Seascale

 Seascale is a request stop.

 
   Seascale railway station, with raised platform area and new shelter. The former water tower is in the background..
 
 Seascale's sea front as seen from the station.
 
 St. Cuthbert's church at Seascale. (Visit Cumbria)
New shelters for passengers at Seascale station, 2013.

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Seascale takes its name from the time of Viking settlement in the 9th Century and means "a shelter by the sea" in old norse. Many other place names around Seascale are also of norse origin. It was a remote area of farms until the Victorian era and the arrival of the Furness Railway in 1850. Here, the railway runs along the coastline, often on a ledge between the beach and the low cliffs. Seascale is still rightly famous for its sandy beach.

During the 1880's Seascale grew into a small Victorian seaside resort, famed for its long clean beaches and safe bathing, plus easy access by train. Much of the Victorian charm remains and the wooden jetty has been reinstated for sea fishing. The old goods shed is now a sports hall and nearby is a childrens play area and 18 hole golf course. Modern activities include wind surfing and water skiing and, of course, walking. Just south of the station is a BMX biking centre.

When heading south along the road or coastline, look out for a full sized replica of a Friesian cow! This stands in front of the Ice Cream Parlour and cafe at the Bailey Ground Hotel. There are over a dozen flavours of home made ice cream to choose from. For details, see www.baileygroundhotel.co.uk .

For historians, the area has the Gretigate Stone Circles and the Grey Croft Stone Circle, both on private land. At Gretigate there are 3 circles of various sizes plus 9 small cairns. At Grey Stones, 10 of the original 12 stones remain plus another some 34 metres further away. This site is close to the Sellafield nuclear plant but can be seen from the train, just beyond the golf course.

The stone circles may date as far back as the Bronze Age but historians will also appreciate the more modern St. Cuthbert's church in the village with its unusual stained glass windows.

Further inland 4 km/2.5 miles lies Gosforth. Here the cross is generaly regarded as one of Britain's finest Viking treasures. This stands 4.5 metres high in the churchyard. Other Viking treasures include "hogsback" tombs and the remains of other Viking sculptures and crosses.

Seascale lies between Sellafield and Drigg, both of which grew due to the building of the Royal Ordnance Factories in the 1940s, but still has a very different and distinctly Victorian character.

There is car parking at the station and near the sea.

 
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