This one is for my fabulous Aunt Stella: a woman who has adventured through Africa, India, Malaysia and many other places. I can see that you have been reading my blog! Thank you.
I decided to write about Arnside, where Stella now lives, as the light there is so clear and bright it makes me feel invigorated, even in the winter. For any other travel bloggers out there in the real world…please comment and direct me to your writing to share ideas for weekends away and microadventures.
I have been visiting Arnside for as long as I can remember. Putting the suburbs of Manchester behind them my grandparents retired there in the early 1970s. Trailblazers!
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
It is not hard to see why this is a great place to live. The air is crystal clear and views are outstanding. Indeed, the area itself has a special status an AONB! Less famous than The Lakes but nevertheless stunning. And quiet. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone!
What to Do?
There’s plenty to do here without needing to get in to your car. Firstly, you must head up The Knott (owned by The National Trust) and make your way to the viewpoint to point out the Lake District Fells to the north.
If the weather is glorious why not extend your trip out to Jenny Brown’s Point then head back around the coastal path? You have to be as nimble as a mountain goat in parts but the glittering views are well worth it. Limestone formations offer interest and opportunities for the kids to scramble about.
Where to stay?
Arnside has a lovely independent Youth Hostel on Redhills Road. The building itself is typical of this genteel town and has Arts and Crafts architectural features. Other hotels, caravan sites and self-catering holiday lets are also available.. This is the kind of place which attracts a lot of repeat custom.
What to eat?
It is customary to eat Fish and Chips here but a number of eateries provide a range of gastronomic delights. The last time we ate at The Albion we got a great view of a steam train crossing over the Arnside Viaduct which was pretty spectacular and reminiscent of a grand and glamorous age when people flocked to the Lake District in search of a romantic aesthetic.
Parks and Pennies
With well maintained parks at every turn, it is not hard to entertain the kids here. Make sure that your kids have their pocket money for treats and tasteful gifts (or tat) after all that appetite-building fresh air. There’s also a donation box at the end of the pier where spare pounds and pennies can spiral around the funnel before making a hearty clunk in to the darkness beyond. For those of you who fall in love with the place there’s more than one Art Gallery to buy a lasting memento. Keep a little piece of Arnside in your heart and home until next time you can visit.
The Bay Walk
On specified weekends Morecambe Cross Bay guided walks across are available. Walks start at Kent’s Bank. There is a small charge and all profits are donated to charities. I will write about this in a future blog. Do not wade out over the sands without expert guidance as there is sinking, shifting sand and a tidal wave called the Arnside Bore which rushes up the estuary transforming the sandy scene to a seemingly calm and reflective mirror.