I had such a lovely day with Poppy and Marty yesterday.
It was a really nice, sunny day just like on Friday when I took my little beauties to check out the wonderful Fairhaven Lake in Lytham St Annes, so I decided I would take them to Formby to search for some red squirrels and check out the beach. I knew they’d love it.
For those who aren’t aware, Formby beach and the surrounding pinewoods (including squirrels) are looked after by the National Trust. It’s a beautiful place just off Victoria Road in Formby.
Formby Red Squirrel Walk
The red squirrel walk takes you through stunning pinewoods along sandy trails and pathways where you can see gorgeous red squirrels running, climbing, playing and eating.
It costs a couple of quid to enter with a car, and we parked in the pinewoods (you can also park next to the beach further down) opposite an entry to the trail, and not too far from the ice cream van that is always there, which the kids were excited about. And off we went.
First, the kids found a pinecone each:
We were only 25 metres or so into the walk when Poppy found her first pinecone lay on the ground. She was so pleased. And then Marty quickly found one a metre or two on. They were so happy, bless them. They absolutely love things like that. All things nature for them.
And then more pinecones:
This picture really makes me smile.
Marty has just picked up another pinecone, and if you look at Poppy she is stuffing one into her pocket after already putting a handful in there. And Marty is, too. They’re collecting them.
And do you know why they are collecting them? Because I told them that they were called acorns, and that squirrels eat them. They were collecting them to feed to the squirrels so that they’re not hungry. They’re such kind, thoughtful little people. Makes me feel so proud and happy.
And then they spotted some red squirrels:
“Come on Mr. Squirrel,” Poppy calls out. Marty repeats. Whilst holding out their acorns.
There were a lot of red squirrels running around, hopping across the path near to us and climbing the trees. The kids threw their ‘acorns’ over the fence to them. They were so happy.
Funny note: Amongst a family passing us just after this photo was a cute little girl who commented to her dad, “Daddy, that man isn’t wearing a coat and it’s cold outside.” I just smiled at them and chuckled inside, so cute, and just an FYI – I NEVER wear coats. I love the cold.
Here’s a cute wooden path that hugs the squirrel area:
Formby pinewoods is full of all kinds of different paths and walkways to follow.
Some are just muddy trails, some sandy, some filled with bark. And then you have some like the above that are made of wood and look really cute, especially when the sun is shining.
BUT, as you can imagine with kids, what fun is sticking to the paths anyway? Once we had moved on from the squirrels I asked the kids which way we should go and they both pointed off the path deeper into the pinewoods. That was fun. Reminded me of playing in the woods as a kid.
Marty plays peekaboo behind a tree:
Being his usually cheeky and funny self, Marty quickly found a tree to hide behind just after leaving the path (you can see others on it behind him) and did a peekaboo.
Little cheeky monkey!
Ooh, a beautiful tree stump looks like fun:
Absolutely anything is fun when you’re a kid, isn’t it?
Especially things you can climb. When the kids spotted this small tree stump they must have saw a mountain filled with circus-like fun in their heads. And of course they stood on it. Haha.
First, Poppy jumped on it:
And then it was Marty’s turn:
After enjoying the lovely squirrel walk and exploring the pinewoods the kids spotted an exit which was sandy and grassy so they wanted to head over to the beach next.
So we left the pinewoods and set off on our walk over to the beach.
It takes around 15-20 minutes to walk from where we were to the beach, with kids at least haha. You have to walk through some more woods and around some sheep fields to get there.
The kids started racing:
As soon as we left the pinewoods the kids started racing. Like, the whole way over to the beach. But in short bursts, and we had to stop and reset every few metres.
And Daddy had to draw a start line in the sand and shout “3.. 2.. 1.. GO!” Hahaha.
Poppy kept leaving Marty in the dust, she was so proud of herself haha. Marty only has little legs and was running slow on the sand so I felt a little bad for him so would sometimes take his hand and catch up to Poppy with him. It was good fun. That’s what being a kid is all about.
Resting their little legs (or not):
After lots of racing we spotted a bench beside the sheep fields and the kids had a little rest. For at least 9 seconds. I must remember that kids simply don’t need rest unless it’s bedtime. Haha.
The kids spot the beach:
You can the sand dunes leading to the beach at the top of this picture. Once the kids spotted them, they were off running because they wanted to see the ocean and seashells.
We did stop before we reached the sand dunes, however, as the kids spotted more holes like you see in the picture above and started pretending to be machinery. Marty said he was a digger, and Poppy said she was an excavator, and they started transferring muck from one hole to the other.
Daddy was a dumper truck, so they put muck in my hand to take over haha.
The sand dune climb begins:
The kids had lots of fun running up the sand dunes that led to the beach, although Poppy kept shouting “hurry up!” at me and Marty. It was a slow climb for Marty with his little legs, and his little shoes kept slipping in the sand so he kept nearly falling down haha. Bless him.
I kept offering him my hand but he wouldn’t take it. He’s at that stage where he wants to be independent and get things done himself. He did really well.
We finally reached Formby beach:
The kids were really excited and happy once we reached the beach.
They started running and jumping around before kneeling down at the edge of the water, as you can see in my header image, and they started collecting and burying seashells in the sand. Daddy had to dig the holes and pass them the shells once they were ready for the burial. Haha.
There was a family with a dog near to us on the beach and a lady was throwing a tennis ball out into the water for him to chase which the kids really enjoyed watching, too.
A picture with a sculpture:
After lots of playing we left the beach and started to head back towards the car. The kids were completely knackered after so much walking, running and jumping around for hours.
During the walk back, we spotted this sculpture at the foot of the sand dunes which the kids wanted a photograph with. Apparently, it’s a sculpture of Pine Trees Farmer and prize-winning asparagus grower, Jimmy Lowe, by Simon Archer. It’s a really lovely sculpture, actually.
After that, there was just one thing left for us to do before leaving…
An Ice Cream for Poppy:
An Ice Cream for Marty:
And then we headed off home. Two tired, but very happy kids with ice creams. Yippee!
I must have been a bit worn out and tired myself as when we got back to the car park I started trying the door handle of a car that didn’t belong to me. Oops!
Formby Beach & Squirrel Park Review
Whether you have kids or not, Formby beach as well as the squirrel walk make for a fantastic day out. Take along a packed lunch or grab food from the food vans on-site and make a real day of it. It’s a really wonderful, well cared for and popular place for many across the region.
If you have kids, make sure you spend time exploring in the pinewoods. It makes for a fantastic adventure and they’ll have so much fun. Check out some of the huts you find.
I’d recommend getting a map upon entering the car park, too.