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Guide to beaches in Liverpool, Wirral and Lancashire

Guide to beaches in Liverpool, Wirral and Lancashire

Pack the kids, buckets, spades and sun cream into the car…..there’s still a week left of the Summer Holidays and due to popular demand from our members, we have summarised your local beaches from our website into one handy guide.  

We appreciate some of you have been anxious so have opted for staycations so hopefully this article will help you soak up what’s left of the Summer rays.

Some of these beaches may get busy depending on the day and weather so please do follow social distancing guidelines and if anxious, feel free to ask our Facebook members to share their experiences of their beach visits. We have a lovely friendly parent/carer community in each of our Facebook groups, the links to which can be found at the end of this article. Please note that some attractions nearby may be closed due to Covid.

Beaches on the Wirral

*Hoylake Beach, Wirral, CH47 2BU

Type of beach: Sandy beach

Lifeguard service: Yes at set times.

Description: A quiet stretch of beach and the ideal place to take the family to fly a kite or watch the sun set! Located at the mouth of the Dee estuary, Hoylake beach is home to numerous birds so is perfect for some bird watching too. Keep walking towards the red rocks where you may be lucky to encounter some natterjack toads in the rockpools. There are plenty of sand dunes to explore also. Please note that certain areas are prone to quicksand so stay in marked areas only. Tides can also rush in quickly so a walk to nearby Hilbre island from here isn’t really an option and its best to head to West Kirby instead.  A mile further east is Meols beach which may be worth a visit. Please see description below for Meols beach.

Dog friendly: Yes and as far as we are aware there are no restrictions in place.

Toilets: Yes next to the bowling green

Parking: Free parking nearby and only a 5 minute walk from the train station.


*Leasowe Bay and Leasowe Beach, Wirral, CH46 2RF

Type of beach: Sandy beach

Lifeguard service: No

Description: Backed by a sea wall and sand dunes, the promenade here makes for a relaxing walk. The bay lies adjacent to the North Wirral Coastal Park which follows the route of the coastline between Dove Point at Meols and the Kings Parade at New Brighton. At four miles in length and 200 acres in area, the park provides a wide variety of recreational activities. Leasowe Beach is home to the now decommissioned Leasowe Lighthouse, the oldest brick-built lighthouse in the country which was built in 1763.  The lighthouse is open on the 1st and 3rd Sundays between March and November for visitors who prebook a guided tour.

Dog friendly: Yes and as far as we are aware there are no restrictions.

Toilets: Nearest toilets are found in Moreton.

Parking: Free parking nearby and a Leasowe train station is just over a mile away.  

View along the Wirral Peninsula towards Hoylake from Leasowe

*New Brighton Beach And Promenade, Wirral, CH45 3QW

Type of beach: Sandy beach

Lifeguard service: Yes

Description:  The beach is made up of fine, golden sand, offering a perfect ¾ mile stretch of beach for families to build sandcastles, go for a paddle, and take a stroll along the promenade with your fish and chips in hand, watching the ships sail out from the Mersey estuary into the Irish sea. Photos by Perch Rock lighthouse are a must and why not teach the kids how to catch crabs with a spot of crabbing or explore the ecosystems in the rock pools?  Not far from Marine lake, visit Fort Perch Rock, previously a defence installation but now home to maritime and aviation displays. With a number of attractions nearby such as the Fairy village in Vale Park, mini golf, Bubbles soft play, laser quest, amusements, mini fair ground, and lots of spaces to stop for an ice cream, a visit to New Brighton is the perfect day out on the Wirral.

Dog friendly: Yes. As far as we are aware there are no restrictions.

Toilets: Yes there are a number of facilities in the area with public toilets available on Harrison Drive.

Parking: There is a range of free and pay and display parking in the area.

Perch Rock lighthouse at New Brighton near Liverpool at sunset.

*Meols Beach, Wirral, CH47 7AU

Beach type: Mainly shingle but when the tide goes out you can explore an expanse of mudflats and sand.

Lifeguard service: Yes during Summer months.

Description: This small, clean beach located between Hoylake and Wallasey boasts impressive views over towards Liverpool, and is well known for being one of the best places to be at sunset. A coastal road and promenade sits behind the beach. Horse riding and sand-buggying are family favourites here. When the tide retreats you can explore the exposed mud patches too. Meols Beach has an abundance of wildlife making it the perfect spot for a little bird watching.

Dog friendly: Yes and as far as we are aware there are no restrictions.

