Things to Do in Ansdell and Fairhaven

The town of Ansdell and Fairhaven, tucked between St Annes and Blackpool is a real hidden gem. With a railway station, local shops and independent cafes, there is a fantastic buzz to the place.

Taking a stroll along the promenade you’ll find beautiful sandy beaches, beach huts and a cute little cove called Granny’s Bay. A short walk inland will take you to the Fairhaven United Reformed Church, often known as the white church.

1. Visit the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre

Mud might not sound like the ideal backdrop for a day out, but it’s a feast to wetland birds. The mudflats at Fairhaven Lake (part of the Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve) are packed with shellfish and tiny creatures – the perfect buffet for a quarter million waders. Look out for curlew, dunlin, redshank and oystercatcher as you walk along the water’s edge.

The RSPB’s new visitor centre, funded by players of the National Lottery, is a hub of activity for wildlife enthusiasts and families. It also serves as the gateway to explore the wider Ribble Estuary – a special place for birds that travel thousands of miles to reach its shores.

Ansdell & Fairhaven railway station is located on the edge of town, just a short distance from both St Anne’s and Lytham. It opened in 1872 and has been known as Ansdell’s Gate, Ansdell’s Halt and, since 1906, Ansdell & Fairhaven. The station is immaculate and well-loved by locals. A Booths supermarket and a Co-Op food store are just a few steps away.

2. Take a stroll around Fairhaven Lake

Nestled between our quaint coastal towns of Lytham and St Anne’s lies the closely-knit community of Ansdell & Fairhaven. Known for its rich history and tranquil atmosphere, this village is home to a variety of local shops and amenities as well as the Ansdell & Fairhaven railway station and the beautiful Fairhaven Lake.

This large salt water lake is a popular attraction in the area and boasts a variety of family friendly activities including motor boat hire, 14 tennis courts (7 grass and 7 hard), a children’s playground, Crazy Golf course, skate and BMX park, bowling greens, and the RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre.

The lake also provides beautiful scenic views of the Irish Sea and Ribble Estuary, which is why it has been used as a filming location for a number of popular television shows such as It’s A Knockout. Other notable landmarks include the Fairhaven United Reformed Church, which is a distinctive building thanks to its unusual Byzantine design and glazed white tiles, as well as the historic Stannah Bank Kiosk.

3. Play a round of golf at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club

Golfers love this course, which has hosted the Open Championship five times. Its renowned hospitality makes playing here an unforgettable experience.

A stroll around Fairhaven Lake is also a must. This large saltwater lake is positioned on the beach next to Granny’s Bay and Stanner Bank and is one of the borough’s most popular attractions. It is home to a full-size Spitfire memorial, as well as several picnic benches and a children’s playground.

The RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre is another must visit attraction in Ansdell & Fairhaven. The 800 acre wildlife park offers splashing, dipping, playing, feeding, paddling and up-close-and-personal encounters with nature’s most wonderful wildlife – including thousands of birds, a cheeky family of otters and a host of pretty pink flamingos.

It’s easy to get to Ansdell & Fairhaven via public transport. The railway station is located on Woodlands Road and trains depart every half hour to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool South and Preston. Alternatively you can drive, with parking available nearby. If you’re planning to drive, it’s worth noting that the roads in and out of Ansdell & Fairhaven can be very busy at peak times.

4. Visit Granny’s Bay

Granny’s Bay is a cute little beach on the promenade, adjacent to Fairhaven Lake and a few hundred metres from the RSPB certified Visitor Centre. During peak season, you can hire pedalos and boats here too. It’s a great spot for families, and it’s also close to the imposing Fairhaven United Reformed Church, which locals refer to as ‘The White Church’.

The beach is a natural looking section of coastline protected by stone revetments, which are similar to those used to protect Blackpool and Cleveleys seafronts. It’s a beautiful area to go for a walk, play with the kids, or just sit and relax.

Free street parking is available along the promenade, although it does get busy on sunny days. You can also find large council run pay & display car parks at North Promenade, The Pier, the Island Complex, and Fairhaven Lake. There is also a highly-rated R Coffee shop and Yum Yums Cafe across the road from Fairhaven Lake. These offer a range of hot and cold meals, snacks, drinks, ice creams, and other refreshments.

5. Have a meal at one of the local restaurants

Between our quaint coastal towns of Lytham and St Annes lies Ansdell village and Fairhaven. The latter is a quiet, close-knit village that’s not often given the attention it deserves. With Lytham as a cool and quirky hub of independent boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and beautiful Edwardian mansions on the promenade and St Annes as the beacon for tourists with a pier and cute beach huts, Ansdell gets neglected in comparison.

Yet this is a place with much to offer, from its very own railway station which opened in 1872 (and previously was called Ansdell’s Gate and Ansdell’s Halt) to its own lake and promenade. A stroll inland leads to the family friendly RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre, and further still is Fairhaven Lake with its plethora of family activities.

A trip to the high street on Woodlands Road, immaculate and brimming with independent shops and boutiques, offers plenty of food and drink options too. From Bennett’s Bakery serving up their signature Fylde specialty meats to a local R coffee with a queue out the door, there’s something for everyone.

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