Blackpool is surrounded by some popular towns also worth a visit. Most if not all mentioned in this list can be reached within 30 minutes by car from your hotel or bed and breakfast in Blackpool.
Lying on the Fylde Coast around 4 miles north of Blackpool Cleveleys is a typical Lancashire picturesque town. The Town’s promenade which abuts the sea and wide sandy beach lies at the end of the main shopping street Victoria Road West. There are views north to the Furness peninsular and the Industrial Shipbuilding sheds at Barrow and the mountains of the Lake District of England. To the South lies Southport beyond the Ribble estuary and on a clear day you can see the coastline and mountains of North Wales maybe even Snowdon herself. Victoria Road West is the main shopping street and has an abundance of market stalls selling anything from second hand paperbacks to fine lace material. The nearby Jubilee gardens is seen as the town park by locals and visitors alike and here you can sail on the boating lake or have a game of crazy golf. Nearby is Thornton which lies a little inland and has a significant windmill called Marsh Mill. It has recently been restored to its former glory and visitors are welcome to take a guided tour around it. Nearby is the Wyre Estuary Country Park which includes a Tourist Information centre and a base for the local Countryside Ranger Service. The park comprises the land around the whole estuary from Fleetwood and Knott End up river as far as Shard Bridge.
Also nearby to Cleveleys is an attraction always recommended by us to guests with young families is Farmer Parrs Animal World which lies between Cleveleys and Fleetwood. Founded in the summer of 1996 it is home to Llamas, emu, red deer and lots more animals children would love to get up close to and pet. In the summer they allow the animals to run free in a large outdoor enclosed space which is great for the families who wish to walk around and view the rare breeds.
Farmer Parrs is located on the Fleetwood Road Fleetwood FY7 8JP Tel: 01253 874389
St Annes on Sea
Is located approximately 3 miles to the South of Blackpool on the A584 trunk road. It actually comprises two towns Lytham and St Annes which lie nest to each other and is usually known as Lytham St Annes but is always abbreviated to St Annes and is called such by the locals. St Annes is the northernmost and as such is closest to Blackpool. It overlooks the Irish Sea at the point where the coastline begins to sweep eastwards to form the River Ribble Estuary. Lytham which lies further south and to the east following the line of the coast actually overlooks the River Ribble where it flows out into the Irish Sea.
Lytham St Annes is renowned around the world for its golfing heritage. It has four courses and links the most famous being the Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club which is one of the host courses for the Open Championship, commonly referred to as the ‘British Open’. The seaward side of the town has a peaceful charming personality which lends itself to a pleasant stroll along the promenade or a visit to the Victorian pier or bandstand. The centre of the town and the shopping area is centred around the railway station on St Annes Rd West and The Crescent. Lytham St Annes is seen as an upmarket area to live with some of the locals earnings amongst the highest in Lancashire. The nearby British Aerospace Systems factory at Warton, employs a significant number of highly trained technical staff such as engineers and scientists who consequently choose to live amongst the leafy avenues in the town. Consequently the shopping area in the town is seen a little more upmarket and boasts a few antique and designer outlets. Some would also argue that some of the best dining on the whole Fylde coast is also to be found in Lytham St Annes.
Fleetwood lies around 8 miles north of the resort of Blackpool at the junctions of the A587 and A585 truck roads. The town once used to be a thriving fishing port but the loss of lucrative fishing grounds in the North Atlantic in the so called ‘COD Wars’ with Iceland seriously curtailed this industry throughout the 1970’s leading to the town partially re-inventing itself a seaside resort. Some fish is still landed and the town does still have a small fish market, although it tends to be for the restaurant trade around the North West of England. The town itself is a peninsular around 2 miles wide with the Irish Sea on its Western side and the River Wyre on its east. Fleetwood’s most striking feature is a seven acre park called The Mount facing the Irish sea it was created from a huge sand dune which originally went by the name of Tup’s Hill. The Mount also incorporates a pavilion and offers great views across Morecambe Bay and further on to the green and blue Lakeland hills of Cumbria. The town has 2 other notable tourist attractions. Freeport Fleetwood opened in 1995 on the site of a former fishing dock and is named after the town of Freeport in the state of Maine.
It is a waterfront outletshopping village set around a yacht marina on the River Wyre. It is home to some of the best known British shopping names such as Marks and Spence, Next and Cotton Traders. The other attraction is the famous Fleetwood Market which for over 100 years has dominated the retail sector in the area. The market opens all year around 9.00am – 4.30pm Tuesday to Saturday and every Bank Holiday Monday. It can be found at Adelaide Street Fleetwood FY7 6AB Tel: 01253 771651
The City of Preston
Preston lies around 15 miles east of Blackpool. The river Ribble provides the Southern boundary for the Town whilst the Forest of Bowland forms the backdrop to the North East. Preston is a largely manufacturing and industrial town and this is etched into its history where it was the first town in England to be lit by gas outside of London and is home to one of the oldest football clubs in the English league Preston North End. Notable attractions which may be of interest to the casual visitor are Samlesbury Hall which has over 700 years of history being in its time a school, a factory and a public house. It also boasts its own residential ghosts and has featured in UK TV ghost hunter programmes such as ‘Most Haunted. Samlesbury Hall can be found on the Preston New Road Samlesbury PR5 0UP Tel: 01254 812010. Another worthwhile visit is the Ribble Steam Railway and this will appeal to steam train enthusiasts. The railway has been open since September 2005 and gives visitors an opportunity to travel on their 1and a half miles of dock and riverside line and to look round the museums and workshops. The project is run completely by volunteers and visitors can learn about the history of Preston docks and the Mr Ribble Trail around the Museum whilst learning about steam engines and railways. The railway can be found on Chain Caul Road Preston PR2 2PD Tel:01772 728800.