Arnside Bore – Arnside, England - Atlas Obscura

Arnside Bore

Arnside, England

This rare aquatic phenomenon is one of the more accessible tidal bores in Morecambe Bay.  

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The River Kent, which drains into Morecambe Bay along the northwestern coast of England, is one of several places where tidal bores can be viewed along the coastline. 

The Arnside bore is particularly convenient because it passes very close to the town of Arnside. It’s a spectacular and beautiful sight depending on the tides and weather. Although not as large as the Severn bore or as destructive as the Trent Aegir bore, the Arnside bore attracts many visitors throughout the year. March through September are considered the best times of the year to view the phenomenon. It typically occurs two hours before high tide. 

Tidal bores take place when the tide rises so fast in an estuary that the flow of the river rapidly reverses, leading to a wave of water flowing against the normal flow of the river. Unlike bores found along much larger rivers, those found in Morecambe Bay often stream forward over areas of sand and mud.

Morecambe Bay is notorious for its rapidly flowing tides, and in certain sections, the tidal bores are said to travel faster than a galloping horse. In 2003, 23 Chinese cockle fishermen drowned in the bay when they were cut off by the rapidly rising tide. 

Know Before You Go

While in Arnside, it's also worth taking a look at the unusual railway viaduct with its strangely stepped brick piers. The bore can be "run" on a kayak if you have the proper equipment and experience. 

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Dr Alan P Newman
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