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April 15, 2022

Discover Warton Crag and Saltmarsh Slag Heaps


The picturesque coastline of Morecambe Bay offers stunning views across the water to Grange-over-Sands and Silverdale. Nestling on the Lancashire coast, it is home to some of the UK’s most famous natural beauty spots, providing a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Among the most popular visitor attractions are Warton Crag and Saltmarch Slag Heaps, both rich in a diversity of wildlife, including plants, flowers, birds and colourful butterflies and moths. Visitors can step back in time on a fascinating site believed to date back to the Bronze Age of 2500 BC.

Warton Crag

Warton Crag, a historic limestone hill, is nationally important for its ancient woodlands, wild flowers and intriguing history. The southernmost peak of a ring of limestone surrounding the Lake District, the area is home to Warton Crag Local Nature Reserve.

warton crag

Owned by Lancaster City Council, Warton Crag has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with the picturesque village of Warton on its eastern margin. It is managed by the Arnside and Silverdale AONB team.

The land is a combination of limestone grassland with woodland and scrub. Peregrine falcons can be seen nesting in the main quarry, while the sheltered valleys and pastures are enclosed by mature hedgerows and dry stone walls.

There is also a picnic area at Warton Crag Quarry, while numerous footpaths lead to the summit of the crag and the surrounding nature reserves.

The old rectory in the village centre is owned by English Heritage. Dating from pre-1721, the Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument features gothic architecture. Admission is free to the public.

There’s also a local brewery, a children’s playground, a wellbeing and fitness centre and other attractions in the historic village, where the community ambience makes everyone feel welcome.

Saltmarsh Slag Heaps

A slag heap is a relic from an area’s industrial past. The Saltmarsh Slag Heaps are a reminder of the Carnforth Haematite Iron Company, which was operational from 1864 to 1929 at Warton. Prior to the construction of the iron works, the site comprised open fields.

In the mid-19th century, Carnforth was a small village, but in 1846, the coming of the Lancaster to Oxenholme section of the Carlisle railway line transformed the area. In 1857, a second line, the Furness Railway, opened to link Lancaster to Ulverston.

The growth of the railways led to a need for workers, so several streets of workers’ terraced housing were built in the village. The expansion of the rail network also led to the founding and growth of the Carnforth iron works.

A third rail line, connecting Carnforth to Yorkshire, opened in 1867, followed by the Carnforth Curve in 1879 spanning the northern reaches of the site boundary. In 1888, Carnforth Station was rebuilt to meet the increased demands.

At its peak, the iron works had five working blast furnaces. It continued to be in operation throughout World War I, finally closing in 1929. Today, the Saltmarsh Slag Heaps are the remnants of the land’s former industrial use. Unlike Warton Crag, they are a man-made feature of the landscape, but are equally interesting.

Resembling hills, the slag heaps are also home to fascinating flora and fauna. Iron and steel slag is a highly regarded recycled material and the Saltmarsh Slag Heaps are designated as sites of archaeological and cultural heritage and significant heritage assets. They are popular visitor attractions in their own right.

Holiday home pitches

Marsh House, a charming coastal holiday park near Bay View, is the latest park to join the famous Holgates Family Group. Find us on the Morecambe Bay coastline, directly overlooking the local landmarks of Warton Crag and Saltmarsh Slag Heaps.

Whether you require a seasonal touring pitch, or wish to own your a static caravan near the Lake District, this peaceful coastal retreat has a unique quality like no other.

Further afield, you’ll find the Lake District, Forest of Bowland and Kendal, the ideal destinations for days of endless exploring. You’ll find some of the most breathtaking coastal views, fun events and plenty of activities for all the family in the surrounding areas, including restaurants and shopping.

Register your interest in buying a holiday home at Marsh House or book your seasonal touring pitches and you could be looking at this view from the shore of our park enjoying your own sunset.


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Family owned and operated since 1956,
Holgates Family Group provided outstanding
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01524 701508

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Holgates Caravan Parks, Middlebarrow
Plain, Cove Road, Silverdale,
Lancashire LA5 0SH

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