Last Night’s Walk: The North Marshside Trail

On a previous walk I discovered for myself the delights of a purpose built, but natural enough looking footpath that travels from the Banks area to the Hesketh Park areas of Southport. On that occasion I travelled along the southern section of this footpath to its’ terminus at Hesketh Road, Southport. Tonight’s walk would experience the northern section. Again starting at the meeting of the two sections just off Marshside Road, Marshside, Southport.

This was a delightful walk from Hesketh Park up to Marshside then along the northern section of the Marshside Coastal trail up to Banks then straight back down the main roads of Preston New Road and Cambridge Road to return to the park entrance.

View North Marshside path in a larger map

Photo of the start of the North Marshside Trail
The start of the trail just off Marshside Road

Phot of the path of the North Marshside Trail
A lovely, relatively flat path.
The path is generally easy going, with the odd sandy patch thrown in for good measure but given the location i.e. Southport then this is hardly a surprise. There are lovely views towards the South Western Lakes, The Forest of Bowland, Pendle Hill and the Winter Hill group. Alas I had my rather rubbish phone-camera with me that does not pick distant objects up at all well. So you will just have to take my word for the previous claim!

Photo of a stile on the North Marshside Trail
It's a matter of stile...
Imagine my surprise to find what is effectively an ornamental stile. The livestock in this particular environment consists of some cows in a field that is enclosed by a path roughly four feet high – exactly what this stile prevents from crossing that is not already prevented by an higher obstacle I just don’t know…unless its’ purpose is to make sure that cyclists have to dismount in a bid to slow them down a bit – not that I saw any cyclists on the path last night!

Phot of Ribble Estuary sign
A Potted Guide to the Ribble Estuary
The end of this particular section is reached. Then I find another! This will be the next section that I shall cover in my journey across the entire Marshside Trail – although in reality, technically this one does start at the area known as Banks. Here was a nice informative notice board giving a brief introduction to the Ribble Estuary. A very useful feature of the sign was a “You are here” indication, I do wish that the creators of similar signs for the West Pennines would be so enlightening!

Photo of a distance sign at Banks
Where do we go from here?
This final photograph is of an attractive wooden etched sign indicating the distances from this particular point to other parts of the greater Sefton Coastal path and various other landmarks and transport locations.

As I stated previously, this was a delightful walk and the weather conditions certainly added to the experience, the evening being warm without actually feeling too hot! The northern section of the Marshside trail is a lot more exposed that its’ southern peer and this materialised in the form of a headwind that at some times very nearly took my coat off for me!

Start of Walk
Parking: Roadside

Distance covered (approx):6.11 miles
Terrain: Grass and occasional sand path, pavements.
Obstacles: One small stile, busy traffic for road crossing at Banks.

Special thanks to Pierre Gorissen for the Lat and Long script at

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