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Taking a Walk: Not far from the madding crowd… an island of peace

Regulars | By Patrick Barkham | January 2018

Patrick Barkham takes a stroll by Arnside Knott

The northern reaches of the M6 may boast the best motorway services in Britain in the shape of Tebay’s farm shop but there’s even better refreshment available. Every year or so, when I have to take that road across the border between Lancashire and Cumbria, I always divert 15 minutes west to visit Arnside Knott. It was a shock as invigorating as plunging into the silver waters of Morecambe Bay to leave the 70mph world and enter the twisting peace of ancient lanes. As the world rushed to the more glamorous Lake District, the community of Arnside resembled a little island, populated almost exclusively by older citizens. Before planning controls, grand Victorian villas were built to gaze west over the grand expanse of Morecambe Bay or north towards the fairytale peak of Helvellyn. Most have been converted into sheltered housing, and the streets were peppered with those signs depicting a...

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