Arnside Hostel

Arnside Hostel

Staying at Arnside Hostel

Here I am with shoes and socks off, as I’ve run out of of fingers, counting how many years have gone by since I last visited the coastal towns of Arnside & Silverdale. Maths isn’t my strong point. Our teachers thought Algebra was a rock band.  I’m staying at the Arnside Hostel  (ARNSIDE INDEPENDENT HOSTEL) which is a ten minute stroll from the railway station, and five minutes from the promenade, local shops plus pubs and cafes.  I managed to grab a £10.00 return ticket via Virgin trains who offered a 24 hour sale of cheap travel up to Lancaster, then short hop to Arnside. One of those deals it’s crazy not to take up.  Not only is their a superb choice of breakfast delight, hot or cold selection but the breakfast room at Arnside Hostel has a fabulous view of the River Kent estuary, stretching over to Morecambe Bay. What a great way to start the day. On my first day I’ve decided to explore the various walks and landmarks around Arnside & Silverdale. The general vicinity is categorized as an area of outstanding beauty. Let’s find out.

Arnside Hostel
Arnside Hostel

I leave the hostel taking a small track which drops down onto the coastal path. To my right is the very impressive Arnside railway viaduct, spanning some 550 yards over the River Kent. I decide to go left heading towards Silverdale, where the path soons offers an option to walk on the beach and rocks. With clear blue skies and slight chill in the air, I take in the stunning panoramic views across the bay. The mountains of the southern Lake District provide a backdrop and I wonder about visiting some of the other hostels in the Lake District. Underfoot the going is heavy, sticky and slow through a mixture of sand and wet mud. Although there are footstep tracks in the sand, there isn’t another soul in sight. More bizarrely, due to sand banks, tidal flows and silting problems their isn’t a sailing vessel anywhere. Not even a canoe. Water, water everywhere…

Concentration can be an important factor in walking I’m reminded when traversing between rocks and sand. People have been known to fall flat on their (axxx) elbow. So i’ve heard!  I continue along the shoreline, still a solitary figure amongst the miles and miles of sand, water pools and bay views. The route now leads into a wooded area, with welcome signs for Silverdale. In the village I pick up supplies which are consumed down at the shore side car park before continuing along the shoreline.  As with most modes of transport, especially walking their is a tendency to go just a little bit further. Round the corner, over the ridge, over the hill…just a little bit further. I walk to the local tower and land marker known as Jenny’s Point. The vista has changed, now providing a greenery of grass marsh lands, fields and paths. I go just a little bit further…

Grange over Sands looking out towards Arnside
Grange over Sands looking out towards Arnside

Brief Encounter at  Carnforth Station.

So a couple of hours later in which town did I arrive?…It’s quiz time. Which famous Lancashire railway station would you associate with the following lines of film dialogue. Celia Johnson (Laura) “I’ve fallen in love. I didn’t think such violent things could happen to ordinary people”  Got it? It’s the 1945 classic love story “Brief Encounter”. Most of the platform and refreshment room scenes were filmed here at Carnforth Station. I’m sat in the station waiting room still in its original format, with tea and memories for company. Even the clock which played such a pivotal part in the lovers clandestine relationship is still in place. The stations Heritage Centre management and team of volunteers have done a great job in keeping the film’s legacy alive. The experience certainly sends a shiver down the spine. Oh, and I may have something in my eye…

Carnforth Station on a trip from Arnside
Carnforth Station on a trip from Arnside

Only a few miles from Arnside Station is the wonderful old building of YEALAND OLD SCHOOL which continues to offer Quaker Style hospitialty to travellers as one of the hostels in the Independent Hostels network.

Over the Knott to Arnside Hostel

Leaving Carnforth behind, I hop on the train to Silverdale. As the late afternoon sun is still with me, I decide continued walking is in order. This time I leave the shoreline behind heading for the field and tracks over Arnside Knott. I manage to follow and find landmarks such as The Pepperpot and Arnside Tower. Then get lost, surprise surprise.  Arriving back at Arnside Hostel all the village lights are on which is serenely picturesque and both comforting and charming in equal measure. The sun has disappeared into the sea for another day. On most walks I tend to go in an approximate direction. Sometimes it works, other times not so well. Today as per the old adage i’ve “Gone with the flow”. It’s been a good day of fresh air. A morning alongside the shore. An afternoon over stiles fields and woods. Plus the unplanned excursion to Carnforth in Lancashire.  Yes a good day’s walking for sure.

Evening light on Arnside Pier
Evening light on Arnside Pier