An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

Chapel Island, United Kingdom
Distance: 4.5 km
Difficulty: Easy walk; technical
Method: Walking
Wow Factor: 7 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Canal Foot, Ulverston, Cumbria
  • Size: 3 hectares
  • Terrain: Estuarine sands; can be slippery; quicksands
  • Access: Tidal crossing of Leven’s channel
  • Height gain: 16 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer OL7
  • Starting point: Bay Horse Hotel. Lat/Long 54.189374, -3.053600; GR SD 31348 77580
  • Accommodation/food:

    Accommodation and food at Bay Horse Hotel, Canal Foot. Full services in Ulverston – best tea and cake at Gillam’s. Ray also catches and sells his own shrimp.

  • Island Summary:

    A limestone outcrop that hovers above the treacherous sands of Morecombe Bay in the Leven Estuary with the mountains of the Lake District as a backdrop. The crossing of the channel at Canal Foot is a bit of an adventure when the channel is in full spate even at low tide so don’t be tempted to try it without a guide

  • Look out for:
    • Quicksands
    • Views of Blackpool Tower
    • Most southerly colony of Eider ducks
    • Raymond Porter, Queen’s Guide to the Sands catching flounders in the channel with his feet
  • Route description:

    Crossing the Level Channel at Canal Foot and walking on sand banks to the island it is possible to walk around the island at low tide. The island itself is covered in impenetrable vegetation although the remains of the buildings can still be seen.

  • Getting there:

    There is a small carpark available at Canal Foot; the walk along the Ulverston Canal from Ulverston itself makes for a great extension to this route with parking and hot food available at Booths. By rail the Furness Line from Barrow in Furnace to Lancaster stops at Ulvertson and if approaching from the south you get great views over to the island and the sands around it when crossing the Leven’s aqueduct.

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