Three Towers Walk.

Start. Milnthorpe.

Route. Milnthorpe - Old Bridge - Dallam Park - Heron Corn Mill - Beetham - Beetham Hall - Hale Fell - Slack Head Marble Quarry - Slack Head - Dollywood Lane - Hazelslack - Black Dyke - Middlebarrow Wood - Arnside Tower - Arnside Knott Wood - Copridding Wood - New Barns - Arnside - Sandside - Dallam Park - Old Bridge - Milnthorpe.

Notes. Take a drive through the byways linking the small communities Silverdale and Arnsiide and you immediately notice fine Victorian houses, mostly built in the midst of the industrial revolution, a retreat for the wealthy elite, a chance to escape the smog and grime of the fast expanding city's, a chance to take in the bracing air of the countryside. Drive even further back in time and you pass pele towers, mighty edifices built around the 14th century, a quintessential part of the Scotland/England border lands, with walls between three and six feet thick these limestone towers have stood the test of time, constructed to resist invasion, to protect the landowners and their livestock in times of siege. Come take a wander with me, we'll link the towers together, step back into the Middle Ages.

Today's walk started in the 16th century, the Old Bridge into Dallam Park, once the main route down the coast dates back to 1763. Through the vast deer park I wandered, way marked paths guided me through a misty morning, I exited the park onto the Heron Corn Mill car park, the tarmac access lane then guided me into Beetham, I wandered up the hill passed the Wheatsheaf and the village stocks, yes they still tar and feather people in these parts. I continued uphill until reaching a finger-post inviting me to Hale, I obliged, the path guided me along the top edge of a vast cow pasture before passing behind Beetham Hall. Owned by the Dallam Estate this fine tower house consists of tower, chapel hall and outbuildings, the remains of a curtain wall date back to the 13th century.

I wandered onwards until reaching another finger-post, I turned in the direction of Slack Head, the sign promised I'd be walking through the Slack Head Marble Quarry. Way marked paths made sure I did just that, I emerged from the trees on the narrow lane leading to Slack Head, a short walk through the village followed. With tarmac under foot I wandered on to the start of stoney Dollywood Lane, guided by dry stone walls and mature hedge rows Dollywood Lane ushered me to Hazelslack and another impressive pele tower. This late 14th century tower house was once attached to a large building on the east side, the original roof line is clearly visible, as is the small doorway with pointed head, once the main entrance. The tower was divided into two halves, north and south, the north had a tunnel-vaulted ground room used for storage, the south contained a staircase leading to the upper levels.

From Hazelslack paths through cow pastures lead south, once on Black Dyke Road I joined a path leading across the old salt pits, under the railway line then left through more pastoral land. Narrow bridges aided my crossing of drainage ditches, the final bridge allowed access to Middlebarrow Wood, I turned right, a short ramble through woodland followed before I emerged in the shadow of Arnside Tower. Constructed of limestone rubble, erected in the second half of the 15th century, this five story building measures 50ft by 34ft, built with an adjacent wing more common to Scotland. After suffering two fires the building was restored, it was in use until the 17th century.

From Arnside Tower the farm access lane ushered me to the Arnside/Silverdale road, directly opposite the junction a path leads over the shoulder of Arnside Knott, I followed said path to a finger-post inviting me to Copridding Wood and New Barns, after descending through woodland I emerged at New Barns on the coast. Up the estuary I rambled, Morecambe Bay mud made the going slow, I stopped to chat to some anglers patiently waiting the predicted tide. A quick pint in Arnside quenched my thirst before the foot-bridge at Arnside Station safely guided me over the railway lines, all that remained a good slice of coastal walking back to Milnthorpe.

view route map.


Castle Hill emerging from the mist, the site of a motte and bailey castle, built sometime between 1066 and 1299.

A misty morning in Dallam Park.

A small slice of Beetham.

Surviving from the 13th century magnificent medieval Beetham Hall.

Beetham Hall viewed from the southwest.

En route across Hale Fell.

Slack Head Marble Quarry, limestone was a popular substitute for marble in the Victorian era, when cut and polished it had an attractive cloudy appearance.

Striding along guided by the hedge rows and dry stone walls of Dollywood Lane.

From Dollywood Lane views to a hazy Arnside Knott.

Seen from the south-east Hazelslack Tower....

....and the usual view people take from the west.

Hagg Wood and Arnside Knott seen from the long forgotten salt pits on Black Dyke.

Seen from limestone pastures east of Arnside Tower, Middlebarrow Wood.

Emerging from the murk like a giant chess peace, Arnside Tower.

Arnside Tower stands proud, a sentinel overlooking Arndale, if you look at a map the three towers guard every possible medieval route across this peninsula, as most of the low lying land was under water it must have looked very different than it does today.

The not so proud side of Arnside Tower, I believe the wall was destroyed by a hurricane in the 1800s.

Striding out through Arnside Knott Wood.

Hazy views over Upper Morecambe Bay.

Distant Arnside Knott seen over the vast salt marsh between Sandside and Arnside.

Reflections at Sandside.

Looking to Sandside from Summerhouse Point on the edge of Dallam Park.

Dallam Tower, originally a pele tower, replaced in 1700s by the present house, seat of the Wilson family since the 16th century.

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