This is a 20 acre island in the mouth of Barrow's deep water dock.
The island belongs to the people of Barrow and is managed by the King of Piel, who is the landlord of the only pub, the Slip Inn. At present this is Rodd Scarr and he looks after the island.
The 14th century castle was built to guard the passage to and from Furness Abbey's lands and properties in Ireland and the Isle of Man. When the Abbey was dissolved in 1537 the castle fell into ruins and now consists of a keep and inner and outer baileys with towers.
Access is via ferry from Roa Island in summer months and at other times tel.0779 9761306 to summon the ferryman!
When tide conditions are right, it is possible to walk across the sands.
Permission is often granted for camping on the island and there are public toilets and the pub.for all essentials.
It's a lovely place to visit and roam around, with plenty of wildlife, even seals have been spotted.
When visiting Dalton you are bound to see/hear macaws flying freely around the town. They belong to South Lakes Animal Park and are allowed to "roam" as they would in the wild. It is quite an exciting sight seeing these birds sitting on people's chimney pots and balancing in the town's trees!! You always know when they are around because of the racket they make.
2006 update: Since a pair of these birds mysteriously disappeared, the Animal Park have stopped allowing them to fly free. A real shame as we miss catching sight of these birds over Dalton.
2010 update: Have once again, seen and heard these birds flying freely in Dalton.
Probably not so "off the beaten track" for those of us who live in this area, but for visitors, it can easily be missed and is worthy of a mention.
Birkrigg Comon is a large area of common land off the A5087, between Ulverston and Barrow, leading down to the coast.
It's a popular place with locals for walking , especially with dogs, and also it's a great open space for families to picnic and let their children run off steam.
Hidden on the common, amongst a clearing in the bracken, is Birkrigg stone circle, also known as the Druid's Circle.Not enormously large or impressive, it is still a stone circle, constructed around BC1700 - 1400. It was used as a burial site and human remains have been found around here. It's easy to find, especially in winter when the bracken has died back, and is not far from the coast.
Michael and I decided to have a little bit of exercise one blue sky day and walked to the circle and then own to the coast. It was many years since I had been to the stone circle and I must admit, it was smaller than I remembered.I guess that's childhood memories for you!
There are outcrops of limestone amongst the bracken and grass and evidence of quarrying.I looked for fossils on the limestone and found the odd one. It really is a child's paradise, especially if they live in a town and have no garden. There is so much space to run wild on!!
There are lovely views across the estuary here and back to Ulverston and Hoad Hill.
In the older part of Dalton there are quite a few courtyards and hidden alleys with private houses built around them. I haven't even walked down some of them.
They are pretty and totally unexpected in a dour town like Dalton. Personally, I prefer old houses and shudder at the mass production of the "shoe-box, look-a-like type modern houses of today.
A strange little settlement that is inaccessible on a high tide, the sea covers the road.
It's a collection of summer shacks, basically built from anything at hand, even seaborne debris. One house is built into an old wooden boat and another has turned a boat into a pretty garden.
I think it is mostly a fishing community, possibly living here year round. Whether they pay council tax, I don't know.
Certainly a very pretty area with lovely beaches and views to Walney Island. Very much a "get away from the crowds" place.
Reached from the A590 heading in to Barrow. It is signposted on your right and there are a couple of parking areas. You can drive vehicles along the track but it is very rough and it is also a Nature Reserve (joins into Sanscale Hawes.) Also, as I said, the tide covers parts of the road at times.
This is another nature reserve a few miles from Dalton.
Marvellous sandy beaches and sand dunes. A child's paradise.
You can walk for miles along the beaches or sand-dunes. This forms part of the Cumbria Coastal Way.
Fantastic views across to Walney Island and the Duddon Estuary.
The ponds around Roanhead (old mine workings) are home to Natterjack toads.
About three miles from Dalton, off the A590 to Roanhead.
Walney Island, off Barrow-in-Furness is about 6 miles from Dalton. It has nature reserves at both the south and north ends and is a massive breeding ground for black-backed and herring gulls.
This summer we re- visited the South reserve and followed the way-marked trail along the east coast, returning on the west side. There are numerous hides to watch bird activity from and an oyster farm in old gravel pits. The freshwater and saline pools attract large numbers of ducks and wading birds.
There is a lighthouse which is now a private residence.
In summer months it is adviseable to wear head protection as a precaution against nesting, agressive gulls!! Sticks are also available to waft about to discourage the birds bombing you.
There are 5 miles of nature trails with 8 hides. Superb views out across the salt marshes of Walney Channel to Piel Island and on the west coast out over the Irish Sea with oil rigs in view. It is quite interesting watching large vessels entering and leaving the port of Barrow, from here.
There is a car park, toilets and wheelchair access.
Open 10am to 5pm. summer (4pm. winter.)
No dogs allowed except guide dogs.
Within 5 miles of Dalton is Gleaston Water Mill. It's an 18thc. water driven corn mill, with working wooden machinery.
Runs most days it's open.
Pig's Whisper is an unusual shop offering a comprehensive array of collectable "pig" items.
Cafe, free parking, disabled facilities. Set in a beautiful, rural location.
Open all year Tues to Sunday 10.30 to 5pm.
Dalton still bears the scars of quarrying and iron ore mining and there is a pleasant walk encompassing some of the old workings.
This is an ancient walk which passes through Dalton, following ancient paths which connected Furness Abbey with the town of Dalton.