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Argyll & Bute: The Doirlinn
Sent in by Andy Preece
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Coombe Tidal Road
SW837408 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (Image 1: 11/08/2003) and Peter Smith (01/02/2015)
'The tarred road ends at a peaceful waterfront hamlet on a remote creek, an idyllic place of steep wooded hillsides, traditional cottages and moored sailing boats. From here, a tidal gravel roadway runs eastwards along the top of the foreshore for some 160m, before climbing up to serve some more dwellings.'
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Cowlands Tidal Road
SW829408 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Peter Smith (01/02/2015)
'Just around the inlet from the tidal fords at Coombe is are these two at Cowlands. They only operate at high spring tides. '
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Crantock
SW798607 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Peter D Smith (06/08/2005)
'This concrete Irish bridge would be covered either by the stream in full spate or by a high spring tide. It is at the end of a narrow road. There are no signs, depth gauge, or footbridge. It is marked on the OS Explorer map.'
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Gugh Tidal Crossing
SV886835 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (14/06/2004)
'Lying 35 miles WSW of Land's End, St Agnes is the smallest and most remote of the inhabited Scillies. It has just 70 residents and one mile of paved road. You can't take your car or motor bike there; motorised transport is limited to a few local tractors and the odd ancient Land Rover. (In fact, you can't take a motor vehicle to any of the Scillies, but push bikes are welcome.)
A rough tractor track leads down to a 100-yard tidal causeway of sand and shingle, The Bar, which links St Agnes with the two houses on its smaller neighbour Gugh. It is just covered at a normal high tide, but a notice warns against venturing forth when there is a greater depth of water as the tidal race can be fearsome.
Image 1 and mouseover show the view from St Agnes at the higher and lower states of tide. Image 2 is the view from Gugh, and Image 3 shows the sea just lapping across - note that the water level is lower on the right (north) side.'
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Lerryn Tidal Crossing
SX139570 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (Image 1: 11/08/2003) and David Wilson (Image 2: 28/05/2005)
'In an upper tidal reach of the Fowey River lies the pretty village of Lerryn. From the far corner of the car park by the pub, an old cartway crosses the River Lerryn, alongside the stepping stones. At low tide, when there’s about a foot of (mainly fresh) water, it’s passable in a 4x4, but at high tide the whole thing is covered (Image 1).
The lane following the south bank of the creek downstream from the ford in Image 1 leads to Lerryn Quay, now a private house, and is submerged at spring high tides. Unfortunately, I was there at low water but the line of seaweed left by the last tide can be seen about 2/3 of the way across the road. An equinoctial spring tide would be 30-40 cm higher and cover the road completely, but neap tides would only get to the edge of the road. The stepping stones by the ford are just out of sight at the top left of Image 2.'
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Milcombe
SX232550 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (11/08/2003)
'Good gravel 4x4 ford with nasty lip on west side (remains of asphalt). Asphalt to farm on east side, then 4x4 road. Evidence of limited use by wheeled vehicles and horses. This should count as a tidal ford, as it cuts across the tip of the tidal creek as shown by the High Water Mark on the OS 1:50,000 map.' Mouseover sent in by Mark Varley (28/04/2004)
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Restronguet Weir
SW813373 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Michael Jeans-Jakobsson (30/10/2005)
'This is a public road to a private beach that provides a right of access to a dozen properties on Quay Road, along the side of Restronguet Creek. This very picturesque waterway is off Carrick Roads which is the estuary of the Fal and Truro Rivers.
Residents keep tide tables in their hallways and glove-boxes, as the side away from the wall can get very deep at times. I have seen cars being driven across in desperation with the bow wave breaking over the outer wing! It has been known for cars (and hapless delivery vans) to get get stuck and very damp.
The beach is also a popular place for collecting seaweed at low tide (for agricultural purposes) and it is sometimes necessary to dodge a tractor and trailer.'
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: St John Tidal Road
SX410539 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (11/08/2003)
'At low tide, this is just a watersplash about a car’s length across, but when the tide comes in it floods the approaches to a length of about 350m. Multiple ford signs, depth gauges, raised footway at the central part.'
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: St Michaels Mount Tidal Causeway
SW516302 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (11/08/2003)
'The 400 metre long stone causeway to St Michael’s Mount starts on Marazion beach, at low tide accessible by vehicle down a ramp. At high tide, the beach and the causeway are completely covered. Only authorised vehicles may cross it, but it is in daily use to service this highly popular National Trust property, and the small community that live and work on the island.'
Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Terras Bridge Tidal Road
SX248556 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (11/08/2003) and Mr Nice (01/03/2004)
'This low wooden bridge across the creek of the East Looe River is a part-time tidal road, being liable to flooding at exceptionally high tides; raised walkway. '
Cumbria: Askam in Furness Tidal Byway
SD200756 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown and David Prestley (15/07/2005)
A tidal Byway Open to All Traffic just below the high water mark immediately south of Askam in Furness, between SD200759 and SD208773. It forms part of the Cumbria Coast Way. How often it is covered by water, I have no idea. Incidentally, Duddon Sands, immediately to the north, are crisscrossed by five bridleways (which of course are also cycling rights of way). These are presumably the ancient packhorse routes. They are: Askam - Millom, Dunnerholme - Foxfield, Kirby - The Hill, Kirby - Green Road and Kirby - Angerton. I imagine, though, that it is pretty questionable how much users kept (or keep) to these routes - they must surely have just headed for wherever they wanted to go?
The road is most often used at the Askham end for easy access to the
beach, aswell as being the main road used by the Inshore Rescue boat for
launches. The road sweeps along the beach south to Roanhead - the exit
point can be a little hard to spot amongst the sand dunes, so I would
recommend anyone wanting to drive it to go from Roanhead north to
Askham. The sand is generally firm at the lower points, but you can get
bogged down in the dry sand at Askham Pier under the bridge (as seen in
the pic). I have been tractors and quad-bikes bogged down in the dry sand.
The pictures are:
Image 1: Roanhead - track off the beach with a small stream ford.
Image 2: Roanhead looking north along the shore towards Askham
Image 3: Askham looking south towards Roanhead
Image 4: The bridge for the tidal road over Askham Pier.
