Despite having lived on the edge of Morecambe Bay for about thirty years, I have never joined one of the many charity Cross Bay walks. Well, at last I can say that I have done it! Not as I really would have liked, the full crossing from Hest Bank to Grange-over-Sands, but the more modest ‘corner’ from Arnside to Grange. Still it is a unique eight mile trek of sand, mud and water, as well as beautiful scenery. At the pretty Cumbrian seaside village of Arnside
a mass over nearly 400 gathered; all ages and plenty of accompanying four legged friends too. After a safety briefing we set off along the shoreline to the mouth of the Kent Estuary where we began to head out over the sand.
And then it rained!…
The questions most want to know is, ‘How dep is the channel and how wet will I get?
Here’s the answer, or at least it was when we crossed! Up to your knees depending on your height. Everyone gathered at the edge of the water, which I have to say was rather daunting. However it took only a few minutes of a three hour walk to cross and be back on relatively dry land.
My thoughts on our Cross Bay Walk…
It was exciting, different and definitely something for your bucket (and spade) list! It was quite tiring despite being flat, though that may have been more to do with a strong headwind and driving rain and hail.
Do’s and Don’ts…
Book well in advance. Dress appropriately; shorts and a waterproof mac/cagoule. Take a towel to dry your feet and legs between changes of footwear. You might want a complete change of clothes at the end, especially if you slip/fall and get muddy. That’s not difficult. Take something comfortable for the dry bits and bare feet or crocs or similar footwear for the water. Take plenty of drinking water and something to nibble for energy. Maybe a hot drink in a flask if it’s chilly. Go to the loo shortly before setting off. Be very careful with you camera! My little compact camera got just too wet in the rain and unfortunately won’t be taking any more photos. If you want more scenery and photo opportunities, aim for the edge of the crowds, but don’t wander off the route. The majority of cross Bay walks go from Arnside to Grange. You could ‘risk’ relying on a usually patchy Sunday train service, which will be crowded, or park up in Grange then get an early train (or a lift) back to the start. Don’t worry… There will be a professional guide and accompanying marshals, as well as a tractor and trailer to scoop you up if you get into difficulty. The walk is at a fairly leisurely pace with one or two pauses so the slower can catch up, so no need to rush.
I hope you have enjoyed my Cross Bay walk account. You will find more about the walks and dates of upcoming ones HERE.