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The Fylde - Around Lytham and St Annes

This page is a personal view of the towns and villages lying within the Borough of Fylde on the south and south-western quadrant of the Fylde plain.


St Annes
St Annes Pier
St Annes Pier

The town of St Annes was mostly laid out according to a plan drawn up by businessmen who saw the economic benefits of attracting large numbers of visitors from the mill towns in the east. It retains much of it's original character today, but has less style than Lytham, it's near neighbour. It is a traditional quiet Victorian / Edwardian seaside resort with up-market hotels, a sandy beach, donkeys, a small pier and ice cream stalls. It also has picnicable sand dunes fringing the beach, and an excellent, but little known sand dune nature reserve, international sandyacht racing championships, and very good floral displays.


Ansdell
Ansdell Centre
Ansdell Shopping Centre

Ansdell is a small district between Lytham and St Annes. It has it's own railway station, the "Ansdell Institute" club and a small library. It is famous however because of Richard Ansdell RA, an artist who lived in the area and painted lots of huge oil pictures of dead pheasants held by spaniel dogs and other similar hunting and shooting subjects. In fact, Ansdell enjoys the distinction of being the only place in England to be named after an artist.


Fairhaven
The White Church
The White Church, Fairhaven

Fairhaven is the seaward bit of Ansdell really. You have to turn off the main road at the White Church to find it. It runs more or less from the White Church to St Annes, and includes popular vantage points such as "Granny's Bay" and Fairhaven Lake where many people enjoy parking up on a sunny day and watching the comings and goings around the lake. The more energetic can try the boats, and for sailors it is one of the few places left where (provided you have just a little experience) you can hire gaff-rigged, clinker-built sailing yachts to try your hand at proper sailing, as well as motorboats, pedlaos and rowing boats.


Lytham
Lytham Windmill
The Windmill on Lytham Green

Lytham is a nice place. Its tree lined streets are flanked by interesting small shops that are still family businesses. There are some especially good speciality food shops for the more discerning customer. Lytham brims with old fashioned charm and courteous people. The town has a history as a seafaring area whose economy was based on fishing and shrimping. Later, wealthy industrialists moved from the industrial east of the county. To-day Lytham is famous for golf at Royal Lytham Golf Club, The Green, the recently restored Windmill and Old Lifeboat House Museum, and Lytham Club Day, a local festival each June. The Green overlooks the estuary of the river Ribble and the Welsh mountains.


Warton
Warton
St Pauls Church, Warton

Warton is the sort of place you go through. It was once famous for a 17th century Post or "Peg" Mill, although little remains. In a peg mill, the whole wooden building rotated around a fixed pole or peg, whereas in most windmills, the cap and sails rotated around the building. Warton is now famous as the home of British Aerospace, a major local employer, and test flights of prototype aircraft can sometimes be seen in the skies above the area. On the Warton /Lytham boundary you can find the Lucky Strike Golf Driving Range and Fort San Antone, a sort of hillbilly western theme/country park, together with several caravan parks.


Freckleton
Freckleton Centre
Freckleton Centre

Freckleton is one of the oldest and largest of Fylde's villages, It is a former port situated on the Ribble Estuary, and now gives access to the Lancashire Coastal Way walking route. Up to the 1920s there was a toll gate where travellers to Lytham and Preston were obliged to pay a toll for the use of the road. These days it is primarily a residential area serving those working at British Aerospace nearby. Freckleton is especially well known for its annual Music Festival which is the largest such rural festival in the Country.


Newton
The Bell and Bottle
The Bell and Bottle

Newton is a small village which is now principally a residential commuter area for the larger towns like Preston and Blackpool. It has two public houses, both catering for families, The Highgate specialises in children's menus and play facilities. The Bell and Bottle is longer established as a restaurant and, unusually, offers a braille menu and a full range of facilities for people with a disability


Clifton
Clifton Windmill
The Windmil Pub at Clifton

Clifton is a small residential village off the main A583 Preston to Blackpool road, near to Newton with Scales, Its origins are tied in with the Clifton estate, and one of the more notable features of the area is yet another of fylde's windmills, although this time it is attached to a countryside pub and restaurant.


