Price a visit: Northwest England's Morecambe Bay

The scientists will let you know that Morecambe Bay in Northwest England is the most important space of intertidal mudflats within the UK. However the romantics will let you know that the large, ever-changing skies and shifting sands right here have impressed poets, painters and adventurers for hundreds of years.

No matter is in your vacation guidelines, you’ll in all probability discover it right here, from quiet sandy coves to historical past, mountaineering and bird-watching – to not point out the proper gin and tonic. Learn on for an intensive insider information to Morecambe Bay.

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Begin by going throughout and round Morecambe Bay by foot, bike, bus and prepare

Traditionally, the easiest way to navigate the bay was by crossing the treacherous sands, however quicksand and speedy incoming tides have at all times made this dangerous. Nowadays, the most secure solution to discover the bay itself is with a correctly organized and absolutely guided group stroll from one facet to the opposite. A number of such rigorously deliberate walks happen throughout the summer season months, most arrange by the Guide Over Sands Trust. Every tour will contain loads of splashing round – so come ready to roll up your trouser legs and put on mild, simply detachable footwear (positively no wellies).

If you happen to desire two wheels to 4, pedal alongside the Bay Cycle Way, created with the ethos of providing “a brew, a bathroom and a view” at common intervals. It has glorious signposts all through, loads of cafes (and truffles) alongside the way in which, and just a few hills (which common cyclists will possible stroll their bikes up).

Amongst plenty of other cycling routes within the space, a trip alongside the namesake canal presents an effective way to discover Lancaster. A go to to the elegantly sweeping arches of John Rennie’s Lune Aqueduct needs to be on each bicycle owner’s must-do checklist within the space.

In the case of public transport, Lancaster is your principal hub, with prepare service on to Morecambe and across the coast to Barrow-in-Furness. Moreover, the city has a very good community of bus routes. If you happen to desire to drive, tune into Lake District Radio for the most recent site visitors circumstances and different nice native data. 

Canal-side bike paths present a beautiful solution to discover areas round Morecambe Bay © Tonywestphoto / Getty Photographs

Watch ospreys and seals frolic

Morecambe Bay’s distinctive ecosystem hosts an incredible vary of wildlife. The Royal Society for the Safety of Birds (RSPB) reserve at Leighton Moss presents insights into the native fauna at any time of the 12 months (the on-site cafe can be famend for its legendary carrot cake). Chicken lovers will discover that one of the best time to go to is between late autumn and early spring, when tens of hundreds of starlings collect for his or her mesmerizing murmuration – a sight to cease anybody of their tracks.

At Foulshaw Moss you possibly can discover all issues boggy – and in the summertime months watch the resident ospreys. A pair of those migratory raptors has been breeding right here since 2014, yearly making the grueling journey of hundreds of miles (in all probability from West Africa) to their nest in Cumbria from March till September. If you happen to’re fortunate, you may see these majestic birds of prey hovering above or returning to their nest with fish for his or her chicks. And if you happen to simply can’t wait to see them, the Osprey Cam will allow you to observe all of them day.

If you happen to desire mammals, take a look at Cumbria’s solely breeding seal colony at South Walney Nature Reserve. At excessive tide, you possibly can spot the seals within the water across the nature reserve; at low tide, they haul out in giant numbers on “the spit,” a sandbar on the finish of the island. There’s nice pleasure each autumn when pupping season begins (it lasts from October to December). Whereas there’s no entry to the reserve’s seashores, Cumbria Wildlife Belief’s live-streaming Seal cam permits you to watch them up shut up.

Sip artisanal gin by the canal in Ulverston

Begin your go to to the city of Ulverston at Canal Foot by the coast, the place views throughout Morecambe Bay showcase ever-changing skies above and shifting sands beneath. Half a mile from shore is Chapel Island, as soon as a resting place for these crossing the bay and now the location of the stays of a Victorian folly. There are regular guided walks throughout the sands to the island, with wild samphire to choose alongside the way in which.