Image 5: The track up to the road at Askham Lifeboat Station.
Image 6: The view from the pier bridge looking south to Roanhead
Image 7: The view from the pier bridge looking north to the lifeboat
Just to the South, the Widows path crossed to Walney at low tide, bypassing the ferry, before the Jubilee Bridge was built (Images 8 & 9).'
Cumbria: Cartmel Sands Tidal Byway
SD323773 (2*) Tidal
This one looks a rough ride, I got enough funny looks off the locals as soon as I ventured near the level crossing leading to the byway on the Cark side (Image 1). The gate was strongly padlocked on this visit so maybe one for investigation!
Details sent in by Andy Daintree
'I have not driven this route but I have walked it. The eastern end is over some dunes/grass tussocks and while drivable would require some form of sand ladders and possibly winching equipment as the road is not easily seen and is possible to miss. the Western end has no problems. On the day I walked it I saw a number of tractors running over the sands. A point of note is that the island half way along the route used to house some monks and the ruins of their chapel is still there.'
Cumbria: Drigg Tidal Crossing
SD064982 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by Chris Marsh (02/11/2003)
'Drigg is strictly nutter only status, silted up, brackish water and no signs of recent use - I wouldn't even try it in a landy unless I didn't give a hoot for its metal work and had 2 other motors to get it out again.'
'South side is muddy but possible to get down too. Coming out onto the North bank the mud and silt is very sticky and about 18”- 2 feet deep . Below the mud it is a hard surface. You will get stuck and need a winch and at least 2 vehicles to winch from as nothing to winch off. Not recommended on your own and if you get stuck and the tide comes in you may damage your vehicle.' Stu Pickering
Cumbria: Longburgh Tidal Road
NY308589 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Peter D Smith (04/09/2005)
'Four lengthy stretches of the road between Longburgh in the east and
Bowness-on-Solway in the west may be flooded by the sea at very high
tides, even though the water appears to lie some distance away across
grass, in normal conditions. The road is part of the Hadrian's Wall Path and Cumbria Coastal Way.
There are plenty of helpful warning signs
(see images). Although the road stretches from NY306591 to NY270597, both images were taken at NY295593, the first looking back
towards Longburgh over the first stretch of tidal road, the second looking
westwards over the second stretch. Wanted: a photograph with the sea
across the road!'
'Although it is signposted as tidal, as the vegetation in the images suggests this road only gets flooded by exceptional tides. The normal tidal limit (as marked by OS) is several hundred metres further out along most of the road's length, hence OS do not mark the road as tidal. There are some very dangerous quicksands in the marshes and sand flats North of the road.' Jon Swan
Cumbria: Newbiggin Tidal Crossing
SD087944 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by David Priestley (Images 1 & 2: 07/08/2003) and Mark ? (Image 3: 16/12/2006)
'The tidal road at Newbiggin crosses the Esk Estuary to Ravenglass. From the road at Newbiggin it plunges through the muddy depths of the Esk and then along side the tidal riverbank following it round to the beach at Ravenglass where it becomes Main Street at the large tidal flood gate. While the crossing is mud, the river bank track is actually made from packed gravel and coarse cloth to try and maintain some structure.'
'The tide also actually covers the lane from which the tidal road departs (worthy of an entry in it;s own right!?). It is only the bit that goes under the railway, but there is a warning sign about high tides etc and also the water depth indicator.'
'The tidal road is about a mile long, with the ford at the Southern end. Most of it runs along the foreshore just below the high water mark. It is accessed at the Southern end via the ford over the Esk which remains in water at all tides, at the Northern end from the end of Ravenglass High Street, and is also joined by an access track and some public footpaths along it's length. There are only occasional traces of a built road along the foreshore. Some odd bits appear to have been tarmaced in the past but this is now largely eroded.
The OS shows another tidal ford half a mile upstream from Newbiggin, where a bridleway is shown crossing the tidal Esk at Hall Waberthwaite.'Jonathan Gurney
Cumbria: Ravenglass Tidal Crossing
SD083967 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by David Priestley (07/08/2003) and Chris Marsh (02/11/2003)
'The tidal road at Ravenglass leads from main road next to the railway bridge across the River Mite. It then follows along the side of the estuary to Saltcoats where the road is covered at high tides. The crossing of the Mite is marked with posts (which boats sometimes use for moorings).
While the Saltcoats side leading up to the cross is packed gravel, the actual crossing is mainly sand and mud.'
'This is a tidal road fording the estury of the River Mite, connecting the village High Street to a unsurfaced road leading to Saltcoats. At high tide the channel is several feet deep at the centre, but at low tide the remaining freshwater stream is shallow. When I visited it was about 10cm deep and I waded across in hiking boots without getting wet feet.
The stream bed itself was composed of firm sand and stones. The foreshore approach on the northern side was also firm, but on the south side (the village side) it was fairly soft sand. It was easy to walk through but a 2WD car might suffer wheelspin. Tyre marks suggested that several vehicles had crossed the ford since the last high tide.
This is part of a series of tidal roads. Carrying on north from here will lead to Drigg tidal ford (q.v.) and carrying on down Ravenglass High Street will lead to the tidal road to Newbiggin (q.v.).'Jonathan Gurney
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Cumbria: Whitrigg Tidal Road
Devon: Aveton Gifford Tidal Road
SX683467 (3*) Tidal
Not strictly a ford this one but a considerable length of road which is flooded by the tide. Three sections of the road appear particularly prone to flooding (one pictured below), but the whole road will go under on a daily basis. The seaweed leaves a mark on the cliff in places and indicates that this is a road which shouldn't be used in high tide! Image 1 Mouseover and Image 2 sent in by Kevin Foster (22/10/2004).
Devon: Bere Ferrers (x2!)
