Lytham St Annes on the west coast of Lancashire, UK is actually two separate towns – Lytham and St Annes on Sea. Just to confuse matters more, Royal Lytham Golf course – where the Open Golf Championships are held – is in St Anne’s on Sea !
The area is a traditional Victoria seaside gem – much quieter and refined (some might say more posh) than near neighbour, glitzy Las Vegas of the North, Blackpool. There’s a Grade 1 listed Georgian Hall, with parts dating back to the 12th century (a Benedictine Priory) at Lytham – Lytham Hall, former home of the Squires of Lytham, with their colourful family history. The Hall, parkland cafe and amazing little fund-raising antiques shops on site are well worth visiting at any time of year (fully accessible excluding the upper floors of the Hall).
Lytham town is a haven of delights, with independent shops, cafes, bars and so many restaurants nestling amidst award-winning floral displays. There are ‘high ends boutiques sitting comfortably alongside some of the best charity shops to be found. If in need of a rest, there are plenty of benches in addition to outdoor drinking and dining areas. All this and only a couple of hundred yards from the promenade that runs from Lytham through Ansdell and Fairhaven to St Anne’s on Sea – level walking, riding or pushing at its best – but I’ll return to that later.
St Anne’s on Sea is a more traditional seaside resort, with golden sands, proudly presented pier and a pleasant shopping area with plenty of independent and charity shops. It, too, boasts a wide choice of dining experiences. The promenade at St Anne’s has a beautiful landscaped water feature, safe children’s playground and gentile activities like pitch and putt, miniature railway and is home to the RNLI boat station located with sea views from an adjoining cafe and indoor swimming pool.
St Anne’s is ‘motorhome-friendly’ with plenty of roadside parking and 2 dedicated parking areas with direct beach access. There’s plenty of free street parking for cars, in addition to several ‘pay and display’ sea-front car parks. Disability badge-holders are well catered for in car park spaces with sea or park views.
Both Lytham and St Anne’s have municipal parks with wide even pathways, floral displays , cafés and water features. Lowther Gardens at Lytham and Ashton Gardens in St Anne’s host events throughout the year, including food festivals, outdoor ‘drive-in’ cinema, craft events and much more.
There’s a wide choice of hotels, Aparthotels, B&B, self-catering flats and apartments to rent in both towns for all budgets. Quaint train stations in each provide regular access to Preston to the South and Blackpool to the north. Taxis – including fully accessible vehicles are in abundance and the area is served by good bus services.
The latest addition to these jewels of the Lancashire coast, is a new section of promenade joining the two towns from Lytham to Fairhaven Lake – here boating, birdwatching and pleasant strolls around the lake on smooth safe paths can be enjoyed. There’s plenty of space for picnics on the green at Lytham and open space at Granny’s Bay by Fairhaven Lake – which also has bench and seating sets for picnics.
An additional feature worthy of mention, is the row of modern yet traditionally serviced beach huts on the inner promenade at St Annes. These are for sale and hire. A lovely way to spend a day with sea views and easy access to all the promenade has to offer.