Sand dunes, salt marshes and sculptures: Cycling the Sefton Coastal Path

Cathy Toogood takes in art and nature on this user-friendly cycle trail

Friday 11 September 2020 16:37 BST
Cathy Toogood at Hightown Beach
Cathy Toogood at Hightown Beach (Cathy Toogood)

You must be a keen cyclist,” laughed the receptionist in my Southport hotel. Apparently, saying I had cycled 21 miles from Southport to Crosby – and back – wasn’t a standard response to “how was your journey here today?”

I’d just tackled the Sefton Coastal Path, which can be walked or cycled on a combination of gravel and tarmac tracks. I’m not, in fact, an avid cyclist, but the route appealed to me as a way to explore this dramatic coastal area, which has the largest undeveloped dune system in England. 

It’s flat, so can be completed by beginners like me, and takes in a varied landscape, ranging from some of the northwest’s most interesting stretches of sand – Formby Beach, with its red squirrel reserve, and Crosby Beach, with Antony Gormley’s Another Place art installation – to the lively seaside town of Southport and vast salt marshes.    

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