In the 19th century the three fishing villages of Bare, Poulton and Torrisholme collectively became known as Morecambe. With the arrival of the railway in 1848, and visitors from the textile towns of Lancashire and Yorkshire, the town began to develop as a thriving holiday resort.
In the 1980s and 90s the town went into decline, with most of the bucket-and-spade brigade preferring Spain or Blackpool. Noel Edmonds’ World of Crinkley Bottom closed in 1994, just 13 weeks after opening, and the Frontierland theme park shut its doors in 1999.
Attractions & Things To Do
Over recent years Morecambe has begun to bounce back. The rejuvenation started with Tern Project, the redesign and reconstruction of the Promenade.
Regeneration has seen numerous pieces of public art installed around the town. Much of the work is inspired by Morecambe Bay, the UK’s largest estuary and an area rich in bird life. The most famous piece though, is a statue honouring the town’s most famous son, Eric Morecambe.
Despite its beauty, Morecambe Bay is extremely dangerous. The shifting water channels and quicksand have been responsible for many deaths over the years, including 23 Chinese cockle pickers in 2004. The only safe way to cross the bay is to take part in one of the organised Cross Bay Walks, led by the Cedric Robinson, Queen’s Guide to the Sands. Details of walks are available from the Morecambe Tourist Information Centre.
The town centre boasts numerous attractions including the Apollo Cinema, Superbowl bowling alley, and the Megazone laser arena. To its east Happy Mount Park offers a wealth of attractions that will appeal to families and children.
The Platform is the town’s main performing arts and entertainment venue. It hosts a varied programme of events ranging from comedy shows and theatrical performances to music concerts and dance shows. A detailed events listing is available on the Lancaster City Council website.
Morecambe Football Club, nicknamed The Shrimps, is the town’s professional football team. They play their home fixtures at the Globe Arena, a new 6,000 capacity stadium in the Westgate area of the town.
Morecambe’s iconic art deco hotel, the Midland, reopened in 2008 after a multi-million pound refurbishment by developers Urban Splash. Other popular accommodation options in the town include the Clarendon Hotel and the Balmoral Guest House.
Shops & Shopping Centres
Morecambe Festival Market is home to almost 100 stalls, selling a diverse range of products. Market days are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimps are a traditional Lancastrian delicacy famous around the world. They are still caught locally, boiled in butter, and then sealed with butter and packed into pots. Suppliers include James Baxter & Son on Thornton Road and the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse at Glasson Dock.
To get to Morecambe by car, simply leave the M6 motorway at Junction 33, 34 or 35 and follow the signs.
There are numerous car parks in the town centre. A full list is available on the Lancaster City Council website.
The Festival Market long-stay car park is close to many of the town’s attractions (Platform, Morecambe Superbowl, Apollo Cinema, Midland Hotel etc). It’s situated on Central Drive.
Blackpool International Airport is the nearest airport to Morecambe (40 miles by road) but offers few services. More flights and destinations are offered at Manchester Airport (68 miles by road) and Liverpool John Lennon Airport (73 miles by road).
Morecambe train station is located in the town centre (address and postcode: Central Drive, Morecambe LA4 4DW).
Northern Rail operates a local service between Lancaster and Morecambe that calls at Bare (convenient for Happy Mount Park). The company also operates trains between Leeds and Morecambe. These also stop at Lancaster.
The train from Morecambe to Lancaster takes around 10 minutes.
Lancaster is on the West Coast Mainline. Trains depart from here for Carlisle, Preston, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Manchester Airport, Wigan, Warrington, and many other destinations.