Skip to Main Content
Ways Around the Bay .png
Plan your route
Joseph and Sam setting off on the Bay Cycle Way at Sandy Gap
Be Inspired

Bay Cycle Way in a day

Follow Joseph's blog about his recent adventure on the Bay Cycle Way with friend Sam and the joys of having an exciting adventure on your doorstep in February!

Bay Cycle Way in a day

Follow Joseph, our Future Coast Engagement Officer on his recent adventure on the Bay Cycle Way with friend Sam.

Mission impossible?

I and my friend Sam Cusworth, a PhD student at Lancaster University and world championship Ironman competitor, set ourselves the challenge of completing the Bay Cycle Way in one day. The 81 mile cycle route follows the perimeter of Morecambe Bay, from Walney Island in the north, to Glasson Dock in the south, taking in some inspiring scenery, historic market towns and incredible wildlife.

Train ride to Barrow-in-Furness and pedal to Walney Island

We began our trip early on a chilly Thursday morning on a train bound for Barrow in Furness. Fuelled by cold porridge and motivated by a stunning sunrise over the Bay, we made our way to the start point on Walney Island. The start is marked by the fantastic Bay Cycle Way sculpture, which is surrounded by remnants of Barrow’s second world defense infrastructure and backdropped by one of the largest offshore windfarms in the world. Obligatory photographs taken by a friendly dog walker, we pedalled away to start our journey around the Bay.

Walney Island to Cartmel

The first section of the route took us along the cycle tracks and quiet roads overlooking Roa Island and the distant silhouette of Heysham Power Station. The salt marsh stretched out before us, the feeding grounds of the Curlews and Oystercatchers which were calling all around. We turned inland into picturesque Cumbrian villages, flowing through a rural landscape of soaring buzzards and bleating lambs. We took our first break amongst the ancient surroundings of Birkrigg Common and its Bronze Age stone circle, the distant Lakeland fells brooding in morning sun. We wound our way towards Ulverston and Greenodd, where we encountered our first proper test - a lung busting climb through Bigland Woods.

Sam sped off as I took a breather to de-layer, a wise choice as the climb continued onwards, climaxing in Broughton Wood before the long decent into Cartmel.

Cartmel greeted us with the sweet sight and smell of its famous sticky toffee pudding, although we had no time for a break as we had to make our rendezvous with Morecambe Bay Partnership colleague Lauren, who was waiting for us in Grange-over-Sands.

Cafe stop at Arnside and on to the Lancaster Canal

Lauren joined us for the next section, the route forced us to head landwards towards Levens to cross the River Kent. The going was easy here, cutting through the green fields at the foot of the Whitbarrow hills. Yet, no matter how far inland the route toured, the coast never felt far away. Soon enough you’d find yourself swooping back down low to the coastline again, touching base with the people and places which hug the edge of Morecambe Bay.

Lauren’s stint with us ended at Arnside, a welcome sight which marked the place where we’d refuel for lunch. Our energy reserves bolstered by eggs, toast, hot chocolate and cake from the cafe, we pushed on past the 60-mile mark into the rolling terrain of Silverdale, the high tide lapping at the sands on the beaches below us.

Cheered on by the calling birds of Leighton Moss, we faced our last proper hill, a long slog up to Warton Crag. I pleaded with Sam for us to take an alternative flat route around the limestone hill, but he insisted that we have to do it the ‘Bay Way’! Legs burning, the views of the summit were unfortunately short lived, as we dived back down into Warton and Carnforth. Here, the route merged onto the meandering Lancaster Canal tow path, the gravel proving tough going for our road bikes.

The final frontier to Glasson Dock

Morecambe’s flat promenade provided a well needed respite for us and our bikes, and the views allowed us to soak in the full breadth of the Bay which we had cycled. Heysham’s power station loomed much closer now too, marking the final push on towards Lancaster and Glasson Dock. Arriving into Glasson, we sought out the end-point marking sculpture, and reflected on the journey, feeling so lucky to live in such a beautiful area. ‘Glasson to Walney next time then?’, Sam asked. I can’t wait!

How many days will you do it in?

Most people tend to meander round the route over 3 days allowing ample time for cafe or picnic stops along the way. Lucky locals can have a holiday from home and enjoy a couple of nights in some of the amazing cycle-friendly accommodation on the route. If you're visiting from afar, a three day cycle tour or even four, allows you to completely immerse yourself in the culture and the landscape of the Bay. Check out the three day Bay Cycle Way itinerary below.