SX462637 (2*) Tidal
SX464640 (4*) Tidal
Sent in by Jay and Pete (Images 1 to 3: 21/08/2005) and Lee Sunderland (06/04/2008)
'The first tidal crossing is best approached from the Bere Ferrers side. The tidal road is on the edge of the village and is about 500yards long. It can be quite marshy under foot in places and the ford itself is thick mud and water at low tide about 15yards across with easy approach and exit. Today it was about two hours from high water so was about wheel height. Do not continue on past the exit, instead turn left and head up the lane into Gnatham as the road only continues for another 100yards before you are politely asked to not take your vehicle beyond this point (Images 1 to 3)'
The second is even more intimidating (Images 4 and 5).
Devon: Burgh Island Tidal Crossing
SX649440 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Peter Nelson (19/10/2002)
'The crossing consists of a wide bank of soft sand, easy enough to walk over but inadvisable for motor vehicles, even to avoid the three pound parking charges on the mainland. Should the unwary traveller get stranded by the tide and exhaust the attractions of the Pilchard Inn, a strange wheeled yellow contraption, visible in the photo, can be hired to make the crossing. England, as attested to in the other image, is some 282 metres distant.' Image 1 mouseover sent in by John Carroll of 4x4 Magazine.
Devon: Combeinteignhead Tidal Ford
SX902723 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Jonathan Gurney (23/08/2005)
'A short trackway running along the foreshore of the Teign estuary, connecting a pair of bungalows on the shore to the road system. There is public access to dry land at the road end only but there is room to turn a vehicle on the foreshore at the other end, so it is possible to drive along the track and return without trespassing (the number of tyre tracks at the best turning point suggested this is ofen done, perhaps by fishermen). The track starts at a ramp by the Combe Cellars pub car park and runs just below the sea wall around the pub (image 1), passes through a retractable section of a jetty (see below), fords a stream (image 2) then passes just below the high water mark (image 3) to the end. Most of the surface is firm gravel but the stream crossing is muddy and might need 4WD. This spot could also be tricky if the tide was still in and water hid the mud and rocks. The rest could be driven when still in water if the vehicle had sufficient clearance.
The most interesting feature of the track is the way it passes through a retractable section of a jetty outside the pub (image3, close-up iamge 4). This is retracted when the tide is out to open a gap and allow land vehicles to pass along the tidal track. When the tide rises this section is extended to link the jetty to shore. As far as I know this is a unique structure.'
Devon: Goodshelter Tidal Road (x2!)
SX756389 (3*) Tidal
SX764388 (3*) Tidal
The two forded sections at Goodshelter are distinct and offer two completely different
splashdowns. Approaching from west to east, the first ford encountered is where the tide
spills into an embayment (Image 1). The asphalt road is the preferred route during higher
tides, but an alternative route is available across the flats at low tide traversing a
small stream approximately where Bradders, Gareth and Thom are stood (Image 2).
The next ford provides a full time splashdown as a small stream spills accross the road into the
inlet. However, the road also floods at high tides (Image 3).
Devon: Lopwell Tidal Ford
SX474650 (5*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (11/08/2003) 50m
'A splendid five-star wetroad in a beautiful setting. At low tide, the River Tavy flows across a ford that is 50m across and 3" deep; but at high tide the ford and its approaches are covered to a width of 95m (Image 1 & Image 1 mouseover). Do not attempt to cross the top of the adjacent weir!'
Devon: Newton Ferrers
SX554481 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Paul Fennessey (26/11/2004)
'It's not signed as a road or a ford, but I use it occasionally as a shortcut across the creek at low tide, usually to bypass slow moving summer traffic. About 20 - 30 yards. Passable only when the tide is out and then 4x4 advised. In winter the stream can be up to 12" deep. (Image 1) There is a good pub nearby whose car park can only be accessed at certain stages of the tide too.... The Ship Inn, in Noss Mayo (Image 2).'
Devon: South Pool
SX773400 (3*) Tidal
This ford is just upstream from the tidal fords at Goodshelter and is considerably different in character. The ford is deep and has quite an uneven bottom, but is probably just possible in a light vehicle with a good ground clearance. The problem lies on the south bank, which is a green, slippy and steep! I visited South Pool at low tide, and I got the impression that a high tide would render the stepping stones impassable!
SS566284 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by David Brown (24/08/2006)
'The road here is right next to the River Taw, which seems to flood a bit in the Winter (note that despite the river being tidal, the tide itself rarely floods the road - it's normally heavy rain/melting snow that raises the river level and makes it burst its banks). There are flood signs and a depth gauge.'
SX969873 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Oliver Coffman (07/03/2006)
'I do not know if it is a legal right of way but vehicles use it to get from Bowling Green Road Riversmeet to The Strand the base of the road is covered with a thin layer of mud which covers a stony base. The area is known as the Goat Walk; well that is the raised foot path anyway.
Image 1 shows exit into The Strand note tide mark on the raised pathway showing how deep the water gets. Image 2 shows the entrance exit to Bowling Green Lane / Riversmeet showing gravel ramp
Essex: Alresford Tidal Crossing
TM063195 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by Matthew ??? (19/11/2004)
'This is marked as a footpath on the OS map. It can be crossed at low tide (preferably a LW spring) but the soft mud was about 60cm deep on a gravel base when I last crossed it a few years ago. Better to swim over at high water. There is a video on youtube of it being crossed by 4WDs in 2008, but they started by bulldozing a trench to the firmer base.' Anon
Essex: Horsey Island Tidal Causeway
TM234233 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Matthew ??? (Image 1: 19/11/2004) and Jonathan Gurney
'Readers of Arthur Ransome's 'Swallows & Amazons' books will recognise the setting of "Secret Water": this is the place where Titty and Roger get trapped by the rising tide.
Questionable vehicle access. The 1:50k shows the final part of the approach road on the mainland side to be a public footpath only.'
Essex: Hullbridge Tidal Crossing
TQ809956 (4*) Tidal
Sent in by John Nicholls (10/06/2003)
'Only suitable for 4 X 4 due to soft silting up of river bed. Photo (about half tide) shows view towards Hullbridge. The other side of the ford is the roadway by the white building. The crossing is marked ford on O.S. Explorer map.'
'Thofe who diflike a Ferry, may go by Woodham, and crofs the River when the tide is out, at a Place called Hull Bridge, but where the Bridge has been down many Years. At low Water it is very fhallow; but this Way is five Miles round; or they may go ftill higher, and crofs the Water at Battlesbridge, and fo to Rayleigh.'
