Saturday, 14 September 2013


During the first week of my leave at the end of August, Chickpea and I had a day out in Morecambe. It's been a long time since I last visited: in fact, I think I was still primary school age so that's more than 30 years ago. My family holidayed almost every year in nearby Blackpool with its tower, piers and bright lights. My Dad's sister and her family, however, preferred Morecambe so, one summer, we joined them. We stayed in a caravan near the railway line and the highlight of the holiday (and the only thing I clearly remember) was planting an apple pip under the trees at the back of the caravan and wondering if it would grow. My only other memory is that everything shut at 5pm and there was absolutely nothing to do. So, Morecambe, are you going to redeem yourself?

Morecambe is, unsurprisingly, situated on Morecambe Bay and lies a few miles south of Arnside which I wrote about back in April. The Bay has the largest expanse of mudflats in the UK and is notorious for its quicksands and fast tides. When we arrived the tide was just starting to go out though I think this pebbly beach is uncovered even at high tide.

The first thing we noticed were all the bird sculptures which are part of the Tern Project of artwork all along the promenade. These cormorants are part of 'Rock Islands'.

More cormorants stand on the railings along the stone jetty. This one looks out north across the Bay with the towns and hills of Cumbria curving all along the horizon.

This 'funny' joke was part of the Tongue Twisters section.

'Mythical Bird'.

At the end of the jetty is a small disused lighthouse which dates from 1855 and a building which is now a cafe.

Back along the prom, we came across a flock of unidentified birds all of which had shiny heads: it was impossible to resist stroking them, they were so tactile.

Nearby, lapwings were flying over the play area.

However, the sculpture we'd really come all this way to see is this one of Eric Morecambe. When I was younger the Morecambe and Wise show was one of my family's favourite programmes. Who can forget the famous breakfast sketch? And how many of you did the skippy thing that the lovely Eric is doing here to 'Bring me sunshine' during the end credits? I couldn't find a decent video of them performing that song so here's one of them singing Positive Thinking instead. Lovely, lovely memories, and my Dad still wiggles his glasses up and down and puts them on skew-whiff like Eric did.

And did we take photos of each other doing the pose? Of course we did :)

The other thing we came to see was the Art Deco Midland Hotel which reopened in 2008 after being fully restored.

There's a history of the hotel and pictures of it in its heyday on the Friends site.

We should have taken longer to have a proper nosy around but were so hungry we just headed straight to the Rotunda Bar for tea and sandwiches. We did get to admire the architecture of the room and the view of the sea while we ate though.

After lunch we headed back out for a walk. At the north end of the promenade, the pebbly beach gives way to golden sand. You'd have expected this beach to have been a lot busier given it was the middle of the school holidays and a lovely sunny day, but everywhere was very quiet.

We came across quite a few boats which had seen better days. Not much use for sailing but great for photos.

Luckily some were in better condition, though this boat wasn't going anywhere as the tide had gone out by this point, leaving it stranded on the mud flats. As the water recedes, you can see why people might be tempted to walk across the sands to the far shore.

However, beware, there are all kinds of danger, some hidden and some very obvious. There is an official Queen's Guide to the Sands, Cedric Robinson, who has been leading groups of people across the sands for 50 years. He uses 'brobs' or laurel branches to mark out the route. You can read a recent newspaper article about him here.

Back at our starting point on the pebble beach, I had a last look around to see what I could uncover and to choose a few treasures to bring home. At the start of the day I'd said to Chickpea that my aim was to find one of those elusive heart-shaped stones.

Well, it was clearly my lucky day as I uncovered this little pink heart along with some sea glass and a few shells.

So, did Morecambe redeem itself? I so want to say yes but, in truth, although efforts are being made to revive the town, it has a long way to go. It's such a shame really as this part of the coast is truly stunning with those wide open views. Having said that, we did enjoy our day and could have spent more time investigating the Tern Project sculptures, walking along the coast or simply sitting on the beach and taking in the views. Maybe Morecambe has something after all.


  1. I think you sold Morecambe quite well, but I visited there for the first time about two years ago when we stayed with Dave's dad and I really didn't like it - we didn't stay for long!

  2. OH, JULIE!!! I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this post, where do I begin?
    I have seen photos of this area from...was it Attic 24? And just fell in love with it,and now you show me more!
    From the first photo, does that end with "I think I'll stay"? I don't know it, but it looks as if that is what it should say!
    I love heart shapes too! Do you see the heart on the front of the boat, where the paint has chipped?
    My Richard will love this post too, can't wait to show this to him! He loves Morecambe & Wise too, I think I might have them on a Youtube clip on my blog somewhere!
    Is it okay if I do a link to this post sometime this week? I LOVE it so!! xx
    (Oh! And I just did a post about my son's band, check it out when you can!)

    1. Hi Kay,
      Yes,Lucy/Attic24 has posted about Arnside and the area around there recently. And yes, the poem does end with 'I think I'll stay'. I looked it up and it was written by a local poet. It was part of a walk called the 'Flock of Words' and there's a web site with all of the other poems/sayings (
      I hadn't noticed the heart shape on the boat until you pointed it out - well spotted! xx

  3. Oh what a lovely visit. The views are fantastic - and I'm glad you found a heart shaped stone. I know people that have lots of them, I've not found one yet.

  4. I visited Morecambe as a child and loved it ...thank you for taking me back there. The bird sculptures are fabulous. Love your heart shaped pebble too.
    Marianne x

  5. Hi Julie! I enjoyed visiting Morecambe through your eyes! Great photos. I know mudflats only too well! Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where I was born once was called Mud Creek, and the mudflats there are very dangerous. My mother's family comes from the Annapolis Basin on the Bay of Fundy which has the highest tides in the world and unbelievable mudflats. I think they're icky, but my mom used to love to roll in the mudflats as a girl! So your post brought back many memories. That Breakfast Skit must really be famous ~ I've actually seen it, and it is hysterical! Have a good one!

  6. Great photos and beautiful views of Morecambe.

  7. I've never been to Morecambe but just recently a friend was telling me how beautiful the coastline is and how I should go. And the coastline certainly is stunning if your photos are anything to go by. x

  8. I live near Morecambe and you have made it look lovely. The prom is a nice place to walk and the view is splendid across the Bay. There are good points to Morecambe but also bad - please visit for the wildlife and the prom but be aware that the town is run down so I don't want you to come away with a poor impression because of the town. The northern end of the coast, called Bare, is the quietest but 'classy' end - there is no tourist bits there, a few cafes and a nice Crescent of local shops, but I think if are are coming for the walk or the views Bare is perhaps the best place to head.