Toilets: Yes, on the corner at the end of Meols Parade opposite the slipway to Bennets Lane,

Parking: Yes located at the eastern end of Meols Parade or if travelling by public transport, the beach is a short half mile walk approx. from the train station.

Meols Beach at sunset 

*Moreton Beach, Wirral, CH46 3SY

Beach type: Sand and shingle.

Lifeguard service: Yes over the Summer months.

Description: Located near Wallasey, this is a great spot for little swimmers.  At high tide, the beach is predominantly shingle but once the tide retreats, visitors can enjoy the feel of wet sand between their toes as the sand becomes exposed. Tides can return quickly so its advisable to check the tide times if venturing on to the wet sand. Sand buggying and donkey riding is popular here at certain times in the year. Behind the beach there is a promenade, great for a gentle stroll or a family bike ride.

Dog friendly: Yes and as far as we are aware there are no restrictions in place.

Toilets Yes on the corner of Pasture Road and Leasowe Road.

Parking: Ample free parking nearby.


*Red Rocks Beach, Hilbre Point, Hoylake, Wirral, CH47 1HZ

Beach type: Predominantly sandy

Lifeguard service: No

Description: Red Rocks beach is a large sandy beach with a shallow bay. It is located at the top north-western corner of the Wirral Peninsula, looking out towards Hilbre Islands. This is a stunning location to take in the impressive rust coloured dunes. There are plenty of rock pools so you can teach your little ones all about little critters and their ecosystems. Smaller children will love having a little paddle in these pools too. The area is great for nature lovers with an abundance of flora and fauna including natterjack toads who use the area as a breeding ground and over 200 species of bird including skylarks, willow warblers and more. Tides return quickly so its advisable to check tide times.

Dog friendly: Yes and as far as we are aware there are no restrictions in place.

Toilets: Unknown.  

Parking: Roadside on Stanley Rd. If travelling by public transport, Hoylake station is within a mile walk.

Red Rocks coastline

*Thurstaston Beach, Wirral, CH61 0HN

Type of beach: Shale, stone and sand.

Lifeguard service: No.

Description: Located on Wirral’s western coast and backed by subsiding clay cliffs, the beach provides a great space to enjoy a run about, hunt for shells, a picnic and enjoy a few games. The beach lies between Thurstaston and Heswall and is usually quiet but can get busy at weekends. A gentle stroll along the clean sands enables families to enjoy excellent coastal views out to Hilbre Island, and across the water to the Clywdian Hills. The area above the beach is mostly parkland and Thurstaston Visitor Centre provides an outdoor barbeque space, nature displays and a pond with ducks. There is also a large field for playing ball games and a picnic area. Thurstaston Common and the Wirral Country Park overlook the beach, and Church Farm is also located nearby if you wanted to extend your day out.

Dog friendly: Very popular with dog walkers with no restrictions.

Toilets: Yes at the visitors centre.

Parking: Station Road from Thurstaston village leads to a pay and display car parking area located next to the Wirral Way cycle path and near to Thurstaston Visitor Centre.

For more information and safety advice please visit


*Wallasey Beach (turning into New Brighton), Wirral, CH45 3PZ

Type of beach: Sandy beach

Lifeguard service: Yes at select times/dates.

Description: Located on the Eastern end of the North Wirral Coastal Park, this stretch of beach is recommended by the Marine Conservation Society. Popular activities include windsurfing and kite surfing. Cockling is also popular at certain times of the year. There are more sheltered areas of grassland if you fancy taking a picnic with you. The promenade forms part of the Wirral Coastal Walk and is perfect for a family bike ride or casual stroll. If you keep going just a short distance, you end up in New Brighton so please look at the listing above for New Brighton to see what else there is to do in there.

Dog friendly: Yes and as far as we are aware there are no restrictions.

Toilets: Harrison Drive only 200 yards from the beach.

Parking: Free parking at Bayview Rd and at Kings Parade.

Wallasey Beach, Wirral 

*West Kirby Beach, Wirral, Merseyside, CH48 0QG

Type of beach: Sandy beach.

Lifeguard service: Yes at select times.

Description: West Kirby beach a clean and well maintained beach that’s only 300m long. It lies between 1km of sand dunes where you may spot the rare natterjack toad, and 2km of sand flats which are exposed at low tide. From the beach, families will be able to take in the views of the red rocks of the ‘Hilbre islands; which are three small islands, accessible at low tide but remember tides can return quickly so its advisable to check tide times and safe crossing routes. Families can also enjoy Marine Lake located here which is a 52 acre, saltwater lake that is 5ft deep and a great place for crabbing. The lake is home to Wirral Sailing School so there are all sorts of water sport activities you can get involved in.