Taken from Daniel Paterson's "A New and Accurate Description of all the Direct and Principal Cross Roads in England and Wales" (Ninth edition of 1792)
Essex: Northey Island Tidal Crossing
TL871057 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by David Cushing (10/02/2004)
'This is situated in Chelmer and Blackwater estuary. The island and road to it is national
trust and can be visited by appointment only.
Causeway can be crossed at low tide but is impassable when the tide is in.
Pleasant walk to it along the seawall from Maldon.'
Essex: Osea Island Tidal Crossing
TL897069 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by David Cushing (10/02/2004)
'This is situated in Chelmer and Blackwater estuary. The road to this is private but can be
accessed on foot of pushbike
The island is as far as I can remember is also privately owned. Causeway can be crossed
at low tide but is impassable by anything apart from a boat when the causeway is
Pleasant views of the estuary from the sea wall either side.'
Essex: Potton Island Tidal Causeway
TQ949902 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Matthew ??? (19/11/2004)
'Potton Island tidal is privately owned (by the military) and hence a little difficult of
access, but it is occasionally still used by the MoD when they need to take
very heavy loads onto Potton Island, i.e. too heavy for the bridge.'
Essex: Rushley Island Tidal Crossing
TQ962884 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Matthew ??? (19/11/2004)
Essex: The Broomway Tidal Byway
TR005895 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Nicholas Woollett and David Cushing (Image 1: 26/07/2004)
'The Grandfather of tidal roads stretches for about 6 miles and is called the Broomway. This is a very historic track and probably completely out of bounds to the general public because it runs along the sands of Foulness Island an MOD site. When I last spoke to the Security people they were
definitely not keen for anyone to try the route.'
Info from John Nicholls:
'Public access to the most southern point of The Broomway is via a narrow lane from the MOD gate house down to Wakering Stairs (Image 1). The Broomway is, for the most part, in a military danger area and in all cases the potential traveller should telephone 01702 383383 prior to going on the tidal road. Local knowledge should be sought and good summer weather be chosen. Even experienced locals have lost their lives getting caught by the incoming tide in poor visibility. The furthest northeast end of the road (beyond Rugwood Head, Eastwick Head and on to Fishermen's Head, a distance of about four kilometres) is now regarded only as a bridleway.'
There is an old photo here. This also says that before the bridges were built in 1926, this was the only way to Foulness. The name comes from the broom branches placed to mark the way.
Info from Darren Thipthorpe:
'just a quick note to say that me and the guys have been out on the Broomway
lots of times, on enduro bikes. If the M.O.D are using it for operations the
road leading to it is closed off with a barrier. We normally follow the tide
out about a mile off shore then just blast along following the shore line,
you can come onto foulness island via the marked roads on O.S maps. The
M.O.D police guys are well friendly. its a funny feeling standing a mile off
shore in 6" of water for as far as you can see!'
Write up from Jonathan Gurney (22/07/2013):
This is the second longest subtidal road in Britain. I travelled the full 6-mile length of the Broomway on the 'Broomway Bus', a 14-seat converted spraying tractor belonging to a farmer based on Foulness Island, used for occasional tours of the Broomway and birdwatching expeditions. It was a fascinating ride (just as well at £23 per seat). Anyone wanting a ride or a guided walk along the Broomway (usually booked up months in advance) see www.wildlifetrips.org.uk
Some points to note for anyone planning an independent visit:
- the whole of Maplin Sands and Foulness Island are a military training area. The area, including the Broomway, is normally closed to the public on Mon - Thur all day and Fri mornings, and may be closed at any other time at short notice.
- there is no publicly accessible route from Foulness Island to the mainland except the Broomway, so anyone who reaches the Foulness end of the Broomway but cannot get back due to the tide must either stay there on the byway on Foulness until the next low tide or try to persuade the MoD security staff to allow them to use the private military road off the island. I'm told this can lead to being treated as a suspected terrorist, spy, or industrial spy and of getting stranded on purpose as an excuse to look around.
- the Broomway is no longer marked by the 'brooms' (posts) which used to mark it's route. There is no physical sign of it's route at all on the ground once away from the causeways. In many places our tractor's tyre marks had disappeared by the time we made the return trip. Following the route poses quite a navigation problem and would get very difficult if poor visibility set in due to sea mist or heavy rain. There are some rows of posts dotted about on the Sands (range markers) but they are not on the Broomway: do not head for them.
- going off the Broomway route to either side is dangerous due to quicksands near the Foulness shore and in re-filled shell holes. The Sands are used for artillery training and have been churned up by explosions: the craters get re-filled by loose sand which can be very soft. Because of soft sands between the Broomway and the shore the only safe vehicle access points are the causeways out to the Broomway at Wakering Stairs on the mainland and at Rugwood Head and Fishermans Head on Foulness. During the trip I was on, a teenager who wandered off the Rugwood Head causeway sank up to his knees in a soft spot and it took two hefty men to pull him out. I would not recommend a solo expedition.
Image 2 - Wakering Stairs
Image 3 - Rugwood Head
Image 4 - Fishermans Head
Image 5 - Maplin Sands
Image 6 - Broomway Bus
Essex: The Strood Tidal Road
TM014150 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Mike Green & Michael Jefferies (15/08/2003)
'The Strood Tidal Road is located 6 miles south of Colchester and carries the busy B1025, connecting the Sovereign Ring wearing Essex mainland with the bleak Mersea Island. The Romans built the first causeway to their retirement camp on Mersea Island and local legend has it that a ghostly Roman Centurion still roams the present causeway at night, although you can apparently only see his top half due to the raising of the road over the years!
At low tide, the Strood resembles a huge expanse of mud with only a tiny bit of water in it, hence the sniggers at the “Try your Brakes sign” located half a mile down the road. At high tide however, the centre section of road can get hydrated sufficiently to guarantee the occasional car engine casualty when somebody tries to chance it by driving straight through it! (I did this ten years ago in an old Vauxhall Chevette and had a very narrow escape!). Essex County Council have made many murmurings over the years about raising the road above the high water level or even building a bridge, but spirited local resistance from the islanders makes this look unlikely. Mind you, their counter plan to put Piranhas in the Strood is unlikely to succeed either!'
