"An Island Off Cumbria" Isle of Walney by nickandchris

Isle of Walney Travel Guide: 16 reviews and 64 photos

At The End Of The A590.

OK. then, who's heard of this place? Not many, I guarantee.

Walney Island, as us locals know it, not Isle of Walney, is one of Cumbria's off the beaten track places. It's a long, thin, low lying piece of land, approx. 11 miles long, 1 mile wide, sitting in the Irish Sea. It is at the western end of the A590 in South Cumbria and is separated from Barrow-in-Furness by a narrow channel, crossed by a single bridge.
This is where I lived as a young child, enjoying the freedom of it's beaches and country lanes, hating to have to leave it and my friends at the age of 10, when we moved to Grange-0ver-Sands.

Many of it's 13,000 or so inhabitants live in terraced or semi-detached houses, originally built for the workforce of Barrow docks and the shipbuilding company Vickers Armstrong. The higher up the rung you were, the bigger the house. You know how it goes....
The island's two oldest settlements are Biggar and North Scale, established long before Barrow's shipbuilding industry. Biggar Dyke, a coastal defence system, was built in 16thc. Just a couple of years ago, this was breached when seriously strong winds and high tides swept the sea over and swamped Biggar Village, actually leaving it stranded for a day or so. There is serious concern regarding Walney's survival with much coastal erosion occurring on it's western side.

People either love it or hate it. If you like nature reserves, bird-watching, wild, empty beaches and not much else, then you'll be OK. But, if, on the other hand, you want retail therapy, night life or even mountain scenery, they are all still within a stone's throw of Walney. Really, you can have the best of both worlds as Walney's proximity to Barrow means all mod cons are at hand.
Walney is also close to the Lake District and if you want a change from all that mountain scenery then the island's sandy beaches are an ideal alternative.

A couple of websites about the island:

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beaches
  • Cons:The massive off-shore wind-farm...
  • In a nutshell:At the end of the world....
  • Last visit to Isle of Walney: Apr 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (6)

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    Sounds an awful lot like where I grew up in New Jersey...great tips and photos. Wishing you a New Year full of fabulous adventures.

  • ranger49's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2009 at 7:24 AM

    No, not heard of it but recall a new girl in school saying she came from Biggar - it's on an Island. in Cumberland. We thought it was a fib. What a gem, hope it survives erosion. Any sheep on the salt marshes? I doubt Lamb Henry grazed there. Great page.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2008 at 9:33 AM

    I can understand why you didn't want to leave. Looks like a great place for a kid to grow up in.

  • Maxus's Profile Photo
    Feb 28, 2007 at 1:37 PM

    wonderful, I lived on Walney for 10 years and you have made me want to go home

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2007 at 4:18 AM

    Another well written page of a nature's getaway. Too bad the eco friendly windmills are not sound friendly. Got a big laughing reading your never to return restaurant. Cheers, SL

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Oct 4, 2006 at 12:24 PM

    I love Islands & the sea = the sunset pictures are stunniing = we will soon know of the windmills on our coast too!

nickandchris Used To Live Here!


“Take nothing but photographs. Leave nothing but footprints.”

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