Not a lot at Knott End

Yesterday I made my second visit to the big car boot sale at St Michael’s, this time to collect something which I’d ordered last week and which I can’t get from anywhere else. It was a beautifully sunny day and very warm but yet again clouds were hanging over Garstang; it looked like my canal walk would have to be postponed again, though looking west towards the coast the sky was clear so I decided to drive round the country lanes to Knott End, a place I hadn’t been to for about ten years.
Knott End-on-Sea, to give it it’s full title, is a large spread out village at the estuary of the River Wyre and opposite the seaside town of Fleetwood. The area has Norse roots dating back to the early Bronze Age and the village’s name is said to stem from when the Norse seafarers made their way into the dangerous Wyre estuary; they used knotted ropes to aid their navigation, with the knots marking the distance, and Knott End was the end of the rope.
With just a very small handful of shops, a golf course, a chippy, a sea front cafe and a pub, but with no hotels, B & Bs, parks or seafront gardens it’s definitely not a holiday destination though on a nice day it’s an okay-ish place to pass a couple of hours – you wouldn’t want to be there any longer than that as there’s nothing there. Probably the most interesting thing about the place is the quaint little passenger ferry which runs a frequent five-minute journey across the estuary to and from Fleetwood at a cost of £2 per person each way.
Arriving on the esplanade I was surprised to see that in spite of the place not being very exciting it was still quite busy; seafront parking spaces were all full but I found a place in the large free car park between the cafe and the golf club and set out for a wander. Over the low wall bordering the car park was a concrete walkway running along the riverside, with a steep grass bank separating it from the nearby golf course, and a couple of hundred yards along I came to two whitewashed cottages with very pretty gardens set back off the path. Farther along still was an attractive row of terraced cottages and in the garden of the first one I saw a beautiful peacock butterfly.
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At the end of the terrace the path turned a corner and ended in steps leading down to the sand. Close to the water’s edge was the seaweed covered skeleton of a long-dead fishing boat and though I would have liked to take a closer look I could see that the sand was very wet and probably slippery so I stayed firmly on dry land. Looking out to sea I could see in the distance the Ben-my-Chree ferry as it sailed on its way from Heysham across to Douglas on the Isle of Man; this modern Ben-my-Chree certainly looks very different to the one I remember seeing while on holiday on the Isle of Man during my childhood years.
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Heading back along the concrete walkway I decided on the spur of the moment to scramble up the grass bank to see if there were any good views from the top. Being quite steep it wasn’t an easy climb but with Poppie pulling me up I made it to the top without mishap and ended up by one of the golf course greens with a path running along the edge. Seeing a couple of people walking towards me who obviously weren’t golfers I realised the path was a public one; it seemed infinitely better than sliding back down the steep grass bank so I followed it past a couple of greens and came out by the two whitewashed cottages. Across the river a handful of yachts were sailing out to sea and the small red and white passenger ferry was on its way over from Fleetwood.
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Intending to take a photo of the ferry at close quarters I made my way past the car park and the coastguard station to the slipway but halfway down it my attention was caught by a cute little dog lying on a towel in a small inflatable dinghy; by the time I’d finished chatting to its owner the ferry was halfway back to Fleetwood so I photographed some guys on jets skis instead.
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Across from the top of the slipway was the Knott End Cafe with a small and very full parking area at the front and a long queue for ice cream from the side window. Today’s modern cafe sits on the site of an old railway station building; in 1870 a railway line was opened between Garstang and Pilling then in 1908 an extension to Knott End was opened. The line ran profitably for over twenty years but closed to passenger traffic in 1930, with the section from Knott End back to Pilling closing fully in 1950, followed by the complete closure of the whole line in 1965. The cafe itself has been owned and run by the same family since 1946 when it was still part of the old railway station building.
Knott End Cafe
Knott End Cafe – photo from the internet
At the end of the esplanade and across from the cafe was the Bourne Arms pub/restaurant and as I walked past a quick look at the menu in the entrance window told me it wasn’t the cheapest of places to dine. Looking out across the nearby salt marsh and the vast expanse of sand I could see Heysham power station in the distance; there was nothing along the esplanade except private houses and flats and a couple of bus shelters so with nothing else to see I headed back to the van.

