Away from all the hustle, bustle and rowdiness in the central areas of Blackpool you can find this little haven. Behind Blackpool Zoo and beyon the DeVere hotel there is a track which takes you out to Marton Mere. This is a great place to go if you just want to get away and have some time to yourself. There are a number of little huts around the lake out here where you can sit and do a spot of birdwatching. I love it out here and oftne find myself out here for a little bit of "me-time" - it truly is beautiful and peaceful. It is quite a walk and you can easily spend a good few hours enjoying the scenery here.
Not many people notice this nowadays, buts in its glory days it was very popular among younger visitors
insert a coin in the slot [this should be a tourist trap tip, it costs 20p] and the scotsman will dance as Nessie rises from the deep, of course in these days of virtual reality and video games the children think its naff and stupid, but we grown ups who remember a gentler age are taken back to our childhoods
it used to stand outside, now for its safety it is behind a plate glass window, you can see it in a tiny souvenir shop on Bond Street
Marsh Mill is the tallest windmill of its kind (post mill) in Europe , and is situated on Victoria Road East in Thornton Cleveleys. The windmill, built in 1796, is now open to the general public at weekends as a museum, and in the surrounding area there are several shops and eating establishments. The windmill visit offers a real insight into the past and the workings of the mill (which was once a false teeth factory!).
Marsh Mill can be easily reached either by car or the number 14 bus that runs nearly every ten minutes from St. Annes to Fleetwood. The nearest bus stop is Four Lane Ends, Marsh Mill is a short walk from here.
If you look carefully you can still see pieces from Blackpools past, there is still evidence of Blackpools heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
above the amusement arcades you can often get a glimpse of the original Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings with their carved masonry, or curved lines, and you will see the rain shelters still useful on a wet and windy day by the sea
Lifeboat House. This is the working home of the brave men and women who risk their lives to rescue those in danger out on the sea. There is a small museum here which is free but there are boxes for donations which I fully suggest you put money in. You can even watch the lifeboat crew working on the boats from a window upstairs. This is located just north of the Central Pier.
Get out of Blackpool and visit Coniston Water.
This is where Donald Campbell fatal world record attempt for the world water speed record in 1967. The village is a centre for walking in the area, but it was once a copper mining centre. One lovely way to see the area is to take a boat trip from Coniston pier on the national Trust boat. It calls at Brantwood and Park-a-Moor. It was at Brantwood that the writer and philosopher John Rushkin lived and some of his paintings and memorabilia can be seen there. There is also an exhibition about Rushkin and Gandhi showing Rushkins influence on this Statesman. North of Conisaton water is a manmade landscaped pool (Tarn Hows) There is a chance to climb the “Old Man of Coniston” 803metres high.
Off the B5285 near Hawkeshead Hill
Tel. 015394 41396
Open daily mid March until mid November and from mid November open Wednesday to Saturday
This is a lovely busy market town with lots of buildings in grey limestone which is easy to explore on foot. The Abbot Hall from 1759 has an art collection painted by Turner and Romney. In the Abbot’s Hall stable is the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry. There are demonstrations of local crafts and trades
Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry.
Tel: 01539 722464
Open mid. February until December daily
Visit Ulverston -
This is a little historic town which is famous because of its connection with Laurel and Hardy. Stan Laurel was born here in 1890. There is a museum in the town with memorabilia in it.
Laurel and Hardy Museum
Upper Brook street Ulverston
Tel: 01229 582292
Open daily except Christmas day.
Visit the little village of Grasmere -
This is where the poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850) lived during his most creative years, in Dove Cottage which is now open to the public. There is a museum in the barn behind the house with memorabilia of this wonderful poet. William Wordsworth was born in the lake District and lived there most of his life. He went to school in Hawkeshead and then went to Cambridge. In 1802 he married an old school friend Mary. At Dove Cottage they received such guests as the poet Coleridge. Today Grasmere is a little town with shops and restaurants. Parking can be a problem in the summer months though. The Wordsworths are buried in St. Oswalds Church.
Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum
Off the A591 near Grasmere
Tel: 015394 35544
Open daily except 24-26 December
Visit Rydal -
In 1813 the Wordsworths and his sister Dorothy moved to a larger house (Rydal Mount) in Rydal and lived there until 1850. In the grounds there are waterfalls and a summerhouse where the poet used to sit. The DORA’S Field nearby is a mass of daffodils in the spring.
Tel: 015394 33002
Open daily March to October and Wednesday to Monday in November to February.
Fleetwood. The north end of the tram line, much quieter and less tourist orientated than Blackpool, we visit every year for the Beer Festival, see travelogue for more photos. B&B also good value here too and a ferry departs for the Isle of Man from the docks. 'The eating plaice' on the main street is a great sit down fish and chip shop - then on to the Wyre Lounge in the Marine Hall (tel 01253 771141) for one of the best pints in the country.
Near my hotel there was a closed but interesting building. In the facade we could read "1913 Central Picture Theatre" but the only "living" signal was the advertising of "Central Cabaret Bar" in both windows.
I tried to discover what it was, and, in the listed buildings of Blackpool Civic Trust, I read:
Grade 2 - Listed 20.10.1983
Recently in use as a bingo hall, the “Central Picture Theatre” was built in 1913, possibly one of the first purpose-built cinemas in Lancashire.
The symmetrical façade in Accrington brick features stone-coloured dressings, two bullseye windows, drum and ball finial and a red/white chequered gable bearing patterns in moulded terracotta.
The small foyer leads to a balconied auditorium with decorative mouldings to cornice, ceiling braces and seat ends. Exterior restored and interior much altered in conversion to “Village Pizzeria” in Spring 1986.
Now stands vacant and with door and windows boarded over.
Well, one more sigh of Blackpool's old glorious days.
Will it be possible to travel in time?
Look at this precious building - the past is present in all its details and beauty, but if you enter, you will meet the future.
No... it is not a school, nor a church, nor even a palace, it is a ... cybercafe. How nice!
Well, the church is next door...
Just up the road from the hustle and bustle of Blackpool, lies Lytham St Anns, a much quieter area of the coast. Lots of grassy areas for great picnics if the weather permits!! This picture is of The Anchor at the Lifeboat Museum.
If you get a tram north you come to Fleetwood it as one of the best markets in that area for clthes and fish, you can also get a train to Manchester around a hour away Liverpool 50 minuets Preston 30 minutes