Sunderland Point. An historic UK east coast mainland village which is cut off by the tide twice a day.

From Wikipedia

“Sunderland is unique in the United Kingdom as being the only community to be on the mainland and yet dependent upon tidal access. The only vehicular access to the village is via a single-track road from Overton 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away crossing a tidal marsh. The road is covered by water at every high tide. Among other effects, this results in the children of Sunderland sometimes being required to arrive late at school in Overton or to leave early to avoid being cut off by the tide.”

See here for source and more.

A BBC television programme about this village is here (but may not remain accessible)

Villages By The Sea: Sunderland Point.

A view of the tidal road is here

Here is a picture from Friends of Sunderland Point website

Sunderland Point - Friends of Sunderland Point Official Website

From their website


“Sunderland Point is a unique location. It is a village of 30 or so houses and farms at the end of a tidal causeway. The village is within 7 miles of both Lancaster and Morecambe, but has the attractions of more isolated locations and a landscape which intermingles salt marsh, beach, mud flats, farmland, residential dwellings, footpaths and roads, all at the side of an active waterway.

The Point is an attraction to those who wish to spend time rambling, bird watching, cycling, sketching, painting, photographing, observing wild flowers or simply admiring the hauntingly beautiful landscape of the estuary and salt marshes backed by the moors of North Lancashire to the East and the South Lakeland Fells to the North.”

Also this warning:
“Tide tables should be consulted before visiting. Both the Causeway and car park are likely to be under several feet of water for 1 to 2 hours before and after high tide.

Non-Human Tidal Cultures. Dolphins using the tide to hunt!

A pod of dolphins has learnt to wait in the tide race of the incoming tide in Moray Firth, Scotland, at time of salmon migration. They swim to stay in place in the tide race, which runs around Chanonry Point, and catch salmon as they follow the flow of the tide up the estuary to their spawning grounds. This seems to unique to this group, and passed from generation to generation.

Channel Five: Series, Wild Britain; episode, Britain’s wild rivers.Broadcast on April 01 2020. Online here

Here are a few stills.

(We seek no commercial gain in using these images and acknowledge the copyright holder’s rights).

The Malaspina Art Society: Summer 2020 MAS Group Show: Intertidal Impressions. Exploring the space between land & sea through various media. This blog mentioned. Thanks!

Opening JUNE 4 – SEPTEMBER 15, 2020 Intertidal Impressions: Exploring the space between land & sea through various media.

The Malaspina Art Society’s Summer Group Show features qathet region artists exploring the changing sights, sounds, smells, motion, textures, plants and creatures of our northwest intertidal zones: the area of the marine shoreline that is exposed to air at low tide, and covered with seawater when the tide is high; its dynamic nature serving as a metaphor for resilience and adaptation.

See call for artists and more details here

Our Tide Related Artworks page is used as a reference and source of possible inspiration, as in:

“Site with inspirational mixed media works on tidal zones”


“Dutch Fair”, a kind of tidal market, held at Great Yarmouth, and maybe elsewhere too, added to our (Poetic) Tidal Glossary. “Dutch pipes, dried flounders, wooden shoes, apples, and gingerbread, are then offered for sale.”

We have added this to the Tidal Glossary 

But it is so interesting we are posting it here too.

Dutch Fair. A fair, or market, on Great Yarmouth Beach, but we think other places too, where Dutch barges would beach at high tide, sell goods to local shoppers, then set sail again at the next high tide. There is quite a famous painting by George Vincent which can be seen here.  From Hugh Aldersey-Williams; Tide: The Science and Law of the Greatest Force on Earth.  Another online account describes the scence;

“The “Dutch Fair”, as it is denominated, is held on the beach, and presents an interesting appearance. From twenty to thirty of their falt bottomed boats are run on the shore at high water, and as the tide receded, are left high and dry.  Dutch pipes, dried flounders, wooden shoes, apples, and gingerbread, are then offered for sale, and if the weather be fine, the beach is throunged with company, many of whom come from a great distance.”

Great map of the Severn Estuary from 1595.

This is online at the British Library here

The online notes are as follows.

“This is a chart showing the Bristol Channel and the River Severn. Sandbanks in the River Severn are indicated by stippling and the draughtsman has indicated the ‘Channell betweene the groundes’. The tributries of the Severn are indicated and figures along the banks record the distance in miles between their mouths. Locations of note, such as Bristol, Bath and Newport are represented by generalised perspective views of houses and churches. The map is thought to date from 1595, reflecting the fear that the Spanish were planning to invade the Bristol Channel in the 1590’s, rather than initiate a more obvious and direct attack via the English Channel. The Anglo- Spanish relationship had steadily deteriorated since the accession of the Protestant Elizabeth I. Raids on transatlantic shipping by English seamen such as Francis Drake and England’s support of the Protestant rebellion in the Spanish ruled Netherlands had brought tensions with Spain to a crescendo culminating in the events of the Spanish Armada. Although the Spanish Armada was defeated by the English in 1588, England remained at war with Spain for many years and further attempts to invade were made by Philip II. In 1595, the year this chart was produced, the Spanish attacked Mounts Bay, Newlyn and Penzance.”

Strikingly, the huge oxbow bend in the river below Gloucester is not  really shown at all. Also all the pills, or smaller tributaries, are shown and named as they would have been much more important, in various ways, in those days.

To see it in detail got to the link above and to the zoom function

sevenr estuary map