Heysham was a quiet farming and fishing community until 1904 when Heysham Port opened. The port offered ferry services to Ireland and the Isle of Man, and the influx of travellers transformed the ancient village overnight. The village still has a historic old centre – a delightful maze of winding lanes and picturesque cottages.
The village has a fascinating history, dating back to Viking times. Discover an 8th century chapel – St Patrick’s – and iconic rock hewn graves on the dramatic headlands overlooking the Bay. Managed by the National Trust, this is a truly wonderful urban green space to uncover.
The ruins of the chapel feature a Viking era doorway with a rounded arch, and a stone with a socket for an outdoor preaching cross.
Next to the ruined chapel you can see some of the finest relics of early Christianity to be found in the north west of England.
Six rock cut graves, dating from the 10th Century cut into a huge slab of stone. At the head of five of these graves is another smaller hole, thought to be a socket where wooden crosses were placed to mark the graves.
Nearby is Half Moon Bay with its striking sculpture ‘Ship’ by Anna Gillespie. Just past the sculpture is a sandy stretch of beach popular with families with a car park and Half Moon Bay café serving tea, cake and all-day breakfasts 10am-4pm every day of the year except Christmas Day. Please note: the café is cash only – and the nearest cashpoint is back in the village on Middleton Road.
From Half Moon Bay you can see the ferries travelling to the Isle of Man, and Heysham’s two nuclear power stations – an important source of employment in the local region.
In the old centre of the village is Heysham Heritage Centre. Housed in part of what was originally a long house it is an unusual example of surviving 17th Century village architecture and tells the story of the village’s architecture and past industry in a series of exhibitions.
The Cottage Garden has been restored by a team of volunteers. It is not normally open to the public, but each summer there are usually a number of Open Days when visitors can enjoy the garden.
Food and Drink
The Mad Hatter’s tearoom is a tiny café with outdoor seating at the end of the promenade walk from Morecambe. Near the heritage centre there are two cafés: Curiosity Corner – a quirky retro café serving a wide range of interesting cakes and lunches (try the homemade scones or one of their special panini) and The Old Barn, known for its traditional home made fudge.
On the same road is The Royal, a sixteenth century coaching inn that offers an extensive menu in its popular restaurant (booking advised), real ales in the covered and heated garden bar, and 11 guest rooms. Food served 12-9pm daily.
Important – there are currently no public toilets in the village – the nearest public toilets are at by the Battery Car Park in Morecambe. Toilets in cafes and The Royal Inn are for patrons only.
Getting to Heysham
Bus Route 2X, half hourly
Travelling by car
Exit the M6 Motorway at Junction 34 and follow signs for Heysham. along the new link road, The Bay Gateway (A683). As you approach Heysham, turn right along the A589, following signs for Morecambe, then follow the brown signs for Heysham Village and Heritage Centre.
There is a public carpark in the centre of Heysham village on Barrows lane (pay and display) and a free carpark at Half moon Bay café (this can get very busy at weekends)
There is a large, reasonably priced carpark in the centre of the village, so it’s easy to leave the car and explore on foot.
Why not visit Heysham on foot?
Enjoy the walk along the prom from Morecambe – the view across the Bay is unrivalled!