Lancashire walk - Silverdale circular

Leighton Hall

Leighton Hall - Credit: John Lenehan

This beautiful route takes in historic sites, wonderful wildlife and glorious views 

Arnside and Silverdale are distinct seaside villages with charms of their own, but they share a stunning stretch of coastline, views over Morecambe Bay and an official joint designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – a title that was bestowed 50 years ago, in 1972. 

Many visitors to Arnside walk, cycle, sail or drive to Silverdale, and vice versa. And the star attractions for many are the birds. It is no surprise that the RSPB set up one of its most prized reserves at Leighton Moss back in 1964. Leighton Moss boasts the largest reed beds in North West England and is home to a wide range of spectacular wildlife including otters, bearded tits, marsh harriers, egrets and red deer. 

It has been a few years since I last did a Lancashire Life walk in the Silverdale area and I had forgotten how beautiful the area is. This walk was stimulated by a shorter walk I did with my friends from the same starting point a week before and I decided to work out a longer walk. 

1. Leave the car park and turn left then, at the junction of the main road, turn right and follow the road. Turn left into Moss Lane and carry on to reach a stile on the right with a sign saying ‘Trowbarrow and Storrs Lane’. Cross the stile and then a metal gate stile and follow the track up to the huge face of Trowbarrow quarry. Turn right and follow the track to a gate stile, cross this and go downhill to a stile on the left and cross this and carry on to a stile onto the main road. Turn right. 

2. Follow the road then turn left onto a wide track with a sign saying ‘Bridleway to Home Farm’. Keep on the track that eventually becomes tarmac and pass through the houses at Grisedale and Leighton Hall Home Farm. The track enters an open area with the main drive to Leighton Hall straight on and the entrance to Leighton Hall on the right.  

Bear left and there is a white painted gate stile with ‘Footpath’ painted on it. Cross this and go up hill on a faint footpath that goes between two seating benches at the top of the hill and then cross the stile in a wall straight ahead and carry on along the path. 

Sea of reeds

Sea of reeds - Credit: John Lenehan

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Note: The track towards Home Farm leads across part of Leighton Moss where you can find the largest reed bed in the North West. The RSPB Bird and Wildlife Reserve is just a few hundred metres further down the main road you are leaving. It is a favourite spot for birdwatchers from all over the country and offers a great family day out. Leighton Hall was built between 1759 to 1761 for George Towneley of Towneley Hall in Burnley. 

3. Pass to the left of a large ancient cairn and follow the path into a wood. The cairn dates from the Bronze Age and features the remains of steps and masonry added more recently. An investigation in the 1700s found human remains from the Bronze Age.

On top of the cairn

On top of the cairn - Credit: John Lenehan

Go steeply downhill. At the bottom there is a stile on the right leading towards the road but do not cross this and a sign saying ‘Deepdale Wood’ pointing left. Turn left and follow the track as it passes to the left of the magnificent house of Yealand Manor and through a metal gate. Carry on through the woods to reach a gate stile by a metal gate. Cross the stile into an open field and carry on going uphill. The main path bears right towards a gate in a wall, ignore this and keep straight on with the wall on the right. 

4. Reach a metal gate but don’t go through it. There is a sign saying ‘Deepdale Wood’ pointing left. Follow this to a stile and cross this then climb some limestone steps then follow the narrow path as it descends very steeply through the woods to reach Deepdale Pond and becomes a track. 

Follow the track as it goes around to the left of the pond to join a wide track. Turn right and follow the track as it goes steeply uphill to join a wider track then turn left. There is a footpath sign saying ‘Public Footpath Yealand Storrs’. 

Follow the track that is now a path and reach a post with three yellow footpath arrows on it, turn right and go downhill to reach a clearing and, with this on the right, follow the path to a stile leading back into the woods, cross this and keep straight on. 

Go through a wooden gate and follow the now track downhill, between two high wire fences. The track turns right but a footpath carries straight on again between wire fences. There is a sign saying ‘Public Footpath Silverdale Road’. Keep on the footpath until it reaches the main road and then turn left towards Yealand Storrs. 

Keep on the road until it forks with the left going to Silverdale and the right to Arnside and Beetham and dead in the middle of the fork there is a stile, cross this and follow the track as it goes through a wood. 

5. There is a stone stile next to a metal gate on the left, it is easy to miss so take care. Cross the stile and then head diagonally right downhill to a gate stile and cross this. There is a sign saying ‘Haweswater and Challan Hall’, carry on downhill to reach and cross a double stile to reach a good track then turn right. 

At a sign saying ‘Challan Hall and Challan Hall Allotments’, follow the track though a stile and then over a wooden staging across some boggy land and onto a track that basically goes around Haweswater. Reach a track junction and follow the sign saying ‘Challan Hall’. Pass a distinctive small house on the left and then as the track bears right, cross the stile to the left with a sign saying ‘Permissive Path Redbridge Lane’. 

Follow the path and the yellow marker arrows on posts to another stile and cross this and then go toward and cross the railway line then a stile into the main road and turn right back to the car park. 

Birdwatchers at Leighton Moss

Birdwatchers at Leighton Moss - Credit: John Lenehan

Compass points 

The route around Silverdale

The route around Silverdale - Credit: OS

Start and finish: Car park, Park Lane opposite The Row, Silverdale 

Distance: 6.4 miles/10.3km 

Time: 3.5 hours 

Terrain: Excellent tracks and footpaths. Walking shoes will be fine 

Map: OS Map OL7, The English Lakes South Eastern Area 

Facilities:  There are no public toilets on route