Cumbria Coast: Haverigg
On our next port of call along the Cumbrian coast, Dave McMillan explores the spectacular sand dunes of Haverigg.
Nestled on the edge of the Duddon estuary, just a stones throw from the town of Millom lies the peaceful fishing village of Haverigg. Tucked away under the shadow of Black Combe, this rare gem is a haven for a spectacular variety of wading birds and breeding terns.
Derived from the Norse language, Haverigg can be translated as ‘the hill where oats are grown’. You can be guaranteed a warm and friendly welcome to the village from both the locals and the wildlife of The Hodbarrow Nature Reserve.
It is one of the quieter areas of the Lake District and is sure to make you feel at home. Well suited to cyclists, walkers and bird watchers, the RSPB Nature reserve was once the site of the Hodbarrow Mine which was in operation until the late 1960’s. Remnants of Haverigg’s industrial past can be found hiding in among an array of beautiful wild flowers and rare flora and fauna along the many winding footpaths surrounding the Hodbarrow Lagoon.
As a site of Special Scientific Interest, the Duddon Estuary is home to around 50 percent of the country’s Natterjack Toad population. Should you arrive in April onwards you could be greeted by a chorus of these nocturnal creatures as the males call can be heard up to a kilometre away. It is also an important habitat for tern and waterfowl. Butterflies, peregrine falcons and crested grebes are a favourite sight for many.
With its many enticing attractions, from the open sands and sweeping dunes of Haverigg Beach to the ‘hidden treasures’ waiting to be found around the Hodbarrow Lagoon Nature Reserve, you’ll be spoilt for choice when visiting with the family. Haverigg beach is also of Blue Flag status, making it an ideal place to bring the kids and perfect for kite flying and horse riding. The small beach café offers warm meals, sandwiches, ice creams and non-alcoholic drinks and is just a few minutes from the holiday caravan park.
Adrenaline junkies will easily get their fix here, thanks to an abundance of watersports on offer at the Port Haverigg Wakepark. Surrounded by the sandy beaches and breathtaking scenery, speed demons can try Cable Wakeboarding, Water Skiing, Kneeboarding, and Wakeboarding, as well as Stand Up Paddle-boarding and Banana Rides, on the freshwater lake. And it’s also worth noting that Port Haverigg is the only venue in Cumbria to offer boat sports without a speed restriction.
Newly installed in 2016, the addition of the The WakeStation, a two tower cable pulled system is a great way to learn to Wakeboard if you’re new to the sport. Meanwhile those already established riders will enjoy its third cable, a Smart-Tensioning system which is fantastic for air tricks. But if you’re not quite ready to dive into the unknown, there’s lovely large veranda to watch friends and family from.
After a leisurely stroll or fun filled day of adventure, the village offers a wide range of accommodation, along with cafes and pubs. The Harbour Hotel is perfect for a pint in the sunshine with it’s large welcoming beer garden and hearty meals. Or why not make your way down to the Ski Bar of an evening. Tucked away on the shore of the lagoon this quaint ski bar is livelier than it appears and plays host to an extensive variety of live music and special events throughout the summer months.
With Millom close by there are many options when it comes to accommodation. From camping at one of Haverigg’s quiet campsites and holiday parks to a range of hotels and B&Bs close by, this new home away from home will assure a content nights sleep leave you wanting more.
Haverigg truly is one of Cumbria’s hidden gems, not convinced? Go see for yourself.