Sea Air ~ Heysham.

On Sunday we found ourselves on the Lancashire coast, sipping Nettle Beer and surrounded by vikings!

We drove to the sea, passing through the brackened moorland of the Trough Of Bowland.

Heysham Power Station.

Then on through Lancaster and toward Heysham, an ancient fishing port, now more widely known for it’s ferry terminal and power station.

We had decided upon Heysham as a dog-friendly beach destination. One that hopefully would not be too busy with daytrippers. Fellow blogger Christine had mentioned that the area has a Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve, so we used it’s small free carpark and went for a wander.

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Gatekeeper.
Common Blue.

Heysham Nature Reserve covers 17.00 Hectares of various habitats, leading down to a rocky beach, lorded over by a whopping big power station. Beauty can be found in industry. Numerous butterflies fluttered busily around the reserve, the shore was a sea of pretty purple, and snowy white egrets pecked for tasty morsels on the strandline.

Stunning Sea Lavender.
Little Egret.
Lighthouse near the ferry terminal.

Popular with dog walkers ,the nature reserve has walking trails, plenty of dog waste bins and even provides drinking water for thirsty hounds. There is a dog-free portion to explore too, for those of you who prefer to wildlife watch in relative peace. 😉 After our walk we ate a packed lunch at the small picnic area by the car park.

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Picnic Area at Heysham Nature Reserve.

We then decided to drive round to Half Moon Bay on the other side of the ferry terminal. The car park here was very busy. It soon became apparent we were visiting Heysham on it’s annual Viking Festival Weekend! The cliff top walk into the village was teaming with tourists, admiring the far reaching views over Morecambe Bay. You can’t tell from my pictures how busy ( or warm! ) it actually was..

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The coastal walk to the headland with views over Morecambe Bay.
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Next to the ruins of St Patricks Chapel are six coffin graves cut into the cliff. An image of them appears on the Black Sabbath album ‘The Best of Black Sabbath’.
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Relaxing on the headland.
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Small Copper Butterfly.

Heysham’s Viking history dates back 1000 years , with the grounds of St Peter’s Church in the village containing both Saxon and Viking remains. I wrote more about the area on a previous visit ~ Heysham and Half Moon Bay.

Once in the Village it was obvious that everyone had embraced the Viking connection!

Feeling rather thirsty at this point, I decided to try a glass of the local delicacy ‘Granny’s Home Brewed Nettle Drink’. After Wil and I visited Heysham last year, I was telling my Mum all about our day there, and it turns out Heysham holds many happy childhood seaside memories for her. One of those was drinking a non-alcoholic tonic called Nettle Beer. It turns out a well known local personality called Granny Hutchinson used to brew the drink in her cottage, using nettles found round and about. Today the old recipe has been passed down through the generations and is still on sale in Heysham’s cafes. Keen to sample this traditional fare, I bought a £1 glass of the unassuming brown liquid. It definitely has the Famous Five ‘lashings of ginger beer’ factor!

Below are a few photos from the Viking Festival.

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Spirit of Heysham sculpture.

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We did not stop to long at the festival as it was incredibly warm, especially for Hugo. I’m not sure how the people in Viking costumes fared in the heat!

Have you ever been to Heysham?

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19 thoughts on “Sea Air ~ Heysham.”

  1. Loving all your photos of moths and butterflies lately, especially the common blue – I’ve only spotted cabbage whites so far. ☺ The viking festival looks fun, never been to Heysham but there’s something similar at Largs that we’ve been thinking about going to. X

    1. Thats great! I hope you go and tell us all about it. X
      I have been pretty lucky with my butterfly spotting this year. I must say though that there are so many cabbage whites! Seen lots of them too. X

  2. Lovely butterfly photos. It’s good to see that the cafe in your photo has reopened. It was very popular but last summer it looked like it had closed and abandoned. Heysham village is one of my favourite places and I had considered going to the Viking festival, but in the end decided it would be too uncomfortable travelling in that heat. Glad you enjoyed it! X

    1. Thanks Amanda. It was fun to see all the people dressed in their viking garb. I should have got more photos of them! It was a very sticky heat. Even the sea breaze wasn’t very soothing. I didn’t notice that particular tea room open in May 2017 , so yeh, its great that its back in business! X

  3. I am so happy to read you managed to visit the nature reserve. 🙂 It was purely by chance it popped up on my FB wall not long before you mentioned you were visiting the area. It looks abundant with wildlife, definitely a future visit. We could even take Riley, glad to hear it is dog friendly too. The viking festival sounds fun and I would have tried the nettle bear too. Looks an enjoyable day out 🙂 xx

  4. Its a really interesting place to visit Christine..and yes the Nature Reserve was absolutely buzzing with butterflies. I hope you manage to visit it this year. You will have to tell me what you think of the Nettle Beer! X

  5. That sounds like another lovely day out. Heysham looks like a wonderful destination with dog friendly areas. Thanks for sharing & take care.

  6. That turned out to be good timing, didn’t it? The sea lavender is gorgeous too. 🙂 🙂 Mick used to sometimes work over at Heysham in his power station days. Not one of his better memories. 🙂

    1. It might not be great to work there. Lol. My other half was looking half interested in going for a job there….but I think we have it good here in Clitheroe, though it would be lovely to spend more time on the coast. X

  7. I love the Heysham coast. I did a big chunk of my training at Heysham library and used to love having a coastal wander in my lunch hour! I’d love to see the Viking festival but we always seem to be busy on that weekend!

  8. I know, as last year we actually drove accross..then drove straight back! We didn’t hang around as we hadn’t checked the tide times. A walk from Overton does sound good though, so will look into it sometime. Xx

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