The historic city of Lancaster and the seaside town of Morecambe are situated less than four miles apart, connected by a nine minute train ride – or a short cycle along the first stretch of coast-to-coast bike route The Way of the Roses. Two very different destinations, Lancaster and Morecambe nevertheless compliment one another: where Lancaster’s streets are a mix of buildings rich with history and cultural ambition, Morecambe has the advantage of views across Morecambe Bay; it’s a natural amphitheatre for astonishing sunsets that has been a draw for visitors since the Victorian era. A trip to Lancaster to discover the gripping events that once took place inside Lancaster Castle’s ancient walls wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Morecambe for a walk along the promenade – and afternoon tea in the iconic setting of The Midland hotel.
Lancaster is one of only 13 places in England with Heritage City status – the site of the Pendle witch trials, home to a port on the River Lune that was once one of the busiest in Britain and to a theatre that dates back to the reign of King George III. Morecambe was formerly an escape from the Victorian mills and mines, with leisure-oriented buildings such as the Winter Gardens built along the waterfront. Both city and town wear their history well: in Lancaster, a coffee company dating back to 1837 is now a thriving shop and roastery, and Morecambe is host to hugely popular annual events Vintage by the Sea and Catch the Wind Kite Festival, each reinventing the town’s retro appeal for modern audiences. Perhaps the most exciting next leap forwards is the planned opening of the Eden Project North in Morecambe, but these are both places that continue to evolve into the 21st century – and reward the ready explorer.