|A drive around the Furness peninsula, an area heavily influenced firstly by the monks of Furness Abbey and later by steel manufacture and ship building. The route visits a number of associated attractions and also some wonderful coastal scenery.|
|South Lakes & Cumbria Drives||Home|
|Summary of main attractions on route (click on name for detail)|
|Distance||Attraction||Car Park Coordinates|
|0 miles||Ulverston||N 54.19605, W 3.09245|
|2.2 miles||Conishead Priory||N 54.17303, W 3.07186|
|3.5 miles||Bardsea Country Park||N 54.15993, W 3.06950|
|5.6 miles||Birkrigg Common summit||N 54.15735, W 3.09992|
|6.3 miles||Druid's Stone Circle||N 54.15541, W 3.08612|
|8.8 miles||Aldingham||N 54.12990, W 3.09836|
|11.2 miles||Gleaston Water Mill||N 54.12846, W 3.13355|
|16.8 miles||Roa Island||N 54.07353, W 3.17418|
|22.3 miles||Barrow-in-Furness||N 54.11078, W 3.22846|
|24.6 miles||Walney Island, Biggar Bank||N 54.09605, W 3.25708|
|26.2 miles||Barrow Dock Museum||N 54.11181, W 3.23956|
|29.1 miles||Furness Abbey||N 54.13708, W 3.19887|
|31.9 miles||Sandscale Haws||N 54.16996, W 3.22642|
|34.9 miles||Dalton-in-Furness||N 54.15568, W 3.18620|
|36.8 miles||South Lakes Safari Zoo||N 54.16791, W 3.16209|
|39.8 miles||Swarthmoor Hall||N 54.18578, W 3.10244|
|41.1 miles||Ulverston||N 54.19605, W 3.09245|
Distance: 0 miles Location: Ulverston, Brewery Street car park Coordinates: N 54.19605, W 3.09245
|Hoad Monument, Ulverston|
On the hill overlooking the town is the eye-catching Hoad Monument, a replica of the Eddystone lighthouse, which can be seen from miles around. The monument is a fairly short but strenuous walk from the town and is worthwhile for the magnificent views of the town and surrounding area. A flatter walk can be had along the old canal which is a pleasant stroll just over 1 mile to the picturesque Leven estuary. The canal was the shortest, widest and deepest in the country and a reminder of the importance of the town as a port before the railway was built. The car park is pay and display with nearby toilet facilities.
Travelling:Leaving the car park, turn left to join the main roundabout where you take the third exit towards the A5087 and Bardsea. Continue a short distance to the Stan Laurel Inn on the left. For a short detour through the backstreets to see the house where Stan Laurel was born, take the right turn opposite the pub, Chapel Street. Soon meet a slightly complicated junction where you basically head straight across, still Chapel Street. Then take the second street on the left, Argyle Street. Number 3 is immediately on the left with a small plaque on the wall. It is perhaps hard to believe this modest terraced house was birthplace to one of the worlds most famous comedians. Continue along Argyle Street to a T junction where you turn right on the A5087. The main road continues through the outskirts of Ulverston, passing a small Co-op supermarket on the right and eventually a cemetery on the right which marks the town boundary. Approx 1 mile beyond this is Conishead Priory, signposted on the left.
Distance: 2.2 miles Location: Conishead Priory Coordinates: N 54.17303, W 3.07186
Travelling:Return to the A5087 and turn left on the coast road. Continue on the tree lined road for approx 1 mile to where it meets the coast and parking for Bardsea Country Park is along the roadside on the left.
Distance: 3.5 miles Location: Bardsea Country Park Coordinates: N 54.15993, W 3.06950
|Bardsea Country Park|
Travelling:Opposite the parking area is a minor road which you take to enter the village of Bardsea. Continue through the village passing Holy Trinity Church on the right, in an imposing position with views over Morecambe Bay. Soon pass the Ship Inn on the left and just beyond is a left turn to Urswick which you take. The minor road climbs out of the village for approx 0.9 miles to cross a cattle grid which takes you on to the open Birkrigg Common. There are a number of places to pull in and admire the area as you continue to a T junction where you turn left, then in a short distance turn left again as the road circumnavigates the Common. Continue to climb for approx 0.3 miles to a small and rough roadside parking area which gives the easiest access to Birkrigg Common summit area.
Distance: 5.6 miles Location: Birkrigg Common summit Coordinates: N 54.15735, W 3.09992
|Birkrigg Common summit|
Travelling:Continue on the minor road which soon begins to descend with wonderful open views ahead over Morecambe Bay. Soon pass through a small settlement and approx 0.2 miles beyond, some rough roadside parking gives access to The Druid's Circle, still within Birkrigg Common.
