Lytham St Annes is well-known for having hosted The Open golf championship 11 times. However, this peaceful area offers much more. Populated since the Bronze Age because of its access to good fishing on the salt marsh, Lytham was included in the Domesday Book as Lidun. The town has a long faith history too. Four Benedictine monks from Durham established a small priory here in the 12th century; then, in 1540, the monastery was dissolved under Henry VIII and the manor passed through several hands before it was replaced by the current Lytham Hall.
A pleasing stroll along The Green, an impressive stretch running between the shore and main coastal road, will take you to the Old Lifeboat House Museum (open weekends) and the picturesque Lytham Windmill (open Wednesday to Sunday in the summer). For bird watchers, meanwhile, the estuary is a feeding ground for thousands of birds each year, from red knot and dunlin to bar-tailed godwit and pink-footed geese.
Back in town, the Lytham Heritage Centre on Henry Street is worth calling in on – and the many locally-run cafes nearby provide plenty of options for afternoon tea and cake.