Now, I only say Lytham St Annes as that’s how people tend to have heard of this place, but really I am talking about St Annes on Sea in this post, which is its own little town with its own attractions. Lytham is a different town (and one of my faves) which is further down the Fylde Coast, and there is plenty of time to come to that another day. For now, St Annes it is.
I first fell in love with this place because of the beach. Dog walking means that you experience weather like nobody else really does, you can stumble upon the most glorious weather first thing in the morning or find yourself gazing at a beautiful sunset when taking them out for their final walk of the day.
This beach was where all of this happened and more. And every single time I felt better for being out there, no matter what the weather. The huge tides mean that often there are miles of sandy beach, and in winter you often have this to yourself. It is simply beautiful.
We took the boys there last week, and struck it lucky with the weather, it was freezing cold, but beautifully sunny. Not a day to sit and play, but a day for running wild, making footprints and finding shells, climbing sea walls and writing our names in the sand. PERFECT for two energetic little ones.
The pier is a gem. It is a gorgeous Victorian pier, and has been preserved beautifully, it looks stunning from the outside. On the inside, however, life gets a little more crazy. There are arcade machines and rides galore, and while the noise and bright lights are brilliant for lots of children, it can be a little overwhelming for little ones. If you are with someone who you know isn’t too good with over stimulation, I would advise caution.
Once through the arcade chaos however, the walk along the open pier is BRILLIANT. Our boys went crazy, running up and down again and again and again. The views of the Irish Sea are stunning, especially on a bright and sunny day, and it is well worth a visit.
Now, as for where to eat, there are plenty of choices in St Annes. An old favourite of ours is Tiggis which has been a family favourite for years and years (I highly recommend the calamari).
This time, we decided to try something completely different, and chose (on pleading requests from our eldest, backed up by our youngest once he realised what was going on) Carriages Café, which is an ACTUAL TRAIN you can sit inside and eat!!! Seriously, how to score brownie points with your children.
The café was warm and welcoming, which was just what we wanted after our bracing walk on the beach. The staff were super friendly even though it was clearly nearly the end of their day. The menu is VERY basic and traditional café food, and as we were so late it was limited even further, although this didn’t bother us as we only wanted a light meal/snack.
We ordered toasted sandwiches, chips and hot chocolates, very old school but just what was wanted in the weather, and it was all delicious. The boys were enthralled that we were eating in a train and spent their time looking around at all the fixtures and fittings, which were delightfully retro.
At the end of the day we changed the boys into their pjs in the back of the funbus (more on the funbus in an upcoming post) and set off for home. St Annes is about an hour from us so the hope was that they would fall asleep and we could pop them straight into bed, and it (amazingly) worked!
Seriously, St Annes is a brilliant day out and the plan is to return in the summer to see what more it has to offer. If it is anything like as good as it is in the winter, I’ll be more than happy.