Lying just south of the Lake District and nestled against the shore of Morecombe Bay is a hidden gem of English nature, Arnside. Within just a few miles of each other are one of Britain’s finest limestone pavements, a fabulous reedbed and the shores of the Bay itself. Arnside Knott’s limestone grasslands are covered in a rich flora notably including plentiful orchids, and are home to some of Britain’s rarest and loveliest butterflies. Late May is the best time to see the now very local Duke of Burgundy Fritillary as well as both Pearl-bordered and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. The view from the Knott over the estuary to the scenic Lake District are one of the finest in Northwest England.
Otters have made a comeback nationwide but seeing them isn’t easy still. Leighton Moss is probably one of the best spots in England to watch these sublimely elegant animals. The reserve protects extensive reed-fringed wetlands home to nationally important populations of Bearded Tits, Marsh Harriers and Bitterns. The reserve’s woodlands are good for Bullfinches, Marsh Tits and woodpeckers. Also protected is a significant swathe of coastal marsh and tidal flats where Avocets, Oystercatchers and Curlew can be seen.
In the clear depths of Hawes Water we can glimpse fish such as Rudd and the Ten-spined Stickleback whilst on the surface are Great Crested and Little Grebes. Green Tiger Beetles make their home by the lakeside and we might just see the uncommon Medicinal Leech in the lake’s shallows. The lake’s shores throng with Bird’s-eye Primrose, a habitat made more accessible with the newly opened boardwalk there.
The grykes in Gait Barrow’s superb limestone pavement provide a perfect home for ferns such as wall Wall Rue, Maidenhair Spleenwort and the rare Ridged Buckler Fern. We’ll also see Angular Solomon’s Seal, Tutsan, Lily of the Valley, Herb Robert and Bloody Cranesbill. Butterflies we’ll likely see include Comma, Small Copper and Speckled Wood. This wonderful reserve also has woodland thronging with interesting plants such as Herb Paris, Spring Sandwort, Creeping Cinquefoil, Rock-Rose, Enchanters Nightshade, Dewberry, Spindle and both Harts-Tongue Fern and Hard Shield Fern. Ancient ash trees grow only a few millimetres a year here and, despite their size may be many hundreds of years old.
This wonderful reserve has been chosen as one of the main sites for the reintroduction of the Lady’s Slipper Orchid to the wild. These plants are at an early stage though they are now flowering. However there is another spot in Silverdale where we’ll seek a Lady’s Slipper that was introduced around eighty years ago and is now produces several fine slippers each year.
Butterflies, Flowers and Birds. Also landscapes.
Very easy. No more than two or three couple of miles in any one day, and always at a relaxed pace, ideally suited to photographers.
Included in the Price
All transport, breakfasts and dinners during the tour. Services of your leaders. Please note: Pub lunches, drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature such as travel insurance, are not included.
The maximum group size is 10.
All three nights of the tour we’ll be at the Silverdale Hotel in the village of the same name. Just a ten minute walk from scenic Jenny Brown’s Point and handily situated for all the sites on this tour, the Silverdale has fine comfortable rooms, great breakfasts and the pub restaurant serves very tasty dinners. Run by the Binks family since 2016 you’ll find this hotel to be the very meaning of ‘family-run’ hotel with various members of the family running different aspects of the operation, most importantly, there’s Alan looking after the many and varied beers and wines in the bar. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities.
This part of Northwest England is renowned as having better weather than most of Lancashire and Cumbria, however its all relative and you can expect it to be changeable!
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. Flower, butterfly and bird checklists are available.