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The area of South Cumbria bordered by the River Winster to the east, the River Duddon to the west and the Wrynose pass and River Brathay to the north was formerly the part of the county of Lancashire "North of the Sands". Now usually referred to as the Lake District Peninsulas, it offers beautiful landscape of every description - mountain, hill, lake, tarn, river, coastal bay, sand dune, limestone pavement, ancient woodland, modern forest, raised bogs and much more.

Since the Bronze Age the areas isolation meant that it was usually approached on foot or horseback "across the sands". This panorama across Ulverston and the Bay from Birkrigg Common, recommended by West and Wordsworth amongst many, has been admired since travel became fashionable in the late 18th Century. The first carriage or "diligence" service began from Lancaster to Ulverston in 1781 - carrying three passengers at 5 shillings each.

On a summer's day many people find it hard to believe that Morecambe Bay can be treacherous. The speed and noise in the channel can be quite amazing and within a matter of a few minutes what was open dry sand all around is covered in water. The best tidal bores occur on the highest tides (9 metres or more) and after a period of heavy rain when the channel is deep and well defined.
At Priory Crossing, Ulverston, the bore usually occurs between 2 hours and 2 hours 15 mins - BEFORE the published high tide in calm conditions.
Be patient......you can hear it coming 2 or 3 minutes before it arrives but when it does it will pass you by in seconds!

Note for technocrats. The restriction provided by the outflowing river water of the narrow Leven channel causes the incoming waves of tidal water to compress - the leading front wave is slowed down, while the faster waves from behind are forced to move upward to pass over the slower moving water below. A water wall builds and quickly spills over into the tumbling, churning wave front referred to as "the bore" (from the Norse "bara" or wave).

Watching over the Bay crossing is the 4000 year old Birkrigg Stone ring (actually two almost concentric rings). Neolithic man ingeniously selected this spot as the surrounding horizon has hills that mark all the major sun and moon rises, such as this mid-winter sunrise behind Hawthornthwaite Fell.....
.... or this mid-winter moon rise behind Hampsfell at the minor lunar standstill of January 2015, with the rays of the setting sun just striking the stones.
The northern tip of Walney Island is a delightful spot with several ponds amidst the dunes. On a summer day it is a treasure trove of birds, butterflies, dragonflies and plants, while the distant view takes in Scafell Pike, Bowfell and the Conistons.


In summer Fell Foot on Lake Windermere is often crowded, but before 9 a.m. you can sometimes have the place to yourself - especially in November when this photo was taken!
Coniston Old Man is the highest point in High Furness, the Old Man referring to standing stones on the summit. Copper ore was mined for several centuries and transported down Coniston Water to Nibthwaite. The white building formerly housed miners but is now the Youth Hostel.
Askam, on the Duddon Estuary, is an old Victorian iron ore mining town. Despite the areas industrial past, the views are superb and the beaches sandy.