Bardsea
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Going: Surfaced roads throughout, mainly narrow lanes. A590 must be crossed near Lindal. A5087 followed for last couple of miles. Route to Lindal involves half a dozen short, undulating  hills.
Total distance: 10.25 miles

    Bardsea is a popular destination for little cycling excursions from Ulverston, with its choice of ice cream sellers, two pubs and a restaurant – even the sea puts in an occasional appearance! It’s tempting to just set off along the Coast Road and come back the same way, but the ride described here follows a circular route along a series of quiet, meandering lanes. The first part of the ride features a series of short hills by the way, but for each climb there is a satisfying glide down to follow. If you are still new to cycling, just take things steadily, not just up but also down the hills.

    Starting at Ulverston’s Market Cross, the climb up Daltongate ("1" on the map) comes first, and then I suggest a short push along the pavement by the A590, until the lane on the right by the garden centre is reached. This pulls away towards Pennington, but look out for a tiny lane ("2") off to the right at the first corner, which leads up to Rosside.

    Bear left through this quiet hamlet, and on up the hill, at the top of which somebody has thoughtfully put a seat ("3") for breathless cyclists! Keep straight on and downhill through the farmyard ("4"), with yet another short climb to Pennington Church ("5"). Keep right, and stay on this road, through Loppergarth (whose name is said to originate from a mediaeval hospital for lepers), until a crossroads just before Lindal is reached. The iron bridge ("6") passed under just before this point carried one of the many mineral railways which ran into the complex of haematite mines in this area, and a left turn at the crossroads runs past an array ("7") of huge red-ore spoil heaps.

    Cross the A590 with care, and pass under the railway bridge a hundred yards on the left onto Green Lane, which is followed now continuously almost all the way to Bardsea, becoming Red Lane where it crosses Mount Barrow. There are some good open views after the new houses at High Carley, looking over Ulverston, north to the Coniston Hills, and across the sands, over to the line of low hills towards Cartmel. Turn right at the bottom of the descent on Red Lane towards Bardsea village, and that ice-cream isn’t far away now!

    The return to Ulverston along the Coast Road is thankfully flat, or even downhill, most of the way. For those still with the energy, a short diversion can be made to take in Conishead Priory on the way back, where the grounds, shop and café are open to the public for most of the year round.

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Key
1 Daltongate
2 Right turn to Rosside
3 Seat for expiring cyclists
4 Green Moor Farm
5 Pennington Church
6 Old railway bridge
7 Iron ore spoil heaps

Refreshment possibilities
    There are two pubs in Bardsea village, the Ship Inn and the Braddylls Arms, which has an extensive food menu. The Old Mill restaurant is situated on the Coast Road opposite the shore, just before Sea Wood. There is an ice-cream hut by the shore below the village, and an ice-cream van parks there at busy times as well.There is a cafe at Conishead Priory.

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Iron ore spoil heaps near Lindal-in-Furness, near the A590.

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Bardsea Church, on the hill overlooking the shoreline.

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Chapel Island, seen from near Wadhead Scar, Bardsea. For this view, follow the shoreline path from near the ice-cream hut, in the Ulverston direction. A short bridal path follows, and a right turn at the tarmaced lane leads directly to a car park, and this view. (The sands are dangerous - keep off!)

Links
Lindal in Furness has a good community website, with a page describing the local iron ore industry history.
Conishead Priory, which is owned by the Manjushri Institue.
All sorts of facts and figures about Morecambe Bay.
Some local history of Bardsea village.
Some local early history, regarding the Vikings in Furness.

Any comments on the cycling pages would be gratefully received!

 Copyright J Chambers 2005. Unauthorised reproduction not allowed. May be printed for personal use only.
 

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