On the southern extreme of Cumbria, Grange-over-Sands is a convenient portal to the ever-popular Lake District. A “grange”, according to Merriam-Webster, is “a farmhouse with outbuildings”. Thus “Grange-over-Sands” is by definition a country house with farm buildings located near the beach. Today the town of Grange-over-Sands is a small seaside resort connected to Britain by rail and road and frequented by visitors to the Lake District. Its days of being a lonely farm located on the beach are long past.
Grange-over-Sands is situated on Morecambe Bay and the estuary of River Kent. Morecambe Bay has the largest expanse of intertidal mudflats and sand in the United Kingdom. The estuary experiences a wide tidal range; sea levels can change over 30 feet during a tide cycle. The water in the estuary is in constant flux. At low tide there is endless plain of sand extends across the inlet. Several hours later and water covers the sand flat. As it did in St. Malo France and Portmeirion in North Wales, tide watching becomes an obsession for us. When the water goes out we explore the sands. When the tide is in, we gaze out over the water trying to imagine how all that water could disappear so fast. In truth we found the tides of Grange-over-Sands to be as interesting as the more popular lakes to the north.