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Monday, July 22, 2024

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Sefton Coastline: Four things to know when visiting

Sefton Council is sending out a few reminders to anyone who intends to spend Easter at its magnificent beaches.

The 22-mile Sefton coast, which is also a protected natural area, and draws tourists from all over the Borough, the City Region, the North West of England, and beyond.

Travel Smart

Those thinking about visiting one of Sefton’s coastal gateways are being encouraged to travel safely, thinking about ways to walk, cycle or use public transport where they can.

Southport, Ainsdale and Crosby beaches are all RNLI lifeguarded beaches with natural beauty and fantastic facilities.

And they are in easy walking distance from Merseyrail stations such as Southport, Birkdale, Hillside, Ainsdale, Hall Road, Blundellsands & Crosby and Waterloo.

You can plan your Merseyrail journeys and find timetables and service updates here.  

Those who do drive should plan ahead to avoid traffic delays and are asked to park responsibly and considerately, away from residential areas.

Visitors should also note, the Esplanade Park & Ride in Southport will cease operations from Monday 1st April.

Beach Car Parking

On-beach car parking at Ainsdale beach will reopen early this year, from 29th March (Good Friday) to for the convenience of the high numbers of visitors expected over the busy Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Southport beach car park will remain closed for the time being due to unsuitable condition of the sand, which has been caused by extensive periods of wet weather. Green Sefton rangers conduct regular checks so the beach parking in Southport can be opened as soon as the conditions are safe.

Beach car parking charges for 2024 are:

  • £8 per day for cars at Southport beach; reduced to £4 after 4pm
  • £10 per day for cars at Ainsdale beach; reduced to £5 after 4pm
  • £16 per day for horseboxes or minibuses
  • £37.50 season ticket for Sefton residents and those who drive an electric or hybrid vehicle
  • £75 season ticket for non-Sefton residents

The car parks operate a cashless payment system as a preference.

You can buy money-saving season tickets here

Car parking for the beach at Formby is managed by the National Trust, who have lots of helpful tips for anyone planning a visit there here.


For many, a day at the beach wouldn’t be complete without the company of our canine friends. That’s why we’re proud to have a dog-friendly coastline. However, in return we expect dogs to be kept under control at all times.

Dogs should not be allowed to chase birds on the beach, especially large flocks of roosting waders, terns and gulls, all of which use the coastline as an essential stop-off or breeding site.

It is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to allow your dog to disturb these birds.

Dogs should also be kept out of the many pools across our coastline. Allowing dogs into their nesting pools can have a detrimental impact on their survival.

Evidence shows that dogs entering pools kick up silt and their flea treatment can contaminate bodies of water and be harmful to aquatic life such as Natterjack Toads.

Dog owners can find out more here

Environmental sensitivity

Visitors are also reminded of the environmental sensitivities and how they can play their role in protecting the landscape by taking their litter home.

Fires, BBQs, balloon releases, and fireworks have a detrimental impact on Sefton’s wildlife and are not allowed anywhere at the coast. Failure to comply risks a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution.

The range of dune habitats and rare species found along Sefton’s coast are unique and protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The Council asks everyone to do their bit to keep our natural coast clean and safe for all to enjoy.

Anyone planning to organise events at the coast will need to apply for permission to ensure that activities are safe and do not impact negatively on the nature conservation and protected coastal areas. People can learn more here

You can find out more about visiting Sefton’s coast and its important role in protecting and nurturing UK wildlife here


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