The MadGang Go To Ulverston

Both Quiz and Edric, my two border collies, get extremely nervous when they hear fireworks being let off. If I know when displays are going to take place I can take precautions in order to minimise their distress. However, nowadays, unlike when I was a child, people have their firework parties whenever they want rather than just on the fifth of November and the days leading up to Guy Fawkes night and for many days afterwards are a nightmare for our canine friends and many other critters, both domestic and wild. So, this year we decided to try a more drastic plan of action in order to avoid the worst excesses of the so-called "firework season." We booked a pitch on a campsite in the middle of a Lake District, near the village of Coniston, for ten days, which we hoped would be well away from the haunts of inconsiderate pyros.

It worked! During the ten days we were on the site, we only heard fireworks on two occasions and then the noise was short-lived and well away in the distance. I love it when a plan comes together.

Of course, we did not just sit there in our trailer all week; every day we managed to get a decent walk in even when the weather was less than clement. On our first full day in Cumbria, we set off to the town of Ulverston which is on the south coast of the Furness Peninsula. Here are a few photographs that I snapped during our time there.


We arrived before lunch and started by giving the dogs a good run in Ford Park. This is a community park, run by volunteers, which nestles beneath Hoad Hill on which stands the Sir John Barrow Monument, which looks like a lighthouse but isn't. After the boys had run around enough we visited the dog-friendly cafe in the park for a very satisfactory lunch.

After the park, we drove down to the sea-lock of the now disused, Ulverston Canal and went for a walk along its banks along with what seemed like the entire population of South Lakeland. I love the waterways of Britain. It is a great sadness to me that my unemployment means that we can no longer holiday on them like we regularly used to. However, we can still walk by them as there is no charge for doing so.

This photograph of Chapel Island with the coast of Lancashire in the far distance was taken from near the foot of the Ulverston Canal.

The Leven Viaduct was built to carry trains on the Furness Railway line across the Leven Estuary.

It is possible to traverse the Leven Estuary on foot. The mudflats are extremely dangerous and taking the wrong route can be fatal. The tide comes in very fast and people staying too long on the flats have been drowned, even in very recent times. Therefore, although the byway is marked on Ordnance Survey maps it is necessary to employ an experienced guide should you be determined to attempt the crossing.

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