Southport has been names as the best location for exercise lovers in England and Wales according to Forbes Advisor.

With a score of 79.94, Southport comes ahead of places including Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Stoke-on-Trent, St Albans and Sutton Coldfield.

The town scores particularly well for green space with over a quarter of surface area in the town being green, with beautiful spaces including Botanic Gardens, Hesketh Park & Victoria Park, host to many events throughout the year!

We also have 22 miles of beautiful coastline where you can enjoy running, walking, cycling and exploring with the little ones.

This is the seventh-largest percentage of green space of all cities analysed, and just 9.97% less green space than Sutton Coldfield which takes the top spot in this category (35.73%).

We knew Southport was pretty special, this just add to how much we LOVE Southport.

Discover the great outdoors

Churchtown and Botanic Gardens Walk

About 2 miles north of Southport, is the historic and carefully preserved village of Churchtown, which is listed in the Domesday Book and which dates back to early Anglo-Saxon times. We start our walk by the village green near St Cuthbert’s church and the Hesketh Arms public house and restaurant. By the old grammar school, now the local Conservative club, are the village stocks, erected in 1741 and last used in 1860, when one John Rimmer was placed in them for drunkenness. The Hesketh Arms was formerly called the Black Bull and the landlord was William Sutton, founder of ‘South…

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Coast to Countryside Walking Route

We start at Hall Road Coastguard Station, where with adequate precautions a vehicle can be left in the promenade car park for collection later. Turning left into Hall Road we pass the entrance to the West Lancashire Golf Club just before the level crossing at Hall Road station and continue straight on down Dibb Lane, where Hall Road turns right at 90 degrees. Dibb Lane is an ancient green trackway and takes us over open fields towards the village of Little Crosby in the distance, with Linnets, Skylarks and Curlews for company. At St Mary’s Church we turn right into Back Lane and continue…

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Cheshire Lines Path

The Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) is a 346 km (216 mile) multi-user route from Liverpool to Hull, with extensions to Southport on the Irish Sea coast and to Hornsea on the shores of the North Sea. The starting point is adjacent to the TPT Seamark on Southport’s Promenade and for most of the next 23.2 km (14.5 miles), the route follows the trackbed of the former Cheshire Lines Railway. The old station frontage, complete with clock tower, still survives as the front entrance of Morrisons supermarket. Elegant Lord Street, with its Victorian ironwork, restored parks and gardens and hundreds of…

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Formby Walks

ROUTE ONE This circular walk of 6.8 km (4.25 miles) starts at and returns to Freshfield Station, on the Merseyrail Liverpool to Southport Northern line. The route from the station to Southport Road passing through the Green Lane Conservation Area is on hard surfaced footpaths and roadways, whereas the other footpaths, bridleways and byways can get very muddy after rain . From Freshfield Station, cross Victoria Road into Freshfield Road and then turn left into Grange Lane. The distinctive buildings on the right are Tower House and Tower Grange, claimed to incorporate part of a 13th century…

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Sefton Village and the Meadows Walk

The circular walk of some four km (2.5 miles) starts at the Punch Bowl Inn, with its excellent food, drink and toilet facilities at the very centre of historic Sefton village, and is generally level throughout. Like Maghull on the other side of the River Alt, Sefton’s name reflects its geographical location and in Old Norse means the ‘hamlet where the rushes/reeds grow’. Sefton was well established before registration in the Domesday Book, when it was listed as ‘Sextone’. The Molyneux family held the manor of Sefton from the 12th century right up to 1972, when the…

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The Lydiate Loop

The walk starts and finishes at the Running Horses pub (OS Ref: 336403) adjacent to the Leeds–Liverpool Canal at Sumners Turn Bridge on Bell’s Lane. Patrons may leave their vehicles here or at the site of the former Lydiate Station (OS Ref: 335404). The Lydiate Loop Walk is approximately 9.6 km (6 miles) long and is generally level throughout. Turn left out of the pub car park and follow the footpath signed Green Lane around the field edge, crossing Maghull Brook at the footbridge and continue straight on to Green Lane. Turning right, follow the track signed Cheshire Lines…

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The Maghull Trail

Maghull is another local town that dates back to the Domesday book, where it is listed as ‘Magele’. The walking route is fairly level and at just under 6.4 km (4 miles) makes a pleasant halfday stroll and passes several sites of local history interest, including the churchyard where Maghull’s most famous former resident, Frank Hornby is buried. From Maghull Station (OS Ref: 33840) turn right along Station Road and then turn left after 200 metres on to Rutherford Road, to gain access to the Leeds–Liverpool Canal at Drapers Bridge. We then turn left (south) along the…

