Arnside and Beetham

It’s one way in and one way out at Arnside which overlooks Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland fells. The village also lies within the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so designated because of its mix of limestone pavement, wetlands, meadow and woodland, and its varied plant and animal life.

In the 19th century there was a fairly busy harbour here but once the 50-arch railway viaduct was built across the estuary in 1857 trade quickly declined. To add insult to injury, the pier was hit by storms in 1934 and then again 50 years later. It’s been subsequently rebuilt. 

The village is a quiet, unhurried spot to enjoy and so is Arnside Knott, the limestone hill to the south of the village. On the way to its car park a sign by the road points out the 40 or so fells you can see from the top. Look out for butterflies and the ruins of Arnside Tower.  

At the far end of The Promenade the road comes to an end and a path takes you beside the water to New Barns Bay. A sign warns of ‘fast rising tides, quicksands and hidden channels’ and, as if to make the point, the Arnside Coastguard rescue jet ski is parked beside the path nearby.

About three miles to the east, by-passed by the A6, is Beetham, home to Grade I listed St Michael and All Angels Church, 18th century Heron Corn Mill and the small Heron Theatre (www.theherontheatre.com). 

The mill, which is located beside the River Bela, closed in 1958 but was then restored in the 1970s. The large waterwheel powers all the old mill machinery on site while a turbine, installed in 2010, generates electricity from the river. There’s a programme of events here too. www.heronmill.org

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