The Best Beaches Near Liverpool, England

Visitors to Newborough Beach are even treated to spectacular views of Snowdonia National Park
Visitors to Newborough Beach are even treated to spectacular views of Snowdonia National Park | © DGDImages / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Daisy Dobson
8 December 2020

Sand in your toes, sea breeze in your hair and ice creams never far away – who doesn’t love a day at the seaside? Culture Trip’s local insiders have surfed, rambled and swam in an attempt to find the best beaches near Liverpool for you to enjoy. From driftwood pirate ships to Victorian gardens, seal-spotting and haunted lighthouses, a day at these beaches won’t disappoint.

Hilbre Island

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View of Hilbre Island from Middle Eye at high tide on the Dee Estuary, Wirral, UK. Image shot 06/2011. Exact date unknown.
© Marianthi Lainas / Alamy Stock Photo
Just off the coast of Wirral, Hilbre Island is one of three small islands making up the archipelago off West Kirby Beach. It can only be reached on foot when the tide of the River Dee is far enough out, so intrepid explorers should be careful to not to get stranded. An important stopping-off point for migrating birds, bring your binoculars and if you’re lucky you might spot one of the seals that like to frolic just off the island. Recommended by local insider Heather Forshaw

Ainsdale Beach

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Ainsdale Beach and Dunes
© Dave McAleavy Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Nestled between the busier spots of Southport and Formby, Ainsdale is a peaceful choice with everything you need for a good, old-fashioned day at the beach. Long, wide stretches of sand mean it’s perfect for walks or spreading out with games and a picnic. Undulating sand dunes stretch as far as the eye can see – give us a better hide and seek location and we’ll buy you an ice cream. For those who enjoy kitesurfing and landboarding, Ainsdale is well known, so bring along your kit (permits are a must but are free of charge) or sit back and watch the show. Recommended by local insider Heather Forshaw

Leasowe Bay

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Backed by a small bay, a promenade and sand dunes, the beaches of Leasowe Bay are a quieter option than their Liverpool counterparts. With open views of the Irish Sea and Leasowe Castle, it is popular with surfers and is home to the UK’s oldest brick lighthouse, complete with rumours of paranormal activity. Recommended by local insider Heather Forshaw

Thurstaston Beach

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People enjoying the good weather on the beach at Thurstaston, Wirral, England, UK.
© Ian Sheppard / Alamy Stock Photo
Thurstaston Beach is a sprawling area of sand: just what you want from a day at the seaside. Not only does it tick all the beach boxes, it comes with the enviable surrounds of Wirral Country Park, its large, lush grounds home to a vast array of birds and wildlife, including up to 10 species of butterfly. Picnic in the grounds before walking off lunch along the beach. The village of Thurstaston is also worth a visit, take the little ones to Church Farm to see their favourite animals. Recommended by local insider Heather Forshaw

Newborough Beach

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Newborough Beach - Families Enjoying the Beach
© Joe Wainwright / Alamy Stock Photo
While this one is a little way from Liverpool, the hour-and-a-half journey is worth it, we promise. With 5km (3mi) of sand and sea, along with epic views of Snowdonia National Park, Newborough Beach is the kind of place that makes you feel rejuvenated even after a short visit. Stop off at Marram Grass café on your way back to Liverpool for a very unique experience – the team there are doing things differently (and deliciously). Recommended by local insider Heather Forshaw

West Kirby Beach

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The beach at West Kirby on the Wirral
© Graham Light / Alamy Stock Photo
Spectacular views across the Dee Estuary to Wales will delight, as will the marine lake, and the beach of West Kirby is much loved by local dog walkers. Grab yourself a cone of chips (a good drenching of vinegar is a must) and enjoy with the wind in your hair and a smile on your face. Head there at low tide so you can walk right across the sand to Hilbre Island – luckier visitors will spot wild seals frolicking on the other side of the island. Recommended by local insider Matthew Caffrey

New Brighton Beach

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You’ll find nearly a mile of golden sand at New Brighton Beach, as well as unbeatable views of the Liverpool skyline. Take the kids to the Black Pearl, a pirate ship made entirely of driftwood, and let their inner Jack Sparrow run wild. It’s best to visit on a clear day to make the most of that view across the Mersey. Recommended by local insider Matthew Caffrey

Formby Beach

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Liverpool, Great Britaon - 10 June, 2018: Sandy Formby Beach  near Liverpool on a sunny day with lots of people. Unusual hot summer in Great Britain.
© Anna Denisova / Alamy Stock Photo
Atmospheric and gothic might not be typical buzzwords for a coastal day out, but Formby Beach is nevertheless a must-visit if you’re in the area. Surrounded by sweeping pinewoods and imposing sand dunes, this National Trust site is ideal for a coastal walk near Liverpool. With a large car park, picnic areas and marked paths, it’s a great spot for families and, on a clear day, you can spy the distant hills in Cumbria. Recommended by local insider Matthew Caffrey

Rhosneigr Beach

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Rhosneigr Beach on Anglesey, North Wales on a sunny summer day in August
© FreespiritCoast / Alamy Stock Photo
Pack a frisbee, some snacks and your favourite people and head to North Wales for some off-the-beaten-path beach action. The main beach of Rhosneigr, also known as Treath Crigyll, is more than a mile long, with rocky outcrops visible at low tide which are ideal for mini explorers keen to spot wildlife. The small town of Rhosneigr has some excellent cafés for tea and cake, too. Recommended by local insider Matthew Caffrey

Lytham St Annes

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Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, England, UK. Holidaymakers on sandy beach by the pier in seaside resort
© Realimage / Alamy Stock Photo
Just over an hour from Liverpool – and 3km (2mi) from the bright lights of Blackpool – you’ll find the quintessentially British beach resort of Lytham St Annes. Think promenade gardens, a boating lake, Victorian pier and historic windmill. After a day on the expansive sands, the dual towns of Lytham and St Annes will tempt you with their array of independent shops and eateries. Grab some fish and chips, you’re at the seaside after all. Recommended by local insider Matthew Caffrey
These recommendations were updated on December 8, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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