Cleveleys seafront and beach

Cleveleys Seafront and Beach

Explore Cleveleys seafront and beach, and enjoy the Great British Seaside at its best! There’s space for everyone and it’s a perfect place to enjoy family time, all year round.

Cleveleys seafront is just over a mile long from end to end. The boundary with Blackpool is at Kingsway in the south (near Anchorsholme Park). The Mythic Coast artwork trail begins here with the Shipwreck Memorial.

Rossall School is at the other end, the northern end of the Cleveleys frontage. Carry on even further northwards than that and you’re enjoying Fleetwood seafront.

Explore two very different types of landscape at Cleveleys Seafront. There’s the stepped sea defences adjacent to the town centre, and further north the more natural shingle of Rossall Beach. Come and take a look…

Where Cleveleys Seafront Meets Blackpool

We began our four part video tour of Cleveleys seafront and beach at Anchorsholme Park. Princes Way feels like it should be part of Cleveleys and people often assume it is. That’s why we’ve included it here. But it’s actually in the neighbouring borough of Blackpool.

Cleveleys officially meets Blackpool opposite Kingsway – there’s a small utilities building here against the sea wall. It’s also where you see the design of the sea defences change.

The ‘Spanish Steps’ of Cleveleys meet a sloping revetment and wave breaker steps at Blackpool. In 2016 the  Anchorsholme sea defence works at Princes Way  were completed (which is actually in the borough of Blackpool).

Spanish steps at Cleveleys seafront meet the sloping revetment and wave breaker units at Anchorsholme, Blackpool
Spanish steps at Cleveleys seafront meet the sloping revetment and wave breaker units at Anchorsholme, Blackpool

There are other markers which tell you you’ve arrived at Cleveleys and left Blackpool. The tallest one is the Shipwreck Memorial – a vertical tribute to ships lost at sea. You’ll need to be on the seaward side of the wall to spot the huge ‘Cleveleys’, cast in concrete against the sea wall. See it in the thumbnail for the next part of the walking tour –

The Mythic Coast Trail

While you’re enjoying your walk along Cleveleys seafront and beach, you’ll see a number of rather large pieces of public art. We’ve already mentioned the Shipwreck Memorial but there are others. They’re interwoven into a story of folklore and fact, about sunken villages and a little girl called Mary…

Cleveleys Circular Plaza

Continue heading southwards with the sea on your left from the Shipwreck Memorial and you’ll see the tall white graceful form of the Sea Swallow high on the skyline. This marker, also part of the Mythic Coast trail, can be seen inland from as far away as Morrison’s roundabout on the A585.

The Spanish Steps to the beach follow a straight line here. Curved secondary walls rise up to the rear flood wall with feature lighting columns and its inbuilt spaceship-esque shelters.

Engineers and designers took the opportunity to incorporate a multi-use space when the new sea wall was built at Cleveleys. The circular area between the flood walls of the seafront and town centre is known as the Plaza.

Plaza area at Cleveleys seafront
Plaza area at Cleveleys seafront

Also in the area of the Plaza…

The Plaza is at the end of Victoria Road West, where South Promenade meets North Promenade. Next to the modern engineering is the traditional, original clock shelter. It’s still in the small traffic roundabout where it was built almost 100 years ago.

At ground level on the Plaza and beside the clock are attractive planters, maintained by Cleveleys In Bloom.

At Cleveleys Plaza you’ll also find the seasonal, weekly Cleveleys market. The space is also sometimes used for events – and you can get a great ice cream here from Terry!

You might remember the old Kiddies Corner which once occupied this space. Going even further back you might remember the Follies – open air shows which took place in summer. Go back to the past and explore the olden days here.

Central Cleveleys Seafront and Beach

Carry on northwards along the promenade with the sea on your left to explore the central section of Cleveleys seafront and beach. The highway here is Promenade North all the way along the seafront, almost as far as you can go.

