Take a look at the seafront at Anchorsholme. There’s plenty of parking and it’s ideal for a walk and watching the view.
For the purposes of this article, let’s say Anchorsholme goes from the boundary with Cleveleys to tram stop at Little Bispham, just before the Norbreck Castle Hotel. I’m not quite sure where the official, invisible line is on the map!
Anchorsholme is officially at the boundary between Cleveleys (which is in Wyre) and the borough of Blackpool. The actual boundary is at Kingsway. It’s also where the style of sea defences change from steps to a smooth revetment.
The New Sea Wall at Anchorsholme
In this clip you can see the brand Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme, which was opened in mid November 2016.
Princes Way at Anchorsholme has always been a really popular spot with visitors from near and far. It’s somewhere to park next to the sea, a lovely spot for a walk, and quite near to Cleveleys.
The new, wide promenade has a split level design. The step is a practical part of the design but it’s also a popular feature because it creates an unlimited seat. There are also additional wooden benches.
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 and sunbathe, go for a walk or just sit and enjoy the view.
There are 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.
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 and the spectacular sunsets.
The beach at Anchorsholme is tidal, so twice a day it completely covers with deep water. There is some shingle and pebbles against the sea wall, but beyond that are miles of golden sandy beach.
This is where the Riverdance Ferry famously ran aground in 2008. Depending on the depth of sand on the beach, you can often see the wooden ribs of the Abana shipwreck stuck out of the sand at low tide (above). It’s another wreck from long ago.
If you are interested in local maritime history, at the boundary with Cleveleys there’s the shipwreck memorial. It lists all of the ships which have wrecked off the Fylde Coast – both the Abana and Riverdance are named on there.
Head south towards Blackpool from Anchorsholme
Beyond the new sea wall at Anchorsholme the seafront splits into an upper and lower level walkway at the tram stop at Little Bispham. Carry on walking south towards Blackpool. You can’t get lost if you keep the sea on your right and head towards 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.
Have a look at this video clip below. It was taken from the pathway near to the tram crossing at Little Bispham, early on a sunny, breezy morning.
By contrast, the clip below is a dramatic rough sea. It was filmed from the seafront at Little Bispham where Princes Way meets Queen’s Promenade at the tram crossing.
You can also see why there are two levels of promenade walkway in this clip. The layers of promenade are integral to the sea defences, each providing a layer of protection. The bottom one is dangerous in stormy conditions.
You can continue walking along the seafront right through Little Bispham, Bispham and then beyond to Blackpool and even further if the mood takes you.
The Old Sea Wall at Anchorsholme
The sea wall at Anchorsholme was replaced because the old one was at the end of its useful life. The old wall was broken and in the winter before construction work started a huge chunk actually broke off it in a storm.
The design of the old seafront at Princes Way meant that waves frequently came over the top. The highway was often closed to traffic because of, not just flood water, but the pebbles and shingle which it brought with it.
Here’s an example of waves coming over, but 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 was a normal sight.
Do you remember when…..?
If you remember, dozens of camper vans used to park along the seafront at Princes Way when parking was free and unrestricted. Unfortunately, a lot of them took advantage of the situation, which is why Pay and Display parking was introduced when the new promenade opened.
In the next photo below, you can see the former entrance to the underground boat store before it was filled in. This spot at the junction near the tram crossing, has been remodelled slightly where the new sea wall joins the old. Did you go to the open day which Live Blackpool helped to organise? Over 500 people went underground to take a look!
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 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, Live Blackpool stopped one day to talk to him, read the article here.
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.
You can also see the substantial construction works in Anchorsholme Park by United Utilities. They have built a storage tank for stormwater and sewage and new pumping facilities. This infrastructure is critical in dealing with sewage and stormwater, particularly during storm conditions.
Find out More
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