An audience with the King of Piel Island

It’s about time Hit the North received a knighthood. Services to Northwest tourism, maybe? Perhaps not after last Monday’s post.

Anyway, I did try my luck on a recent visit to Piel Island, a remote community of pub, castle and wildlife set adrift off the South Lakes coastline towards Morecambe Bay; see a selection of images here.

Piel Castle

The King’s speech

As landlords of the island’s Ship Inn, Steve and Sheila Chattaway are crowned the King and Queen of Piel, a symbolism-heavy ceremony that dates back to the 15th century.

So, if anyone can make me a knight, then Steve can. But, as I found, it’s not that easy. The Knights of the Order of Piel have to earn their title through years of selfless service.

Rockpool paddling

King for a day

After a day of rock pooling, shell skimming and crab collecting on Steve’s island fiefdom, I plucked up the courage to request a go on his throne.

The next morning I came down for breakfast after a night in the pub’s new B&B accommodation and readied myself for the crowning glory.

But Steve had disappeared and my hopes of a knighthood with him.

The king, it seems, had left the building.

To find out what happened next, look out for the story in the October issue of Coast magazine.

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