Morecambe Bay


The area described on this page is covered by the following Admiralty charts:

1826 Irish Sea Eastern Part 1:200,000
1320 Fleetwood to Douglas 1:100,000
2010 Morecambe Bay And Approaches 1:50,000
1346 Solway Firth And Approaches 1:100,000
1552 Ports in Morecambe Bay (Various scales for plans of Fleetwood, Heysham, and Glasson) 1:25,000

It is worth checking Notice to mariners on the Admiralty web site as there have been a number of recent notice to mariners advising of:

Follow this link to check whether your chart edition needs to be updated www.notice to

A large bay with shoals and drying areas, but has a number of harbours and anchorages which are approached via channels at the north and south sides of the bay.

Piel Island

Piel island provides an interesting anchorage in the northern potion of  Morecambe Bay. The small island hosts an impressive fort ruin, an inn and some private dwellings.

Pick up a mooring or lay to an anchor - but ensure that you will have sufficient depth of water at low and won't obstruct the pasage of shipping using the channel to the docks at Barrow-In-Furness. There is a slip for dinghy landings near the inn. Be careful when rowing to and from the shore as the tide runs hard through the anchorage.

To the west of Ship Inn (where whilst supping your pint you may find bantams and hens criss-crossing back and forth) lies the Castle formerly provided for the defence of Piel Harbour. Quite large in extent and some time probably larger judging from sections of wall down on the beach having succumbed to erosion. Whilst access to the interior not possible, windows (though which it would be possible to scramble) show the arrangement and size of the rooms inside. Two detached gate towers and a deep ditch show that with the now disappeared perimeter walls on its north side further evidence of the castles former extent.

From the low pebble foreshore on the NW side of the island, there is a good view of the Whalney island lighthouse, and the jetty on itsí North east Point.

On the east side of the island stand a row of local cottages - it looks like one had gone missing from their western end. Rear yards with high walls and sheds (probably built to house outside loos). None of them in particularly in good repair. One missing the half gable above its entrance porch plus a fair number of slates.

Third view above is from the NE extremity of Piel island looking across the channel to Roa island.

A notice reads erected by English Heritage reads:

Piel Castle

1 The castle on Piel island was built in the fourteenth century by the Abbots of Furness. It served as both a refuge for the Abbot in times of danger and as a means of controlling traffic and trade with the Isle of Man and Ireland via Piel Harbour, which was in the possession of the Abbey.

2 The castle, consisting of a large central keep and two outer rings of defences, is open to the public at any reasonable time. Further details about its layout and history will be found on the island.

Roa Island

Only suitable for boats able to dry out. Area popular with wind surfers.

Barrow In Furness

In the vicinity of and beyond the training walls a number of moorings will be seen - only a limited number of which remain afloat over low water. So do a tidal height calculation before committing yourself to a mooring. Due to the limited size of the pool at low water, and the tightly packed moorings - anchoring is not recommended in the strong stream.

There are plans to build a marina - for details refer Barrow In Furness website

Glasson Dock

Before visiting check that the locks will be operating when you intend to pass through. Daytime approach only recommended above the Lune Deep cardinal. Boats can be wedged into the lock. Water rises to within a few inches of the lock quay so remember to lower the fenders as the water rises. Strong tides. Anchoring not practical within the River Lune. Small village, pubs. Access to marina can be awkward (unable to return through gates if office not open and no locals around). Frequent passage of coasters between Glasson and the Isle Of Man ports of Ramsey and Douglas.

Facilities at Glasson Yacht Harbour include: Diesel, Bottle gas, Chandlers, Showers, Laundrette, Electricity, Hoist, Launching Slip, Repairs. Provisions available in nearby village situated near lock gates into basin. Pubs in village.


Facilities: Diesel, Bottle gas, Chandlers, Showers, Laundrette, Electricity, Hoist, Launching Slip, Repairs.

Boats able to take the ground may be able to proceed up the River Wyre to Wardleys Yacht Club. Best to seek local advice. Hotel, and provisions are available.