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Monday, 26 September 2016

Walk 192 Bootle Station to Millom (Cumbria)

Walk 192 Bootle Station to Millom (Cumbria)

(Fourth leg of English coastal walk – Gretna Green to Chester)

Map: L/R 96
Distance: 16 miles or 26 km approx
Difficulty: Easy, flat
Terrain: coastal path, small amount of road. Some beach walking which could slow you down
Access: Parking at Millom, not sure about Bootle Station
Public transport: Trains between the two places. Millom has links to Barrow in Furness.

Follow the track from Bootle Station on to the Cumbria Coastal Way. The walk down to Silecroft is pleasant enough especially on a nice sunny day when I went. The coast is a site of special scientific interest for its bird and plant life – especially sedge warblers and orchids. However, don't expect to see much human life! 

After Silecroft, much of the walk is on the beach and care should be taken to stick near the dunes to avoid getting cut off – especially around Haverigg Point. The sandy area is called Haverigg Haws where there are breeding birds in the dunes. Look out for the sculpture on the beach side near Haverigg. It looks like a dragon and is called Escape to Light. It represents man flying from a dragon and giving in to temptations of greed and power and nature flying away from pollution and extermination.

Follow the coastal path that leaves Haverigg and goes round the outer man made barrier originally built in 1900 to protect iron ore mine workings. These subsided leaving large areas of water. The walk goes past the lighthouse, built in 1905, and refurbished in 2003. It now operates on a sensor and comes on as darkness falls – flashing every four seconds. Look out for the old lighthouse as you walk round.

Follow the path into the centre of Millom where a sculpture celebrates the towns heritage founded on the mines and iron works.

Photos show: part of the long, and for me, lonely stretch between Bootle Station and Silecroft; the old lighthouse from the outer barrier between Haverigg and Millom; the industrial heritage sculpture in Millom centre. 

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