Between the sea and main promenade highway at Fleetwood seafront, are two boating lakes. They’re separated by a bridge which takes you to the coastal path. It’s a pretty spot to pass an hour, get an ice cream from the small cafe and go crabbing with the little ones!
Larger Boating Lake
This is an attractive area at The Esplanade on Fleetwood seafront. You can walk around the lakes using the pavement against the highway, or follow the footpath around the edge of the lake itself. It’s a lovely spot for a quiet walk – watch the wildlife and enjoy the view!
The larger of the two boating lakes has a small island in it. At its deepest the water is about 4′, and about 3′ (1m) at its shallowest.
Using the Boating Lake
If you’d like to use it to practice your canoe and paddle-boating skills you can just turn up and do so as you wish.
However, if you’d like to organise a proper ‘event’, then you should contact Wyre Council to arrange for the necessary permissions. An ‘event’ is something that’s promoted in advance and will draw a big crowd of people.
Watch this drone flight footage across Fleetwood Boating Lake at sunset in winter. Thanks to Christopher Verity who filmed this, for allowing us to share it.
Boatwork and Seamanship Training
Students from Blackpool and the Fylde College use the large boating lake for boatwork and seamanship training. They attend Fleetwood Nautical College, the campus isn’t far away, just off Eros roundabout on the A585.
In the clip below you can see the lifeboat sailing around the lake as students practise their survival skills. It’s not a fantastic quality clip – just shows how good camera phones have become!
Model Yacht Pond
At the other side of the bridge is the smaller of the two boating lakes, the model yacht pond. To its left is the paddling pool.
Fleetwood Model Yacht & Power Boat Club has it’s clubhouse against the lake. They holds events and competitions throughout the year on the model yacht pond.
The Club was formed in 1929. The smaller of the two lakes was officially opened in 1932. In the same year the club held its first National Championship for 6 metre model Yachts.
In 1933, the British Open A Class Championship was held for the first time at Fleetwood. Fleetwood has since held many major national and international championships, for many classes of boats. There’s a racing section for model yachts, rules and a thriving scale section.
Over the years the clubhouse and lake facilities have been improved. It’s now one of the finest clubhouses in the country.
These photos are from the 2017 (UK) Vane A-Class Championships at Fleetwood. This prestigious regatta dates back to the late 1920’s. The five day event brings skippers from all over the UK, and from abroad.
Feed the Birds at the Boating Lakes
Families of ducks, geese and swans also live on the boating lakes. They’ve trained the public to feed them and make quite a sight when they gather to watch the events!
If you’re going to feed the birds it’s best not to give them bread. It’s the equivalent of junk food and it pollutes their water. Instead, they’ll enjoy wild bird seed (or you can even get special duck food), or chopped up green vegetables or lettuce.
Crabbing in the Boating Lakes
We have it on good authority that the boating lakes is a good spot for crabbing. Particularly the left hand paddling pool. It’s an age old passtime for children to try their hand at, fishing little crabs out of the water.
What do you need for crabbing?
If you fancy having a go and learning some fishing skills, go prepared and take your equipment with you. You’ll need:
- a bucket or a clear container – a transparent plastic bucket or food box is ideal
- some string or line – natural garden string has less impact on the environment if you lose any of it
- bait – crabs especially like fish – and bacon!
- something to put your bait in. A little net bag is ideal – or you could use a bit of old fabric/dishcloth etc.
Before you start, put some sand and a few pebbles in your container then fill it up with water. Put your bait in your bit of fabric or your net bag and fasten it to the end of your string.
Dangle your bait into the water – keep a hold on the string and wait for the crabs to bite!
The crabs will be attracted to the smell of the food and come to your bait bag. You can pull them up out of the water and put them in your bucket to watch.
Make sure you put your catch back into the water when you’ve finished, and don’t leave any litter behind when you leave.
Improvement Works to the Lakes
In December 2014 work started to improve the lakes. The aim was to achieve consistent levels of water in them.
The main boating lake was dredged and drained. Once empty, repairs were carried out to the lining, the aprons were re-concreted and some of the access pathways improved. It was then refilled with sea water.
The sand dredged out of the lake was transported to Rossall to be recycled. It was stored and later used in the landscaping at Larkholme Grasslands, part of the new Rossall sea defence works.
While you’re here…
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