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Things to do in Morecambe, Lancashire

Morecambe Sailing Club
Morecambe Sailing Club © Alan Weir via Flickr

Morecambe is a coastal town in Lancashire situated at the south of a sandy bay.

The town is home to 34,000 people, and it was a popular seaside holiday resort for much of the 20th Century.

Like most English seaside towns, visitor numbers have declined as foreign holidays became popular.

In recent years the Tern Project has successfully promoted Morecambe as a centre for birdwatching, and the increased popularity of domestic "staycations" has seen many people re-discover this lovely seaside town.

Looking forward, the town will be home to the Eden Project North which will be built on Morecambe seafront and will feature mussel-shaped biodomes. 


10 Great Things to do in Morecambe and Nearby

1. Soul Bowl Boutique Bowling

Bowling is always a fun activity, whether you're going with family or having a night out with friends.

Ten Pin Bowling
Ten Pin Bowling © a4gpa via Flickr

Located on Central Marine Road, Soul Bowl has 10 lanes of bowling as well as other fun activities such as pool and table football.

There is also a bar area serving drinks and an on-site Italian restaurant where you can choose from a range of pizza and pasta dishes.

2. Morecambe Winter Gardens

The 125-year-old red stone Winter Gardens is one of the most distinctive buildings in Morecambe.

Winter Gardens
Winter Gardens © Alun Bull - Historic England

Originally the building housed swimming baths, an aquarium, the Winter Gardens and some excellent restaurants. The Winter Gardens was a great place to go for afternoon tea.

Sadly the complex was closed in the early 1980s due to declining visitor numbers, and today only the theatre remains open.

Winter Gardens Lobby
Winter Gardens Lobby © Damian Rose

The building is undergoing restoration managed by the Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust with funding from the government's Culture Recovery Fund.


Once this has been completed it's hoped that the Winter Gardens will take its place at the heart of Morecambe's cultural life once again.

3. Enjoy the Beach

Morecambe has a sand and shingle beach separated from the promenade by rocky sea defences.

Morecambe Beach
Morecambe Beach © Daniel Nisbet via Flickr

It's popular with families in summer and a great place for traditional beach activities like building sandcastles.

Children need to be closely supervised due to the dangers of the bay including quicksands and fast-moving tides.

Dogs are not allowed on the beach between May and September.

4. Grab a Selfie with the Eric Morecambe Statue

One of Morecambe's must-see attractions is the larger than life-size statue of the famous comedian Eric Morecambe.

Unveiled by the Queen in 1999, the statue shows the entertainer in characteristic "give me sunshine" pose.

He also has binoculars - a reference to his passion for birdwatching.

Eric Morecambe statue
Eric Morecambe statue © Jane - stock.adobe.com

Born in Morecambe in 1926, John Eric Bartholomew adopted the name of his hometown as his stage name, and as one half of comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, kept the nation entertained through most of the 1970s.

Such is the enduring affection for Eric Morecambe today, that when the town is busy you may have to queue to have your photo taken with his statue.

5. Enjoy Morecambe Bay

Stretching from the south of Cumbria to Fleetwood in Lancashire, Morecambe Bay is one of Britain's most beautiful coastal areas.

Cormorant Statues
Cormorant Statues © Ungry Young Man via Flickr

Morecambe bay is a place of contrasts. If you're ready for action you can take part in action sports such as powered paragliding, windsurfing, kitesurfing, mountain biking or horse riding.

Or, just embrace the beauty and tranquillity of the bay - take a guided walk across the sands, enjoy birdwatching at Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay Nature Reserve with oystercatchers and waders to be seen, or try seal-spotting at Walney.

There are always beautiful sea views and often spectacular sunsets to enjoy.

6. Jump Rush Trampoline Park

Just over the road from the Winter Gardens, you'll find Jump Rush - Morecambe's exciting trampoline park and a great attraction for the whole family.

There are more than 100 trampolines in the Bounce Zone, and with both floor and wall beds, the kids will be literally bouncing off the walls!

