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Arnside is located on the estuary, where the River Kent enters Morecambe Bay. It is a former fishing port that has retained many features from its past with a beautiful pier on the promenade from where visitors can enjoy views over the Bay, as well as the hills and Arnside Knott. 


It is a haven for birds, and the surrounding countryside contains a wealth of flora and fauna. The National Trust owned Arnside Knott, a 520 ft high flat rock, which with neighbouring Silverdale in Lancashire, has done much to secure the designation of ‘Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty’. It has many lovely wooded walks around Arnside Knott, up to the “Pepper-Pot” at Silverdale or around the coast with its cliff top walks and sea views. If you're looking for accommodation in Arnside, please do consider our holiday lets.


The village has numerous shops, the majority are located along the promenade, with a handful set back up the lanes closeby. These include cafes, gift shops, hairdresser, ice cream shop, vintage shop, 2nd hand clothes and premium clothes shop, art galleries and two general stores for  everyday and food items.

There are a number of places to eat in the village. In addition to the cafes, there are two pubs and the Arnside Chippy is definitely worth a visit. A walk away and you will find more cafes around the bay including the Bob-In cafe at New Barns Bay and a bar and dining as well as swimming, bowling and play areas at Holgates Caravan Park just outside of Silverdale.  


At Morecambe Bay, tides turn quickly as the “tidal bore”, a dangerous and swift high tide, comes racing up the River Kent. Low tide uncovers miles of sand, and guided walks across the Bay are possible. It was the monks who first guided people over the sands. Guides carried poles to check on the water’s depth, and, when walking the sands was possible, they would blow a horn to inform travellers. When tides made the Bay unsafe to cross, the guides again blew on a horn to signal that the crossing was closed. Horses were often a means of transport for those wealthy enough to afford them. John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, used a horse to make his way across the sands. Other famous people have crossed the sands of Morecambe Bay – among them were Robert the Bruce’s soldiers when they invaded Lancashire in 1322. The Lanercost Chronicle said, “. . . . so they crossed the sands of Kent as far as the town of Lancaster which they burnt, except for the Priory of the Black Monks and the homes of the preaching Friars.” The supporters of Lambert Simnel (pretender to Henry VII’s throne) crossed the sands in 1487. George Fox, the unpopular founder of the Quakers, was escorted by soldiers across the sands for trial and imprisonment in Lancaster. Today, a siren is sounded 1/2 an hour before the tide comes in, as a warning to people to get off the sand. It is then sounded again just as the tide comes in.


Arnside Tower is one of a number of 15th century Pele towers constructed for safety during the border raids by the Scots, built in a ring around the Bay. Constructed of limestone rubble, the tower was originally five storeys high, measuring 50 feet by 34 feet. It was built with an adjacent wing of equal height built onto the side of the tower in a style common in Scotland, but rare in English tower houses. The tower suffered a serious fire in 1602 but after repairs remained in use until at least the end of the 17th century, but possibly until the end of the 18th century when it is understood that William Coward and his sister, Agnes Wheeler, lived there. One of the walls of the tower collapsed around 1900, and as of 2014, English Heritage considered the condition too bad for it to be open to the public. It is now classed as a ruin but good views of the tower can be seen from the public footpath which runs alongside. Arnside Tower is a Scheduled Monument and a Grade II listed building.


Large numbers of wading birds and wildfowl frequent the estuary, and much of the area is owned by the RSPB, including the nearby, popular Leighton Moss Nature Reserve, a reed-swamp that is home to marshland birds.In some parts of Morecambe Bay, low tide is a time for the fishermen to gather whitefish and shrimp from previously set traps. Called flook fishing, vehicles drive onto the sands to collect the sea’s bounty. Hand fishing is also possible as the tide goes out. As the tide rises, fisherman with their rods are a common sight along the estuary at Sandside.


The Barrow to Lancaster railway (‘The Furness Line), crosses the river Kent at Arnside over a very impressive viaduct. A great feat of Victorian ingenuity, the iconic pillars of Arnside’s viaduct have spanned the River Kent for more than 150 years, connecting the industrial port of Barrow to urban centres further south – slashing journey times.


Built in 1857, the viaduct is 522 yards long and has 50 piers. The piers were the first to use water jets in the construction of the footings for the piers. It was rebuilt in 1915 to support the extra weight of the munition trains from Barrow. Additional brickwork was added to the piers around the lattice steel work of the original build. The original steelwork remains to this day within the brick surrounds. The deck and upper portion of the viaduct was completely replaced in 2011 making trains notably quieter as they cross the estuary.


The building of the viaduct meant that ships could no longer reach Milnthorpe, which until then had been known as Kendal’s port. Because of this, a pier was built at Arnside – the remains of which can still be seen on the foreshore, adjacent to the current pier. The pier was destroyed by a storm and subsequently rebuilt by public subscription. It’s very hard to imagine ships sailing up the estuary today, but the pier acts as a reminder of a time gone by.

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