Wednesday 21 July 2010


The next time my Dad says “such and such is a nice town to visit” double check on wikipedia. If said town comes up as the 3rd most crap town in the UK, like Morecambe did, don’t go. Don’t check like I did whilst eating in KFC after a desultory half hour walk round the town. It is too darn late and the other half is already complaining about being taken to a godforsaken town.

Morecambe is an essentially down at heel northern seaside town, who's golden days are well and truly gone. It’s not gaudy like Blackpool and it’s certainly not like Rhyl. Now Rhyl is scary and can only be described as post nuclear hell version of Blackpool where you should drive through - very quickly. Anyway back to Morecambe, it’s clear the council have been trying regenerate the area, but to little effect. They need to pull down the 60s shopping precinct and do some shop frontage updates on the prom shops.

It really didn’t help it was a cloudy, windy July day – so it wasn’t exactly going to draw in the tourists by the coach load. The elderly, the obese on mobility scooters and pregnant single mums pushing prams populated Morecambe that day. It was certainly not the Brighton of the north. Having been in Brighton I can testify to that fact, although something has to be said for the place not being full of hipster wanker types that inhabit Brighton.

Morecambe is obviously known for the Eric Morecambe statue, which was rather incongruous on the prom with the dog walkers and the elderly on their afternoon stroll. There was a stone jetty jutting out into Morecambe Bay, which would have had fabulous views of the south Lakeland hills if it hadn’t been so overcast. On the jetty there were rather surreal ornamental birds perched along it looking out to sea. This was rather disconcerting for the evil seagulls (all seagulls are evil by the way they are killers and cannibals – it another story) as they were confused by them and flew off. This had a positive effect of keeping the jetty free of bird poo.

I’d like to find something positive about the place. On a clear day the views would be stunning. The Midland Hotel is a beautiful art deco hotel and is clearly the nicest place to go in Morecambe and it puts anything Brighton has to offer in the shade. Also the Lifeboat Station is a rather lovely modern build, which compliments the hotel.

However on the charity shop front there were very poor pickings. Everything donated appeared to be from the little old ladies who populate the town or the families of recently deceased little old ladies. No one appears to read books or listens to music as those sections were very bare. Although in one charity shop there was a rather giddy lady, which was a change from the ladies that stare and glare from behind the counters at prospective customers who then often hot foot it out of the shops without making a purchase.

After our trip we mentioned it on Facebook and there was one person who tried to valiantly defend the charms of Morecambe. They mentioned the delight of the Midland Hotel (agree), a 1920s style ice cream parlour (didn’t find), gorgeous views (on a good day for certain), lots of charity shops (yes, but they were crap), a large second hand bookstore (saw it but had already lost the will to live at that point to take any interest) and a fab tapas bar (I’ll take your word for it.) However there were many others who mentioned how drab and depressing the place had become.

On the whole, if you are planning to take a day trip, Morecambe is not the place to go. Maybe it’s worth a pit stop to take in the views and have a nice ice cream (if you can find the nice shop), or spend a night in the Midland Hotel, however for sanity purposes make your stay brief and head to Lancaster instead.

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