Discover Arnside & Silverdale AONB

Today I am going to take you from Cumbria over the border into Lancashire to discover the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty known as Arnside & Silverdale.

Arnside and Silverdale AONB is really quite tiny at just 29 square miles but worth a visit to see stunning limestone pavements, ancient woodlands, beautiful meadows, rich wetlands, impressive coastline and magnificent views. Natural pasture & exposed limestone outcrops are rich in rare butterflies and wildflowers such as the High Brown Fritillary and amazing flowers such as the Lady’s-slipper orchid.


There are many places to do a spot of birdwatching along the coast where waders such as Oystercatchers thrive or inland at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve were you can hear the famous booming Bitterns in the springtime or twitch away a couple of hours in a birdwatching hide.


Walkers are attracted to the area’s many tranquil footpaths with spectacular views over Morecambe Bay & the Lake District to the west and north and towards the Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland to the east and south an impressive setting. Probably the best way to really explore the Arnside & Silverdale district is on foot.


Discover the many lovely wooded walks around National Trust owned Arnside Knott, a 520 ft flat rock, head up to admire the view from the Pepper-Pot at Silverdale or ramble around the coast with its cliff top walks and sea views.


Climb the narrow gap between the rocks at the Fairy Steps. Created many years ago as a short-cut so folk could carry coffins from outlying farms to the churchyard in the village of Beetham.


The Arnside bore is an impressive rush of water caused by a combination of the high tidal range and the shape of the bay which narrows into the Kent Estuary at Arnside.  To give yourself the best chance of seeing an impressive bore wave, make sure you visit during a predicted tide of 9.5m or more, or preferably a spring tide. If you can combine this with recent rain in the lakes and a strong westerly wind, then you are sure to be onto a winner! The bore normally occurs 2.5 hours before the high tide.


A good place to start exploring would be at the Information Centre at the Old Station Building in Arnside. Here you will find a great selection of leaflets on walking, cycling and the amazing wildlife in the AONB. The Information Centre has limited opening hours but is normally open Monday to Thursday 9am – 1pm and 2pm-4pm and on Fridays 9am – 1pm. It is closed at weekends and on Bank Holidays.

And to end your day how about a pint of local ale at The Albion in Arnside sitting watching the sun setting over the bay with The Lakeland hills beyond? Just perfect!