Dog friendly? Yes. As far as we are aware there are no restrictions.

Toilets: Next to West Kirby Marine Lake in the same building as the sailing school (30p charge) or Next to West Kirby train station.

Parking: Park along the promenade along the length of marine lake for free. Pay and display car park nearer to the beach at Dee Lane.

For further information please visit:

West Kirby Marina at Sunset

Beaches in and around Liverpool


*Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills Nature Reserve, Southport, PR8 2QB

Type of beach: Sandy beach

Lifeguard service: Easter holidays to September.

Description: A popular spot for families. Activities include traction kiting, windsurfing, swimming and donkey rides. It’s the only beach in the North West of England to have ever been awarded a Blue Flag. Families can enjoy a stroll around the nature reserve which is home to an abundance of wildlife including sand lizards, natterjack toads and great crested newts. If you fancy a bite to eat, its only a short walk to Ainsdale village and there’s a boating lake in the village too.

Dog friendly: Yes but please note that dogs are not permitted 200m either side of the entrance down to the tide line.

Toilets: Yes at the beach entrance at the end of Shore Road.

Parking: From 1st April to 30th September, beach car parking is available at Ainsdale (PR8 2QB) and Southport (PR9 1RX). The all-day charge for parking on Ainsdale beach is £8. Hourly rates available.

*Crosby Beach and coastal park, Liverpool, L23 8SY

Type of beach: Sandy beach

Lifeguard service: No

Description: Families can visit the permanent art attraction ‘Another Place’ created by talented sculptor Anthony Gormley. You will see 100 6ft cast iron figures looking out to sea. The sight of these figures won’t fail to amaze. There is a childrens play area and because it can be a little breezy, Crosby beach is often a great location for flying a kite!

This industrial and dockland area allows visitors to see the ships coming in for Liverpool whilst also enabling visitors to connect with nature and enjoy a peaceful day out with a stroll along the 22 mile coastal path which starts here.

Dog friendly: Yes. As far as we are aware there are no restrictions.

Toilets: Yes at the leisure centre.

Parking: Pay and display car parks at L23 8SY, L23 6SX and L22 1RR.

For further information, please visit:

Crosby beach at sunset with cast iron figure from ‘Another Place’ 

*Formby Beach and Formby Nature Reserve, Sefton, L37 1LJ

Type of beach: Sandy beach

Lifeguard service: Yes on set days/times.

Description: Families can enjoy golden sands and high dramatic sand dunes which if you stand on these on a clear day, you can enjoy excellent views out towards the Irish sea. Beyond these dunes, why not head to Formby Pine woods (National Trust), the home of gorgeous red squirrels? Like hunting for fossils? Well visitors have been known to find human and animal footprints dated as far back as potentially 7000 years ago! This is because at low tide, Formby reveals prehistoric mud layers that are constantly being eroded away.

Dog friendly: Yes. As far as we are aware there are no restrictions.

Toilets: Yes

Location and parking: Pay and display machines. 270 spaces at Lifeboat Road and 300 at Victoria Road. When full, the national trust operates on a one in, one out system.

Sand dunes at Formby Beach

*Southport Beach, Merseyside, PR8 1SB

Type of beach: Sandy beach

Lifeguard service: Yes during Summer months.

Description: Sand and sea meet the countryside with a coastline that stretches for 22 miles across Sefton. Hop on the tram for a ride and stand at the end of the country’s second longest pier and take in spectacular views coastal views at this traditional Victorian seaside resort. The pier is the oldest iron pier in the country. Enjoy some paddling in the water in the safe bathing waters, build lots of sand castles, fly a kite, take a beach ball, or simply enjoy a relaxing walk and the feel of golden sand between your toes. Southport Beach is one of the UK’s few undeveloped dunes so there’s plenty of wildlife to spot as you venture on one of two walking trails. The beach is only a short walk away from the town centre with lots of eateries, places to grab an ice cream and other forms of entertainment. There’s also Southport Marine Lake, PleasureLand Amusements and Miniature Railway nearby. Splashworld is temporarily closed due to covid (August 2020).

Dog friendly: Yes but dogs must be kept under control to avoid disturbing the wildlife and there is a dog free zone starting from the Pier south towards PleasureLand.