Your visit also includes "Inflatarush". Have you got what it takes to battle through the inflatable obstacles and climb the titanic tower before plunging 6m down the freefall slide?

And because the little ones won't want to be left on the sidelines, there's a mini zone for the under 4s with 5 mini trampolines and a soft play area.

If you get peckish, don't worry, the Mixt Kombo Kitchen offers a range of meals and snacks from burgers and sandwiches to coffee and soft drinks, so you can fuel up for more bouncing.

Jump Rush is a great place to go to avoid the rain and a perfect venue for burning off excess energy in a safe and fun environment.

7. Stroll along Morecambe Promenade and The Stone Jetty

A walk along Morecambe Promenade is an unmissable part of any visit to the town, made all the more enjoyable by extensive renovation and enhancements to the promenade.

Cormorant Statues
Cormorant Statues © Jayfredem via Flickr

Morecambe Stone Jetty is on the site of the former harbour built in 1853.

Thanks to the TERN project, it now features public artworks, information on the area's birds, and charming cast-iron bird sculptures perching on railings and rocks.

Morecambe Sunset
Morecambe Sunset © Dave Noonan via Pixabay

Strolling along the promenade and perhaps enjoying the sunset over the bay is one of the highlights of any visit to the town.

8. Soak up the Sun in Happy Mount Park

Originally created in the 1920s as a traditional town park, Happy Mount Park has been extensively updated and enhanced with family attractions that youngsters will love.

The adventure play area is a firm favourite in good weather, but the park also has the Pirates in the Park indoor play area - perfect for rainy days.

The Splash Park water park is open from May to September and with water jets, sprays and cannons, it's a great place to get soaking wet and cool off on hot summer days.

Other park attractions include:

  • Swing Boats
  • Trampolines
  • A Children's Roundabout
  • Adventure Golf
  • A Putting Course

Grown-ups and kids alike will enjoy the ornamental gardens and woodland walks and spotting wildlife on the habitat trail.

If you're lucky you might catch one of the brass band concerts too, and there's a cafe serving refreshments.

The park is open from 8:30 am to dusk.

9. Explore Historic Lancaster Castle

Only a few miles from Morecambe is the historic city of Lancaster, and its 1,000-year-old castle.

Lancaster Castle
Lancaster Castle © Sarah K Morgan via Flickr

Dating back to Roman times it helped to defend Lancaster from marauding Picts and Scots crossing the border.

As well as a fascinating military history, Lancaster Castle has been an important part of the criminal justice system for hundreds of years:

Lancashire witches were tried here, more than 200 executions took place, and the castle was still used as a prison up until 2011.

Morecambe
Morecambe © Richard Heyes via Flickr

It still houses a working courtroom to this day.

10. Discover Beautiful Leighton Hall

A few miles outside Morecambe you'll find Leighton Hall - a romantic gothic house and the family home of the Gillow family of furniture-making fame.

Leighton Hall
Leighton Hall © John Darch [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

As you'd expect, Leighton Hall has an unrivalled collection of beautiful Gillow furniture to enjoy.

There has been a house here for nearly 800 years - it's interesting to trace its history and how it has changed during that time, and Leighton Hall's friendly and knowledgeable guides will guide you through the hall's history.

Hoad Monument and Morecambe Bay
Hoad Monument and Morecambe Bay © S.R.Miller - stock.adobe.com

The whole family will enjoy the gardens (including the 19th-century walled garden and bee corner) and woodland walk. And the kids are sure to love the adventure playground.

Events

3 Bridges 10k

Every spring the Lancaster and Morecambe athletic club hold a 10k road race over a flat, fast and scenic route, popular with local runners.

Morecambe Live Weekender

Morecambe has always been a town where live music thrives. Staged over the August Bank Holiday weekend, this music festival features tribute acts and the very best local bands, making it an unmissable event for music fans.

History

Morecambe is not a very old town - it grew around the village of Poulton-le-Sands in response to a railway line being built from Leeds and Bradford to the new harbour (now the Stone Jetty) on Morecambe Bay.

