Holidays are expensive times, there’s so much to see and do here on the Fylde Coast. If you packed everything in to your few days break you’d spend a fortune. In alphabetical order, here’s our list of top things to do for free – to make your money go further!
Top things to do for FREE!!
Affinity Lancashire free events
Affinity Lancashire is the Fylde Coast shopping outlet. During school holidays and at special times of the year they host FREE fun events for all the family.
Grundy Art Gallery is the areas official gallery, find it on Queen Street in Blackpool. The Solaris Centre at South Shore usually has displays in the public space. Upstairs at Stringers/Booths in Lytham there’s another gallery space which frequently hosts exhibitions of local art.
Did you know that there’s a strong independent arts scene too? Independent artists hold exhibitions and displays at Hive on Church Street and Shaw’s Cafe on Clifton Street. Art Break Hotel at South Shore also hosts events and displays.
There are public art trails along both Blackpool and Cleveleys promenades. Talk a walk and explore the pieces.
- Ten pieces of artwork line New South Promenade at Blackpool, between Squires Gate Lane and the Sandcastle Waterpark.
- At Cleveleys, the story of the Sea Swallow is brought to life in a variety of sculptures on the beach and seafront.
(Visit the) Beach
It’s a family pass time that was once THE thing that everyone did when they came on holiday. Deckchairs and towels, buckets and spades and away you went for a full day on the beach.
Why don’t you enjoy precious family time together and have a day on the sands?
- Adults can do nothing, have a snooze and generally unwind…
- Games that kids can play on a beach are limited only to the imagination!
- Try your hand at beachcombing – it’s amazing what you’ll find on the beach.
- There’s plenty of space to run around, play ball games, splash in puddles, and much more!
One great thing about the Fylde Coast is that it’s so flat. It makes it a great place to enjoy, for walking and cycling alike. The majority of us enjoy intermittent exercise so hills are one thing we can do without!
Because it’s so flat, bikes are a normal way of getting around in these parts, so many people have them. Get on your bike with your family and go for a bike ride. There are various trails to follow, the most obvious one is the seafront. It’s an official cycle path all the way from Lytham to Fleetwood – and beyond if you’re feeling really adventurous.
Have hours of fun fishing about to see what you can find in the water! With a sandy shore, one thing that the Fylde Coast doesn’t have a lot of is rock pools. But if you know where to go you can still enjoy a great time fishing for crabs. All you need is a line, some bait/bits of fish and a bucket. Please don’t leave any litter/line behind, and please don’t harm/kill the crabs!
- Boating pools at Fleetwood seafront, near the Sea Cadet Base
- Do you know any more?
Don’t forget to take a look at the Visit Fylde Coast events calendar. There’s hundreds of things to do listed on there, and a lot of them are free or very cheap.
Family Entertainment at the Piers
Did you know that there are family bars at each of the three Blackpool piers, where you can enjoy free family entertainment? Shows are daily at weekends and during school holidays.
Known as the ‘Greatest Free Lightshow on Earth’, the Blackpool Illuminations shine daily from the end of August to the beginning of November, every year.
Walking along the promenade in the cool dark air, looking at the lights twinkling and enjoying the atmosphere of the crowds is one thing you must do!
Kids Club with Harry the Hound
Houndshill Shopping Centre hosts a kids club on the first Saturday of each month (except December). Free to attend and no need to book, just pop in and have a go. It’s a different theme each month.
People are a lot more environmentally conscious these days than they used to be, which is no bad thing. Why not head off for a spot of litter picking, wherever you pick it’s worth it! The Fylde Coast is a windy place all year round. Sadly that means a lot of rubbish that’s been disposed of properly gets blown away and accidentally turned into litter. Plus what people drop (please don’t!) and the rubbish which washes in from sea.
Litter picking is every bit as important around schools, grass verges and the street you live in, as it is in parks and on the beach. If you know a grot spot why don’t you clean it up? It’s very, very satisfying.
Do you look at old buildings and wonder what the walls would say if they could talk? There’s loads of fascinating information to uncover, all over the Fylde Coast. We’ve covered a fair bit of our local history here on the various Visit Fylde Coast websites. There’s a lot more for us to do – so keep reading your weekly enews!
If you want to look at historical information, Blackpool Central Library is a great place to start. Visit the History Centre on the first floor of the building to access maps, newspapers and much more. In fact the library itself is well worth a visit. It’s a beautiful building in its own right.
Look inside Lytham Windmill
It’s a well known landmark on Lytham Green, and houses a fascinating exhibition of artefacts. See what life was like in the local area long ago, and take a climb to the top of the mill.
It’s open on particular days during the summer season, so please check the opening times before visiting Lytham Windmill.
Music at North Pier
Did you know that, during the season, there’s a daily organ concert in the Sunset Lounge at the end of North Pier? Subject to weather, of course!
