I often cycle from Carnforth to work at Leighton Moss and as I'm quite new to cycling I thought I'd start a thread to share some experiences. It would be great if you cycled here if you would like to join in and add to this forum thread.
First of all I'd like to say we would love more people to cycle to Leighton Moss, and as a thank you we offer free entry to our nature trails as well as 10% discount in our cafe (you can work off that cake on the way home of course!).
We have cycle racks in front of the visitor centre and have now got some installed at our other car park near the coast (where the Allen and Eric Morecambe hides are).
This morning was lovely with the sun shining and I enjoyed seeing some of the shrubs along the track, now with berries, and then took in the view over Morecambe Bay which was stunning as ever (it is especially good at that stretch as you can relax downhill!). As I cycled to the level crossing I noticed lots of lapwings in the field next to the road and tried to count them whilst keeping an eye on the road (got to about 70ish-that's lapwings not mph!).
Then it was the final push up past Slackwood Farm (I'm getting better at that though it still gets my heart racing) and then I was casually overtaken by Tim, who works in our cafe, on his bike speeding past while I recovered. Then I arrived at the reserve much more awake and in enough time for a quick shower before starting my working day.
Time to hop back on now....look forward to hearing you stories too!
My cycle home last night was wonderful as the sun was very strong and there was a slight breeze in the air. As I turned the corner to the road under Warton Crag I caught a glimpse of something fluttering towards me and I was surprised in this bright sunlight that instead of a huge butterfly it was indeed a bat!
I had my camera with me this morning and thought it might be a good idea to take some pictures of the route from Carnforth to Leighton Moss and a couple of the things you see along the way. Hope it's helpful and you enjoy seeing them.
Staring off from the main street in Carnforth. A nice fast downhill ride.
After leaving Carnforth main street at the second overhead bridge turn left.
you may see some friendly geese along the way!
Then you'll see a wooden bridge on the right...go over that
After the bridge you have a nice stretch of path with lots of brambles and flowers at the moment.
To the left you'll start getting views of the coast.
At the bottom of this path turn right and over the bridge (sometimes you can catch a gilmpse of an old steam train from the bridge which overlooks the railway line).
You'll then get a great view of Warton Crag ahead. At this junction turn left and join the road again. Contiune along this road. (note the nice bench if you fancy a breather!)
You'll pass Scout Crag Caravan site on your right
On a clear day you can see Morecambe and Heysham
Then you'll notice an old limekiln at the side of the road on the right
Contiune downhill (lovely!) and you'll get some amazing views overlooking our coastal pools and saltmarsh with Jenny Brown's point in view.
You pass by Barrow Scout Fields on the left which is one of Leighton Moss's satellite sites. A new reedbed that was created from agricultural fields about 10 years ago. For all our helpers that have planted thousands of reeds over the years you'll see they are coming on really well now! It's a good place for wildlife and I've often seen lttile egrets, marsh harriers and huge flocks of starlings here on the way past.
You'll see the pump house on the right at the bottom of Warton Crag which used to pump water out of Leighton Moss before the first world war when it was farmland.
As the road bends to the right you'll see a track that leads to our coastal pools (and Allen and Eric Morecambe hides). Keep an eye out for kingfishers around here. I have seen them flying past and once fishing from the tree there.
You officially hit Silverdale....go over the humpbacked bridge.
After this you'll see the first sight of Leighton Moss...the edge of the reedbed after the field on the right. Today there were a lot of waders in the field but it's also a great place to see red deer in the mornings and evenings especially.
Over the level crossing or sit at the barriers while the train goes past and wave :-)
The last uphill after this (I like to think about it being the finale!) then at the top of the road turn right-peddle quickly though as sometimes cars come along here quite fast.
Silverdale Golf Club is on your left
You then take a right over the bridge.
If you wish you can look over the left side of the bridge to look down over Silverdale Station.
Then immediately after the bridge the entrance to Leighton Moss visitor centre is on the right.
Welcome!! So now you can just park up at the bike racks. If you have lots of bags etc we can usually store them for you during your visit.
If you're visiting the nature reserve can you let us know at the welcome desk and we'll give you a ticket for the day.
As I mentioned before in the cafe you get 10% discount if you let them know you came by bike.
You deserve a well earned rest with a cuppa and something nice to eat I'm sure :-)
Hi Jen, really enjoyed your bike ride diary, felt as if I was doing it with you - and it was so nice to see places I know around the area! Don't stop there though, you could photo journey other rides from the centre taking in birding spots/places of interest along the way?
I was a bit soft and didn't cycle over the winter months (shame on me!) unlike David Mower (our warden) and Richard Miller (our assistant warden) who cycle to work all year round and in all conditions.
But I'm pleased to say that I'm back on my bike again this week and loving it! Sure it will take me a week or so to get back into it properly, but I feel healthier already!
It's such a great time of year too as I can watch nature emerge throughout the year. Today I heard loads of birds singing, I even saw a long-tailed tit very close when it flit in front of me. The lesser celendine is carpetting the ground by the edge of the road and the small star shaped yellow flowers are just about out.
On the way to work on Thursday I saw a redwing in the bushes beside me (they won't be in this country for much longer) and on the way back I got some great views of a grey heron standing in the stream just after the railway. Wonder what I'll see tonight!
The numbers of staff that are taking up cycling is growing now with Tina and Lyndsay from the shop giving it a go. Will let you know in the next few months how many people we can persuade to take it up.
Would love to hear from anyone else who visits here by bike! Stories and pics welcome too....
I've only just discovered your excellent guide to cycling from the Carnforth direction. What a great way to encourage people to reach Leighton Moss in an enjoyable, healthy and ecolologically sustainable way! And there's more fabulous cycling all around the reserve, towards Silverdale and (for a longer ride) towards the Lune Valley. I've only ever arrived at Leighton Moss by bike or by train, but keep forgetting to claim my 10%! Must remember next time, and have a cake binge!