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Cark and the Cumbria Coastal Way

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Grange-over-Sands and Kents Bank Walk

Walk Details
The Cartmel peninsula juts for a considerable distance into the northern reaches of Morecambe Bay. With the exception of Humphrey Head, its shore is entirely made up of water, sand and marsh as well as dry land and so the coastline does change according to the tide.

For many centuries the Bay has been the favoured route of all kinds of travellers such as those on horseback, in coaches or even on foot. However, as the tragedy of the Chinese cockle pickers proves, this is not a place for the unprepared; the tide takes no prisoners and there is dangerous quicksand where you can easily get into trouble.

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The only possible way to cross the Bay is by guided walk led by the Queen’s Guide (an official post), based at Kents Bank.

Like most of the peninsula Flookburgh and Cark are well off the beaten track, but they are where fishermen still make a living from fishing (mainly small fish called ‘ flukes’), shrimps and shell fish, caught by traditional methods. However, the horses and carts of yesteryear have given way to tractors and trailers.

This walk gives ample opportunity to savour the atmosphere of the wide open spaces, using the designated Cumbria Coastal Way. It is an easy walk, with no hills to climb, but there is a length of wet and muddy track, so waterproof footwear is advised.

Start/car parking – Cark and Cartmel railway station. The official car park, at the side of the main road, is ‘for railway users only’. Behind the station is a cul de sac where there is plenty of parking space. From here, walk along the roadside towards the village where there is a general store, children’s play area and public conveniences.

At the Engine Inn we take a left, and then left again about 20m afterwards, crossing a bridge over the railway line and continuing along the well-used track to the right until you reach a signposted junction. At this junction we follow the “Cumbrian Coastal Way” which continues straight ahead – first with walls on either side and then hedges.

We then head down the access road leading to Sand Gate (a farm) before turning right and heading uphill to the farm where we take a left. We come to another junction with waymarks – here we keep right and cross over Strand Bridge. On a clear day the views from here across much of Morecambe Bay are stunning! Be careful here as sections of the track are rough, wet and at the same level as the tidal high water mark!

Passing a large farmstead, Canon Winder we continue on past Cowpren Point to a gate/stile where we leave the broad muddy track and go along the grass path instead. There is a path of the left which passes Raven Winder Farm. On the right you can see the salt marshes and it’s here where sheep are fattened up to produce the best quality Cumbrian lamb. As we pass through the village of Flookburgh you’ll notice the serene atmosphere of this place. We pass the small pond on our right and continue to West Plain Farm, with a pill box from World War II and a great barrier of huge stones.

We continue to the left, still following the “Cumbria Coastal Way” – past a Morecambe Bay rescue depot and along the road to Flookburgh. Next we come to the Cartmel “Sticky Toffee Pudding” shop – and it’d be wrong to walk past and not stop in and get one for later! From here we head on upwards towards the village centre where there is a market cross and a number of small shops.

Bearing left we then take the immediate right to stay by the side of the road for the final section to Cark Railway Station. If you parked behind the station – you’ll need to go over the station footbridge to get back to your car.


trainNearest Train (or tube) Station(s):
Grange-over-Sands, Preston

Local Information

Read the Countryside Code before venturing out
Make sure to take a map and compass, and know how to use them before going into our National Parks #BeAdventureSmart

Tips for New Walkers: click here to download (PDF).

Remember to prepare properly before heading out on any type of walk or outdoor activity. Tell people where you are going and what time you are expected back. As Wainwright says "There's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing".