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Lancashire walk - Silverdale

PUBLISHED: 00:00 11 October 2017

The Cave by the beach

The Cave by the beach

John Lenehan

Once you’ve discovered this lovely village you’ll want to go back time and again - if just for the cakes. John Lenehan reports.

The chimney stack at Jenny Browns PointThe chimney stack at Jenny Browns Point

Silverdale is probably one of the most beautiful coastal areas in Lancashire. It is almost secretive, hidden just beyond the busy town of Carnforth. But when found it is truly an outstanding place to go walking.

This is an area of limestone which was once heavily quarried but now these industrial scars have merged into the landscape as vegetation and trees have encroached and now the workings look like natural crags. One could easily feel it to be in the Yorkshire Dales. It is also home to Leighton Moss RSPB Nature Reserve a mecca for birdwatchers from all over the country. It is from the car park near another bird watching site, the Eric Morecambe Hide that this walk starts, and yes that is the Eric Morecambe of Morecambe and Wise fame. He was a keen bird watcher.

The Walk

Lindeth Tower, once occupied by Elizabeth GaskellLindeth Tower, once occupied by Elizabeth Gaskell

1. Leave the car park by the way you entered but instead of turning right and going under the railway bridge carry straight on over a concrete bridge and then through a stile on the left. Follow the path across the salt marsh in parts along the top of a small dyke.

2. Cross the stile and follow the signpost left towards Jenny Browns point. This stile is also used on the way back. Dependent on rainfall the path can be easy along grass if dry, or a bit narrow and twisty slightly higher up the hill side if wet. The grass becomes very boggy in wet conditions.

The Shore Cottages at SilverdaleThe Shore Cottages at Silverdale

3. Pass by the old limestone chimney and the front of the cottages of Brown’s House and then turn right onto a narrow tarmac road then left and follow the road as first it parallels the coastline then turns away right and uphill.

Note: To quite a lot of people this chimney is Jenny Brown’s point but in reality it isn’t. It is what is left of a copper smelting works that once stood here. Jenny Brown’s Point is further round the headland and if you look down left as you are walking up the road just before it bends right you will see the remains of a seawall and the ruins of a jetty. I can’t find out who Jenny Brown was - does anyone know?

The Silverdale saltmarshThe Silverdale saltmarsh

Carry on uphill until the road meets the main road and carry straight on along Lindeth Road. Keep on the road until the t-junction at the end at Shore Road.

Note: When you approach Lindeth Road coming up the narrow lane you will notice a tall square tower in the garden of a house by Lindeth Lodge Farm. The tower is called Lindeth Tower and is where Elizabeth Gaskell the Victorian Author wrote her novel Ruth.

Siverdale is one of Lancashires prettiest coastal villagesSiverdale is one of Lancashires prettiest coastal villages

Here the decision has to be made whether to go left and follow Shore road down to the shore to the coastal path or go right uphill and then left through a stile and across the fields. Both ways end at the same point so I will describe both.

4. Route A: This is the coastal path following The Lancashire Coastal Way. Follow Shore Road until it ends at a small car park.

5. Go along the shingle past the row of house called Shore Cottages then keep on with the cliffs on the right and the beach on the left until you reach a small cove with an obvious cave on the opposite side. Turn right and walk up to a metal gate with a stile.

Note: Until only a few years ago the area of beach in front of Shore Cottages used to be a very large salt marsh stretching out a long way into the bay. Changes to the River Kent, weather and tidal patterns meant the marshes were washed away leaving the clear beach there today. A local man told me that the Victorians used to bury their rubbish on the marsh and when it was washed away many artefacts appeared in the mud.

The upside of this route is that on a warm sunny day with the tide fully out and the sand dry it makes for a pleasant walk along the beach after first negotiating some rather large rocks and shingle. It also gives some beautiful views over the Kent Estuary and out into Morecambe bay. The downside is that if the tide has just gone out the sand becomes mud and not very pleasant, or possibly not safe to walk on. This means the walk turns it a scramble over large rocks and shingle and is not really enjoyable. Do not try to walk the path when the tide is coming in. It is Dangerous and should not be attempted.

