Crosby Beach | Free Days Out

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Crosby Beach is one of my favourite beaches on earth, it’s not a sexy beach in traditional landscape senses but it is a happy beach, an artistic beach and a very handy beach. When Mr Thrifty and I first moved in together (8 years ago this month!) we barely had two brass farthings to rub together but we still managed to find the money for the (admittedly fairly cheap) super quick train journey out to Crosby from our tiny little flat in Liverpool.

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Crosby Beach is a long expanse of beach standing astride the join of the Irish Sea and the River Mersey. It is blessed with views of Liverpool’s famous skyline, the industrialised docklands, the Wirral, the long stretch of gold sands at Formby and if it’s a particularly clear day – a view of Welsh mountains out into the very distance. There’s a heck of a lot to see and take in. Ferries and cargo ships glide their way from sea to river to port as you stroll along the sands. The boats seem dangerously close to the beach at certain times of the day – you can almost wave to the passengers. I enjoy postcard pretty beaches as much as the next camera toting blogger but there’s something special about seeing industry, urban landscapes, tourism and houses dotted out in the distance whilst you’re taking some time out.

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In 2007 a temporary art installation called Another Place by Antony Gormley became a permanent feature of the Crosby Beach landscape. Another Place is made up of 100 iron casts of Gormley, each standing at 6ft 2 (the same height as Mr Thrifty), facing out to sea and spanning 2 miles of the 3 mile long beach, at varying distances away from the shore.

As the tide brings the sea in many (if not all, depending on the tides on that day) of the statues are completely submerged by water. As the sea washes back out, you can slowly see specks of humanity cropping up in the water. First of all little bald strokes of head with water slopping back and forth until whole heads appear in the water as if disembodied. Next shoulders start to appear, as heads further out in the water make an appearance and before you know it you can make your way down to the sands and roam among the men.

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I’ve been to this beach at least fifty times and each time the statues make me feel something a little different thanks to the weather, the tide or the season. I suppose that is a sign of good art right there, huh? More often than not, at first I feel the statues urge me to stand in their same stance and look out to sea in a contemplative fashion for a moment or two before strolling off down the sand to watch more and more men appear in front of me.

Each of Gormley’s casts have taken on a life of their own with different signs of battering from the sea and weather. Some are more rusty than others and some have an armpit filled with barnacles whereas a chap further down the beach may have a similar problem but in a slightly more intimate spot. Get yourself down the clinic pet! This TripAdvisor page has some great snaps actually.
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Last weekend we went to a vintage fair at Speke Hall in Liverpool and afterwards we drove a few short miles to meet friends at the beach for a sunny evening walk, cakes and a beer or two. Jarvis enjoyed the water a lot more than he did when we visited West Kirby last month mainly because it was a good bit warmer. Hilariously he was running in the 2-3 inch deep water chasing seagulls when he strayed a little bit further and accidentally plunged into a water covered dip in the sand. On a regular sized dog this may have covered half a leg but 6lb Jarvis was instantly completely submerged and the look of shock/excitement/bewilderment on his face when he pushed his face through the water is something I will carry with me to the grave. He swam out, took two seconds to throw a disgruntled sniff our way before turning round and jumping straight back in!

Speed up the scroll for the next four images – my GIF maker failed me.
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I definitely recommend this beach as a free day out. If you’re anything like us you’ll spend ages inspecting each of Gormley’s statues which takes hours. Add in the joy of sitting on the grass verge in the carpark watching the tide come in and swallow the men then watching it sift back out again you can definitely have a good, long day here.

Location: Crosby Beach, Cambridge Road/Mariners Road/Hall Road West, Crosby, Merseyside.
Parking: Free
Public transport: There are three train stations which are around a 10 minute walk from the beach,  including Waterloo, Blundellsands & Crosby and Hall Road – we prefer the latter. For buses check out Merseytravel.

TTFN,

thrifty_blogP.S. Do you have a favourite beach?

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Comments

  1. I keep meaning to visit the beach at crosby.I’m glad the statues are not temporary.Great Post.:)

  2. Like you, I’m also lucky enough to live close to Crosby Beach. It’s a spectacular place, a place I also shared on my blog. I actually laughed out loud at Jarvis’ misfortune.

    Donna xx

  3. great photos. you should try newborough in anglesey – absolutely gorgeous there!

  4. Aww it looks fab there :)
    I like Formby beach with I think is the closest to me and Southport too
    xx

  5. We visited Crosby Beach around Christmas time just to see the statues. I was well impressed with them. I walked for about 90 minutes in total with my dogs. My OH and daughter flew their big kites. I was amused at various santa hats and beard combos that several of the ‘Gormleys’ were wearing. The only disappointment was the amount of rubbish that was washed up but you can’t have everything and I would go again.

  6. Seriously, what a cute little pup you have. That beach looks absolutely amazing. Nothing really beats a walk on a beach no matter where you are.

    Stopping by for the first time!!

  7. Sounds like a lovely day. I really need to get down to this beach :) xx

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WDcpwZqYlU&sns=fb

  8. Looks like the best place to go for a long walk and unwind :) xx

  9. Looks like a nice day out and Jarvis seems in his element. Are these the statues that were once yarn bombed?

  10. I love days out like this that cost very little or nothing, it looks a lovely beach! I tend to go to southport or formby beach :)

    http://laurenslittleblogs.blogspot.co.uk/
    xx

  11. Looks like a gorgeous place :) xxx

    http://jeminixlife.blogspot.com

  12. Somewhere I keep meaning to go, I really want to sew a pair of pants onto one of the statues, is that art or vandalism ?;)
    My favourite beach is the long, long walk from Filey down to Flamborough
    twiggy x

  13. Wow I would love to visit there and see the casts appearing as the tide goes out. Thanks for sharing this. If I’m ever up near Liverpool, I’ll pay the beach a visit. Little Jarvis looks like he’s having such fun. One of my favourite beaches is Kilve Beach near Watchet Somerset. Lots of fossil and rock formations to be found there. Our dog Spencer loves the beach although he’s a bit naughty and likes to chase seagulls. Maggie xx
    ps I went to Somerset on holiday last year and there’s some photos of Kilve Beach on my blog here:
    http://prettyflowersinthewindow.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/fossils-strawberries-patchwork-and-pig.html

  14. I grew up about 10 minutes down the road from here. Mum and Dad still live there. This definitely made me feel a little more homesick than I was before. I have a black Labrador, Harry, that lives with my parents (it would be far to mean to coop him up in our little London flat) that loves the beach. I could watch him run around there for hours. xxx

  15. Ah, i love Crosby, i take my MIL sometimes when we’re visiting her in Cheshire, we always have a good long day on the beach with a picnic and pop to the red squirrel sanctuary at Formby too, it’s a lovely day out!

    My favourite beach is Cresswell in Northumberland, so clean and vast, with little hermit crabs to watch at the south end and of course an ice cream from Cresswell Ices.

    I’m lucky when it comes to beaches though, i only live 2 miles inland from the coast so i’m a bit spoiled!

    Cate, x

  16. My favourite beach ? You’ve just written a great description of it!

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