Plan your trip to the beach this summer

09 June 2023 2min read

With its coastline expected to be very busy this weekend, Sefton Council is recommending people plan their journeys to avoid queues and take care in the hot weather.

Stay safe in the heat

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a Yellow Heat Health alert for our area lasting until 9am on Tuesday 13th June. This is the lowest level of alert.

It says the weather for North West England could become very warm or hot from Saturday to Monday. 

In the warmer weather, we remind people to take care when spending time along our coastline. It is an exposed landscape with little natural shade, and the sea breeze can disguise the hot Sun’s UV rays.

The NHS advices to spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest. In the UK, this is between 11am and 3pm from March to October.

The NHS says also to make sure you:

  • spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm;
  • never burn;
  • cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses;
  • take extra care with children;
  • use at least factor 30 sunscreen.

You can use this link to find out more hot weather advice advice

Travel by train

Sefton's beaches are within easy walking distance from Merseyrail stations such as Southport, Birkdale, Hillside, Ainsdale, Freshfield, Formby, Hall Road, Blundellsands & Crosby and Waterloo.

Merseyrail have extended their services this summer making taking the train an even more convenient option for visitors. Starting on Sunday 28th May, they now run a 15-minute Sunday service between Liverpool Central and Southport.

People can plan their journeys and find timetables and service updates at

Ainsdale Beach can be found just two stops on Merseyrail or 16 minutes’ drive from Formby, using a satnav at postcode PR8 2QA. Southport beach, five stops on Merseyrail or a 20-minute drive is at postcode PR8 1SB. And Crosby Coastal Park is three stations or 29 minutes’ drive from Formby.

Beach car parking

Sefton Council is asking those who do drive to its coast to park responsibly and considerately away from residential areas and to make sure there is access for residents and emergency service vehicles at all times.

The dry weather also has an impact on sand conditions, making the sand very soft, which can impact vehicle access to our beach car parks at Ainsdale and Southport beach.

While both Ainsdale and Southport beach car parks remain open, large heavy vehicles, such as Horse Boxes, will not be allowed on to avoid these vehicles becoming stuck in the soft sand.

The dry, soft sand from a prolonged period of warm, dry weather can also reduce car parking capacity.

Our Green Sefton team regularly monitor and assess sand conditions, and as a result, a reduction of beach car parking capacity can happen at short notice.

And during busy days, there can be queues for vehicles waiting in hot weather for a parking spot on the beach, which visitors with small children or pets should consider when planning their journey.

You can use this link to find out more information on visiting the Sefton coast.

Alternative car parking

There are also over 1,000 parking spaces close to Southport Beach at Esplanade Park and Ride, which people can find using a Sat Nav at postcode PR8 1RX. Costs are just £2 per day per car Monday to Saturday, including free bus service into Southport Town Centre.

On Sundays, the Esplanade site is a Car Park costing £5.50 all day. There is no Park and Ride Services in Southport on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Seven hundred spaces are also available adjacent to the beach, on Marine Drive.

Visitors are reminded to be responsible when parking on the beaches and respect other beach users.


The facilities at Ainsdale beach include men’s, women’s, and disabled toilets. A daily cleaning regime is in place, ensuring the amenities are kept clean and replenished during busy periods through the summer.

Accessible toilets are also available at Crosby Coastal Park and at Ocean Plaza next to the Pier at Southport.

A bite to eat at the beach

There are also fantastic food and drink outlets on offer at Crosby and Ainsdale beaches, providing much-needed refreshments in the hot weather, and everything you could need for a great day out in Southport.

Remember, BBQ’s and fires are not permitted on the coast. Learn why here.

Have a lovely time but please help protect our coastline and stay safe!

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