Tucked away alongside the small canal – and its distinctive rolling bridge – is multi-award-winning Shed 1 Gin, which along with impeccably inexperienced credentials presents an excellent afternoon “G&Tea” service. All of the truffles are made by proprietor Zoe Arnold-Bennett, usually with components additionally used within the gin-making course of, all grown in window bins created from upcycled pallets. It’s also possible to customise your personal bottle of gin to take dwelling – and even prepare a marriage, if the temper strikes.

If you happen to’re after the proper gin glass then head to the car parking zone of the close by Cubicles, the place on the far facet in an unassuming industrial unit you’ll discover Cumbria Crystal, a agency that’s produced handmade crystal for James Bond movies, Downton Abbey and numerous royal households around the globe. Enable time to browse their seconds store, the place you possibly can choose up beautiful items which have flaws solely seen to the professional eye. And don’t miss the viewing space, the place you possibly can see the excellent crystal being made.

Bronze statue of famous English comedian Eric Morecambe on the seafront promenade of Morecambe, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
The statue of well-known comic and hometown legend Eric Morecambe is a spotlight of the Morecambe seafront promenade (or “promenade”) © Debu55y / Shutterstock

Promenade alongside the waterfront in Morecambe

On the coronary heart of Morecambe Bay is the city Morecambe, with 5 miles of seafront promenade (or “promenade”) to discover between Hest Financial institution and Heysham. (Your greatest wager for a free parking spot is towards Hest Financial institution, only a quick stroll into city, previous a few cafes on the way in which.) The city is rightly happy with native comedy legend and proud son Eric Morecambe (actual identify: John Eric Bartholemew), who took his stage surname from his hometown. The statue of his likeness at all times attracts a cheerful crowd. Make sure you take the time to learn the stone carvings within the backyard across the statue if you happen to actually need a giggle.

Morecambe Bay potted shrimps are a neighborhood delicacy. Recent shrimps from the bay are boiled in butter, then coated in a secret recipe earlier than being sealed into small white pots. The perfect place to search out them is Edmondson’s – however don’t get there too late, or you possibly can be disillusioned.

And if you happen to like issues on the upper finish, splurge on a go to to the enduring, artwork deco Midland Hotel. The nice (and expensive) delicacies right here comes with spectacular views, and sipping a G&T of their bar because the solar units over the bay is the proper finish to any day.

A man wades into Morecambe Bay between Far Arnside and Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, England, United Kingdom
Be part of an organized stroll to cross Morecambe Bay by foot © Philip Brookes / Shutterstock

Make the leap into the bay 

Morecambe rose to fame because of its seashore – and you may nonetheless get pleasure from a swim right here. Loads of native coves and seashores nonetheless beckon, although due to the continually altering sands and sometimes unpredictable tides, it’s most secure to test in with native swimming teams like M.A.L.L.O.W.S. first to search out precisely out the place and when to swim safely every day. Swimming throughout the bay was as soon as a well-liked pastime, and there’s a beautiful marble statue on the promenade saluting world report–breaker Commander Gerald Forsberg, the primary man to make a two-way crossing of the bay.

If you happen to desire to discover the bay from on the water slightly than in it, then hoist the mainsail and set your compass for Bay Sea School, which presents yachting programs for all talent ranges. If you happen to’ve by no means executed it earlier than and have nerves, strive the “Taster Fun Sail,” an effective way to check out your sea legs.

Discover Heysham’s hidden corners

Past the large nuclear energy station recognized all through England, Heysham has a pretty little village properly price exploring. Don’t be fooled by its chocolate-box exterior: yearly the city hosts a Viking festival to have a good time its colourful historical past. Stone-carved Norman graves at St Patrick’s Chapel additionally trace at its long gone. 

After you’re executed constructing sandcastles and splashing round on the proper sandy cove at Half Moon Bay, get pleasure from a cup of tea and a tea cake on the Half Moon Bay Cafe, which is perennially common with these within the know.

And if you wish to see one thing that even many of the native of us miss, then observe down the Near Naze Towers subsequent to the ferry port. Hardly anybody ever visits these mysterious constructions, and even historians can’t agree on what order they had been in-built or what exactly they had been for. (One was actually a lighthouse sooner or later; the opposite could have been a climate station.) 

As you gaze past the towers and out on the bay on a pleasant sunny afternoon, you’ll perceive why the views from right here impressed famend artist JMW Turner himself.