Building the sea defences also created an amazing public open space and new facilities, which were key to the regeneration of Cleveleys. Take a look in part 3 of our walking tour videos –

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  • There’s convenient seafront parking close to the beach and town centre.
  • The sea defence design is comfortable to use, accessible and provides unlimited seating.
  • It’s a great surface for pushing prams and wheelchairs. It’s just so user friendly, there’s no wonder it’s popular!

Beautiful Beaches

The central beach at Cleveleys is tidal. A strip of shingle and pebble is deposited against the steps with acres of clean golden sand beyond it. Twice a day it’s covered by the tide, which goes out to reveal a clean canvas each time.

Beach at Cleveleys seafront
Beach at Cleveleys seafront

Because it’s tidal, little flotsam and jetsam (marine rubbish) is deposited here. The sand is perfect for sandcastles, playing games, and a day out for all the family at the coast.

Pools of water are left behind on the beach each day which are a perfect, safe place for children to paddle. It’s a kid friendly beach.

Access to Cleveleys Seafront

The rear flood wall runs along the whole length of the stepped sea defences. It’s punctuated with access points at frequent intervals – look out for the seafront shelters which mark where the gates are.

Each of the access points incorporates flood gates and they’re closed when storm conditions are forecast. Once they’re in place, you’re advised not to go seaward of the wall. If you do, you’ll also find it a challenge to get off the promenade again (ie you’ll have to walk a lot further or climb over the wall).

Do not proceed past the storm gates and rear wall at high tide in storm conditions when the floodgates are closed.

The stepped sea defences provide easy access to the beach, but with non-standard risers and treads they can be hard to climb! You might find it easier to use the proper staircases complete with handrails. The are standard steps and easier to climb, with landings at regular intervals. There’s also a ramp to the beach approximately at the end of Beach Road, which provides access for prams and wheelchairs.

Dogs on Beaches

The whole of Cleveleys beach lying adjacent to the stepped sea defences is what’s classed as a ‘bathing beach’. This means it’s subject to a dog ban throughout the summer season.

However, you can take your dog onto the shingly Rossall Beach all through the year. Please make sure you clean up after your dog and bag the poo. Also please be respectful of other beach users, dogs, horses and children.

Golden sand on the beach at Cleveleys seafront
Golden sand on the beach at Cleveleys seafront

Explore Central Cleveleys Seafront and Beach

You might, however, wonder why there is a great big wooden oar, seemingly washed up on the promenade… It belongs to the Ogre, you’ll need to know where to look to spot him! You won’t miss the Ogre’s Paddle though – why don’t you sit on it for a selfie!

Giant Ogres Paddle at Cleveleys seafront
Giant Ogres Paddle at Cleveleys seafront

Around here there are cast concrete picnic tables and chairs and the most comfortable granite benches that you could imagine. Particularly when they are warmed by the sun! Along with the seafront shelters, you’ll always find somewhere to sit and enjoy the view.

Near to the paddle, across the promenade at Jubilee Leisure Park, are leisure facilities and additional parking. A gym now occupies the former ice rink and children’s activity centre, plus the cinema, and places to eat.

Jubilee Leisure Park on Cleveleys seafront
Jubilee Leisure Park on Cleveleys seafront

The next feature you come to on the seafront is Jubilee Gardens. The large grassy area includes a children’s playground, skatepark and multi-use games court. The space is sometimes used by travelling fairs, community events and even the travelling circus! The long-stay car park at Jubilee Gardens can also be used as an events space.

Places to Eat and Play

Over the road from Jubilee Gardens, where the stepped sea defences end, is the seafront cafe and children’s water play area.

You’ll recognise the cafe – it’s the building with the egg-whisk wind turbines on the top! It’s also where the Star Wars Disney+ spin-off series ‘Andor’ was filmed in 2021. All very exciting!

Along with public toilets and places to sit there’s also an open air shower here, to get the sand off your toes after a day on the beach.

Cafe on Cleveleys seafront
Cafe on Cleveleys seafront

Look out onto the beach and you won’t miss Mary’s Shell. Another piece of the public art trail, even at high tide there’s at least a bit of it on show.

