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Eight reasons to visit Ainsdale this Summer

1 month ago

Eight reasons to visit Ainsdale this Summer
Ainsdale

Summer is here, so you might be planning a day out in and around the city region.

Ainsdale is a stunning coastline village with a charming atmosphere, and is the perfect destination to visit this Summer.

We are lucky to have so many gorgeous places to visit on our doorstep, many easily reached by train.

Here are eight reasons to visit Ainsdale.

History: An agricultural past and site of a record breaker

Merseyrail 120 Year Anniversary - Southport Line
Merseyrail 120 Year Anniversary – Southport Line – Ainsdale Station

The golden sands and rolling dunes of Ainsdale make it one of the nicest coastal areas in our region but as much as being a seaside destination, the area has a long agricultural history.

Lying three miles south of Southport, Ainsdale was originally known by the Norse name Einulfsdalr.

In the 1600s, it became part of the estate owned by Sir Cuthbert Halsall and was known by the more familiar sounding Aynsdale. Finance problems saw it sold to the Blundell family and farming was the primary use of the land in the area until the 1900s. 

A trainline improved the accessibility, and engines ran along what is now the coastal road, from just past Woodvale to Southport. Farm labourers’ cottage were built beside the line.

The open sands in Southport and its surrounds saw the area become a venue for motor racing enthusiasts and Ainsdale beach was the site of a famous land speed record set in 1926 by Sir Henry Segrave. 

On 16th March, Sir Henry took the four litre British made Sunbeam to the sands and watched by a big audience, the car reached more than 152mph, taking the land speed record from his rival Malcolm Campbell.

Ainsdale became part of the boom in tourism on the Sefton coast and in 1933 the lido opened, originally called the Bathing Centre.

During World War II, much of the beachfront area was used as a naval base and the lido never really regained the popularity of its heyday.

When Pontins opened in 1970, it became a massive boost to the local economy. Sadly, it became tired and run down as holidaymakers sought the sun on package holidays abroad and the park closed its doors for good earlier this year.

The closure, and the empty nearby Sands Hotel, are sad signs of the decline of the holiday economy in the area but don’t let that put you off.

The huge mural of two sand lizards on the side of the closed hotel by renowned artist Paul Curtis are a sight to behold and the beach beyond is worth the visit. And nearby Ainsdale village is buzzing with a variety of classy food and drink venues.

Local volunteers from Ainsdale in Bloom keep the village area looking gorgeous and their work has seen the village nominated as a finalist in the Britain in Bloom competition. Winners will be announced in the autumn.

Views: A spectacular vista across the North West

Ainsdale Beach. Credit: Shutterstock
Ainsdale Beach. Credit: Shutterstock

The views from Ainsdale beach are spectacular.

On a clear day you will be able to spot Blackpool Tower and the Big One theme park ride to the north, and even the houses and hotels on seafront at St Annes.

Look to your right and you can admire the wind farm in the Irish Sea and the hills of North Wales beyond. This is a lovely beach to catch the sunset and watching the kite surfers making the most of the blustery coastline is great fun.

Walk: Miles of golden sand or a wander through the woods

Ainsdale Pine Trees. Credit: Shutterstock
Ainsdale Pine Trees. Credit: Shutterstock

You can combine a walk along the beach and through the woods in Ainsdale. 

There are miles of sand to wander along and dunes to clamber over.

Or, if you don’t like sand in your shoes, take the woodland paths and make your way towards Formby. If you have travelled by train jump off at Ainsdale and walk back to Freshfield station to get home, a lovely walk that will end at Formby golf club. Just watch out for golf balls and be careful at the level crossing.

A good pub: Watch the world go by at Tipple

Credit: Tipple
Credit: Tipple

With its large outdoor terrace, Tipple is a great place to enjoy a drink or a bite to eat while you watch the world go by.

As well as beers, cocktails and wine, you can enjoy a bite to eat from the menu which features small plates, salads, sandwiches, pizzas and burgers. There is also bottomless brunch for £40 every Saturday.

You will find Tipple on Station Road, just a short walk from the train.

Find out more and see the menu here.

Fish and Chips: Fish Loves Chips

Credit: Fish Loves Chips
Credit: Fish Loves Chips

If a walk on the beach has given you an appetite, then Fish Loves Chips is situated near the train station, so easy to grab a bite to eat.

A traditional chippy you can enjoy a good old fashioned fish and chips, or try something from the Greek menu.

You will find them on Station Road. Call 01704 571410 to check opening times. 

Live Music and karaoke: The Golden Monkey

Credit: The Golden Monkey
Credit: The Golden Monkey

A gem of a bar in Ainsdale village, the Golden Monkey has regular live music nights featuring local musicians.

They also show football and have a lovely outdoor terrace for alfresco drinks.

Find out more about upcoming live music on their Facebook.

Coffee and a breakfast roll: MeCycle

Credit: MeCycle
Credit: MeCycle

You don’t have to be a cyclist to pop in MeCycle. 

This is a coffee and quick bite joint with outside tables and friendly staff. And if you do want to pick up some cycling gear or book your bike in for a service, you can do it at the same time.

More info here.

Tea and a cake: The Squirrel Tea Room

Credit: Squirrel Tea Room
Credit: Squirrel Tea Room

If home made cakes served in a lovely atmosphere are your thing, then this is the place for you.

Scones with jam, flapjacks, caramel brownies, cherry bakewell and victoria sponge are just some of the delights that are waiting for you.

The tea room is a little bit further along the road from the main village drag and road to the beach, but definitely worth it.

Breakfast is great too and there is local artwork for sale.

See the menu and check opening hours here.

For more on Ainsdale click here.

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