268 pm Blackpool to Fleetwood

After a frustrating diversion around a building site, I finally reach the promenade at Cleveleys.

30-daughter-and-dog-walking-the-english-coastAnd there is my daughter, Ella, walking to meet me, along with her beautiful springer spaniel, Lottie. She looks happy to see me – the dog, I mean.

I’m now both very hot and very thirsty.

We’ve booked into a café for lunch, where my son-in-law, Alex, is waiting, having nabbed the only table where they allow dogs because it is right next to the door. It’s a lovely café, but popular, and they don’t seem able to cope with a full venue. We wait for a long time to be served.

By this time I’m dying of thirst – but my ordered drink fails to materialise despite several reminders.

Eventually the food arrives, but I still have nothing to drink. I can’t eat with a dry mouth, so I resort to pouring water from my water bottle into a glass.

After lunch we set off along the promenade, heading northwards towards Fleetwood. It’s great to have some willing models for my photographs!


Ella and Alex live in Manchester, so they are unfamiliar with this area. I suggested we meet at Cleveleys, rather than Blackpool, because I thought it would be quieter and a better place to let the dog run along the beach.

It’s certainly quieter, but the beach is covered by the tide! It’s a lovely walk, all the same, even if we are forced to stick to concrete rather than sand.


I spot something weird in the water. What is it? Looks like a wrecked piece of sculpture. Or, is it a genuine art work, designed to be covered by the incoming tide?


After a while we reach a shingle beach. It’s tough on the feet, but makes a change from concrete.

Walking with a dog is both a joy and a distraction. She, Lottie, walks about 10 times the distance we do, running round in circles and continually fetching sticks for us to throw. She’s gorgeous. Alert, intelligent, and full of life. (My daughter is pretty nice too!)


At times like this, surrounded by good company, I realise how lonely my walks often are. Perhaps I should get a dog? In fact, I start yearning for a dog.


Unfortunately our amble along the promenade comes to an end after a couple of miles. There is more construction work taking place on the sea wall, and so we have to turn inland and walk along the road. (This is the second diversion so far, today, due to construction work. All a bit frustrating!)

The road is very uninspiring, with the high sea wall on our left blocking the view over the water. Never mind. We pull out our phones and resort to playing Pokémon Go.


When I apologise for the unpleasant walk, my daughter tells me she is glad about the diversion. ‘Now I feel I’ve experienced some of the problems you experience, mummy,’ she says.

Luckily, we soon come to a permissive footpath, running along the edge of a golf course. This is better. At last we can let the dog of her lead.


And then we can clamber back on the promenade again. Wow! There seems to be a collapsing building adjacent to the walkway. That must be Cumbria in the distance – the hills of the Lake District. And a blocky structure is capturing the sunshine on the far shore. The power station at Barrow-in-Furness perhaps?


I check my map. We’ve reached Rossall Point, and discover the tottering building is a lookout station. As we get nearer, we realise it’s not really collapsing at all, but has been designed to lean towards the water.

The crowds have disappeared, but there are a few other people enjoying the sands.


We take advantage of the nearby public conveniences, and I do some dog watching. It’s nice to have my photo taken by another human being, for a change, instead of setting up the timer. (Note the phone in my hand: we’re still Pokémon hunting, although at this stage I’ve run out of Pokeballs.)


Onwards. The dog is still full of energy, even if the rest of us are tiring.


We’re approaching another built-up area, and pass a large boating pool on our left. This is Fleetwood. It has a curving beach.


We take advantage of the sand to walk along the beach. The tide is definitely going out now. We see a lone horse rider far out on a sand bank.


By this time I realise I have a serious problem with my camera lens. It started jamming earlier today when I was walking on Blackpool beach, and I think I must have a few grains of sand in the mechanism. Now the auto-focus has developed a mind of its own, and will only allow me to take photos at a certain distance. Shame. I hope it will fix itself.

We walk towards the far end of Fleetwood. There’s an old lighthouse near the water (in the photo below), and a more modern one further inland. One of the buildings bears the bold words: ‘North Euston Hotel’.


