Find time to discover Heysham
Heysham is an area of land on the Morecambe Bay side of the Heysham peninsula. Heysham Head has the only sea cliffs between Cumbria and North Wales, and the adjacent coastal strip is largely unspoilt.
The beautiful village of Heysham retains many of its stone-built cottages dating back to the 17th century. The church of St. Peter’s has a stunning location, overlooking Morecambe Bay, and nearby on the headland, can be found the ruins of St. Patrick’s Chapel dating from about the 8th century. The headland itself is managed by the National Trust and access is free.
You can find images of old Heysham on our images page, including photos showing Heysham Head when it was an entertainment centre, although sadly this no longer exists. There is a famous vista over pastoral land to the sea and Lakeland mountains. The renowned artist, J M W Turner, visited Heysham in 1816 and made several sketches which in 1818 he used as a basis for his painting Heysham and Cumberland Mountains (available as a greetings card from the Heritage Centre).
Less than 10 minutes drive from Morecambe, Heysham makes a great day out. Directions to Heysham can be found on the Heysham Heritage Centre page. The promenade is also a great way to travel by foot or cycle into Heysham from Morecambe or Hest Bank.
South of Heysham is the old village of Overton and further across a salt marsh road, blocked for part of the day on high spring tides, is the remote hamlet of Sunderland Point, where the most visited site is Sambo’s Grave. An account of Sunderland Point was published by HHA i The Heysham Peninsula (2000); it is available as a download pdf: click here. The cover of The Heysham Peninsula features the watercolour painting of part of Sunderland Point by William Wells with permission (see right).
Heysham Harbour is about a mile south of the village and from there are daily ferry services to the Isle of Man operated by the 180 year old Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
Places to visit & things to do in Heysham
Heysham Heritage Centre - Visit us to find out more about the history of Heysham
St. Peter’s Church - Grade I listed building retaining Anglo-Saxon features and the Hogback Stone (for Parish website click here)
St. Patrick’s Chapel and The Barrows - chapel ruins dating from the 8th or 9th century with nearby rock cut graves, on land now owned by the National Trust, known as the Barrows.
Heysham has other old buildings of interest. Local tradition has it that part of the Royal Hotel was built in the early 16th Century originally as a grain store; we do not know which part nor are we aware of evidence to support this tradition. Heysham Heritage Centre and Cottage were originallly a 17th century longhouse; the Old Hall Inn was originallly an Elizabethan manor (image from Accolade to an Artist: Pam Corder-Birch).
Half Moon Bay - Beautiful scenery, beach, sand dunes and rock pools; both the Barrows and the cliffs have good botanical interest, for example Royal Fern and Sea Spleenwort on the cliffs.
Nature reserves: Heysham Moss; what is left of the extensive mosslands that used to protect Heysham to the east; once used by villagers as a souce of peat for fuel (via Heysham Mossgate or Sugham Lane). Owned now by the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire.