This circular walk visits the Ainsdale National Nature Reserve on the Sefton coast. The reserve is well known for its wide lovely beaches, wildlife, nature trails and sand dunes. There's also fine views from the reserve to Liverpool and Blackpool on a clear day.
The walk starts from the train station located just to the south of Southport. You could also start from the visitor centre area where there is beach car parking. From near the train station you can pick up the Sefton Coastal Footpath and follow the waymarked path south into the reserve. The trail heads through the woodland of the reserve before arriving at the beach. You can then head north through the attractive dune system before coming to the Discovery Centre. Here you'll find a wealth of information on the flora and fauna you can see in the reserve. You can also hire bikes for free here.
From the visitor centre you head east past the boating lake and back to the train station.
PostcodePR8 2QB - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations
Ainsdale Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Ainsdale Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Ainsdale OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Ainsdale Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
The large beach is an ideal place to let your dog off the lead for a run so you're bound to see plenty of other owners on your visit. The woodland trails are also great for you and your four legged friend.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
Head south along the Sefton Coastal Path and you will soon come to Formby Beach. This National Trust run area has some impressive large dunes with views towards Liverpool. There's also peaceful woodland trails with the famous Formby red squirrels to look out for.
If you head north along the coastal path you will soon come to the popular town of Southport where there is an impressive long pier to stroll on.
If you head south you can visit Crosby and see the fascinating Another Place Sculptures on Crosby Beach. The Anthony Gormley piece was created in 1997, and consists of 100 cast iron figures facing towards the sea.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Merseyside Walks page.