The usual route for the walk is from Arnside to Kents Bank, though this may be changed if conditions on the Bay make this route unsafe. The Guide may change the details of the walk if the conditions dictate.
When planning a Cross Bay Walk organisers need to ensure that they have:
- Appointed stewards who are responsible for organising traffic and walkers.
- Arranged for coaches to be parked in a Grange-over-Sands car park for the duration of the walk.
- Briefed walkers about:
- a)Coach drop-off and pick-up arrangements
- b)Car parking including the need to maintain safe car and pedestrian routes in Kents Bank and clear access to the level crossing for emergency vehicles.
- c)Toilet arrangements for the walk
- · No coaches should park in Kents Bank.
- · Coaches should just drop off and pick up walkers at the start and finish of the walk.
- · Coaches should use a one way system to prevent the roads being blocked. They should drive down Kirkhead Road, pause at the station to drop off or pick up and then continue along Kentsford Road and Carter Road to re-join the B5277.
- · There should be a dedicated group leader on each coach who communicates with the coach driver. The coach should not leave the car park in Grange until the group leader lets the driver know that the whole group is ready to be picked up.
- · If these guidelines are followed it should prevent coaches coming back to Kents Bank before the group is completely ready to be picked up which causes access issues and should also prevent the blocking of both Kentsford and Kirkhead Roads by coaches coming to the station from different directions.
- · It is vitally important that emergency vehicles are always able to have clear access to any type of emergency which may occur.
- · Emergency vehicles are needed for both residents and walkers alike.
- · The level crossing gates should be kept clear at all times to allow access for emergency vehicles.
- · This is why it is important that enough space is left between parked vehicles which can be used as passing places so that access for emergency vehicles is not hindered by other traffic.
There is very limited parking at Arnside and at Kents Bank. Charities are strongly encouraged to use one of the car parks in Grange (Grange is two miles from Kents Bank) and organise a coach transport to Arnside and a coach shuttle at the end of the walk from Kents Bank back to the car park.
If you encourage people to park on the residential roads in either Arnside or Kents Bank then it is only polite to the residents of those locations that you provide sufficient stewards to ensure that people park considerately. There have been problems in the past which local residents being blocked in or access being blocked for emergency vehicles. It is the responsibility of charity walk organisers to ensure that their plans minimise the disruption to local residents.
Trains to Grange from Arnside sometimes have insufficient capacity to take large numbers of people to the start of the walk and you are advised to speak to the train operators.
Charities organising coach travel from Grange to the start of the walk in Arnside are advised to use the Windermere Road car park in the town as a collection point. This car park has four coach parking bays and space for seventy two cars. There is a two minute walk from here to the public toilets at the ornamental gardens and a five minute from the Main Street car park which has space for ninety two cars (there is no provision for coaches at the Main Street car park).
Stewards should be in place well before other walkers begin to arrive so that they can properly steward the parking of vehicles.
- There should be enough stewards to direct parking from the station along Kentsford Road to the top of the footpath steps and from the station up Kirkhead Road as far as the public footpath.
- Stewards should make sure that all vehicles park on only one side of the road – the shoreside of Kentsford Road and the Abbot Hall side of Kirkhead Road.
- Stewards should make sure that adequate space is left at frequent intervals between groups of parked vehicles which can be used as passing places by other traffic.
- Stewards need to make sure that all access is kept clear and that enough space is left so that residents can manoeuvre their own vehicles into and out of their driveways
Risk Assessment and Insurance
Charities are expected to undertake and be responsible for the preparation of a risk assessment for their walk. A sample risk assessment is enclosed for information but the responsibility for preparing the risk assessment for walks is solely the responsibility of the charity which must take individual circumstances into account.
Charities should organise their own public liability insurance for their walk and the Guide over Sands Trust takes no responsibility for the organisation of walks or for individual walkers.
Cancellations and Changes to the Route
It is sometimes necessary to cancel a walk at short notice if the guide, at his sole discretion, considers conditions out on the Bay to be dangerous. Whenever possible the guide will arrange an alternative route which necessities a different starting and/or finishing point. Charities need to ensure that they can contact their walkers in the eventuality of a walk being re-routed or cancelled. In the event of a cancellation the charity will need to reorganise with the guide an alternative date which will be subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed.
The charity organiser must contact the guide on the Friday evening (after 6pm) before the scheduled walk is due to take place to check for any changes.
On no account should anyone attempt to cross the Bay without a guide as to do so would potentially be life threatening.
Numbers of Walkers
The maximum number of walkers that can be booked in to walk at any one time is limited to 450 for safety reasons. It is important that charities or other organisations do not exceed their booked number and will check with the guide as to whether other charities are already booked on that day and what numbers they have booked so that the total number of all charities or organisations does not exceed 450.
Who is Suitable to Carry Out the Walk
The walk can be up to ten miles long and includes crossing the channel of the River Kent. This is usually between knee and thigh high. The start of the walk is across a stony beach and the end of the walk is across mud flats and gullies which each walker will need to step or jump across. Walks proceed at a reasonable pace and the walkers need to be able to keep up. It is advisable that the walk is not suitable for children under eleven years old unless they are used to reasonably strenuous walks. Under 16’s should be accompanied by a responsible adult. There is a separate note on what to expect on the “walk” which gives more detailed information about the walk and can be downloaded to be made available to walkers before they book.
All charities or organisations must provide their own stewards for the walk and it is recommended that the minimum number of stewards are required per walker:-
|50 walkers||4 stewards|
|100 – 200 walkers||5 stewards|
|200 – 300 walkers||7 stewards|
|300 – 450 walkers||9 stewards|
You may wish to assign some tasks to additional stewards e.g. registering walkers at Arnside, ensuring on road parking is adequately supervised etc.
