West Shore Beach (Walney Island)
© Chris Upson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Walney Island is an 11-mile long island in the Irish Sea, at the tip of the Furness peninsula. It is linked to the mainland town of Barrow-in-Furness by the toll-free Jubilee bridge.
There are plenty of sandy beaches at the northern end of the island, including an area used by naturists north of Earnsie Point.
Walney Island has two nature reserves, both administered by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. The reserve at South Walney is a stop-off point for a wide variety of migratory birds and is home to Cumbria’s only colony of grey seals. The island is also home to some interesting plant life, including the pale pink Walney Geranium, a plant unique to the island.
At the south-east end of the island lies Piel Island, on which can be seen the ruins of a 14th century castle. Piel Island is of historical interest because it was the place where Lambert Simnel, 10-year old "pretender" to King Henry VII's throne, landed in 1487. His supporters claimed that he was one of the lost "Princes in the Tower".
It is not possible to walk across the sands to Peel Island without a guide because of the dangers of rapidly-incoming tides and the possibility of quicksands.
Type of beach
Sand and shingle
Dogs friendly beach?
Restrictions may apply (usually from Easter until the end of Summer)
OS grid ref.
SD 1701 7030