Lancashire’s best beaches according to TripAdvisor’s top North West coastal areas

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The best beaches across Lancashire, Cumbria, and Merseyside according to TripAdvisor reviewers

Blackpool Central Pier

Blackpool Central Pier (Image: Getty Images)

With the summer months finally hear, lockdown coming to an end, and the sun hopefully continuing to shine, the beach beckons for thousands across Lancashire.

And the county is blessed with some of best in the country with crowds regularly flocking to the west coast of the county to dip their toes in the sea and enjoy a 99 (or two).

But where are Lancashire’s best beaches?

And where do they rank against other seafronts in the North West across Cumbria to the north and Merseyside to the south?

Here we look at the best beaches across the North West to see where Lancashire lies in the list, according to TripAdvisor reviews:

See the top five beaches in the North West below:

1) St Anne’s Beach

St Anne's beach
St Anne’s beach (Image: TripAdvisor)

Topping the list in the North West is Lancashire with St Anne’s Beach.

Found on the Fylde coast at St Anne’s on the Sea, between Lytham and Blackpool, this stretch of sand offers vast, beautiful views that feel a million miles away from the glittering lights of Blackpool’s Promenade only down the road.

The beach plays a large part in St Anne’s local economy with visitors travelling from miles to enjoy days out in the area.

On TripAdvisor, it is ranked as the number one thing to do in Lytham St Annes with a 4.5/5 rating from 544 reviews.

One reviewer said: “This beach is massive both length and width its easy to get turned around if you decide to go on a little exploration, although this beach is extensive most of the people will stick to sitting around the top half of the beach where the softer sand is, but there’s always plenty of space further down, which might be a good thing if you intend to come to St. Anne’s to swim otherwise you’ll be looking at about a 15 minute walk to get down to the waters edge, tide depending, the current is very strong though so I wouldn’t suggest letting your kids swim alone.

“All in all the beach is rather nice, clean and spacious with plenty of sand and events happening occasionally, I’d recommend coming here if you intend on building sandcastles with the kids, general sunbathing or have a specific event in mind.”

Another posted: “Clean and quiet area of the beach. Sand is very soft and the whole beach was clean with no rubbish. Lovely outlook and quiet surrounds.”

2) Formby Beach

People at Formby Beach
People at Formby Beach

Located just outside of Lancashire’s boundaries in the Merseyside borough of Sefton, Formby Beach is a regular for both Liverpudlians and West Lancs residents on a hot summer day.

The coastal spot is a regular hit with families, with picnic areas and paths marked out through the sand dunes and nearby woodland.

TripAdvisor gives the beach 4/5 from 646 reviews, with it ranking as the third best thing to do in Formby.

One said: “Awesome beach, amazing dunes. Beautiful pine forest and a huge long sandy beach.”

A second posted: “Lovely beach clean and not too over crowded. Car park a bit expensive at £7.50 for the day but we only stay two hours due to the fact no kiosk or ice cream van to get drinks or food from. Would have stayed longer if there had of been facilities.”

3) Blackpool Beach

Aerial view along the Blackpool beach
Aerial view along the Blackpool beach

A day at the seaside is no better encapsulated than a day out in Blackpool; arguably the ceremonial capital of England’s seaside resorts due to the iconic Blackpool Tower.

If the sun is shining expect a busy day in the town.

Thankfully it boasts plenty of parking to cope with demand from across the North West and beyond as thousands regularly travel to enjoy the famous Golden Mile.

Blackpool boasts three piers along its beach with plenty to do on each and while travelling in-between.

It speaks volumes for Blackpool’s tourism economy that the beach only ranks as the 13th best thing to do in the town, according to TripAdvisor, with the likes of Blackpool Zoo, the Tower, Pleasure Beach, and Ballroom all ranking in the top five.

The beach boasts a 4.5/5.0 ranking from 1,257 reviews.

One reviewer posted: “A lovely walk with my wife and dog along the water front, though we didn’t venture on to the beach. Very clean and tidy. Plenty of seating and litter bins, road parking is in high demand on hot summer days, so arrive early and pay at the meter. Miles of sandy beaches were popular, though dogs are not allowed on there in the summer months. Pick up a nice fish and chips nearby, lots of things to see and do. We will certainly go again, thoroughly recommended.”

A second added: “There are miles of wide open sand to enjoy. You can walk for miles when the tide is out. So much cleaner than when I was younger.”

4) Crosby Beach

The Queen Mary 2 spotted off Crosby Beach
The Queen Mary 2 spotted off Crosby Beach

Another stretch of coastline not too far from Lancashire in the Sefton borough of Merseyside, Crosby Beach is the permanent home of internationally acclaimed artist Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ sculptures.

The beach has a Quality Coast Award from Keep Britain Tidy with beach-goers able to take in views across North Wales and the Wirral.

There are free car parks at Crosby Marine Lake, Mariners Road and Hall Road in what is a small but notable bonus for day trippers.

The beach has a TripAdvisor rating of 4.5/5.0 from 755 reviews and is ranked the second best thing to do in Crosby – although the number one ranked is Gormley’s Another Place so we’ll call that joint first in our books.

One reviewer said: “Lovely day out. If the tide is out you can’t get to the sea because of the slimey mud like surface of the beach after you have walked so far. We almost got stuck in it. It’s a very beautiful beach and maybe we just got to the wrong part at the wrong time of day with definitely visit again when tide is in.”

A second added: “Clean and well maintained, lots of room for you and your dog, and the statues are now beautifully weathered and fascinating.”

5) Haverigg Beach
Haverigg Beach, Cumbria
Haverigg Beach, Cumbria (Image: Andrew Hill / Geograph)

Looking north of Lancashire to Millom in Cumbria now, with Haverigg Beach completing the top five list for the North West.

Lying on the Duddon Estuary, its beaches are safe spaces with brilliant views out to sea.

There is a nearby three mile cycling route through the quiet Hodbarrow Lagoon, an RSPB Reserve and a haven for birds.

Parking is free and there is on-site food and light refreshments.

The beach has a 4.5/5.0 rating from 144 reviews.

It is ranked as the second best thing to do in Millom.

One reviewer posted: “Good stretch of beach which on the surface appeared clean but we just walked it. Would recommend checking tide times if you plan on visiting with children.”

A second said: “It’s a dramatic and clean beach, accessible even at high tide. Safe parking. Clean loos now open after lockdown and cleaned.”