Bay Lines - Beach of Dreams

Ulverston to Walney Island - Miles 81 to 120

Mapping 120 Miles of Morecambe Bay through photos, stories and drawings

Miles 81 to 120. This is the final section of five creatively mapping 120 miles of the Bay Lines - Beach of Dreams route around Morecambe Bay. Participants have selected miles to which they have a personal connection and contributed photos, drawings, writing and their hopes for the future to build an intimate picture of the Bay coastline.

Miles 81 to 120. This is the final section of five creatively mapping 120 miles of the Bay Lines - Beach of Dreams route around Morecambe Bay. Participants have selected miles to which they have a personal connection and contributed photos, drawings, writing and their hopes for the future to build an intimate picture of the Bay coastline.

Image of flying eider by Peter Cairns/20:20 Vision.

This image of eiders on the island was taken by a remote camera trap and not a person.

Image of flying eider by Peter Cairns/20:20 Vision.

This image of eiders on the island was taken by a remote camera trap and not a person.

The Sands by Chapel Island

Michelle Cooper, Morecambe Bay Partnership

This mile on the sands of the Leven Estuary circles the privately-owned Chapel Island

We didn’t walk it in June 2023 - or in any June.

However we have walked it, many times, with a Guide and with many people from the Bay’s communities. But we don’t walk it in June. Here’s why.

Chapel Island is home to Morecambe Bay’s most important colony of nesting eider ducks. The wonderful charismatic ducks with their chattering voices nest on the Island between April and July. Female ducks need peace and quiet to nest successfully. They return to nest in the same place from where they themselves fledged, so keeping their habitat undisturbed is essential for the island’s future generations of eider ducks. We want to ensure we can conserve a healthy population of these important birds by keeping off the Island.

The birds of the Bay face unprecedented challenges for survival. The Bay is one of the top three places in the UK for overwintering birds. It is the perfect pit-stop for migrating birds. They travel thousands of miles from the Arctic regions during the colder months and stay for days, weeks or months to feed on the millions of creatures that live in the mud, sand and saltmarsh.

Between March and July, rare and declining beach-nesting birds such as ringed plover, oystercatcher, little tern and Arctic tern lay their eggs on the Bay’s quieter beaches, and struggle against weather, predators and human disturbance to raise their families before the summer ends. Morecambe Bay Partnership is working with nature partners and communities to protect the birds of the Bay and reduce the huge problem of recreational disturbance and declining species. Here’s how to help:

• Birds need to feed to survive -if a bird stops eating and looks up, please move away.
• Birds must rest at high tide – they use 12 times more energy when they have to fly. Leave them in peace.
• Keep your dog on a lead on busy bird beaches – birds are easily scared.
• Keep to well-trodden routes and clear paths. Avoid wandering across shingle and dunes where birds may be nesting but are well hidden. Their eggs and nests are easily trodden on or destroyed.
• Follow the coastal code



If you ever want to walk around Chapel Island, you should do so only with a qualified Guide (www.guideoversands.co.uk).

The fast-rising tides, quick sands and deep channels around the Island are very dangerous.

The Bay Lines - Beach of Dreams project maps 120 miles across Morecambe Bay. In June 2023 artists and walkers from the arts organisation Kinetika walked the whole route of 120 miles around Morecambe Bay carrying silk pennants representing miles of coastline. Their mission - to create 120 new silk pennants, one for each mile of the Bay, to be designed from the mile images and stories contributed by members of the public around the Bay and to be displayed as a coastal art installations at 4 locations across the Bay over August Bank Holiday weekend 2023. The project was commissioned by Ways Around the Bay from the Morecambe Bay Partnership.

Kinetika is working with Kendal-based Rosa Productions as part of a wider multi-year Beach of Dreams exploration of the UK and Ireland coastline.

The is the final of five sections - from Ulverston Canal Foot to Barrow-in-Furness and around Walney Island. We walk and map the 120 miles of coastline of Morecambe Bay with photos, stories, and drawings from the Bay Lines, Beach of Dreams participants.

Chapel Island from Ulverston Canal Foot

Chapel Island from Ulverston Canal Foot

Canal Foot lock

Canal Foot lock

Bay Horse Hotel

Bay Horse Hotel

Swans near the Bay Horse Hotel.

Swans near the Bay Horse Hotel.

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Chapel Island from Ulverston Canal Foot

Chapel Island from Ulverston Canal Foot

Canal Foot lock

Canal Foot lock

Bay Horse Hotel

Bay Horse Hotel

Swans near the Bay Horse Hotel.

Swans near the Bay Horse Hotel.

Mile 81. Maria Harrison.

Mile 81. Maria Harrison.

Mile 81 - Ulverston Canal Foot

Maria Harrison

My daughters and I enjoy visiting the local beaches. We go exploring along the shoreline, seeking out beautiful shells, sea glass, noticing the wildlife, plant life and sea life too, like the crabs, jellyfish and even lug holes or spiders crawling about. We also help clear the beaches of washed up or dumped rubbish, like common plastics, rope or a welly boot!