Pop along and enjoy all kinds of popular music played in the open air (but sheltered) sun lounge – you can even have a dance too.
Pack a Picnic
We all eat on the hoof today, but why not make an event out of your take-out? Make a traditional home-made picnic, filled with all of your favourite goodies, and pack it up with a blanket and deck chairs, and head off with your family and friends to enjoy a ‘free’ alfresco meal.
You could take your picnic to your local park. Or head to the seafront, or take it with you on a bike ride (but don’t try to take deck-chairs on a bike!!)
Do you love animals? Penny Farm is the World Horse Welfare sanctuary at Marton, not far from the M55 motorway. It’s home to lots of rescued horses and ponies and they hold regular fun days, with free admission.
Go Rock Pooling
Although this isn’t a rocky coastline, there are some rock pools to explore, if you know where to look! The best ones in the area are actually in the man-made sea wall at Blackpool South Shore. The wall is armoured with seabees. They’re pre-cast concrete hexagonal ‘nut’ shapes, designed to dissipate the energy of the waves.
The concrete sections have become colonised with seaweed and each time the tide goes out, each seabee holds a little pond of water that’s full of life. You’ll find all kinds of interesting things here. Go take a look.
Not exactly rock pools, but there are pools along the stone groynes on the beaches at Cleveleys and Fleetwood. Ideal for paddling and playing in the water, they’re also home to lots of tiny little fishes and watery creatures that are worth a look.
You can’t come to the seaside and not build sandcastles! It’s certainly one of our top things to do for free. The very best sand for this job is the damp sand left behind when the tide goes out. The dry sand at the top of the beach is no use at all – it doesn’t hold together.
Go prepared and take your sandcastle building equipment – buckets and spades and things to make shapes with.
If the bigger kids in your family are feeling creative you could even take a garden spade and bucket with you and build something really adventurous! If you do, be sure to take some photos and send them to us!
How many shipwrecks do you know of here on the Fylde Coast? We bet that you’ve got no idea just how many there are. First stop is the shipwreck memorial – find it on the seafront at the boundary where Cleveleys meets Blackpool. All of the Fylde Coast wrecks are listed on it. Some of them can actually be seen on the beach – others are under the sea but covered on Visit Fylde Coast.
Arguably the jewel of the Fylde Coast. It’s a beautiful park, owned and run by Blackpool Council but looked after and supported by the amazing Friends of Stanley Park. They’re a dedicated group of volunteers who do everything from tending the gardens to raising funds and organising the free music events at the bandstand each summer. There’s lots to do at Stanley Park – if you haven’t been for a while you really should go and take a look.
Be a Tourist
Are you lucky enough to live on the Fylde Coast? Why don’t you be a tourist for the day? Do something different and go and follow where your feet take you.
Head to Blackpool and go for a walk on the seafront. Pop in the RNLI and have a look at the lifeboats. Walk to the ends of the Piers, sit in the sunshine with an ice cream. Treat yourself and go in the attractions. How long is it since you last went up The Tower?
You can do the same in each of our lovely coastal towns. Potter about in Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Lytham or St Annes. Rediscover what’s so great about these places, and why you’re lucky to have it all right on your doorstep.
Walk as far as you can!
Walking is good exercise, it’s good for the mind, it’s amazing what you see on foot and it’s free! It doesn’t matter where you walk, just pick a direction and set off.
Many years ago, when I was a child, we were on holiday in Blackpool with my parents and grandparents. Walking on the beach one day my grandad kept saying ‘let’s see what’s round the corner’. We carried on walking and walking, then walked some more, looking for that elusive corner. We ended up in St Annes and caught a bus back to base, and that day went down in family history.
Don’t forget, if you’re walking on the beach or seafront, you can always catch a bus or a tram back. Just remember to take some money with you.
Walk on the Wildside
If you love the greenery of trees and the sounds of nature, formal parks and windswept seafronts are probably not your thing. So what about a walk in a wild place instead?
Here on the Fylde Coast there’s a couple of woods which come immediately to mind, and some natural areas too. Or you could of course travel out to the rural areas of nearby countryside and make a day of it.
- Salisbury woodlands is between the Victoria Hospital/golf course and Blackpool Zoo
- Witch Wood at Lytham was part of the Clifton estate
- The Towers at Cleveleys is a very small wood, but very handy for the local area
- Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park isn’t wooded, but it’s a wild and natural area
What’s On Guide
Another reminder, don’t forget to look at the Visit Fylde Coast What’s On Guide!
Can you think of any more top things to do for free?
We’ve been jotting ideas down for some time to come up with this list – but it’s by no means exhaustive.
If you know of any other things to do for free please get in touch and we’ll add it to the list. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget that there’s another really long list of things to do here.
While you’re here…
Have a look at the homepage of the Visit Fylde Coast website for more of the latest updates.
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