Winter Gardens
Winter Gardens © Morecambe Winter Gardens Archive

The town was named after the bay and grew quickly in the late 19th century to serve the needs of visitors who flocked to this beautiful place for fresh air and relaxation by the sea.

Visitor numbers boomed again in the 1930s as working people had more leisure time, and the town responded with new facilities including the Midland Hotel, the Lido, shops, cinemas and more.

The town remained popular through the 50s and 60s but as package holidays became popular, Morecambe, like most other seaside towns, fell into a period of decline.

Although far from the booming tourist destination of its heyday, present-day Morecambe is still a lovely place to visit, it retains the natural beauty that first made it popular, as well as the atmosphere of an English seaside resort.

Winter Gardens
Winter Gardens © Morecambe Winter Gardens Archive

Sporting Activities

Morecambe Golf Club

Morecambe Golf Club has been welcoming golfers to its beautiful seaside course for more than 100 years.

The 18 hole parkland-style course, designed by Dr Alistair MacKenzie has been developed and enhanced over the years and is regarded as one of his finest designs.

The sea-front setting offers beautiful views towards the Lakeland hills, and the evening sunsets over the bay are legendary.

Morecambe Golf Club prides itself on upholding a high standard of golf etiquette and has a dress code of "recognised golf attire and footwear only" on the course.

You can book your round on the club website. Golf buggies are also available to hire.

https://www.morecambegolfclub.com/

Cormorant statues on the Morecambe coast
Cormorant statues on the Morecambe coast © dachux21 - stock.adobe.com

Walking

There are lots of great walking routes to enjoy in and around Morecambe - here are just a couple:

Morecambe Heritage Trail

A wonderful way to explore Morecambe and get to know the town is to follow the Morecambe Heritage Trail around the town.

Conveniently the trail starts at the Visitor Information Centre where you can pick up a leaflet and a map telling you all about it.

Along the way, you'll see the Stone Jetty with its artworks and pavement games, the iconic Midland Hotel, the famous Eric Morecambe statue, the clock tower, the Winter Gardens and lots more.

This route is a great introduction to the town.

https://exploremorecambebay.org.uk/wp-content/files_mf/1548421275HeritageTrail.pdf

Morecambe Sailing Club
Morecambe Sailing Club © Ian Livesey via Flickr

Guided Cross Bay Walks

For a walking experience that's unique to Morecambe, why not book onto a guided cross bay walk?

You'll be following in the footsteps of thousands of walkers who have followed a royally appointed guide across the bay since the 1500s!

As well as its beauty and wildlife, the bay is well known for its fast-flowing tides, so walking with an experienced guide is the safe way to enjoy Morecambe Bay.

https://www.guideoversands.co.uk/

Cycling

Bay Cycle Way

Starting on Walney Island and finishing at Glasson Dock south of Lancaster, the 80 mile Bay Cycle Way is a great way to explore the Bay area on two wheels.

The route stays near to the beautiful coastline, so it's mainly relatively flat and offers many amazing coastal views.

There are a few climbs on the route, but nothing too scary and you can stop at the top and take in the well-earned view.

Consisting mainly of quiet country roads, canal towpath, greenways and promenades the Bay Cycle Way is not too challenging to ride, although at 80 miles most families will want to choose a section to ride, or split the ride over a few days.

(NB There are sections of this route on A roads and it crosses the A6 twice, please ensure this is suitable for your group and take care).

Cycling
Cycling © Hans Braxmeier via Pixabay

Way of the Roses

For keen cyclists looking for a challenging but rewarding ride, this 171-mile coast-to-coast through some of the most spectacular scenery Lancashire and Yorkshire have to offer, is hard to beat.

Travelling west to east (with the prevailing winds) you will be starting in Morecambe on the west coast and heading for Bridlington on the east.

Taking in the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Nidderdale AONB, the Vale of York and more - you're guaranteed spectacular scenery along the way.

You'll also have the chance to see many fascinating heritage sites including Lancaster Castle, Fountains Abbey, Ripon Cathedral and York Minster to name just a few.