Distance: 6.3 miles Location: Birkrigg Common, The Druid's Circle Coordinates: N 54.15541, W 3.08612
|Druid's Circle, Birkrigg Common|
Travelling:Continue along the minor road which descends and soon rejoins the A5087 coast road at a T junction. Turn right and pass through the ancient oak woodland of Sea Wood. Soon leave the wood behind and enter more open country with good views across Morecambe Bay. Before long the road passes the village of Baycliff on the right and the Fishermans Arms Hotel. Continue beyond the village for approx 0.7 miles to a cross roads where you turn left to Aldingham. The minor road soon enters the small village and descends to the coast where there is parking on the left adjacent to the church.
Distance: 8.8 miles Location: Aldingham Coordinates: N 54.12990, W 3.09836
|Aldingham sea front|
Travelling:Head back the way you came to the cross roads with the A5087 and go straight across towards Gleaston Water Mill. Continue through pleasant open countryside for approx 0.8 miles to the village of Scales. Pass through the peaceful village for approx 0.3 miles to take the first left turn. Continue along the single track road for approx 0.6 miles, passing a small tarn on the left before you see Gleaston Castle ahead on the right. The castle dates from around the 14th century but has been ruined for many centuries and is not open to the public. You get a good view of the castle from the road before passing through the adjoining farm. Continue a short distance to Gleaston Water Mill on the right, with parking on the left.
Distance: 11.2 miles Location: Gleaston Water Mill Coordinates: N 54.12846, W 3.13355
|Gleaston Water Mill & Dusty Miller's cafe|
Travelling:Continue on the minor road which shortly enters the village of Gleaston and meets a T junction where you turn left to head away from the village on a pleasant country lane. In approx 1 mile the road meets the A5087 coast road again at a T junction where you turn right. The main road soon meets the coastline and there are various laybys from where you can fully appreciate the lovely views across Morecambe Bay. The beach tends to be pebbly/sandy with vast amounts of sand/mud at low tide. Continue along the coastline for approx 2.5 miles to a roundabout where you take the first exit to Rampside. Again following the coastline, you soon see a very slender tower on the foreshore which dates from the 19th century and served as a navigation beacon for boats approaching Barrow. The road passes through the village of Rampside, including The Clarkes Hotel on the right, before bearing left on to a causeway. The causeway leads approx 0.5 miles to Roa Island and about half way along on the left is a mile long spit of land leading to Foulney Island which can be walked at low tide. Continue on the road to Roa Island, passing through the small settlement to some roadside parking at the end of the road.
Distance: 16.8 miles Location: Roa Island Coordinates: N 54.07353, W 3.17418
|Piel Island from Roa Island|
Nearby the small but pretty Piel Island can be visited by boat trip from Roa Island. The early monks of Furness Abbey used Piel Island for storage of provisions and defence purposes. They built Piel Castle in the 14th century and you can still visit the impressive ruins. The Ship Inn is one of the few buildings on the island and the landlord is known as the ĎKing of Pielí following historic tradition. There is a regular ferry boat from Roa Island to Piel Island between Easter and September, but call 07516 453784 to check.
Back on Roa Island, there is an impressive lifeboat station at the tip of the island and the nearby Bosunís Locker cafe provides refreshments. Roadside parking is free but limited. There is a formal free car park as you enter the island on the right with nearby toilet facilities.
Travelling:Head back across the causeway, past Rampside, to the roundabout with the A5087 where you take the first exit towards Barrow. The road continues through open countryside for approx 2 miles to enter Barrow-in-Furness and soon meets another roundabout. Take the first exit to continue on the A5087 through the Barrow suburbs for approx 1.3 miles to pass St George's Church on the right overlooking the docks. The road bears right and as you pass Morrisons supermarket on the left, get in the right lane to turn right towards the town centre. Heading towards the Town Hall clock tower, soon meet a roundabout containing a statue of Henry Schneider who was instrumental in the development of Barrow's steel industry in the mid-19th century. Take the second exit and the road bears left to Market Street car park on the right, directly behind the Town Hall.
Distance: 22.3 miles Location: Barrow-in-Furness, Market Street car park Coordinates: N 54.11078, W 3.22846
|Barrow Town Hall|
Travelling:Turn left out of the car park and retrace your steps to the Henry Schnieder roundabout where you take the third proper exit. The wide road soon crosses a bridge over the dock area and enters Barrow Island which is home to Barrow Shipyard and many old tenement properties that were originally built for the booming shipyard population. Shortly meet a roundabout and take the third exit continuing past more shipyard buildings to meet a further roundabout where you take the first exit to Walney. The road then crosses the impressive Jubilee Bridge to enter Walney Island. Turn left at the traffic lights towards South Walney. The road briefly follows Walney Channel, mostly mud if the tide is out, before heading inland across the narrow island. Pass a tidal inlet on the left and soon the road meets the western shore at Biggar Bank. The road bears left and roadside parking is a short distance on the right.
