbot Hall for their holidays. The train was met at the station by the Abbot Hall donkey pulling a cart ready to take their luggage to the hotel. I presume the donkey in the photograph is the same donkey this time pulling a lawn mower.
Morecambe Bay is one of the finest birdwatching sites in Britain. Centred on the 310 square kilometres of inter-tidal sand flats it is an outstanding combination of habitats from off shore islands tosalt marsh and sand dunes. The Arnside/Silverdale and Bowland areas are designated as ‘Areas of outstanding Natural Beauty’, all testifying to the richness and importance of the area for wildlife. Furthermore, set against the magical backdrop of the Lakeland fells, it’s an ever-changing world of water and sand moulded by theconstant ebb and glow of the tides making it home to one of the largest concentrations of birds in Europe. Tens of thousands of waders, wildfowl and gulls winter or breed, or pass through on their migrations from the Artic to Africa, making itof truly national and international importance.
One of the best-selling artists of the 21st Century is taking the stage at Cartmel. David Gray follows on from the likes of Cliff Richard, Sophie Ellis-Baxter, Boyzone and Tom Jones who have all performed at Cartmel in recent years. The June concert will follow a full day’s racing at the picturesque racecourse. For tickets go to: https://cartmel-racecourse.co.uk/
After more than half a century, the Queen’s Guide to the Sands – Cedric Robinson MBE has decided to call it a day and retire. In that time, he has taken people such as Prince Philip and Melvyn Bragg and thousands of others across the sands raising thousands of pounds for charity. Starting in 1963, Mr Robinson has witnessed huge changes in the landscape and explains that the sands are more treacherous now they have been in a lifetime. His successor – Michael Wilson, a Flookburgh fisherman has already being appointed, but Mr Robinson is not finished up just yet. His new role will be a as Ambassador to the Guide Over Sands Trust and will oversee a transitional period while his successor settles in.
Silverdale is in an area of outstanding natural beauty and very enduring and popular area for walkers. Close to Morecambe Bay and on the outskirts of Silverdale, is a mysterious tower at Jenny Brown’s point. Walkers will have wondered about the isolated tower standing prominently on the shore is actually for. Being so close to the shore, some believed it was a beacon, used to direct ships, others suggested a limekiln. With the ever-shifting sands and severe weather, the coastline has changed significantly around Jenny Brown’s Point. Since the 1980s the changes and coastal erosion has carved away evidence of past ventures on the site. A targeted archaeological dig by the Morecambe Bay Partnership and local volunteers have uncovered that the chimney is part of a much larger complex of features. The dig discovered that the chimney was probably attached to flues from a nearby furnace. Little evidence to what the furnace may have been for exists but it is thought to have been to roast locally mined metal ores such as copper or iron. Presumably being so close to the shore the site will have been ideal for shipping the metals but the downside will have been that the buildings regularly flooded. Perhaps this is one of the reasons the furnace had a relatively short life.
Ullswater is the Lake District’s second largest lake. It is 9miles long by 0.75 miles wide and less than 200 feet deep at its deepest point. Fishing in Ullswater is free, a rod licence is all that you need. There are perch, pike and schelley – an endangered and protected whitefish relic from the last ice age. However, the only serious fishing is for brown trout. In 1955, it was used by Donald Campbell to set the world speed record in his jet powered boat Bluebird. The lake was also used in WW2 to test mini submarines and flying boats. William Wordsworth found inspiration for his poem ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ on April 15th 1802 whilst walking with his sister Dorothy along the lake shore from Aira Beck to Glencoyne.
Fell Foot Park is a great, family friendly location at the southern end of Windermere near Newby Bridge. You will find a magnificent view up the lake to the mountains of the central lakes. The walking is easy and you can hire a rowing boat at the far end of the park next to the boathouse café. There’s also an adventure park for children. It is a great place to have a picnic. Fell Foot is 20 minutes away by car from Lothlorien.
Swarthmoor Hall was built in 1652 as a country home set in beautiful grounds in 130 acres of farmland. Known as the cradle of Quakerism due to Judge Thomas and Margaret Fell, the latter an important player in the founding of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) providing protection and hospitality for the early Quaker movement in the 17th century. It remains in use today as a Quaker retreat house. George Fox visited the Hall in 1652. Thomas Fell was away travelling as a judge, but Fox had an audience with Margaret Fell, who became interested in his new doctrines. She arranged for him to preach in St. Mary’s Church in Ulverston and at the Hall. During his time there, many people were convinced of the truth of his teachings. For anyone interested in the birthplace Quakerism, Swarthmoor Hall is still a meeting house for Quakers. It is open to the public and there are six historic rooms on view displaying a fine selection of 17-century furniture.
The Langdales must be two of the most beautiful valleys in the Lake District. In fact, Langdale is a byword for some of Lakelands most stunning views and hikes. The valleys are no secret, as you will discover if you make a circular route taking is Great Langdale and Little Langdale on a weekend in summer. The two dales join at Elter Water and are separated by Lingmoor Fell. The road is very narrow, so it’s best to park at Skelwith Bridge or Elterwater and tackle the route on foot. The valley floor is divided by stone walls, dotted with farmsteads and surrounded by stunning mountain peaks. It’s dramatic scenery as you drive along the valley road meandering past the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. After a steep climb the road drops with views of Blea Tarn into Little Langdale Valley. One of the best walks in the valley begins at the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. The route passes Dungeon Ghyll Force before climbing steadily uphill by the Stickle Ghyll waterfalls. A surprise awaits you at the top – the still waters of Stickle tarn, with vertical cliff-face of Pavey Arc behind.
