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beaches near liverpool

If you’re pondering which of Liverpool’s beaches is best for paddling along the shores, building sandcastles, or simply relaxing in the sun, then look no further.

When one thinks of Liverpool, the first images that might come to mind are the iconic waterfront, the Beatles’ legacy, and the vibrant cultural scene.

Yet, nestled along the stunning coastline lie a collection of pristine and often overlooked beaches, each with its own unique charm and character. From culture, art and nature to dramatic seascapes, Liverpool’s beaches promise a delightful escape for all.

Read on to discover our top Liverpool beaches…

1. Crosby

Best for: Art and Culture

Crosby Beach, known for its unique art installation and vast sandy shores, is a coastal gem that offers visitors a delightful blend of art, nature and tranquillity.

At the heart of Crosby Beach stands the renowned art installation “Another Place” by Antony Gormley; this collection of 100 life-size cast iron figures, gazing out to sea, creates a mesmerising sight, particularly during sunrise and sunset.

Beyond its artistic allure, Crosby Beach boasts miles of sandy shores, perfect for leisurely strolls, picnics, and beachcombing, whilst the picturesque setting offers fantastic photography opportunities, capturing the beauty of the landscape and changing tides.

Nature enthusiasts will delight in the beach’s designated nature reserve, which hosts a variety of bird species, including oystercatchers and redshanks; seals and dolphins also occasionally grace the waters, adding to the wildlife spectacle.

Alternatively, history buffs may prefer to explore the remnants of World War II along the coastline, witnessing old military defences and bunkers that hark back to the area’s wartime significance.

Whether you’re drawn to the haunting sculptures, and historical remnants, or simply seeking relaxation along the picturesque shoreline, Crosby Beach promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit.

Distance from Liverpool: 6.7 miles via car
Type of beach: Sandy
Car Park: On-site parking – Free parking at Cambridge Road, Mariners Road and Hall Road car parks.
Public toilets: Yes
Dog-friendly: Yes – please keep under close control and take care not to disturb flocks of wading birds.
Postcode: L22 6QQ

2. Formby

Nestled along the enchanting Sefton coastline, Formby Beach awaits its unspoilt beauty and a plethora of natural wonders to explore.

Offering a perfect escape from bustling city life, Formby Beach greets visitors with its vast expanse of sandy shores and mesmerizing sand dunes. The undulating landscape provides a stunning backdrop for leisurely walks and picnics.

The sweeping seascapes and breath-taking sunsets make this beach a favourite spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

The area is a designated National Trust nature reserve, home to an array of flora and fauna. One of the main attractions is the colony of rare red squirrels, offering a rare opportunity to observe these delightful creatures in their natural habitat. Additionally, the beach serves as a sanctuary for numerous bird species, making it a prime destination for birdwatchers.

For avid hikers and nature enthusiasts, the Sefton Coastline Trail offers a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the area’s natural beauty. This coastal trail stretches along the Sefton coast, encompassing Formby Beach, and leads to other scenic spots, such as Crosby Beach and Southport.

With all of this and much more, it is easy to see why Formby Beach is one of the best beaches in the UK!

Distance from Liverpool: 13.9 miles via car
Type of beach: Sandy
Car Park: On-site parking- fees may apply, please check on arrival.
Public toilets: Yes
Dog-friendly: Yes
Postcode: L37 1LJ

3. New Brighton

Best for: Nearby attractions

Next on our guide to beaches in Liverpool is New Brighton Beach. With its pristine sandy shores, vibrant attractions and breath-taking vistas, this Liverpool beach is a perfect retreat for visitors of all ages.

Stroll leisurely along the charming promenade that runs parallel to the beach, letting the refreshing sea breeze envelop you. Listen to the soothing sound of the waves as they crash against the shore, allowing yourself to be fully immersed in the serene atmosphere.

Pack a picnic blanket and enjoy the beautiful sunsets that stretch across the horizon. Don’t forget to snap a few photographs before grabbing a coffee at one of the spots close by.

At the heart of it all lies the bustling Victoria Quarter, a vibrant hub adorned with period streets and a variety of independent businesses, bars, and restaurants. You’ll also find New Brighton’s open-air street art gallery showcasing a collection of artworks by local talents.

Adjacent to the beach, the Marine Point Complex also offers an array of entertainment options and culinary delights where you can indulge in a delectable meal, enjoy a pint at one of several inviting pubs or satisfy your sweet tooth with some ice cream.

Other prominent landmarks include Perch Rock Lighthouse, which stands proudly at the mouth of the River Mersey, and the Floral Pavilion Theatre, host to a variety of shows, ranging from captivating plays to live music performances.

Distance from Liverpool: 6.9 miles via car
Type of beach: Sandy
Car park: Free parking is available at Bay View Drive by the Derby Pool Public House (approx. 200 spaces) or along King’s Drive.
Public toilets: Yes
Dog-friendly: Yes
Postcode: CH45 3PZ

4. Thurstaston

Boulder deposition, Thurstaston Beach

Best for: Cycling and long walks

Situated within the Wirral Country Park, this hidden gem offers a host of features and activities that promise an idyllic getaway for nature enthusiasts and families alike.

