There’s nothing like a day at the beach, and Barrow has plenty to choose from! From sandy beaches perfect for sunbathing and family fun, to pebbled shores with a fascinating array of wildlife, take a look at our guide to Barrow’s beautiful coast and its beaches.

Sandscale Haws

With its magnificent sand dunes, abundance of wildlife and beautiful coastal views, Sandscale Haws is a must-visit on the Furness peninsula. It’s a National Nature Reserve, known for its fascinating fauna, flora and animals like calling wading birds in winter and natterjack toads in the spring. In fact, it is home to one of the largest Natterjack Toad populations in the UK!

This beautiful beach is a great place to explore and enjoy nature. Plus dogs are welcome, so you can also enjoy a walk on the beach with your four legged friend.

Roanhead beach


Next to Sandscale Haws, Roanhead is a wide sandy beach with views across the Duddon Estuary towards the Lakeland fells. Popular with locals and visitors, particularly during the warmer summer months, it’s a striking place to soak up the sun or enjoy beach activities with the family. There’s a beach hut for drinks and refreshments during busier times, and a pay and display car park which leads down to the sand via a beautiful boardwalk.

Avoid getting in the water, though: although the sandy flats and big tidal range of Roan Head make for a stunning sight, they also cause strong currents which make it unsuitable for swimming.


Walney Island

Dotted with beaches and fascinating nature reserves, Walney Island is one of Cumbria’s best kept secrets.

Earnse Bay

On the western coast of the island, Earnse Bay is a sand and shingle beach popular for windsurfing: it’s home to Earnse Bay Kitesurfing, which offers tuition for anyone wanting to give it a go. It’s also a great choice for walking and watersports, and during the summer months it’s a stunning place to sunbathe. It is worth a visit for the views alone: look out across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man and the Lake District mountains, with the wind turbines of one of the world’s biggest offshore windfarms providing an impressive silhouette.

Sandy Gap and Biggar Bank

Sandy Gap and Biggar Bank

Next to Earnse Bay, these beaches are popular with families, with the latter having a playground and cafe for drinks and refreshments. There are coastal paths to walk or cycle along, as well as those stunning coastal views.

Piel Island

Piel Island

Off the southern tip of Walney, the fifty acre Piel Island boasts a fascinating history as well as a long beach to walk along. There’s a pub, The Ship Inn, for food and drink; and if you want to extend your stay, camping is available on the island too.

As well as making the most of the coastal views, be sure to pay a visit to Piel Castle: built by the Abbot of Furness in the 14th century, its original purpose was to defend the town from pirates and Scots raiders. Now, it’s a fascinating ruin with views across Morecambe Bay.

To get there, take the Piel Island Ferry from Roa Island - it runs daily during the summer months. At low tide, there are even guided walks across the sands from Walney Island to Piel Island - if you’re planning to make the walk, be sure to do so with a guide as it is not safe without one.

Askham Beach - Photo: Margaret Dennison

Photo: Margaret Dennison

Askham Beach

A sandy beach in the village of Askham, with beautiful views across the Duddon Estuary, Askham is a peaceful place to soak up some sun. In a nod to its industrial heritage, there’s a pier made from slag from the old iron works, which closed in 1919.

The beach is also home to the rare Sandwich tern, which nests in the slagbanks around the village; and is a Site of Special Scenitifc Interest thanks to the variety of flora and fauna on its sands.

Supported by HM Government and the ERDF

The Welcome Back to High Streets Project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and HM Government as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit




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