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Wall to wall sunshine so Formby is expected to be extremely busy with car parks full - Top Tips here

With wall to wall sunshine the National Trust Formby is expected to be extremely busy this bank holiday weekend and half term. Car parks are likely to fill up quickly and close.

If full please consider alternative destinations to help us create a safe and enjoyable visiting experience.

Formby is a popular nature haven for people and wildlife. It’s often extremely busy on sunny days and during holiday periods. Long traffic queues can be frustrating for visitors and put pressure on the residential roads of this small town.

Here's some useful information from National Trust Formby and their top tips.

Travelling to Formby

Trains, buses, cycling and car sharing - there are plenty of ways to travel to Formby to help beat the queues on busy days. Plus, you'll be doing your bit to help the environment too. Please follow current government guidelines for travel and use of public transport.

Formby by train

Formby has great public transport links, especially by train:

Formby by bike

Cycling is a great way to get to Formby and take in the scenery. Due to the fragile landscape, we ask that cyclists keep to the designated cycle path, tarmacked roads or beach.

Cycle racks are available next to the entrances at both Victoria Road and Lifeboat Road.

There are plenty of cycle routes and paths in the local area. Bike hire is available at both the Eco Visitor Centre and Southport Train Station. You can take your bike for free, without pre-booking, on the Merseyrail network. Entry is free for visitors arriving on foot or by bike.

Parking at Formby

There is limited parking at both Victoria Road and Lifeboat Road, with space for around 500 cars in total. Most visitors tend to spend the day, this means our car parks often fill up quickly and close by mid-morning on busy days. Queues and delays to get on site can be very long. If car parks are full please plan your trip for another day so we can continue to open safely.

Top tips for parking at Formby

  • Plan ahead and check opening times here

  • Check our social media before you head off for updates on parking

  • Head to Lifeboat Road (L37 2EB) for beach access as more space

  • Download the PayByPhone app from for a simple, contactless payment. Coins only in the machines.

  • Avoid fines and unnecessary stress for local residents and emergency services by parking responsibly

  • Regular visitors can save money on parking, visit special National Trust places across the UK and support our vital conservation work by becoming a member find out more here

Every time you pay to park or scan your membership card you’re helping to protect Formby’s precious wildlife.

Being mindful of our neighbours

The local community love Formby’s precious coastline too and understandably get upset by littering, blocked driveways / pavements and traffic congestion. We want Formby to be a place that everyone can enjoy, today and in the future.

Top tips for being neighbourly

  • Park responsibly taking care not to block driveways or pavements

  • Observe the local speed restrictions to avoid accidents

  • Take your litter home with you to throw away or recycle

  • Resist the urge to honk your horn

  • Support local business by popping to a pub, café or shop

If queues are long and car parks full please consider alternative destinations and plan your visit for another day. Thank you for being mindful of local residents.

Being mindful of the nature around you

Look past the parasols and the ice creams, and you’ll find a place with one of Europe’s best mobile sand dune habitats, where many rare species thrive. Issues such as littering can cause significant harm to wildlife, and it only takes one stray spark from a barbecue to start a wildfire that can damage large areas of countryside. With your help we can continue protecting this nature haven for generations to come.

Top tips to help protect wildlife

  • Bring a bag for your litter to take home and recycle or pop in the car park bins.

  • Clean up after your pooch wander past car park or pavement bins to drop off waste.

  • Stick to the sea for paddling and dog dipping as rare natterjack toads are breeding in the dune pools.

  • Save the BBQ for your garden – BBQs and fires aren’t permitted on site

  • Switch your engine off in the queue every little helps to reduce air pollution

Image: Andrew Lakin

Helping us open safely

We’re working hard to keep Formby safe for visitors and the local community. During opening hours members of the team are always out and about on site to welcome you and help you enjoy your visit.

Top tips to help us open safely

  • Avoid visiting at busy times and plan ahead

  • Park responsibly and keep access clear for emergency vehicles

  • Check tide times before you visit - often very little beach at high tide

  • Leave alcohol at home - for safety reasons alcohol is not permitted

  • Follow government guidelines around travel and social distancing

  • Say hello to the team we’re always happy to chat and share information

Finding solutions for nature and people

Our team are planning ahead for what we know is likely to be a busy year. There is no quick fix to the challenges of traffic, parking, and crowds on busy days, but we know that collaborating with our Sefton Coast Landscape partners is the right approach to help us find solutions that work for people and nature. Here’s just a few of the ways we’re helping to improve your experience;

  • Increasing awareness of how busy our car parks get

  • Improving signage to update visitors if car parks are full

  • Space line markings at Lifeboat Road to park more cars

  • Free designated parking for Blue Badge holders close to access paths

  • Portable toilets at Lifeboat Road for the summer season

  • Additional large bins in the car parks and more frequent emptying

  • Recruiting seasonal staff to provide extra support on busy days

  • Welcoming back our amazing volunteers to help marshal the car park, walk the queues to give people information and generally assist with running the site

Working with such a delicate and changing coastline like Formby is a challenge and takes time to plan to ensure anything we do helps protects it for future generations.

Coastal places to visit nearby

We understand that visitors want to enjoy Formby, but on busy days it isn’t always possible to welcome all visitors onto our car parks. Here are some suggestions for other coastal places to visit nearby:

Beach car parks nearby (open 1 April – 30 September)

  • #Ainsdale PR8 2QB - 11 min (4.1 mi) via Coastal Rd

  • #Southport PR9 1RX - 17 min (8.2 mi) via Coastal Rd

#Crosby promenade pay and display parking – 19 minutes (8.4 mi) via A565

Find out more about Sefton Coast car parks here



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