Sunsets over the Sea

Sunsets over the Sea

The Fylde Coast points just about due West. Enjoy a perfect view of the setting sun as it disappears from view beyond the horizon, to create the most amazing sunsets over the sea.

I’d always wondered, when I lived in land, exactly when sunset was and why they give you such a precise time on the weather forecast. It all becomes clear as you watch the golden red globe quickly pass the radius of the earth on the horizon. Sunset is the absolute point where it disappears from view – even though the sky stays red and remains light for usually a good while longer.

Watch one of the sunsets over the sea in this video from our friends at mediafilms –

Sunset over the sea on the Fylde Coast - watch it disappear over the horizon

Your Gallery of Sunsets over the Sea

Have you caught an amazing view of one of our spectacular sunsets over the sea? Why don’t you email it in for inclusion in this gallery. Details further down the page.

Sunsets over the Sea
Photo by Crissy Jones
Sunsets over the sea
Mary’s Shell at Cleveleys. Photo by Carol White
Sunsets over the sea
Sunset at Bispham. Photo by Louise Barklam
Sunsets over the sea
Setting sun over Blackpool promenade. Photo by Louise Barklam
Sunsets over the sea
Sunset over the sea, seen through the window of Sainsbury’s, Blackpool. Photo by Louise Barklam
Sunsets over the sea
Which way is west? Rossall Point, Fleetwood. Photo by Louise Barklam
Sunsets over the sea
Setting sun over Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Photo by Louise Barklam
Sunsets over the sea
Sunset over Blackpool North Pier. Photo by David Hewitt
Sunsets over the sea
Sunset at Mary’s Shell, Cleveleys. Photo by Nad Manuel
Sunsets over the sea
The Ogre on Cleveleys beach at sunset. Photo by Nad Manuel
Sunsets over the sea
Giant Ogres Paddle on Cleveleys beach. Photo by Nad Manuel
Sunsets over the sea
Cycling at sunset. Photo by Nad Manuel
Sunsets over the sea
Shelter on Cleveleys promenade at sunset. Photo by Nad Manuel
Sunsets over the sea
Rossall Beach at sunset. Photo by Visit Fylde Coast
Sunsets over the sea
Sunset over Barrow. Photo by Visit Fylde Coast
Sunsets over the sea
Evening sky over the offshore windfarm. Photo by Visit Fylde Coast

The Changing Sunsets over the Sea

It’s interesting to see how the position of the sunsets over the sea change throughout the year.

Imagine you’re standing on the coast at Cleveleys facing the sea.

In the depth of winter around the time of the winter solstice (the shortest day) on 21 December it sets to your left at something like 3.40pm.

Each day it gets higher in the sky and sets further round the coast to your right. It reaches the furthest point at the time of the summer solstice (the longest day) on 21 June. Then, it’s setting far round to your right almost lined up with Heysham, at about 10.30pm.

The cold, crisp months of autumn, winter and spring see some brilliant sunsets over the sea. They’re spectacular all year round. The trick is to head to the coast at the end of a bright day where the sky has been clear of clouds. Whatever the time of year that’s when you’ll see the best ones.

Sunset over the Fylde Coast

What makes the sky red at sunset?

The light from the sun travels further to reach your eyes as it starts to set and drops in the sky. This means that more of its light is reflected and scattered by dust, gas, and particles that we can’t see in the atmosphere.

Light is made up of the colours of the rainbow, and as my physics teacher always said ‘blue gets bent best’ which means it’s on the inside of the rainbow with the shortest wavelength. The short wavelength colours of blue and green are easily scattered when they hit the particles in the air. That leaves the long wavelength colours of red, orange and yellow to continue travelling in a straight direction that reaches your eye.

The most spectacular colours are seen when the sky contains particles of dust or water. They reflect light in all directions and bounce out the shorter wavelength colours more effectively, so that you see the reds, pinks and oranges more clearly.

Spectacular Sunsets over the Sea – from Volcano Dust

You might remember a few years ago (in May 2010) when a volcano kept erupting in Iceland. It disrupted air flights left, right and centre. At the time, the sunsets over the sea had to be seen to be believed, as they were so exceptionally vibrant.

The photo below which was taken at the time doesn’t do it justice. Unfortunately I didn’t have a massive-megapixel camera to hand at the time either!

Sunsets over the sea through volcano dust
Sunsets over the sea through volcano dust

At sunset, when the sky is particularly clear, you’ll also be able to see the Isle of Man through the edge of the windfarms, far out to sea on the horizon.

Of course the sky needs to be clear to see the sunset, and full cloud cover obstructs it from view. A partly cloudy sky can create some stunning shots, especially with dark clouds and the contrast of the red sun behind them.

The windfarms in the Irish Sea, clouds and boats all pose to make good photography subjects, as do silhouetted people on the beach, horseriders and kitesurfers.

Share your best photos of sunsets over the sea

Email your best sunset shots to and we’ll add them to the gallery on this page (above). Just a few things to note –

  • Please send your full name so that we can add a caption
  • We don’t need duplicate photos of the same view – pick out your favourite one and send that
  • You’re welcome to watermark it but if you do please keep it legible
  • Photos around 1mb in size are perfect (very small ones won’t be published as they will look fuzzy)
  • Please only send in your own work – do not send in any that you have ‘found’ on the internet!

Find out More

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