Bolton-le -Sands - A village of two halves

Watercolour artist Gordon Wilkinson paints Bolton-le-Sands

Bolton-le-Sands is a village divided. There’s no controversy or consternation, simply the Lancaster Canal which cuts through the centre. The newer additions to the village stand to the west of the canal, across the water from its older parts.

The village, which overlooks Morecambe Bay, was simply known as Bolton until the railway arrived and the name was changed to avoid confusion on the timetables. And while the railway station closed in 1969, trains still race through along the West Coast main line.

But anyone who takes the slower route along the canal, or who pulls off the A6 and lingers a while will discover a village with a thriving community and plenty of amenities. The village boasts cricket and football grounds as well as two bowling greens and tennis courts and the countryside around the village is a haven for those who enjoy walking, whether woodland, coastal or beside the canal.

And there is no shortage of activities on offer in the village itself, with clubs and societies catering for every interest, from stamp collecting and photography to painting and gardening.

Reverend Gerwyn Capon is the vicar at Holy Trinity Church. He said: ‘Bolton le-Sands claims to be one of the largest villages in England. It is odd as it seems to be sliced in two by the canal. It is not a classic Lancashire village.

‘It is a working village but it still has a community feel and a traditional village atmosphere.’

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The 11th century church has a tower which dates back to around 1500 and Rev Capon added: ‘The church has evolved over a period of time. The tower is medieval but the rest of the building was built in the 19th century.

‘You can see the ancient stones within the tower which are true artefacts from the Saxon age. It is amazing to think that this site has been a place of Christian worship for over twelve hundred years.’

The road to Bolton-le-Sands

Where it is: The village stands at the junction of the A6 and the A5105 roughly half way between Carnforth and Morecambe, where the nearest railway stations are. If you have a satnav, LA5 8DQ will take you to the village centre.

Where to park: On-street parking is available around the village.

What to do: Take a walk by the canal, enjoy the views across Morecambe Bay and unwind in one of the village’s cafes or pubs.

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