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Milnthorpe Bridge - Beetham - Haverbrack - Walk

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Milnthorpe Bridge - Beetham - Haverbrack - Milnthorpe Bridge

The term 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty' is an accurate description of the countryside round Arnside and Silverdale. It is much loved by people who live in the region but missed by many in their rush to reach the Lake District beyond. The low limestone hills are clothed in woodland with delightful walking at all times of year, but in early spring the carpet of snowdrops met on this route is breathtaking. Stunning as this is, it is not the most memorable feature of the walk: the views of the panorama of the Lake District hills, especially from Haverbrack Bank late in the walk, are exceptional and we do urge you to reserve a clear day for this expedition. 

The route starts through the manicured parkland of Dallam Tower. This fine house, not open to the public, was completed in 1720 on the site of an earlier building. The park was laid out about the same time and has a herd of fallow deer, so you are very likely to glimpse these attractive creatures. Leaving the park, the path leads to the village of Beetham. It stands on the River Bela, which used to be called the Betha and gave the community its name. The river has powered mills for nearly a thousand years and one of these, Heron Mill, has been restored and is just a few yards from the route. Waterhouse Mill next door was also originally a cornmill but converted to paper production in 1788 and is still in operation, perhaps the least attractive feature of the walk but soon passed. Beetham itself is very attractive, with a pub, tea shop and historic church; a good place for a refreshment break. 

Leaving the village behind the path leads through woodland to Fairy Steps, a cleft in the limestone crag that you can climb up and down if you are so minded. The views from here are good, but not the best the walk has to offer. From this natural belvedere the route wanders along the top of the cliff, crossing some limestone pavement and through the woods over Haverbrack. The very best views of this lovely walk are from Haverbrack Bank as we descend towards the Kent Estuary. 

The final section of this immensely varied walk is a complete contrast to the rest as it lies along the shore of the Kent Estuary to its confluence with the Bela, then beside the river back to the start.

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