Arnside & Silverdale

Greentraveller's Guide to Arnside & Silverdale, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Written by Jo Keeling
Artwork for Greentraveller's Guides by Tina Smith and Mark Edwards

Foreword by Lucy Barron, AONB Manager

The Arnside & Silverdale AONB is an extraordinary place, famous for its amazing wildlife, stunning scenery, and superb walks. From the simple beauty of the lady's-slipper orchid to the shining sands of Morecambe Bay, the area is just awe-inspiring - full of natural spectacles and a surprise around every corner. 

The area’s network of narrow lanes and paths, open spaces, viewpoints and nature reserves, offer wonderful opportunities to enjoy walking, cycling and wildlife watching. The AONB villages all offer something unique from historic buildings to friendly pubs and cafes and some great places to stay. And the area is very accessible by public transport – perfect for exploring in a truly sustainable way.

The AONB Partnership is working together with communities, farmers and landowners to conserve and enhance this outstanding landscape now and for the future. You’re sure to get a warm friendly welcome here, whether you’re a first time visitor or one of many who loves the area and returns again and again.

We hope this Greentraveller Guide will inspire you to get the most out of your stay in ways that keep the area special and bring benefits to local communities

Arnside & Silverdale AONB logo

What our writers discovered in Arnside & Silverdale

Nestled between the foothills of the Lake District and the upper reaches of Morecambe Bay, the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a surprisingly diverse landscape; in just one day you can gaze over salt-marsh, watch avocets preening in the estuary shallows, dip into green wooded valleys and stride up to the summit of rocky outcrops.

The villages offer a chance to enjoy simple pleasures: eat fish and chips on the pier, amble along the promenade at sunset, watch herons gingerly stepping in the shallows and read a book overlooking an ever-changing web of shimmering channels. But it’s the opportunity to explore the glorious countryside on foot and get up close to nature that brings visitors back. Watch peregrine falcons nesting on sheer limestone crags, seek out rare butterflies in wildflower-rich grasslands and listen to bitterns booming over the largest reed bed in the north of England. There's so much to explore both in the AONB and in the wider Morecambe Bay area.

Arnside Knott

Birds, butterflies, bramble and birch... Jo Keeling enjoys the wildlife of the varied, beautiful landscape of the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Salt-marsh, limestone pavement and lush green valleys: Jo Keeling experiences a wealth of landscapes in one day, on a bike ride through the Arnside & Silverdale AONB

Stay, Eat, See & Do

Our pick of places across Arnside & Silverdale

Written by Jo Keeling

Google Map Key:
Click on the coloured icons for more information about each listing
Green = Places to stay
Blue = Places to eat
Yellow = Attractions 
Purple = Activities

Click on the square brackets top right of map to reveal expanded map

  • The Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covers 75 sq km and is one of the smallest of the AONB family
  • More than half of the flowering plant species of the British Isles can be found here
  • Morecambe Bay, an integral part of the AONB, is the largest intertidal area in the UK and is a vital feeding ground in winter for over a quarter of a million wading birds, ducks and geese.
  • The Bittern, which features in the AONB logo, is one of Britain’s rarest birds and can be found in the reedbeds of RSPB Leighton Moss
  • With over 100km of well maintained footpaths, walking is a great way to see the AONB

Map of Arnside & Silverdale AONB, England

Map of Arnside and Silverdale

                                 Guide written and researched by Jo Keeling. 

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