Best local beaches for families

With this glorious weather where better to take the children than these nearby fabulous family-friendly beaches?

Summer is here so it’s time to dig out that bucket and spade, stock up on sunscreen and cool drinks and head to the beach.  Beaches make the perfect family day out with opportunities for building sandcastles, swimming, playing beach games or simply sun bathing.

Here in the North West of England and North Wales we are blessed with some of the best beaches in the country. We have beaches with nature reserves and sand dunes, traditional seaside beaches with piers, amusement arcades and fish and chips shops, beaches with lighthouses and rockpools and even a beach with a world famous art installation. Whatever your taste there’s a beach to suit your family within easy reach.

So here are our suggestions for the best beaches for families with children near Liverpool, Manchester, Wirral, Cheshire, Wrexham and Flintshire.


Southport Beach

Southport has a long sandy beach perfect for making sandcastles. Southport boasts the oldest iron pier in the country – it even has its own tram to get you to the end. The beach is only a short walk to the cafes and facilities of Southport itself including its famous shopping arcade and seaside attractions. If you are looking for a traditional seaside resort you can reach on public transport then Southport is the answer with its own railway train station.

Ainsdale Beach

Often awarded the International Blue Flag for cleanliness, Ainsdale is a popular beach for families as well as beach sport enthusiasts such as kite surfers. At Ainsdale Discovery Centre, kids can take part in educational activities learning about Sefton Coast and nearby Ainsdale & Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve.

Formby Beach

Formby Beach is famous for its huge sand dunes and pine wood forests home to the endangered red squirrel. The National Trust run occasional family activities including squirrel fun days. Sometimes low tide reveals the foot prints of Neolithic people and animals.

Crosby Beach – Another Place

Crosby Beach is home to “Another Place”, the world famous art installation by Antony Gormley. One hundred life size iron figures stretch out into the sea with some standing on the beach and others being completely submerged at high tide. Kids and adults will be fascinated.

New Brighton

New Brighton is perfect for a traditional family day out with its huge expanse of sand and promenade with iconic views of the UNESCO listed Liverpool Waterfront. There’s a lighthouse and even a fort! And if your kids get bored of the beach, head off to the funfair, amusement arcade, model boating lake and Floral Pavilion theatre.


Wallasey Beach has a Blue Flag and a lifeguard which makes it a good choice if your kids want a paddle or a swim. It’s also the perfect place to build a sand castle so don’t forget your bucket and spade!

West Kirby

It’s only a little beach but it has pony rides and ice cream. The main attraction is that from here you can walk to Hilbre Island at low tide. It’s a long walk to the island nature reserve so not one for very little legs. But for bigger kids it feels like a real adventure and there are frequent sightings of grey seals. Just be very careful of the tides times and stick to the official route!

Hoylake & Red Rocks

Grab your fishing net because when the tide goes out you’ll find perfect rockpools and unusual rust coloured “Red Rocks” sand dunes to clamber over. It’s an easy walk to the train station so this is another great option if you are using public transport.

Moreton Beach

Moreton Beach is quieter than some of its neighbours but is well worth a visit with its clean waters. Leasowe Lighthouse is sometimes open to visitors. Combine it with a picnic on the adjacent Leasowe Common for a lovely family day out.

Thurstaston Beach

Thurstaston has a beautiful beach with miles of golden sand perfect for flying kites. The beach is next to Thurstaston Common which is a great place for children to play and have picnics. See our 10 Tips for a Successful Family Picnic. Thurstaston Visitor Centre sells snacks and ice creams and sometimes holds kids’ activities.

Talacre and Gronant Sands

Talacre’s huge beach is one of the most famous beaches in the region. With its famous lighthouse, miles of golden dunes and shallow water, it’s no surprise that Talacre Beach is a traditional family favourite. There are a range of family friendly cafes, ice cream parlours and fish and chip shops so the kids won’t go hungry. And an amusement centre so they won’t get bored either. If you prefer things a little quieter, there’s delightful stroll along the boardwalk behind the dunes through the nature reserve.

Need some more ideas for ways to entertain the kids? Take a look at The 7 best castles within easy reach for a family visit,  top tips for days out the whole family will enjoy and family friendly science discovery centres near you , Unplugged! 100 free things to do this summer and fifteen fab ideas for free outdoor fun.

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