Monday, 14 April 2014
Water everywhere but nowhere to swim
Grange over Sands has a very long and flat promenade stretching for a good distance along the edge of Morecambe Bay. Made attractive by the spring planting in public gardens and flowerbeds along its length, it's a perfect place to stroll, cycle, scoot, rollerskate, toddle or be pushed in your wheelchair/baby buggy, depending on your age and fitness. There are plenty of seats and walls on which to rest a while, too. At one time the sweep of the bay used to be sand (or mud and quicksand) but changes to the course of the rivers flowing into the bay have caused a build-up of salt marsh. This now means that just over the sea wall there are wild birds feeding: geese, ducks, waders and gulls. It's quite odd. In most other seaside towns in England you'd find families shivering on a strip of beach, watching kids building sandcastles. Here there are blokes with telescopes scanning the marsh!
If you're desperate to get your swimming costume on in Grange, you're in trouble really. There was an open-air lido from the 1930s to the 1990s. This closed and is now gently decaying, though it is listed and there have been contested plans to redevelop it. A modern swimming pool (which won a design award!) was opened in 2003 and closed in 2006 due to high running costs and structural problems. Oops. That lay derelict too. Sad. I wouldn't recommend a swim in nearby Windermere either...