Lytham St Annes

Fairhaven Lake is a beautiful salt water lake that acts as one of the Borough’s most popular attractions. Positioned right on the coast in a scenic location there is lots on offer for all the family.

There are plenty of things to do such as motorboat, canoe and rowing boat hire, a skate park, flat green bowling, tennis courts and basketball courts. Other facilities include a café and RSPB discovery centre which is one of the most important in Europe.

The lake is the perfect place to spend the day with family or friends as the facilities are open to enjoy daily.

Further Information

With coastal resorts becoming increasingly popular, Fleetwood businessman Thomas Riley had a vision of a different type of resort nestled between St Annes and Lytham. He aimed to attract the genteel to Fairhaven with the virtues of sea air, sweeping views and impressive scenery around a marine lake.

Using the natural stannahs of the land and shingle beaches, development of the 12-acre lake and a new sea wall began. By August 1893 the lake had reached the desired depth of 3ft 6in and was officially opened.

One of the aims of the Fairhaven Estate Company was to provide water-based recreational activities, and in 1895 a small boathouse was added to the shoreline. Rowing, sailing, swimming demonstrations and pleasure boats provided entertainment on the lake, with annual regattas from 1899.

Fairhaven Golf Club was formed in 1895, and the course and clubhouse built to the west of the lake. The sea defences were strengthened the following year after a vicious storm, and the club house relocated inland. This later became a lakeside café and alternative recreational activities, including tennis courts and bowling green, were introduced in 1910.

In 1923 Fairhaven Lake was purchased and gifted to the town by Lord Ashton. Following renovations by T.H. Mawson and Sons it was renamed Ashton Marine Park and Gardens and officially reopened in 1926.  Renovations saw the lake double in size, the creation of a central pavilion and attractive gardens added to complement the ambience of the park.

Fairhaven Lake provides a serene environment to take in stunning views of lake and sea. In addition to boating activities there is an RSPB Discovery Centre, lakeside café, and in 2002 the ‘Jubilee’ began to offer cruises across the lake. In 2012, after three years of fundraising by the Lytham St Annes Spitfire Display Team, a replica fighter was placed in the park as a memorial.

In 2018 a major redevelopment was announced, with plans to restore original features of the 1923 redesign including the Japanese lagoon. Plans also include the expansion of the café, RSPB centre and an additional water sports centre and recreational area.

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