Voted one of the Top 6 beaches in the UK by the National Trust, Formby beach mixes wild dunes with miles of family friendly sand flats. Surrounded by ancient coastal pinewoods, the area is home to a whole host of British wildlife, including sand lizards and the extremely rare Natterjack toad. The beach is so vast, it never seems crowded, even on busy days.
You can even venture on a Footprints walk, where you may discover prehistoric human and animal prints, laid bare by the tide due to coastal erosion.
Freshfields Red Squirrel Sanctuary
Not far from the beach, take a walk through the surrounding woodlands and discover the local celebrities in these parts – no, not the Merseyside footballers, the cute and rare red squirrels! Autumn and spring are when they are most active, but you’ve a good chance of spotting them all year round. Don’t be too noisy, though…they are shy creatures.
A couple of miles south along the coast, and you’ll come across one of the region’s and the country’s most famous and recognisable sculptures. Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ stretches along Crosby beach: 100 cast-iron, life-size figures (all made from casts of the artist’s own body) stare out to sea along three kilometres of coast, and a kilometre out to sea, contemplating the horizon. Some are completely submerged at high tide; some are more weather-beaten than others. All stare impassively out towards the west, silently noting the passing of time…
After all that fresh air, you might be tempted to head into the heart of the village, where you will find familiar names and independent shops. There are plenty of places to eat and drink, too, including a finalist in CAMRA’s National Pub of the Year in the Freshfield. Who knows, you might even bump into a Premiership footballer – Formby is home to many recognisable sporting figures who have made their home here.
Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel Southport
A further great advantage to visiting the area is knowing that you have a place to leave your loved feline friends, knowing they’ll be pampered every bit as much as you are…Close by, just a little further up the famed Golf Coast in sunny Birkdale, a hotel from the award-winning Longcroft brand of superior cat accommodation, has been open now for 18 months. Attracting customers from as far afield as Birmingham and the Lake District, connoisseurs of cat custody leave their adored pet companions in the caring hands of Harvey and John, in the first 5 star hotel chain for cats. You can enjoy your leisure time knowing your cat will be having just as good an experience at Longcroft.
Formby Beach Image by Berit from Redhill/Surrey, UK (On the way to the beach, Formby, UK) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons