You can walk the coastline from Cleveleys right round to Fleetwood, on a proper coastal path right against the beach.
Leaving Cleveleys, from just past Rossall School to Fleetwood Golf Course, the sea defences are being rebuilt and so walkers must leave the seafront footpath for the duration of the works, and instead use the pavement adjacent to the highway.
Beyond the modern concrete sea defence at the boundary of Fleetwood Golf Club the landscape becomes far more natural and opens out to a low wall against a path, butting up to sand dunes and natural protection to the landward side.
Natural beach around Rossall Point
It’s a proper coastal path which links the waterfront from Cleveleys to Fleetwood, and with access points to the wider open public areas of land behind the sea defences.
It’s not a completely isolated place but is used mainly by local people, and is about as natural as you’ll get without going to a completely remote coastline.
Beach and seafront at Rossall Point from Rossall Tower
There’s a short wall against the beach – which is ideal to sit and rest on when the walking and biking gets too much.
The small dune systems against the path are home to native sea holly and dune grass and other native coastal plants. They have the extremely long root systems that enable them to search down into the depths of the dry sand to find moisture and survive. Of course they also attract the butterflies, insects and wildlife which thrive in this habitat.
Beach Safety at Rossall Point Seafront
The beach against the Fleetwood coastline around Rossall Point Seafront is only marginally less dangerous than the more northerly Morecambe Bay. That’s the beach which is renowned for shifting quick sands and ill fated Chinese Cocklers.
Please take care, know the tide times before you go walking and don’t risk leaving the shore edge on an incoming tide.
The whole of the Fylde Coast can be dangerous to beach users and when you venture out there you should always have a knowledge of tide times and an awareness of where the sea is and when it starts to come in.
Huge sandbanks rapidly form, with water creating islands that cut walkers off and leave them stranded. The beaches shift on a daily basis with the movement of the tides which is exaggerated by the strong winds on the coast, so you can’t rely on the landscape looking the same for two days on the run.
A Home for Wildlife at Rossall Point Seafront
There’s a stile just at the end of the new sea wall adjacent to Fleetwood Golf Course. This is where Morecambe Bay officially ends, and it’s also where the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) begins.
The SSSI includes the whole of the Wyre river estuary and beaches at Fleetwood and covers the area right to the far northern side of Morecambe Bay.
The Wyre Estuary is an integral part of Morecambe Bay, one of the two largest areas of intertidal estuarine flats in Britain (the other being the Wash). The combined Wyre/Morecambe Bay estuary is of international significance for wintering wading birds and of national significance for wintering wildfowl. The Wyre estuary also supports many important species of wild plants.
The huge sandbanks are a perfect home for the birds and wildlife that feed on the worms and invertebrates which live in the sand or are washed up by the sea.
Fleetwood is home to enormous numbers of wading and sea birds, some of which live here all year round, some come here to breed in summer, and others come here to feed and overwinter.
The birds which look cute running along the waters edge are trying to conserve vital energy and warmth while the tide is in and their feeding grounds are covered by water. Please don’t disturb them or let your dog run at them – they will just fly away and waste energy that’s difficult to replace in winter when food is more scarce.
Marine life is rich on the coastline, and you’ll often see the black heads and puppy dog eyes of swimming seals, and maybe even an odd one having a rest on the shore. You need to be quick and alert to them, they surface for minutes and bob up and down, looking similar to a floating seagull. Then they are gone, back under the water to hunt for more fish.
The Fylde Coast is also home to porpoise, and there are groups of people who scan the shores looking for sightings of them swimming. You are probably more likely to see an odd dead one washed onto shore.
Rossall Coastwatch Tower at Rossall Point Seafront
At Rossall Point stands the Coastwatch Tower. This is where a team of volunteers watch over the water from their high vantage point and keep an eye out for mariners and beach users in distress.
The waters in this area are not just used by career sailors but also by the public in pleasure boats, fishermen, canoes, kitesurfers and people enjoying lots of sports – who can easily get into trouble in the rapidly changing conditions on this coastline and bay.
The Coastwatch Tower has been rebuilt in recent years. The old tower was demolished in January 2012 and this brand new replacement built which has different levels for different uses.
There’s a lookout point for the Coastwatch volunteers, an open roof where you can take in the view, and education facilities which can be used by the general public.
The base of the old Coastwatch Tower is now a block of public toilets.
Map showing where Rossall Point is, Fleetwood