Arneside. March 2024

After the TV episode about Arneside in the series Villages by the Sea, the childbride requested a weekend visit to mark her birthday. We came here every Spring Bank Holiday when the kids were young as part of a group caravan weekend at Holgates in Silverdale. So a trip down memory lane.

Sykes Cottage, opposite the station and five minutes from the village promenade and hence the River Kent. Along with the viaduct that connects to Grange, these features define Arnside. Low fells in the distance, shops and bars behind.

At first the cottage was inaccessible. A phone call to the owner informed us No2 was hidden behind No1 front door. Upstairs first floor flat, recently decorated, lounge overlooking the station. Very comfortable.

Two days may not seem long, but enough time to visit Carnforth, Silverdale, Arneside Knott and the forshore delights.

And, every 20 minutes. people with luggage appeared, a train rumbled into the station and stopped and then moved on to Carlisle or Lancaster

The Albion. Go-to pub for an early evening drink before getting the bbq going back at Holgates. After there would be a lads v. dads soccer game with spectators and odd additions. I treated all the boys I took one mad weekend to a feed here (Sunley, Dove, Walker, Hutchinson, Cooper).  I slept in the van. They had the awning and tents. They latched onto some girls and pursued them out of the camp. I discovered them under a lychgate at a local church sheltering from the rain. No girls in sight.

The pub is popular with visitors, especially for food, but not with the locals - they go to the wine bar. Wainwrights beer is good though.

The view across the river including the pier, the promenade, quicksand warning sign, the bore and a train on the viaduct. The bore comes up from Morecambe Bay at high tide. It doesn't look much, but it roars under the viaduct. A danger heralded by a noisy warning siren 20 minutes before arrival. Best not explore the sands unaccompanied by an expert. All the years we've visited and this is the first time to see the bore.

The Knott - The highest local point with a great view of the viaduct. Someone has carved a heart.

Holgates - a big operation now with several sites for statics and tourers. Chalets as well. In Silverdale which is much bigger than I remember. Big wood red squirrel.
The Fighting Cocks - the nearest pub to the cottage. Pop inn before evening meal. A tad garish.

Carnforth Station - famous for Brief Encounter. Somewhat tired. There used to be a clock hanging here. It's in someone's garage now and the owner won't release it. We had a brief encounter with Ringo and then parked in Booths supermarket.
Crossfield's Wine Bar - where the locals go. Must be related to the boat builders who featured in the TV programme. Great view of the estuary. Good coffee.

Perfect weekend. Lots of memories. And still, every 20 minutes, people with luggage appear, a train rumbles into the station and stops. People get on and off and then the train moves on to Carlisle or Lancaster.

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