When you hear the words Fylde Coast, images of Blackpool can immediately spring to mind.
Attractions such as the Tower, Pleasure Beach and Illuminations dominate the 17-mile stretch of north-west coastline. The Fylde Coast would not come out on top of your weekend getaway locations list if you’re looking for a relaxing break.
However, a lot of time, effort and money has been invested into the whole coast over several years. The result is an incredible transformation that has truly become an attractive prospect for a weekend break and the area has much more to offer than what the coast is famous, or infamous, for.
Visit Historical Fleetwood
Situated in the north-west corner, Fleetwood is a beautiful, tranquil town with lots of character.
Although the current town was built in the early 1800’s Fleetwood is rumoured to date back to Roman days. Traditionally a fishing port, Fleetwood is a unique place. It is home to three lighthouses, two of which are obvious, while the third may take some noticing.
Fleetwood’s promenade spans the length of Morecambe Bay, giving enviable views of the Lake
District hills across the water. The Mount Pavilion, which has stood for over 100 years, overlooks the bay and offers even greater views of the Cumbrian coastline and beyond.
Model Village and Gardens, and Stanley Park
Hidden behind the main attractions and seafront area is Blackpool’s model village and gardens.
Located in the south corner of Stanley Park, you can explore the gardens and the miniature
buildings. Step back in time and visit a tiny Scottish castle, complete with ranks of Guardsmen. View the Tudor village, where hand-crafted models play cricket on the green, or enjoy the working train that runs through a mini shopping centre. You will love the scale and workmanship the village has to offer.
Stanley Park provides an ideal backdrop to the gardens. The Grade II listed park offers a quiet place to relax and breathe fresh, clean air. Take a walk around the lake and woodland area, visit the boating lake or, if you have kids, there’s a large play area for small and older children alike.
Across the road from Stanley Park lies Blackpool Zoo. Opened in 1972, this award-winning zoo is home to over 1,000 animals, including the only gorillas in the north-west. But, aside from the animals, it is also involved with many conservation projects such as the Gorilla Organisation, the Wild Cats Conservation Alliance and the World Parrot Trust, which protects over 370 parrot species globally.
Marton Mere Nature Reserve
A 20-minute drive from Blackpool Zoo sits Marton Mere Nature Reserve. Situated far away from the hustle and bustle of Blackpool’s main attractions, the reserve is home to 100’s of species of wildlife and plants, including butterflies, bats and orchids. It has also been recognised nationally as a site of special scientific interest for its bird population.
Take a walk around the open water, reed beds and pockets of woodland, and immerse yourself in one of nature’s finest habitats.
A Trip to Lytham Hall
Lytham Hall is a Georgian Manor that immediately brings Downton Abbey to mind. A true hidden
gem of the Fylde Coast, this 18th century house is actually the third to be built in Lytham. Previously a site for 13th-century Benedictine monks, the site was developed into a Jacobean Manor in 1606 by Sir Cuthbert Clifton. Further development took place in 1756 and some of the original building still exists today. If you want to continue with the historical theme, St Anne’s beach and Pier is nearby. Here, you can throw yourself back into the 19 h century and soak up the sun by hiring a Victorian-style beach hut.
Incredible Coastal Walks
If walking is your thing, then you’ll be pleased to know you can trek along the entire coastline. Although your feet won’t thank you, it is possible to walk the 17 miles from Lytham to Fleetwood.
Some of the more relaxing routes are towards the north, taking you through the small towns of
Bispham and Cleveleys. The beauty of walking the Fylde Coast is that the terrain is flat, so no hiking up hills or over rough ground. There are also plenty of eating places and public toilets along the way to make your walk more enjoyable.
Watch the Bispham Sunset
The regeneration of the Fylde coast included the Irish Sea viewing point at Bispham. Just a few miles north of hectic Blackpool, Bispham is a quiet, relaxing place and a perfect hideaway from the busy town. The coastline has been redesigned to create parking spaces facing the sea, which affords magnificent views of the setting sun.
Enjoy a fish and chip supper while watching the spectacular sight as the sun slowly disappears beyond the horizon. A mass of gold, pink and red streak across the sky as day slowly turns to night.
The redevelopment of the Fylde Coast has given the whole area a new lease of life. If you’re looking for a quiet break away from the usual mayhem of the Blackpool attractions, the coast offers something for everyone to enjoy. It’s another jewel that the Great British coastlines have to offer.
Article by Pete Cummings.