Gloucestershire: Awre Tidal Road
SO696075 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by Rob Gillett (07/09/2010)
'I was meandering along it the other day, and as you process along this road, there are two depth markers up to 4 or 6ft, and the notice road liable to flooding. I presume this maybe in extreme tidal conditions. Ian ?'
SO793148 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by David Wilson (Images 1 and 2: 05/04/2006) and Martyn Hicks (31/03/2006)
'At Stonebench in Gloucestershire there is a small lane that floods without fail at every spring and autumn high tides after the Severn Bore has passed through (Image 1). Images 2 and 3 were taken about an hour after the bore (30/03/06), said to be the highest for 9 years. The river is still 250m. away, and the road then turns to run along the riverbank where it was flooded for another 500m. Two hours previously I had cycled down this road in the dry! Flooding here occurs regularly after a big bore. When it floods it is totally impassable by cars and lorries and can trap cars that have been parked along the lane by visitors to witness the Severn Bore. The depth of water was about 3 feet according to friendly local firemen waiting to rescue a car that had got caught.'
Greater London: Thames Tidal Roads (x4!)
TQ217779 (1*) Tidal
TQ238759 (1*) Tidal
TQ176747 (1*) Tidal
TQ179707 (1*) Tidal
Images sent in by John Cooper (08/01/2007)
'The Thames can flood quite often, usually after a full moon, when the tides are at their highest. Normal tides do not cover the roads'
'There is a tidal embankment in Putney TQ238758 (Images 1 & 2), part of which gets flooded during high tides (which has caught out many people I know!!!)' Simon Stocks
'Also, the riverside road just off the Chiswick Roundabout has a warning sign on it to the effect that the road floods with the tide, and not to leave a car unattended. The sign is clearly visible from the evening queue westbound on the A4.' Jon Swan
'Tidal flooding can occur at various other points further upstream, notably Raneleigh Drive, Twickenham (Image 3) and outside the White Cross Hotel, Richmond TQ172747 and, when the tide overtops Teddington lock, even further upstream, on Lower Ham Road, TQ177707.' Timothy Lidbetter
Gwynedd: Shell Island Tidal Road
SH559266 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Ant Veal (01/11/2001)
A nice welsh tidal ford with huge potential for engine flooding with salty water. Take care to check the tide times (available on the link below.)
SZ607987 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Chris Pearson (16/12/2003) and Ian Bowman (02/08/2004)
'This 350 yard stretch of tidal road is unusual in that it is suburban: the
village of Alverstoke now forms part of the borough of Gosport. The road runs
along the North side of a shallow basin at the end of Haslar Creek, and
slopes down to the edge of the water. Image 1 was taken just at high
water close to a neap tide, with a barometric pressure of about 1020 mb, and
the sea is barely touching the road.
At spring tides the water may be 80 -
90 cm higher, and even greater if the barometric pressure is low. On these
rare occasions the water covers the low white wall that runs along the side
of the road. Images 2 and 3 show the road during spring tides Image credits to Bernard, Taff and Ian (02/08/2004)
SZ301909 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Anon (12/07/2004)
'This road only floods during the highest spring tides. There is a floodgate at the north-eastern end of the tidal stretch where the road passes through the sea wall, while at the south-western end the road rises sharply so no gate is needed. The first picture shows the road looking south-west during a flood. The next 2 pictures show the road at low tide, including a view from the nearby shingle bank. The final image shows a proper flood!'
Hampshire: Langstone to Hayling Wadeway
SU722046 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Ron Strutt (Image 1: 04/11/2006) and David Wilson (Images 2-4: 24/04/2009)
'Once the only way of accessing the Island, it is still shown as a bridleway on the map. Unfortunately it's very slimy and when they built the Portsmouth and Arun Canal part of it as cut away to make a channel. Image 1 shows it from the Langstone end at a very low tide.'
'Unfortunately, it now consists of two dead-end causeways, the centre part of the structure having been dug away when the London - Portsmouth canal was built (circa. 1820) and tidal scour having widened the gap since. Although there is technically a right of way across the channel, there are dangerous mudflats in the central part and it would be foolish to attempt to cross these on foot or in any vehicle (except a hovercraft). For this reason I strongly suggest that the crossing should not be attempted.' Jonathan Gurney
'Beside the Wadeway (disused), there is a short stretch of tidal road (about 150m) leading from Langstone High St (Image 2) to the mill (Image 3) and a couple of other properties, and is indeed the only road access to these. As you drive down Langstone High St ('Langstone High St to harbour') and enter the tidal area, the Wadeway branches off to the right, while the road in use hugs the shore to the left. The picture of the mill shows the exit from the tidal section. The tidal road - actually more of a hard beach - passes in front of the Royal Oak (Image 4 with mouseover).'
Highlands & Islands: Arivegaig
NM648677 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Gordon Gauld (21/07/2008)
'Restricted Access (ish) The sign at Arivegaig car park says no vehicular access and danger unexploded munitions, though the gate is unlocked and as we walked along the track we were passed by 3 soft roaders on the way to a beach at the end of this track. The ford is part river part tidal with these images taken at low tide and the river about 12 inches deep (judge for yourself where high tide comes to). If you bottle it there is a bridge upstream from the ford.'
Highlands & Islands: Greinetobh Tidal Crossing
NF819757 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Jonathan Gurney (27/12/2008)
'A tidal route running along just below the HWM of a beach, providing access to a cluster of farm buildings.
There is no physical sign of the trackway except for the first 200m at the Southern end, where it is visible as a worn path through the salt-margin vegetation.
There is non-motorised public access to the beach but motor vehicles are prohibited beyond the car park just before the HWM.'
Highlands & Islands: Oronsay Tidal Crossing
NR370902 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Mike Shields (06/04/2014)
'A local Farmer crossing the sand flats at Low tide.'
