Tidal Islands Fan
Last updated at 15:40, Friday, 07 October 2011
BARROW'S tidal islands feature in a new book. RACHEL HERMOLLE talks to the author of No Boat Required, Peter Caton, about his experience exploring Furness' foreshores.
STANDING on the sands of Ulverston, with rain lashing down and a storm coming ever closer, Peter Caton began to wonder whether his plan to walk to Chapel Island was such a wise idea.
With a multitude of natural hazards, which claim lives every year, the adventurer wasn’t sure if he would make it. But ever resilient he weathered the storm, made it across, and ended up experiencing a walk to remember.
Since he was young Peter has always had a strong interest in the coast and a fascination with islands, so deciding to walk to Britain’s 43 tidal islands from the mainland was something that came naturally to the Essex businessman.
“When I was a child holidays involved going round the coast and walking, we never went to Spain to just sit around by a pool. My parents were from Devon so we used to regularly take trips to Dartmoor and the Lake District, which is where my passion and desire for walking and the outdoors grew.
“One year we went on holiday to Northumberland, and travelled to an island during some very rough weather and although I enjoyed visiting I spent most of the trip with my head in a bucket. So I thought as I’m not the best of sailors why not visit some islands you can walk to.
“For my first book I walked the 350 miles of the Essex coast, and realising they had more tidal islands than anywhere else in the country and very little written about them, I was intrigued to take on the challenge.”
Beginning at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall and taking 18 months to complete, exploring all 43 islands proved to be a far more arduous task than he had anticipated.
“Travelling to the islands was nowhere near as straight forward as I thought it would be. I had to fit it around running my adhesives company, family life and tidal times. I had also wanted to travel by public transport but the remote locations in some areas of Scotland and Wales meant I had to hire a car.
“Several of the islands were private and gaining permission prolonged the challenge. I was thrown off Osea island in Essex, as it is as a retreat for people with drug and alcohol problems and they didn’t appreciate me wandering around ignoring the private signs.
“And in Cumbria, my main challenge was the danger of tides, mud and quick sand.”
Although containing vast quantities of information on the islands, Peter believes the book is best described as a narrative of his travels rather than a guide book.
“The book contains some funny stories about my adventure and some interesting facts I picked up along the way.
“I had so many interesting experiences, such as meeting the King of Piel Island. It makes a great read.”
Whilst some islands are cut off by the tide for an hour or so, others can only be walked to a couple of times a year. Therefore Peter decided he would only visit those where the tide was low enough to be able to walk to them at least once a month.
Foulney Island, Chapel Island, Piel Island and Sheep Island all fit the bill and provided the father-of-two with some of his best memories.
“My best experiences were not just to do with the island itself, it was also down to the weather and how easy it was to get to. No two islands were alike, they all had different wildlife and a different history.
“If I had to choose a favourite of all 43 walks I would have to say Chapel Island was the most special,” he recalls.
“I went as part of a guided walk led by a local fisherman, which is lucky as it is the most famous of all for how unsafe it can be.
“It was a very interesting route, very remote, with an interesting history. It was great being led by a local person.
“I visited Foulney Island on a freezing cold February morning, when there was nobody around and enjoyed seeing all the different breeds of bird.
“Contrasted with this was my visit to Piel Island as part of a guided walk surrounded by 2-300 people.”
Seeing what the South Lakes has to offer Peter is keen to return.
“The walks brought me to Barrow for the first time since the 1960’s and I loved meeting so many interesting people,” he says.
“I would certainly like to come back to Furness even if it’s not to do with a book.
“I had never been to Ulverston before but I am thinking of coming back to walk to Chapel Island again next summer. When you visit you realise what a nice part of the country it really is.
“Many people who don’t get out in the country don’t know what they are missing out on. The islands are well worth seeing, there are so many beautiful spots, interesting people and interesting history to discover. Plan thoroughly, get yourself a guide and just go for it!”
First published at 13:29, Friday, 07 October 2011
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
- Stores heap praise on young Cumbria designers
- Names found for farm supply staff
- Major move for Barrow charity
- Let’s talk about mental health
- Culture Shock
- Stunning teamwork
- Community efforts
- Droning on about flying deliveries
- You know its Christmas when The Pogues' tourbus arrives in town
- Rolling out the flagon for Barrow bottle and jar sale
- A new king of the Bay
- History dig in Lakes
- Barrow job needed a good head for heights
- Can’t learn Cumbria hotel skills without breaking eggs
- We need to fight for our hospital
- Time to return to homeland
- Search for details of a silver swim trophy
- Name found for steelworks bandsman
- Long way to reach event
- Latest diesel engine took part in Barrow parade
- It’s time to stop making excuses
- Delays prove the need for hospital
- Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be
- Well-paid jobs are essential
- Smell of jobs is returning
- Email us
- Send us your pictures
- Send us your news
- Send us your views
- Staff contacts
- Family Notices
- Competition rules
- Advertise with us
- Reader Travel
- CN Letterbox
- Find It in Furness
- CV Link
- Online shop
- CN Research
- Eye Care Savings
- Halifax loans
- The storm in pictures: how Barrow and south Cumbria was battered
- Barrow man furious after buying £450 Xbox One and receiving just a photo
- Vicious dog located after woman attacked in Barrow (11 comments)
- Schoolboy punched in face in Barrow fast food outlet (5 comments)
- Barrow man, 30, committed suicide - inquest
- Managerless Barrow AFC mauled by Gainsborough (23 comments)
- Barrow killer ‘in pieces’ at death of his victim (11 comments)
- Edmondson granted permission to talk to Barrow AFC (20 comments)
- ‘Three years? We couldn’t believe it’ Barrow killer victim's family speak out (40 comments)
- Vicious dog located after woman attacked in Barrow (11 comments)
To save our contact details direct to your smartphone simply scan this QR code
|Evening Mail Going Out|
|Boosting Barrow and Furness|
|Love your life, Live your life||Community news pages - join the Facebook page for your town or village|