You can find out more about the Way of the Roses here: http://wayoftheroses.info/

Boats in Morecambe Bay viewed from promenade
Boats in Morecambe Bay viewed from promenade © Malcolm - stock.adobe.com

Other Sporting Facilities

Salt Ayre Leisure Centre

Salt Ayre Leisure Centre Pool
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre - Pool © Salt Ayre Leisure Centre

In nearby Lancaster, the Salt Ayre Leisure Centre offers the opportunity for a relaxing (or energetic) swim, a gym workout and a range of spa and beauty treatments.


Salt Ayre Leisure Centre - xHeight
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre - xHeight © Salt Ayre Leisure Centre

The centre also offers indoor climbing at "XHeight" with exciting themed panels including The Race and Galaxia.

Salt Ayre Leisure Centre - The Race
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre - The Race © Salt Ayre Leisure Centre

If you're feeling brave you can tackle the Gravity tower and choose between coming down on a zip wire or a free fall where you jump from 19.5 metres!

Salt Ayre Leisure Centre - Gravity
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre - Gravity © Salt Ayre Leisure Centre

Mazuma Stadium

The Mazuma Stadium (so named after a 2020 sponsorship deal with UK mobile phone recycling company Mazuma) is home to Morecambe Football Club.

Currently playing in league one, Morecambe FC, nicknamed The Shrimps after Morecambe's speciality seafood, the club was founded in 1920.

Salt Ayre Leisure Centre Spa
Salt Ayre Leisure Centre - Spa © Salt Ayre Leisure Centre

Shopping

The Festival Market

If you fancy a couple of hours of bargain-hunting, Morecambe's covered market has more than 100 stalls offering everything from lady's and gent's fashion, toys, electronics, DVDs, cheeses, fruit and veg and lots more.

The Festival Market is also home to two cafes with a selection of homemade cakes and hot meals.

https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/sites/markets/festival-market

The Arndale Morecambe Bay

The Arndale offers a convenient shopping environment, with a range of national chains including Boots, Poundland, Iceland, Game and more.

You can also grab a bite to eat at Burger King, Greggs or Subway.

Independent Shops

Morecambe also has a range of small independent shops including Northern Chocolate, The Old Pier Bookshop, Vintage Vinyl, Edgelands Art Gallery, Little Shop of Hobbies and more.

Morecambe Bay
Morecambe Bay © Dave Noonan via Pixabay

Arts Venues

Cinema

Morecambe has its own cinema - the Reel Cinema on Central Drive.

The cinema has 4 screens, all with modern digital sound and projection systems, showing the latest blockbuster releases so you can enjoy films as they're meant to be seen.

All screens offer disabled access and wheelchair spaces.

Refreshments are also available.

The Platform

The Platform
The Platform © The Platform

Uniquely located in a converted railway station on the promenade opposite the Midland Hotel, The Platform hosts a wide range of cultural events including theatre, live music, comedy and children's shows.

The venue is fully accessible to wheelchair users (including accessible toilets), has a hearing loop and welcomes guide dogs and other service dogs.

https://www.lancaster.gov.uk/sport-and-leisure/the-platform

Morecambe Winter Gardens

One of Morecambe's most iconic buildings, the Winter Gardens are undergoing extensive restoration work to bring this 125-year-old venue back to its former glory.

Winter Gardens Centre Balcony
Winter Gardens Centre Balcony © Damian Rose

The restoration work means that the building is closed during the winter months.

Fortunately, there are still events being scheduled during the rest of the year, so the Winter Gardens continues to play an important role in Morecambe's cultural life.

Morecambe FAQ

Q. What's good about Morecambe?

A. All sorts of things! For us, the long promenade with great views across the bay really stands out. The town has a great atmosphere of a traditional seaside holiday resort, and there are still some lovely buildings like the Midland Hotel and the Winter Gardens.

There are lots of opportunities to enjoy this part of the Lancashire coast, such as cycling, walking and birdwatching. Happy Mount Park is a great place to take the kids to cool off and have fun on a hot summer's day.

