About Sasha H
Lives in Healey, United Kingdom
Since Jan 2015
I’ve swum with wild dolphins in the Maldives, fed baby kangaroos in Australia, spent hours in the shopping malls of Dubai and crash-landed a hot-air balloon in Poland – having spent the last decade travelling and freelancing, I am a joyful, nosy traveller, always meeting new experiences head on. I enjoy digging into the culture, listening to what’s happening around me and taking thousands of photos on the way. Thanks to two decades of travelling extensively through Europe, the Middle and Far East and the Caribbean, I know the cities and countries I write about inside out. And even though I live in the Yorkshire Dales – surely the most beautiful place on earth – I never lose my enthusiasm for skiing in Zermatt, visiting my favourite cities in Italy and Poland or discovering new places to shop in Dubai.
Game & Entertainment Centres
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Valleys, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Hiking & Camping Tours
At long last, a truly innovative attraction in Blackpool that will enthral kids and adults alike. Not so much off the beaten track but new enough to be little known, Illuminasia is located at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens and is a hybrid of modern technology, which together creates an entrancing, innovative series of light shows. Cleverly designed to be both entertaining and educational, exhibitions are divided into six different worlds, from a big-bug show to the amazing 3D Planetarium and the World of Wonders, which features famous world landmarks crafted entirely out of light.
Untamed Morecambe Bay stretches from Barrow-in-Furness to Fleetwood in the south, taking in the coastal towns of Morecambe and Grange over Sands, and backed by the stumpy hills of the Lake District. Five rivers drain into the 310 sq-km (120 sq-mile) estuary to form the largest swathe of sand and tidal mud in the UK; as the outdoor playground for the county of Lancashire, its vast horizons allow for high-energy sports ranging from windsurfing to paragliding, horse riding to cycling. The bay is just the spot for gentler pursuits too: family picnics, fishing, flying kites or simply admiring the shimmering sunsets. Furthermore, it is the springboard for several long-distance hiking routes and the gateway to the rolling beauty of the Forest of Bowland. It's also justly famous as a haven for wildlife; wading birds stalk the shoreline in their thousands, and seals bask on the rocks of Walney Island.
Blackpool’s posh little neighbour lies just 5 km (three miles) south along the Irish Sea coastline, a lovely Victorian time warp as calm and restrained as Blackpool is big and bold. A cute little town of neat gardens, flower-filled streets and a traditional promenade with bandstand and formal gardens, St. Annes is blessed with a beach of golden sand with shallow waves and gentle tides, making it ideal for family days out. Its elegant, wrought-iron pier opened in 1885 and was revamped in 2012 – it now once more resounds with amusement arcades, souvenir shops and a panoramic restaurant.
Virtually twinned with St. Annes these days, Lytham is a stylish little resort on the Irish Sea coast (20 minutes south of Blackpool) with miles of sandy beach for kids to run around, and a dumpy windmill along the promenade. With a reputation for its sophisticated shopping, this enticing, laid-back town also offers one of the finest Georgian homes in the north of England: Lytham Hall was built in 1752, is surrounded by peaceful gardens, and puts on a series of open-air plays throughout the summer months.
Stretching from Southport to Lytham, the tidal waters of the Ribble Estuary flow into the Irish Sea, and provide an important sanctuary for porpoises, grey seals and even turtles. Inland, a peaceful patchwork of sand dunes, flat marshlands, reed beds and heath are home to thousands of wading birds, ducks and geese. The River Ribble is seasonally popular with salmon and sea trout anglers, and the ancient practice of cockling is still a way of life on the sand flats of Horse Bank. A floating visitor center at Brockholes Nature Reserve is the area’s base for year-round outdoor activities, such as den building and guided wildlife walks, for all the family.
The Lancashire Coastal Way runs 220 km (137 miles) from Silverdale south to Freckelton, flanking Morecambe Bay and the Ribble Estuary. On its way along the Irish Sea shoreline, the route incorporates the Fylde coastal plain, a peninsula that swallows up the noise and ebullience of its major town, Blackpool. The 21 km (13 mile) Fylde attracts outdoors enthusiasts for sand yachting and windsurfing on its endless beaches; golfers to its cluster of 18-hole courses; and families to its adventure playgrounds. Thanks to its flat landscapes, Fylde is also a mecca for walkers and cyclists, making this section of the Lancashire Coastal Way one of the easiest and most popular.
Lying east of Blackpool, the Forest of Bowland is not really a forest at all, but a wild expanse of untamed fells and moorland covering 808 sq km (312 sq miles) of Lancashire, and butting into neighbouring Yorkshire. A serene antidote to the full-on chaos of Blackpool, the landscape is one of valleys and fields encased in dry stone walls and scattered with ancient villages and farms, many with their roots in prehistory and all surrounded by a rich animal and birdlife. The area is renowned for its star-gazing opportunities (thanks to the blackness of its night sky) as well as the remote hiking and biking routes that traverse the countryside.
The only Lancashire steam railway still functioning runs on a narrow gauge railway at Hesketh Bank, south of the River Ribble from Blackpool. With a complement of original rolling stock consisting of four locomotives and three more under restoration, the railway service is run entirely by enthusiastic volunteers who are pleased to show fans around the engines and work shops. The short train ride circumnavigates the edge of a flooded clay pit, and the engines themselves are the redundant legacy of Europe’s industrial heritage, sourced from slate quarries in Wales and mines in Spain.