We were spoilt for choice when it came to selecting these ten walks in Morecambe and Lancaster. With only four miles separating them a visit can easily take in the best of what both have to offer. And for the keen walkers, why not travel the distance on foot? At less than an hour and a half each way, it’s perfectly possible for seasoned walkers willing to make a day of it.
Our picks deliver culture, historical sites, good food and shops, and places to stay. Topping our list is SHIP, a stunning outdoor sculpture by the artist Anna Gillespie which sits on the threshold between land and sea. You’ll find the sculpture at Half Moon Bay, just over three miles south of Morecambe Bay. The walk will take you along right along the edge of the spectacular coastline which this part of the world is known for.
Lancaster city centre itself is also a great place to explore by foot. We’ve selected Lancaster Castle and The Grand Theatre as our must-see spots, and these can also be anchor points for a day exploring the city. You can choose to walk to the River Lune which snakes its way through the north of the city, or venture east to Williamson park and enjoy the woodland walks there.
In case you want to make a longer trip of it, we’ve included our hotel and restaurant picks. Why not make like Coco Chanel who (apparently!) stayed at Morecambe’s Midland Hotel? Or enjoy fine French cuisine on the banks of the River Lune courtesy of Quite Simply French? Bon appetit!
Whether you want to mooch round a historical city centre or embark on a bracing coastal walk, these two neighbouring places can deliver. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to enjoy all the walks that Morecambe and Lancaster have to offer!
Here are our picks
SHIP at Half Moon Bay, DECO PUBLIQUE, 3 Northumberland Street, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 4AU - Visit now
Rising from the shoreline at Heysham’s Half Moon Bay, SHIP is a stunning outdoor sculpture by the artist Anna Gillespie. Situated at the threshold between land and sea, SHIP celebrates both Morecambe’s incredible landscape and the town’s long maritime heritage: it has a natural backdrop of shifting tides, with the sun setting on the horizon behind it, but also overlooks Heysham Port, a point of arrival on the coast for the earliest Roman and Viking settlers, which is still used today. A great focal point for a walk taking in Morecambe’s coastline.
Bay Cycle Way, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA44BU - Visit now
Known as a great introduction to long-distance cycling, the full length of the Bay Cycle Way comprises 128.8km of fairly flat cycling with incredible coastal views, world-ranking historical sites, lesser-spotted wildlife and traditional local food along the route. At one end is Walney Island near Barrow, at the other Glasson Dock with views of the Lune Estuary’s salt marshes. In between is a relatively gentle cycle past some of the UK’s most beautiful coastline, passing through Morecambe Bay. Of course, for those looking for a walk rather than a cycle, the route offers a great way to chart a course along this magnificent coastline.
The Grand Theatre, Lancaster, St Leonardgate, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1NL - Visit now
Opened in 1782 during the reign of King George III, the Lancaster Grand Theatre has been in near continuous operation for over 230 years. Tours of the theatre include a chance to stand on the stage in the auditorium, which has a circular balcony and rich plasterwork, as well as venturing behind scenes backstage. From it’s location on Lodge Street, the Grand Theatre is a great place to start a walk around the city. Head north to walk along the River Lune, or south to find yourself in the thick of Lancaster’s commercial centre.
Lancaster Castle, Castle Parade, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1YJ - Visit now
What would a walk around Lancaster be without a trip to its castle? Occupying a hilltop position at the centre of Lancaster, the Grade I listed Lancaster Castle dates back almost 1,000 years. That said, the site was a fully functioning HM Prison until 2011, and continues to operate as a Crown Court today – reputedly the longest continually sitting in the country. The courtyards of Lancaster Castle are open to the visiting public but access inside the buildings is only available as part of a guided tour. From its elevated position, however, the castle is also a great spot to get your bearings before heading downhill into the city centre.
Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Marine Rd W, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 4BU - Visit now
Tired from all the fresh air you’ve been taking in as you explore the Morecambe coastline? Why not stay a night at the Midland Hotel, prehaps one of the most recognisable buildings on the shorefront! Now Grade II listed, The Midland was originally designed to be one of the most ambitious and progressive buildings of its time. The architect was Oliver Hill, who saw an opportunity to create the first really modern hotel of the 1930s. What better place to rest your feet, while following in the footsteps of previous guests including Coco Chanel, Sir Laurence Olivier and Noel Coward?
The Old Pier Bookshop, 287 Marine Road Central, Morecambe, Lancashire, LA4 5BY - Visit now
The much loved independent Old Pier Bookshop on Morecambe’s shorefront is family run and almost proudly disorganised. It’s a veritable warren of second hand books; the online estimate stands at over 100,000, although how anyone could possibly count them all is another question. Organised loosely by theme, the bookshelves are unlabelled and waist-level piles of novels can be found on the floor – however, the owner (known as Mr Bookshop) is said to be able to pinpoint volumes with unnerving accuracy when asked. Be sure to drop in and put this to the test as you walk through Morecambe!
GB Antiques Centre, Lancaster Leisure Park, Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 3LA - Visit now
A short walk from Lancaster city centre, and just beyond Williamson Park, sits GB Antiques. Family run for over 30 years, the vast centre hosts 120 individual antiques and collectables dealers, all spread out over 40,000 square feet. Each dealer has their own specialism – including antique furniture, glassware, kitchen paraphernalia, pottery, memorabilia, toys and more, so there should be someone who’s an authority on whatever item you’re looking for. The collection at GB Antiques Centre also spans almost every era, from Edwardian oak furniture right up to recent classics such as Snoopy, the Smurfs and Dr Who. Definitely walk the short walk, we think!
Port of Lancaster Smokehouse, West Quay, Glasson Dock, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA2 0DB - Visit now
If you’re looking for somewhere to kick back and enjoy some good food after exploring Lancaster, look no further than the Port of Lancaster Smokehouse, the proud winner of numerous Great Taste Awards for its beautifully smoked fish, meat and cheese products. The shop stands in the historic Glasson Dock village, which is the starting point for the 128.8km Bay Cycle Way route. The harbour here dates back to 1787 and sits on the estuary of the River Lune. Amongst their much garlanded products are Morecambe Bay potted shrimps – great food with minimal food miles.
Lancaster Brewery, Lancaster Leisure Park, Wyresdale Road, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 3LA - Visit now
We all know that a good walk ends with a good pub. Or, even better, a whole brewery. Lancaster Brewery is unusual in its approach to beer, which is stocked in pubs across the UK as well as internationally. There are at least five of the brewery’s own beers available at the Brewhouse & Tap at any one time, alongside a wide range of wines, spirits, coffees, teas and soft drinks. Best of all, there’s a beer garden and marquee with a capacity to seat almost 200 people, so you’ll be sure to find a nice spot to relax.
Quite Simply French, 27a St Georges Quay, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1RD - Visit now
As you walk along the River Lune, you might spot a building dating from 1750 with a double height front entrance. This would be Quite Simply French, a fine French restaurant with boutique rooms in an old converted house. The restaurant has been awarded 5* by The AA and Visit England, and the menu is seasonal and changes every day. If you want to treat yourself after walking around Lancaster, Quite Simply French would deliver you delicious food as well as a delightful nights stay. Bon appetit!