GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Ainsdale Walk

6 miles (10 km)

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.


PR8 2QB - Please note: Postcode may be approximate for some rural locations

Ainsdale OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Ainsdale Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking

Dog Walking

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 100cast ironfigures facing towards the sea.
For more walking ideas in the area see the Merseyside Walks page.

Cycle Routes and Walking Routes Nearby


Nature reserve, Ainsdale - - 331012

Nature reserve, Ainsdale

Ainsdale - - 6086

Looking roughly Southwest along the sands. The beach and dunes stretch for miles both north and south from here. Very popular in the summer!

Ainsdale dunes - - 873682

Ainsdale dunes. On the horizon, the gas rig in Liverpool Bay.

Ainsdale Sands - - 205110

Taken from the same point but looking northeast back up the beach towards Ainsdale. The southern extent of the car parking is a good half a kilometre away. But in SD2912 there were lots of people making the most of the sun on this scorcher of a day in July 2006. It reached about 34C on this stretch of coast on that day.

Woodland Path, Ainsdale - - 193429

Woodland Path. The main footpath known as Woodland path, which runs parallel with the Liverpool to Southport railway line and skirts the pinewoods between Formby and Ainsdale. It is popular with joggers, walkers and cyclists.

Dune Flora and Fauna at Ainsdale - - 205082

Dune Flora and Fauna at Ainsdale. Six-spot Burnet moth on dune scrub plantcan be seen in the photo.

Ainsdale Visitors Centre - - 205085

Visitors Centre at the site.

Ainsdale dunes and the velvet trail - - 874161

Ainsdale dunes and the velvet trail. The 'green beach' is visible in front of the dunes. up until a few years ago cars were allowed to drive along the beach. Since this has been stopped a 'green beach has formed as vegetation has started to form embryo dunes and brackish pools at the front of the dunes.


GPS Files

GPX File

Ainsdale.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Ainsdale.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)