The small town of Hightown lies on the Formby coastline between Liverpool and Southport. The undeveloped area of sand and shingle beach, backed by an extensive system of dunes, between Blundellsands and the River Alt estuary is used by ramblers and dog walkers. There are no dog restrictions and the Sefton Coastal Path passes the beach.
There’s plenty to see at Hightown beach with the Burbo Bank offshore windfarm in the distance. It is also a great spot for wildlife. The area of saltmarsh around the river estuary is a good spot to see wading and shore birds, as well as many interesting species of butterfly and some rare flora. The dunes are home to natterjack toads and sand lizards and in spring and summer, a variety of birds make their nests in the dunes.
Note that there is a 620-acre ALTCAR military training site on the north-west side of the River Alt. Live firing takes place here. The area of shoreline between Seaforth and Hightown includes dangerous areas of quicksands and there are rapidly-incoming tides with strong currents. Visitors to this area need to take note of the signs and danger warnings in place.
There is no designated parking near this beach, although it may be possible to find a parking spot on the roads close to the beach. It is then a short walk over the dunes to the beach. Shops and pubs can be found in Hightown.
Type of beach
Dogs friendly beach?
No dog restriction.
- Pub nearby
OS grid ref.
SD 2947 0348
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Hightown Beach Reviews
Unfriendly and inhospitable
Mumsy33Aug 02nd 2021
After numerous attempts to find a parking spot, rolling of eyes from locals aka ‘hills have eyes’ residents due to (only possible reason) our Mancunian accents, we ventured to what we thought would be a nice quiet beach for my autistic son to enjoy nature free from the anxiety on other bustling nature beaches and learn new things he was particularly interested in seeing sand lizards. Unfortunately the village people ruined the whole experience with their constant nit picking, and belligerent attitudes, one even told us we needed a locals permit to have a picnic (which was bizarre). We felt extremely uncomfortable (myself, my special needs son (12) and my 8&9 yr old daughters when a small group of men gathered behind us and stood over us leering, the odd slur and laughter until we packed up and left, whom then proceeded to follow us to the car. I felt scared for myself and my children. I will not be visiting, I would not recommend this place to families or tourists. This is a beautiful place ride with an ugly small minded village mentality.
I would reiterate that it is not a suitable beach to suggest driving to…the roads around Hightown are dangerous and once there there is no parking. The River Alt is dangerous as well with fast moving tides and nearby rifle range. Crosby is far better.
KathleenJan 06th 2021
Its a public beach , its available to each and everyone , and we pay are road tax like you and your neighbours so long as roads and access are not blocked WE. the general public can park and visit. If the public using a public beach is a problem for you I advise you to move your place of abode.
Ignore post above
Beach is stunning and locals don’t like to advertise it and try to keep it for themselves.
Locals are somewhat of an issue as they feel it is solely their beach. Hightown village is reminiscent of an episode of “League of Gentleman” “‘this is a local beach, for local people”
One thing the above review is right about is that swimming is not advisable.
As a local resident I am disappointed to see our beach described as on your website. Whilst factually correct, it doesn’t make clear that the whole beach at Hightown runs alongside the River Alt estuary. The tidal flows can give the appearance that paddling/ swimming may be possible however, the river bank is a near vertical drop and currents make venturing out dangerous. Last weekend the RNLI were called out four times on Saturday alone to people who needed rescuing. Parking is another issue. There is parking on road near the sailing club access gate for possibly 5 cars. The roads leading away from that point are used for local residents to park their cars. To advertise the beach saying there are more spaces nearby has led to high volumes of traffic and vehicles parking blocking emergency vehicle access and also, on some occasions actually blocking the road to local traffic.