Charities should ensure they compile a record of names and contact details of everyone walking with them. It is strongly suggested that all walkers personally indemnify the charity or the organisation of all liability in connection with the walk.
If you are sharing the walk with other charities, can you check with the guide, the contact details of the other organisers sharing the walk with you. Charities organisers should liaise well before the walk date to discuss stewarding arrangements. We recommend that stewards from different charities work together to steward the whole walk rather than each charity stewarding their own walkers. Stewards should wear high visibility vests so that they are easily identifiable by all walkers.
Stewards should be in place well before other walkers begin to arrive so that they can properly steward the parking of vehicles.
- · There should be enough stewards to direct parking from the station along Kentsford Road to the top of the footpath steps and from the station up Kirkhead Road as far as the public footpath.
- · Stewards should make sure that all vehicles park on only one side of the road – the shoreside of Kentsford Road and the Abbot Hall side of Kirkhead Road.
- · Stewards should make sure that adequate space is left at frequent intervals between groups of parked vehicles which can be used as passing places by other traffic.
- · Stewards need to make sure that all access is kept clear and that enough space is left so that residents can manoeuvre their own vehicles into and out of their driveways
- Ensuring that all walkers follow the instructions of the guide and his assistants during the walk.
- Health & Safety, e.g. assisting walkers in the event of medical emergency.
- Ensuring the group stays together on the walk with no stragglers. Two stewards should bring up the rear of the walk with a further two stewards positioned at the front.
- Helping people over gullies during the final approach to Kents Bank. The gullies can be quite wide and can be slippery when wet.
- Ensuring participants cross the level crossing over the train tracks safely at the end of the walk at Kents Bank station.
Stewards must follow instructions from the guide and his assistants at all times. Stewards should bring mobile phones and share numbers so that they can liaise with each other whilst on the walk if necessary. Organisers must provide the Guide with a list of their stewards and their mobile phone numbers in advance of the walk commencing.
Groups usually assemble on the lower promenade opposite the public toilet block and down from the steps from the clock tower at Arnside. At the agreed departure time for the walk please make your way to the far end of the promenade where Cedric will meet you and the walk will begin.
The following are available for the 2017 season.
1. The only hotel in Kents Bank, Abbot Hall Hotel, is a two minute walk from Kents Bank Station. Contact: 015395 32896. Website: www.christianguild.co.uk . They offer the following:
- · Individual users can buy a 50p ticket for the swimming pool toilets at Hotel Reception on the day.
- · There is a café open to the public at the front of Abbot Hall from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
- · Patrons using the cafe are welcome to use the café toilets. Walkers can pre-book meals / snacks / sandwiches etc. if they ring in advance.
- · Abbot Hall also has a swimming pool in the grounds with three toilets. Organizers can pre-book the use of these toilets with Abbot Hall for a fee per group.
- · Should organizers wish to hire a portaloo to situate at Kent’s Bank for the day, Abbot Hall are willing to let it stand on their land. Please contact them for more details.
2. There are four public toilets in Grange Over Sands:
· Opposite the Lido building, for walkers who are making their way back into Grange via the Promenade. No parking, disabled facilities open 7.00am – 7.00pm. Fee 20p or free disabled access with Radar Key, obtainable at the Information Centre in the Victoria Hall for £3.00.
· In the Ornamental Gardens near Grange Station. Disabled parking. Limited free parking for cars alongside the Ornamental Gardens Wall. Paid parking for coaches and cars on Windermere Rd Car Park, a two minute walk away. Open 7.00am -7.00pm. Fee 20p, free disabled toilet to Radar Key holders
On Church Hill opposite the Parish Church. Limited on- street free parking outside the toilets and paid parking three minutes away on Hampsfell Rd Car Park, entry road opposite the toilets. Fee 20p. Disabled facilities available but only accessible by Radar Key. Open 7.00 am -7.00 pm.
The Victoria Hall on Main St has a Courtesy Toilet for the public during opening hours, 10.00am – 4.00pm in season. Disabled access to the side of the building and disabled toilet. No charge, donations welcome in the adjacent Information Centre.
What to Expect on the Walk
This is arduous and takes about four hours depending on the route. You must have reasonable level of physical fitness and be able to walk ten miles comfortably. The walk usually starts from a stony foreshore at Arnside, proceeds on to the sands and across the channels of the River Kent. The walk involves crossing two river channels which are cold and sometimes fast flowing. You can see from the picture that the height of the river is usually between knee and thigh deep. Old comfortable shoes or trainers are recommended rather than expensive walking boots or wellies and shorts or trousers which can be rolled up. You will get wet during the walk so bring a change of clothing to change in to at the end. The walk is on varied terrain including sections of sand, shingle, pebbles, rock and salt marsh. The last part of the walk over the salt marsh involves crossing gullies, these can be quite wide and slippery so walkers need to be agile enough to get across.
The weather can be anything from driving rain to hot sun so come prepared to protect yourself against the elements. It is very exposed out on the Bay with no shelter so bring sun screen, a sun hat or waterproofs depending on the conditions
Make sure you bring a bottle of water and a snack that you can eat on the move. There are no toilet facilities during the walk or at the end of the walk at Kents Bank.
Parents should assess whether the walk is suitable for their children. The walk is onerous and may be difficult to carry children if they become tired. Children should be able to negotiate the river channels with minimum assistance.
Walks can be cancelled at short notice by the guide if conditions make it unsafe to cross.
The walk usually ends at Kents Bank a mile and a half from Grange-over-Sands.