Salwick
The Hand and Dagger
The Hand and Dagger Pub

The Hand and Dagger pub is set on the banks of the Lancaster canal which flows through Salwick, and is a popular watering hole for those enjoying a pleasant canal side walk. The canal in this area forms a main plank for countryside recreation, with angling and pleasure boating in addition to walking. Salwick is also the famous for the large British Nuclear Fuels industrial complex, a major local employer.


Treales
Roseacre
& Wharles

Treales Windmill
The Old Windmill at Treales

The hamlets of Treales, Roseacre and Wharles are at the heart of agricultural Fylde. They are well off the beaten track and enjoy the peace and quiet of country lanes punctuated with cottages, small woods, and individual farmsteads. An old windmill, one of many on the Fylde plain, which was originally used to grind corn, is now a beautiful home. There are several other tastefully restored properties in the area, including some very picturesque thatched roadside cottages. You will also find a couple of rural pubs, like the Derby Arms, or the Eagle and Child, with traditional food available. If you get up early and are very quiet, you might also be able to catch a glimpse of one of the wild deer that roam the farms and woodland in this area from time to time.


Wrea Green
Wrea Green
The Village Green and Church

Wrea Green is probably the prettiest village in Fylde. It regularly wins the "Best Kept Village" competition, and many of the properties are owned by wealthy retired professionals. It is a "much sought after location" as the Estate Agents say. The focus of the village is The Green which provides a home for the pond (known locally as the Dub), and for cricket matches in summer. Here you can sit in the local pub enjoying a pint of beer and keep an eye on the game at the same time. It is within easy commuting distance of both Manchester and Liverpool and has a rail connection to the West Coast Main Line. Picturesque, tranquil and idyllic, what more could you ask?.


Kirkham
Kirkham Town
Kirkham Town Centre

Kirkham is a fairly traditional market town which once centred around the fish stones and market square, both of which can still be seen today. It was a town of some importance in Roman times. Some say it was en-route to a Roman port that is reputed to have existed on the Fylde coast at one time. More recently, during the industrial revolution, it was a centre for textile manufacture with several large mill buildings. To-day the mills are gone and the town bears the scars of ill conceived ribbon development, but Kirkham still fulfils a need as a local shopping centre for its resident population and the surrounding small villages. The pubs in Kirkham are also popular with forces personnel during evening and weekend leave from the nearby military facility at Weeton.


Wesham
Wesham Memorial
The War Memorial, Wesham

Wesham (pronounced "Wessam" by locals) is only about 160 years old, and developed as the railway expanded to serve the growing popularity of resort towns like Blackpool. From the 1920s to the 1950s huge numbers of mammoth steam trains plied their way to the coast via the station at Kirkham and Wesham. Closely linked to its neighbour Kirkham, Wesham was also home to several cotton mills during the industrial revolution, although none remain today.


Esprick&
Greenhalgh

The Thatcher
The Thatcher at Esprick

Esprick and Greenhalgh straddle the road from Kirkham to Fleetwood. Esprick used to be famous for the Fairfield Experimental Horticulture Station, a Government research centre for glasshouse tomato growing, but that was before the demise of the British tomato industry hastened by cheap subsidised oil for Dutch Growers in the mid 1960s. It is now not so famous, and really only boasts the Fairfield Arms, a roadhouse style restaurant and travelodge next to a motorway junction. There is an interesting cottage of quite recent renovation though, where a thatched roof has been added, and a lifesize thatched model of a man doing the thatching has been built into the roof. Greenhalgh is very small and has an Indian Restaurant and a pub called the "Blue Anchor" which lots of people pass en-route to Fleetwood or Thornton. It also has one of the best fishing ponds in Fylde, but the location of that is a secret!


