Ordnance Survey Reference:
OS Explorer Map 285 (Southport and Chorley, Wigan Formby and Ormskirk) 1:25000
1 - Freshfield station to Hightown: 2 - Hightown to Hall Road station
This is a bracing walk of approximately 8.5 miles, mostly along the shoreline of Liverpool Bay, through sandhills and along generally well marked tracks. The route connects Freshfield and Hall Road railway stations on Merseyrail's northern line providing convenient transport for a return journey if required, it follows the Sefton Coastal Footpath and takes 3.5 to 4 hours. The middle section of the walk takes us inland for a time to navigate around the Altcar Rifle Range and to cross the river Alt estuary. Returning to the coast again at Hightown the path then continues to the coastguard station at Crosby where we can view the famous Anthony Gormley figures on the foreshore before the short walk to Hall Road. Tide tables permitting it is possible to use the beach for the first part of the walk, generally a hard, flat and dry alternative to the Sefton Coastal Footpath also offering a better view of shipping in the bay. If you have taken this option be sure to return to the footpath before reaching the restricted area at the rifle range, there are several signposted opportunities along the way including Lifeboat Road, Alexander Road, Albert Road and two others. The state of the tide and the weather can make a huge difference to the character of this walk, on a calm Saturday it is possible to see both passenger and freight shipping entering and leaving the channel including the Isle of Man and Irish ferries, and of course half tide at Crosby is arguably the best moment to view the art works, although at low tide most people choose to walk amongst them. This walk is perhaps best done using the very convenient and frequent train service but there is parking at both ends, in Freshfield at the Nature Reserve on the beach or the station if using the train, and at Crosby near the Coastguard Station.
|SD 291082 -||Freshfield Station|
|SD 274082 -||Join Sefton Coastal Footpath|
|SD 280067 -||Join St Lukes Church Road, Formby|
|SD 286051 -||St Lukes Church Road, left turn to railway|
|SD 294056 -||Railway and Bridge over River Alt|
|SD 299040 -||Right turn towards river|
|SD 298005 -||Crosby Coastguard Station|
|SD 304006 -||Hall Road Station|
Palfreyman January 2014.