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Everything you need to know about Sefton beaches, beach parking etc Southport, Ainsdale and Crosby


Sefton Borough enjoys over 22 miles of coast and foreshore areas with a range of facilities and nature reserves. Sefton Council manages the beaches at Southport, Ainsdale and Crosby.

Sefton’s entire coastline is environmentally sensitive and protected – please respect this precious landscape.


Leave nothing but your footprints – take all your rubbish home with you and recycle wherever possible.


Car parking at the coast

Plan ahead and know where you can park at the coast. Check your local radio stations for traffic updates to avoid congestion and perhaps even plan your visit for a less busy day as sunny days can attract more visitors than normal.


Follow the Council signs when they tell you their car parks are full, they will do what they can to direct you to alternative parking.


Anti-social, irresponsible and illegal car parking is a key priority for their enforcement officers to tackle and resources will be increased in areas where issues continue.


Parking in residential areas can mean that emergency vehicles don’t have the access they need, it causes concerns for residents and you could find yourself with a parking fine.


There are beach car parking facilities at #Ainsdale and #Southport beaches from April to September each year, more details further down this page. There are also many pay and display car parks in the area just a short walk down to the beach.

#Crosby beach is backed by a promenade, from where you can safely view the Another Place ‘Iron Men’. There are several pay and display car parks adjacent or close to the promenade.


Car parking for the beach at #Formby is managed by the National Trust. Information to help you plan a visit to Formby can be found on the National Trust website here.

Beach car parking

  • The beach car parks at Ainsdale and Southport are now open for the spring and summer 2021 season and will remain open until the end of September 2021.

  • Check tide times, every morning on Sefton Bubble website


During the summer (1st April – 30th September), beach car parking is available at Ainsdale (PR8 2QB) and Southport (PR9 1RX). However, beach car parking can be affected by the tide, the weather or for other reasons, and parking charges apply.

The all-day charge for parking during 2021 on Ainsdale beach is £10 and a new cashless payment system is being introduced. For regular visitors who are Sefton residents, and those who drive an electric or hybrid car, they can purchase a reduced rate £30 season ticket (non-refundable). Discounted evening rates (50% off the all-day charge) after 4pm will be subject to further car parking management arrangements for the 2021 season.


An online form to purchase beach car parking season tickets is available here.


This funding provides essential support to contribute to the costs to provide our services and preserve the natural beauty of our coastline for generations to come.


Reduced beach car parking and tidal closures 2021

Beach car parks at Southport and Ainsdale are generally open every day between 1st April and 30th September each summer. However, they do need to close or be reduced in size depending on tidal and weather conditions, sometimes for organised events (such as the Southport Air Show) and at other times as determined by the Council (e.g. pollution incidents).


We also need to take close note of the weather conditions, especially wind direction and strength – certain conditions may require further closures than just those listed below.


May 2021

Southport – 1, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 (all dates closed)


Ainsdale – 1 (reduced), 25 (reduced), 26 & 27 (closed), 28 (reduced)


June 2021

Southport – 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 (all dates closed)


Ainsdale - 24, 25, 26 (all dates reduced)


July 2021

Southport – 24, 25, 26 (all dates closed)


Ainsdale – 25 (reduced)


August 2021

Southport – 11, 12, 22, 23, 24, 25 (all dates closed)


September 2021

Southport – 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 20, 21, 23, 24 (all dates closed)


Alternative travel to the Sefton coast

We have an excellent rail service along the Sefton coast. The Merseyrail northern line runs regularly in both directions between Liverpool and Southport with most coastal locations only a short walk away.

Sefton is also served by several bus service providers, from Merseytravel, Arriva and Stagecoach, so why not give the bus a try.


There are plenty of different cycle routes and bike hire available at both the Eco Visitor Centre and Southport Train Station. Plus, you can take you bike for free, and without the need to pre-book, on the Merseyrail network.


Travelling by other ways to the coast helps to reduce your carbon footprint too.

Don’t forget hands, face and space – protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19 when using public transport.


Access to beaches varies by location and in some areas it may be difficult for pushchairs and wheelchairs to gain access.


Toilets

There are public toilet facilities at all Sefton coastal sites and extra temporary loos will be made available at Ainsdale and Crosby beach in 2021, in a way that is safe for users and the staff required to keep facilities clean and sterilised.

Please use the facilities provided and do not use the beaches, dunes or the sea to go to the toilet.


Make sure you wash your hands after using public toilets or use the hand sanitiser provided at the portable loos. Keep regularly using hand sanitiser when visiting the coast, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.


Bathing water and the RNLI

Only Formby, Ainsdale and Southport are designated bathing beaches. During the summer water samples are taken and there are RNLI Beach Lifeguards on duty.

Crosby Beach is not a designated bathing water.

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