Bazil Point and Sunderland village

Some lovely weekend weather just recently gave me the opportunity to head off to the village of Overton on the Lune estuary for a walk round Bazil Point, a place I hadn’t previously been to. Turning off the main road leading to Heysham port I took a minor road running alongside the river and I hadn’t gone very far when I spotted a dead cat at the side of the road. Now I hate to see road kill of any sort, especially someone’s pet, but with no houses in the vicinity there was no clue where the cat could have come from, anyway I wasn’t going to leave it there to possibly get squashed so I stopped the van and went back to deal with it, picking it up and laying it gently in the long grass under a nearby tree.
A mile or so along the road I passed half a dozen ponies grazing by the riverside then came to a small and very pleasant looking residential static caravan park and the Golden Ball Hotel, also known as Snatchems. Closed two years ago at the start of the pandemic, surrounded by steel barriers and overgrown gardens, the place looked a bit of a mess but chatting to a lady from the caravan park who was walking her dog I was told that it’s due to re-open in a couple of months time.
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A pleasant 3-mile drive round the country lanes took me to Overton where I parked not far from what would be the end of my route round Bazil Point then walked through the village to my starting point near to St. Helen’s Church. Across the street from the church and just by a garden gate was a stall with a few plants and various hand crafted items on display along with a price list and honesty box, though as the street was a bit ‘out of the way’ I did wonder if whoever lived there actually ever sold anything. Also on top of a nearby gate post was a rather strange looking dragon/goblin/hobbit thing which seemed to be either sucking its thumb or trying to decide what to do next.
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A gravel lane led from the street corner and past a handful of bungalows to a farm track across a vast field and at the far end I came to the first gate of the walk, with a narrow path leading between high hedgerows to a second gate and a bench overlooking the estuary and Glasson Dock across the far side. I don’t know who Butler was but there was certainly a good view from his bench and it was from there that I spotted a heron out on a sandbank.
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A bit further on I came to a small stone-built shed tucked into the surrounding trees; a bit of an odd place for a garden shed but maybe it was used to store kayaks or something similar. Just past the shed was the washed up remains of a huge tree stump, though looking at the calm waters of the estuary with the tide already receding it was hard to imagine the water coming up so close to the boundary wall and tree line, but it obviously does as not far away huge boulders were piled up against the land to prevent tidal erosion.

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Round the end of the point the stony/rocky ground gave way to grass and there was a good view across the mouth of a nearby creek and the marshes to Heysham power station in the distance. Eventually the path turned slightly inland and took me through the last named gate onto a raised bank with a view across the fields to the outskirts of Overton village.
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Curving round above the marshes the path brought me to a stile which, with two dogs, proved to be a difficult one to negotiate. Poppie wanted to go under it while Snowy was trying to climb up and through the middle of it, and I’ve long since come to the conclusion that the people who build these things don’t consider those with shorter legs. We got there eventually though and the path dropped back down to the edge of the marsh where, in the rough scrub just in front of me I saw a peacock butterfly which stayed still just long enough for me to snap a quick photo.
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From there the path followed the edge of the marsh for quite a distance, gradually widening out and ending in a small parking area set back near the beginning of the tidal road to Sunderland Point and village. Not far away was the larger parking area where I’d left the van and a nearby sign gave a clear pictorial warning to anyone not aware of the tide times but the water had been receding for a while and I’d already noticed a couple of cars crossing the causeway so I knew it would be safe for me to drive over to the village.
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Not far along the road I was happy to see that the next warning sign was completely free of water although some sections of the narrow causeway were very muddy, and with not many passing places I was just hoping I wouldn’t meet something coming the other way. I reached the far end with no problems though and found another warning sign which was a variation of the first one. I couldn’t remember having seen either of them before and talking to one of the locals it seems that they had been installed sinceΒ my previous visit in an effort to reduce the number of people needing to be rescued after getting themselves and/or their vehicles stranded by the tide.
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Walking along First Terrace something white out in the estuary caught my eye and when I zoomed in with the camera I saw it was an egret stalking along through the shallows, presumably looking for his lunch. At the end of the terrace I turned up The Lane and followed the fragrant scent of the hawthorn hedges along the path to Sambo’s grave then retraced my steps for a walk along Second Terrace to Sunderland Hall at the end before making my way back along the beach to the van.Β 
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By this time I was feeling more than a little peckish and as there’s no shop in the village or in Overton I drove the three miles round the country lanes to Middleton Sands where I parked up on the edge of the salt marsh and got myself a sandwich, chocolate bar and can of Coke from the shop in the nearby caravan site. This was the coastal side of the Sunderland peninsula with the village itself just over a mile away along the marsh; out at the water’s edge and quite a distance away a family of four were playing with a dog and the sun shining from that direction made them look like silhouettes against the background of a silvery sea.
After all my walking it was nice just to sit in the van with my ‘picnic’ and chill for a while, in fact I stayed far longer than I intended but eventually it was time to head for home. Driving back round the country lanes I made another brief stop near the Golden Ball Hotel and my final two shots were of the river with a much reduced water level than when I was there earlier in the day.
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The walk round Bazil Point at Overton had shown me some scenery and views which I hadn’t previously seen and it’s a walk I may very well do again sometime. It had been nice to revisit Sunderland village too and the pleasant drive home in the late afternoon sunshine just ended the day nicely.

