Crosby Beach is our go-to seaside destination up here. The small town of Crosby is just six miles north of Liverpool and is best reached using the train from Liverpool Central. The journey takes 20 minutes and a return ticket costs just £4.20. Just get off at Blundellsands & Crosby, easy peasy. Once you get out the station, just head for the sea. It couldn’t be more simple.
What is there to do at the beach? Well, if you’re asking that question then a day at the beach might not be for you. This blustery coast is for relaxing, for sitting on the sands as the wind blows through your hair, making it difficult to read your book and making your mind up once and for all about buying that Kindle. Do be careful when it comes to venturing into the sea though, as this a red flag warning beach and there have been instances of people getting stuck in quicksand. Best to admire the sea from afar.
The Anthony Gormley sculptures get most of the blame for those quicksand issues. Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ installation went up in 2005, and consists of 100 cast iron naked figures staring out into the sea. There is a haunting nature to them, a quiet scene that subconsciously debates the relationship between human and nature. They also make for great pictures, which might mean more to most in the modern age.
What to eat at the seaside? Fish and chips, easy. It is a British tradition to pick up a cone of chips while by the sea, and we’ll be damned if we’re going to see it go to the dogs. Cover those potatoes in salt and vinegar, hope for some scraps and you’re in for a good time. If you’re after something a little more formal, The Tree House is always a good bet.
Crosby might be our Merseyside coast destination of choice, but there are plenty of options up here. Southport is a large town with an energetic nightlife and plenty of sand, while Formby is quieter than the rest but probably the most authentic when it comes to the English seaside. Ainsdale wins the day when it comes to sheer beach quality, and West Kirby is small but perfectly formed. There are plenty of seaside options around Liverpool, but the Gormley statues make Crosby the top pick for us.