Manchester and the English Lake District


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by John Moss
unless otherwise credited

The Southern Lakeland of Cumbria


Grange-over-Sands is a sleepy Edwardian
resort set across the estuary from Lancaster and Morecambe, and may
(at some risk) still be crossed by an ancient pathway when the tide
is low. It was a firm favourite to Victorian and Edwardian holidaymakers,
being accessible by the Furness Railway, and, due to its protected setting,
enjoys more sunshine than any other place in the Lake District.

Grange over Sands
Grange-over-Sands. Aerial Photograph
Courtesy of © 2005

It still retains much of that charm
and tranquility, with a long seaside promenade walk with its attractively
well-maintained ornamental gardens and extensive collection of waterfowl,
which parallel the town’s main street which bustles with charming and
characterful shops, and a profusion of high quality accommodation within
all price brackets. It is a leisurely mature town, and attracts an older
clientele than other more famous and developed seaside resorts across
the bay in Lancashire. The town’s name derives from the fact that some
800 years ago it was the site of a large mill or “granary”, and it was
originally called the ‘Granary-over-the-sands’ by the people of Morecambe
over the estuary, who obtained most of their flour from Grange.

Grange over Sands, South Lake District, CumbriaGrange-over-Sands, Cumbria
The Promenade overlooking Morecambe Bay and the Ornamental Gardens

The granary building also stored many
other kinds of sea freight and goods, and helped establish Grange as
a one-time major sea port for the region. Over the years the name has
been condensed to its present form. Grange became inextricably linked
with the City of Lancaster by the Oversands path, and a warden was appointed
to guide walkers over the treacherously shifting estuary for many years.
It was a major thoroughfare until well into the late 19th century;
before the building of metalled roads and turnpikes, it was the
only reliable way into Lancashire, and saved a whole day’s travel.
Walkers may still tread the path, as it is recognised as a Public
Right of Way, though novices would be well advised to seek advice
and a tidal times manual from the Tourist Information Centre in
Grange town centre before attempting the walk.
The approach to the modern day town is entirely Edwardian, with
the quaint railway station, and the arcaded shops of that period.
Also worth seeing at the eastern town approach is the ornamental
gardens, with its large man-made lake, the probable site of the
original granary, a profusion of wildfowl and water birds, and its
exotic trees, of which a luxuriant 100 feet high Lawson Cypress
is the most dominant.
Curiously, the Furness railway separates the town from its promenade,
which can be accessed at three points along its one mile length.
At the western end of the town are seaside leisure facilities including
tennis courts and putting greens, swimming pool and children’s entertainments.

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Copyright © John
Moss, Papillon Graphics AD 2013 Manchester, United Kingdom – all rights
This page last updated 16 Nov 12.