We walk amongst the rocks where the seagulls have eaten shellfish or snails. We take in the beautiful horizon and landscapes, be it a beautiful sunset, a foggy sky or heat mist. You can see across the ocean to the far away lands or islands.

The tide can be in and the waves crashing high against the barriers or the tide will be out a long way and you can leave your footprints in the sand and explore the many water pools scattered about. Did you realise that there was so much more to do on a beach than just a walk! It’s so educational and such fun too!

Mile 82 - Towards Bardsea Beach

Amanda Weston

Towards the end of my mile from Canal Foot, can be found a special place to me.

The path follows the bay-line, with a vast pebble beach to my left, where the tide heaves in-and-out twice a day and leaves different strand-lines depending on the moon’s pull.

Also to my left, out in the bay, Chapel Island. Those that knew the sands would walk over to the island when the tide was right, I do not know if they still do but must give a warning here to respect the bay’s sands and tides.

There is a gentle upward-sloping deciduous wood to my right, with an inviting and informal pathway heading in-land. No dramatic cliffs around here, which I am familiar with as a lass from, originally, the north-east, but a place that permits the haunting sound of sea-birds to be replaced by the soothing songs of wood-birds. Not far along this in-land path is a sensory wonder that seems, to me, other-worldly. A bright and beautiful Buddhist temple not a stones-throw from the bay-line. This is the Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre at Conishead Priory.

The temple is bold, glistening gold no matter what weather the bay thrusts its way. Here is my sanctuary. Recent years have thrown me challenging times, too many losses, too few smiles. Mindfulness abounds its glistening heart, gardens for reflection, vegan / vegetarian café for kindness, community for support, and the temple for thoughtfulness. I have learnt a little about self, I have found strength, I have laughed and cried, and I am sure I will do all those things again there as I move on with life. An incongruous yet valuable addition to the bay-line, offering shelter in stormy times. I am happy to have found that informal path.

Amanda Weston

Amanda Weston

Amanda Weston

Amanda Weston

Bardsey. Gili Armson.

Painted wall at Bardsey. Gili Armson

Mile 83. Gili Armson

Bardsey. Gili Armson.

Painted wall at Bardsey. Gili Armson

Mile 83. Gili Armson

Mile 83 - Bardsea

Gili Armson

I last visited this coast over 30 years ago and wanted to come again to see any changes and be reminded of long lost memories.

It was wild way back then and lots of unemployment with businesses and buildings just emptied.

The painted wall in my collection of photos does not suggest graffiti rather an abstract colourful part of a modern landscape.

Mile 84 Maria Harrison Bardsey

Mile 84 Gili Armson

Mile 84 Gili Armson

Mile 84 Maria Harrison Bardsey

Mile 84 Gili Armson

Mile 84 Gili Armson

Mile 84 - Bardsea

Maria Harrison

Maria told us what drew her into exploring the shore.

"We were just looking at shells and sea glass - it's like mudlarking - and we find bits of glass.

It's a hobby for me and my daughter. It started from being at Walney at The Hub where they have litter picking stations provided by ‘2 minute foundation’ - just for 2 minutes we pick some litter up.

So on our first session we were there for an hour and half - we found it bizarre how much rubbish was on the beach.

That's how we got involved.

Then we were watching the 'northern mudlarks' on youtube.

Then we went out to see what we could find on the coast near where we live in Ulverston.

And we pick up seaglass, shells and so on. And now we are looking to add crafts to this collection."

Mile 84 - Bardsey

Gili Armson

I knew there would be ‘resilient’ trees, hanging onto or close to the beach especially being near to a forested area. Roots would be exposed and I love the duality of seeing the tree in its entirety, both above the ground and also below the soil level.

There would be shelter along this mile and it is set just back from the beach giving a different view of the Bay, seen above the reeds.

Gili Armson

Rocks from high tide have been lodged in the trees roots, OR has someone put them there? A beautiful living sculpture!

Mile 85 Gili Armson

Mile 85

Mile 85

Mile 85

Mile 85 Gili Armson

Mile 85 Gili Armson

Mile 85

Mile 85

Mile 85

Mile 85 Gili Armson

Mile 85 - 86 Heading West

Gili Armson

I had visited the writing on the slabs years ago and wanted to see if they were still there.

Like a modern day 10 commandments written on stone….long live Elvis and Bing.

The Beach House was not there last time and what a great surprise, but then it seemed it was meant to be. Great tea, gab, and arty stop.

After this the mile was wilder and seemed isolated. Hard walking over all those boulders.

Mile 86 - Aldingham

Helena Sanderson

I love the wide open spaces at Aldingham.

Helena Sanderson

The way the tide retreats for over a kilometre and I can walk and walk and walk and feel I could keep walking forever. I love the bundle of rocks accessible at low tide, where the oystercatchers and redshanks hang out. Where herring and lesser black backed gulls hover on warm air currents. I love that even when it’s busy in car parks and on the part of the beach above high tide, as soon as I walk out I’m alone with nature and my thoughts.

Helena Sanderson


I want Aldingham to remain as clean and welcoming and remote feeling. For nature to lay claim to it over people, for birdlife and plants and wildlife to increase and thrive. I want to always be able to walk there and to love it as much as I do now. 