Send your image to
Highlands & Islands: Plockton Tidal Road
Sent in by Neil Watterson
'Just watching a re-run of Hamish Macbeth on TV and spotted a ford in Plockton (used as Lochdubh in the TV series). It's a tidal road that runs to what was the police house. The ford is shown on OS maps, aerial photos and on images from the Google Street View car (which shows there is a raised footpath to the side), but I've no idea whether there is any public access.'
Highlands & Islands: Sanday
NG271046 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by John Hatley (21/08/2007)
'The road/track from the bridge to Canna follows the northern shore of the
island & crosses the tidal foreshore for a short distance.'
Highlands & Islands: Traigh Bhalaigh Tidal Crossing
NF781748 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Jonathan Gurney (22/08/2007)
'The main access to Bhalaigh island is by crossing the Traigh Bhalaigh sand flats at low tide. Although a trackway is shown on the OS, there is no physical roadway over the sand - a stony trackway runs from the A865 to the high water mark and it is then possible to drive or ride anywhere over the sand flats, after fording a freshwater stream which flows roughly parallel to and just below the HWM (10-20cm deep at low tide). To reach the island's slipway, follow the route as shown on the OS: due North for 1 mile, then NNW for another mile, passing some small islets to your left.
Local people often drive all over the sandflats to dig for sandworms as fishing bait or to collect shellfish, so do not treat tyremarks as a guide to the route.
The sand is firm and mainly flat. In some places there may be a thin covering of soft sand over the firm sand. However, always be aware of the possibility of soft areas developing, esp. near protruding rocks where wave action may excavate hollows and then these fill with loose sand.
The sandflats are virtually flat so the tide does not creep up as on a sloping beach: it comes in very quickly. Check the tides before venturing out far from shore, esp. as the stream running parallel to the HWM means that the deepest point is just before regaining dry land. If caught, it is possible to use Bhalaigh island or one of the islets for shelter (the islets are each big enough to drive a vehicle onto) but being stuck there for several hours could be uncomfortable.
There is public access to the sandflats in motor vehicles.
Bhalaigh island itself is private but there is public access to uncultivated parts of it on foot, horse or cycle.
Isle of Anglesey: Llanfairyneubwll
SH297775 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Guy Springett (16/10/2006)
'The ford is only tiny, possibly about 1 metre wide at most, however it is completely covered at high tide as it runs into a bay. The green lane it is on runs around the outer edge of the bay too and at low tide it is an easy drive in any vehicle, with a good hard surface. Bear in mind though that the surface is muddy sand and contains alot of salt as it is submerged twice daily by the sea. On that note this lane is not driveable during high tide, especially spring tides, as the water level would be almost roof high at its highest. '
Isle of Man: Ramsey Whitebridge Ford
SC441950 (4*) Tidal
Sent in by Andrew Bargery (01/04/2004)
'A monster of a ford that is no longer shown on maps and signs warn of it's
impassibility! (Image 1) About 5 car-lengths wide, the ford varies in depth as the river here is
still tidal. Typically, the deepest parts are about 2 foot deep. It is quite deceptive as it doesn't
look that deep from the sides and has smooth gravel entry slips, but the bottom is stoney
and unsurfaced and so drops away in places. We managed to get through it in a completely
standard Peugeot 206 - but it was a VERY close thing. 4x4 recommended - and even then treat with
respect - particularly at high tide!'
Kent: Grain Tower
TQ898760 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown and Colin Hargreaves (31/01/2004)
'A causeway links this abandoned Napoleonic War defensive structure, built on the tidal flats at the mouth of the Medway, to the Isle of Grain. For description and photo (including part of causeway) see here. The causeway is shown on the OS 1:25K and older i:50K, but not on the current 1:50K. It is built of stone setts, which look as if they are suffering.'
Image 1 is at the end of an unsurfaced road to the left of Smithfield
Road & Image 2 is a sign hanging on a large gate at the end
of Smithfield Road
Lancashire: Morecambe Bay Old Coach Road
SD455675 (5*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown
'The longest road of its kind is the old coach road across Morecambe Bay
(also shown on the OS 1:50k as a BOAT - how appropriate - from 97/SD
469669 to 397756; a distance of 12.1 km). Where of course you are at
considerably greater risk from the incoming tide: it comes in fast
(because of the much greater distance between high and low tide
marks), and you are a long way from land. The OS
map has a warning "Public Rights of Way across Morecambe Bay
can be Dangerous - seek local guidance"!!'
road can be best reached, not from the level crossing by Hest Bank
station as the OS map suggests, but along the yellow road to
Morecambe Lodge. Effectively the road starts at SD470674.
A shale track leads to the high tide mark and thus to the sands
beyond, from which all wheelmarks are obliterated at each tide.
Signs warn against going on to the sands with vehicles or on foot,
and the local council in fact prohibits taking vehicles there.'
Image 1 shows the view from the Kents Bank station.
'I had the extreme pleasure of following the majority of the eastern
section of the crossing a couple of weeks ago:
The crossing is historically in 2 sections;
1. Ulverston to Cark (then over-land until)
2. Kent Bank to Hest Bank (longest of the 2 sections)
I entered a half-marathon that actually traversed the Bay
from Flookburgh to Hest Bank: (Cross Bay Run).
It was a weird sensation out there, even though we were 'waymarked' (&
'shepherded') by the local Bay-Guides (fishermen, & also TRUSTED
individuals). The Kent Channel was a real challenge, over 400 yards wide &
'crotch-deep'!!!! The Keer Channel was only about 100 yards & knee-deep.
I doubt I'd like to drive anything across the Bay that was my own!!' Richard Thackeray
Lancashire: Oxcliffe Hill
SD448614 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by Jonathan Gurney (20/09/2004)
'A surfaced minor road which runs along just below the high water mark and goes under at most high tides. Oddly, it is not marked as being tidal by the OS 1:50 000. The Golden Ball pub is accessible only by this road: its car park is submerged by higher tides. The spring high tide level is marked on the car park wall at about car roof height, so if parking and going for a long walk check tides first! The pub has some interesting photos of the area in flood conditions. If driving on the road when it is submerged, take care not to run off the tarmac onto soft mud alongside.'
