Explore Lytham seafront. Where the freshwater of the River Ribble estuary marshlands meet the saltwater of the Irish Sea is the wide, open space of Lytham Green.
It’s a popular space with local people and visitors, all through the year. It even has a wild, windy beauty in the depth of winter! This video was filmed on a cold and windy day in December!
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In the next photo we’re looking West (right) along the coastline, towards the Irish Sea.
Have a look at this Google map. The photos on this page were taken roughly where the pin is on the map.
Lytham Green was formed out of the uneven dunes and marsh lands of the shorefront. Beyond the footpath, ornamental railings and the area maintained by man, is the age-old natural landscape of the shore.
The Green runs along the full length of the waterfront and provides an open space for special events like Lytham Festival.
It’s also somewhere to enjoy the great outdoors. You’ll see people walking here all through the year, sitting on the grass in summer, picnicking, playing games and enjoying the day.
East Beach (the highway along the seafront promenade) is separated from the actual waterfront by Lytham Green – a wide stretch of open grassland. Period architecture and the sympathetic new-build properties here are a very attractive backdrop to the main coast road.
Lytham Assembly Rooms is just one of the notable buildings you’ll see here. Situated on its corner plot, the frontage is laid out to lawns and ornamental gardens. Sit for a while in the sunshine and enjoy the view!
The Windmill on Lytham Seafront
It’s also where you’ll find the famous Lytham Windmill, standing tall on the edge of the shore.
What’s on Lytham Green
Public car parks at Lytham Green are handy both for seafront walks and visiting the town centre. Clifton Street, the main high street, lies parallel to East Beach. It’s only a short walk from the Green.
On a practical level, there’s a block of Danfo public toilets adjacent to the Windmill. They’re single cubicles, operated by coins.
Lytham RNLI lifeboat has a base on the Green. Why don’t you pop into the shop and see if any of their fabulous range of fundraising gifts takes your fancy? There’s a much bigger RNLI all weather base at St Annes.
Lytham RNLI is also to the left of the recently restored Mussel Tanks.
The Mussel Tanks were originally built in 1934 to enable fishermen to clean their catch of shellfish. Mussels were brought here from all over this coastline, some from as far away as Morecambe Bay.
Thanks to Lytham St Annes Civic Society, this area has been restored. Not only is it an attractive place to stop-off at, the history of the site has been preserved.
Spectacular Views from Lytham Seafront
The view from the edge of Lytham Green looking across the water is amazing on a clear day. You can see right across the estuary of the River Ribble to as far as north Wales. Southport (bottom left-ish corner) can easily be seen too. It’s one of the built up areas to be seen across the river.
Lytham sits on the turn of the coastline, where the estuary of the River Ribble opens out to sea. It’s also a very flat beach and as a consequence there’s a big tidal range. Waters retreating a long way with each low tide and come back in very quickly.
PLEASE don’t go exploring out into the bay – it’s very dangerous and you certainly won’t outrun the sea!
Wildlife on Lytham Seafront
The strip of marshy grassland against the hard landscaping of the promenade is rarely covered by the tides. It’s an important natural sea defence and margin of safety against high water in bad weather.
Retreating tides leave sediment behind that provides the most magnificent feast for seabirds and waders which come to feed here. Refreshed by the sea twice a day, it’s laden with invertebrates that form a rich diet for resident birds. Thousands of migratory birds also use it as a stop off point on their huge journeys each year.
National Nature Reserve
It’s a perfect habitat for species which inhabit marshlands. Over half of the whole Ribble Estuary is a National Nature Reserve.
The Ribble Estuary is the most important site in the UK for wintering wildfowl. Its extensive mud and sand flats make it one of the largest saltmarsh habitats in the country. More than 250,000 ducks, geese, swans and wading birds visit here each year. It’s also internationally important for 16 species of wintering birds. The best times to see all this is in the months of autumn and winter.
Help the birds
Sea birds at the water’s edge are trying to conserve vital energy and warmth while the tide is in and their feeding grounds are covered by water. Please don’t disturb them or let your dog run at them. Making them fly wastes their precious energy when food stocks are scarce. While their feeding grounds are covered with water they can’t eat.
In summer, the landscape is still active, when birds are nesting on the saltmarshes. Around the Ribble Nature Reserve you might be lucky enough to see three types of gull, common tern and redshank, skylark, meadow pipit and linnet. Natural England manage the land they nest on. Sheep and cattle graze areas of saltmarsh in spring and summer to keep the grass short for the wintering wildfowl. Look hard enough and you may see these birds nesting on the marshes at Lytham.
Interested in the birdlife in the area? Why not call in at the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre. Find it at the edge of Fairhaven Lake.
East Beach (the coastal highway) bends away from the shore at Seafield Road just before you get to Clifton Drive. But the coastal footpath carries on at Church Scar, coming out at Granny’s Bay.
This new section of seawall opened in 2020. It’s an amazing public space and well worth a look. There’s more about Church Scar here.
East Beach and the seafront part company for a short distance as you head towards St Annes, approaching Clifton Drive. Your next big landmark is the White Church on the corner of Ansdell Road.
Turn left and follow the coastal road at the White Church cross roads. This is Granny’s Bay (below) with Fairhaven Lake ahead.
For walkers, a footpath runs along the water’s edge from Lytham Green to Granny’s Bay. It’s a pleasant stroll against the edge of the sea, watching the wading birds on the sands. There’s more about Granny’s Bay here.
Heading north beyond Granny’s Bay, before you reach St Annes, the next stop is Fairhaven.
Fairhaven Lake is a popular attraction for people and wildlife alike. Here, you can hire a rowing boat and mess about on the water. Enjoy a bite to eat at the lakeside cafe, or simply walk the footpath around the back of the lake.
Find out more about these areas in our Visit St Annes website.
While you’re here…
Have a look at the homepage of the Visit Lytham website for more of the latest updates.
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