Spring is finally here, and while we might still have some restrictions, that doesn’t mean we can’t explore all of the beauty the UK has to offer. Ditch the concrete jungle that is Manchester for a day and head West to the coast, where you’ll find a selection of beautiful, sandy beaches near Manchester you never knew existed.
1. Formby Beach
One of the North West’s most beautiful spots, Formby Beach is a National Trust nature reserve, complete with Red Squirrels, sand dunes and high sandy hills to explore. The beach is pristine and spans 13.2 kilometres, making it perfect for a coastal stroll. Soak up the sun while sprawled on the soft sand overlooking the Irish Sea, or check out the nearby nature reserve and the wildlife that inhabits the area.
2. New Brighton Beach
A lovely spot for keen photographers, New Brighton Beach can be found near Wallasey and is a 3/4 mile stretch of soft golden sand with stunning views of the Liverpool skyline. For those who prefer exploring over sunbathing, the beach boasts some rockier areas, along with its very own lighthouse, named the Perch Rock lighthouse. The beach also features a bit of a shipwrecked look, including a community-built driftwood boat that resembles a pirate ship, and the grade II listed Perch Rock Fort.
3. Crosby Beach
Crosby Beach is the home of the beautiful sculpture project ‘Another Place’, which consists of 100 cast iron figures that can be found spread out across the shore. The iron figures stare out towards the horizon and are the subject of almost all photos taken at the beach, understandably. While Crosby beach isn’t a ‘bathing beach’, it’s a great spot to check out the ‘Another Place’ installation and take a relaxing stroll across the coast and promenade.
4. Lytham St Annes Beach
Featuring little beach huts that make up a stretch of the St Annes seafront, Lytham St Annes is quite the attraction, with many booking up their beautiful little beach huts for the day to comfortably enjoy the long stretch of sand and St Anne’s Pier. The Victorian seaside resort has a whole lot more to offer, too, with its very own promenade gardens, a paddling pool for kids, a splash park for kids, and all the typical beachfront shops you’d expect to find in the UK.
5. Blackpool Beach
Arguably one of the best beaches near Manchester, Blackpool offers so much nostalgia with its theme park and old-fashioned seafront. There’s chippies dotted everywhere, the iconic Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Tower, and of course, the beach itself (which has been “healing” well during the UK lockdown). Take a walk along the beach with some fish and chips (just try to avoid the seagulls), or unleash your inner child and check out a few of the rides.
6. Ainsdale Beach
Found in Southport, Ainsdale Beach is well-known for being a prime spot for kiting (we know, niche), but aside from that, it’s a peaceful sandy beach with similar sand dunes to those you’ll find at beautiful Formby. The pretty spot has the oldest iron pier in Britain, and is ideal for those looking to swim and bathe in the sun. Nearby, you’ll find the Natural England Nature Reserve, which is home to all sorts of wildlife including lizards, newts and more.
[Featured image: National Trust Formby]