10 best beaches in driving distance (North West)

If you’re anything like us, we’re sure you can’t wait to get out to the beach on the next sunny day! Now that a few more restrictions have been lifted, freedom is within reach and it feels like summer is just around the corner. As an island, the UK has plenty of amazing beaches to visit – each having unique attractions.

Culture Southwest believes that the last year’s many changes will make people more impulsive when it comes to days out, rather than planning day trips and holidays ahead – with this in mind, we’ve made it even easier to be spontaneous with a list of the top 10 closest beaches to the North West! Next time there’s a sunny day, simply choose one from below, get in the car, and go…  

St Anne’s Beach

At St Anne’s seafront and beach there are miles of open public land to explore. It’s an enormous natural beach where you can walk the beautifully tended promenade gardens, complete with waterfalls and ducks, and enjoy traditional seaside attractions with fun for all the family. There is pay and display car parking by the pier.

Get directions here.

Formby Beach

A glorious beach with dramatic sand dunes, surrounded by sweeping coastal pine woods, Formby beach is home to rare wildlife, prehistoric footprints and miles of coastal walks just waiting to be discovered – part of Formby's amazing and ever-changing landscape. Well-behaved dogs are welcome.

Formby Beach

Get directions and parking information here.

Crosby Beach

Walk along Crosby Beach to take in views of the sea, the Wirral and North Wales – especially beautiful at sunset. The beach has been awarded the Quality Coast Award by Keep Britain Tidy, and is also dog-friendly, making it a fantastic day out for the whole family. There are three free car parks around the beach.

Crosby Beach

Get directions here.

Haverigg Beach

Located at the mouth of the Duddon Estuary and offering views of the Lake District fells, a shingle beach gives away to a vast sandy expanse that looks out over the Irish sea – can you imagine a more perfect day out? The beach has been awarded Blue Flag status, and there’s even a children’s play area and plenty of free parking. It is also dog-friendly.

Get directions here

Wallasey Beach

Also known as New Brighton Beach, it’s a small but attractive beach with a ¾-mile stretch of golden sand. You’ll find striking views of the Liverpool city skyline, as well as a fantastic spot to watch ships sailing out from the mouth of the Mersey estuary into the Irish Sea. Dogs are welcome year-round, and there is plenty of free parking adjacent to the beach.

Get directions here

West Kirby Beach

West Kirby is a clean and easily accessible sandy beach on the Wirral Peninsula, at the mouth of the River Dee. It offers fine views across the Dee Estuary and towards the hills of North Wales. From the beach, the red rocks of the Hilbre-Island archipelago can be seen, consisting of three small islands: Hilbre Island, Middle Eye and Little Eye. These islands are accessible from the beach at low tide, but visitors must be careful to pay attention to timetables. Dogs are allowed on the beach and free parking is available along the promenade.

Get directions here.

Earnse Bay

This open sandy beach is the most popular in the area, and therefore gets quite busy in the summer. It’s a popular spot for both windsurfing and kitesurfing with a kite surf school on the beach. It’s also a venue for the national kitesurfing championships. Dog restrictions may apply, and there is chargeable parking nearby.

Get directions here.

Thurstaston Beach

With soft sand, cliff walks, stunning views and picnic and BBQ areas, this dog-friendly beach has it all! Thurstaston Beach is ideal for a family day out by the sea, with space to play games, make sandcastles or simply stretch out and sunbathe. There is paid parking nearby.

Thurstaston Beach

Get directions here.

Ainsdale Beach

Located between Southport and Formby, Ainsdale beach forms a part of this long wide sandy stretch. Generally regarded as the best beach in the area, Ainsdale is the only beach in the North West of England to have ever been awarded a Blue Flag. The beach is also backed by the same sand dunes that run along this section of the Sefton coast. Together they form one of the largest areas of wild dune land left in Britain. Dogs are welcome on some areas, and there is chargeable parking available.

Ainsdale Beach

Get directions here.

St Bees Beach

Stretching from South Head to Seamill Lane, St Bees Beach consists of a shingle bank that slopes down to an expanse of golden sand. The sand is exposed at most states of tide, except for a couple of hours either side of high tide. As part of an RSPB Nature Reserve, it’s an excellent beach for birdwatching. Dogs are allowed, and parking is available nearby.

Get directions here.

Seen a beach you’d love to visit? It’s time to pack up the car and take a classic family road trip! Just make sure you remember the essentials, such as music (Queen and Ed Sheeran are family favourites), snacks and drinks, and, of course, your buckets and spades!

The most important thing to remember is to make sure your car is up to a long journey – especially if it’s not been in use for a while. Perrys can help with a health check and service for complete peace of mind before you set off.  Looking for the perfect car for the trip? We think a spacious family SUV is just right for the job, offering all the comfort, space and power you need for everyone to enjoy the journey.

Our Perrys Recommendations:

Written by Perrys | 7 min read
21 Apr 2021

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