I didn’t have time to cross from Fleetwood on the ferry to Knott End last week, so today I’m cycling there from Garstang on hopefully quiet lanes. I was last at Knott End in March 2019 when I walked along the shore to Pilling, that was just before lockdown, and as I remarked in the comments “I didn’t hug anybody”. There has been a lot of water under the bridges since then, but Covid still worries me with our high infectivity rates and deaths.
The lanes I choose were indeed very quiet, with only the occasional agricultural vehicle. I was supposed to be on a National Cycle route 5 or 7, but there was never a sign. Pedalling along in my own world until I reached Pilling, a spaced out village with no discernable centre. I pondered at the naming of the Elletson Arms and Smokehouse. I wasn’t sure if it was still trading, the Golden Ball around the corner certainly wasn’t.
I took the lane past Fluke Hall onto the sea wall, where I hoped to be able to continue to Knott End. A wide coastal vista opened up with views across the bay to Black Coombe and the inevitable Morecambe Power Stations. Somewhere in the sands, the Lune empties into the bay. I could see figures out there, and then I focused on quad bikes coming ashore. They were cocklers, intrepid scavengers of the bay. Some arrived looking muddy and weathered, they weren’t the friendliest of people but explained how they rammed the sands and raked up the cockles. They had many kilograms of cockles to be cooked and exported through Europe.
I was able to cycle ‘illegally’ along the raised sea wall all the way into Knott End. Out there on the sands, as the tide came in, were hundreds of wading birds.
I couldn’t resist a drink in the café, which turned out to be a mini lunch, you get hungry cycling.
The ferry was running across to Fleetwood, but I kept to the tortuous lanes past Stalmine on this side. On my header photo the two lighthouses can be seen over there. I missed a junction near Out Rawcliffe and ended up at the Cartford Toll Bridge. I saved 20p by continuing on the north side of the Wyre. Eventually I came through Nateby back to my starting point by the Lancaster canal.