Distance: 24.6 miles Location: Walney Island, Biggar Bank Coordinates: N 54.09605, W 3.25708
|Biggar Bank, Walney Island|
Travelling:Retrace your steps to cross back over Jubilee Bridge towards Barrow town. At the roundabout beyond the bridge, take the first exit and continue for approx 0.2 miles to Barrow Dock Museum car park on the left.
Distance: 26.2 miles Location: Barrow Dock Museum Coordinates: N 54.11181, W 3.23956
|Barrow Dock Museum & Devonshire Dock Hall|
Travelling:Turn left out of the car park and get in the right lane to continue straight ahead for town centre. Soon meet a roundabout and take the third exit to pass retail parks on either side of the road. Shortly, take the first exit at the next roundabout to meet yet another roundabout with a statue in the centre. The statue is James Ramsden who was instrumental in the development of Barrow and the Furness Railway in the mid-19th century. Take the second exit at this roundabout and continue on the wide Abbey Road, passing some grand Victorian properties along its length. This road used to be the main route to and from the town before the early 1990ís when the A590 bypass was built. Just before the main railway station on the left is a statue of former Liverpool and England footballer Emlyn Hughes who was born locally. Once over the railway bridge on the right is Barrow Park which is a very pleasant parkland area. Continue beyond the park on Abbey Road for approx 1 mile to take a right turn signposted to Furness Abbey. Very shortly take the next left turn which soon brings you to a T junction overlooking the Abbey. If you turn left, the Abbey visitor centre and entrance are a short distance on the right. Alternatively, turn right at the T junction and a free car park on the right offers some good external views of the Abbey.
Distance: 29.1 miles Location: Furness Abbey Coordinates: N 54.13708, W 3.19887
Travelling:From the Abbey visitor centre, turn right on the minor road and soon meet a T junction where you turn right. In a short distance meet a mini-roundabout and take the first exit. Continue approx 1 mile to a roundabout and take the first exit which is the main A590 towards Barrow. Almost immediately turn right towards Roanhead and shortly meet a T junction where you turn left. Continue approx 0.8 miles down the narrow lane to Sandscale Haws car park at the end of the lane.
Distance: 31.9 miles Location: Sandscale Haws Coordinates: N 54.16996, W 3.22642
Travelling:Retrace your steps back up the lane and turn left on the main A590. Immediately take the first exit at the roundabout and continue approx 1 mile to another roundabout where you take the third exit towards Dalton. The road soon enters the town of Dalton-in-Furness and as it begins to descend, Dalton Castle is on the right with various roadside parking places in the vicinity.
Distance: 34.9 miles Location: Dalton-in-Furness Coordinates: N 54.15568, W 3.18620
Travelling:From the castle area, continue down the hill on Market Street and onwards through Dalton-in-Furness. Just beyond the town meet a roundabout where you take the second exit on the A590 towards Ulverston. Shortly, take the first left turn following the 'Elephant' sign and soon arrive at South Lakes Safari Zoo car park on the left.
Distance: 36.8 miles Location: South Lakes Safari Zoo Coordinates: N 54.16791, W 3.16209
|Rhinos at South Lakes Safari Zoo|
Travelling:Retrace your steps to the A590 and turn left towards Ulverston. Soon pass through the village of Lindal in Furness which has a pleasant village green if you take the first left turn. Continue on the A590 for approx 1.5 miles to enter the village of Swarthmoor. Passing through the village, take the first proper right turn immediately before the Miners Arms pub. The minor road soon leaves the village and enters open countryside with views ahead of the Hoad Monument. Pass a farm on the left and soon Swarthmoor Hall car park is also on the left.
Distance: 39.8 miles Location: Swarthmoor Hall Coordinates: N 54.18578, W 3.10244
Travelling:Exit the car park and turn left. The road bears right and soon meets a T junction where you turn left. Enter the residential outskirts of Ulverston town and proceed to another T junction where you turn left again. The road continues through a dip, past a school and Ulverston railway station to a T junction with traffic lights where you turn right, back on the main A590. Stay in the left lane for the town centre and continue through more traffic lights to meet a roundabout. Take the first exit and Brewery Street car park is immediately on the left.
Distance: 41.1 miles Location: Ulverston, Brewery Street car park Coordinates: N 54.19605, W 3.09245
|Laurel & Hardy statue, Ulverston|