Lancashire: Sunderland Point Tidal Road
SD427563 (3*) Tidal
Details sent in by Jonathan Gurney
'The hamlet of Sunderland is one of s few UK communities which are dependent upon tidal roads. However, it is unique as the only UK community which is on the mainland and yet has only a tidal road. There is footpath access over dry land. A school bus service (not available to the public) uses the tidal road and the children of Sunderland frequently get part of the day off school due to the tide. I doubt they mind!'
I definitely wouldn't attempt this one if the road was underwater just due to the sheer length of it (over 1km). However, the estuary is well worth a visit. Nearby Overton also has some excellent pubs.
Image 1 is the view from the Overton side looking across the mudflats to the point. Image 2 is the reverse vista looking towards Overton.
'No matter which end of the road you're at, if the water has started to cover the road DO NOT attempt to cross. The tide comes in extremely quickly and forcefully, the road is serpentine and you cannot make it to safety. I spent 28 years living in Heysham and had a friend who lived at Sunderland Point so I know the area well.' Duncan Taws
Lothian & Falkirk: Cramond Island Tidal Causeway
NT193777 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (14/05/2003)
'Cramond is a charming waterside village, worth a visit. It might be possible to drive a vehicle over this 1,000-yard tidal masonry causeway, but you aren't allowed to try. A bike may be OK.'
'Yes, it's perfectly cyclable. Occasionally bumpy, but ok for hybrid or MTB. Pleasant waterside cycle track takes you all the way to Leith, making the Cramond Island traverse a nice half day bike trip from Edinburgh. Blog Entry
Norfolk: Brancaster Tidal Road
TF770444 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Richard Bullock, Graham hardy (Image 1: 18/02/2006) and Edward Couzens-Lake (Images 2 & 3: 02/07/2007)
'It doesn't normally flood under a neap tide, but will at high tide at other times. Visitors to the beach and golf club must use the raised footpath alongside the road when it does flood.'
Norfolk: Burnham Market
TF833421 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Graham Hardy (30/05/2005)
An exceptionally unusual tidal ford which you will be very fortunate to see in its full glory (northerly winds and a spring tide). 'Unfortunately there were neither north winds nor a Spring tide when I visited (on a busy Bank Holiday Monday).
Goose Beck 'flows' out from the grounds of Westgate Church the proceeds to cross roads on the Village Green / Market place three times:
Image 1 shows the 1st crossing from under the clapper bridge.
Image 2 shows the 2nd.
Images 3 and 4 show the final longer stretch which cuts diagonally across the B1155.
Finally, photographic evidence that this does got water in it (Images 5 and 6 sent in by ML: 25/03/2013)
Norfolk: Woodbastwick Marshes
TG340162 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Chris James (03/01/2007)
'It's the road that goes to the seasonal foot ferry to Horning and after lots of rain and during spring tides floods quite nicely (last time i drove through it when flooded it was about 9 - 10" deep for about 1/2 mile.
Be aware though it is narrow and with few passing places. It has a concrete base, although it is a bit bumpy and with one almighty pot hole about half way through, it is about 3 - 8 inches deep (varies) and about 1/4 - 1/3 mile long (in Image 1 you can see the Ferry Inn at Horning in the background, the wet bit stops about 50 yards short of that.'
Northumberland: Holy Island Tidal Road
NU085428 (4*) Tidal
Images 1-3 sent in by Al Hinks (21/10/2003), 4 & 5 by John Brown (06/01/2003), 6 by Monkey Brown (06/12/2006)
Details sent in by Jonathan Gurney
'The vilage of Lindisfarne, on Holy Island, is dependent on the tidal road for access to the outside world. This is the only tidal road in the UK with a public bus service, daily in summer and two days per week in winter. The timetable, necessarily complicated as it has to fit in with the changing tides, can be found via Northumberland County Council's website.'
BBC News Story
Northumberland: St Marys Isle Tidal Causeway
NZ352753 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (14/10/2004)
'This island, at the north end of Whitley Bay, carries a lovely lighthouse, access to which is by a good concrete tidal causeway across the rocks. It's 185 metres long. A small notice restricts access to essential and residents' vehicles, but anyone can stroll or cycle over.'
SN051035 (4*) Tidal
Sent in by Kevin Dunphy (18/02/2004)
'Between Sageston and Carew. Depth varies greatly with tidal range and any recent heavy rains when it floods adjacent river banks in photo- then 4 feet deep, even with tide out! Stone track about 50 to 60 yds across in picture. 4WD only'
Pembrokeshire: Garron Pill Tidal Road
SN019076 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by JK Dunphy (01/08/2004)
'Near Lawrenny approx 400 metres long. Road floods during high spring tides, possibly 4 feet deep in places, covering bank leading to footbridge in picture with the highest tides at equinoxes. 6feet high depth gauges either end of flooded section. All vehicles when tide is out and neap tides, otherwise 4WD when flooded. Centre section higher than both ends of section that floods. Flooded Pics were at a tide height of 7.1 Metres (2 feet deep on Garron Pill South Picture Height Gauge - near footbridge). Allow plus 15 minutes to Milford Haven high tide time table for Garron Pill for max depth. Road surface all tarmac over complete length.'
Pembrokeshire: Sandy Haven
SM855075 (4*) Tidal
Sent in by Anthony Banfield (18/06/2007)
' As you drive down the slipway on to the beach you need to turn 180 degree's otherwise you will get stuck in the mud upstream. You have to drive about 300 yards down towards the sea and turn right. There is a large anchor chain on the other side of the river, normally there is a small red boat at the chain. The crossing is all sand and about 1-3 ft deep at low tide. As the tide gets higher from about 3 hours after low tide the river runs extremely fast upstream. DO NOT ATTEMPT AT HIGH TIDE, at high tide after you leave the slipway it starts at 1 ft deep and about 3 meters in it becomes about 7 ft deep. At high tide the river at the crossing point it is approximately 20-30 ft deep.'
