Arnside, Lake District Holiday October 2016
Saturday 29th October
We travelled from selected pick up points in a coach and arrived at Arnside at 4pm. The journey was comfortable and trouble free. The Parkside Guesthouse was set in lovely grounds in an elevated position in the village. The staff were most welcoming and the rooms comfortable. The food was excellent and service extremely good.
SUNDAY 30TH OCTOBER - Local ramble around Arnside
The sky was dull, but it was not cold. Our first walk of the holiday was led by Sylvia. We left the hotel and headed downwards upon a footpath which took us to the riverside. The river Kent runs through Arnside Village and out into Morcombe Bay. The estuary is wide and the tides are dangerously fast coming in. So much so that a siren sounds on the incoming tide. Our route took us along the banks of the estuary over somewhat stoney ground. It was evident that the tide was coming in - and fast. All was well until we reached a small outcrop of rock jutting into the estuary The majority beat the tide and walked round with no problem, but the last group were caught by the rising tide. There was no option but to take the plunge and walk round the outcrop - fully booted - The water was a a foot deep. The spirit of adventure was high and all were laughing as they waded round the rocks. On the other side it was a case of boots off, tip out the water and wring out the socks. The remainder of the walk was a rather soggy affair, but not enough to dampen our resolve.
The footpath led us up to a view point where we had our apple stop. We carried on upwards and through a lovely wooded area where we found some small caves. We proceeded through a caravan park and had lunch at the top of the hill on the outskirts of the park. There was a lovely view of The Knott a large escarpment to the rear of Arnside village. Jenny had led a group on a longer walk up the Knott that day too. We skirted along at the base of the Knott past the ruins of a 17th century Tower which was used during the Civil War as a lookout. The footpath took us through a beautiful wood. All the autumn colours were in full glory. We came out by the Arnside railway line then took the path through an old farm and back into the village.
MONDAY 31ST OCTOBER - Coniston & Tarn Hous
The coach picked us up at Parkside and dropped us at a National Trust car park just outside Coniston. The walk was lead by Jenny who is an experienced walker in our group who used to live in the Lake District. The weather was dry sunny and mild.
The footpath began with a cascading stream running under the road to adjoining fields. The footpath was steep and winding as we followed the stream which had carved a deep ravine through the hillside. The water was a flowing torrent with waterfalls cascading into the deep ravines as the stream wound its way through and down this beautiful wooded hillside. The trees were dressed in their full autumnal glory with the sun glistening through them onto the fast flowing stream below.
At the top of this upward footpath the land opened out and we were met with the most beautiful lake called Tarn Hous. The Tarn was surrounded by woods and the reflections of those autumn colours in the still waters was stunningly beautiful. We walked round the Tarn taking and had ample opportunity to take in this extraordinary lovely scenery.
At the end of the circular walk around the Tarn we had a picnic lunch sitting on an open hillside gazing down upon this wonderful scenery
We then took the woodland footpath down to the Coniston valley. The footpath took us over fields where the local Herdwicke sheep were grazing peacefully. Then the pathway took us up a very long steep incline where through the trees we could see glimpses of Coniston Water. The hill climb was well worth the effort as at the top there stood the most awesome view of the Old Man of Coniston. Surrounded by hills and mountains rising from lush green pastures. Their peaks surrounded by a layer of mist. The sun was going down giving a lovely golden glow to the whole scene. We walked down into Coniston village where the coach picked us up. A most memorable day. Jill and Geoff walked up the Old Man that day. It took 3 hours up and 3.5 hours back walking being rather testing on slippery screed.
TUESDAY 1ST NOVEMBER - Leighton Moss Nature Reserve
The day was dry, bright and sunny and temperature mild. We walked from the hotel to Arnside Railway Station. One stop along to Silverdale where we visited the RSPB Nature Reserve at Silverdale. This is a flatland wild fowl sanctuary. We took a walk around the reserve taking a look at the water fowl from the various bird hides that were strategically positioned on the waters edge. We were given a very interesting talk by one of the wardens who explained to us how the sanctuary first came into being and how it was run. After our packed lunch some went back on the train and some took the walk over the most beautiful farmland Cumbrian countryside back into Arnside.
WEDNESDAY 2ND NOVEMBER - Grassmere to Ambleside via The Old Coffin Walk
The weather was mild, sunny and dry. The coach took us to Grassmere where we took a little walk round this popular tourist village. Home to Wordsworth and where he and his family are buried in the churchyard.
THE OLD COFFIN WALK - Sylvia led this walk with Jenny leading a longer walk. We left Grassmere and took a steep incline onto the footpath known as the Old Coffin Walk which leads from Grassmere to Ambleside. On this elevated footpath the views over Grassmere and Rydal Water were amazing. The path was stoney and undulating and following an old stone wall over which there were breathtaking views of Rydal Water below. We took our lunch break at Rydal Hall. This stunning location offered us another lovely place in which to enjoy a break. Afterwards we took the footpath through the grounds of Rydal Hall following the stream and then into Ambleside. We met the coach at the garden centre. That evening we were entertained by the Arnside Ukulele band. Another great day.
THURSDAY 3RD NOVEMBER - Ulverston
The weather was dull with a little drizzle and light rain all day. We walked from the hotel to Arnside Station, and took the train which crossed the estuary to Ulvaston. This is a quiet northern town and home to the pharmaceutical giant Smithkline Beecham. Ulvaston station is a lovely old Victorian Railway Station. We walked through part of the town and then onto the tow path of the Ulverston canal. This Victorian waterway is no longer used and is now part of the amenity land given to the public by the pharmaceutical giant whose factory spans the whole length on the other side of the canal. Our route took us to the beach overlooking Morcombe Bay. We had our picnic lunch in a nature reserve. After lunch our journey took us along part of the beach then inland through a beautiful beech wood being part of the grounds belonging to Conishead Priory and Buddhist Temple. This lovely house dates back to the 11th century and is now a Buddhist retreat. We had a welcome tea break here. Then we walked back through Ulvaston to the catch the train back to Arnside. It was a lovely walk , with totally different scenery, despite the inclement weather on this day.
FRIDAY 4TH NOVEMBER - Sizergh Castle & Kendal
The day was quite different very heavy showers with hail and sunshine and a little colder. The coach picked us up from the hotel and took us to the National Trust Sizergh Castle. Sizergh is renown for its beautiful acer garden which was in its full autumnal glory for us on this day. The colours were stunning. We walked round the Stumpery which is quite a different way of gardening and beautiful in its own right. Whilst there, after a heavy shower a beautiful rainbow appeared. We visited the grounds, lake and the Old Barn. The coach then took us to Kendal where we spent the rest of the day. Some went shopping and others walking round this lovely old Cumbrian town. The river Kent runs through with the ruins of Kendal castle looking imposing on the bill on the far side of the river.
SATURDAY 5TH NOVEMBER - return home.