I moved up to Lancaster 15 years ago as a mature student studying Environmental Science. I then stayed on for a Masters and a PhD, and then I met Helen and her silly Pointer Nelly. We’ve been married for over five years now, and it is highly unlikely that we’ll ever move away from Lancaster.
Lancaster is a great city with loads going on, theatres, restaurants and museums, but what about the adjoining town of Morecambe. Often maligned, as many down on their luck seaside resorts are. However, Morecambe is on the up, with a whole range of exciting things to see and do. So without further ado, here is my list of five things to love about Morecambe.
The Midland Hotel
Built in 1932, The Midland Hotel is a magnificent example of an art deco building, lovingly restored and reopened in 2008. Arguably the starting point for the renaissance of Morecambe. The hotel has been used for various episodes of the TV series Agatha Christie’s Poirot. The hotel has an inside bar serving exotic cocktails and a restaurant overlooking the bay, which is also used for breakfast.
The Old Pier Bookshop
Possibly the greatest second hand bookshop in the northwest. A veritable treasure trove full of books waiting to be discovered. An Aladdin’s cave full of nooks and cranny’s, jammed floor to ceiling, and just when you think you’ve browsed everything, you will discover another room off to one side. It’s very easy to lose yourself for an hour or two. I have yet to leave without an armful of books.
Opening times and days can be random, but there are always tables overloaded with books out front when open, and most days they are open from 11am.
Eric Morecambe’s Statue
No visit to Morecambe would be complete with a visit to Eric’s statue, a man synonymous with the town and who definitely doesn’t need further introduction. In the summer don’t be surprised to see queues of people waiting to take their picture with Eric, generally making the same pose from their end of show song and dance. Also take note of the amazing views across the Bay towards the Lake District. On a sunny day it is possible to see the Isle of Man.
The statue is also the official start of the popular Way of the Roses cycle route. 170 miles, quite hilly in places, which goes from Morecambe to Bridlington. Unsupported cyclists generally complete it in three days, and those lucky enough to have a support van following them, complete it in two days.
The Eden Project
You’ve read that correctly. The famous Eden Project in Cornwall is expanding, and a version of the Eden Project will be built two minutes walk from The Midland. This is without doubt one of the most exciting developments for a long time, which will also provide hundreds of jobs in the area. At a cost of £125m it won’t be a poor man’s relative of the original. It is due to open in 2024, and will be on the site of the former Dome theatre. I saw The Fall perform there many years ago. They were as expected. Currently the site isn’t used for much, apart from the occasional funfair. I am incredibly excited to visit, as the Cornish Eden Project is a very long drive away from the north west.
Morecambe Prom Parkrun
Lastly, there is the free weekly timed parkrun. Starting at 9am every Saturday, this flat and fast 5km run is out and back along the prom, passing The Midland, The Eden Project (once open), Eric’s Statue and The Old Pier Bookshop, before you turn around and pass them all again. It can be a bit windy, and the distance from The Midland to the finish line is further than you expect, however, the prom is wide, so you don’t have to push or shove your way to the front if you want to try to set a pb. With an average turnout of 235 runners each week, of all speeds and abilities, you won’t feel out of place. Feel free to take your time and enjoy the views, and be amazed at just how fast the leading runners are going as they past you in the other direction.
I truly believe that Morecambe is a great town. It has been down on it’s luck, like many resorts, for a number of years. There are also some very deprived areas, and if you walk a couple of streets away from the prom you will see plenty of examples. Don’t let this put you off, and don’t just drive on past on your way up the The Lakes, stop for a day, a weekend, or like me, 15 years and counting.
Do mention the fantastic views.
Don’t mention Blobbyland.