Freshfield and Formby Moss
Last updated 24th April 2008
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This walk of 6½ miles (10½ km) on level ground along suburban roads, country lanes and rural paths contrasts the older parts of Freshfield with the deserted open spaces of Formby Moss. It starts and finishes at Freshfield station. A shorter variant of 4½ miles (7½ km) is available that cuts out much of the Moss countryside. It starts with a leisurely amble through the quiet roads and byways of the older part of Freshfield, where you can see lovely old cottages and the fine Georgian St. Peter's church. It then heads out over the deserted fenland of Formby Moss, where peace and quiet are the order of the day. It returns by paths along the northern perimeter of Freshfield, finally taking in the excellent Freshfield Hotel, a good place for refreshments. The walk is based upon Walk 7 in the leaflet Walking and Cycling Guide to Sefton's Natural Coast issued by Sefton Council (availabel online). Much of the way is on hard surfaces, but the sections on unsurfaced paths can be very muddy after rain, so wear appropriate footwear.

The relevant Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Explorer map is No. 285. For further information on the locations visited, click on the images.

Detailed mapping and satellite photography for this walk courtesy of Bing Maps
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From the east side of the railway line at Freshfield Station [1], cross over Victoria Road into Freshfield Road, a short way along which turn left into Grange Lane. Here on the corner are the ancient Tower Grange and Tower House [2]. At the end of Grange Lane there is another charming cottage [3]. Turn right onto Gores Lane and a short way along follow a footpath on the left that goes past a cricket ground [4].

Turn right onto Green Lane and immediately you see St. Peter's church [5] opposite, well worth a look around. This is the Green Lane Conservation Area and the cottages opposite the church are 18th century or earlier. Just to the left of the church, follow a footpath that initially skirts the graveyard and emerges on Paradise Lane. Turn right and head for the junction with Southport Road and Ryground Lane. Go straight ahead along Ryground Lane onto New Road and look out for Clifton Road on the left. This leads immediately into playing fields [6]. Take the middle of the three paths, which curves around to the right and then turns left to come out on Deansgate Lane. Go right until the junction with Moss Side and then turn left. Almost at the Formby By-Pass is a footpath on the right that heads into more playing fields [7]. Follow the path that runs along parallel to the main road until you reach the first houses. Turn left here and cross the by-pass with great care.

A gate and a stile lead immediately to a barely distinguishable grassy path that heads off diagonally to the left across fields. There are many stiles on this section and you need to keep in approximately a straight line to locate them. Ignore larger tracks that go off from side to side (unlike what I did on the day). Eventually follow a signpost to Moss Side to the left by a house. Cross over Moss side into Little Hey Lane. This curves around to the right with a golf driving range [8] on the left. Follow the track as it turns left into Pasture Line. Horses (including race horses, presumably) are much in evidence throughout this area. At the junction with Southport Old Road, the shorter walk goes straight ahead to Eight Acre Lane (by a cattery). The full walk goes right along the length of North Moss Lane. At a crossing of the ways, go left along Sixpenny Lane (signposted - just a narrow path in actuality), then at a house turn left onto Broad lane and head back to Southport Old Road. Cross into Eight Acre Lane to reach the by-pass.

Again, cross the by-pass with great care. A path leads straight ahead along the northernmost houses of Freshfield with horse fields on the right to reach the end of Paradise Line by some stables. Do a quick right and left onto Brewery Lane, which at the end joins another path. At a crossing of paths, go left to pick up Rimmer's Avenue, at the end of which is the Freshfield Hotel [9], a most welcome spot for an excellent pint of beer and some good value food. Just on the left is another fine old cottage. Turn right along the front of the pub and keep straight ahead into Gregsons Avenue. Turn left into Argarmeols Road and right into Victoria Road and you are soon back at the station.