Walking the Lancashire Coast

by Christine Saul

Walking the Lancashire Coast Path was a pleasant surprise with wide variety: every day offered something different in terms of terrain, interest and history. The walk will have extra appeal if you are interested in bird watching, as there’s plenty of estuary walking and birdlife to enjoy.

Setting out along Lancashire’s coast

The Lancashire Coast Path starts from Arnside Pier, with views of the Kent Viaduct and across the Kent Estuary to the Lakeland Fells, and initially follows the estuary shoreline before climbing up on to a woodland path above the shore around Arnside Point to Silverdale.

Views across the muddy flats and flat waters of the Kent Estuary on the Lancashire Coast Path.

The next point is Jenny Browns Point, where you pass ‘The Chimney on the Shore’, believed to have been built in the 1780’s and used to purify metal ore.

You bypass the outskirts of Carnforth and Bolton-le-Sands along paths through saltmarsh following the shoreline of Morecambe Bay Nature Reserve, which features information boards, bird sculptures and views across Morecambe Bay.

A stone chimney stands on a rocky beach.
A plaque depicting local wildlife stands beside a sandy trail through green fields.
Two walkers pose in front of a metal statue of a wading bird.

After a walk along a pebble beach at Hest Bank, you arrive on the promenade into Morecambe. There’s a great sculpture of the Lakeland Fells and you’ll find the famous Eric Morecambe statue just after the Clock Tower.

The Lakeland fels are depicted with a series of ascent profiles cast in artistic rusty steel.
The famous Eric Morecambe statue stands with Morecambe Bay behind.

The walk out of Morecambe

From Morecambe, the next destination is Heysham, where it’s well worth a detour to St Patrick’s Church and Glebe Garden before reaching the remains of the National Trust-owned St Patrick’s Chapel on Chapel Hill. Here also are the stone graves which were featured on the Best of Black Sabbath album cover.

Graves cut into the rock at Heysham have filled up with rainwater and reflect the sky.

Next, Heysham Wildlife Reserve cleverly disguises and takes you around Heysham Power Station. A slight detour inland has you arrive back on the coast through saltmarsh again, heading for the pretty tidal hamlet of Sunderland, its causeway road cutting it off at high tide twice daily.

Views across the estuary and the tidal flats near Sunderland.

Another short detour just before Sunderland allows you to view a Horizon Line Chamber and Sambos Grave, a memorial to the immoral slave trade of the 18th century.

Varied walking around Lancaster

Next, it’s inland across pastureland to reach Overton; more shoreline walking around Bazil Point, with great views across the Lune Estuary; and then briefly inland again before following the Lune Estuary into Lancaster.

Sheep wander along the path ahead.

A suspension bridge spans the Lune Estuary.

The Lancashire Coast Path follows the opposite side of the Lune Estuary out of Lancashire, walking along a flood bank through Morecambe Bay SSSI. Then the Lancashire Coast Path follows an old railway line track — the Lune Estuary Cycleway — alongside the estuary to Glasson, with its thriving port and marina and a very nice cafe.

Intertwining inland and coastal hiking

Further farmland walking brings you back to the coast again and past Lighthouse Cottage, where the last remaining female lighthouse keepers lived, along an old sea wall with views over Cockerham Sands and past the ruins of Cockersand Abbey alongside the Cocker Channel.

A brightly painted barn depicting the Farm Yard Brew Co logo.
Walkers sit at tables drinking beer in front of a green metal barn.

Some inland walking down a quiet lane brings you past a very pleasant surprise if you like your beer: an independent farm brewery in the middle of nowhere (open Thurs-Sun) with picnic tables, a tap room and street food. Well worth a stop to refresh.

Shortly afterwards, you reach the Lane Ends Amenity Area, and from here you walk along the Pilling flood bank beside Pilling Sands before following the sea wall alongside Preesall Sands to Knot End-on-Sea. A short ferry ride takes you across the River Wyre to Fleetwood.

An old life ring stands at the side of the trail.
Views from the jetty across the River Wyre, with the tiny passenger ferry arpproaching.
Blackpool Tower stands over the famous Comedy Carpet, printed with jokes by famous comedians.

Contrasting spaces

From Fleetwood it’s promenade mainly to your next destination, Cleveleys, with its mythical Mary’s Shell and Ogre sculptures on the beach.

Then onwards to the seaside resort of Blackpool with its three piers and the famous Blackpool Tower constantly in view ahead.

Enjoy reading the Comedy Carpet outside Blackpool Tower as you pass, plus all the delights Blackpool has to offer along Blackpool’s Golden Mile.

The final leg from Blackpool is a complete contrast, with sandy beach walks towards St Annes on Sea and its Victorian Pier and onwards via saltmarsh and sea wall with views over the Ribble Estuary alongside Lytham’s mile-long Green to Lytham Windmill and the lovely town of Lytham.

Sandy dunes near Lytham.
A whitewashed old-style windmill stands on the Lancashire Coast Path.

Contours Holidays pride ourselves on our expert knowledge of the UK’s trails. We regularly set out to check our routes and directions and to make improvements on the holidays we offer. You can find several write-ups of staff expeditions in our Trail Diaries.

Interested in walking the Lancashire Coast Path yourself?

Contours Holidays offer self-guided holidays along the Lancashire Coast Path. Our self-guided tours cover the full 77 miles from Arnside to Lytham, with daily accommodation and luggage transfer included. Find your perfect itinerary here:

Originally published 01/01/24

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