Things to do nearby Haystacks (Underhill)
Haystacks at The Hill is just 5 miles from the charming market town of Broughton-in-Furness. From the door, you can walk along the Duddon Estuary to Duddon Bridge (1 hour) or to Millom (30 minutes). Look into the rich history of the area at Barrow’s Dock Museum (pictured) and majestic Furness Abbey; enjoy the tranquil Duddon Valley by taking on one of the rewarding fell walks or with a riverside potter; or why not take a drive to beautiful Coniston 10 miles away? The west coast offers sand dunes and sandy beaches for playgrounds, picnics and dog-friendly walks.
Millom was built as a new town in 1860 and is strategically situated on the north shore of the Duddon Estuary, just outside the UNESCO Lake District National Park. Built around ironworks, the town grew to a size of over 10,000 people by the 1960s. Though the ironworks are now closed, a museum in the town recounts the town's fascinating history. Culturally, Millom (meaning 'at the mills') is notable as the birthplace of poet Norman Nicholson, and as a major centre of amateur rugby league. The Beggar's Theatre hosts some quality, reasonably priced arts performances and holds a summer festival each year. A wide choice of eateries is available (curry, fish 'n' chips, pub grub) and Da Vinci's Italian restaurant will ensure that you eat on time if you let them know you're going to the theatre.
Other rich history of the area is well worth exploring: the position of Millom at its strategic point on the Duddon Estuary made it the obvious disembarkation point for successions of Celts, Romans and Vikings. The town has some older buildings too - notably the 300-year-old Old King’s Head - though most are Georgian-era. The church of St Mary Magdalene lies a mile to the south of Broughton and is well worth a visit. Parts of the building are Saxon, parts Norman, with a grand eighteenth century clock tower and Victorian additions.
If you're a nature enthusiast, then don't miss out on a visit to the RSPB Hodbarrow nature reserve just outside Millom. Located on the site of an old iron mine, Hodbarrow is made up of a coastal lagoon and grasslands that support a wide range of birdlife including terns, ringed plovers and great crested grebes. This is a lovely place for a gentle walk, with its pushchair-friendly nature trails and picnic areas.
Haverigg is a traditional seaside village on one of south Cumbria’s coastal peninsulas. There is a wide beach at Haverigg which enjoys a sunny aspect for the most of the day and has vast exposed stretches of sand when tide goes out. The beach is popular with dog walkers, horse riders and kite flyers and a quaint café serving light refreshments and ice cream is an excellent place to stop off after an invigorating day out along the shore!
Overlooking the coastline is the immense form of Black Combe. This hill is only around 300m tall and the climb to the top is practically effortless. From the summit you will be rewarded with a glorious panorama taking in much of the southern fells of the Lake District - and views that stretch much further on clear days: make sure to look out for Blackpool Tower! In fact, Wordsworth, when writing about Black Combe, claimed "the amplest range of unobstructed prospect may be seen that British ground commands."
The charming town of Broughton-in-Furness sits between the Duddon Estuary and the southern Lake District fells. It has an ancient history and a gently bustling village atmosphere. Set around a Georgian market square with a stone obelisk at its centre, Broughton boasts several pubs, two cafés and some much-loved village shops.
The stone circle of Swinside, described by Aubrey Burl as ‘the loveliest of all the circles’, has wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding rolling hills. It is signposted from the A595, with the nearest parking spot at Crag Hall, a little more than a mile from the circle. There is a rough path from here just to the south of Swinside Farm. The circle consists of 51 stones, in a perfect circle about 90 feet in diameter.
Travelling a little further inland, the Lakeland village of Coniston lies just a half-hour drive from Millom and is justifiably famous for many reasons. Set on the shores of pristine Coniston Water, there are many walks to be had, from easy strolls around the lake to challenging mountain climbs, including the Old Man of Coniston at 2,600 feet.
Coniston Water also has a long and illustrious history of power boating and water speed records. Donald Campbell sadly lost his life here in a record attempt in 1964. Campbell’s story is told in the Ruskin Museum, which also celebrates Coniston’s heritage with exhibits on John Ruskin, slate and copper mining, and the lace and farming industries. The Lakeland Motor Museum at nearby Holker Hall has the Campbell Legend Bluebird Exhibition, with replica hydroplanes and photographs.
Why not explore the valley from the water? You could take a cruise on the elegant Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola or, alternatively, take a Coniston Launch to one of the various landing stages around the lake. Brantwood, previously the home of Victorian polymath John Ruskin, has its own landing stage and the launch company offer ‘Swallows and Amazons’ and ‘Campbells on Coniston’ tours too. The more energetic Swallows and Amazons among you can hire your own rowing boats, sailing dinghies, canoes or kayaks from Coniston Pier and create your own adventures on the lake where Arthur Ransome was inspired to write his stories!