Start/car parking: HPB Merlewood (or pay and display at Grange station for those who prefer not to walk to and from the property).
Grange over Sands is a pleasant small town terraced across a hillside overlooking the huge expanse of Morecambe Bay, with wonderful views over the bay and out to sea. With some of the character of a seaside resort (which it was, in a minor way, many years ago) there is a good range of individual shops, well maintained public gardens, promenade and leisure facilities.
The railway has services connecting Barrow in Furness with Manchester airport, calling at Arnside, Lancaster and Preston in one direction and Ulverston in the other direction.
The walk starts by using what most walkers will regard as the ‘standard’ route from Merlewood to Grange, mostly avoiding use of the B5271 road.
From the railway station, the promenade, footpaths and residential roads provide the continuation to Kents Bank station, a fine, easy to follow, hard-surfaced, almost level, route, with long views for most of the way. From Kents Bank the train provides a speedy return to Grange unless, of course, a retrace of the outward route is preferred. From Grange station return to Merlewood by one or other of the two routes.
Facing the building, go down the steps on the left to leave Merlewood, soon reaching a gravelled path, angling downhill to join the vehicular access drive a short distance above Merlewood Lodge.
Turn right. In a few metres bear right to continue along another gravelled path, parallel with the road. At the far end of the path, join the road, turning right to follow the roadside footpath for about 100m to The Slack hamlet.
1. Take the second turning on the right then go left along a lane, rising gently. There are waymarks on a post. Turn left to leave the lane at a waymarked path, down a few steps. Continue downhill, through woodland, crossing an access drive before rejoining the road at a squeezer stile. Turn right to walk to a mini roundabout. Turn left to reach the railway station. Facing the railway station bear left to pass under the railway line.
2. Joining the promenade, turn right to walk behind the station. The promenade is wide, level and has a hard surface throughout its length. The views are long and wide. Behind is Holme Island and the estuary of the R. Kent, straight across the wide expanse of Morecambe Bay which is the high ground of Arnside Knott, further is Morecambe itself and the power station at Heysham Head. The promenade in enhanced by a series of linear gardens, with plenty of attractive seats (note the squirrels!). Between promenade and open water is a wide band of wet, muddy vegetation across which any apparent path is likely to be dangerous. Pass a children’s play area, public conveniences and an information board illustrating some of the local wildlife. Next is the seasonal tea room and a boat launching ramp. The former public swimming pool is a sad semi-ruin; continue past a ‘leisure facilities’ signpost, soon passing bowling greens, tennis and putting facilities.
3. Bear right to pass under the railway line, reaching a residential area. Turn left in 30m to walk along the roadside pavement of Cart Lane. Pass a level crossing on the left to follow a ‘public footpath Kentsford Road’ sign, the path soon becoming narrower but still hard surfaced. Go through two iron kissing gates and pass close to the side of a house to reach a flight of steps leading up to another residential road. Turn left along the pavement, descending gently to Kents Bank railway station.
4. Craft Gallery and Abbotss Hall Coffee Shop. 5 Return by train to Grange over Sands station and return to Merlewood.
Note: It would be a great help to future walkers if you could record any inaccuracies you come across during this walk and report them to reception so that appropriate amendments can be made. Thank you for your help. Happy walking!
Nearest Train (or tube) Station(s):