Why you should move to Lytham
PUBLISHED: 13:01 28 December 2009 | UPDATED: 21:49 24 December 2014
Many of the properties date back to the town's early days as a fishing village, although there has been a lot of recent house building at both ends of town.
Few places have seen property boom in recent years quite as much as Lytham. House prices have shown a steady rise and the town, once considered largely a retirement haven, has become a honeypot for businesspeople, footballers and young families.
Many of the properties date back to the town's early days as a fishing village, although there has been a lot of recent house building at both ends of town. To the west, the sprawling Cypress Point development is a mix of large red brick family homes and apartments built around landscaped grounds and curving avenues.
And work is now underway on an exclusive housing development on a brownfield site on the town's eastern fringe. Kensington Developments are building 260 detached, mews and affordable homes on land previously occupied by a bakery and an engineering works. The development is a scaled down version of a previous plan for a new mini-town on the site which residents and traders claimed would harm shops in the existing town centre and produce excessive amounts of traffic.
There's already quite a bit of traffic heading past the site towards the town centre and the famous mile-long Green. For 200 years Lytham windmill has been an instantly recognisable feature of the town's skyline. Its 56 feet long sails don't turn any more but they have seen the winds of change blow through the area.
When the large houses which now overlook the Green were being built, their would-be owners called for the mill to be demolished so they wouldn't have 'industrial activity' spoiling their sea views. But these days the mill, which is now a museum and heritage centre, is considered a valuable selling point and adds to the superb views across the Ribble estuary.
Next door to the windmill is the old cobblestone Lifeboat House, also now a museum. Cobblestones are a familiar sight in Lytham, lining pavements and forming patterns on the ground on the walk from the Green into town. The biggest and best show is at the Square in the heart of the town which depicts the red rose of Lancashire and images from the town's heritage.
From the centre of the mosaic it's a short stroll to Lytham's many shops, bars and restaurants, and there are also plenty of homes within easy walking distance. And despite their proximity to the busy town centre streets, the residential areas are
generally quiet. Parking can be an issue, though, with many visitors taking advantage of the free street parking to avoid pay and display charges elsewhere.
Ups: Relatively little crime, good shops, great scenery, adequate facilities and a pleasant atmosphere.
Downs: Residents can be out-numbered by visitors on some summer days, making it hard to park within hiking distance of your own front door and doubling the time taken to nip out for a pint of milk. Also, the noise of test flights from the nearby BAe base at Warton can be deafening at times.
Schools: Ansdell County Primary, 01253 736902. Hall Park County Primary, 01253 738864. Lytham CE Primary, 01253 736900. St Peter's RC Primary, 01253 734658. Lytham St Annes High, 01253 733192. St Bede's RC High, 01253 737174. King Edward VII and Queen Mary Independent School 01253 784100.
Transport: Trains run regularly from Lytham to St Annes and Blackpool to the west and to Preston and the national network in the east. The rapidly growing Blackpool Airport is about 15 minutes away and the M55 runs a couple of miles north of Lytham.
Weekend fun: Lowther Pavilion has a packed programme of amateur and professional theatre, music and dance all year round and the gardens also include tennis courts, a café and a pitch and putt course.
The Lytham Heritage Centre on the corner of Dicconson Terrace and Henry Street has exhibitions on the town's history and the heritage group have a full diary of events throughout the year. 01253 730787.
Golf is big business in Lytham, the town is surrounded by four courses, and the Open Championship was last held at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club in 2001 when David Duval lifted the famous Claret jug.
Commuting: Blackpool town centre is around 20 minutes away, with travelling time to Preston slightly longer. On a good day Manchester and Liverpool are each about an hour away by motorway and budget airline Ryanair operates daily flights out of Blackpool to and from Stansted.
Shops: Stringers department store is the grand old lady but there's a good mix of old and new shops, traditional and modern boutiques and small and large stores - mainly on Church Road, Park Street, Clifton Street and Dicconson Terrace.
Restaurants/bars: There's scores of places to eat and drink and in recent years the restaurant scene has improved dramatically, offering food from around the world in restaurants which are up-market but never exclusive. A number of stylish pavement cafes and bars are doing well, too, and there's still plenty of lively pubs, serving everything, from real ale to cocktails.