Bring me sunshine…
Bring me sunshine
The forecast had been for a dry, sunny week which always makes everyone feel better, so we planned to take Absinthe out for the day on Friday. But where to go? We were keen to use the bikes too, so we headed to the small village of Heysham on Morecambe Bay. First priority was to find somewhere to park, but unfortunately the free car park has a barrier set at 2m, so we couldn’t quite fit in. Luckily, we managed to get a space in the car park of the Royal Hotel, so, once parked, we headed to the Curiosity Corner Cafe for coffee and a light breakfast.
Heysham has a Viking and Saxon heritage, although today more people will know it as the Ferry Port to the Isle of Man and the home of a nuclear Power Station. The National Trust’s website says that St Patrick’s Chapel possibly dates back to the mid-eighth century, or even a little later. The rectangular chapel is constructed of sandstone and measures roughly 7 meters by 2.2 meters. One of the best architectural features is the curved Anglo-Saxon style doorway. Local tradition states that St Patrick may well have come ashore here in the fifth century, after being shipwrecked off the coast, and subsequently established a small chapel. The existing chapel is thought to have been built at least two centuries later to encourage the act of pilgrimage.
Around St Patrick’s Chapel are the remains of eight rock-cut graves hewn from the headland, several of which are body shaped and have rock-cut sockets, possibly for wooden crosses. It is thought that the graves were created around the eleventh century and were used for burying very high-status individuals or to keep religious relics under a stone slabbed roof.
There’s a cycle route right round Morecambe Bay from Walney Island, Barrow in Furness to Glasson Dock, Lancaster, a distance of 81 miles, but we were only going as far as Morecambe which turned out to about 9 miles, there and back.
You can’t visit the town without stopping off to see Eric Morecambe’s statue. Unveiled by the Queen in 1999, the slightly larger than life-sized statue depicts Eric Morecambe in one of his characteristic poses with a pair of binoculars around his neck (he was a keen ornithologist). The statue was made by Graham Ibbeson and is set against the stunning backdrop of Morecambe Bay and the Lake District hills, and people queue to have their photo taken alongside it. The statue and the arena below it are equally sensational at night, with superb lighting effects bathing the area.
The promenade and pier areas have undergone lots of work to try and attract visitors and it was all looking great on such a lovely spring-like day.
We cycled as far as Happy Mount Park, a place we used to visit as a family every couple of years, when I was a small boy. It was quite a trip from our home in Middlesbrough and, frankly, the park was always a bit of a disappointment, but seeing it again brought back quite a few memories.
After a quick brew and a KitKat we cycled back to the van and drove home after a brilliant day. Let’s hope we get more sun soon, so we can get out again.
I used the DashCam/SatNav to make a video of our drive back – it’s not GoPro quality but here’s the video anyway:
Things We’ve Learned
Sunshine makes people smile
Visiting new places on our doorstep is great
Electric bikes are worth every penny of the extra cost
Toasted fruit loaf for breakfast might be the future
There’s a full set of photos here: FLICKR
Looks like a wonderful day out. All power to Morcambe and Bellamy!