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Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth

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Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth
Author: Lancashire Walks, Published: 29 Oct 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth Walking Guidestar0 Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth Walking Guidestar0 Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth Walking Guidestar0 Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth Walking Guidestar0 Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth Walking Guide
Lancashire, Lancaster
Walk Type: Coastal
Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth
Length: 7 miles,  Difficulty: boot Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth Walking Guide boot Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth Walking Guide
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A 6.5 mile circular walk from the village of Bolton-le-Sands on the Lancashire Coast. The walking route follows the Lancashire Coast Way to reach neighbouring Carnforth and then returns along the towpath of the Lancaster Canal. Along the way, you will enjoy the coastal salt marshes and you will pass Carnforth rail station, famous as the setting for the 1945 film, Brief Encounter.

The walk is relatively flat, with little in the way of gradient. NOTE: The initial stretch follows a coastal path through the salt marshes, with creeks and pools, so it is recommended to avoid high tide. You should follow all advice concerning tides displayed on noticeboards at the start of the walk. You will need to negotiate one stile plus gates and there are a couple of stretches of road walking that need care. Most of the route is livestock free, but you may come across livestock grazing on the marshes. Allow 3.5 hours.

Bolton-le-Sands is located about 5 miles north of the city of Lancaster, on the main A6 road. The walk starts and finishes from the road called The Shore on the coast, close to the Red Bank Farm caravan park. There is a large stone roadside parking area along this stretch of road. Approximate post code LA5 8JR. If you are coming by train, you can adjust the walk to start and finish at Carnforth rail station (Waypoint 3).

Walk Sections

Start to Wild Duck Hall
Start to Wild Duck Hall

Start point: 54.1072 lat, -2.8071 long
End point: 54.1125 lat, -2.797 long

Please take note of and follow all advice concerning tides displayed on noticeboards at the start of the walk. Standing in the parking area facing the coast, turn right to join the raised embankment path heading northwards (with The Shore road running on your right and Morecambe Bay across to your left).

Some way along, The Shore road leaves your path and bends away to your right to become St Michael’s Lane. From this point, the embankment ends so simply continue ahead on the flat path. The path emerges out onto Mill Lane. Bear left along the lane to reach Wild Duck Hall, a large white building.

Wild Duck Hall to Shore Road
Wild Duck Hall to Shore Road

Start point: 54.1125 lat, -2.797 long
End point: 54.1326 lat, -2.7873 long

Keep to the left of the hall on a service road leading to Bolton Holmes Farm. From this point the way is a little less straightforward in that the salt marshes are dissected by creeks and pools which need to be carefully negotiated, especially when the tide is high. After a rock-strewn point of land, the way reaches the estuary of the River Keer close to Marsh House Farm. After a stile you will emerge onto Shore Road.

Shore Road to Carnforth Station
Shore Road to Carnforth Station

Start point: 54.1326 lat, -2.7873 long
End point: 54.1296 lat, -2.7703 long

Keep ahead along Shore Road. The road brings you to the path junction where the Coastal Way turns left. Do NOT take this, instead keep ahead on the lane. Eventually you will pass beneath a pair of railway bridges and continue on to reach a T-junction with Warton Road. Turn right along the pavement, heading for Carnforth. Continue for about 0.3 miles to reach Carnforth rail station on your right.

Carnforth Station to Lancaster Canal
Carnforth Station to Lancaster Canal

Start point: 54.1296 lat, -2.7703 long
End point: 54.1273 lat, -2.7655 long

Carnforth rail station is famous as the filming location for the 1945 romantic film, Brief Encounter. Much of the film was filmed here. The station was busy enough to suit the plot and it was located far enough away from major cities to avoid the blackout, with shooting taking place before the end of World War II. The station still retains many of the period features present at the time of filming and remains a place of pilgrimage for fans of the film.

Continue straight ahead into Market Street and this will lead you to the crossroads with the A6. Cross over using the pedestrian crossing and go straight ahead, heading slightly uphill for about 200 metres towards the canal bridge.

Lancaster Canal to Church Bridge
Lancaster Canal to Church Bridge

Start point: 54.1273 lat, -2.7655 long
End point: 54.1035 lat, -2.7921 long

Just before the canal bridge, turn right and follow the access path around a children’s playground and down to reach the canal towpath. Turn right to join the canal towpath, with the canal running on your left. You now have an easy and uncomplicated stretch of walking back towards Bolton-le-Sands. Continue for about 2.5 miles (probably just over an hour of walking) and this will bring you to Church Bridge (Bridge Number 122).

Church Bridge to End
Church Bridge to End

Start point: 54.1035 lat, -2.7921 long
End point: 54.1073 lat, -2.8072 long

Pass under Church Bridge and then turn right to leave the towpath, passing through the gate to reach St Michael’s Lane. Turn left along the pavement and continue to the crossroads with the A6. Cross over (there is a pedestrian crossing just to your right) and keep ahead on the continuation of St Michael’s Lane. Follow the lane leading you through a housing estate and over the railway via the level crossing. The lane then quickly returns you to the shore and the car park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author lancashirewalks and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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