We’re not religious. So much so, I would have probably done without Easter Eggs for Spike but I was told I’d be a spoilsport. But our non-religious belief means that we don’t have any religious traditions for Easter Sunday.
I don’t think we did anything before Spike was around. I guess because there’s a bank holiday before and after it, we probably spent them drunk or chilling out before Spike arrived. Then the first year she was born I think we just spent the day at her Grandmas after spending the days before at my parents’ house. Last year we took to the great outdoors and visited local nature reserve Brockholes.
This Easter Sunday
This year I decided we should build on last year, and take advantage of the start of Spring. There are so many amazing places near our home that help us spend time in the great outdoors. Brockholes is one but there are loads others. We are monitoring money so didn’t want anything too costly, and decided to head down to the National Trust’s Formby Beach location as it’s free to visit (minus parking).
Our Trip to Formby
We jumped in the car and headed down the back roads to get to Formby Beach. It takes about 55 minutes from our house so we let Spike have a little nap. We got to the road where the national trust car park is and there was a stupidly long queue. T googled and apparently this is quite common during busy periods. Instead of waiting in non-moving traffic, we decided to snoop around and look for free on-street parking. There is some really handy parking nearby, close to the convent that the National Trust grounds surround.
Heading into the woods
Formby beach is so cool because it feel like you’ve headed into the heart of the countryside, yet you are on the coast. When you get to the town and the roads closest to the beach, you can only see fields and trees. The National Trust car park is within the trees. As I said, we parked on the streets closely and walked to the National Trust car park. We walked for quite some way before getting to the toilet point and the refreshment/picnic area. Whilst walking we passed the Squirrel Woods which are full of red squirrels. We didn’t head through them but we will next time as they looked cool!
Formby Beach Picnic Area
Instead we headed to the toilets and then the picnic area for lunch. The main family picnic area and refreshment area is a short distance from the toilets. The only annoying thing about this is the big walk back up a hill to get to the toilet after lunch. But it is lovely. It is peaceful and has some lovey views and ample seating. There was enough to keep the kids looking around while you have a sit down and eat. Spike wanted to go off and explore even in this bit.
More woodland walks
We attempted to follow the Asparagus Path to the beach from the picnic area. However, as mentioned, Spike decided she needed a wee so we headed back to the toilets then down the Cornerstone Path instead. This was a winding path through the trees which came out on the dunes close to a corpse of strange looking trees and not far from the most randomly located caravan park I have ever seen. There were loads of little branches off from this path within the woods and it’s not massively well signposted. But we made it to the dunes eventually.
The Sand Dunes
Again, not massively signposted, we came out of the woods to massive sand dunes and desert-like plants. I have never seen anything like it but I did love it! It wasn’t really that easy to navigate so we ended up heading up a sand dune only to discover that we could have carried on the path and gone round it within minutes. But never mind, it’s all part of the adventure. As soon as we were on top of the sand dunes Spike got excited as she could see the sea! And so many people!
People, people everywhere!
Formby beach was BUSY that day. I have never seen so many people on one beach outside of Summer but it was lovely. There were so many dogs and kids in wellies, and families enjoying the fresh air. It shows how many different routes there are through the woods and trees to get to the beach because we barely saw anyone else on their way to the beach.
Dogs, dogs everywhere
As mentioned, there were SO MANY dogs on Fomrby Beach. It’s one of the only beaches in the area without seasonal restriction, so it’s likely that you will see dogs whatever time of year you go. Spike has always been quite wary of dogs and the first we met was a lovely little dog who was whining because it was her first time out without her companion who had passed away a few months ago according to her owner. This dog was on a lead so she didn’t bother Spike too much, but once we got onto the dunes two dogs came running by without leads on. One going between me and Spike. She remained calm because she could see I a close by and I was reminding her that it was fine, that they weren’t there to touch or hurt her. I was worried at that point but I needed have been. By the time we walked the stretch of beach we walked – around 2 miles – We must have seen over 100 dogs and Spike was pointing them out telling us which ones she wanted to take home!
A long walk
We walked down the beach then made our way back to what we assumed was the direction of our car. We were wrong and got a little lost. It’s not easy to discover the right way to go around Formby beach. But if you aren’t in a rush, just go with the flow and enjoy the sea air. Its a beautiful place and the little ones can let their imagination run wild with everything there is to see!