The Sefton Coastal Path is a long distance path that follows the coast between the Ribble and the Mersey estuaries. It would be possible for a reasonably fit walker to complete it in a day but this would require a blinkered mind-set where challenge overrides the tendency to “stop and stare”. So for readers who prefer a more leisurely exploration of the countryside the good news is that for the entire length of the trail the route is conveniently close to the Southport-Liverpool Merseyrail service so that you are never too far from a station. This allows you to break the walk down into more manageable sections.
The official start of the walk is on Marine Drive close to the Crossens Roundabout. These are some of the points of interest to look for.
Near this landmark is the site of Southport's Eco Centre at the Esplanade Park and Ride facility. Soon after the Coastal Path reaches the links of the famous golf club. Founded in 1889 Royal Birkdale is regarded as one of the World's top courses. It has hosted the British Open Championship nine times including the 100th in 1971.
Here dunes and pine woods combine to create a most charming amenity. Readers not wishing to attempt the entire length of the walk are recommended to explore this stretch accessed between Freshfield
and Formby stations. The path enters National Trust land at Formby home of a remnant population of red squirrels.
Formby Point was the location of the UK's first lifeboat station established in 1776 following a disaster two years before when 18 ships were stranded at the mouth of the Mersey with great loss of life.
Anthony Gormley's remarkable art installation comprising of 100 life size moulded iron figures placed along the foreshore of the Mersey estuary. The statues are positioned so that all of them seem to be staring out to sea "in silent expectation". The work was previously displayed in Norway, Denmark and Belgium and there was the possibility it would go to New York. However it has been decided that the statues will be permanently sited on Crosby beach - time and tide permitting.