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Jul 2018

Cumbria Coat of Arms

"C'mon ref, ee woz well arnside!" No, it's not Saturday afternoon dahn the '  Ammers where the credentials, and subsequent parentage, of the assistant referee are being called into question.

No, this is just about still in Cumbria at the top-right of Morecambe Bay and the game is about to turn, tide-wise, but more on that in a minute.

Only it won't for another three hours and as easy-on-the-eye as Arnside is, no man can wait for time and tide that long.

There's parking right on the estuary and it plays host to the  Arnside Bore, which by the time you've read this will have you thinking... that'll be two of them!

It's one of just a handful of true tidal waves in the UK with an audible warning during daytime and anything between a foot and a metre-high surge depending on the mood of the moon.

  The Albion (The Promenade)

Time could have been killed in the Albion but it's closed today down to the assistant manager getting married. It's understood that the assistant manager needs the afternoon off so why isn't the manager opening up?

Perhaps the assistant manager is getting married to the manager or, more likely, the manager just has an invite, of course.

Either way, it doesn't look a large enough operation to employ an assistant to the assistant manager and on any other day, they'll fill you up with local, potted shrimps and that liquid, Lancashire staple,  Thwaites™.

This was all a port, of sorts, before it became the inevitable, Victorian seaside resort. They started coming by train in 1857[1] via a viaduct, confirmed on the OS Outdoor Leisure 7 English Lakes South Eastern Area map like you don't have one yourselves.

It's said to have caused the silting that saw to the port and it's a little bit of a disappointment, viaduct-wise.

Still, it's the original steelwork, they say, although the pontoons were strengthened in 1915 to handle the heavier munitions supplied from Carlise during World War I's great shell shortage, they also say.

[1] Funnily enough, about the same time that tide's due in.

While the words 'railway viaduct' might conjure up images of a chuff-chuff, you'll have to settle for the Class 153 Super Sprinter today although it could be a 156.

This isn't part of the world famous  Settle-Carlise line where they do do choo-choos[1] and where they've got a proper viaduct like the one in Harry Potter™. No, this service runs to and from Barrow-in-Furness, which is, literally and metaphorically, the end of the line.

[2] As well as a regular passenger service on a Class 153 Super Sprinter although it could be a 156.

Follow the fancy-looking dwellings west and, when the parking runs out, take the path to the headland on Morecambe Bay then loop back through the woods.

If it's a little too late in the afternoon for a three-and-a-half miler, take the signposted path to Redhills up past a ramshackle café then, erm, loop back through the woods.

These are Ashmeadow Woods, a small but well-kempt area of woodland that's home to a former school with some history, a war memorial and a walled garden.

The southern part of the Lake District is seeable from here but this is actually part of the  Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and, as should be known by now, they don't hand them awards out willy-nilly.

Straddling Lancashire, woodland and meadow lead into salt marsh and sand flats making for a mixture of rare plants and migrating waders with the RSPB™'s presence felt.

Back down in Arnside by the sloping Silverdale Road, most people give this place a miss this on their way up and down the  M6. If you're local, this area is a relatively, well-kept secret and no doubt they'd like to keep it that way.

If only there wasn't a big siren going off every 12 hours to advertise it.