Glasson Dock a small port and community three and a half miles south, south west of Lancaster on the southern shore of the Lune estuary.
This small tidal port, still in operation today, is able to take vessels up to 3,000 metric tonnes, 14 metres beam and 90 metres length in the outer NAABSA (not always afloat but safe aground) berths and 84 metres in length in the inner dock accessed through lock gates at high tide. It is the inner dock that most visitors to Glasson Dock will see.
In the early nineteenth century the port was connected to the Lancaster Canal via the Glasson Branch a two and half mile canal rising fifty four feet through six locks to meet the Lancaster Canal at Galgate, the locks being fourteen feet wide the branch could handle relatively large vessels and some would travel the canal route to Lancaster and Preston rather than unload at the port.
The Glasson Dock end of the branch is a large basin, now home to a marina handling ocean going yachts, here we see canal narrowboats mingling with the larger ocean going vessels. This basin is connected to the dock by lock gates.
Later the railway came to Glasson Dock usurping the canal traffic until it also ceased in the early 1960s. The port however remains active to this day with regular voyages to the Isle of Man and importing grain, animal feedstock and general cargo from around the globe.
Just as the canal has undergone a resurgence in recent years due to recreational use the old railway track bed is now a cycleway and walking path to Lancaster which with the Canal towpath provides a circular route from Lancaster through Galgate down to Glasson Dock on to Conder Green and then back to Lancaster.
Amongst the warehousing and industrial units alongside Glasson Dock is the renown Lancaster Port Smokehouse where visitors can obtain high quality foods from an unusual shop well worth a visit.
Glasson Dock is also home to one pub, the Dalton Arms the Caribou having closed some years ago and the Victoria Hotel a couple of years back now. The Lockeepers Rest, a caravan serving teas and food is a very popular fixture between the Inner dock and marina canal basin with the Lantern Oer Lune cafe completing the eating and drinking alternatives.
The view from the top of Tithebarn Hill across the Lune Estuary, Sunderland Point and Morecambe Bay is not to be missed, this must rank as one of the best viewpoints for Morecambe Bay anywhere.
A couple of festivals have been tried here in recent years, the Lancaster Maritime Festival was held here and the Glasson Dock Music festival was tried in June for two or three years unfortunately the music festival, although held in June, fell foul of the weather and for two years in a row the weekend was marred by torrential rains making life difficult especially for the campers. Bad luck for what could have been a regular highlight in the area and a real boon for Glasson Dock.
Accommodation is available at the marina caravan park with the nearest letting hotel at Conder Green, the next village, there is accomodation available in Lancaster and hotels in Garstang Ideal for visiting the area all within easy reach.
Enjoy your visit to Glasson Dock and come back soon.