The Fylde Coast - bounded by the Rivers Ribble in the South and Wyre in the North
Explore the Fylde Coast seafront with us, from south to north, with links to follow for more detailed information.
The Fylde Coast is a peninsula of land on the north west coast of England, above Liverpool and below Lancaster and the Lake District.
It's the area of land between the river estuaries of the Ribble in the South and the Wyre in the North.
Starting in the south, Lytham sits at the mouth of the Ribble Estuary.
It's where the historic Lytham Windmill stands on the attractive Lytham Green, between the town centre and the waters edge.
The coastal defences between Lytham and St Annes are being rebuilt. Read about sea defence work at Church Scar and Fairhaven Lake here.
Following the coastline in the photo above and head north, and before you get to St Annes you reach Fairhaven Lake.
It's a green and natural habitat for wildlife and a popular leisure spot with locals and visitors.
The Fairhaven area is where you would have previously found a huge dune system known at Starr Hills. Part of it can still be found inland opposite the entrance of AKS School, near to Clifton Hospital.
Next stop north is St Annes where the beach is huge and golden.
The outgoing tide retreats a long way down the beach, and rarely reaches the seawall when it does come back in.
St Annes is a Victorian seaside resort, with original architecture, wide seafront gardens, a pier, bandstand and children's paddling pool.
Head north past the pier and explore a huge, natural dune system which starts low and rises to dramatic hills as you approach Squires Gate and the boundary of the borough of Fylde and Blackpool.
The sand dunes are an important sea defence, and also a rich habitat for rare and interesting plants and wildlife.
At Squires Gate the natural dunes end and Blackpool sea defences begin.
The coastline from here right through to the golf course at Fleetwood has a completely man-made sea defence. It's designed to protect the houses, roads, tramway, infrastructure, holiday resorts, and businesses from coastal flooding.
You'll next pass through central Blackpool with all the razzmataz of the Golden Mile and the three piers.
If you haven't been to Blackpool for a long time you'll see a big difference!
The whole of the promenade between North and South Piers follows a sweeping design with curves and man-made headlands. Tower Festival Headland is one of them, where the Switch On is held and other big events through the year.
The sea defence is mainly a stepped design which dispels the energy of the waves but also provides endless seating for those hot, sunny days.
Around North Pier the flat landscape changes as the main road rises away from the beach in the area known as North Cliffs.
The resort of Blackpool carries on for quite some way, past the Colonnades, Gynn roundabout (above) and seafront Jubilee Gardens.
Next you reach the boating pool (which is actually a go-kart track now) and cliff lift, and see spectacular views of the sea and of course the famous west coast sunsets.
The resort of Blackpool, but not the borough, ends at Bispham.
It's where the promenade meets Redbank Road, marked with the Illuminations arch, and it's also where there's a tram stop building.
The seafront is still high at this point, and from here it starts to drop back to sea level as you approach Little Bispham and Anchorsholme.
At Anchorsholme the unitary borough of Blackpool meets Wyre and the town of Cleveleys. The sea wall is built in levels between beach and the cliff top walk, and it's a great spot for safely watching spectacular waves!
It's also where a brand new section of sea wall has just been completed at a cost of £22m.
Read about the Anchorsholme sea defence scheme here.
Princes Way and the sea front has all been substantially raised to meet the level of Anchorsholme Park and protect against flooding.
Your next stop north is Cleveleys where the promenade and sea wall was rebuilt in recent years.
Enjoy the public art trail along Cleveleys promenade. See if you can spot all the large pieces of sculpture - they're from the story of the Sea Swallow.
Further north beyond The Venue and the seafront cafe is Rossall Beach.
Here you'll find an old section of seafront and a natural shingle beach, before arriving at Rossall School.
Just past Rossall School is the amazing new Rossall sea wall.
Scheduled to open in Spring 2018 it's a £64m piece of civil engineering which has seen the coastal defences completely rebuilt between Westway and Fleetwood Golf Course.
Beyond the golf course the land mass changes direction and the man made sea defences give way to a natural and wild coastline at Rossall Point. This is also where you'll find Rossall Point Coastwatch Tower.
Before you approach the docks you'll find Ferry Beach adjacent to Fleetwood RNLI station.
This beach, along with much of the rest of Fleetwood seafront, is a site of Special Scientific Interest. It's where you’ll find native sea holly and other specially adapted plants, and all the wildlife which is attracted by them.
Fleetwood was once a major fishing port. Some boats still land their catch here. A thriving fish market and fish processing industry still remain.
Parts of the banks of the River Wyre are accessible for walking.
Fleetwood Marsh Nature Reserve (above) and the Wyreside Country Park at Stanah are accessed by inland roads but sit against the tidal banks of the river Wyre.
Further inland you can step back in time by exploring Skippool Creek.
See the boats moored on the individual inlets carved out of the banks of the river. It's a photographers and artists dream place to find inspiration. It's also steeped in history and was the original trading port of the area. Find out about the history of Skippool here.
Click on the links to find a full section of information about each of the individual places on the Fylde Coast.
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