I have travelled to a few places in the world and watched plenty of sunsets, but it is very difficult to beat some of those seen on the North-West Coast of England. We are lucky enough to have many beautiful coastal towns and villages on our doorsteps.
One of those wonderful towns I particularly enjoy visiting is Morecambe. It is often underrated compared to some of its coastal neighbours, but I think it is amazing and I’m not alone. I love walking there and on a lovely sunny day I can spend hours ambling along the sea front, but it’s great for cycling (see the Bay Cycle Way) and running too. On a clear day, the sights across the bay are spectacular
and I always manage to find something interesting to see or do while I am there. I found this little part of the world particularly rejuvenating and refreshing while battling the effects of chemotherapy a few years ago and it’s nice to return time and again to get that all important exercise and fresh air. It’s good for the soul.
Morecambe has had a history full of ups and downs, some magic and some deeply tragic. It has experienced two lost piers through storm and fire, closures to pools and fairgrounds and on 5thFebruary 2004 there was huge loss of life in the Bay when sadly, over twenty Chinese immigrants at work harvesting cockles were drowned by the notoriously dangerous incoming tide. It is a town of immense resilience.
Morecambe Bay has the largest expanse of intertidal mudflats and sands in the UK. The Bay came to be in the last ice age when retreating glaciers dumped sediment up to 80m deep. Sea levels subsequently rose to create the Bay and the ebbing tide can actually retreat as far as 12km. The bay, therefore is an everchanging sea-scape, which makes it beautiful but dangerous. The bay stretches from the south west coast of Cumbria to Fleetwood. The scenery is spectacular as you get to take in a full panorama of the wide open sands, fells of the Lake District and gorgeous limestone headlands that surround the area.
We walked across Morecambe Bay from Hest Bank to Humphrey Head in 2014. Of course, we didn’t do this alone due to the unpredictable tides and the famous ‘quick sand’ that I didn’t want to disappear beneath, so we registered on a guided walk with ‘The Queen’s Guide’ Cedric Robinson. It is ESSENTIAL that you are on a guided walk as the risk you run is your life.
Be prepared to protect yourself against the weather and that you wear sensible footwear. Comfortable, old trainers are recommended instead of expensive walking boots. In some parts, the sand has formed ridges and can be quite painful to walk across after a few miles with just barefeet. For us it was hot and sunny so, sun cream and hats were required – there is NO shelter at all. In the rain, I can’t imagine that it’s very pleasant unless you have your water proofs. Even on sunny days, you will still get wet through when you make the Kent Channel crossing! Crossing the channel was a fab experience and I will never forget it. I would advise that you dry off after crossing the water as it is very salty and can chafe your skin if it remains on your wet clothes (ouch). You will get wet up to your waist in parts of this walk and the current is very strong. A tractor will come out for this point of your walk and can drive you through the water if you don’t want to walk through it and my daughter took this option. Take snacks, plenty of water, and a towel. Shorts or trousers that you can roll up are advised. Don’t underestimate the walk. It may be flat but it’s quite tough and salty! You need to be reasonably fit and agile.
The walk is just over nine miles with absolutley GORGEOUS scenery, vistas, rolling pastures, small peninsulas and of course, the bay itself. You can actually see for miles and miles on end. I am not sure if the exact same route we did still operates, but there are about thirty walks you can be guided on across the Bay. We finished at Humphrey Head which is a whale shaped, limestone outcrop that is really important for its wildlife and geology, where you can (in Summer) see the grassland plants in flower and several species of bird including curlew, redshank and peregrines.
The walks across the bay take place between May and September and book up VERY fast, so make sure you don’t miss out! I whole heartedly recommend that this goes on everyone’s bucket list right now!
Morecambe has seen a recent revival and has plenty of tourist attractions to keep people of all ages entertained. There is literally so much to see and do even if you’re not just into walking. There is so much to take in, in this ace seaside town. There is recent talk in the news about fantastic plans to build the next ‘Eden Project’ in Morecambe which would be simply wonderful for the region.
With amazing sunsets, a fascinating RNLI station that has won awards for gallantry, the famous statue of comedy legend, Eric Morecambe, festivals/events galore, the gorgeous Midland Hotel, Happy Mount Park, a wonderful promenade with sandy beaches, play parks, cafes, sculptures and monuments and all the surrounding beauty including views across to the Lake District (there is a sculpture identifying the visible peaks too!) Morecambe is an absolute must visit!
All of life is based on timing