Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme, Blackpool

Bpl North Shore: Anchorsholme

Take a look at Blackpool’s most northerly seafront at Anchorsholme. Perfect for a walk, spotting sunsets and watching the view.

Where’s Anchorsholme?

For the purposes of this article, we’ll say that Anchorsholme goes from the boundary with Cleveleys to tram stop and toilets at Little Bispham. We’re not quite sure where the official, invisible line is on the map!

Anchorsholme is first past the boundary between Cleveleys (which is in Wyre) and the borough of Blackpool. The actual boundary is at Kingsway.

There’s a small pumping station building where the promenade meets Kingsway. On the other side of the rear flood wall you’ll find ‘Cleveleys’ spelled out in big stone letters. It’s at the side of the Shipwreck Memorial that you can see in this photo –

Welcome to Cleveleys - stone letters on the promenade where Anchorsholme ends
Welcome to Cleveleys – stone letters on the promenade where Anchorsholme ends

Explore Anchorsholme Seafront

Princes Way at Anchorsholme has always been a really popular spot with visitors from near and far. It’s somewhere to park right next to the sea, a lovely spot for a walk, and quite near to Cleveleys.

We went for a walk there in May 2020. Come with us to take a look –

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The new, wide promenade has a split level design. The step is a practical part of the sea defence design. But it’s also a useful feature because it creates an unlimited seat. There are also additional wooden benches.

Anchorsholme Coastal Protection Scheme
The new promenade at Anchorsholme

Public Facilities

With pay and display parking along the full length of the highway it’s an ideal place for anyone who wants to set up camp for the day. You could sunbathe, go for a walk, pop to nearby Cleveleys or just sit and enjoy the view.

Seafront parking at Anchorsholme
Seafront parking at Anchorsholme

Find Danfo public toilets at the tram stop at the junction with Queen’s Promenade. Public facilities are nearby in Anchorsholme Park and it’s only a short walk if you fancy a spot of shopping in Cleveleys.

Beautiful Beaches

Blackpool’s coastline is a changing landscape with different features at each point. The thing that each of these sections does have in common is the beautiful beaches, the fabulous view (even on a grey day!) and the spectacular sunsets.

Looking out towards Blackpool from Anchorsholme seafront. Photo taken in July!
Looking out towards Blackpool from Anchorsholme seafront. Photo taken in July!

The beach at Anchorsholme is tidal, so twice a day it’s under deep water. There is usually some shingle and pebbles near to the sea wall, but beyond that are miles of golden sandy beach.

Shipwrecks

Anchorsholme beach is where the Riverdance Ferry famously ran aground in 2008.

Depending on the depth of sand on the beach, you might see the wooden ribs of the Abana shipwreck stuck out of the sand at low tide. It’s another wreck from long ago.

Abana Shipwreck on Blackpool beach at Anchorsholme near to Cleveleys
Abana Shipwreck on Blackpool beach at Anchorsholme near to Cleveleys

Interested in local maritime history? At the boundary with Cleveleys there’s the shipwreck memorial. On it are the names of ships which have wrecked off the Fylde Coast – both the Abana and Riverdance are on there.

Shipwreck memorial on the seafront where Anchorsholme meets Cleveleys
Shipwreck memorial on the seafront where Anchorsholme meets Cleveleys

Rough Seas

Hard to believe in lovely weather, but the sea can be incredibly rough along the Fylde Coast.

The seafront at Princes Way, Anchorsholme, takes a hard battering on bad days – at any time of the year. It can be very dangerous, so the sea should always to be treated with respect.

Take a look at this rough sea – which is nowhere near as bad as it can get! Filmed at the corner near the tram stop/toilets junction of Princes Way and Queen’s Promenade.

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As the seafront promenade continues southwards to Blackpool, you can see why there are two levels of promenade walkway. The split-levels of promenade are integral to the sea defences, each providing a layer of protection. The bottom one is dangerous in stormy conditions.

Please don’t cross the barriers onto the sea side when the tide is in or coming in.

High tide barriers - please do not cross them.
High tide barriers – please do not cross them.

Head south towards Blackpool from Anchorsholme

You can continue walking along the seafront from Anchorsholme, all the way to Blackpool. And even further if the mood takes you!

Keep the sea on your right, and you can’t get lost! Head towards The Blackpool Tower which you’ll see ahead.

Pick the lower level against the beach and sea, or the middle level which gives you a better view. The very top walkway along the grassy bank against the tram tracks gives a splendid view of the Fylde Coast.

Carry on beyond Anchorsholme seafront to Little Bispham and Blackpool beyond

Have a look at the next video clip. Taken from the pathway near to the tram crossing at Little Bispham, early on a sunny, breezy morning. What a lovely place!

