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Morecambe

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Morecambe is a seaside town in Lancashire, Northwest England, which also includes the small port of Heysham. Administratively they're both part of the city of Lancaster, five miles east.

Get in

By car

From the M6, exit at Jcn 34 and follow A683 west for Morecambe and Heysham. This "Bay Gateway" road, completed in 2017, bypasses Lancaster.

By bus

Long-distance coaches such as National Express and Megabus don't serve Morecambe, see Lancaster for connections. Stagecoach Bus 6A runs between Lancaster and Morecambe via Torrisholme taking 45 mins; M-Sat every 30 min and hourly Sunday. Bus 2X runs from Lancaster via Heysham to Morecambe on a similar schedule, with one bus per day extending to the university campus.

Stagecoach Bus 755 runs 3-4 times daily, year-round, from Bowness via WindermereKendalMilnthorpe, and Carnforth to Morecambe and Heysham.

By rail

Trains run from Lancaster roughly hourly, taking ten min; change there for services south towards Manchester, the Midlands, and London Euston, north to Carlisle and Glasgow, and east via a scenic route through the Pennines to Settle and Leeds.

1 Morecambe station is near the promenade in the middle of town. Get off at Bare Lane for the north edge of town around Happy Mount and the golf club. A few trains continue south to Heysham Port to meet the ferries.

By boat

Isle of Man car ferries sail between Heysham and Douglas Isle of Man, taking four hours. There's usually a daily sailing year-round, with up to four in summer. Pricing is demand-led but reckon £25 per adult, £200 per vehicle, each way.

Get around

Morecambe itself is walkable, see above for the 2X bus to Heysham.

See

  • Morecambe promenade stretches five miles from Heysham to the south, passing Sandylands, the Battery and West End, the Midland Grand Hotel, the Stone Jetty (a former ship-breaking yard), the 1 Eric Morecambe statue, Clock Tower, and Lifeboat Station to Happy Mount Park in the north-east. The promenade is flat, and easy going for bikes, wheelchairs and prams. The town's most famous son John Eric Bartholomew (1926-1984) is depicted in characteristic skip-dance; he formed a comedy duo with Ernest Wiseman in 1940. They were going to name their act for their home towns but "Morecambe & Leeds" sounded like a cheap train excursion so "Morecambe & Wise" they became.
  • 2 Morecambe Bay. This expanse of water, or more often mud, stretches away across to Cartmel and the Furness peninsula, with impressive sunsets and views over the Lake District mountains. It's a haven for bird life, both resident and migratory. Historically the route north to Carlisle was to cross the sands at low tide then continue round the coast, with the "Queen's Guide" (first appointed in 1548) leading the way. He still does in summer, though nowadays the guided walks start from Arnside further north. Never venture out across the sands unless you are familiar with the area, the tide times, and the hidden gullies that will flood behind you and cut you off.
  • Some of those sent unawares onto the sands are commemorated by the statue 3 Praying Shell near Red Bank Farm to the north. In Feb 2004 a group of young Chinese labourers, illegally imported and hired by criminal gangs, were sent out to collect cockles. That evening there was a 999 call on a mobile from someone who barely spoke English and could only say "sinking water". Later 21 bodies were recovered; another two are believed to have washed away; 15 survived.
  • Heysham is a small port 3 miles south, with ferries to Douglas in the Isle of Man. Two nuclear power stations loom over it, and the beach is muddy this close to the River Lune estuary. The main sight here is 4 St Peter's Church, with Anglo-Saxon and medieval artefacts, and nearby ruin of St Patrick's chapel, which has stone graves dating to the 11th century.

Do

  • Much of the beach is muddy. There are children's play areas in the West End and Sandylands to the south, and in Happy Mount Park to the north.
  • the Platform. a theatre in a converted station which hosts live music and comedy, a four screen cinema, twenty lane bowling alley, and Megazone, a laser tag centre in a converted Music Hall.
  • Games arcades along the Promenade have traditional seaside games such as tuppeny pushers and bingo (the term itself originating in Morecambe, along with helter skelter), one armed bandits, and video games.
  • Morecambe's Winter Illuminations ended in 1996. There is a project to re-launch them in a modern, community-based light show called Luminate Morecambe, tentatively scheduled for October 2019. No details are yet available.

Buy

  • The Arndale shopping centre is on Central Drive, junction with Euston Rd. There's a retail park with an Aldi just south of the station.

Eat

  • The Brasserie is a Greek restaurant at 2 Queen St, open Th-Sun 17:00-21:30.
  • Palatine bar & grill does pub food in a traditional setting. It's by the corner of Queen St and Nelson St, open 12:00-23:00.
  • Saffron is an Indian restaurant at 6 Skipton St, open Tu-Sun 17:00-23:00.
  • The Bow Window, 2 Princes Cres LA4 6BX (corner of Marine Rd and Bare Lane). Daily 09:30-16:00. Traditional English fare for snacks or lunch.
  • In Morecambe you're are seldom far from fish & chips or a reviving cup of tea. Queen St is a strip of cheap eateries: kebab, pizza etc.
  • Brucciani and Lewis's are ice cream shops on the south stretch of Prom near the jetty.

Drink

  • The Eric Bartholomew is a JD Wetherspoon at 10-18 Euston Rd, a short block inland from Eric's statue. It's open daily 08:00-23:00.
  • Other pubs nearby are King's Arms opposite the statue, The Chieftain at 24 Pedder St, and Smokey O'Conners at 29 Morecambe St West.
  • Rotunda Bar is within the Midland Hotel.

Sleep

  • 1 Midland Hotel, Marine Rd W, LA4 4BU, ☏ +44 333 220 3109. Art Deco hotel - "Streamline Moderne" to be precise - refurbished in 2008. It's now a 48 bedroom 4-star hotel with spa and restaurant. B&B double from £160.
  • Crown Hotel, Marine Rd Central LA4 4BJ. 4-star with 14 rooms en suite, some views over the Bay to the Lakes. With bar & bistro. B&B double from £75.
  • Small B&Bs are mostly north end of town.
  • Lots of camping and caravan sites: these are grouped around Sandylands south of the station, south of Heysham towards Sunderland Point, and north of town around Hest Bank / Bolton-le-Sands.

Go next

  • The film Brief Encounter was shot at Carnforth, which has a visitor centre at its station. Lancaster is an attractive small city, as are both Kirkby Lonsdale and Kendal. The Lake District is within an hour's drive.


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