Good morning everyone. Today we have Steph from Steph’s Two Girls on the blog to tell us all about her favourite place. You can also find Steph on Twitter and Instagram so make sure you go over and say hi ?
Tell me a little bit about yourself…
Hi, I’m Steph, and I’m a 40-something mum to two girls who are now aged 13 and 11. I started blogging over nine years ago, on the day our youngest girl was diagnosed with autism. She was aged just two and a half at the time and it quickly became apparent that the type of autism which she has is called Pathological Demand Avoidance. I was like most people; I didn’t know much about autism until we got this diagnosis, so there was a steep learning curve for a few months. I love travel and have visited many places around the world. My Dad was in the Merchant Navy and so many of our holidays when young were flying out to meet him on a ship wherever he was working, and we then stayed on the big oil tankers. We went all over; from Canada to the Suez canal, and even to the Bahamas where we lived on a tanker for 6 months! Years later I travelled to places such as Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Fiji and California with my boyfriend, then returned to the Bahamas for my honeymoon. Since then we’ve also visited Barbados, but our holidays mostly moved closer to home after having children.
Where is your favourite place to visit?
The seaside anywhere, preferably with a beach, is always top of my list. Especially since we’ve moved further South in the country and we live in an area which is a long drive from the sea. I’m going to plump for St. Annes-on-Sea as my favourite place to visit.
Why do you love it?
Several reasons, including the fact that it’s the town where I grew up, and the town where my beloved parents still live. It’s a family orientated seaside resort where you can spend hours on the great expanse of beach. We bury each other in sand, build sandcastles and dig tunnels in the sand to create channels as the sea comes in – it comes in a long way, and goes out a long way, so it’s worth checking the tidal patterns. There’s a cute little train which runs around a small putting golf course and crazy golf with views of the sea, along with the pier and arcades, fairground rides such as bungee trampolines, and a new addition this year of a small splashpark. The sunsets over the beach are amazing.
Blackpool is only a 15 minute drive along the coast and is much bigger, louder and flashier, with the Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Tower, Sandcastle waterpark, ice rink, waxworks museum, crazy golf, Blackpool Zoo, piers, arcades and much more. I love Blackpool too, and have been up the Big One several times – once the day after I got married (I still regret not doing it in my wedding dress….)! The town along the beach in the other direction is Lytham where there is a famous windmill and a white church. The brilliant Lytham Festival is held right by the seafront every year; I’ve seen Bryan Adams there and loved taking my eldest daughter and my nieces to see Olly Murs there a couple of years ago. This year Human League are playing, followed by Stereophonics, Kylie and Rod Stewart – check out www.lythamfestival.com!
Can you describe it for me?
St.Annes is a small, quiet seaside town, with many old people making up the population (watch out for that driving!). It has a pier and a very large and long beach area which is separated from the beach road by big sand dunes which are great for running up and down and hiding in.
How often have you visited?
I lived there until the age of 18 and went back regularly when away at University and until I had children. Now we can only manage the trip once or twice a year sadly, as it’s a five hour car journey and travelling anywhere makes our autistic girl very anxious and sick.
Would you recommend other people visit and how would you sell it to them?
I definitely would, and I have, many times. The biggest pull for most people would probably be the fact that it’s right next to Blackpool on the coast. But St.Annes is where my heart lies, and is a great quiet base place for families to stay, within walking distance to a beautiful beach.
Tell me the one place you’d love to visit next and why?
If money was no object and I was 21 again, I’d want to go to Japan. It’s a country which has always fascinated me. If my girls could manage the travelling, I think they’d want to see it too, but I’m not sure that will ever happen. Instead I’d settle for anywhere warm, by the sea.