The Best Beaches near Manchester

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  • 1. Formby Beach

    Formby © Cat_collector | BY-SA

    Formby beach is a spacious stretch of beach backed by extensive sand dunes giving it a much more rural feel than its neighbours. Beyond the dunes are sweeping coastal pinewoods which are home to the red squirrels.

    Considering its position between Liverpool and Southport Formby beach surprisingly manages to retain much of its wild feel. Hopefully this will continue for many years as this section of coast is now owned by the National Trust.

    Low tide at Formby reveals prehistoric mud layers which are constantly being eroded. If you look…

  • 2. Blackpool Beach

    Blackpool Beach © Snaphappyuk | BY-SA

    Blackpool is, for better or worse, possibly the best known seaside resort in the UK. The beach and seafront here have been a major draw for a hundred years and whilst the Blackpool's fortunes may have ebbed and waned the town's character essentially remains the same.

    Boasting seven miles of sand Blackpool seafront is home to three large piers and the 500ft tall Blackpool Tower. The main beach lies between the South and Central piers and is backed by a promenade. Along this strip run the well known trams which become the centrepieces of the Blackpool Illuminations at the end of every…

  • 3. West Kirby Beach

    West Kirby © Eirian Evans | BY-SA

    West Kirby is a clean and easily accessible sandy beach on the Wirral Peninsula, at the mouth of the River Dee.  It offers fine views across the Dee Estuary and towards the hills of North Wales.
    The beach itself is relatively small at around 300 metres long.

    Located next to the beach is the West Kirby Marine Lake, a large enclosed area of shallow water set up so watersports can be enjoyed in a safe, sheltered environment. The Lake is home to the Wirral Sailing School, which offers courses in sailing, windsurfing and canoeing.


  • 4. Rhyl Beach

    Rhyl © Steve Daniels | BY-SA

    Until it was developed as a resort in the 1880s, Rhyl was little more than a collection of fishermen's cottages. With the hotels, promenade and seaside entertainment came hordes of visitors from the industrial heartlands of Wales, northern England and the Midlands.

    As with many of Britain's seaside resorts, Rhyl's heyday has long since gone. But that doesn't mean the town has nothing to offer visitors. Still at the top of the list of attractions are the miles of sandy beach which still draw a fair crowd on a sunny day.

    The main beach at Rhyl is a vast expanse of sand stretching…

  • 5. Lytham St Annes Beach

    Lytham St Annes © Michael_d_beckwith | BY-SA

    Located between the mud flats of the Ribble Estuary and the bright lights of Blackpool is the pleasant, if not a little posh, seaside town of Lytham. Despite being less than 5 miles down the coast from Blackpool, Lytham St Annes feels like a world apart.

    What the two towns do share in common is a their classic seaside resort credentials. You'll find swathes of sand, Victorian piers, donkey rides and ice cream vans galore at both, but (thankfully) this is largely where the similarity ends.

    The beach itself at St Annes is a huge expanse of golden sand. The sort that is perfect for…

  • 6. Prestatyn Central Beach

    Prestatyn Central © Bob Abell | BY-SA

    Prestatyn is a coastal resort in North Wales with three beaches that join up to form a five mile stretch of sand, interspersed with rock groynes. Central Beach is wide and north-facing, popular with sailors and windsurfers, and backed by a wide promenade much-used by cyclists.

    Plenty of facilities including a leisure centre and amusement arcades. The North Wales Cycle Trail and Offa's Dyke Path both converge on the seafront.

  • 7. Southport Beach

    Southport © Jeff Buck | BY-SA

    Although many would say Southport's heyday was in the Victorian era this traditional seaside resort is still one of the most popular in the UK. Much of this has been due to the array of annual events held here which pull in big crowds. However, it is still the town's vast swathe of sandy beach that is the reason that people keep coming back and life revolves around the seafront. In summer, the beach is an ideal spot for all those traditional Great British seaside pastimes. Building sandcastles, flying kites or taking a dip in in the safe bathing waters are all as popular as ever. For an even…