A Ramble up Arnside Knott – Walks for Preschoolers

Back when my husband and I were young and carefree (you know, no kids, no house renovations), we enjoyed walking as a hobby. There is plenty to enjoy nearby. We like to get to the Lake District when we can manage it, but we are also very close to the coast and to Arnside and Silverdale, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Sadly, apart from our annual camping trips, we’ve been pretty bad at taking advantage of our proximity to these really beautiful places. Fair enough: we’ve had three kids in less than four years, so we’ve been busy juggling pregnancy and naps.

Last week however, we realized that the big boys are just big enough to start doing some easy hikes. By easy, I mean relatively low level and not too long. So Carl booked a day off work and we hopped into the car.

To clarify, by ‘hop’ I mean load up the boot with half of our house and then herd some cats our kids into their carseats.

The Walk Up Arnside Knottt

The original plan was to walk to the top of the Knott, then down again, out to the Bob In Cafe, then along the coast and back to the car. However, things don’t always go to plan.

I had decided it would be best not to park in the dedicated car park for the Knott; otherwise there would be too much of a climb back to the car. Fortunately we found a spot right at the intersection of Red Hills Road and Knott Lane.

We started by walking up Knott Lane (which ends in the car park) and then went through a stile and promptly ended up on a path that turned out to not even be on our map. We cut across the base of the hill, past some lovely Highland cattle, then through a kissing gate into a woodland. The path in the woodland took us up the hill, then out to a bench and a beautiful prospect over the Kent Estuary, the Viaduct, Morecambe Bay, and, in the distance, the Lake District Fells.

Conveniently, from the bench we could see the path we originally meant to take up. However, because we had taken a rather long detour from our planned route, we decided to head back down the hill and to the car.

Summary of the Walk

Over all, we ascended about 350 feet and walked 1.8 miles in 2.5 hours, including lunch. N is almost four and G is 2.5. They walked the entire way up and took turns riding piggy back on Daddy for the descent. I couldn’t be more proud!

The detour through the woods added diversity to the walk, too. I’m sure mine aren’t the only kids who love to pick up sticks and rocks along the way. The rout wasn’t particularly boggy or muddy despite recent rain, which was a plus.

Afterwards, we stopped for hot chocolate at The Heron Cafe in Arnside, complete with marshmallows. They kindly split a regular hot chocolate between N and G. Carl then took the big boys for a short walk along the beach and then we all bundled into the car for the drive home.

Arnside is definitely a place we would like to re-visit. It’s a lovely seaside village with several cafes, a pretty promenade and easy walking along the beach. We’re looking forward to returning.

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