Sense of place at a British coastal resort: Exploring ‘seasideness’ in Morecambe

Jarratt, David orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7244-428X (2015) Sense of place at a British coastal resort: Exploring ‘seasideness’ in Morecambe. Tourism: An International Interdisciplinary Journal, 63 (3). pp. 351-363. ISSN 1332-7461

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This paper considers the tourist’s sense of place as experienced at Morecambe, Lancashire; it is concerned with emotional connections and reactions to place. This struggling traditional British seaside resort has seen the ebb and flow of visitors over the years and more recently regeneration. The qualitative research that underpins this paper consisted interviews with 55-74 year old repeat visitors from the North of England, reflecting the resort’s visitor demographics. This paper therefore reflects a perspective rather than the views of a wider population. The interviews reveal the important role of the sea and seascape to these visitors, this coastal environment lies at the heart of their sense of place. It facilitated a distinctive experience which centred around the inter-related themes of nostalgia, wellness and spirituality. Exposure to the open space of the seafront allowed a connection to something more substantial and enduring than themselves; this was considered thought provoking, uplifting and even spiritual. The respondents valued their seaside visits and percieved them as enjoyable, beneficial and a part of their identity. The tradition of seaside visits was part of their childhood, family narrative and something to be shared with children and grandchildren now and into the future. Their attachment to Morecambe fed into a positive sense of place, referred to here as seasideness, which relied on the distinctive socio-cultural and physical elements of the resort.

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