A few days since the start of my journal and, again, The Sun has graced us with its presence and the opportunity to explore further. Today I ventured just outside of the park and on to Haverigg Beach, my second area of focus.
Haverigg Beach has been consistently voted as one of the top 5 beaches in the Lake District and having been blessed with more clear, bright weather I have taken my chance to put this accolade to the test. Is it really that nice?
Well let me tell you, the answer to that question is a resounding, stone-wall ‘Yes!’
Beginning at the very starting corner of Haverigg Beach at 10:45am, the tide is in where the Irish Sea greets the huge concrete blocks of the Hodbarrow Outer Wall and, although very shallow, is enough to keep an anchored boat afloat.
After a couple of photographs I make my way up the beach to the sound of scores of Oystercatchers chirping and flying off further out to sea as I get within 20-25 metres of them.
At the end of this very short initial stretch of Haverigg Beach is the end of Haverigg Pool, a stream that winds its way round from the back of the village before meeting the Duddon Estuary where local villagers moor and launch their vessels. Overlooking here are some of the most colourful, picturesque cottages you could ever see – the kind that make their way onto postcards and brochures without any effort.
Crossing over a small bridge which displays a sign detailing the history behind ‘Concrete Square’ and traverses Haverigg Pool, another great photograph invitation presents itself to take in the Lakeland Fells in the background – simply stunning on a clear day.
Walking adjacent to Haverigg Pool there are two choices. The first is to continue on the pavement, past more picturesque properties overlooking the sea and estuary, where The Beach Cafe sits across from a free car park next to two adjoining kids playgrounds, where the first is geared towards younger children and the second for older children and even includes a zip wire!
I opt for the second choice – the coastal path and the start of the sand dunes known as Haverigg Haws.
Alongside this first section of probably no more than a couple of hundred metres, the pathway is decorated with some lovely examples of mosaic art and benches for those who wish to sit back and relax, taking in the views. At the end of the pathway is the lifeboat ramp for the Haverigg Inshore Rescue Team and just before it, a limestone sculpture named ‘Escape to Light’.
The sculpture was carved in 1994 by English sculptor Josefina de Vasconcellos who was almost NINETY years old at the time and lived on to reach the age of 100 until her death on 20th July 2005.
After taking photographs of the sculpture I walk down the lifeboat ramp and on to the main, and virtually endless, Haverigg Beach taking photographs from all angles including the backdrop of Black Combe, out to sea, more Oystercatchers, Curlews and Ringed Plovers looking for shrimps, worms and crustaceans.
I exchange pleasantries with a young family and a young lady riding her horse on a stretch of sand that is virtually secluded and so peaceful – even the horse came to say hello.
I continue along through the grass covered estuary following a natural channel to be met by a stone/shingle ramp – now what? Well, it’s only a few feet high and can’t see anything over it so let’s just walk up it – WOW! Just WOW!
As far as the eye can see in either direction the sea calmly pulls back and forth against the sand. The sound of the water (with a slight breeze) and not a soul within hundreds of metres due to lockdown, is probably the most peaceful and tranquil feeling I have ever experienced, and one I may never experience again.
Continuing on I proceed further up the beach taking photographs almost constantly, and my curiosity is asking how far up here can you actually walk, and the answer is ‘a very long way’.
I decide to turn back at a point where a wooden structure decorated with lots of different coloured buoys and rope is protruding out of the dunes.
There are several accessible sandy paths that touch the beach from Haverigg Haws so I choose one of the more sensible ones to pick my way back to Port Haverigg Marina Village, but before I get there I see something in the corner of my eye near one of the many pools that form when the tide has gone back out, and decide to go for a nosey – it was a jellyfish and a big one!
Its head (the Bell) was a good two feet wide or more and the creature dwarfed my size 9’s next to it. I don’t think it had been there long either but I had no plans on finding out if it was still alive or not. I’d rather just let nature take its course.
Moving on, I traipse back across to the dunes and make my way back though I must point out sensible footwear is a must and the terrain is quite challenging throughout, so they’re not for everyone.
After a while I head back on to Haverigg Beach to re-trace my 1000’s of steps, past the playgrounds, over the bridge, past the Hodbarrow Outer Wall where the tide is now way out and the anchored boat lays tilted on its side, and finally back in to Port Haverigg Marina Village where after a 3 hour hike and over 100 photographs later, I am ready for a nice cup of coffee.
I will return shortly with Part 3 of Port Haverigg Marina Village – A Journal Of Cumbria’s Hidden Gem, so keep an eye out for it….
Port Haverigg Marina Village has a selection of statics & lodges to rent & buy. Prices start from about £18,995 & we have a model to suit your needs.
Many plots benefit from gorgeous views & there is a lovely Children’s play area onsite as well. I look forward to seeing you here
Richard Saul, Port Haverigg