Sunday, July 26, 2009

A sunny paddle round Walney

I set off with a group to circumnavigate Walney Island off the south west part of the Cumbrian coast. Walney is around 13km long, under 2km wide and lies across a narrow channel from the industrial town of Barrow-in-Furness.

We set off from Earnse Point when the tide still had a way to come in. Walney is made up from glacial deposits and the west side is one long beach made up of sand, shingle and pebbles.

The south part of the island is a nature reserve where Eider Duck nest in relative peace under the protection of their Herring Gull neighbours.

We passed Piel Castle but felt obliged to get an update on the renovation project on 'The Ship Inn'. While we were there we it seemed rude not to stop for a drop of lunch.

The flood tide was building in the Walney Channel so we hurried back on to the water to make our way north.

We were barely half way to Barrow when we discovered this leggy beast bearing down on us.

This is what remains of a slag heap that used to be much bigger. This is where hot waste was dumped from the foundry at the north of Barrow. The glow from this heap could regularly be seen from the Isle of Man at night.

We stopped for a short break at the north end before nipping across the have a look at 'Lowsy Point'. There are a collection of huts amongst the dunes and grassland.

Some are residences and some weekend retreats, but all of them are someones beloved pride and joy. It does seem as though some of the buildings are held together with mostly pride, and not so much text book construction techniques.

We left Lowsy Point on the ebbing tide with just 4 km remaining before we landed back at Earne Point, where the ice cream man was waiting for us.

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