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The Sefton Coastal Path

The Sefton Coastal Path is a stimulating journey through a wonderful variety of landscapes with a rich biodiversity of wildlife and a fascinating history. Sandy beaches, coastal marshes, pine woodlands, heathery heathland and tidal estuaries with invigorating vistas across the Irish Sea to North Wales, Snowdonia and even the Lake District on a clear day. The Sefton Coastal Path can be walked throughout and parts are cycle-friendly. It can easily be completed over a weekend based in Southport, or it can be broken up into individual short walks as desired. The suggested stages are summarised…

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Thornton & Little Crosby Walk

Starting at the old stocks and sundial in Thornton village centre (OS ref: 333696), carefully cross Lydiate Lane towards the Nags Head pub. After 200 metres at the Gamekeeper’s Cottage turn right onto a cobbled track between hedges, which shortly turns left to cross the edge of a field leading to Back Lane. Turn left and after 50 metres the ‘Brooms Cross’ is reached. This is another of the medieval wayside crosses on the ancient ‘corpseway’ from Hightown to Sefton Church, where traditionally bodies washed up on the coast were given a Christian burial. Continuing…

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'Another Place' by Antony Gormley at Crosby Beach

Please ensure that when visiting 'Another Place' that you do not leave litter on the beach. If bins are full, please take your litter home with you.  These spectacular sculptures by Antony Gormley are on Crosby beach. Another Place consists of 100 cast-iron, life-size figures spread out along three kilometres of the foreshore, stretching almost one kilometre out to sea. The Another Place figures - each one weighing 650 kilos - are made from casts of the artist's own body standing on the beach, all of them looking out to sea, staring at the horizon in silent expectation…

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Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills Nature Reserve

The Ainsdale & Birkdale Sandhills Nature Reserve includes the stunning Ainsdale Hills, Birkdale Hills, Frontals, Sands Lake, Velvet Trail and Birkdale Beach and is home to rare dunes, beach and woodland habitats. There are marked footpaths to follow, and so tranquil and wild is the place that you will forget within minutes that you are surrounded by one of the most urban areas in England. This local Nature Reserve is one of the largest areas of wild dunes left in Britain and is home to a vast diversity of rare, special and beautiful species that you might not have noticed. There is…

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Ainsdale Beach

Ainsdale Beach is now recognised as one of the premier beaches in the UK for extreme kite activities, with zones set aside for kite buggy and landboard use and kitesurfing taking place on the sea. It has been awarded International Blue Flag on a number of occasions. The QCA award tells visitors that the standards of beach management are of the highest quality in the UK. A permit is required before you use a power kite in the kite zone. The Ainsdale Discovery Centre, situated adjacent to the beach and Ainsdale & Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve, provides local information, a…

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Asparagus Cycle Route

This circular cycle route, from Formby Train Station passes through Formby village, the National Trust site along the picturesque Formby coast famous for its red squirrels and Asparagus fields. Asparagus has been grown here possibly since the 1600’s and in its heyday, in the 1900’s, was world renowned. Today it can still be bought at Larkhill Farm. You will also pass St Lukes Church, the site of an ancient burial ground, home to the Godstone. Locally believed to be a rebus to converting Vikings to Christianity. From the station’s south bound platform go straight across the…

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Butterfly Cycle Route

This circular route, from Freshfield Railway Station, goes along the north of Formby and then passes through or near several Nature Reserves. You will pass through the home of butterflies, sand lizards and natterjack toads at the Ainsdale Sand Dunes Reserve before reaching Formby Golf Club and Freshfield Dune Heath Nature Reserve. You will also pass RAF Woodvale and Burrough’s Wood. From the railway station, travel along Victoria Road before turning left onto Gores Road and then right onto Massam’s Lane, going past the awarding winning public house, ‘The Freshfield…

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Crosby Beach

Crosby Beach is the picturesque beginning to 22 miles of Sefton Coastline. From the shore visitors can enjoy views across the sea to Wirral and North Wales hills. A walk along the beach allows views across to Wirral and North Wales. Due to the beaches close proximity to the Port of Liverpool, visitors can often marvel at huge container ships and cruise ships that pass by. The Burbo Bank offshore wind farm can be seen from the shore and adds to the unique coastal/industrial/artistic landscape that makes Crosby Beach so unique.  Crosby Beach is where you can see some of the finest…

