About Alex Langfield
Hello! I’m Alex. I am an Adventure Content Creator based in Bristol currently working with komoot on their hiking Collections, region guides and highlights. I love sharing my favourite hiking haunts and inspiring others to get out amongst them. I am passionate about the great outdoors of the UK and can regularly be found somewhere on a mountain. When I’m not hiking, running or climbing mountains, I’m usually writing about them or putting together a film. If I can't get to the high places, I make do with running the roads, paths and trails around the city. For more information take a look at my website.
- Alex Langfield
The final stage is all about Morecambe Bay and the scenic splendour of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which straddles the Cumbrian border. After a quick visit to Morecambe town, you ramble along the coast, nipping up the wonderful Warton Crag for superb views and descending into Silverdale.
From Lancaster’s St George’s Quay, head north west on a multi-use path that was once a railway line between Morecambe and Lancaster. After 2.5 miles (4 km), you arrive at the seaside resort town of Morecambe. Find your way to the promenade and enjoy the views across Morecambe Bay into Cumbria.
You pass the pier; a statue of Eric Morecambe, which was unveiled by the Queen in 1999; a number of seafront hotels; and many tempting lunch options. Just beyond the town is Scalestone Point, adorned by a striking ‘Mother and Child’ sculpture placed in commemoration of the 24 people who tragically drowned here in 2004.
Continue to follow the coast along the pebble and sand beach of Hest Bank, past the large village of Bolton-le-Sands and the small town of Carnforth, with its strong railway heritage. After crossing the River Keer, you enter the Arnside and Silverdale AONB, where I’ve plotted a short but slightly strenuous detour to the 535-foot (163 m) summit of Warton Crag. From here are splendid views of Morecambe Bay, the Forest of Bowland and the South Lakeland Fells.
Having descended, the Way follows Crag Road, before following a lane to the left after meeting New Road. This takes you under the train tracks to a path that heads west, skirts the modest hill of Heald Brow, before entering Silverdale for the end of your journey.
The Silverdale Hotel is your best accommodation option, though there are a number of private rentals in the region. Alternatively, you can always hop on a train back to Lancaster.
If you’re appetite for glorious coastline is not sated, you could continue north, following the Cumbria Coastal Way: komoot.com/collection/1085794
5 days ago
- Alex Langfield
The penultimate stage first explores the Cockerham Sands region, visiting some haunting monastic ruins, a pretty lighthouse and enjoying superb sea views. You then head inland, along the Lune Estuary to Glasson Dock, before following the river to the historic city of Lancaster.
From Pilling, head north east on Backsands Lane to the Lane Ends Amenity Area. As the sign here suggests, the route along the coast is permissible to locals only, so the Way heads inland, through fields and along Gulf Lane. You rejoin the coast at the mouth of the River Cocker, near the small village of Cockerham.
Continue north along a bridleway, passing to the left of the small Cockerham Dropzone airfield, before following the coast as it arcs left, onto the broad headland adorned by Cockersand Abbey. All that remains of this former Premonstratensian abbey is the red sandstone chapter house, which is Grade I-listed. Plover Scar Lighthouse stands proud off the shoreline at the entrance to the Lune Estuary, a fine foreground to your photos.
With Sunderland Point ahead, the Way turns inland and ventures towards Glasson Dock, which links the River Lune to the Lancaster Canal via seven locks. Once a busy port, today it is a lovely spot with canal barges, boats, swans and ducks sharing the basin; it’s ideal for a lunch stop.
From Glasson, you arc north, cross the River Conder and follow the River Lune upstream to Lancaster. En route, you pass the grounds of the grand Ashton Hall, a popular wedding venue and Grade I-listed mansion, and the Lancaster Water Works. The Lune bends to the north east and enters the city.
In its heyday towards the end of the 18th century, Lancaster was second only to Liverpool in terms of overseas trade. The warehouses of St George’s Quay stand testament to this time, as well as the grand Custom House, which now houses the Maritime Museum. There are a host of places to eat and drink in the city, as well as numerous accommodation options, so take your pick.
5 days ago
- Alex Langfield
This stage continues along the arrow-straight Blackpool seafront with views to the distant Isle of Man. Eventually, you arrive at the windswept headland of Rossall Point, catch the ferry across the Wyre Estuary and make for the stage end point at the village of Pilling. Amenities are plentiful on the route; you are accompanied by human habitation for just about the entire walk.
From Blackpool Tower, the first 7.4 miles (11.9 km) are exceedingly straight forward, as you walk due north along Blackpool’s seafront. You pass the village of Bispham and the town of Cleveleys, both of which were once independent settlements but now form part of Blackpool’s urban area.
If a pit stop is in order, there are a wealth of places to eat and drink along the seafront. Eventually, you arrive at Rossall Point, a peninsula with the Irish Sea on one side, the Wyre Estuary on the other and Morecambe Bay beyond its head. The old port town of Fleetwood occupies the peninsula.
You come across a couple striking landmarks. The Rossall Point Observation Tower offers a panoramic viewing platform, with views to Lakeland, the Forest of Bowland and across Morecambe Bay. Nearby, the Beach Lighthouse is an interesting structure, with its Neoclassical stylings.
Having circumnavigated the headland, hop on the ferry across the Wyre Estuary to the village of Knott End-on-Sea. The ferry runs every half an hour in the warmer seasons. Birdlife is abundant around the estuary, so get those binoculars at the ready. Once safely docked at Knott End, continue along the coast, finally leaving civilisation behind for the last 3 miles (5 km) or so and admiring the new vista of Morecambe Bay.