Q. Has Morecambe got a pier?

A. It used to. The 912ft Morecambe Central Pier opened in 1869 having cost £10,000 to build. Expanded and improved over the years, it eventually had a pavilion/ballroom and offered roller-skating and motorboat cruises. The pier closed in 1986 and after a series of fires, it was demolished in 1992.

Q. Is there quicksand in Morecambe Bay?

A. Yes, the bay is famous for its dangerous quicksands and fast-moving tides. If you want to explore the bay on foot we recommend going as part of a guided walk with Guide Over Sands.

Q. Where is the Eden Project in Morecambe?

A. It's not built yet. Plans have been submitted to the council for a development on the site of the old Bubbles leisure complex. The Eden Project North is expected to cost £125m and to open in 2024.

Q. What are the best places to shop in Morecambe?

A. Bargain hunters should head for the Festival Market with more than 100 stalls to explore. The Arndale Morecambe Bay offers a selection of national chains. There are also lots of independent shops throughout the town.

Places to Stay

The Midland Hotel

Built by the LMS railway company in 1933 this beautiful art deco hotel is one of Morecambe's iconic buildings - so where better to stay when you're in town?

The Midland Hotel
The Midland Hotel © The Yes Man via Flickr

Fully restored to meet the expectations of 21st-century guests, the Midland boasts 44 art-deco bedrooms, many with stunning views over Morecambe Bay.

Afternoon tea at the Midland Hotel is a special event redolent of a bygone age of glamorous railway travel and days at the seaside. You almost expect an Agatha Christie character to join you for tea.

The Ravilous Rotunda Bar also makes the most of the amazing views over the bay, which you can enjoy with cocktails or a meal. Tuesdays and Thursdays are Steak Nights!

https://englishlakes.co.uk/the-midland/

The Morecambe Hotel

The Morecambe Hotel
The Morecambe Hotel © The Morecambe Hotel

A family-run grade II listed former coaching inn, the Morecambe Hotel is a great place for a family stay.

Choose from 7 en-suite rooms which have been beautifully refurbished to a luxurious standard.

The hotel has three dining areas to choose from, the Garden Room, The Snug which has a play area so it's ideal for children, and the Tack Room with its informal atmosphere.

The Morecambe Hotel
The Morecambe Hotel © The Morecambe Hotel

The cafe bar is renowned for its coffee, made with freshly-ground beans from a local supplier, but also offers a great range of alcoholic drinks.

https://www.themorecambehotel.co.uk/

The Berkeley Morecambe

If you're looking for Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Morecambe, you'll struggle to beat The Berkeley.

Conveniently located on the West Promenade, the Berkeley has fine views over the bay - ideal for enjoying the famous sunsets.

The Berkeley is a licensed bed and breakfast and has 12 en-suite bedrooms including the Sunset Suite which has a four-poster bed and wonderful sea views.

https://www.berkeleymorecambe.co.uk/

Winter Gardens 1906 postcard
Winter Gardens 1906 postcard © Morecambe Winter Gardens Archive

Places to Eat

Atkinson's Fish & Chip Restaurant

Atkinsons Chippy
Atkinsons Chippy © Atkinsons Chippy

No visit to an English seaside town like Morecambe would be complete without fish and chips! There's something about fish and chips at the seaside that make it extra tasty.

If you agree, then you'll want to seek out Atkinson's Fish & Chip Restaurant on Albert road.

Atkinsons Chippy
Atkinsons Chippy © Atkinsons Chippy

With the choice to eat on the premises or take-away, a traditional menu and friendly service, you'll be keen to return.

The Brasserie

While almost every town of any size has several Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants to choose from, not every town has a Greek restaurant, and certainly not one as good as The Brasserie in Morecambe.

Offering authentic Greek food to eat-in or take away, and lunch and evening menus available, eating at The Brasserie is a great chance to explore delicious Greek cuisine.

Morecambe Links

Morecambe information on VisitLancashire site with information on things to do and places to stay.

https://www.visitlancashire.com/explore/morecambe


Morecambe Bay website by Lancaster City Council

https://exploremorecambebay.org.uk/

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