Visiting Formby and The Red Squirrel Nature Reserve

We have been trying to make the most of lockdown by making sure that we get out at the weekend for some much-needed fresh air. We have a huge list of places that we want to visit in the North West For some scenic walks. A few weeks ago we decided to head to Freshfields which is also known as Formby National Trust Red Squirrel Reserve.

boys walking through the woods

It’s been a while since we visited the squirrel reserve but it's probably one of our favourites and we have been visiting since both John and I were little.  It was once home to lots and lots of red squirrels but as the years have gone on there are less and less and unfortunately we didn't see any on our visit this time. It's a nice scenic walk and perfect for some fresh sea air. 

What To Expect At The Red Squirrel Reserve, L37 1LJ
There are some walking trails to enjoy at The Red Squirrel Reserve including


boy on a rope swing


Formby Red Squirrel Walk
​Explore beautiful woodlands surrounding Formby in Merseyside, home to the rare native red squirrel. This walk is mostly covered by trees so if you choose to visit on a wet and rainy day like we did you won’t feel the rain at all.

There is lots of ground to cover and so much for little ones to explore. There are lots of hills to climb and run down and large open spaces perfect for den building.  We even found a tree swing someone had made which was lots of fun. 

woodland space

tree carvings

Formby Asparagus

Formby Asparagus

Asparagus Walk
Have a wander through the crop fields and discover how a spring vegetable helped shaped Formby as it is today. There are lots of information points along the way to read about Formby Asparagus.

boys walking over Sand Dunes



Over The Dunes
The Squirrel Reserve is a short walk away from the coastline and just over the dunes you will find Formby beach which is perfect for a nice stroll or even a paddle in the sea.

Anything Else?
The National Trust Squirrel Reserve can be reached on foot or by car. If you choose to use the National Trust carpark you will be asked to pay £7.50 if you are not a National Trust member.

Toilet facilities are open every day till  3pm however they are closed at 12:30 for a 30 minute deep clean.

There is an ice cream van selling ice cream and refreshments just located by the toilets. Card is accepted however due to poor wifi signal I would recommend taking cash too. There is also a pop-up trailer serving hot and cold drinks and some light snacks including cakes.

If you are heading to the beach upon arrival please take note of the tide times as it can come in very quickly and you do not want to be surrounded by water.

The Red Squirrel Reserve is very popular with local schools so there are lots of picnic benches and family friendly areas situated around the reserve and clearly signposted.  

Please ensure you follow social distancing rules & Government guidelines and if the reserve is busy on arrival, please consider leaving and returning at a later date. 

Check for local lockdowns / travel restrictions before visiting anywhere. 

Always check with the venue direct as things may have changed after this post was published. 

What Is Close By?
Antony Gormleys Another Place (The Iron Men), L22 1RR
Another Place is a piece of modern sculpture by Sir Antony Gormley located at Crosby Beach in Merseyside, England. It consists of 100 cast iron figures facing towards the sea.

Southport Pier, PR8 1QX
Not only does Southport have 22 miles of coast but also boasts the Grade II listed Southport Pier, the oldest iron pier in the country, standing for over 150 years.

Further Away
Blackpool Promenade, FY1 5BB
There’s nothing quite like a day at the seaside, and Blackpool is one of the best beach resorts you will find in the UK.

Speke Hall Estate and Gardens, L24 1XD
Speke Hall Gardens and Estate is a National Trust property just outside Liverpool with lots of walking trails, adventure playground and beautiful views of the River Mersey.


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  1. What a stunning place to visit for a walk! I love it when there are forest walks near to beaches because it's such a contrasting landscape :)

  2. Aww what a shame you didn't see any squirrels this time round. I love squirrels and just a nice walk around some woodlands. Looks like a beautiful place

  3. We used to love visiting places like this, we always loved going on adventures this looks like it is a great place to visit

  4. It looks like a fab autumn day out which we all need right now. So glad these places are open to go! Good review.

  5. This looks like a lovely day out. Some of the National trust beaches are the most beautiful I have ever visited x

  6. It looks like such a beautiful place to enjoy and connect with nature. We absolutely love den building so that aspect was lovely to see.

  7. We love going on family walks and this nature reserve sounds and looks beautiful. Car park is a bit pricey, so would probably park further away a walk.

  8. What a lovely visit to Formby! I always wanted to see the red squirells as we can't find them locally anymore and the woodlands does look beautiful

  9. What an amazing place to go for a ramble. My kids would love it - especially if we ended up paddling in the sea!

  10. This sounds like such a lovely place to go and explore, I love that there are places where red squirrels can live and thrive.

  11. Sounds like quite the adventure with a mixture of everything! We love woodland walks but to end up on a beach sounds epic!

  12. Squirrel Reserve looks like a beautiful place to go for a wander with the family. I wish we had a few more things like this near us. And the beach just a short distance away too!

  13. It looks like such a wonderful place to go for a walk as a family. What a shame you didn't see any red squirrels this time around

  14. What a great place to visit - beach and woods gives you the best of both worlds! We love visiting our local nature reserve in the woods too, but there's no beach and no squirrels.

  15. What a beautiful place for a walk. We've been enjoying weekly walks too during lockdown.

  16. It sounds like it is a great place to visit. My kids would love playing in the dunes. It's nice to get out a bit.

  17. Oh wow it sounds like a lovely place to go and venture out to . Definitely get some of that fresh air into your lungs x

  18. It looks like a lovely day out, we love seeing red squirrels and have a couple of places locally with them

  19. You're so lucky to live near the beach, wish we lived closer than we do.


Thanks for your comments. I love reading them :)

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