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A Guide to the best beaches near Manchesters

buckets and spades on the sand

Fancy a trip to the seaside and wondering 'where can I find a beach near me"? Discover where you will find the best beaches near Manchester here. 

A trip to the seaside is the perfect free day out for all the family. From babies having their first paddle to grandparents taking a trip down memory lane, UK beaches offer something for everyone.

Whether you are on the lookout for new sands to try, craving a trip to a traditional seaside resort or asking "what is the nearest beach to me' we have put together a list of Manchester's closest beaches to have fun in the sun.  

Plus you can check out our guide to the closest outdoor pools and paddling pools in Manchester here.

Please note due to the current Covid19 restrictions not all facilities may be open. Also please check the Welsh restrictions before travelling to Wales.

Guide to the best beaches near me in Manchester 

Crosby Beach (Aprox 41 Miles – 1 Hour And 5 Minutes away from Manchester) L23 8SY

Crosby Beach is one of the closest to Manchester, is lovely and clean and has won the Quality Coast Award by Keep Britain Tidy. Although a quieter beach than some, there is usually an ice cream van serving around Hall Road and the coastal path is perfect for scooters and bikes. Crosby Beach is also home to 'Another Place' sculpture by Anthony Gormley, consisting of 100 cast-iron life-size figures spread out across the sand and who emerges when the tide goes out. Toilets (payment required) can be found at Hall Road and dogs are welcome subject to some restrictions. There is also an adventure playground and cafe at Crosby Coastal Park (L22 5SR) which is around a 10-minute walk from the beach. There car parks at Hall Road (L23 8SY), Crosby Leisure Centre (L23 6SX), and near Crosby Adventure Centre (L22 1 RR). 

Formby Sands (Approx 45 Miles – 1 Hour And 10 Minutes away from Manchester) L37 1LJ.

Formy Sands boasts a beautiful beach with great sand dunes and a beautiful Woodland Area.  Families can enjoy picnics in the designated areas, look out for the Red Squirrels, Natterjack Toads, and prehistoric mud layers where you will discover human and animal footprints. National Trust members can park in the car park for free and dogs and horses are welcome, subject to restrictions. Victoria Road, near Formby, Liverpool. 

Ainsdale Beach (approx 47 miles – 1 hour and 10 minutes away from Manchester) FY1 6BL

Ainsdale Beach is just over an hour away from Manchester and has won several Blue Flags. The beach boasts great sand dunes, lots of sandy space and even a car park on the beach ( charges apply). There also designated zones for kite buggy and landboard, you need a permit to use but great to watch. You can also visit the Ainsdale Discovery Centre which offers family fun during the summer. Dogs are welcomed on the beach with a 200m restriction. 

Blackpool (approx 50 miles – 1 hour and 10 minutes away from Manchester) FY1 6BL

When you think Northwest England beaches you think Blackpool. Having been awarded its third blue flag in 2018 and with seven miles of sand, it is no wonder that Blackpool beach is a popular choice. However it is not just the sandy beach that is a tourist attraction; Blackpool boasts three large piers with funfairs amusements and entertainment, the famous Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Pleasure Beach theme park, Sandcastle indoor waterpark, and of course its lovely promenade. You will also find a town full of shops, fish and chips, cafes, deckchair hire, and ice cream galore.

For families with dogs, four-legged friends are welcomed on Blackpool beach. However, there are restrictions from 1 May to 30 September when dogs are not be allowed between the North Pier and Mirror Ball ( past the South Pier and the Pleasure Beach). 

Lytham St Anne's (Approx 51 Miles – 1 Hour and 10 Minutes Away from Manchester ) FY8 1SJ

Lytham and St Annes-on-Sea, Fylde, is another popular Northwest beach not too far from Blackpool. In contrary to their famous neighbour Lytham and St Annes On Sea seaside towns offer less bright lights and more of a picturesque setting. However, that does not mean that there is not a lot to do. It natural beach is a perfect place to set up camp, the Victorian Pier offers amusements, shops and fish and chips and you can even hire Beach Huts for the day. `Along with the chance to paddle children can enjoy the new splash zone, a paddling pool, small train, mini golf, trampolines and some lovely ice cream. Not far from the beach you will also find lovely parks and a great boating lake.

