August 31, 2011 at 9:55 am
While Blackpool is usually associated with the seaside and attractions of Blackpool Resort, it is also a popular destination for couples seeking a weekend break. You only need to look at the handsome architecture and period buildings in the surrounding streets, to realise that Blackpool has a fascinating history worth exploring. Here are a few suggestions that are only a short bus or tram ride away. St. Annes-on-Sea Situated three miles from Blackpool to the south, this 100 year old town maintains a peaceful, easy charm. Perfect for strolling through a town square that has seen a burst of new investment, complete with continental dining and superb eating options. The Promenade Gardens, the Victorian Pier and the Bandstand provide gorgeous architecture characteristic of this traditional beach side resort town. There is of course, the seaside itself, where children and families at play add to the less busy charm of this lovely place. Stunning views of surrounding scenery is best seen from atop a donkey ride. Lytham This area begins from the south end of Blackpool, and has been populated since the time of Vikings and Saxons. Medieval Benedictine monks occupied the Lytham Priory for over three hundred years, until the 17th Century. The land was then redistributed and the town eventually settled into ownership by the Clifton family for the next 350 years. The family residence, Lytham Hall is a perfect example of Georgian architecture and is registered with the English Heritage Trust and well worth a visit. There is an exhibition of the town’s colourful history and traditions, from its mystical reputation for seaside cures to mosaic tiling and bird watching. Lytham is a National Area of Interest for the migratory bird patterns, so be sure to take a camera with you. Cleveleys With a wide sandy beach with views that look out over the Irish Sea, Morecambe Bay and the Lake District Mountains to the north, Cleveleys is a picturesque spot a few miles up the coast. Famous for its shopping district, visitors will find many exotic market stalls and street entertainment to suit all ages and pockets. Inland at Thornton, the historic windmill Marsh Mill-on-Wyre has been beautifully restored, and a visitor guided tour is available, with a gorgeous village tea room and tavern to provide a much needed refreshment stop. Fleetwood A little further north of Blackpool on the mouth of the River Wyre, Fleetwood boasts superb seafood and a regenerated town centre, with lively eating, shops and regional markets. Originally at the heart of the fishing industry, Fleetwood has maintained that tradition and developed into a quiet seaside resort offering a traditional holiday with historic sights to explore. These include the Morecambe Bay area, great for amateur fishing and bird watching, the seaside itself, perfect for building sandcastles, and the beautiful Marine Hall, Fleetwood Pier and Lower Lighthouse buildings complete with interesting historical detail.