Thistleton
Thatched Cottage, Thistleton
Thatched Cottage at Thistleton.

Thistleton is a hamlet and an agricultural area, probably best known for Thistleton Lodge, built in 1907 by the Miller family who owned much of Thistleton. The surrounding countryside in this part of Fylde is generally unspoilt, and the area has won its class in the Best Kept Village Competition because of this.


Elswick
Bonds of Elswick
Bonds Ice Cream Parlour

Elswick village acts as a centre for smaller communities in the immediate area, and has modern recreational facilities, including a village hall, an all weather multi sports area, bowling green, and football pitch. It is most famous however, for "Bonds Ice Cream Parlour" where ice cream is made on the premises. Bonds is a popular venue for a drive on a sunny afternoon where Fylde residents call in for an ice cream. An older village history is evident in the Gothic church and spire which stand next to the original 17th Century non-conformist chapel, the oldest in Lancashire.


Little Eccleston
Cartford Bridge
Cartford Bridge, Little Eccleston

Little Eccleston nestles on the southern bank of the River Wyre. It is a sleepy, quiet village, but it boasts a caravan site, the Smithy Restaurant and a pub called The Cartford Hotel which is a free house and renowned for its special and home made ales. It is one of very few pubs to have its own brewery attached, and is a must for real ale fans. The village is the second crossing point on the River Wyre, and travellers using Cartford Lane will cross the (inexpensive) Toll Bridge leading to the area known as "Over Wyre". The name "Cartford" implies an earlier origin as the lane leading to a ford across the River Wyre for agricultural horse drawn carts.


Singleton
The Old Fire Engine House
The Old Fire Station, Singleton

Singleton is surrounded by farmland and is mentioned in the doomsday book. The whole village is a conservation area, and both the Church and the Fire Engine House, are Grade II listed buildings. In the 1970's the village was famous with Fylde locals for a sumptuous restaurant called The Millers Arms. It was one of the most sought after in the area. Their "Hors D'oeuvre Platter" and "Barbecued Loin of Lamb" were to die for. Nowadays the restaurant is part of a national chain doing good, if mass produced, pub meals, On the fringe of the village is the excellent Singleton Lodge Country House Hotel where meals are also available to non residents.


Weeton
The Eagle and Child
The Eagle and Child, Weeton

Sheltering in the rural Fylde, between Blackpool and Kirkham, Weeton boasts a traditional triangular village green where Weeton Fair was once held, It is an ancient village, and the site of a bronze age archaeological find. The Eagle and Child Inn, on the village green is where Oliver Cromwell is said to have stayed (amongst other places!). Just outside the village is Weeton Camp, a services settlement, and "home" for many ex-servicemen at some stage in their military career.


Staining
The Plough, Staining
The Plough, Staining

Staining lies on the border between the Boroughs of Blackpool and Fylde. It has agricultural origins, but is now more of a dormitory suburb to larger towns. It has a very attractive windmill used as a private residence, and in the village centre sits "The Plough" public house, fronted by a miniature replica Windmill. Around Staining you will find holiday caravan sites, notably Partingtons Newton Hall, which also has a Country Club and privately run Indoor Bowls Rinks. You will also find stables and other equestrian facilities. In recent years, Staining has "blossomed" by taking part in the Fylde in Bloom initiative, and now boasts superb floral displays through the village centre.


Westby
& Plumpton

Plumpton
Main Street, Plumpton.

Westby is a large agricultural area accommodating the six hamlets of Westby, Great and Little Plumpton, Ballam, Moss Side, and Peel. It is geographically large, but sparsely populated. It is famous for agriculture, and for Westby Hall, the seat of the Clifton family, Westby has several caravan sites that cater for the needs of those who enjoy the free and easy holidays that caravans can provide. Most are very conveniently located for the short hop into Blackpool.


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