In ExploreTravel

Given that it doesn’t serve as a traditional thoroughfare, the south-east stretch of coastline which sits beyond the market town of Ulverston and runs along the Furness Peninsula is undoubtedly one of Cumbria’s most hidden gems.

Peaceful and stunning in equal measure, the opportunities to soak up both views across Morecambe Bay and over towards the Furness and South Lakeland fells are endless – indeed, you could spend a full day stopping off at various points along a route covering just a few short miles.

Just outside Ulverston and close to the first coastal village along this route, Bardsea, sits the beautiful Conishead Priory and its Manjushri temple which is the home of Buddhist monks and free meditation sessions.

Just a stone’s-throw further along the A5087 – known locally as The Coast Road, is the extensive Bardsea beach which offers fantastic views across Morecambe Bay, which can be easily enjoyed thanks to the ample, free parking in gravelly areas set along the roadside. With a huge amount of open space at low tide, both children and adults alike will enjoy taking a walk and scouring the sand for interesting finds. Watch out for ice cream too – there’s a shack and one of the biggest ice cream vans in Furness here!

A short distance further along the road where it is quickly enveloped by a canopy of huge, leafy trees, is the secluded entrance to Sea Wood, ideal for an impromptu game of hide and seek and further beach exploration.

Opposite the entrance to Sea Wood is a ‘blink and you miss it’ junction, which takes you up to the top of Birkrigg Common where the coast can be enjoyed on one side – and the southern fells on the other. On a clear day, you can even spot Blackpool Tower!

Criss-crossed by many trodden footpaths and ferns, Birkrigg Common features extensive areas of limestone pavement and even has its very own stone circler dating back to the Bronze Age.

Back on the Coast Road, your next stop is Baycliff – a small village dating back to the 17th century with many tell-take signs of its long history still apparent. With a village green in the centre – as well as two watering holes for a well-deserved drink, Baycliff boats a rich iron and white stone heritage.

Baycliff sits in the parish of Aldingham, which – along with its neighboring village, Newbiggin, form a lovely walking trail along the coastline – all linked by a pebbly beach. Unlike Bardsea, parking directly by the beach isn’t possible here – but it’s a short stroll from the villages themselves.

Further beyond lie Rampside and Roa Island, from where you can take a small ferry over to Piel Island for another quiet pint while gazing across to a 14th century ruined castle managed by English Heritage and Walney Island beyond – both of which offer further beach opportunities.

By following the edge of the peninsula, you can also find a further hidden gem at Roanhead beach. You can read more about Roanhead, Piel Island and Bardsea in our Best Beaches blog




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