Top 5 seaside resorts within easy reach of Liverpool
With summer in full swing and the long school holidays fast approaching it’s time to make plans for a family getaway.
But before you load up that flight comparison website, first consider these beautiful coastlines and seaside resorts which you can reach from Liverpool in less than two and a half hours.
Words by Lawrence Saunders
By car – 1hr 50 / by rail – 2hr 30
A laid-back seaside village on Anglesey’s western shore – home to scenic walking routes and two stunning sandy beaches.
Do Go for a dip
A haven for water sports enthusiasts; beginners and experts alike can make the most of Rhosneigr’s favourable coastal conditions.
Funsport on Beach Road sells everything you need to get wet in style but if you don’t know a surfboard’s nose from its tail, sign up for one of the shop’s classes on a variety of disciplines.
Eat Sandy Mount House
Head chef Hefin Roberts, who once cooked for Prince Charles, has devised a contemporary menu based around locally sourced produce at this swanky beach house.
Sleep Ty Hen Caravan Park
There’s room for eight guests in Ty Hen’s 2017 Willerby Avonmore holiday home, with a four-night stay in July costing £400.
The park features an outdoor heated swimming pool with sauna, and overlooks Maelog Lake – a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest for its status as a nutrient rich lake with distinctive flora and fauna.
Lytham St Annes
By car – 1hr 15 / by rail – 1hr 25
Four golf courses, a large sandy beach and a picture-postcard Victorian pier combine in Blackpool’s well-to-do neighbour.
Do Rent a beach base
Rent a charming St Annes Beach Hut for the day (£85 in July) and enjoy all the fun of St Annes with the added comfort of your own seaside sanctuary.
From 10am till midnight, you and up to seven guests have sole access to one of these delightful wooden hideaways which come equipped with mains electricity, kitchen facilities and Wi-Fi.
Eat Fifty Four
A distinctive tapas-style restaurant with Scandinavian inspired interior just a short stroll from St Annes Pier.
Sleep The Grand Hotel
Grand by name and by nature, this imposing period property on St Annes south promenade exudes traditional English seaside charm.
A night’s stay in a standard double room for two people with breakfast this July starts at £94.
By car – 1hr 10 / by rail – 1hr 25 (to Colwyn Bay)
Sandwiched between the more illustrious resorts of Llandudno and Colwyn Bay, this small yet perfectly formed seaside village boasts a traditional promenade, quaint shops, a Blue Flag beach and maybe Britain’s tiniest church.
Do Old-fashioned fun
Go back in time and witness a traditional marionette show at the Harlequin Puppet Theatre – Britain’s only purpose-built puppet theatre.
This summer, puppeteer and proprietor Christopher Somerville presents his strung-up interpretation of ‘Hansel & Gretel’ almost every day until the end of August.
Eat Pie Records Arts Café
Eccentric café/bar come live music venue with a reputation for scrumptious vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Sleep Plas Rhos House
This highly-rated, luxury B&B overlooking the Irish Sea is just a short walk from the centre of the village.
A minimum stay of two nights applies and, in mid-July, this will set you back £170 for a double room.
By car – 1hr 20 / by rail – 1hr 10 (to Poulton-le-Fylde)
Coastal hideaway four miles north of Blackpool with heaps of golden sand, independent food shops and a multi-award winning promenade.
Do Explore the Mythic Coast
Part sea defence, part art installation, Cleveleys’ stepped promenade was officially opened at the start of the decade following a £20 million plus renovation.
Young and old alike will appreciate the striking sculptures found along the waterfront that bring to life ‘The Sea Shallow’ – a fairytale written for children which mixes local legend and folklore.
Situated in nearby Thornton, this chic eatery serves up modern British cuisine based around regionally sourced, seasonal produce and, like Cleveleys prom, it has won numerous awards.
Accommodation options are limited in Cleveleys but the bright lights and B&Bs of Blackpool are just 20 minutes away on the tram.
By car – 1hr 25 / by rail – 1hr 35 (to Morecombe)
Mystical rock hewn graves, an ancient chapel and 17th Century cottages… Heysham isn’t your average northern seaside resort.
Do Embrace your inner warrior
Discover Heysham’s fascinating Viking past at the Heysham Viking Festival on 20-21 July.
Get ready for battle re-enactments, a living history encampment, craft stalls and Viking food during this free event.
Eat Tracy’s Homemade Pies and Cakes
Don’t judge a book by its cover – a ‘proper caf’ serving up hearty favourites like pie and mash, soda bread and sticky toffee pudding at more than reasonable prices.
Sleep The Royal at Heysham
Built in the 16th Century as a grain store, visitors have been flocking to this historic inn since the mid 1700’s and in 2017 it was lovingly restored to provide 11 en suite bedrooms – many with original period features.
The price of a standard double bedroom based on two adults sharing this July starts at £95.
Don’t forget Formby
A list such as this wouldn’t be worth its sea salt without mentioning that one of the UK’s most celebrated stretches of coastline can be found right here in the Liverpool City Region.
Formby beach, bordered by dramatic sand dunes and lush pinewoods, makes the perfect spot for a family day out come rain or shine.
And the dunes offer more than just an impressive backdrop, they’re in fact home to a trio of protected wildlife species – if you’re lucky you might spot a natterjack toad, sand lizard or great crested newt nestled amongst the pools and beach grass.
For some more ancient animal hunting, head down to the beach during low tide and see if you can find one of the amazing prehistoric mammal footprints preserved in the sediment beds.