Route B: Go through the stile and cross the field to another stile in a wall then cross the next field bearing slightly left passing a small wood on the right to a stile. Cross the stile and enter a narrow path between two walls and follow this down hill to arrive in the cove and then walk to the metal gate with a stile.

The views aren’t as good as A but both routes are marked as paths on the map so it is up to the walker to decide if conditions are favourable.

6. Go through the stile and follow the narrow tarmac road up to the main road Cove Road and turn right and follow this all the way passing Silverdale Methodist Church on the right to its junction with Emesgate Lane and then turn left and follow the main road passing a small cemetery on the right.

7. At the corner of the cemetery turn right down Bottoms Lane and follow this.

8. Just as the road starts to bend left there is a stile next to a steel gate on the right with a signpost saying Silverdale Village. Cross the stile and follow the path for about 20 yards then on the left there is another stile with a sign saying Public Footpath to The Green. Cross this stile and keeping a wood and wall on the left, follow the path. Eventually the wall gives way to a wire fence and keeping this to the left carry on until reaching a stile in a high stonewall. Cross the stile and go straight on and follow the narrow path with a wire fence on the left and a wooden fence on the right. Pass through a stile then turn left and follow the track as it turns right and leads down to a road called The Green. Turn right and follow the Green to a t-junction with the main road. A red post box is facing you across the main road. Turn right.

9. Follow the road until a footpath sign on the left that says Woodwell and Gibraltar. There is also a track that is named The Chase, the footpath is to the left of The Chase and runs parallel to it. There is also a footpath sign that says Woodwell and Hollins Lane. Follow this as the track leads between two walls to a stile by a wooden gate. Cross the stile and follow the narrow path between a wire fence on the left and a wall on the right to a stile, cross this and turn left.

There is a sign saying National Trust Woodwell Cliff. Follow the path down hill through the woods to a gate stile that leads into a field and on towards a three-finger signpost. Follow the sign that says Woodwell then bear diagonally right down hill then turn left and follow the path towards a stile to the left of a small gate. The stile is partially hidden and the gate has a padlock on it that makes it look from a distance like the gate is a locked stile. Ignore the temptation to think this, as the actual stile is clear. Cross the stile and enter the woods and keep left and follow the path straight on through the woods.

It is a little rough going in places. Eventually the path reaches a set of stone steps that lead up to a stile, cross this onto the road Hollins Lane then turn right.

10. Follow the road and almost straight away on the left is a footpath sign and a gate. Go through the gate and across a very small patch of land then through a stile and up a narrow path between walls then cross a stile on the left then keeping a wall on the right follow the path across two fields to a stile in the right corner of the second field.

Cross the stile and follow the path as it descends steeply through the woods. Take care in wet conditions as there are some limestone sections that could be slippery. Eventually the path reaches the salt marsh and the stile you crossed to go to Jenny Browns Point. Cross the stile and retrace the path back to the car park.

Watering Hole:

The Wolf House Café

This wonderful café is part of a series of buildings that stand on the corner of Lindeth Road and Hollins Lane. The others are Wolf House Cottages and Wolf House Gallery. The food is superb. I had the rare breed bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich and it was delicious. I was really tempted to have one of the wonderful looking cakes on offer but resisted – next time I visit I will definitely be trying one.

Wolf House Café: Lindeth Rd, Silverdale, Carnforth LA5 0TX Phone: 01524 701405

COMPASS POINTS

Start and Finish: Car park near Eric Morecambe Hide. It is shown on the OS map as being at Quakers Stang. Beware that to enter the car park you have to drive under a very low railway bridge.

Terrain: A mixture of everything from sheep cropped salt marsh grass to rocky shoreline, sandy beach, track and road, and a pretty steep descent down Heald Brow. Good boots and possibly walking sticks if not comfortable on descents.

Time: 3 hours

Distance: 5.5 miles

Map: OS map OL7 The English Lakes South Eastern Area.

Facilities: There are public toilets in Silverdale village.

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