Eventually, you take a right and venture inland to the tranquil little village of Pilling. The elegant Springfield House Hotel offers luxurious lodgings, or there’s self-catering facilities at Chestnut Lodge. It is worth booking well in advance to avoid disappointment. The Elletson Arms pub serves good food.
5 days ago
- Alex Langfield
The opening stage contains some extreme contrasts. On one hand you have the wild beauty and natural sights of the Ribble Estuary and the shimmering Irish Sea. Tranquillity can be found at times along the seaward trails.
However, the stage ends at Blackpool, with its many tourist attractions and roller coasters. As if this wasn’t enough, there’s every chance the decibel level will be raised further by a brace of fighter jets roaring to life from Warton Aerodrome. Whatever happens, it makes for an interesting start to the Lancashire Coastal Way.
From the once-thriving seaport of Freckleton, head south and join the coastal path where the Rivers Ribble and Douglas meet. With the widening Ribble on your left and the airfield on your right, continue towards the seaside town of Lytham St Annes. This stretch is a treat for birdwatchers, thanks to the many waders that inhabit the estuary.
You soon come to Fairhaven Lake, which is popular with families. Wander along the seawall, enjoying splendid Irish Sea views. The town’s growth was mostly due to the development of nearby Blackpool as a major seaside resort. St Annes set itself up as a more exclusive option and is an interesting place to explore. Beach huts, a pier and a swimming pool adorn the seafront.
Continue along the coast with Blackpool’s unmistakable sights growing larger with every step. First, you pass Blackpool Airport, then the Pleasure Beach. The immense Big One roller coaster is an impressive sight. When the tide is out, the sands are a pleasant stroll, when it’s in, the concrete promenade takes you past casinos, amusements, ice cream vans and all the usual seaside sights.
Blackpool Tower marks the end of the stage. From here there are many places to eat and drink, as well as a great number of accommodation options.
5 days ago
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- Alex Langfield
The final stage takes you through some absolutely beautiful settlements to one of the gems of the Cotswolds: the village of Broadway. It is an easy walk across the Vale of Evesham’s flat pastures, with stupendous views of the Cotswolds to the south.
From Ashton, the Way heads east through fields. Just outside the village you pass some gloriously twisted, large willow trees. Continue past barns and modern farm buildings, cross the main road and enter Sedgeberrow village. Cross the River Isbourne on a large wooden bridge and follow earthy tracks and fields, shadowing the river as it lazily meanders to the south east.
As the Isbourne turns south, cross a tributary stream and follow a path east to Aston Somerville. The Way only makes the briefest of acquaintances with the little village, before powering on through fields and on bridleways. The conspicuous spire of St Mary’s Church in Childswickham is prominent ahead and, once the gritty track beneath your feet turns to tarmac, views open up to the elegant Broadway Tower.
In the village, the Childswickham Inn & Brasserie makes for a tempting lunch stop, whilst the mix of classic architecture in the village is wonderful. All that remains to do now is venture on to Broadway through kissing gates, along hedgerows and on minor roads. As you enter the village by Badsey Brook, you join forces with the immensely popular Cotswold Way, a classic 102-mile (164 km) long distance footpath that runs along the edge of the Cotswold escarpment. See: komoot.com/collection/975.
Broadway’s picturesque appeal and its position on the Cotswold Way make it a favourite of hikers and day-trippers. There is a wealth of pubs, cafes and restaurants in the village, as well as plenty of accommodation options. Public transport links aren’t as convenient, though the R4 bus leaves for Evesham every couple of hours during the day, taking around 20 minutes.
6 days ago
- Alex Langfield
The penultimate stage reaches the Way’s high point on Bredon Hill, rewarding you with a magnificent panorama. From Pershore, you follow the Avon to the tranquil village of Great Comberton, before a bracing ascent begins to this magnificent Cotswold outlier. After drinking in the views, you descend to the rural idyll of Ashton under Hill.
From the centre of Pershore, head south on Bridge Street and use the grand Pershore Old Bridge to cross the River Avon. This was the site of a fierce battle during the English Civil War and was historically a key crossing point for traders between London and Worcester. Take a minor road and then a gravel track to the small village of Pensham.
Between here and the village of Great Comberton is an easy, level amble through fields and later alongside the Avon, with its colourful, riverside meadows. After Great Comberton, the ascent to Bredon Hill begins along a broad grassy track. The climb eases temporarily, as you traverse the hillside towards Woollas Hall, with a superb view of the distant Malvern Hills.
Before you meet Woollas Hall’s drive, turn left over a stile and into a rough field. A grassy path soon turns into a track and ascends the open ground and then — as you turn north east and the gradients begin to level off — leads through a small patch of woodland. From here, it’s a short walk to the summit at 981 feet (299 m). Parson’s Folly, a small stone tower and Kemerton Camp, an Iron Age hillfort adorn the high ground, as well as an intriguing boulder formation known as the Elephant Stone. The views are extensive.
The Way follows the north east facing crest of the hill, before descending straight for the lovely village of Ashton under Hill. Sustenance can be sought at the Star Inn, which offers great home-cooked food. Accommodation is relatively sparse in the village, with the Old Post Barn’s self-catering facilities your best bet.
If not, you could continue along the Way to Hall Farm Cottages in neighbouring Sedgeberrow, 2.3 miles (3.7 km) east. Alternatively, head 2.4 miles (3.9 km) south west to Beckford, where you find the 18th-century Beckford Inn. As options are limited, advance booking is recommended.
6 days ago