5 days on from glorious sunshine and the tranquillity and surrealism of a virtually empty Haverigg Beach, the heavy rain hasn’t stopped since the first drops last night ensured an almost endless cacophony of noise battering every window and panel of my accommodation, so upon awakening I knew today would be best spent continuing with my journal from the comfort of a warm, dry office.
Gloomy wet weather aside, I have, hands down, one of the best views from an office window anyone could wish for, and a view that inspires this latest addition to my journal and the park’s primary focal point – our private lake.
When I first arrived here at Port Haverigg Marina Village just a couple of months ago on 3rd September, I had one thing in mind to fulfill immediately after finishing for the day and that was to walk around the lake – so I did, and unlike now where it is currently ‘bouncing it down’ the Sun was still shining brightly, giving me the perfect window of opportunity to begin building a portfolio of images showcasing the simply stunning scenery that wraps itself around the entire park like a warm blanket or a mother cradling a baby in arms.
I began at the end of the Hodbarrow Outer Wall that separates the lake from the Duddon Estuary (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duddon_Estuary) and set off along the wall itself. The wall is a 12-metre high embankment with a maximum crest width of 25 metres and even at 6pm was still teaming with joggers, cyclists (well, mountain bikers as the terrain is very rough and uneven with many a large pebble or stone laid scattered all over the ground, along with several old concrete railway sleepers), dog walkers, owners, locals and holidaymakers alike – I’ve even seen a few cars and the occasional leisure vehicle from time to time make their way to the far end where the corner of Millom Beach emerges from the Duddon Estuary.
Stopping regularly I took some photographs which I can be truly proud of and didn’t hesitate to upload them on Facebook for my friends to see. My images so far were a mixture of panoramic views of the park encompassing the Ski bar at one end and the Hodbarrow Inner Wall at the other with the entire width of the lake between them, and after turning around stood on the same spot, some breathtaking shots of the Duddon Estuary sweeping around as far as the eye can see both left and right.
After around 1.2km I reached Hodbarrow Lighthouse where, just to its immediate right, displayed on the Hodbarrow Outer Wall is a fascinating large sign (naturally a photo was taken) detailing the history behind it from when it was first lit in 1905 to its final light being extinguished in 1949, its dimensions and even its refurbishment as recently as 2003. Sadly it looks worse for wear again.
Directly opposite the lighthouse is a concrete, purpose built bird watching hut known as The Hide. Along with suitable photos snapped, you can imagine the avid nature lovers spending hours at a time, watching and spotting the diverse wildlife the Hodbarrow https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/hodbarrow/ Lagoon has on offer, with the same patience an angler has waiting for that next bite.
2km in and I next reached a lovely little cove and another sign. This one tells us about the history of the Duddon Estuary. As well as the migrating birds I encountered a few days ago further up the estuary on Haverigg Beach, there is another interesting local resident that calls this place home – the Natterjack Toad. Named for their rasping croak, Natterjacks breed in shallow pools and hibernate in burrows, and the Duddon Estuary holds 20% of the entire UK population of them!
Once more, photo opportunities are plentiful in this particular area of my walk around the lake. Simply turning around on the spot again allowed me to capture images of the Sun setting over the estuary, an old stone windmill, the original Millom (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millom) stone lighthouse constructed in 1866, a stone monolith with the inscription ‘With breath of life, now land revived, soaring birds cry alive, alive!’, and more views over this divine landscape.
I then ventured along a path which took me past the old stone lighthouse and right through RSPB Hodbarrow Nature Reserve, stopping periodically along the way for more images to add to my growing library, where the path meets the end of a roughly tarmacked road ( I have since discovered from several more journeys this is actually a slightly longer circular route to/from the engraved monolith) which becomes inaccessible to vehicles.
Further down the road it becomes wider allowing plenty of space for parking in the Nature Reserve, opposite a gate to a disused quarry, and just after there I reached a junction where the road from the Nature Reserve meets the main access road into the park.
There, walkers or joggers have a choice of whether to carry on up the access road or to take the roughtrail through the outer reaches of the Nature Reserve – you can probably guess I took the trail.
Although a rough, and in parts overgrown, the trail welcomed a final few photos and was a pleasant alternative to getting disturbed by vehicles creeping up on me every now and again.
So, I was back at the park and had one more final thing to do – see the distance covered – how far is it around our 200 acre private lake and the Nature Reserve?
Back to the starting point I headed, and the distance was…..5km, and a little over an hour including photo stoppages.
I have since (and will continue to do so a couple of times per week, weather permitting) jogged around the same circuit to stay in shape and keep soaking up those wonderful views and will probably join a couple of our owners, whom I have come to know fairly well, for a lap and a chinwag when it is safe for us to do so.
Part 4 of Port Haverigg Marina Village – A Journal Of Cumbria’s Hidden Gem will be following very soon but I will draw Part 3 to a close with one question for anyone visiting our beautiful park – why would/why do you visit The Lake District?
For lakes, walking, exploring, adventure, relaxing?? Am I right?? Of course I am.
Well, we have it all here in one charming holiday village so surely, it must be the perfect place to do all of these things? TTFN
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