North Euston Hotel? We’re a long way from Euston station, but maybe there were once through trains that ended up here? Nowadays you would have to change at Preston.

We reach the point where the River Wyre interrupts the shore. I look over the mouth of the river. There’s Knott End on the other side. And the ferry! Tomorrow I will catch the ferry over there and continue my walk.


Alex says the ferry looks like a bus. It does. And is rather small. Well, I’ve been on much smaller ones.

We stop for a drink at the Ferry Café, which has tables outside. (One of the downsides of walking with a dog is the restrictions it places on finding eating places!) Unfortunately my coffee is instant, strong, and undrinkable. Ella has a nice milk shake. Oh, if only I wasn’t on another diet…


Then it’s time to catch the tram back to our respective cars. Ella and Alex are parked at Cleveleys. I am going all the way back into Blackpool. At this point, I discover I’ve lost my daysaver ticket, and so I have to buy another one!

It turns out to be a great ride. Lottie (the dog) has never travelled by tram before. She guards the doors, greeting each new passenger with enthusiasm. Good job it isn’t very busy!

Walked today = 12 miles
Total distance around coast = 2,710 miles


About Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.
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37 Responses to 268 pm Blackpool to Fleetwood

  1. John harkness says:

    Hi Ruth I see you are getting on well. You may care to see how we got across morecambe bay guided by the Queens guide. Best wishes

  2. simonjkyte says:

    Be really careful of Morcombe Bay. YOu went right past where my grandma used to live

  3. owdjockey says:

    Hi Ruth, I think your “blocky structure” is indeed a Power Station but not Barrow in Furness, but Heysham. It’s be with you for awhile now. The sea covered sculpture, appears to me, when I passed by it at low tide, to represent a large gastropod.

  4. pedalboats says:

    errrr….get a dog when you’ve finished the coast walk, Ruth! Or borrow one.

    • tonyhunt2016 says:

      I clicked that link yesterday, and got a ransom demand from a hacker! Switching off and on again cleared it in Windows 10, but my PC took a while to reboot as it sorted itself out, so other operating systems may be more seriously affected

  5. You’re right, Heather. It would not be sensible to get a dog now. One day!
    There is a lady who walked around the coast with her dog – Spud Talbot-Ponsonby was her name. And another lady, Jannina Tredwell, who walked with *two* dogs, but she had a camper van and a series of support drivers. They’ve both written books about it.

  6. jcombe says:

    I enjoyed this walk a lot. Like you I also used the trams, they are very good. There was also a mix of new trams and old “heritage” trams which I thought was a nice touch.

    Regarding the bus like ferry, I never did use it. As you will find (if you have not already) it does not run all the day as it can’t run at low tide. I got there about half an hour before the published last crossing for the day – but they had already shut down for the day and were just tying up the boat. That was annoying, so I had to decided whether to come back another day or walk around. But then I found there was a bus that goes from Fleetwood all the way around to Knott-end-on-Sea (strange name) and the next one was due in 10 minutes. It took over an hour, but at least it got me across the River Wyre and I could keep to my plan.

    It is indeed Heysham Power Station you can see ahead. When walking there I found a route along the shoreline to a caravan park just before the entrance to Heysham Harbour. I could not understand why anyone would want a caravan here, overlooking a muddy marshy beach (like many in the North West, as you are finding) and right next to a power station. I took a shortcut through the caravan park and was curious to see what they had called it. I had in my mind it would be “Power Station View Holiday Park” but sadly I think it was “Oceans Edge” or something like that.

    You will soon have to decided if you are going to include the Isle of Man (I did). The ferry (Ben-my-Chree) to the island goes from Heysham, you will probably see it. The Isle of Man comes very highly recommended from me! There is a coast path all the way around (called Raad ny Foillan, meaning “Way of the Seagull” when translated from Manx to English) so it is easy to walk around the island.

  7. Rita Bower says:

    Sounds like a lovely day walking with your family & Lottie. Such a lovely looking springer. I can thoroughly recommend walking with a dog – Max (my springer) has joined me for lots of my coastal treks & is a good pace-setter! (He is so much fitter than me!!) But it is much more difficult to organise accommodation & to find places to eat/drink, (though that could encourage your diet! )

    • I’m not stopping to talk to everybody I meet with a nice looking dog, asking ‘what type is your dog?’ Definitely want one, but it would create logistic problems for both travelling and accommodation. So maybe after I’ve finished this trek.

