Arnside Knott at Twixmas - walking with kids in the Cumbrian countryside. Photo shows me and Spike under the giraffe tree at Arnside Knott and a photo of Spike walking away from the camera towards pretty tree
Days out,  Discussions,  Travel,  Walking

Arnside Knott at Twixmas – a December day looking over the Bay

We spent a lot of time between Christmas and New Year out and about in nature. But lets face it – there wasn’t much else we could do was there? Those few days were some of one of the few recently where were weren’t in strict lockdown. Therefore, technically, we were able to travel slightly over the county lines to enjoy a walk. So we headed to Arnside Knott.

Finding Arnside Knott

Arnside Knott has been on my walking wishlist for some time. Its only about half an hour or so from our home so it was easy enough to get to. What wasn’t so easy was finding the route we wanted to start on. We followed Apple Maps to the car park that looked like it would never come while driving up a tiny track. Then we weren’t sure which path to take out of the car park. It was an interesting start to the walk.

Following National Trust walking guidelines

I don’t know why, but I decided to follow the instructions on the National Trust website. I say this because every time I’ve tried before, Ive failed to be able to follow them. They don’t make sense to me and I much prefer other website’s routes. We quickly decided to just follow paths to head up hill and figured that would lead us the way! We walked through the gate to the back of the car park, rather than walking up the road like most people did, Then rounded towards the right seeing some incredible views towards the lake district.

Following the gates

Me and T enjoying the view over towards Morecambe from Arnside Knott

We then headed into the trees and climbed a lot. There were so many trees that had fallen over and Spike loved walking on the tree trunks. We headed uphill find out if we could discover the Knott itself. Finding some more little gates to go through to get to the Heathwaite area of the hill. This led us to another side of the hill overlooking the bay from where we parked. This was the most spectacular viewpoint with views over Morecambe Bay. As it was a clear day we could see the Power Plant at Heysham. And we even make out some of the landmarks of our city Lancaster.

Finding our own way

To be honest, until now, I think this was kinda the route we were meant to take. Though, the next stop should have been very close to the summit… it wasn’t. Instead we headed towards the woods again, and around the hill. At one point we started going downhill and knew that was wrong. By this time we were on the complete opposite side of the hill than what we started on, heading towards Arnside Tower. This looked cool though, so we want to go back and explore it more another day.

Heading uphill to Arnside Knott

Knowing we were going wrong, we started walking back up hill on a path that no-one appeared to be using. Honestly, there were some pretty sites to see on this route. The hillside was so rocky and steep, the trees looked barren and the higher we went the less grass there was on the ground. It was a lovely walk, but once again we got to a point where we were forced to go downhill. At this point we found ourselves close to loads of people and a car park that was much busier than the one we parked at.
It was at this point we decided to head back to the car. However, as it was at the other side of the hill, we had no choice but head in one direction. Following the trees and paths that took us back up and hope that it would take us back to the car!

Into the woods, and deer spotting

Spike and daddy looking at deers in the woods at Arnside Knott

We made our way up hill through all the trees and woodland on any path that took us in the direction to the car park. It was on this path, to the south west of the summit, where all of a sudden we saw movement to the left of us. Spotting a gorgeous deer grazing under the trees nearby. We headed off path to have a closer look and realised there were actually two. This kinda gave us a bit more of a push to make it on our walk. After watching them a while, we headed on our way. As we neared the top we came across a tree that was covered in tiny birds singing. Me and Spike particularly loved this as it felt like something from a Disney movie.

Finally finding Arnside Knott Summit

It was after this tree that we followed the path and stubbled upon the thing we came to find all along! The white summit marker indicating we were at the highest point! It was so awesome to see it as we didn’t expect it at all! The paths on the side of the hill where the car was parked were a lot busier. We stopped and looked at the Arnside Viaduct which was pretty cool. Plus, again enjoyed the views over to the Lake District. Up here there were a number of benches to sit on but they were all occupied. There was also a series of three pillars which had a lakeland hills viewpoint map. I like these as you can actually name what you could see. This again was packed with people though so we didn’t spend much time here.

Going back downhill

We started for the car, going downhill which was actually pretty scary! The hill is steep at the top, very steep. And rocky, which meant you walk down hill on very uneven and moving paths. We spotted the ‘giraffe tree’ which was once two larch trees that have knotted together. They now look like a giant ‘h’ which Spike loved. Then we found our way to the car, again finding lots of fallen trees in the woods.

Our thoughts on Arnside Knott

Arnside Knott was ‘not’ an easy route for us. It’s not very well signposted and you can find yourself lost quite easily. It would have been fine if it was just me and T but because Spike was with us, she didn’t like us always trying to work out which way to go. I think now we’ve been though, we would be able to find our way a little easier next time. And I do want to take a look at the tower too.