Thurstaston Beach treats visitors to breath-taking views of the Dee Estuary and Welsh mountains in the distance; whilst the expansive sandy shoreline offers ample space for peaceful strolls and leisurely picnics. At low tide, hidden rock pools reveal themselves, offering a delightful opportunity for curious explorers to discover marine life up close.

Adjacent to the Liverpool beach is the Wirral Way, a disused railway line turned scenic walking and cycling trail. This picturesque route leads through lush woodlands and rolling hills, providing captivating views of the surrounding countryside. Hikers and nature enthusiasts will relish the chance to immerse themselves in the area’s natural beauty.

Its status as a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) also makes this an essential location for birdwatchers. The salt marshes and mudflats attract a rich variety of bird species, including waders and wildfowl. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise, with ample opportunities to spot these feathered beauties in their natural habitat.

For those seeking more adventurous activities, the Dee Estuary offers excellent opportunities for sailing and water sports. Sailing enthusiasts can explore the estuary’s calm waters, whilst windsurfers and paddleboarders can ride the coastal breezes for an exhilarating experience.

Distance from Liverpool: 10 miles via car
Type of beach: Shingle and Sand
Car Park: Free parking in the Visitor Centre car park.
Public toilets: Yes
Dog-friendly: Yes
Postcode: CH61 0HN

5. West Kirby

Marine Lake, West Kirby

Best for: Dog-friendly days out

From the moment you arrive, West Kirby entices you with its natural beauty and an array of activities that promise a truly memorable day by the sea.

The Liverpool beach’s prime location along the Dee Estuary rewards visitors with panoramic views of the Welsh coastline and the enchanting Hilbre Islands.

Renowned for its Marine Lake, a sheltered body of water perfect for sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, it is ideal for beginners. Watersports enthusiasts can revel in the refreshing breeze as they glide across the lake’s sparkling waters.

Accessible by foot during low tide, the Hilbre Islands Nature Reserve is a true paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers. These three islands provide a breeding ground for seals, and various seabird species, making it a haven for observing marine and avian life up close.

West Kirby’s promenade is lined with charming cafés, boutique shops, and ice cream parlours. After a day of exploring, visitors can unwind with a cup of coffee, indulge in locally made ice cream, or browse through unique treasures in boutique stores.

This beach in England is sure to impress at any time of the year!

Distance from Liverpool: 12 miles via car
Type of beach: Sandy
Car Park: Free parking is available along the promenade (approx 200 spaces) including disabled parking- there is also a pay and display car park at the end of Dee Lane.
Public toilets: Yes
Dog-friendly: Yes
Postcode: CH48 0QG

6. Southport

Best for: Expansive sands

southport pier and beach

With its expansive sandy shores, historic pier, and family-friendly attractions, Southport Beach offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement.

One of the town’s iconic features, Southport Pier, stretches gracefully into the Irish Sea. As the UK’s second-longest pier, it offers stunning panoramic views of the coastline and the shimmering waters. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the pier, savouring the fresh sea breeze and admiring the beauty of the surroundings.

Southport’s vibrant seaside town offers a wealth of shops, restaurants, and cafés. Stroll along the promenade and explore the charming town centre, where you can find souvenirs, artisanal crafts, and delicious treats, or indulge in hearty fish and chips to be enjoyed at the water’s edge.

Distance from Liverpool: 20.5 miles via car
Type of beach: Sandy
Car Park: Nearby car parks are available – charges may apply.
Public toilets: No
Dog-friendly: Dogs are restricted to certain areas of the beach.
Postcode: PR8 1SB

7. Leasowe Bay

Best for: Watersports and swimming

Last up on our list of must-see beaches near Liverpool is the picturesque Leasowe Bay.

Embark on your adventure by sinking your toes into the sandy trails that stretch for miles. The immaculate shoreline sets the stage for leisurely strolls, picnics with loved ones, or simply unwinding with a good book against the backdrop of serenity.

If you fancy trying your hand at paddleboarding or windsurfing, this spot is also a busy hive of activity for keen watersporters and wild swimmers!

To explore more of this lovely destination on foot, lace up your walking boots and head out of the Wirral Circular Trail or the Wirral Way. Both paths offer opportunities for birdwatching and immersing yourself in nature. Alternatively, golf lovers may prefer to enjoy a round or two amidst the stunning coastal scenery at Leasowe Golf Club, only a short distance away.

The iconic Leasowe Lighthouse stands tall at the western end of the beach, whilst the nearby Leasowe Castle invites you to step back in time and explore the area’s captivating history and architecture. And before you leave, find the perfect spot to witness the sky adorned in vibrant hues as the sun sets over the horizon.

Distance from Liverpool: 7.2 miles via car
Type of beach: Sandy
Car Park: Free parking area overlooking the beach.
Public toilets: No
Dog-friendly: Yes
Postcode: CH45 8NA

Liverpool Beaches Map

Looking for somewhere to explore these Liverpool Beaches? Dive into a range of coastal cottage getaways or these North West England cottages and let the beauty of Liverpool’s beaches become your backdrop for relaxation.

Image Credits: WillDaviessCC BY-SA 3.0; Trevor King – CC BY 2.0; El PollockCC BY-SA 2.0Chris MorganCC BY-SA 2.0habiloidCC BY-SA 2.0Terry KearneyCC0 1.0

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