Silverdale (1)


I again went on the Ashram Community group holiday with my parents, who are members. This year we stayed in a large and bizarre house in a small town called Silverdale, beside Morecambe Bay in the north of Lancashire near the border with Cumbria.

There are an awful lot of pictures. I did think about ways to organise them in a sensible manner but in the end... here is Saturday. More parts follow, I‘m afraid. (Second part; third part; fourth part.)

The house and garden

I mentioned the house we stayed in was bizarre. (It was also for sale; 11 bedrooms for £750,000, if you’re interested.) The garden was equally strange.

Tree house (sans stairs, which you can see at bottom left).
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200
Tree house closeup.
1/15 at f8, 23mm, ISO200

Inside the actual house, there were several lifesize statues. When we arrived, somebody had covered over the naughty bits with bin-bags; we don’t know if that was standard procedure for the cleaning crew, or the work of the previous guests.

I was slightly taken aback to come upon this one from outside.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200

Some parts of the garden felt more like a fly-tipping site. Not pictured: smashed up TV, abandoned car.

Two doors, a shopping trolley, and table-tennis beside some kind of shed.
1/8 at f4, 23mm, ISO200

There’s a rather nice area beside the front door where you can sit outside and admire the (excellent) view.

And, er, a small noose beside the door.
1/250 at f4, 23mm, ISO200 54°10′36″N 2°49′53″W

Circular walk to Arnside

On the dry but grey morning of the first full day, we decided to walk north to Arnside and back. We started by walking down to ‘the cove’, very near the house.

View from cove toward distant nuclear power station, with two walkers.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200

We returned inland and walked along public footpaths across various caravan sites and through woods.

These holes look rather large for badgers. Is there a Cumbrian version of Bigfoot?
1/15 at f4, 23mm, ISO800 54°11′15″N 2°51′39″W

After some distance in the woods, our route returned to the shoreline. There we spotted a line of people setting off on a guided walk across the bay, trailed by what we presume is an emergency tractor (although it doesn‘t have a flashing blue light).

Grass patches; walking group in the distance.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′26″N 2°51′51″W

We followed the coast for an hour.

Rock layers at an angle.
1/125 at f4, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′29″N 2°51′50″W
Hills opposite.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′37″N 2°51′35″W
Metal thing, sand, reflections, and a seagull.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′37″N 2°51′30″W
Craterscape and view across the bay.
1/320 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′37″N 2°51′22″W

As we approached Arnside, we could see the long low viaduct where the railway crosses the bay.

Horizontal tree, viaduct in distance.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′44″N 2°51′3″W
Signs near the masts of a sailing club.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′48″N 2°50′52″W
Blue doors.
1/30 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′57″N 2°50′29″W

The shopping street in Arnside runs along what would be the promenade in an actual seaside town. There are gift shops, several nice cafés, and two pubs.

As we went to have a look at the parish church the rain, which had begun a while back, grew stronger. We were glad to take refuge inside. By the time we finished looking through the church, the rain had nearly stopped, and we returned to the front.

Closer view of the viaduct.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°12′11″N 2°50′1″W
Railing at end of the (very short) pier.
1/250 at f11, 23mm, ISO200 54°12′9″N 2°50′6″W

We ate our sandwiches on that pier, then split up. Mum and I went to a café in the first floor of an old-fashioned clothes shop. My cake was very nice, but possibly more notable is the fact that this café actually closes for lunch. (It had just reopened.) Meanwhile, Dad went to the pub.

After regrouping, we left the town on a different route, inland. This is substantially more direct, although it should be noted that there‘s a fairly large hill in the way.

View back from Arnside Knott, with train crossing viaduct.
1/1000 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′31″N 2°50′7″W
View the other way.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′19″N 2°50′3″W
Another view, with Arnside Tower at left.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′19″N 2°50′4″W

This side of the hill is rather steep. We followed some quite sketchy tracks along the edge and downward.

Looking out to the bay.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′17″N 2°50′18″W

After a while we found a slightly less scary route down; it was still quite steep but didn’t have a precipice on one side, which I consider a plus.

Mum with large walking stick.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′19″N 2°50′19″W

At the bottom we crossed a lane and walked through a farmyard toward the path by Arnside Tower.

Arnside Tower.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′3″N 2°49′52″W
Interestingly shaped entrance.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′3″N 2°49′50″W
Stairs up to first floor (obviously, there isn’t one).
1/30 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°11′3″N 2°49′50″W

From there it wasn’t far back to Silverdale.

The cove and mine

Before dinner, Mum and I went out to see the cove again.

Moody clouds.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°10′20″N 2°50′4″W

We came upon a strange angular gash in the cliff and had a look inside. I looked it up later; there are claims online that this used to be the entrance to a mine (for metals). There‘s no entrance to anything now.

The mine entrance.
1/60 at f5.6, 23mm, ISO200 54°10′17″N 2°50′1″W

On the left of the above picture is a sort of path up the cliff. Mum decided to go up there, so...

View from clifftop through trees.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°10′15″N 2°50′0″W

At the top we had to climb over a stone wall to get back onto a footpath. (The wall is probably there to stop idiots walking off the footpath onto the cliff edge area.)

A look back at the mine area.
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°10′18″N 2°50′1″W
Sunlight over the bay.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 54°10′18″N 2°50′1″W

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.