Sunderland Point, River Lune, Morecambe Bay, Lancashire
On the northern shoreline of the River Lune Estuary, where it exits into the wider Morecambe Bay, are these Salt Marches. At high tide they flood right up to the houses you can see above. This twice daily phenomena of tides make Sunderland Point rather unique. It is part of the mainland, not an island, but only assessable between tides.
To be strictly accurate, Sunderland Point is actually the tip of this peninsula. It is the village that holds the name of Sunderland.
I love this location both for its history and it natural beauty. Sea Birds, including lots of Waders feed on these marshes. As each tide arrives it drives the birds towards you, a great experience to witness.
But let me explain the history. Sunderland was developed into a coastal Port for the City of Lancaster which lies upstream on the Lune. It was thought that this would avoid ships having to navigate the tidal river, so speeding up turn round.. Here they could be beached and loaded or unloaded directly into carts at low water. The Harbour as such was built in the early 1700’s. Fortune didn’t favour Sunderland and before the end of that century the port was largely redundant.
Today it is a great place to explore, you can literally step back in time. Georgian Style Harbour Master House and Customs Buildings on a low stone quay….. they set the scene. All you have to do is imagine sailing ships and sailors and their trappings and you are back in the 1700’s.
Not surprising that TV and Film companies have used the Village as a their film sets.
But Sunderland is best visited when it is peaceful. Try to time any visit, so that you can experience the tranquillity when the Village and Marshes are isolated from the mainland by the tide. Idyllic.
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(C) David Oakes 2021