The Hoad, Ulverston
The Hoad, or John Barrow Monument, may not exactly qualify as hidden, perched as it is on a hill next to the busy A590 but, as most people just zoom straight by without stopping to explore what’s up there, that qualifies the interior at least as having “hidden” status.
A hill overlooking Ulverston is an odd place for a lighthouse you might think, but this is a monument and not a working coastal defence. Built in 1850 the Hoad is a 100ft scale replica of the Eddystone lighthouse erected to commemorate Sir John Barrow, a founder member of the Royal Geographic Society, who was born in Ulverston. Originally costing just £1250 when it was built, in 2009/10 it underwent a £1.2m renovation restoring this Grade II listed building to its former glory.
To visit the monument you’re best advised to park in Ulverston and follow one of the many paths up Hoad Hill – it’s only 133m so not too taxing. There is no specific charge for entry but you are encouraged to make a contribution towards the maintenance. There are 112 steps winding around the interior and climbing to the top of the monument is not for the faint hearted; there are plenty of warning signs for those suffering from vertigo or weak hearts, but it’s certainly worth the effort. At the top, on a clear day, you’ll be rewarded with views to the south over Morecambe Bay and to the north over the Southern Fells and up towards the Old Man of Coniston. Best advice is to take a picnic and find yourself a nice sunny spot on one of the many benches at the top of the hill and make an afternoon of it.
This gem was kindly contributed by Beth Pipe from Grange-over-sands