Looking for somewhere to eat (or drink)? Why not pop into The Venue? It’s the big grey building on the seafront, next to Jubilee Gardens. Serving food, coffee and refreshments throughout the day it’s also dog friendly.

Rossall Beach – the shingle beach

The Spanish Steps end at the curve of the cafe, to meet the old sea wall built in the 1940’s.

Rossall Beach Cleveleys
Rossall Beach Cleveleys

This section of shingle beach remains dry in all but the worst of the stormy weather. It’s also an excellent natural sea defence, meaning that Rossall Beach is less at risk from coastal flooding. That’s why this section doesn’t have a new sea wall. However a major beach management project is due to take place to stabilise the beach.

Here’s the final part in our walking tour of Cleveleys seafront and beach –

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Half of Rossall Beach is North Promenade and the very last bit, beyond the end of Thornton Gate, is Rossall Promenade. There’s free parking at Rossall Promenade, right against the edge of the beach. Park your car here to sit and enjoy the fabulous views whatever the weather. And of course the endless west coast sunsets. Enjoy a beautiful September evening and a walk to the water’s edge…

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Things to see and do at Rossall Beach

Rossall Beach is popular with dog walkers, fishermen, horse riders, kitesurfers, and everyone who loves the beach. Partly because of the free seafront parking, and partly because it’s so easily accessible.

Don’t let all the concrete fool you into thinking it’s a barren land. Even in the central section of Cleveleys beach there’s a host of life against the man-made structure.

It’s a more natural, slightly wild landscape – a rich habitat for wildlife and an important ecosystem. Significant flocks of birds stop off here on their round-the-world migrations, while others live here all year round. If you’re lucky you might see a seal swimming offshore, or even a porpoise.

Enjoy the information signs along the edge of the beach. Rossall Beach Residents and Community Group installed them, they’re the group who look after this beach and keep it so nice.

Travel on from Cleveleys…

Rossall Promenade ends in a dead end at the Five Bar Gate. Although you can’t drive any further, the footpath carries on and you can walk or cycle along the full length of the coast path from Cleveleys to Fleetwood. On foot it’s about a 25 minute walk.

It’s still Rossall Beach past the outlet for the land drain to the ‘tank traps’ near Rossall School. The concrete blocks were built to stop tanks from advancing up the beach during WW2. Here the sea bashes against the walls – be careful on a windy day at high tide.

Just beyond Rossall School you’re officially in Fleetwood in the Rossall area where the Rossall Sea Defences were completed and opened on 1 June 2018. If you’re interested in the seafront at Fleetwood, head off to the Visit Fleetwood website and explore!

The Changing Face of Cleveleys Seafront

The majority of the sea defences at Cleveleys seafront have been completely rebuilt over recent years.

You might remember the old seafront with it’s sunken gardens and interlinking pathways. All these things have a lifespan and although it was lovely it was time expired and failing.

Cleveleys promenade gardens
Cleveleys promenade gardens

New sea defences are funded by central government on the basis of replacement on a like-for-like basis. And new work is often carried out following big storm events.

Building the current sea wall at Cleveleys

The current multi-award winning design was completed around 2010 to offer protection against flooding. The purpose of the promenade from rear wall to beach is to reduce the risk of overtopping and flooding from the sea during poor weather conditions. It’s also an amazing public space.

The top section of new promenade is wide and flat and built in two split levels, each of which is a spillover area for sea water. Alternate ramps and steps give access between the two levels. The blocks which separate them provide a handy, endless bench (complete with back-rest!) along the full length of the sea wall.

The promenade and sea defence works at Cleveleys began in November 2005. Phase Two was completed in early 2010 and the final phase was opened at the SeaFest event on 4 July 2010.

Cllr Russell Forsyth opening the sea defences and stepped promenade in July 2010
Cllr Russell Forsyth opening the sea defences in July 2010

New Stepped Promenade – Phase One

The first phase of works between the seafront cafe and the end of Victoria Road West cost £20 million. The completed length of sea defences protects 7,693 properties from tidal flooding, with less than a half percent risk of breach in any one year at the time of building.

