Posted by: natsevs | May 8, 2010

Far Arnside to Kirkby-in-Furness

After a very good night’s sleep, I had some breakfast then Ruth dropped me back off at Far Arnside without my bag. I immediately took a path off the road and toward the headland. It soon took me up into the woods, which was quite nice, then wound round to Arnside. The tide was out when I got there I started to think I may be able to cross over the river after all, but on closer inspection it looked very unlikely. Plus it might have caused alarm amongst the people on the front.

So onto the road it was. It started off hugging the coast but I was soon on the main road up to Levens. A very witty man drinking special brew with his mates at 11am called me Albert a fair few times as I walked by. At Levens, I crossed the river and headed along the main road, walking on the verge as usual. Further on, I was able to get onto a footpath through wetlands and farmland onto a quieter road, which took me down to Grange over Sands.

Ruth and Mike have a cafe there called The Coffee Pot and I went in for my lunch. I had a very nice bacon sandwich and a toffee fudge ice cream for pud. I also decided I wasn’t going to get too far away so took up the offer of another night in the house. The promenade and path took me down to Kent Sands, but I had to take roads inland from there and across to the other side of the headland. Another inlet and river meant I had to go inland again, despite there being a railway bridge here as well. They really should have pedestrian access.

I reached Haverthwaite in good time so decided to go on to the next town Greenodd. The walk was right along the river bank to start with and very pleasant in the sunshine. It then went through some woods before coming to a bridge over to Greenodd. Mike picked me up from there. It was really good to have a day without the bag.

The following morning after saying goodbye, I was dropped back off at Greenodd and set off along the river side. I inevitably had to get back on the coast road again pretty soon and was taken inland slightly. It came back out towards Plumpton, though, and from there on I was able to stay largely on the coast, either on the beach or the road. I hadn’t managed to stock up on food recently so when I was hungry around midday I had to make do with a pitta bread dipped in nutella.

Then later on I got a capuccino ice cream from a car park cafe. I walked along the beach until it became a bit too sinky and I was forced up onto the road. Still no shop so I made do with another pitta.

From Rampside to Barrow, the walking was horrible. I made my way along the path next to big industrial expanses then through forgotten industry before finally getting through an estate into Barrow itself. First stop was co-op for some much-needed snacks, eating the steak slice and three donuts straight away. Following the road took me through Barrow onto Barrow Island and then over the bridge to the Isle of Walney. I had to stay on the road as there was no path and it took me past Biggar and on towards South Walney.

Along the way I passed a farm with Emu and Alpaca, which were two animals I wasn’t expecting to see here. It turns out the campsite at South Walney doesn’t take tents so I filled up my water bottles and walked on to find a sheltered spot to stop. I ended up hiding behind a wall halfway between the campsite and the nature reserve, which makes up the very bottom of the island. After setting up my tent I went to walk around the end of the island, but halfway round the warden turned up and told me I wasn’t allowed to be there outside of opening hours (10-5). So I returned to my tent now slightly worried I would be discovered and moved on.

Despite a few cars driving by in the evening and early morning, the wall did its job and I remained undiscovered. Nevertheless I got up fairly early and was on my way by half 8. To avoid going back up exactly the same road I had come down I climbed a gate and crossed farmland to reach the other side of the island. I walked along the beach all the way back up to Vickerstown then along the promenade as far as the airfield.

I turned right here with my map and iPhone to guide me and crossed the island to come back down the other side. I went along one road then right at a T junction, assuming I was now heading south. I walked past a holiday park with the same name as the one I’d walked alongside before, a bit stupid calling it West Shore when it’s on the east shore I thought. After walking a while up this side I thought it was odd that I couldn’t see Barrow at all. There was an information sign and apparently I had done a circle and then carried on walking where I had left off. I had no idea how I’d managed this and I’m still a little confused now. Apparently two rights make a wrong.

In the end, I did manage to get off the island and headed into Barrow once more. Here I went to the supermarket then spent 45 minutes looking for a non-existent camping shop in need of gas. I gave up and headed toward the road out of town on which was a camping superstore which apparently google has no idea about. Helpful.

Once out of Barrow there was a path going down a dirt road and over the railway to meet the coast. From there I walked around a dune system that sticks out of the coast and almost connects with North Walney. It was quite a good walk which then took me round to Askam and along the coast next to the railway. At times the path was very waterlogged and it obviously isn’t one that is maintained at all.

I got to Kirkby at around half 5  and headed to the hostel there. It is attached to the local pub and both are run by Tony and his wife. It’s a really nice hostel which generally only takes groups but they were empty so I was able to stay. And for free! What was better was that Friday night is BBQ night so I was able to have a beer and a burger after getting showered. I had been wanting a BBQ for quite a while so it was a good night, but not quite the same as a proper barbie with mates and cheap beers.

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