With Jess writing about her walking adventures across the pond, I thought it was about time that I wrote about a good British walk. I’ll admit that the pictures she sends me do raise the green-eyed monster within, but I think my walk across Morecambe Bay yesterday gives Jess’s Californian hikes a run for their money. My only previous encounter with Morecambe Bay was when, as an enthusiastic A-Level drama student, I put on a short play about the cockle pickers who’d drowned in the the bay’s quicksands. Having posted a picture of the walk on Instagram, a school friend reminded me of this theatrical masterpiece – cringe worthy to say the least!
Morecambe Bay is a large estuary in northwest England, just to the south of the Lake District National Park, where I’m currently on holiday. It is the largest expanse of intertidal mudflats and sand in the UK, covering a total area of 310 km2.
Walking across the bay is notoriously dangerous due to its quicksand and fast moving tides. Crossing the bay with an experienced guide is the only safe way to do it and there have been royally appointed local guides, holding the post of ‘Queen’s Guide to the Sands’, for centuries. The current Queen’s Guide is Cedric Robinson, who at 83 years old led a group of 200 or so walkers across the bay from the comfort of his tractor!
As we were walking across the sand (and at times wading in thigh-high rivers of water!) I walked nearly the entire route barefoot. We walked for a about 6 miles which was actually quite tough on my feet as I have very high arches which seemed to struggle on the undulating surface. Never the less, it was nice to have my toes in the sand and was definitely an enjoyable change from the norm. Wading through fast moving water that seemed to come out of nowhere was daunting at times, but with Cedric guiding us there was no chance of anyone being left behind. The only embarrassment came when we kept having to loudly call back our labrador, also called Cedric, which got a few strange glances from people thinking we were shouting for assistance!
As I was travelling up to the Lakes on Saturday Cedric Robinson was actually speaking on the radio and was saying that he thinks Morecambe Bay is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Of course, I scoffed slightly at this, thinking this Cedric fellow must never have left Morecambe Bay, but 24 hours later I was eating my words. As the sun set over the dunes and cast shadows for miles, it really was incredibly beautiful. With the undulating hills as a backdrop I began to think Cedric was on to something.
I’m afraid I didn’t get many pictures of the walk as my camera was stored away from the water in my backpack. I’d definitely do the walk again and would recommend it if you’re ever in the area. The walks are always guided and are hosted by different charities. We paid our joining fee to the Abaseen Foundation, a charity that works in Pakistan to provide health services, education and humanitarian relief.
As for the rest of my holiday week, I’ve been enjoying running in the hills and enjoying these spectacular views from the beach…