Toilets: Located at Ocean Plaza and Pavillion Café.

Parking: Plenty of parking near the beach and at PR8 1RR. Alternatively, the beach is a ten minute walk from Southport train station.


Beaches in Lancashire

*Blackpool Beach (North Shore), Lancashire, FY1 4QU

Beach type: Sandy beach

Lifeguard service: Yes at select times/dates.

Description: For many of us, a trip to Blackpool Beach is a right of passage for any child. As well as providing a spot for swimming and sand castle building, the North shore is home to an array of amusement arcades and donkey rides. This traditional sea side resort is also home to the North Pier with its famous theatre so why not enjoy a show, hop on the Victorian Carousel or simply grab an ice cream? The iconic Blackpool Tower is also located on this stretch. Don’t forget that Blackpool illuminations will light up the night sky and truly make the kids smile if you are fortunate enough to visit from 4th September 2020 to the 3rd January 2021. Enjoy 6 miles of lights and lit up evening tram rides.

Dog friendly: Dogs are banned on the beach.

Toilets: Numerous public toilets.

Parking: Parking is available near the prom, side streets and designated pay and display car parks nearby.


*Blackpool Beach (Central Shore), Lancashire, FY1 6BL

Beach type: Sandy Beach

Lifeguard service: Yes on select dates/times.

Description: Part of Blackpool’s seven miles of coastline, the central shore is a popular spot with tourists for swimming, sun bathing, castle building, donkey rides and walking along the promenade. The ‘Golden Mile’ is also home to Blackpool’s well known trams, a highlight of any families visit and Blackpool’s second pier. Whilst here, why not head into Madam Tussauds where you can see an impressive array of life like wax works of our favourite celebrities and characters. Or maybe you fancy a scare? If so, head to Blackpool Tower Dungeons where live actors take you through 1000 years of Blackpool’s gory and ghostly history! Don’t forget to stay for the illuminations that will light up the sky between 4th September 2020 to the 3rd January 2021.

Dog friendly: Dog are banned on the beach.

Toilets: Numerous public toilets.

Parking: Parking is available near the prom, side streets and designated pay and display car parks nearby.


*Blackpool Beach (South Shore), Lancashire, FY4 1PL

Beach type: Sandy Beach

Lifeguard service: Yes on select dates/times.

Description: Home to Blackpool’s third and final pier. There is an abundance of amusements and rides here including rollercoasters, trampolines and dodgem rides. The beach itself tends to be quieter than the other areas along the Golden Mile and along the promenade theres a series of interesting sculptures. Again, enjoy some castle building and donkey rides. Behind the promenade is home to Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach with rides including waltzers, dodgems, and Europe’s fastest and arguably scariest rollercoaster if you fancy an adrenaline rush! Again, don’t forget to stay for the illuminations that will light up the sky between 4th September 2020 to the 3rd January 2021.

Dog friendly: Dog are banned on the beach.

Toilets: Numerous public toilets.

Parking: Parking is available near the prom, side streets and designated pay and display car parks nearby.

Blackpool Beach and the infamous Blackpool Tower

*Cleveleys Beach, Blackpool, FY5 1BZ

Beach type: Sand and shingle.

Lifeguard service: No

Description: Located only 4 miles away from Blackpool, visitors can enjoy a relaxing stroll on the promenade or get involved in typical beach style activities along this mile long stretch of sea and sand. A strip of shingle and pebble lies against the steps but don’t be fooled as there’s acres of clean golden sand lying just beyond this. The promenade is now home to multiple sculptures. The Jubilee Gardens and a children’s water play area are also located here.

Dog friendly: Yes but between 1 May and 30 September dogs are not allowed on the beach next to the stepped promenade from Cafe Cove to the Shipwreck Memorial. Fines are enforced here.

Toilets: By the bus station, Rough Lea Road car park and at the seafront café.

Parking: Pay and display parking at Rough Lea Rd with 2 hourly time slots.


*Fleetwood Beach and Marine Gardens, Lancashire, FY7 6HF

Beach type: Sandy

Lifeguard service: Yes at set times/dates.

Description: The charming little sea side town of Fleetwood was once a fishing port. The beach (Marine beach) is perfect for families to enjoy exploring the numerous sand dunes here. There are great views across from this clean beach out to Morecambe Bay and the Lake District. There are also a number of gardens, lighthouses and parks including Fleetwood Nature Park to explore.  Of course a visit here is complete with a splash in the splash pool.

