Fairhaven Lake is a lovely area on the seafront, where you can enjoy walks, fresh air and watching the wildlife.
You’ll find it near to Granny’s Bay. That’s where Clifton Drive meets the Inner Promenade at the White Church. It extends northwards – as if heading to Blackpool.
St Annes seafront, from here to the northern end at the sand dunes near Blackpool, is one great big outdoor area with good facilities. Enjoy traditional amusements and walks, fresh air and the beautiful coastline.
At Granny’s Bay there’s plenty of free on-street parking on the seafront. If you prefer, there’s also a pay and display car park. At the northern side of Granny’s Bay is the turning from Inner Promenade into the car park. This also leads to the footpath which takes you around the back of the lake.
Please note: Sea defence works have begun in this area which may affect accessibility. Please check with the project before travelling.
Enjoy a few hours or a full day here, with the coast on one side and a beautiful green park on the other. There’s a little take-away shop at the entrance to the car park where you can get an ice cream or hot drink.
Views on Your Coastal Walk around Fairhaven Lake
It’s a lovely walk on the footpath around the seaward side of the lake, especially on a nice day.
There are occasional events held in the car park here. This is a previous Classic Car Show (below).
Looking back towards Church Scar from the footpath on the seaward side of Fairhaven Lake (below) you can just see the tower of the White Church in the distance.
Peace and Quiet
The further you walk around the lake footpath the quieter it gets. If you like peace and quiet and a fabulous view, then this is the place for you.
Views over the Sea
The Irish Sea and Ribble estuary meet at the seaward side of Fairhaven Lake. When the weather is clear there are amazing views across the bay to Southport (below).
Slightly beyond you can also see north Wales. Of course you’ll also see plenty of spectacular west coast sunsets and evening sunshine all throughout the year.
More about Fairhaven Lake and its History
The lake was made by enclosing the double stanner bank, when Thomas Riley rented the land to build the new town of Fairhaven in the 1890s.
Lord Ashton (he of Ashton Gardens) bought it and presented it to the Lytham St Annes Corporation, so it was called Ashton Marine Park until the 1960’s. The newly formed Borough of Lytham St Annes employed Mawson to landscape the surrounding area. Not all of Mawson’s grand ideas were incorporated.
The Cafe was originally built as the Clubhouse for Fairhaven Golf Club. It predates all the other buildings in the area (they retreated inland after a huge flood in 1896).
Another fascinating fact is that Regattas were held on the lake from 1900. The last one was held in 1972 when the Borough of Lytham St Annes was formed.
Fairhaven Lake is just over 1m deep at its deepest point. It’s a managed space and well maintained.
It’s also a haven for wildlife and somewhere for the migrant birds to shelter from the worst of the rough prevailing weather. It’s a year-round home to ducks and swans.
RSPB Discovery Centre and Cafe at Fairhaven Lake
The RSPB Ribble Discovery Centre and adjoining cafe are the buildings which are right against the edge of the lake. This is also where you pick up your pleasure craft to spend an hour sailing on the water!
A little further north, just behind these buildings, you’ll find a children’s playground and a Crazy Golf Course. They’re next to the Bowling Greens with the Lake carrying on behind.
Carry on towards St Annes to find well equipped tennis courts and then further along the skate park.
Spitfire Memorial at Fairhaven Lake
By now you’ve just about reached the northern end of the lake as it snakes around the back of the public facilities.
You’ll then find the Spitfire Memorial and the picnic area that’s enjoyed by many. Here, you’re at St Paul’s Avenue, which is also where you’ll find more pay and display parking.
Sea Wall Construction Works
Construction of a new sea defence is underway at Fairhaven Lake and Church Scar in Lytham St Annes. The scheme is designed to protect thousands of homes from flooding.
The sea defence walls are being replaced at Church Scar and Fairhaven at a cost of £17.5m. It also includes the construction of new promenades.
Activities to Enjoy
Blackpool & Fylde Model Boat Club meet at the North West end of the Lake, adjacent to St.Pauls Avenue Car Park. They meet from April to October, weather permitting. Sailing sessions are Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings from 6pm until dusk.
Ribble Cruising Club hold Try Sailing events on the lake. Why don’t you give it a go?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our armchair guide to Fairhaven Lake. Better still why don’t you pick a fine and sunny day and go out and explore for yourself!
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