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The New Sea Wall at Anchorsholme

Local authorities here on the Fylde Coast are very good at securing government funding for sea defences. This coastline is very fortunate to have an excellent 100 year, rolling plan for their management and maintenance.

In October 2017, the £27.1million Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme was officially opened. One of the most recent sections to be fully rebuilt, it’s designed to reduce the risk of flooding to 4,800 properties.

You can see the join where Anchorsholme sea wall joins Cleveleys sea wall. The boundary between Blackpool and Wyre is where the style of sea defence changes, from steps at Cleveleys to a smooth revetment and wavebreaker units in Blackpool.

The stepped sea wall at Cleveleys meets the different design at Anchorsholme.
The stepped sea wall at Cleveleys meets the different design at Anchorsholme. This photo was taken in 2016 during construction of the Anchorsholme works.
Where Cleveleys meets Blackpool
Changing design where Cleveleys meets Blackpool

There’s more about the old sea wall at Anchorsholme a little further down this page. Plus other interesting local information.

Anchorsholme Park

On one side of Princes Way is the sea. On the other side of the road is Anchorsholme Park. Anchorsholme Park fills the space between the coast and Queen’s Promenade – where the tramway travels to Cleveleys from Blackpool.

Aerial view of Anchorsholme Park just before reopening
Aerial view of Anchorsholme Park just before reopening

Anchorsholme Park has been closed for a number of years, while another major infrastructure project has taken place.

Water company United Utilities have spent an enormous amount of money on improving the infrastructure that deals with our sewage and wastewater.

They have built a storage tank for stormwater and sewage and new pumping facilities. The improvements will reduce sewage spills to sea and protect properties from flooding.

The Old Sea Wall at Anchorsholme

The old sea wall here was at the end of its useful life. That’s why funding was granted for the Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme.

The old wall was broken and failing. During winter storms just before construction work started, a huge chunk of it actually broke off.

The old Anchorsholme sea wall being repaired in December 2013
The old Anchorsholme sea wall being repaired in December 2013

The design of the old seafront at Princes Way meant that waves frequently came over the top. As a result, the highway was often closed to traffic. Not just because of flood water, but pebbles and shingle that washed up with it.

Here’s an example of small waves coming over. Bear in mind that it’s not safe to go out and take photos in the worst of the stormy conditions! Waves overtopping like this (and much worse) was a normal sight. We’ve not got any photos of the very worst weather in our archive here at Visit Fylde Coast. Not only is it unsafe it’s also unpleasant to try and take them!

Tide coming over the old sea wall at Anchorsholme before it was rebuilt
Tide coming over the old sea wall at Anchorsholme before it was rebuilt

Do you remember when…..?

Dozens of camper vans used to park along the seafront at Princes Way, when parking was free and unrestricted. Unfortunately, a lot of them also took advantage of the situation. That’s why Pay and Display parking was introduced when the new promenade opened.

Camper vans parked on Princes Way at Anchorsholme
Camper vans parked on Princes Way at Anchorsholme

Remember the underground car park?

You might also remember a slipway going underground, which stopped at a door. It was opposite the tram shelter at Little Bispham.

Access to underground boat store
Access to underground boat store

This door was the entrance to the space used as an underground boat store. Did you go to the open day which Live Blackpool helped to organise? Over 500 people went underground to take a look!

Originally built as an underground car park but prone to flooding, it was filled in and remodelled during sea wall works.

Where existing and new sea wall schemes meet at Little Bispham
Where existing and new sea wall schemes meet at Little Bispham

And that high brick wall!

Princes Way was much lower originally than it is now. Can you remember the high brick retaining wall which held up Anchorsholme Park? You can just see it on the right of the photo below.

The old sea front at Ancholsholme
The old sea front at Anchorsholme

The wall doesn’t look so high in the above photo, but it was! In the summer of 2011 Paul Cartmel pointed the wall, by hand, from end to end. Passing him each week, we felt so sorry for the size of the job he was doing! We stopped one day to talk to him, read the article here.

Paul pointing the wall at Anchorsholme
Paul pointing the wall at Anchorsholme

And the diversions during the works!

The next clip (below) was made while the new sea defences at Anchorsholme were being built. It follows the promenade road from the end of Victoria Road West at Cleveleys to turn left at Anchorsholme Lane West. During the construction works, the rest of Princes Way was closed.

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While you’re here…

Have a look at the homepage of the Live Blackpool website for more of the latest updates.

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1 thought on “Bpl North Shore: Anchorsholme”

  1. I’m pretty newly transplanted to this area and it’s nice to learn what’s going on and see where I can head off to and also pick up some history. The lady filming has a lovely, calm voice as well.

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