I went shopping in Ansdell and discovered why it's the happiest place to live on the Fylde coast

Everyone I met said they love the community spirit and lively shopping area in Ansdell, which was recently named the happiest place to live on the Fylde Coast.
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I visit Woodland Road on a gorgeous spring-like day. The streets are already lined with pretty flower baskets, and adorable coastal-themed pebble decorations.

Cafes, bistros and pottery

People chat and laugh in the seating area outside a café, as a smiling waitress welcomes customers in to Craft & Common - a recently opened bar where you can try your hand at pottery.

A gorgeous mothers day gift idea

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I am welcomed into a rustic soap shop, called Bramble & Bee, where owner, Samantha Taylor. shows me some of her unique soap flower bouquets - an ideal mother's day gift!

Samantha in her store Bramble & BeeSamantha in her store Bramble & Bee
Samantha in her store Bramble & Bee

"Everything in here I craft by hand, using honey from my own bees," says Samantha. "I grew up around bees because of my grandfather, and the honey has a lot of benefits for the skin."

Quirky and upmarket shops

Ansdell has a very upmarket feel - lots of little independent shops selling beautiful cosmetics, toys and things for the home. I go for a browse in The Wild Ginger - a gift and homeware store that is quite well-established in the area.

The jewellery and accessories are beautiful and affordable, and they have a nice range of quirky, alternative clothing and homeware you won't find on the high street.

Community spirit and nice neighbours

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Sarah Peteranna said: "Ansdell's small enough to have a really good community. You tend to know your neighbours, the high street is great so it's got that lovely community feel."

After living in Ansdell for eight years, Sarah has noticed that it's a place where 'you really need to know it's here' if you're going to visit. "Fairhaven Lake will be packed today but those people probably won't know about these shops as they're not well signposted from the front."

A decorative pebble arrangement in AnsdellA decorative pebble arrangement in Ansdell
A decorative pebble arrangement in Ansdell

Traditional village

I notice a nursery, a church and a village hall - all the things you might look for when moving to a new area. And it has a number of traditional style shops - a butchers, bakers and co-op.

But with a colourful display outside, I walk into CC Flowers where I am greeted by store manager, Jackie Knight, who is eager to help.

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As well as bespoke bouquets for special occasions, the shop is laid out with lovely candles and wax melts, and some luxurious soft toys and books for children.

Close to the beach

Jackie moved to Ansdell five years ago, from nearby St Anne's. She told Blackpool Gazette: "There's everything you could need really, and there's more bistros opening soon. The walk to the coast is lovely, we've got a dog so it's ideal."

The verdict

It felt like a very traditional English village, with a strong focus on knowing your neighbours and looking out for each other. It's not as busy as Lytham, but it has everything you might want in a coastal village...and a lot more. One man did comment that house prices are 'not ideal for first time buyers' but it's a place he hopes to move back to when he's saved enough money.

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