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Arnside was a tiny fishing village until it grew as a holiday destination in Victorian times. It is located on the estuary of the River Kent on the north-eastern corner of Morecambe Bay, within the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is predominantly residential. There's a small pier, a collection of shops and cafes, a couple of pubs and easy walks along a modest promenade with lovely views of the Cumbrian mountains. The tides at Arnside go out a long way, and turn very quickly creating a tidal bore when the water floods back. It is also highly dangerous to venture onto the sands. Nearby Arnside Knott, a limestone hill, provides woodland and open hillside walks and is famous for its views over Morecambe Bay - and its butterflies and flowers. On the Silverdale side of Arnside Knott is Arnside Tower, a Pele tower built as a defence against border (Scottish) raiders. The railway (Furness Line) between Lancaster and Carlisle via Barrow-in-Furness crosses the River Kent via the Arnside viaduct.
A limestone/sandstone hill offering grassland, meadow and woodland walks, with great views over the Kent estuary and Morecambe Bay. Famous for wildflowers and butterflies. Nearby Jack Scout's cliffs are good for bird watching and sun sets. Limited parking. Signposted from Arnside.
Beachy Head is a famous chalk headland and landmark, immediately to the west of the town of Eastbourne. There are fine views and walks along the cliffs, approx 500 feet above sea level. There is parking nearby and at Birling Gap further along the coast. Beachy Head has an interesting history and was used as a listening and lookout post during WW2. The cliffs are, however, extremely dangerous and the area has a high death-rate, through a combination of foolish accident and, unfortunately, suicide. Beachy Head lighthouse began operating in 1902.
The post code below is for the nearby pub.
In the Middle Ages, the small village of Blakeney was a thriving port handling exotic products like spices. Silting of the harbour changed its fortunes and it’s now an attractive tourist destination and a good base for exploring north Norfolk. It is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the North Norfolk Coastal Path passes through the village and the whole area is a magnet for walkers and wildlife lovers. The harbour and surrounding marshes are owned by the National Trust and is a nature reserve. Within the village are the remains of the medieval Blakeney Guildhall, the twin-towered medieval St Nicholas church as well as pubs and restaurants. The largest seal colony in England can be visited by boat to Blakeney Point, which (with restrictions to protect wildlife) can also be walked to from nearby Cley-next-the-Sea. Samphire is grown on the point and, as well as seals, ringed plovers, oystercatchers, brent geese and common teal can also be spotted.
Brownsea Island (aka 'Branksea') is the largest island in Poole Harbour (about 1 mile x 1/2 mile) and is primarily a wildlife area of woodland, heath and wetland, home to red squirrels and a variety birds. There are trails and events, including open air theatre and an annual round the island swim. Brownsea was chosen by Baden-Powell to try out his scouting ideas and is also said to have inspired Enid Blyton. Brownsea Castle, originally 16th century, is currently (August 2016) leased to the John Lewis Partnership as a staff hotel and not open to the public. Access to the island is by ferry from Poole.
The dramatic ruined castle of Thomas of Lancaster, executed for treason in 1322, stands on a rocky headland jutting into the North Sea. The castle went on to witness fierce fighting during the Wars of the Roses, but now the predominant sound is the shrieking of seabirds. A short, sometimes bracing, walk from either Craster or Embleton.
Golden Cap is a cliff and countryside estate on Dorset's Jurassic coast, with footpaths, views and access to the beach for fossil-hunting.
NB Particular care must be taken of tides and the high risk of cliff falls.
There are a variety of ways of getting to the estate. Stonebarrow Hill, where there is a car park and information centre with toilets and a small shop in an old radar station, is a good place to start. Post code below is approximate. From the west, go through Charmouth and take the turning on right by Stonebarrow Manor into Stonebarrow Lane. NB this is extremely narrow. Head as far as you can until you're there!
Lindisfarne – also known as Holy Island – is one of the most important centres of early English Christianity. King Oswald invited Celtic monks from Iona to spread Christianity in Northumbria and St Aidan founded a monastery on Lindisfarne in 635 AD. A monk named Cuthbert joined the monastery sometime in the 670s - he went on to became Lindisfarne’s greatest monk-bishop and the most venerated saint in northern England in the Middle Ages. The whole place is packed with history. The Lindisfarne Gospels were created here in the early 8th century. The monks left following violent Viking attacks in and today's visible ruins date from the early 12th century.
NB Holy Island is only accessible at certain times via a causeway across the sea that is covered twice a day. The tides come in very quickly; check carefully before setting out and be sure you have time to cross.