Bardsea Beach

Bardsea Beach - Cumbria
© Steve Fareham and licensed for reuse under this Licence

This wide expanse of shingle and sand beach overlooks Morecambe Bay.

The coast road between Ulverston and Barrow-in-Furness runs alongside part of the beach and there are plenty of free parking spots. A bus service runs from Ulverston, approximately 3 miles away.

The beach is quite exposed to winds blowing from Morecambe Bay, so walks along the vast beach are best enjoyed on calm, sunny days.

There are no restrictions on dogs and the beach offers coastal paths, as well as an opportunity to look for interesting driftwood and seashells amongst the shingle. There is evidence of small bonfires being held on the stones of the beach and are plenty of areas suitable for picnicking.

Nearby is an interesting ancient stone circle at Birkrigg, and Conishead Priory, a former Cistercian Abbey, now home to the Manjushri Buddhist Centre.

Across the bay, about one mile from the beach, the small limescale outcrop, known as Chapel Island can be seen.  This was the site of a 14th century chapel, built by monks from Conishead Priory.  Nothing remains of the original building.  It is not possible to walk to Chapel Island, even when the tide is out without an experienced guide.
The trip is too dangerous without a guide due to quicksands and fast-moving tides.

Type of beach

Sand & shingle

Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

No dog restrictions.

Cumbria dog friendly beaches »


  • Toilets
  • Pub nearby
  • Picnic area

Nearest town



LA12 9RB

OS grid ref.

SD 3011 7413


Parking is next to the beach.

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Bardsea Beach Reviews

A magpie saved my life.

Jul 09th 2019

In 2016/7 when we had the “beast from the east” bad weather. I had a breakdown and drove to the lakes were I love, to end life. I parked a Bardsea Beach climbed over the Stone wall, and sat on the rocks for the storm to take me in the water. A magpie was blown or flew so close to my face I felt his feathers. For a reason I cannot explain, I got back in my car. The Magpie instead of taking cover in a tree, but he was prancing and dancing on the floor near my drivers down I had the window wound down and I realised I was wet through. It seemed forever I was watching the Magpie. The next thing I remember waking up wet through, and my eyes all puffy due to me crying. The Magpie was asleep between a rock I put the near the tree for him and the tree. When he realised I was awake he woke up and sat on the rock just looking at me. After what seemd like days but was only minutes the Magpie flew away, he soon came back with a huge worm. He put it in the rock and stepped back,as if he wanted to help and feed me. We stayed together all day at that lonely quiet spot. Thanks Mr Magpie and thanks Bardsea Beach. For giving me a second chance at life

Nov 30th 2021

I am in floods of tears after reading this post. Thank you so much for sharing. It was so moving. I am praying for you. I wish you all the best. Love Lydia


Aug 03rd 2021

I have just read this moving piece of writing as I am going to stay at Bardsea and it came up. It’s extraordinary and beautiful-thanks for your courage in sharing it
Very Best Wishes for your future

Aug 14th 2020

Went on a gorgeous summer’s day during lockdown and found a beautiful sandy beach that I had never seen on previous visits. With the right weather this place is stunning