26 thoughts on “Bazil Point and Sunderland village

  1. What a brilliant post πŸ™‚ I don’t think I have ever seen named gates before.

    Well done on the egret photo, much better than I have ever managed, and also for the reminder of how nice it is to just sit at the van after a walk and chill for a while. xx

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    1. I’ve never seen named gates before, I thought it quite an unusual and quirky bonus to the walk. I’m surprised the egret photo came out as the creature was quite a distance away – I hope he caught whatever he was looking for πŸ™‚ Relaxing at the van afterwards was lovely, with the warm sunshine and the ‘nothingness’ of the location it was one of those times and places where I was reluctant to leave.

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  2. I knew you would have not been able to resist! It is lovely walking round there isnt it:) The stone shed is actually the remains of what used to be the ferryman’s hut – dont know how long ago the ferry went across there to Glasson but that is where he sat waiting for tide and trade πŸ™‚
    Lovely to see the area again – I loved walking round there – already planning to go back and explore some more.

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    1. Thanks for the inspiration Kate, it was nice to explore somewhere new and I really liked it. I actually went in the church before starting the walk, got some good photos of the stained glass windows so they’ll be in the next post, And now I’m going to google for info about the ferry πŸ™‚

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  3. What a lovely post this is. Shame your day started with finding that poor cat but seeing the ponies is lovely. I remember your writing about Snatchems before and good to know the hotel will be reopening.
    You had a lovely walk and glad you and the dogs were able to negotiate the gates. I do like your photo of the family with their dog it’s beautiful.

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    1. Going through the gates with the dogs was no problem, it was the stile which was the tricky bit. I don’t usually have much trouble with those either but the dogs decided they just didn’t want to wait for me to get them over πŸ™‚ Other than that it was a lovely walk round an area I didn’t previously know. I couldn’t resist taking a shot of the family with their dog as I really liked the silhouette effect.

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  4. It’s a very strange place round there, isn’t it? Although the big tree stump is still there on the ‘beach’, it seems the dead goat by the stone hut has disappeared, thankfully. Perhaps the dead cat took it 🀨 ?

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  5. Quite coincidentally I was reading through your post on this area last night. I’m glad the goat wasn’t still there, it wouldn’t have been a pretty sight by now 😦 I found Bazil Point to have not a lot in terms of great scenery but it was a pleasant walk and nice to explore somewhere new.

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  6. I used to walk my dogs down by Snatchems. I used to enjoy how remote it feels there. What a shame about the pub, but good to hear it will be re-opening again soon. X

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  7. Apparently the Golden Ball was put up for sale soon after it closed at the start of the pandemic – while I was talking to the lady from the caravan park I noticed two young lads playing round the side of it so presumably it now has new owners. If it’s going to re-open in July they need to get a move on as the front and side terraces look like they need quite a bit of work. It’s a lovely peaceful area just there – until you get the jet ski brigade whizzing up and down the river 😦

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  8. Another corner of your part of the world that I’ve not explored very much, and I enjoy reading about the details that you can only get to know about by treading the footpaths.