Great Langdale is easy to get to from Ambleside or Windermere. It’s not surprising this valley is so popular with walkers and climbers. The Langdale Pikes rise sheer from the valley floor with continual dramatic scenery as you drive up the length of the valley. The Old Dungeon Ghyll is a perfect refuge after a day on the fells. Nearby, The Stickle Barn (run by The National Trust) is a very popular meeting place for climbers and walkers alike. In summary, Great Langdale has something for everyone who is interested in walking, climbing and exploring this stunning landscape.
Situated above the shores of Morecambe Bay, just below the more famous Lake District National Park are the coastal cliffs of Arnside. Sitting on the edge of the Kent Estuary, Arnside has been a fishing village, boat building centre and Victorian playground. Furthermore, the stone jetty is testimony to the visiting pleasure craft of yesteryear. A peaceful village with pretty shops, it attracts holidaymakers to its waterfront with magnificent views over to the Lakeland fells. Arnside is popular with walkers, cyclists and birdwatchers, being home to much coastal birdlife. The areas around Arnside are renowned as designated Areas of Outstanding Beauty and Sites of Scientific Interest. Keep your eyes peeled for rare butterflies and alpine succulents that shelter amongst the limestone pavements. You can drive or walk to Arnside Knott where you will be treated to a panoramic view of the Lakeland fells. There are many lovely walks around Arnside Knott and up to the Pepper Pot at Silverdale. Further on the sparkling sands of Morecambe Bay come into view. Arnside Knott is a rolling 521-foot fell just south of the village. From here, there are many lovely walks around the Knott with woodland offering some shade. This quaint old former fishing village has a charming promenade with independent shops, pubs and cafes. The fish and chip shop sells the best fish and chips for miles around. From the promenade, the sunsets are spectacular and from the pier watching the tide roar in on the bore never fails to fascinate. Arnside is two stops by train from Kents Bank Station.
On the site of Yewbarrow Lodge apartments in the centre of Grange-over-sands, once stood a 19-Century house of the same name. In 1915 the the owner, Arthur Leigh, died when the SS Lusitania was sunk. In 1919 the 15 acre estate was bought by Lt.Col. Austin Porritt, a director of the Ramsbottom textile firm, Porritt & Spencer Ltd. He instructed a renowned landscape design firm of Thomas Mawson to create formal gardens. At the beginning of World War Two, Yewbarrow Lodge took in young evacuees from Salford. In 1941 the house was hit by an incendiary bomb and badly damaged. Fortunately, nobody was killed, but the building was badly damaged and Lt. Col. Porritt spent the rest of his years living in the nearby Grange Hotel. Austin Porritt was a champion archer, and in the 1930s the lawn area served as a practice ground. In his will Austin Porritt bequeathed the Lodge, garden and woodland to Grange Urban District Council. His instruction was for the space to be left as an open space for the benefit of the inhabitants of Grange. In the 1980s, the ruined house was demolished to make way for today’s apartments.
Furness Abbey near Barrow in Furness was once one of the richest Cistercian monasteries in England. The wealth came from such things as farming, controlled fishing, production of grain and leather. The majestic red sandstone remains of the lovely 12th-Century abbey lie in a peaceful valley. William Wordsworth called it the ‘vale of nightshade’. The soaring ruins of red sandstone soak up the grandeur of this 900 year old site. The majestic remains of Furness Abbey once housed the flourishing community of a wealthy order. Many of the buildings are still standing which made up the Abbey, including the Outer Court, the Church with its North and South Transept and Tower, the Cloister Court, Chapter House, the dormitory, infirmary and kitchen. The Abbey was founded by Count (later King) Stephen of Boulogne around c.1125. Much of the structure is the later Cistercian, as opposed to the original Savignac. The Abbey developed a harbour on Walney Island to promote its trade in wool and iron, and built a castle at Piel for protection. It became such a prize that the Scots raided it twice and survived until henry VIII chose it to be the first large abbey to be dissolved. Furness Abbey is 40 minutes away from Lothlorien by car.
Cartmel has been celebrating the 800th anniversary of the man who founded Cartmel Priory. The church was founded in 1189 by Sir William Marshall on land recently granted to him by King Henry II. He became a famous medieval figure who was later involved with the Magna Carter. William Marshall still has a bearing on the nations’ laws and governments to this day. Originally founded as a priory for Augustinian canons in around 1189, the oldest parts are the chancel, transepts, the south doorway and part of the north wall of the nave. The huge east window nearly fills the east wall and contain some fragments of medieval glass rescued from earlier works. The Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael also served as a parish church. From the outside notice the unusual tower built at a 45-degree angle across the original low lantern tower. Thankfully, the priory was saved from outright destruction during the Dissolution of Monasteries in the 1530s. Keep a look out for the 15th century choir stalls, each with a misericord, bear many carvings of animals. Finally, don’t miss the bullet holes visible in the south west door of the nave. These holes are leftovers from the 1640s, when Roundhead troops stayed in the village and stabled their horses in the church.
Carnforth Railway Station’s main claim to fame is for its use as the location for David Lean’s 1945 film ‘Brief Encounter’. Today it is still an important station being on the West Coast Main Line. Carnforth Station Heritage Centre is well worth a visit as is the themed 1940s cafeteria capitalising on the film. Your visit would not be complete without seeing the famous Carnforth Station clock made by Joyce of Whitchurch in the late 19th century. During the shooting of the Brief Encounter the clock was covered in canvas with painted numbers and moveable hands so the time could be manipulated.