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Friday, July 19, 2024

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Plan your trip to the beach this Bank Holiday weekend

Sefton’s coastline is expected to be very busy over the Bank Holiday weekend, Sefton Council is recommending people plan their journeys to avoid queues and disruption for local residents.

With Formby’s two very popular National Trust sites often filling up quickly, meaning the car parks can be closed quite early in the day, the Council is also suggesting people consider other destinations instead.

Southport, Ainsdale and Crosby beach are all RNLI lifeguarded beaches with natural beauty and fantastic facilities. And they are all within minutes of Formby.

Travel by train

They are also in easy walking distance from Merseyrail stations such as Southport, Birkdale, Hillside, Ainsdale, Freshfield, Formby, Hall Road, Blundellsands & Crosby and Waterloo.

Just this week Merseyrail announced plans to extend their services this summer making taking the train an even more convenient option for visitors. Starting on Sunday 28thMay, they will be running a 15-minute Sunday service between Liverpool Central and Southport.

People can plan their journeys and find timetables and service updates at www.merseyrail.org.

Ainsdale Beach can be found just two stops on Merseyrail or 16 minutes’ drive from Formby, using a satnav at postcode PR8 2QA. Southport beach, five stops on Merseyrail or a 20-minute drive is at postcode PR8 1SB. And Crosby Coastal Park is three stations or 29 minutes’ drive from Formby.

Car parking 

Sefton Council is asking those who do drive to its coast to park responsibly and considerately away from residential areas and to make sure there is access for residents and emergency service vehicles at all times.

There is beach parking available with up to 2,000 spaces at Ainsdale and 400 spaces at Southport.

Ainsdale beach car park is open as normal, while Southport beach car park will reopen on Saturday 27th May after closures due to poor sand conditions from recent high tides and wet weather earlier in the season.

The beach car park will be open daily from 1:00pm – 4:00pm over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Beach parking costs just £8 per day per cars at Southport beach and £10 per day per cars at Ainsdale. Half price parking is available after 4pm subject to availability.

Annual season tickets cost only £35 for Sefton residents and electric or hybrid vehicle users. Season tickets for non-Sefton residents cost £70.

This can be purchased online at: https://forms.sefton.gov.uk/beachparking/

There are also over 1,000 parking spaces close to Southport Beach at Esplanade Park and Ride, which people can find using a Sat Nav at postcode PR8 1RX. Costs are just £2 per day per car Monday to Saturday, including free bus service into Southport Town Centre.

On Sundays, the Esplanade site is a Car Park costing £5 all day. The Park and Ride Service on Sundays and Bank Holidays runs from Fairways at postcode PR9 0LA. The cost is £2 all day per car.

Seven hundred spaces are also available adjacent to the beach, on Marine Drive.

Visitors are reminded to be responsible when parking on the beaches and respect other beach users.


The facilities at Ainsdale beach include men’s, women’s, and disabled toilets. A daily cleaning regime is in place, ensuring the amenities are kept clean and replenished during busy periods through the summer.

Accessible toilets are also available at Crosby Coastal Park and at Ocean Plaza next to the Pier at Southport.

A bite to eat at the beach

There are also fantastic food and drink outlets on offer at Crosby and Ainsdale beaches, providing much-needed refreshments in the hot weather, and everything you could need for a great day out in Southport.

Remember, BBQ’s and fires are not permitted on the coast.

And as we start to experience warmer weather, we remind people to take care when spending time along our coastline. It is an exposed landscape with little natural shade, and the sea breeze can disguise the hot Sun’s UV rays.

People can find information to help enjoy their day out on Sefton’s Coast at www.sefton.gov.uk/beaches

READ MORE: Ainsdale and Southport beaches to benefit from improved access and facilities

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