- Distance & Time: 3.2 miles loop / 1 hour (you can do many different trails/paths)
- Postcode: Formby Beach Car Park, L37 1LJ
- Parking: Free parking for National Trust members or if you park on the street East of the park; otherwise £6 for non-National Trust members
- Hazards: Palm Oil remains on the beach recently which is toxic to dogs; Blundell Avenue in the middle of the park can have cars; Squirrel Walk area where dogs have to go on lead; sometimes horse riders on the beach itself
We have known this walk for a long time, coming here with Chloe when she was just 4 months old for the first time, so we know this place well. Sadly, when we arrived at the parking lot the National Trust member attending the entrance told us that Palm Oil has started washing up on the shores, from an old shipwreck, which is VERY dangerous and toxic to dogs. As it looks like mud it’s actually quite hard to identify, so we didn’t want to take any risks and therefore we avoided the beach this time.
On the plus side, there is so many woodland walks that you can take to extend this walk and walk for ages. Just a note, we went early in the morning around 10 am and so we found parking very easily. The main car park does get VERY busy from about 11:30am-2pm over the weekend (from our past experiences). In these instances we park on the street across from Formby and just walk into the park.
As National Trust members we parked in the main car park, and from there started on the “Asparagus Trail” through the forest heading towards the beach but never actually getting to it (due to the Palm oil). In the forest it was lightly muddy, but Chloe had a blast just running through the bushes and sniffing out new smells.
The forest then slowly merges into tall grass and sand dunes. These sand dunes act as a buffer between the beach itself and the forest, which is great as we didn’t want to get too close to the beach itself. This still allowed Chloe to enjoy the sand, and through the tall grass she even chased a couple of white rabbits! There were loads of rabbit holes all over the fields as we continued along, which made Chloe extra feral and not wanting to listen to her whistle 🙄
Walking south through the sand-dunes, we then headed east through some flat fields where we played fetch with Chloe. What’s great about this park is that you always see some people, even on a cold January day, so you never feel isolated and can’t get lost! On the downside, this park is PACKED over the summer especially on a nice sunny day.
Once we hit the edge of the park, we turned back north and walked through some more fields, which then turned into the forest, “Asparagus Trail”. We then waded through the forest taking random turns and ended up on the “Squirrel Walk” where you must put your dogs on leads, as this is where the beautiful, red squirrels hang out! It was a good opportunity to train with Chloe to “leave” and ignore the squirrels. Not sure how successful it was though.
The “Squirrel Walk” brought us back to the car park which was perfect. As we didn’t go to the beach and so Chloe couldn’t get wet, she was completely dry and she didn’t even need a towelling! Also, as this is a National Trust park it’s held to a high standard. It’s clean, well-kept and has lots of things to do for kids. We always see lots of wildlife there as well which is so lovely.
Chloe’s walk rating out of 5 paws (just because of the palm oil it loses a paw, otherwise would be 5 paws!):
Q: What is your favourite beach walk?