5 reasons to visit Cleveleys and Thornton

PUBLISHED: 10:26 20 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:47 10 July 2018

Marsh Mill Village

Marsh Mill Village


A visit to the Fylde Coast doesn’t have to mean St Annes, Lytham or Blackpool - there’s plenty to do further north

Mary's Golden Shell, CleveleysMary's Golden Shell, Cleveleys

Brill beach

The Fylde coast is famed for its beaches and while Blackpool may have the biggest, Cleveleys has arguably the best. While crowds pack on to the more famous resort’s sands, few make the short trip up the coast to find more space to lay down their blanket. The beach here is just across the road from the town centre shops – and just a few minutes walk from the tram stop – and is home to a series of artworks. Pieces line the newly revamped promenade and large intriguing sculptures spill out onto the sands. The beach also has fine views to the Lakeland fells and (on a clear day) the Welsh hills.

Pure drama

Thornton Little Theatre is one of the gems of the Fylde coast, with a lively programme of shows, plays, comedy and music. The theatre stands at the cross roads close to Thornton’s other landmark, Marsh Mill with its neighbouring shops and restaurants. The theatre hosts touring shows and stages performances by local groups such as the always impressive Thornton Cleveleys Brass Band who have a couple of dates there later this year. For more information go to the Thornton Little Theatre page of the Wyre Council website, wyre.gov.uk.

It’s the business

Cleveleys and Thornton have a range of shops which cater for just about every need. Most of the shops in Cleveleys – a mix of national chains and local independents – are found on Victoria Road West, while in Thornton there’s a select few shops clustered around the mill. And if you’ve decided against a picnic on the beach, there’s no shortage of places to eat and it doesn’t all have to be fish and chips. There are plenty of cafes and pubs as well as the chic restaurant Twelve restaurant which is so good it was named Lancashire Life restaurant of the year in 2012.

A gala performance

The 115th Thornton Gala will be held this month with a day of fun and games. The parade should return to the streets this year too, after last year’s disappointment when too few volunteers marshals meant the decorated floats and groups from local community groups could not process around the town. The day will also include fairground rides, stalls, fancy dress competitions and the highlight of many such events, the crowning of the Gala Queen and Princess Elect.

Traditional fun

A visit to the seaside wouldn’t be complete without candy floss, a stick of rock, a kiss me quick hat and a portion of fish and chips. While many seaside resorts have been re-born in recent years (and plenty of others have been left to die) Cleveleys has simply plodded on, doing what it has done for generations. That’s not to say it’s old fashioned or outmoded, it just continues to offer traditional seaside fun without the bright lights, loud music and brash atmosphere you’ll find a mile or two down the coast.

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