The shape and arrangement of the stepped revetment and the wide, split level promenade is all part of the design to keep the water back. First of all the steps take the energy out of the tide, then the wide, split level promenade reduces the risk of overtopping.

In the next video clip, you can see the waves rushing up to the shore and bashing against the steps. As the waves roll up the steps you can see how they lose their energy –

The split level promenade is the next line of defence. Waves that do reach the top of the steps in poor weather flood across the lower level of the promenade. All the while they lose their energy, reducing the risk of overtopping.

Waves overtopping on Cleveleys stepped promenade in bad weather
Waves overtopping on Cleveleys promenade in bad weather

The top level of promenade provides another level of protection and the rear wall is the final line of defence. The access gaps are filled by closing the storm gates ahead of bad weather forecasts.

New Promenade – Phase Two

Phase Two of the Cleveleys scheme is from the high street at Victoria Road West up to the boundary with Blackpool at Kingsway. Completed in early 2010, it cost a further £6 million.

Cleveleys stepped promenade Phase 2
Cleveleys stepped promenade Phase 2

This phase began in March 2008 with the local manufacture of the precast concrete elements at Hillhouse Industrial Estate at Thornton. The concrete plant was set up specially to make units for the Cleveleys and Blackpool schemes. On site at the seafront, work begins to stabilise poor ground conditions.

In March 2009 construction of the second phase began on site. The stepped promenade continues, along with the wide, split level walkway. There’s a new sea wall to the rear, and attractive planted beds between the seawall and main road.

South Promenade Cleveleys, another section of stepped promenade
South Promenade Cleveleys

Funding

Core funding from central government always covers the work of replacing the actual sea defences themselves, on a like-for-like basis.

However, Wyre Council also secured additional funding from separate grants for lighting, street furniture, public art and landmark features.

The Council’s Coast Defence Strategy had this final section of work planned in 2012. When it was shown that £1.5million of cost savings could be achieved by continuing the works, the Environment Agency agreed to bring the funding forward.

The funding primarily came from Defra. Additional contributions came from the Environment Agency, European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and Wyre Council.

An Award Winning Promenade

The new sea defences are a valuable public space and not just a structure to keep the sea out. It’s very successful in its function, and enjoyed all year round by visitors and local people alike.

The ‘Peoples Promenade’ is an award winning promenade, that’s won well over 20 accolades, including:

– The British Construction Industry’s Environmental Award
– The North West Tourism Award for the Best Public Space in the North West
– Project of the Year in the national Constructing Excellence Awards 2009. Judges sought a scheme that demonstrated the highest level of technical achievement, innovation and application of best practice, delivered to time and budget through team working at all levels.

A trip down memory lane…

The next clip takes you on a drive along Cleveleys promenade from south to north. It’s a bit of a walk down memory lane as it was made back in 2015. Work was underway at the time at Anchorsholme sea defences – it’s now complete. Cleveleys seafront actually begins where the fencing ends.

Even earlier Parts of Cleveleys Promenade

If you’re interested in how Cleveleys seafront was built, you’ll be interested in these extra pages. We’re collecting together an archive of old and new works and what the seafront looked like years ago. Follow the links and take a look!

While you’re here…

What do you think? Why don’t you join in and leave a comment below?

Have a look at the homepage of the Visit Cleveleys website for more of the latest updates.

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1 thought on “Cleveleys Seafront and Beach”

  1. Hi,

    Strange request, but here goes:

    I am coming up to the Coast later in the month for the Ride the Lights Event. I am disabled, and aredoing the ride to raise some money for a charity.

    Sadly, I cannot stay overnight, as I have to be at work the next day. I could however, because of my disability, do with a hotel room for a few hours before and after the ride, before I drive back to the Midlands.

    Do you know of any hotels where you can almost ‘rent by the hour’ type places?

    Regards

    Mark

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