Lying on the Cumbria Coast Walk, Askam is situated on the northern coast of the Furness peninsula. The long, sandy beach is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is popular for a family day out. Backed by dunes and marshes, the coast here offers views over the sands of the Duddon Estuary. Important for wildlife, the area also has a large proportion of the national Natterjack Toad population.
The settlement of Askam has now merged with Ireleth but both places have very different origins. Ireleth is older, dating back to the Vikings and became a farming village overlooking the scenic Duddon Estuary. Askam was established in the middle of the 18th Century following discovery of the second largest quantity of iron ore in the country. The area quickly grew to accommodate a thriving iron industry but the supply of iron ore finally ran out by 1918. By the 1930’s most of the industrial buildings had been demolished and only the pier and slag tips, now important areas of natural habitat, remain as reminders of the past