A island on Morecambe Bay is attracting rafts of visitors with its range of attractions squeezed into a small space.
With a playground overlooking the sea, coastal walks and a golf course, there is an array of things to see and do on the 11-mile long Walney Island.
Families can also explore its variety of beaches with beautiful views, and take in the wildlife at its two nature reserves – with one best known for seal spotting, the Manchester Evening News reports.
It is located west of Morecambe Bay and is part of Barrow-in-Furness, separated from the mainland by Walney Channel.
Unlike more remote islands in the UK, Walney is inhabited, with a population of more than 10,000.
Earnse Bay, on the western coast, offers panoramic views across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man and the Lake District mountains.
Here, families can participate in water sports, and attend the island’s kitesurfing school.
Sandy Gap and Biggar Bank adjoin with Earnse Bay and are popular for coastal walks and cycling, with a huge children’s playground there overlooking the sea.
There is a historical lighthouse to the south of the island, a horse riding school that makes for scenic treks along the beach, and a golf course.
Just a short distance from the town of Barrow-in-Furness, there are many places to stay, while the island itself has a choice of cosy guesthouses and even its own caravan park.
Nature-lovers will want to take the time to visit the South Walney Nature Reserve, which is best known for its Grey Seal colony – the only one of its kind on the Cumbrian coast.
Out of the Furness Islands group, of which there are seven, including the neighbouring tiny Piel Island with its own castle and pub, Walney is the largest.
The island contributed to the rapid expansion of the area in the nineteenth century, acting as a natural shelter to allow the development of large ship-building yards, Visit Barrow says.
By the 1870s, Walney’s Biggar Bank had become a popular seaside spot, with day-trippers reaching the island by ferry until the Jubilee Bridge was constructed in 1908.
Following this development, the island’s first housing estate came about, with more facilities following.
It’s relatively simple to get to thanks to the Jubilee Bridge. Once in Barrow-in-Furness, follow the signs for Walney Island. It’s free to visit with no bridge toll.
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