With the forecast for a very warm day for this time of the year we decided to go and have a look round the RSPB reserve at Leighton Moss, Lancashire, just north of Carnforth.
As promised it was a fantastic day and we spent the morning wandering in and out of the hides watching the many species of wetland birds that visit the reserve in the Autumn and Winter.
The reserve is famous for having the most northerly breeding Bitterns and once again we managed to see one of these rare birds standing sedately on the edge of the reeds – no doubt wondering what all the fuss was about.
We’d spotted on the map of the area an area called Arnside Park so in our never ending quest to find the perfect viewpoint to have lunch we made our way to the car park at Arnside Knott.
After making the short but steep ascent to the top we were greeted with one of the most amazing views I’ve seen. Looking to the east the Arnside viaduct can be seen spanning the River Kent and to the west the River Kent can be seen opening up into Morecambe Bay.
Unfortunately the weather was to hazy to get many good landscape photographs but I’m assured that from this vantage point you can see the mountains in the Lake District, Snowdonia in North Wales to the south and Yorkshire’s Three Peaks to the East.
After managing to tear ourselves away from the views we headed down from the Knott summit into Arnside Park itself.
The scenery throughout our decent changed constantly from the rugged scrub at the top through low sparse wooded areas until finally down into a fully fledged deciduous woodland just changing into it’s autumn colours.
The decent ended at Hollins Farm and from there we walked in a clockwise direction from Far Arnside, around the coast passing Park Point, Arnside Point and Blackstone Point until we arrived at New Barns Bay.
The area is beautiful and very well kept with a very well maintained, well sign-posted footpath running all around the coast.
Considering how popular Arnside is with visitors the woods surrounding the area seemed almost empty. We only saw a couple of people in the woods on the two mile section we walked and it was great to be away from all the noise and commotion of the main roads and towns.
Autumn was evident where ever we looked with the Yew trees in full fruit and acorns from the many Oaks littering the forest floor.
Mushrooms and other fungi were sprouting from the decaying wood and the leaves were starting to turn a wonderful shade of gold.
Eventually we emerged from the woods and after a short while found our way to and area called New Barns where, much to our surprise there was a sea fishing match just ending.
While having a quick rest we spoke to a few of the people that were leaving the area to find out what, if anything, had been caught (we never pass up an opportunity to learn about a new area to fish).
As we suspected they were mainly catching Flounder and apparently this time of year, October and November, is this best so maybe I can convince a few of our friends in the club to hold part of the estuary cup here next year.
Even if we don’t catch, the views alone are worth the journey.
We climbed our way back up to the car park then after a final look at the area made our way back home. Another great day out and another beautiful area in the North West discovered.