Blackpool Stanley Park - Staining - Marton Mere

You need to log in as a member of Walkingworld to access the details for this walk and have an active subscription. Please join, or log in above if you are already a member.

This walk packs a huge amount of variety into a few short miles and is a chance to see a side of Blackpool very different to its normal image of fish and chips and kiss-me-quick hats.

The route starts in Stanley Park in Blackpool, recognised as one of the finest public parks in the country and home to an iconic Art Deco cafe. It wends its way by the lake then through the adjacent tranquil woodland garden. This is a delightful area with a wide variety of trees, both native and exotic, that is home to birds such as kingfishers that you might glimpse darting along the stream, as well as dragonflies that breed in the nearby golf course's ponds. After passing a reminder of more turbulent times the route leads across the manicured green of a golf course to a delightful path through more of the natural area. From here there is an excellent view of one of the windmills that used to dot the Fylde, once often called Windmill Land. Fortunately, this walk is largely sheltered from the stiff breezes that powered them. The path then leads to Marton Mere, once the second biggest natural lake in Lancashire, though some of it was drained to release land for agriculture, so it is now rather smaller than it originally was. The land around it has had a chequered history, once being the home of Blackpool Airport and later earmarked as the site of a new university, eventually built at Lancaster. Now it is managed for wildlife and forms the backdrop to this delightful walk, close to the centre of Blackpool and yet a world away from the bustle of the famous resort. The final leg is through more of Stanley Park, including the lovely Italian Garden, overlooked by the cafe.

This walk will be enjoyed by everyone but is of particular interest to birders. Stanley Park Lake supports a wide variety of species including a heronry on one of the islands and great crested grebes. Marton Mere is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its bird populations, but it also supports a number of other nationally important species such as dragonflies, butterflies, bats and orchids that find a home in the habitats of this diverse reserve.

The only source of refreshment on this route is the cafe in Stanley Park, open until 5pm in the winter and later in the summer. It looks out across the Italian Garden to the second Blackpool Tower, the clock tower dedicated to Dr Cocker. There are tables outside in the summer to enjoy the triumph of the art of bedding-plants, now slightly old-fashioned perhaps but completely in keeping with the surroundings.

England - North England - Lancashire - Fylde


Birds, Cafe, Flowers, Good for Kids, Lake/Loch, Mostly Flat, Play Area, Public Transport, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland