Morecambe Bay is a large estuary in the northwest of England stretching from Cumbria to Fleetwood in Lancashire. This stunning natural environment is a combination of wetlands, salt marshes, grasslands, and woodlands set across sweeping coastal vistas and magnificent limestone escarpments. A diverse collection of ecosystems is the secret behind Morecambe Bay’s outstanding biodiversity making it a popular choice for nature breaks, a birdwatching holiday, and outdoor adventures. 

This haven is home to a wide range of wildlife including deer, seals, rare butterflies, and hundreds of bird species. From a base of operations at one of The Royal’s cosy cottages, you can venture forth, discover wildlife, and rest after a long day in the sun with a beer at The Royal. Here are some of the amazing species you’ll get to meet on a wildlife or birdwatching holiday to Morecambe Bay.

Birdwatching Holidays and Beers


Morecambe Bay has around 30 nature reserves. These sites have been recognised and protected on a regional, national, or international level with most being free to explore. This is all because this region is one of the most biodiverse in the country and is home to two-thirds of the UK’s flowering plant species. This makes this region an ideal vantage point to take in the beauty of nature whether you want to explore the mudflats and sandy beaches of Morecambe Bay or the forests and grasslands of the nearby Arnside and Silverdale AONB and Leighton Moss.

Red Deer - The Royal Silverdale

Holidaymakers can even try spotting Morecambe Bay’s Big Five. This list includes the grey seal, the otter, red deer, the pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, and the oystercatcher. This group represents a small sample of the wildlife in the area and are a must for would-be David Attenboroughs. 


Birdwatching is a popular hobby that families can enjoy all along Morecambe Bay. Birdwatchers can see the unique interplay of birds as they move between environments from intertidal habitats (shorelines and estuaries) to terrestrial habitats(grasslands, forests, and heaths). This area is also home to one of the largest over-wintering and passage populations of wildfowl in Great Britain where birdwatchers and avid twitchers can see migratory groups roost and feed before continuing on their journey. Inland, you’ll see countless woodland and grassland species and even birds of prey soaring over the limestone hills. 

With all of this to choose from it’s easy to see how rich and diverse Morecambe Bay is. Bring along your best binoculars, a camera, and a notebook and you’ll leave with memories, stories, and the envy of your bird watching friends. 

Oystercatchers in birdwatching holiday - The Royal Silverdale

Better yet, why not bring them along and enjoy a birdwatching holiday with friends. Our cottages at The Royal Silverdale can sleep up to six guests in contemporary cottages packed with features including private gardens, open plan living spaces, and well-equipped kitchens. These cottages are located right in the middle of Silverdale, a warm and inviting village, giving you access to both stunning natural landscapes as well as village shops, restaurants and pubs.

Some of the species which are not to be missed include;

  • The endemic Lancastrian whitebeam at Humphrey Head nature reserve
  • Lapwing, oystercatchers, and curlew in the Lyth Valley, Arnside & Silverdale AONB, and at Sunderland Point
  • Bitterns, waders, wildfowl, and even otters at Arnside & Silverdale AONB
  • Bearded tits, avocets, and marsh harriers at Leighton Moss

These are just a few of the spots worth checking out. We recommend researching the area before deciding where to go and what time to visit. This will allow you to give yourself the best chance of seeing some incredibly rare species while still allowing for time to have a drink at a warm, inviting pub, or enjoy meals with friends and family.


Along with birds and mammals, this area is also home to some incredibly rare and beautiful butterflies. The woodlands and grasslands inland are awash with butterflies throughout Spring and Summer as they feed on the nectar of sweet-smelling wildflowers and herbs like orchids, roses, and thyme. Visit one of the nearby woodlands and you’ll no doubt spot pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies, high brown fritillary butterflies, and even the belted beauty moth flitting about in the breeze.

pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly - The Royal Silverdale

If you’re looking for a starting point to spot butterflies, birds and other wildlife, then it’s worth checking out designated conservation areas around Silverdale and Morecambe Bay. These areas are usually in places where species already thrive and are under the control of the Morecambe Bay Wildlife Network

There’s plenty of wildlife to keep you entertained on a trip to Morecambe Bay, Silverdale, and Arnside. All creatures, great and small, call this region home with each season bringing its own unique flora and fauna. If you’re looking for somewhere to rest after a long day out in the countryside with good company and a log fire, The Royal Silverdale is here to help. Our pub and restaurant is right in the middle of Silverdale with a selection of inviting self-catering cottages nearby for guests to book. If you’re interested in booking a stay for your next birdwatching holiday or even just a meal while you’re out and about then please contact us today.