Five sandy beaches to enjoy this summer less than two hours from Manchester - including Blackpool and Crosby

Get your towels and picnic blankets out and enjoy a beach day this summer.

School holidays are just around the corner and with the hopes of sunny weather, many people will be planning a trip to the seaside.

Even those who live in the city don’t have to travel too far to enjoy a day on the sands.

We have made a list of five beautiful beaches within two hours of Manchester.

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    Blackpool

    Blackpool’s large sandy beach stretches seven-miles long and it has a lively promenade.

    It is also the only British beach resort to boast three piers - North, Central and South.

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    Blackpool beach is somewhat dog friendly. However, from May to September, dogs are not allowed on the beach between North Pier and the Mirror Ball.

    Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times on the promenade.

    Blackpool is an ideal resort for a day out at the beach. Photo: Paul Ellis/AP via Getty Images

    If you are thinking of travelling to Blackpool, it has three train stations which are within walking distance to the beach. They provide connections to Manchester Victoria and Manchester Airport.

    For those driving to the area, it is around 50 miles from Manchester - taking approximately one hour and 10-minutes.

    The seaside resort is also home to Blackpool Zoo, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE and the famous Blackpool Tower which has a dungeon experience and a live circus.

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    St Anne’s

    Not far from Blackpool, there is a much smaller and quieter beach at St Anne’s.

    The sandy beach has a cafe, pier, miniature railway, and a seasonal paddling pool and activities for children.

    Dogs are allowed all year round on the northern end of the promenade, but there is a seasonal ban on the main beach.

    St Annes-on-the-Sea has a train station which can be accessed from Manchester Piccadilly - with a change at Preston.

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    For those driving to the area, it is around 55 miles from Manchester - taking approximately one hour and 15-minutes.

    Formby

    The sandy beach at Formby is surrounded by sand dunes and woodlands, but it makes a great spot for a picnic and a swim.

    Formby also boasts a beachfront golf course and is completely dog-friendly.

    Formby has a train station which can be accessed from Manchester Piccadilly - with a change at Liverpool South Parkway.

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    For those driving to the area, it is around 45 miles from Manchester - taking approximately one hour.

    There is a large car park at the beach which costs £7.50 for the day (free for National Trust members).

    Crosby

    Crosby’s dog-friendly beach is 2.5-miles long - and has both sand and stones.

    It is home to the iconic Another Place, a modern art installation by Antony Gormley.

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    Sculptures making up part of Antony Gormley’s Another Place at Crosby beach. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    There is also a park, pubs and restaurants in the coastal town.

    Corsby has a train station (Blundellsands & Crosby) which can be accessed from Manchester Piccadilly - with a change at Liverpool South Parkway.

    For those driving to the area, it is around 40 miles from Manchester - taking approximately one hour.

    New Brighton

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    New Brighton has a large, sandy beach with views over to the Liverpool skyline.

    It is home to The Black Pearl - a merchant ship which has been washed up on the shore.

    In the area you can enjoy the indoor fairground, take a walk around Marine Lake, grab some ice cream and stare at street art.

    Dogs are allowed on the beach, as long as they are kept on their leashes at all times.

    New Brighton has a train station which can be accessed from Manchester Victoria or Piccadilly - with a change at Liverpool Lime Street

    For those driving to the area, it is around 40 miles from Manchester - taking approximately one hour and 15-minutes.

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    There is a free car park on the beachfront.