You can check out our top tips for visiting Lytham St Annes beach here. 

Dogs are welcomed on St Anne's beach with no restrictions from 30 September to 1 May. However, during the summer months, dogs are not permitted between North Promenard car-park to the slipway for St Annes Lifeboat station. 

Check out this video from Harry's World UK of some of the things on offer



Southport Beach  (Approx 51 Miles – 1 Hour And 20 Minutes away from Manchester ) PR8 1QX 

Southport Beach offers some amazing views and the UK's second longest pier. Like at Ainsdales beach you can park right on the (charges apply) and the beach is just a short walk to the town centre. The Pier boasts a tram to the Pavillion where you will find antique penny machines, amusements, rides, and fish and chips. Dogs are welcome on the beach but there are some dog-free zones. 

New Brighton Beach  (Approx 56 Miles – 1 Hour And 15 Minutes away from Manchester ) CH45 3QW

New Brighton Beach offers 3/4 miles of golden sands located in the Wirral. This popular beach is great for families with free parking all along the front, a pirate ship for the kids to play on, a cute little fairy garden and a great place to go crabbing. There is also a fun arcade with a small fairground and lovely ice cream, shop. If you fancy heading away from the beach you will discover the Laser Quest centre, Bubbles Soft Play, and Riverside bowling alley. There is also a Light Cinema and Championship Adventure Golf at Marine Point. The Aviation and Archeology Museum at Fort Perch Rock is also worth a visit. Both the Fort and Museum are open 11.00 - 17.00 Saturdays and Sundays, bank holidays, and school holidays. 

Prestatyn Beach (Approx 67 Miles – 1 Hour And 30 Minutes Away From Manchester) LL19 7LA

Prestatyn is made up of three beaches Prestatyn Central Beach, Barkby Beach, and Ffirth Beach stretching 5 miles long. As well as being perfect for playing and paddling, the beaches are popular sailors and windsurfers and there is a wide promenade great for cycling. Prestatyn Central Beach boasts amusement arcades and a leisure centre and Ffirth Beach has a bowling alley and camping ground. Dogs can be taken on the beach but there are restrictions. 

Rhyl Beach (Approx 69 Miles – 1 Hour And 30 Minutes Away from Manchester) 

Rhyl is one of the more well-known of the North Wales beaches and one of the closest to Manchester. Offering 2 miles of sand complete with a lifeguard, you will also find donkey rides and seafront amusement arcades. You will also find a large aquarium SeaQuarium and the new SC2 (replacing The Sun Centre which demolished in 2016). SC2 offers an indoor and outdoor water park with flumes, beach-style paddling pools, sun loungers, and an interactive activity centre. Dogs are allowed on the beach subject to restrictions. 

Conwy Beach (Approx 85 Miles – 1 Hour And 25 Minutes Away) LL18 3YP

Conwy Bay boasts a vast sandy beach with Conwy Morfa a popular fishing point houses a beautiful marina. Although quiet on the amusement front you will find toilets near the beach and cafes, shops and ice cream in the medieval town of Conwy along with the famous castle. Dogs are welcome subject to restrictions. 

Llandudno (Approx 85 Miles – 1 Hour And 30 Minutes Away)

If you are looking for a traditional seaside resort Llandudno is your place. The Llandudno boasts award-winning beaches with the North Shore ( or Llandudno beach) being the livelier. Expect donkey rides, Punch and Judy shows, donkey rides, ice cream, the Victorian Pier, arcades, deckchairs, and of course plenty of room for sandcastles. You will also find Wales's biggest paddling pool and a play area at the promenades East end and shops and cafes in the town. For those wanting to step away from the beach a trip up the Great Orme makes a great treat and make sure you keep on the lookout for Alice in Wonderland sculptures dotted around. Dogs are allowed on the beach subject to restrictions.   

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