Six of the best coastal walks in Lancashire
PUBLISHED: 00:00 06 August 2014 | UPDATED: 17:38 21 May 2019
If the temperature starts to rise, head for the cool breeze along the coast. Here are some of our favourite strolls.
Lancashire has some lovely unspoilt shoreline that provide scenic beauty, historic interest and a wealth of wildlife.
Who could fail to be attracted by the prospect of glimpsing the tower in Silverdale where Victorian author Elizabeth Gaskell cooled off during August holidays to pen some of her compelling novels?
Who could fail to be moved by the grave of a young slave at Sunderland Point, a tranquil place which has become a bit of a shrine for a man refused a Christian burial because of his race?
And who could fail to be thrilled by the site of a red squirrel rummaging through the pines at Formby Point?
If you are looking for a challenging hike or a leisurely stroll, we hope our six of the best helps. Happy hiking!
Cark and Flookburgh
This walk, on the marshy northern shore of Morecambe Bay, follows part of the Cumbria Coastal Way linking Morecambe Bay with the Solway Firth. This atmospheric part of old Lancashire is famous for its shrimps but Flookburgh got its name from the flat fish caught in the bay.
Refreshments: Southern Lakeland Nurseries, Flookburgh, Howie's Café in the Square, pubs in Flookburgh and Cark.
Difficulty: Medium | Distance: 5.5 miles | Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer OL7
Morecambe Bay from Hest Bank
Taking in the section of coast between Morecambe and Bolton-le-Sands, this walk also gives us the opportunity to travel a little of the Lancaster Canal towpath. This area is very flat and marshy providing an excellent environment for breeding salt marsh lamb.
Refreshments: Cafe at Hest Bank, Royal pub at Bolton-le-Sands
Difficulty: Medium | Distance: 8 miles | Map: OS Explorer 296
This is one of Lancashire's hidden gems, a place full of echoes from times gone by when it was a place of shipbuilding and slavery. Today it boasts a fine row of old houses, the poignant grave of a slave and some beautiful views. But be warned, this walk starts at Overton and the causeway floods when the tide is in.
Refreshments: Pubs at Overton, snacks and toilets at Middleton Sands.
Difficulty: Easy | Distance: 5 miles | Map: OS Explorer 294
Silverdale and Jenny Brown's Point
Silverdale is one of Lancashire's most beautiful coastal areas and steeped in history - Elizabeth Gaskell wrote some of her novels from a tower overlooking the sea. Nearby is Leighton Hall, a historic home open to the public, and the Leighton Moss RSPB sanctuary.
Refreshments: Wolfhouse Gallery, Woodlands pub and the Silverdale Hotel
Difficulty: Easy | Distance: Under two miles | Map: OS Explorer 0L7
Formby Red Squirrel Walk
Spectacular beach, sand dunes and pines in this National Trust coastal enclave. This is an important site for wildlife - owls, stoats, weasels, natterjack toads and the red squirrels are still hanging in there. At certain times of the tide the footsteps of ancient man are exposed.
Refreshments: Cafes and pubs in Formby
Difficulty: Easy | Distance: Just under 2 miles | Map: OS Explorer 285
Lytham to St Annes
This is a great walk if you or a companion struggle with hills - it's pretty much flat all the way and you don't really need a map. Start at the Windmill on Lytham Green and follow the promenade west to Fairhaven Lake which you loop around and return to Lytham the way you came.
Refreshments: There's a café at Fairhaven and the Queen Hotel is near the windmill. Many, many more in Lytham.
Difficulty: Easy | Distance: 5 miles | Map: OS Explorer 286
All the routes were correct at the time of publication, over time access to certain parts of the walk may be subject to change.