Dog friendly: Part of the beach is closed to dogs from 1st June to 30th September but there are areas for your furry friends to stretch their legs too.

Toilets: Outside North Euston Hotel, the cemetery and Rossall Point Observation building.

Parking: Free car parks at Rossall Point and Central Car Park.

If visiting Fleetwood Beach keep going to the Docklands and down to the riverbank where you can see the boat grave yard. These trawlers are left over from the Cod Wars of the 1970’s. 

*Heysham Beach (Half Moon Bay), Lancashire, LA3 2XY

Beach type: Sandy

Lifeguard service: No

Description: Half Moon Bay is a relatively small stretch of sand, backed by grassy hills. When the tide moves out, mudflats are also exposed. The bay is also a great place to explore the rock pools when the tide goes out. There are multiple sites of archaeological interest since the area has been inhabited since the Stone Age. The ruins of St Patrick’s Chapel (thought to date back to the 8th century) can be explored and are located near the Heritage centre. There is also a rocky beach accessed through the Heysham Nature Reserve at the South side of the Heysham Power Station. Unfortunately, the Isle of Man has closed its borders due to Covid so the option of a ferry over there from Heysham Harbour is currently not available. However, it would normally be a great place to watch the boats coming in. Sands move quickly so it is not advisable to walk out too far at low tide.

Dog friendly: Yes and as far as we are aware there are no restrictions.

Toilets: In the village centre and at the Half Moon café.

Parking: Free car park with 100 spaces.

Ancient carved stone graves, St Patrick’s Chapel, Heysham. Overlooking Morecambe Bay, North West England, the graves are believed to date back to Saxon or Viking times.

*Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, LA4 4DB

Beach type: Sandy

Lifeguard service: No but beach patrol officers do monitor the beach/bay.

Description: The town of Morecambe is built up around this award winning promenade with its 5 mile stretch of sandy coastline. Morecambe beach is a great spot for traditional seaside fun. There are plenty of places for a bite to eat and an ice cream. There’s even a funfair! The area is a popular place for cockling at certain times of year. Salt marshes ensure a large community of plants thrive which means the bay is home to a large number of different birds, worms, crustaceans and other animals. Please note the area is prone to quicksand and fast moving tides so care is needed.

Dog friendly: Banned from 1st May to 30th September but are allowed to walk on the promenade if kept on a lead.

Toilets: Paid toilets at the Battery and the Clock Tower.

Parking: At Battery and Bay Arena.

Morecambe Bay

*Pilling Sands Beach, Lancashire, PR3 6HP

 Beach type: Salt Marsh

Lifeguard service: No as the area is not safe for swimming.

Description: Pilling Sands overlooks the River Lune estuary, at the southern end of Morecambe Bay. The area is less beach and more salt marsh until the tide goes out revealing vast amounts of sand. However, visitors should stick to the grassy marshes and not venture on to the sands because tides return quickly and the area is prone to quicksand. Flying kites, horse-riding and walks are the most popular activities at this nature reserve.

Dog friendly: Yes with no restrictions.

Toilets: Unknown.

Parking:  Car park is located 3/4 of a mile north-east of Pilling village. 


*St Anne’s Beach, Lytham, Lancashire,  FY8 2PQ

Beach type: Sandy

Lifeguard service: Yes

Description: This Victorian Seaside town is a great place for families to visit. This large, natural beach is well looked after with beautiful, well maintained promenade gardens complete with waterfalls, bandstand, paddling pool and of course, ducks! The sand dunes provide an interesting space to explore and hunt for wildlife. Outdoor activities on the boating pool nearby include boating, water zorbing, and more. The kids will be perfectly entertained with a visit to the recently opened and free to use Splash Park (2019). Water is turned on daily between April and September. The beach is flat so the tide retreats quite far but be aware that it also returns very quickly.

Dog friendly: From 1st May to 30th September, dogs are not permitted from the pier to the boating pond.

Toilets: Yes and there is a small charge for their use.

Parking: Pay and display near the pier.

The band stand and paddling pool at St Annes, Lancashire, UK

We have also rounded up the best beaches in North Wales....

This blog will go live tomorrow and a link will be added here. 

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*We have written this round up of beaches in good faith and advise visitors to check current covid restrictions and other updates regarding the use of dogs, toilets, facilities, etc with the local councils before visiting.

*Car parks, toilets and other prices are correct at time of publication but are subject to change.

* If there are any errors with our round up, please do let us know so we can correct these for our followers. Contact 

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