Formby is a popular day out for people who want to combine wildlife and nature walks with sand dunes and sea. It’s run by the National Trust and can get extremely busy on sunny days so it’s always best to set off early!
Things to see and do at Formby
The Sand Dunes at Formby Beach
The high sand dunes are the perfect place for kids to explore. Lifeboat Road is an excellent place to start your adventure. The 150-acre site has a wide sandy beach, high dunes and grassland, and an array of stunning pine trees.
The beach and dunes are exceptionally clean. The dunes make for perfect picnic spots, an escape from the crowds, exploring, and dune diving as my 6yr old discovered! Like all beaches, it hates buggies! There is also a relatively steep, very sandy climb up and then down again to access the beach so something to factor in for little legs!
Woodland Walks at Formby
The woodland area (‘Squirrel Walk’) is full of pine trees, areas to explore, and is very well managed with lots of child-friendly and mostly buggy-friendly paths. It also offers lots of shade too on a hot day. We really enjoyed walking through the pine trees and spotting various wildlife, especially counting the squirrels, and we also collected a few pinecones along the way!
Food and drink at Formby
We took a picnic with us as there are lots of great picnic spots. There is an ice cream van and toilets at the woodland end and another ice cream van closer to the beach. We treated ourselves to ice creams and drinks, but unfortunately, there wasn’t a large array of snacks so I would recommend taking plenty of snacks with you!
Visiting Formby with your dog
With lots of woodland and sandy beach, Formby is the perfect place to visit with dogs. Although we do not have a dog we saw plenty of dogs enjoying themselves! The only request the National Trust have is that you must put your dogs on a lead when you are walking through the Squirrel walk to protect the squirrels.
Horse riding at Formby
Formby is a great place to ride your horse along the beach and through the woodland areas. Our children loved watching the horses gentling walking through the crashing waves! It’s best not to take your horse on busy days though as space along the beach can be limited.
Cycling at Formby
Next time we will bring our bikes with us as there is a designated cycle path and plenty of cycle racks near the beach. There are also plenty of cycle routes and paths in the local area. You can also hire bikes at both the Eco Visitors Centre or Southport train station. Cycling would be a great way to take in the wonderful views! For more information on cycle routes visit https://www.bikemap.net/en/l/2649198/
How to get to Formby
If you are traveling by car, make sure you plan ahead as parking is limited especially on busy days. We arrived at 9.30 am and it was already starting to get busy. The best place to head to for parking is Lifeboat Road (L37 2EB) for beach access as there are more parking spaces. There are two car parks though one near the woodland area and one near the beach. You do have to pay for parking it’s free for National Trust members or £7.50. The beach car park has seasonal opening and closing times so please check the website, for further details. The woodland car park is open all the time.
There are also plenty of public transport options too, with the nearest train station being Freshfield Station 1 mile from Victoria Road. There’s also Formby Station 1.2 miles from Lifeboat Road.
Highly recommend a visit to Formby
We had a beautifully sunny day at Formby woodland area and beach. There are so many woodlands walks to enjoy through the pine trees and the scenery is wonderful, the sand dunes and ‘sand surfing’ were definitely a highlight too! Top tip – get there early to avoid the crowds and leave early to avoid the long queues! We can’t wait to visit again!