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Curlew Cycle Route

This circular route begins at the Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre and will take in the sights of the Crosby Coast. You will pass through the Crosby Coastal Park with views of Wirral and North Wales coasts and Antony Gormley’s 'Another Place' statues. You will also pass the Royal Hotel, Blucher Street and Wellington Street which recognise the close links the area has with the 1815 Battle of Waterloo. Go straight out of the Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, crossing the access road and head towards Great Georges Road. Turn left onto Marine Terrace, opposite the Royal Hotel…

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Formby Beach

Discover a hidden gem on the stunning coastline of Sefton. Nestled amidst rolling sand dunes and surrounded by lush woodlands, this enchanting destination offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and coastal tranquility. Whether you're seeking a peaceful retreat or an adventurous outing, Formby Beach has something for everyone. Formby Beach is not only a picturesque coastal retreat but also a haven for nature enthusiasts. Explore the famous sand dunes, home to a unique ecosystem that shelters rare wildlife, including the renowned red squirrels. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the…

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Formby Red Squirrel Reserve

Red squirrels, natterjacks, prehistoric footprints and miles of coastal walks are just waiting to be discovered - part of National Trust Formby's amazing and ever changing landscape. Enjoy breathtaking sea views; head out on a bracing coastal walk or find out about Formby's fascinating coastal history with links to asparagus growing and the early days of aviation. Whether you want to walk, run or ride there's something for everyone at Formby, the perfect place to get outdoors and active.

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Kestrel Cycle Route

Along this route you will enjoy the resorts varied urban landscapes and the newly developed community woodland. You will pass through King’s Gardens, Portland Street playing fields and then Newlands, the Community Woodland. This is home to a variety of wildlife and Kestrels can regularly be seen hunting over head. Heading back into the town you will pass through the grounds of the hospital and across the playing fields at Meols Cop, adjacent to KGV College and Southport Football Club. The route also takes you past Hesketh Golf Club with the RSPB bird reserve at Marshside close by. Turn…

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Lapwing Cycle Route

This circular route will take you through a wildlife rich area in the heart of agricultural West Lancashire. Starting at Burscough Wharf the route goes through the north of Burscough and then passes through or near several nature reserves. You will pass through the home of lapwings, dragonflies and butterflies at the Martin Mere Wildfowl & Wetlands Centre before reaching Tarlscough Moss and Burscough Wharf. You will also pass Windmill Animal Farm and Mere Sands Wood Nature Reserve.  Begin at Burscough Wharf, turn right onto the canal. Follow the towpath and continue to the…

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Maghull to Aintree Leeds-Liverpool Canal Walk or Cycle

This pleasant canal-side walk or cycle ride of some 5.8 km (3.6 miles) is entirely level throughout on the well-surfaced and maintained towpath of the Leeds–Liverpool Canal. From the green suburbs of Maghull, we travel southeast through farmland and open countryside, under two motorways before our route loops back northwest, alongside one of the world’s best known racecourses. Parking is widely available in Maghull and starting from Maghull Station if you wish, will shorten the walk. We start at Green Lane (OS: 373025) to follow the towpath southwards, first under the concrete…

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Mallard Cycle Route

This circular route boasts spectacular panoramic views that include North Wales and the Lake District. You will pass the Marine Lake and Bird Reserve at Marshside, a popular nesting spot for many birds including avocets and lapwings. You will also pass through Churchtown, a pretty village, north of Southport, with its numerous small boutiques and specialist shops. It is also home to Botanic Gardens, a park nationally renowned for its floral displays and numerous other attractions such as its lakes and museum. You will return back to the Eco Centre having past through Southport Town Centre…

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Marram Cycle Route

This short route is a relaxing cycle ride that takes in areas of outstanding natural beauty and offers great seaside views of the Southport coast. You will cycle past Queen’s Jubilee Nature Reserve and Victoria Park, home to Southport’s Flower Show, along Esplanade. You will travel along the disused Cheshire Lines Railway, passing the site of the old Birkdale Palace Station, up to Birkdale Local Nature Reserve and the world famous Royal Birkdale Golf Course. The route passes through an area of housing that was historically referred to as the “Castles in the Sand”and…

