Day-trippers come from near and far to enjoy a day at the seaside at Formby Beach.
Sunseekers often flock to Sefton’s coast in the warm weather.
It’s the perfect place to dip your toes in the sea, and get some vitamin D, but many of us have the same idea, meaning the main parts of the beach can get busy pretty quickly.
There are two car parks at Formby Beach, but these are limited and soon become full on busy days.
Wider parking is available in and around Formby, but the area very soon becomes congested.
For this reason, the National Trust suggests visitors travel by public transport where possible, and there are two train stations in Formby.
It can also be much easier to walk to the beach.
As previously reported, if you fancy a trip to the beach, but would like a bit more space, there are some lesser known routes to the coast.
Here are some ways to beat the crowds by making your way on foot.
You’ll find a quieter stretch of golden sand at the end of Fisherman’s Path.
Simply make a left when leaving Freshfield station and head down Montagu Road.
Follow the road along until you reach the railway crossing.
Cross the railway – after triple checking there are no trains coming – and follow the path through the golf course.
Keep going straight – don’t turn right – and walk through the trees. After about 10 minutes, you should see the sand dunes.
It’s a bit of a steep walk up, over and onto the beach, but it’s more than worth the effort for a more chilled out view of the sea.
Duration: 1.4 miles, or around 28 minutes
Alexandra Road and Albert Road
Follow St Luke’s Church Road (L37 2DF) until it meets with Alexandra Road.
Turn onto Alexandra Road and follow it all the way as it curves left and becomes Albert Road.
Continue straight, past the houses, until the road becomes a sandier path.
From here you can carry on straight towards the beach, or there are some paths that veer off the main strip slightly and still wind up at the beach.
It is important to note the road is not accessible to vehicles.
Duration: 0.7 miles, or around 13 minutes
Larkhill Lane and Blundell Avenue
Follow Larkhill Lane (L37 1LU) until it meets Blundell Avenue, which is about midway down the lane.
Turn down Blundell Avenue and walk straight for around half a mile, until the road begins to curve.
Once you’re at the bend in the road, continue straight onto the sandy path.
The path veers to the left slightly, and then you will meet a path that continues straight, and one which turns to the right.
Take the path to the right, follow it round, and continue straight to get to the beach.
Duration: 0.8 miles, or around 16 minutes
St Luke’s Church Road to Cabin Hill
Walk west on Bushby’s Lane (L37 2DF) towards St Luke’s Church Road
Turn left onto St Luke’s Road and follow the road straight for a mile.
A sharp right takes you onto a footpath which, if you follow it straight for around 0.4 miles, takes you straight onto a stretch of sand at Cabin Hill National Nature Reserve.
As said previously, it is worth noting that this road is not accessible to cars.
Cabin Hill used to be the largest dune on this part of the coast.
Duration: 1.5 miles, or around 31 minutes
If Formby Beach‘s car parks are full, there’s always nearby Ainsdale Beach.
Signs on the Formby Bypass usually let drivers know the capacity at each, so it’s worth keeping an eye out on the drive in.
Ainsdale Beach is now recognised as one of the premier beaches in the UK for extreme kite activities, with zones set aside for kite buggy and land board use and kitesurfing taking place on the sea.
Follow signs for Ainsdale Beach and take the Coastal Road after the bypass.
Duration: Around a 10-15 minute drive from Formby
Before setting off to any part of the coast, please check tide times and whether there is a lifeguard on duty in the vicinity or not.
For more on how you can stay safe at the seaside, visit the RNLI website here.
Sefton Council’s Green Sefton team have again urged beachgoers to respect the coast and take litter home with them.
Cllr Ian Moncur, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “Restrictions now allow more people to meet up outdoors, we’ve seen an influx of visitors across our coastal gateways at Southport, Ainsdale and Crosby, with National Trust partners at Formby also experiencing extremely high visitor numbers.
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“Sadly, it has resulted in an increase of litter at our beauty spots. Our message is simple – if you brought it to the beach with you, then you can take it home with you.
“People also need to continue to be vigilant and adhere to Covid-19 measures so that our coast remains a safe place for everyone to spend time. At busy times people might like to look at visiting other outdoor spaces and attractions across Sefton.”