Thursday, 22 June 2017

Formby beach - things to know before visiting

Hi lovelies,

I just can't get enough of this hot weather. If England, Manchester in particular, was this warm all the time I definitely wouldn't complain about living here (or crave a holiday every other week). In true British style I took full advantage of the weather and headed to the beach. I've not been to the beach in England since I was little so it was definitely a nice change. 

- F O R M B Y - B E A C H -




I visited Formby Beach with my friend on Saturday and had the best day (apart from burning my shoulders to a crisp). 




If you don't drive, or fancy a relaxing day not driving, the train is a really easy way of getting to Formby. A return ticket from Manchester Piccadilly cost £12.90 but you could also get on at both Manchester Oxford Road or Manchester Deansgate stations. Although it isn't a direct train, changing was really quick and easy.

On the way there, we got off at Liverpool South Parkway and on the way back we changed at Southport. We didn't wait longer than 10 minutes for the train on either occasion. 

If you are going to get the train, I would definitely recommend downloading the Trainline app as this is really good for providing more information e.g. which platform to get your train from. This saved us wandering round the station looking for a departures board and definitely made our travel quicker.

The beach is approximately a 15-20 minute walk from the station (this includes walking through the forest trail) and it is actually a really nice walk.

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR VISIT

I'd heard great things about Formby beach - including how pretty it is - but knowing certain things would have made my visit much easier. I think when you're going somewhere for the first time, it's nice to know where you're up to in respect of numerous things and in hindsight, maybe a little research wouldn't have gone a miss. However, this was a very spontaneous day trip so there wasn't much time to research - it was a go with the flow situation.

Formby beach is very different to other beaches that I have visited as it is tucked behind a housing estate as opposed to being on a traditional 'seafront' like Blackpool or Southport. However, it is absolutely beautiful. The surrounding areas are a National Trust reserve and are filled with forests and grass areas. The greenery mixed with the golden sands just makes the area really idyllic. I loved the mix of the two together - it worked so well.

TOILET FACILITIES

One of the things that it is always good to know about before a visit anywhere is the toilet facilities. Let's face it, no one wants to have to go on a wild goose chase to find the toilets, especially when you're going to the beach. The beach is the best place to relax and unwind whilst appreciating the (hopefully) lovely weather so walking miles to the toilet just isn't ideal.

We tried to take the sensible approach of finding the toilets before we got settled on the beach. However, this was not as easy as we anticipated. It is a busy public beach so naturally, we expected that there would be toilet facilities to use. This wasn't the case at all.

We asked several people if they knew where there were toilets but nobody seemed to know where they were or even if there were any. This goes to show that there is a common theme - we were all clueless.

Luckily, a man working in the ice cream van directed us to a portaloo towards the end of the car park. These were technically for lifeguards only but the ice cream man said that members of the public did sometimes use them too. It transpired that the main toilet facilities were at a tea rooms around a 15 minute walk away from the beach (15 minutes once you'd actually reached the end of the car park, that is). I found this absolutely ludicrous that a busy, popular beach didn't have any form of proper toilet facilities for public use.

I would definitely recommend finding these as soon as you get to Formby, before you actually arrive at the beach area. This saves interrupting your settled time on the beach as it is a bit of a walk to the toilets - especially if you are going to visit the tea rooms to go.

FOOD AND DRINKS

There's nothing nicer than going to the beach with a picnic - it just makes the whole trip out even cuter! This was exactly our plan - we bought food before we got on the train and took it with us. I am SO glad that we did.

Having visited other beached several times, I just naively assumed that there would be restaurants or food places nearby. I was wrong. The only form of food sold at Formby beach is ice creams / ice lollies which, I have to admit, is an amazingly refreshing snack but it definitely doesn't suffice for the full day.

I'd also recommend a cooler to put your food and drinks in - we didn't think of this as it was a last minute trip and our food wasn't as cool as we'd like due to the hot weather. This is definitely optional - we had a really good day and thoroughly enjoyed our little picnic on the beach but a cooler to keep our food and drinks nice and chilled throughout the day would have been an added bonus.

Finally, if you're going to have an ice cream or drink from the ice cream van make sure that you've got plenty of change on you as they don't take card payments. This is probably a given but it is definitely something that could well slip your mind beforehand.

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Overall, we had a lovely day and I would definitely visit again. This is a great place to visit on a sunny day to soak up the sun. There were plenty of dogs so it is also a pet friendly place!

If you're still not overly convinced, here's a few pictures to change your mind...

  


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Thanks for reading!

Love,
























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