    The one that struck me the most was the story about Sambo’s Grave. I followed the link to your previous post and it defies belief that anyone should want to desecrate it. On a lighter note, I had a Border Collie that I used to have to negotiate stiles with, so I know where you’re coming from with Poppie and Snowy 😊

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    1. The story of Sambo is quite sad really though it’s amazing that even after nearly 300 years people still visit his grave. I don’t know when the tradition of leaving painted stones started – probably not all that long ago – but it’s nice that whoever he was he’s still remembered.

      As for Poppie and Snowy with that stile, normally I have no trouble either lifting them over one or posting them through at the bottom but this time they just didn’t want to wait, and it didn’t help that the darned thing was built for people about 10ft tall πŸ™‚

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  9. I thought it seemed a bit odd when I was told that Snatchems will be re-opening soon as it does look a long way from it. Maybe it will, and the next time I go that way I’ll find it’s had a total transformation. It’s quite a nice walk round Bazil Point, I can see it appearing on your blog before long πŸ™‚

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  10. Well you know what they say – there’s always one! I went there on foot three years ago at high tide in May and was amazed just how far up it comes, it even covers most of the parking area. I think the red name plates add quite a quirky touch to the gates πŸ™‚

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  11. Hi, Its nearly 2 years since you mentioned Potts Corner at Middleton Sands. This was when I first came across your posts and I think I commented at the time that Overton may be worth a visit. My wife and I have a caravan at Shorefields (no. 53B) at the end of Carr Lane and we often drive to Overton and park near the pub. We tend to do the circular 2 mile walk in an anticlockwise direction, from the Sunderland Point road, using the field instead of the sometimes muddy path on the first part of the walk. I suspect the ‘shed’ on the shoreline is a fisherman’s store but that’s only a guess. Another longer walk that we do is from Hest Bank shoreline, crossing the level crossing and the main road to pick up the canal, heading north as far as the Royal Hotel, then across the main road and down Mill Lane to the shore line. This is followed along to Bolton-le-Sands, through Red Bank farm and back to the start.

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  12. Hi Ken, and many thanks for your comment. When I was doing this walk round Bazil Point last weekend I remembered about you commenting before and mentioning it. The stone shed on the shoreline could possibly have been the ferryman’s hut but it seems to be too ‘new’ and I can’t find any details to when a ferry operated from there. Last August bank holiday I walked from Hest Bank north along the canal for quite a distance but didn’t want to go too far as I was also going on to Silverdale and Arnside later on. Your walk sounds a good one though so I’ll keep it in mind for a later date. I may very well be back to Overton/Sunderland before too long so if I park at Potts Corner I might come to find you and introduce myself πŸ™‚

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  13. Hi Eunice, thank you for your reply. You are very welcome to call if we are staying at the caravan. We tend to be out in the mornings with our 2 dogs and sometimes it is just my wife staying but I am sure she would make you welcome if that was the case. Our caravan is at the far end of the caravan site, just off the front near the new toilet block.

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  14. Thanks Ken, it would be nice to meet one of my blog readers face-to-face πŸ™‚ I’m glad you mentioned having two dogs, at least I know to leave my two in the van if I do call round – Snowy, the young one, was never socialised when she was a pup and though she’s very friendly with people she hates other dogs. She’s a little dog with a big attitude! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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  15. What a great piece of coastline, one that I have never explored. Hopefully one day. Your post has made me long for some sea scenery that’s for sure. X

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  16. You should make it a mission for this summer, it’s a lovely area and very peaceful. I only saw a couple of villagers at Sunderland and no-one at all on the walk round Bazil Point so it’s not exactly overcrowded πŸ™‚

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  17. You go on the best day trips! I honestly should do that too! You always take such good photos while your visiting these beautiful places. Have a nice weekend!

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  18. I hate to stay at home when the weather is good as I always feel I’m wasting the day so it’s good to get out and explore somewhere new. I really enjoyed the walk round Bazil Point and may very well go back before too long.

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