Morecambe Bay, its name derived from ‘Mare Cymry’, the ancient Cumbrian Sea of the Celts, consists of a vast area of intertidal sandflats where rivers Kent, Crake, Levens, Winster, Keer, Lune, & Wyre meet. It is equally known for its fast tides and dangerous quicksands, as it is for its beauty and its birdlife. It is the second largest bay in the UK. Spring tides can be 10.5 m, the tidal bore reaching speeds of 9 knots, and the ebb tide can fall back 12km. The area is now designated as a World Heritage site.
Cartmel Peninsula, the part of Cumbria known as South Lakeland. Previously part of Lancashire to which it is still linked by the centuries old “Oversands Route” across the notorious sands of Morecambe Bay. An official guide was appointed by the Prior of Cartmel as it was a route taken by travellers and pilgrims to the area, as well as the monks themselves. A regular stagecoach between Lancaster and Ulverston started in the mid 18th century but was eventually replaced by the local railway in 1857. The post ‘Queens Guide to the Sands’ remains today, and one of his main tasks is to safely lead the numerous charity walks across the Bay.
As well as its countless coastal and woodland walks, notable places to visit in the peninsula are the village of Cartmel with its Priory dating back to 1190; Holker Hall; the medieval Sizergh Castle & garden,
and finally, Levens Hall whose 300 year old, world-famous, topiary gardens were laid out by Frenchman, Guillaume Beaumont, who later designed Hampton Court’s original gardens.
Photos of Cumbria and West Yorkshire