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Undiscovered Formby


Discover Formby's hidden secrets, past and present.

Spot prehistoric footprints on the beach

A varied walk where red squirrels, natterjacks, asparagus, sweeping coastal pinewoods, prehistoric footprints and dramatic sand dunes are just waiting to be discovered.


Map route for undiscovered Formby walk
ABC Design UK


Main notice board opposite the toilets at National Trust Formby, grid ref: SD280082


Cross the road and take the path (marked Cornerstone path) to the left of the toilets, heading down a ramp into the woodland. Continue to follow this clear, broad path with its white and purple marker posts through the woodland until you meet another path at a T-junction with a set of large wooden chimes on your left-hand side.

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Sunlight beams through the trees at Formby
Early morning sunlight at Formby Gordon Parmenter


Turn right at this junction and follow the wide stone path. As you come out into an open glade look through the trees on your left-hand side to catch a glimpse of Freshfield Caravan Park. Continue along this path following waymarkers for the Sefton Coastal Path (yellow arrows on a white and grey background).

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Following the Sefton Coastal Path you'll eventually leave the woodland and head out into the open dunes. Continue along this path as it passes through a small cut in the dunes and passes an old natterjack toad pool on the right. At this point the path bends to the left and at a path junction by a bench you will leave the Sefton Coastal Path and take the path straight ahead, over the dunes and on to the beach.

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A view across the Marram and Sea-lyme sand dunes at Formby
A view across the Marram and Sea-lyme sand dunes at Formby National Trust Images / Joe Cornish


Turn left and, keeping the dunes on your left, continue along the beach. You will notice as you walk along that there are marker posts along the beach denoting the main paths over the dunes.

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Visitors learning about the ancient footprints found in silt beds on the shoreline at Formby
Prehistoric footprints have been uncovered in the moving sands National Trust Images / Paul Harris


Continue along the beach.

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After you have walked approximately ¾ mile (1.2km) along the beach you will reach the Blundell Path marker. Turn left and leave the beach via the path over the dunes.


As you come over the dune you will see a clear path going off to the left through a thickly vegetated area. Take this path and follow it as it passes along the landward base of the sand dunes.

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Continue along the path as it makes a sharp right bend before going up a slope. When the path descends take the clear path on the right heading into a woodland of gnarled black poplar trees.


At a path fork, take the right path which leads out onto a T-junction with a wide stone path. Turn right at this junction. After a short distance the path curves round to the right and at this point take the sandy path to the left which leads between two fenced fields.

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Continue on and follow the fence on your left until the end of the field. At this point turn left along a grass/sand path until it meets a stone path at a T-junction. Turn right at the junction and pass through a small area of woodland before coming out onto a grassy field. Continue straight ahead.

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Formby asparagus spears
The asparagus spears at Formby - at the core of our landscape National Trust / Andrew Brockbank


At the end of the field take the stone path on the left that ascends a short steep slope into the pine woodland. Continue along this path until you reach a fenced path at a crossroads with a bench on your right. Go straight ahead at this junction and follow the fenced path as it makes a left-hand bend. Shortly after the bend there is a path going off to the right. Take this path to return to the walk start.

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A red squirrel eats a nut at the base of a tree at Formby
Formby has a varied landscape with diverse wildlife National Trust Images / Joe Cornish


Main notice board opposite the toilets at National Trust Formby, grid ref: SD280082

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Undiscovered Formby


Varies throughout walk and includes stone, compacted earth, sandy and grass paths as well as a long section of beach walking. This walk also contains some short steep climbs over sand dunes. Please check the tide times and heights before undertaking this walk as during high spring tides the beach section of this walk may be impassable.

Dogs are welcome throughout but we ask that they are kept under close control at all times and that any dog waste is picked up and removed. Please do not allow dogs to chase wildlife, particularly not wading birds on the beach.

Map: Explorer 285 Southport and Chorley (note that not all paths are marked on OS map).

Undiscovered Formby

Contact us

Undiscovered Formby

How to get here

National Trust Formby, Victoria Road, Freshfield, Formby, Liverpool, L37 1LJ
By train

Freshfield Station, on Merseyrail Northern Line, 1 mile (1.6 km) walk to National Trust Formby.

By road

2 miles (3.2km) off A565. Follow brown tourist signs from roundabout at the north end of Formby bypass (by BP garage). Park at the National Trust car park at Victoria Road, Formby - car park charges apply for non-National Trust members. Sat Nav: use postcode L37 1LJ.

By foot

Sefton Coastal Path passes through National Trust Formby.

By bicycle

National Trust Formby 3 miles (4.8km) from National Cycle Network 62.

Undiscovered Formby

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome under close control
  • Toilets available during opening hours