I remember when I first discovered Formby National Trust reserve with its lovely pine forest and sandy dunes. I thought this was the closest I could get to what I imagined the Baltic Sea coast to be. Despite having seen so much of the UK I have never seen the seaside in my own country.
Formby beach used to be a best kept secret of sorts, or so I thought, but now it seems extremely popular. It’s only a 15 min walk from Freshfield station making it very easy to get to from Liverpool. For those who prefer to drive there: be prepared to be stuck in a very long line of cars before you get to the car park, which is going to cost you £7.50. There are toilets on the National Trust site, plus an ice cream van and another one, a cafe on wheels, selling very tasty bacon rolls and a selection of hot and cold drinks. A life saver, because I brought no food with me.
It’s an unspoilt place: the holy trinity of sand, sea and sky plus a pine forest behind the dunes. No traffic noise, no ugly concrete wall like the one in Sandown, Isle of Wight. No smell of frying oil or cheap cider. Needless to say, I am not a fan of crowds, not very fond of screaming kids either. Luckily for me 90 % of visitors occupy a spot nearest to the Freshfield path exit and I only had to walk for about 10 min to leave it all behind. Formby beach is a long one, so it is still possible to find somewhere quiet and fairly isolated from other humans.
Although it is a sandy beach, the sand is hard packed. It therefore great for walking and when the tide is low, the sea is literally miles away. The beach offers views towards Welsh hills and Gwynt y Môr windfarm.
To my surprise, the sea was really warm.
Costa del Sol it isn’t but no one expects it to be. I am very glad to have such a beautiful place on my doorstep.