Car park changes at Formby

Parking at Formby

So that we can improve the safety of our site and your experience of parking at Formby, we've introduced opening times and other changes at our car parks which may affect your visit. Here's everything you need to know.

What's new?

A height barrier at the entrance to Lifeboat Road car park now restricts access to vehicles taller than 2.3m. High-sided vehicles such as campervans and horseboxes will be directed to park on an adjacent field at Lifeboat Road. The field is gated shut overnight, so any remaining vehicles will be locked in. Please note that overnight camping and parking is not permitted.

Between 1 November - 28 February, Lifeboat Road car park and the beach car park at Victoria Road will be gated shut from 3pm, overnight, during the winter months. Vehicles at Lifeboat Road car park can exit after 3pm via one-way flow plates, however any vehicles remaining in the beach car park at Victoria Road after 3pm will be locked in overnight. Throughout the year, on busy days when we are at full capacity, we may decide to close our car parks to help us manage traffic or in response to security concerns.

To check our opening times, click here.

What's the same?

Pedestrians and cyclists continue to enjoy unrestricted access.

The woodland car park at Victoria Road is remaining open all year round with no restrictions to access, unless we decide to close the gates on busy days. If you are visiting Formby at Victoria Road and plan to stay beyond the beach car park opening times, please make sure to park in the woodland car park instead.

High-sided vehicles such as campervans and horseboxes are still welcome at Formby by parking on the field at Lifeboat Road.

Why are we doing this?

We are doing this to prevent antisocial behaviour that primarily takes place overnight including fly-tipping, drug use, dangerous driving, camping, fires, BBQs, and unauthorised events such as raves. By preventing these issues on site, we hope to reduce the damage that anti-social behaviour can cause and free up resources to focus on maintaining a healthy and beautiful nature reserve for everyone to enjoy.

The high visitor numbers we experienced post-lockdown, and the impact this had on our site and the local community, highlighted the value of having a resilient infrastructure that can help us to manage traffic and crowds on busy days, as well as preventing anti-social behaviour. We want to keep visitors and the local community as safe as possible.


What if I want to stay beyond the car park closing time?
Lifeboat Road:
Main car park – Once the road gate is closed, vehicles parked in the main car park can still leave via the one-way flow plates.
Field – Vehicles must leave the field before the specified closing time otherwise you will be locked in until opening time the next day.
Victoria Road:
Beach car park – From 1 November to 28 February, vehicles must leave the beach car park before 3pm otherwise they will be locked in until opening time the next day. If you would like to stay beyond this time, you must park in the woodland car park.
Woodland car park – Once the road gate is closed, vehicles parked in the woodland car park can still leave via the one-way flow plates.

I’m a blue badge holder. Where can I park?
Both of our car parks have dedicated disabled parking spaces. If you would like to visit Formby in the early morning or evening, the woodland car park at Victoria Road has disabled car parking spaces and will remain open all day, throughout the year.

What if I want to spend the night in my camper van?
Everyone is welcome to visit Formby but overnight camping or parking is not permitted in our car parks. We understand many people want to enjoy spending time in the outdoors, but we must restrict some activities to protect Formby’s nature and wildlife.

What if I want to come with my horsebox?
Parking for horseboxes, and other high-sided vehicles, will be available on the field at Lifeboat Road during the car park opening hours. Please click here for more information about bringing horses to Formby.

How do I access the site if the car parks are closed?
Access for pedestrians will remain unrestricted, and both car park entrances have fully accessible hard-standing paths around the road gates. The woodland car park at Victoria Road will remain open all day, throughout the year. The property is extremely well served by public transport and is a short walk away from Formby and Freshfield train stations. We are a cycle-friendly property with ample space to lock up your bike at Victoria Road.

What happens if I want to bring a coach or minibus?
All coaches and minibuses are required to book before visiting, but please be aware that booking spaces for large vehicles are limited so try and book early. Coach and minibus parking is available to book at both car parks. 

What about emergency services access?
We continue to work very closely with the emergency services, and they are able to access our car parks at any time. We ask that you avoid parking your car in front of gates or access routes outside of our car park opening times, as this could affect the emergency services' ability to respond to incidents.

Have another question? Send us an email to or message us on Facebook.

Pay and display machines

How does it work? 
You no longer pay for parking at the kiosk on arrival. Please drive straight through, find a spot and park up. Go to one of the pay & display machines, pay or scan your National Trust Membership card and pop the ticket on your dashboard so that it is clearly visible.

How much does it cost?
If you are a National Trust member, parking is free – just remember to bring your membership card to scan at the machine or speak to one of our team if you’ve left it at home.
For non-members, a daily rate of £7.50 applies.

How can I pay?
If you are paying by cash, please note that our machines only accept coins. To pay by card, you can download the paybyphone app on your mobile phone and follow the instructions printed on the side of our pay & display machines, or alternatively, our staff have card machines available.

What if I have a problem?
If you have any questions or need a helping hand, our friendly team are still on site. Please note our opening times vary depending on the time of year, so do make sure to check them here before you arrive.

Crowded beach at Formby

Planning your visit to Formby

During holiday periods, nice weather and bank holidays Formby gets extremely busy with limited parking and long traffic queues. Here's some useful information and top tips to help plan your visit.