Pembrokeshire: The Parrog Tidal Crossing
SN050396 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Andrew Babbs (24/03/2006)
'At Parrog, there is well a well defined route across the sands linking Parrog Road and Feidr Brenin - both of which have slip ways down to the shore. Image 1 show the view looking west with a car heading the western (Feidr Brenin) ramp ~ the road passing between rocks just in front of the car. The beach is used as a parking area and also provides (the only vehicular) access via the two ramps on the left to sea front cottages. Image 2 is looking in the other direction from the sand road between the rocks back to the Parrog Road eastern ramp. The tyre marks in the sand demonstrate that this is a well used route. At high tide, the entire area is covered in water, thus classifying the route as a 'wet road' and no doubt, providing a challenge to 4x4s - if they survive the salt water!'
Republic of Ireland: Coney Island Tidal Crossing
54.2883,-8.5807 (4*) Tidal
Sent in by Nicholas Woollett (04/03/2005)
'It is quite long with a hard surface marked out by substantial markers and we drove about halfway along before turning back. It is a lovely part of the world and the New York Coney Island is named after this Coney Island. The causeway is used a lot by locals wanting a day by the sea but beware there are no tide tables exhibited.
After our semi crossing we could see the estuary and the marker posts and it seemed that the causeway was covered with water when we had been along it only 5 minutes earlier so BEWARE.'
Other Links: http://archives.tcm.ie/
Republic of Ireland: Omey Tidal Crossing
53.53756,-10.16677 (4*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown
When they want to go to the shops, the inhabitants of Omey Island,
in the far west of Connemara, drop down to the beach at low tide
(Image 1) to take a road across the sands marked out by a series of
what are normally Irish one-way street signs (Image 2). There are
two landing places at the mainland end, the marked out route being
to come up the concrete ramp at Claddaghduff Quay (Image 3). For a
short cut towards the nearest town of Clifden, those in the know can
veer off right and come ashore at Loughawee (Image 4). See the
attached maplet, which marks both landing places at the mainland
end. Note the typical West or Ireland weather.
Suffolk: Oulton Broad
TM520931 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Mike Millward (17/12/2005)
'Runs along north side of Oulton Broad, which is tidal, parallel to the Lowestoft to Norwich railway line. For approx 200m, the road is concrete slab construction and acts as the north bank of the Broad and during high tides floods regularly at the western end of this section. A good high tide with northerly winds and rain will see the whole 200m under water, but this is rare. 'Road liable to flood' signs either side, no depth markers. The broads side of the road can flood to 1'+, the other about 6" and there is a dip in the road just before you leave the section, which nearly caught out a car the day I photo'd it (had water over the front of the bonnet!).'
Suffolk: Potters Bridge
TM509791 (1*) Tidal
Sent in by Mike Millward (14/05/2007)
'Odd one this, as the River Wren flows into Easton Broad which itself is separated from the sea by a single bank, so therefore high tides and rain readily push water clean across the road, even though the eastern side has concrete flood barriers. Concrete slab construction across marsh, marked both ends with unique (I believe) hinged 'Road Liable to Flood/FLOOD' signs and usually a couple of portable ones as well.'
SS580972 (3*) Tidal
Sent in by Simon Rees (01/11/2010)
'The Marsh road between Lougher and Gowerton gets flooded every high tide. Image 1 shows my Disco about 45 mins after the tide went out, the water was up to the bottom of the windows....Note the Lack of Snorkel - Now rectified!'
Swansea: Llanrhidian Tidal Road
SS504936 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by Graham Hardy (20/08/2006)
Welsh Valleys: Ogmore (x2!)
SS881769 (4*) Tidal
SS883773 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by David Harris (19/08/2003)
'The first crossing is actually next to the stepping stones. Be warned the river is tidal, and a crossing should not be attempted unless you can see the stepping stones. 4x4 only, due to the depth and the entry/exit angles of the banks.
The second ford is much rougher. When crossing from Ogmore Castle towards Merthyr Mawr be aware that there is a large 'hole' on the right hand side as you enter the water, so stay left andabout halfway into the river turn right to take the exit bank.'
West Sussex: Bosham Tidal Village
SU805038 (5*) Tidal
Sent in by John Brown (09/09/2002)
'We had a super day at Bosham yesterday. The weather was lovely, and we arrived about two hours before one of the highest tides of the year - perfect timing. We had lunch on the terrace of the Anchor Bleu as the tide reached its zenith or apogee or whatever tides have.'
'The name of the street that runs all the way round the harbour, from Bosham Quay at SU803038 to SU801031, is Shore Road. Five separate sections of this are tidal, at least at the 5m-plus high tides like the one on Sunday, 8 September 2002. These are: (i) from SU803038 to SU810038; (ii) from SU810037 to SU807037; (iii) from SU806036 to SU805034; (iv) from SU805032 to SU804032; and (v) from SU801032 to SU801031.
'The first view (Image 1) is looking west from the foot of Bosham Lane (Run your mouse over or off the image to make the tide come in or out!) Next, the view looking at the east end of the north shore (Image 2). Image 3 is the view eastwards along section ii. Image 4 is looking westwards along section iii. Image 5 is looking westwards along section iv. Image 6 is looking south-west along section v. Image 7 is looking from the far end of Shore Road back across the bay to Bosham village. There are no mouseovers for the last thee images.'
Images 8 and 9 are of the highest tide of the year at Bosham. Finally, Image 10 shows them bringing in the potato harvest at high tide and were all sent in by David Wilson.
West Sussex: Sidlesham Tidal Road
SZ860972 (2*) Tidal
Sent in by David Wilson (10/08/2003) & (22/10/2012)
'Pagham Harbour at Sidlesham, photo taken on the highest tide of the year on 7/10/02. The lady who lives in the house on the left says that she can expect the water up to her doorstep about once every three years, but it really needs a strong SWly wind to push the tide along. You can make out, however, the raised doorstep! The watery part to the right is Pagham Harbour which used to be reclaimed land until a storm in 1907 overwhelmed the sea walls. It is now a nature reserve with excellent birdwatching. For railway buffs, too, there is interest as the route of the old Selsey Tram light railway runs along the edge of the tidal marshes just out of the right of this picture and can be walked. For the non-nerds, there is the Crab & Lobster pub just up to the left - get a pint and watch the tide come in!'
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