  8. David L says:

    North Euston Hotel was the 1840s terminus of the railway from London. You went from Euston to North Euston, slept, then caught the steamer to Scotland. Fleetwood was going to be a great transport hub. Many thought the passes of the Lakes and W Pennines too steep for a train; Stephenson argued for a line round the Cumberland coast, crossing Morecambe Bay of a barrage, others for a tunnel from Longsleddale to Mardale. But Bouch pushed the Lancaster to Carlisle line over Tebay to Shap and more powerful locomotives could take the gradient. By 1847 the trains ran from London to Carlisle and the North Euston’s brief glory days were over. They still do a bargain seafood lunch, though. You missed a massive treat!

  9. Di iles says:

    Enjoying catching up with your blog again Ruth! Fabulous as ever!
    On a clear day from a hill where I live on the Wirral, we can see Blackpool tower to the North and from the same view point looking south to Llandudno’s Great Orme and sometimes the Snowdonian mountain range too. I’m always amazed when I walk, by the things you can see that are so far away!

    • Yes, indeed, Di. I remember walking around the Wirral and being amazed I could still see the mountains of Snowdonia and Llandudno. In a car you lose your sense of how geography is laid out. When walking you really notice how the shore bends and curves, and things that seem so far away by road are, in reality, just across a stretch of water.
      Funnily enough, I always feel a sense of loss when I finally lose sight of a familiar landmark.

  10. Ruth playing Pokémon Go and links to hackers? Now there’s two things I never thought I’d see in this blog 😉
    I’m half-way through Jannina Treadwell’s book, ‘A bit far for you Dear’ at the moment, I bought a copy on eBay for 1p that turned-out to be signed (It’s a good read, but Ruth’s Coastal Walk is even better).
    Taking a dog on a coastal walk certainly has pros and cons. I concur that without the luxury of a camper van supporting you all the way you’re probably best off staying solo.
    Another fabulous entry, us readers have been spoiled by frequent updates lately. Keep up the good work 🙂

    • Hands up! I confess to being a bit of a computer game addict. And I don’t know what I’d do without my smartphone for company nowadays.
      Thank you for your kind words about the blog Gary, and hope all is well with you.

      • Oh, I meant to say, I spoke to Jannina Tredwell on the phone a few months ago. She has recently walked the coast of Ireland too, and written another book about that experience, which I keep meaning to buy. Sadly, she doesn’t use social media.

  11. Marie Keates says:

    I always find walking with other people a bit of a culture shock. Except CJ of course. I’m so used to him now I sometimes forget he’s there at all.

    • I like company as an occasional treat. But it does alter the walking experience. You’re lucky in being able to walk with CJ and forget he’s there – best of both worlds.

  12. Rob says:

    I grew up in Blackpool and have always enjoyed walking. However, I have never walked the stretch of coastline from south shore (where my parents still live) up to Fleetwood, but have have walked the Morecambe Bay, Grange and Cumbria side on a number of occasions. As I am turning 53 tomorrow I thought I would give it a go. It is a fascinating journey, both in terms of the changes in the sea front architecture but also the awe inspiring sea defences. In terms of coastal walks it must be one of the longest stretches of complex, heavy construction for a sea wall in the UK? Fleetwood is very much a place that has lost its way, which is a shame as its once pivotal position in the fishing industry is a legacy of things to come, unfortunately. Anyway, thanks foe inspiring me to walk this and all the best with your endeavours.

    • Hi Rob, happy birthday and hope you enjoyed your walk. It’s certainly an interesting part of the coast, although I found the frequent diversions rather annoying when I walked this section. Hope they’re gone now. Yes, it probably is one of the longest stretches of sea defences I’ve walked along- although there were similar stretches in Norfolk too. Fleetwood is a sad place now. I believe even the ferry has stopped running. Best wishes, Ruth

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