#6 Around Silverdale

18 06 2010
18th June 2010
solo
5.5 miles
Explorer OL7 (The English Lakes – South-eastern area)
Grey and humid

A very early start; left home at 7:20, started walking at 8:45. The walk starts from a very enclosed carpark on the edge of Eaves Wood, understandably there are plenty of signs warning you to take your valuables with you, I’m a little concerned that mine is the only car here.

The Cove

I set off through the woodland, it is dark and a little creepy, every now and then a section is fenced off where coppicing has taken place, the fencing protects the new growth from deer for three years. I drop down from the woods into the hamlet of Elmslack, I wind in and out of lanes and little snickets until I find myself on the main road where I encounter a large group of cyclists, they look as if it is some sort of charity ride. I follow a lane down towards ‘the Cove’, where there is a convenient bench and a view of Morcambe Bay. The path to the south climbs up through a gate and winds along the cliff top as the view towards Grange-Over-Sands to the north opens up.

I then move inland a touch, towards Silverdale itself, crossing two fields to emerge near the Silverdale Hotel and then proceed down Lindeth Road. It’s about this point that I realise that every single garden I have seen so far in Elmslack or Silverdale has been pristinely kept. There are different styles, but all of them beautiful, this theme was to recur throughout the walk. Eventually Lindeth Road turns into a track, and then as I reach Lindeth Lodge Farm there is a lovely stone bench that allows me the opportunity to turn my trousers into 3/4 length shorts – my legs first outing of the summer. The road continues but is down to a single track now, after a while there is a turning on the right to ‘Jack Scout’.

There is an old lime kiln here built into a slope, it’s still clear where they would control the fire at the bottom of the kiln, and then up the stone steps somone would unload the limestone into the top of the kiln. The path then rejoins the cliff edge and there are again some outstanding views of the Bay, the path is narrow, rocky, and twisting as it makes it’s way around and past ‘Jenny Brown’s Point’ where it rejoins the single-track lane. The clouds are getting darker now and I’m a bit concerned that the book says there’s a bit of clambering over rocks coming up, and I’d much rather clamber over dry rocks than wet. The lane ends abruptly at a house and I’m forced down onto the rocks at the water’s edge and clamber across them, the first 20 yards are tough, but then after that there are always earthen/grassy sections to walk on, eventually it is all grassy, with rabbits and rabbit holes everywhere.

The path then turns steeply uphill, and for the first time I am aware how humid it is, at the top of the bank there are a couple of limestone shelves to haul myself up, and then a few fields to cross before dropping back down through woodland before emerging at the ‘Wood Well’ which is a large stone trough (roughly 4m square) filled to the brim with water, and containing some lovely wild aquatic plants. From here the book leads me down what is described as “the cliff path” and “limestone steps”, and technically that is all true, but it goes no way to describing the steepness of the cliff I have to scramble up, the only blessing is that nature has left the ‘steps’ in the right places. However, there is no way Mrs NLW would have got up there, and the book doesn’t describe an alternate route despite it being obvious that there must be one.

At the top of the cliff there is some more pleasant woodland walking before I reappear into Silverdale, this time at Silverdale Green. The green is full of beautiful chocalte box cottage, again with well kep gardens, even the vegetation at the side of the lane has been tended to – either by letting it self-seed and picking out the unwanted plants, or by planting/sewing only the more desirable of wildflowers. It really is a stunning little village.

The plant, for what it’s worth

On the other side of the green I branch right towards Burton Well, this is a similar well to ‘Well Wood’ but not as full or as well planted. Through a meadow and another wood, across a road and nearly done. It is here , on a woodland path between ‘The Row’ and the golf course that I find a small rope barrier, only about 2 yards long, and a sign attached saying “DO NOT TOUCH the plant! Please view from behind the rope”. The plant in question was obvious, and looked orchid like, but was no longer in flower. A bit of post walk googling has revealed that is probably Silverdale’s famous ‘Lady’s Slipper Orchid’!

I then turn through a gate that is signposted for ‘Bigland House’ (as per the book) and down through what increasingly looks like someone’s back garden, eventually exiting through a gate onto ‘The Row’. I would expect this gate to by signposted either for the golf course, or as a public footpath, but instead it just has the number 37; how odd! If you were doing to walk in reverse there’s no way you’d know where to go. It’s only a short stroll back to the car, I’m still the only car in the carpark, but everything is in one piece. As I start to drive off the rain starts.

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20 07 2011
#5 Leighton Moss « New Lancs Walker

[…] I didn’t realise it at the time but at this point I am only 100yds from the start point of walk #6 ‘Around Silverdale’. I head south along the road for a couple of hundred yards and then down Moss Lane until just […]

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