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Meanders Around Melling

‘Melinge’, as it is listed in the Domesday Book, once overlooked the marshes, woodlands and reed beds of the River Alt. At the time of the Domesday census, Godiva the widow of Leofric, was the lady of the manor and a forest stretched from Waddicar to Wood End in Maghull. Start by turning left out of the car park at Maghull Station, across the level crossing and walk 450 metres along Melling Lane to the M58 overbridge, where we turn left on a signposted path through amenity woodland, with the green fence of the motorway embankment on the right and playing fields to the left…

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Natterjack Cycle Route

This ride begins on the old Cheshire Lines Railway and follows a circular route through Ainsdale, Birkdale and Southport Town centre. You will pass Birkdale Nature Reserve, the home of the rare Natterjack Toad and Sand Lizard, Birkdale Sands, the site used as training gallops by Red Rum and Royal Birkdale Golf Course. The cycle route continues through the centre of Ainsdale, passing the site of the old Ainsdale Mill, the Millstone is now housed in the Library garden and around the eastern edge of Birkdale. Travelling back into Southport you will pass St. Paul's Church, built in 1864, with…

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Netherton to Crosby Marine Park

This new combined cycling and walking route starts at the Aldrins Lane swing bridge on the Leeds–Liverpool Canal and proceeds westwards along the canal towpath to link up with the tarmac pathway through Rimrose Valley Park. The route then crosses the Liverpool–Southport railway between Seaforth and Waterloo stations to finish on the banks of the Mersey at Crosby swimming pool. We start at the Aldrins Lane swing bridge to follow the towpath for the next two km (1.25 miles) through the suburban housing estates of Netherton and Buckley Hill. The place name Netherton, comes from the…

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Shrimp Cycle Route

This is an ideal route to enjoy some of Southport’s best landmarks and it is clearly signed in both directions.  Along the sea front you will have views out to the Irish Sea and pass a variety of interesting sculptures including the Trans Pennine Trail's Sea Mark. You will pass under the second longest pier in Britain, with its cafes and penny arcades. You will pass the Marine Lake, home to a variety of watersports and the Southport Belle, a Mississippi style paddle steamer, and through Kings Garden, the home of the model railway village. Turn right from the Eco Centre car park…

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Southport Beach

Stunning coastline and amazing views! Southport beach really does boast some of the most amazing views of the coast. With long sandy beaches and a coast-line that stretches 22 miles across Sefton, you can soak up the panoramic view of golden sands and admire the beauty of the coast! Southport beach has one of the most unique natural environments in the country. The resort’s beach is home to many thousands of wading birds returning from their northern breeding grounds at the end of the summer It’s the gateway to the coast and the Ribble Estuary and a place where the coast…

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Southport Pier

The second longest pier in Britain, Southport Pier was first opened in 1860 with an original length of 3,600 ft.

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Southport Seaside Stroll

Southport is a seaside town of sophisticated charm and character, yet with plenty of activities and events on offer, right throughout the year. This short walk (2 miles) takes in some of the main landmarks and attractions and starts and finishes at the Tourist Information Centre at the Lord Street/Eastbank Street junction, near the Library and Town Hall. Crossing the road, we walk northwards on the left side of Lord Street under the ironwork canopies. Our first stop is Wayfarers Arcade, a beautifully restored shopping arcade, full of specialist shops, cafes and a Grade-II listed building…

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Squirrel Cycle Route

This linear route links Southport to Formby and passes several Nature Reserves. You will travel along the line of the old Cheshire Lines Railway, passing the Queens Jubilee Nature Trail, Birkdale Nature Reserve, the Sands Lake Nature Trail and Pontins Holiday Park. You then pass through Ainsdale Sand Dunes Nature Reserve, the home of the sand lizards and natterjack toads, before reaching Formby Golf Club and Freshfield Dune Heath Nature Reserve. You will also pass RAF Woodvale before reaching the end of the route at the entrance of the National Trust site, famous for its Red Squirrel…

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Swan Cycle Route

This circular cycle route takes in the sights and sounds of Southport’s many famous landmarks. You will pass Victoria Park, home of the renowned Southport Flower Show every August, and along the picturesque boulevard of Lord Street with its Victorian shop fronts and tranquil gardens. The route continues past the well manicured Hesketh Park, open since 1868, with its numerous attractions including a conservatory, an observatory, lakes and cafe. You will ride along Park Crescent with the rich heritage views of its large Victorian houses, pass the Marine Lake, home to various species of…

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