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View along the esplanade
At the far end of the esplanade the road turned back inland and as I turned the corner I could see that the esplanade continued as a traffic free footpath; it was worth checking out so I nipped down a side street on the left and was able to park at the far end within just a few yards of the path. Past a long row of nice looking bungalows with pretty gardens, then the long back gardens of more houses, with the sea wall on my left and flowering shrubs and bushes here and there it was a very pleasant walk. The path looked like it could go on for miles (I found out later that it did as it was part of the 137-mile long Lancashire Coastal Way) so I only went a certain distance before retracing my steps back to the van.

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Sign on a garden wall

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Heading for home my route took me across Shard Bridge over the River Wyre near Hambleton village; the river was at high tide so looking for another few photo opportunities I parked at the Riverside Inn and took a walk under the bridge and along the riverside for a distance. Away from the bridge it was very quiet and the only people I saw were a father and son fishing; after fifteen minutes walking time was getting on so I headed back to the van but not before I got my last wildlife shot. Butterfly or moth? – it had the markings of a peacock butterfly but was brown rather than brightly coloured so I’m not sure which it was.
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Riverside Inn from the bridge
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Painted slogan under the bridge

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With my final shot of the day being the old riverside jetty I headed for home without stopping again. It had been quite an interesting afternoon and I’d enjoyed the walk along part of the Lancashire Coastal Way, but as for Knott End itself – even after ten years there’s still  nothing there!


18 thoughts on “Not a lot at Knott End

  1. It does look like you enjoyed a pleasant afternoon. I can understand you being waylaid talking to the little dog’s owner and that’s something I would do too. I like the sign, it made me smile. Knowing there’s not much there perhaps you’ll have to leave it another ten years before revisiting 🙂


  2. The little dog was 12 years old and a real cutie. I thought the dog sign was great, I often think a lot of dogs are better behaved than their owners 🙂 As for the place itself, I could probably leave it for 50 years before going back and there’ll still be nothing there 🙂


  3. I’ve never visited Knott End, so I’ve enjoyed seeing your photographs this morning. Getting distracted by a cute dog is very common. It’s happened to me several times already this week, and it’s only Tuesday 😀


  4. What a lovely day out & this is great for me at the moment as bloggers outings are what I look forward to due to our severe lockdown restrictions. I loved the photo of the old seaweed festooned boat & the rows of cottages are so pretty. Thank you for taking us along. Take care & hugs.


  5. It was a great day out and I enjoyed it in spite of Knott End having nothing much there. I would have liked to get closer to the seaweed covered boat but the combination of sand and mud was so wet and I didn’t want to risk slipping and falling. I’m glad you enjoyed the ‘tour’ – I don’t know what your current restrictions are but I hope they ease up before too long so you can get out and about again yourself. Take care 🙂


    1. If it wasn’t for the fact that there’s nothing there I might be tempted to return sometime and walk farther along the traffic free footpath but I wouldn’t go back specially. The dog in the dinghy certainly did look very content 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Looks a lovely walk despite not being much there. I think you may have missed something though. There’s meant to be a statue of the painter L S Lowery plus little dog, somewhere on the seafront. Something to return for…….


  7. I didn’t miss it as it wasn’t there and looking at a photo of the statue it would be too big to miss – I walked right past where it would have been and remember seeing a metal thing like two inverted ‘v’ shapes sticking up from the ground and thinking it was a bit of a trip hazard – it’s what would be the dog’s feet but there was definitely no dog or figure. Maybe it’s been damaged and removed for repair – I certainly wouldn’t go back there just to see it anyway 🙂

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    1. That’s strange the statue has disappeared. It was a representation of a Lowry matchstick man and his dog in stainless steel and not the best I’ve seen. It was there in March. Perhaps the good folk of Knott End didn’t like it so now there is even less at Knott End.


      1. I’ve seen photos of it on a couple of websites and to be honest I thought it was horrible – apart from his little dog of course 🙂 Just had a thought – you say it was there in March so I wonder if the current virus situation has anything to do with it’s removal.


        1. Quite possibly 🙂 I would think it’s been removed to stop people touching it and possibly spreading anything nasty to anyone else, though I’ve seen modern artworks and statues elsewhere recently so I’m only hazarding a guess.


    1. Thank you 🙂

      I don’t make a habit of going to car boot sales unless I’m looking for something in particular but this car boot sale is a really good one with some interesting stuff so well worth going to as part of a general day out, but it’s a bit out of the way for anyone without their own transport. As long as the weather stays fine I’ll be going again this coming Sunday as Michael has a day off work and has asked if we can go 🙂


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