Helena Sanderson

Helena Sanderson

Helena Sanderson

Helena Sanderson

Mile 86 Maria Harrison

Mile 86 Gili Armson

Mile 87 Gili Armson

Mile 87 Gili Armson

Mile 88 Gili Armson

Mile 88. Gili Armson.

Mile 89 Maria Harrison

Mile 90. Rampside Leading Light.

Mile 90. Rampside Hall. The house with 12 chimneys.

Mile 91. The causeway to Roa Island.

Mile 86 Maria Harrison

Mile 86 Gili Armson

Mile 87 Gili Armson

Mile 87 Gili Armson

Mile 88 Gili Armson

Mile 88. Gili Armson.

Mile 89 Maria Harrison

Mile 90. Rampside Leading Light.

Mile 90. Rampside Hall. The house with 12 chimneys.

Mile 91. The causeway to Roa Island.

Mile 86 - Gili Armson

A continuation of the coastal walk. More big boulders exposed on the beach and therefore more opportunity to see shapes, lines and colours in them.

Lots of old jetties and fossils….nature’s mark-making in the limestone.

Mile 90 - Rampside

Mile 91- Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91. Looking past the ferry landing stage to Piel Island beyond.

Mile 91. Looking past the ferry landing stage to Piel Island beyond.

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Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91 Roa Island

Mile 91. Looking past the ferry landing stage to Piel Island beyond.

Mile 91. Looking past the ferry landing stage to Piel Island beyond.

Jane Bradshaw Piel Island

Jane Bradshaw Piel Island

Jane Bradshaw Piel Island

Jane Bradshaw Piel Island

Piel Island - Jane Bradshaw

There’s something tantalisingly exciting about catching a ferry and leaving behind the mainland that fills the visitor with a sense of possibility and adventure. The ever-changing seascapes, the big skies, a sense of freedom and the feeling that you are somewhere just a little bit special. Piel Island – a tiny teardrop island surrounded by the Irish sea is the jewel in the crown of the Cumbrian coast. No fancy ticket office, no departure board, no waiting room….just a long wooden pier stretching out to sea. Weekend adventurers leave Roa Island to take to the almost turquoise sea in an old wooden boat to be temporarily transported to an island brimming with uniqueness and charm.

To one side, expensive views of Morecambe Bay await and to the other, the mighty fells of the Lake District dominate the landscape. Only 50 acres in size but it houses not only the ruins of a 14th century castle but also a 300 year old pub serving local ales to the thirsty traveller, eager to drink in the atmosphere. A truly special place, little known but once visited, is never forgotten. Here’s to hoping that many get to discover it and yet it retains its untouched magic.

Mile 92. Cycle way between Roa Island and Barrow.

Mile 92. Cycle way between Roa Island and Barrow.

Mile 93. Looking over the Gas Works near Barrow.

Mile 93. Looking over the Gas Works near Barrow.

Mile 93. Across the sands with the tide out, looking over to Piel Island from causeway near Cavendish Dock.

Mile 93. Across the sands with the tide out, looking over to Piel Island from causeway near Cavendish Dock.

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Mile 92. Cycle way between Roa Island and Barrow.

Mile 92. Cycle way between Roa Island and Barrow.

Mile 93. Looking over the Gas Works near Barrow.

Mile 93. Looking over the Gas Works near Barrow.

Mile 93. Across the sands with the tide out, looking over to Piel Island from causeway near Cavendish Dock.

Mile 93. Across the sands with the tide out, looking over to Piel Island from causeway near Cavendish Dock.

Mile 94. View from the docks. Susan Benson

Mile 94 Eider Ducks. Susan Benson .

Mile 94. The dock wall. Susan Benson.

Mile 94. View from the docks. Susan Benson

Mile 94 Eider Ducks. Susan Benson .

Mile 94. The dock wall. Susan Benson.

Mile 94 - Cavendish Dock

Susan Benson

I live close to Cavendish Dock and cycle round it daily to work and walk round it weekly, so I see it in all weathers and seasons. The dock wall acts as a boundary between the urban landscape of Barrow and the natural landscape of the bay. In the distance you can see Roa island, the castle on Piel Island, and when it is clear, the lighthouse at the south end of Walney Island.

Susan Benson

I enjoy looking for the birds such as waders on the shore, particularly curlews in the winter. A lone little egret often stands quietly waiting for fish in one of the channels. Flocks of gold finches swoop past me. Cormorants line up on the pipe going into the dock and oyster catchers fly by calling to each other.

Susan Benson

On a windy day when the tide is in, I love watching the waves crash against the dock wall. The dock has historical interest as well.

HM Airship 1 or Mayfly was built in a shed on the dock. Unfortunately, she broke up on her second outing onto the dock in September 1911. The first seaplane flight also took place in 1911.

I hope that people will continue to have access to the wall so that they can enjoy the views and wildlife. During lockdown, the walks around the dock were essential to people living locally who spent time there during their allowed daily exercise.

Miles 95 to 100 are allocated to to Chapel Island, Piel Island (earlier in this feature) and to the miles of dockland and industry at Barrow-in Furness