We made it to Piel Island!
Last night I did a bit of googling and discovered that around a low tide, it is possible to walk across to the island over the extensive sands revealed daily between Walney Island and Piel. It is a distance of a mile and a half.
A search of online tide tables told me that today's high tide would be at 9.30am and the low tide would be at 3.30pm. I figured that if we set off from Snab Point on low-lying Walney at 12.30pm we would be okay.
Clint mumbled, "Bloody fools!" as we laced up our boots feeling some trepidation. After all, it's not every day that you walk across tidal sands where several unfortunates were apparently drowned in past decades. Naturally, I did not share that particular tidbit of information with Mrs Pudding before we left.
There was Piel on the horizon like an old man snoring on his back. Mostly the sand was hard and flat but in some places it became softer or undulated and there were seawater puddles and shallow channels to negotiate. Our foot journey felt pretty safe but even so it was good to reach the stony ramp that leads to the old coastguard cottages built in 1875.
Further on there is "The Ship Inn" where the new King of Piel lives but it was closed today. A hundred yards to the south we investigated the ruins of Piel Castle. It was constructed in the middle of the fourteenth century under the instructions of The Abbot of Furness Abbey to protect his prosperous lands on The Furness Peninsula from raiders, pirates and Scottish invaders.
Shirley and I were the only visitors. After our exploration, we sat upon the pebbly beach for a little picnic and drank cold water from our flasks. And there was a handful of sweet brambles I had just picked from the dense briars that grow in the shadows of that evocative castle with its unremembered stories.
I would have stayed longer but Shirley was anxious to plod back across the sands before the ocean rolled back to claim us.
It felt so good to be there on the tiny speck of land that is Piel and I am happy that we made it today because otherwise it would have gnawed at me until returning at some time in the near future.