Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

A hidden gem Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the southern edge of the Lake District, Arnside and Silverdale AONB is a haven for wildlife and offers a wealth of outdoor activities from spectacular coastal walking to cycling and birdwatching. A landscape of low limestone hills and crags formed millions of years ago and eroded during the ice age, the area features peat mosses and shallow lakes across low-lying ground.

Wildlife and plantlife in the area includes the famous British native orchids - only 50 varieties of orchids grow across the UK and 15 of them can be seen in Arnside and Silverdale. Popular with birdwatchers, the area is home to Leighton Moss RSPB reserve at Silverdale where a wide variety of birds inhabit the freshwater lagoons, woodlands and reedbeds.

Things to see & do in Arnside & Silverdale

The perfect location to relax and unwind, Arnside and Silverdale villages are popular places to stay in the area, accessible by rail along the Furness Line which connects them with Carnforth, Lancaster, Manchester and the South Lake district.

Walk in ancient woodlands, admire spectacular sunsets with the sun descending below Morecambe Bay's western horizon or go cycling and riding along the many trails and bridleways in the AONB. Attractions in the region include Leighton Hall and The Hawk Garden with on-site tea rooms, gardens, family activities, house tours, gift and plant shops. Carnforth is the great gateway into the AONB, and is home to the famous Carnforth Station Heritage Centre, site for the filming of David Lean's film, 'Brief Encounter'.

Wonderful free walks and nature trails, a visitor centre and a choice of birdwatching hides all feature at RSPB Leighton Moss, home to the largest reedbed in north west England and a site for breeding bitterns. The reserve is located just 250 metres from Silverdale station.

Wildlife Sites of Interest

The National Trust manage a number of sites in Arnside & Silverdale including the famous viewpoint of Arnside Knott with magnificent views across the Kent Estuary. RSPB Leighton Moss at Silverdale sits alongside a selection of smaller nature reserves in the region including Trowbarrow, formerly a limestone quarry located between Leighton Moss and Hawes Water. See glorious views of the AONB from Warton Crag on the edge of Warton village and unique limestone pavements at Gait Barrows reserve which is also famed for its butterflies and moths.

Silverdale Golf Club

With stunning views of the Lakeland Fells and Morecambe Bay, Silverdale Golf Club offers a warm welcome to visitors and sits just a 15 minute drive off the M6, directly adjacent to Leighton Moss nature reserve. Outstanding practice facilities sit alongside the 18 hole gold course including a putting green.

Arnside Village

Nestling on the edge of the Kent Estuary within the great panorama of Morecambe Bay, Arnside village on the southern edge of the Lake District is a popular place to stay within the ANOB. The village features a selection of charming B&Bs, fine inns and a station along the Furness Line. Spectacular coastal walks are easily accessed from the village centre.

Accommodation around Arnside & Silverdale includes great B&B and hostel accommodation overlooking the Kent Estuary with views across the Bay towards the South Lakes. A delightful hotel also features close to the Silverdale shoreline, nature reserve, Silverdale station and golf course. Dining options in the AONB include welcoming cafes and tearooms and character inns serving the finest locally sourced food and drink.