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Ainsdale Village Church (1).JPG
Ainsdale Village Church
Ainsdale is located in Southport
Location in Southport
Ainsdale is located in Merseyside
Location within Merseyside
Population12,723 (2001 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceSD312122
Metropolitan borough
Metropolitan county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtPR8
Dialling code01704
AmbulanceNorth West
UK Parliament
List of places
53°36′08″N 3°02′26″W / 53.6021°N 3.0405°W / 53.6021; -3.0405Coordinates: 53°36′08″N 3°02′26″W / 53.6021°N 3.0405°W / 53.6021; -3.0405

Ainsdale is an area of Southport in Merseyside, England, situated three miles south of the centre of Southport. Originally in the Historic County of Lancashire, at the 2001 Census it had a population of 12,723.[1] By the time of the 2011 census, only figures for Ainsdale (ward) were available.

It makes up the southern edge of the town, separated from neighbouring Formby by RAF Woodvale. The village and roads leading to the beach are middle class areas, with some new modern developments around the station, including the addition of the private estate Village Row in 2006, and the Belway estate in 2013.


Prior to 1600[edit]

Ainsdale was listed in the Domesday Book as Einulvesdel. Deriving from Old Norse name Einulfsdalr, this apparently was the valley occupied by a Scandinavian by the name of Einulf.[2][3]


Ainsdale formed part of Sir Cuthbert Halsall of Halsall's estates during the early part of the 1600s. After financial difficulties the land containing Ainsdale (then Aynsdale) had to be sold. In 1634 the ownership was passed to Robert Blundell. The lands were passed from generation to generation within the Blundell family and remained in their ownership until the mid-1900s.[4]

Throughout the 1800s Ainsdale remained an agricultural community. Prior to the British Agricultural Revolution fields and farms in the locality were small and land was enclosed. The 1841 Census listed 176 inhabitants in 33 houses with occupations of farmer, agricultural labourers and servants.[5]

Ainsdale railway station opened in 1848. A second station was opened in 1901. It was originally named Seaside, being renamed Ainsdale Beach in 1912. It closed in 1952. The route of the line it was on now forms the Coastal Road from Woodvale to Southport. The row of houses over the road from the Sands Hotel were originally railway staff cottages for that line.[6]

Ainsdale became part of the County Borough of Southport in 1912 after being part of Birkdale Urban District, though it remained a separate civil parish to Southport until 1925. Although now in the administrative county of Merseyside it is still in the County Palatine of Lancashire.

Land speed record[edit]

On 16 March 1926, Sir Henry Segrave set his first land speed record of 152.33 miles per hour (245.15 km/h) using Ladybird, a 4-litre Sunbeam Tiger on Ainsdale beach. This record was broken a month later by J.G. Parry-Thomas driving Babs, a custom-built car with a 27-litre 450 hp (340 kW) V12 Liberty aero engine.


The area of Ainsdale, together with the adjoining settlement of Woodvale, and a significant part of Birkdale, forms a single electoral ward named Ainsdale, it is currently represented by three councillors on Sefton Council.[7]

For parliamentary elections, the ward is part of the Southport constituency, currently represented by the Conservative MP, Damien Moore, who was elected at the 2019 United Kingdom general election.


Tower Mill at Ainsdale

Ainsdale Mill, built circa 1800 on the site of an earlier wooden mill, was an impressive - and functional - landmark until its closure in 1965 and later demolition. A branch railway line from Ainsdale railway station served the corn mill during its operating years.[8] The original Ainsdale timber post windmill served both Ainsdale and Birkdale and is mentioned in 1631 as being ‘in the possession of Cuthbert Rimmer’, in a lease from Robert Blundell.[9]

Ainsdale boating lake, along with the beach itself, were popular tourist attractions, and thus Lakeside Hotel (now known as The Sands) was built to accommodate those wishing to stay in the area. However, a large campsite was also well populated in the busiest periods of the year.

In the village green there is a war memorial that commemorates the lives of forty-four Ainsdale residents killed as a result of the First World War.The War Memorial was totally refurbished by the Ainsdale Civic Society in 2012 when some missing names of those Ainsdale men killed in action in WW1 and extra plaques were inset on the Memorial to accommodate those lost from WW2 and Afghanistan. It took two years of research and fundraising to complete the second part of the project to restore the monument to its former glory. Space has been left on the memorial for additional names; however, they hope it never needs to be filled.


The locality is served by Ainsdale railway station, which is situated on the Northern Line of the Merseyrail network, linking Southport to Liverpool. Trains operate every 15 minutes in each direction from early morning to late evening from Monday to Saturday and every 30 minutes on Sundays.

Frequent bus services passing through Ainsdale are provided by Arriva North West, including:
• 44/44A Crossens - Formby
• 47 Crossens - Liverpool
20 minutes weekday daytime, less frequent evenings • 49 Crossens - Woodvale 12 minutes daytime, half-hourly evenings, slightly less frequent daytime on Sundays Additional services provided by Stagecoach Preston-Tarleton-Banks-Southport-Birkdale-Ainsdale-Formby-Crosby-Bootle X2 route half-hourly weekday daytimes, Sundays, restricted in evenings, early finish Sundays.[10]

Recreation and sports[edit]

Kitesurfing at Ainsdale beach

Sport in Ainsdale is represented in various streams such as football, cricket, bowls, pool and chess. The village is also the home of the famous Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club.

The football section of Ainsdale Sports and Social Club namely Southport & Ainsdale Amateurs AFC host teams from Under 6 up to Under 18 and Open Age Teams. The senior first team play in the Premier Division of the Mid Lancashire League. Ainsdale Cricket Club play in the successful Liverpool Competition. The club also has three All weather 3G pitches as part of its set up.

Ainsdale is also home to Hillside Lawn Tennis Club who play in the Southport Tennis League.

Every year at the start of July, Ainsdale Horticultural Society hold a village show. This popular local event showcases local growers produce in an horticultural competition and hosts many other events by local people.

Ainsdale beach is designated by Sefton Council as a kite beach where kitesurfing and land-based kite traction activities are allowed.[11]

The Sefton coastal path and the Trans Pennine Trail both pass through Ainsdale. A number of waymarked nature trails are also accessible from the town. These trails allow access to the Ainsdale Sand Dunes, designated as one of the national nature reserves in England. This nature reserve also comprises part of a Ramsar site.[12][13]

The publisher Café Royal Books is based in the area.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b 2001 Census: Ainsdale, Office for National Statistics, archived from the original on 25 May 2011, retrieved 24 October 2007
  2. ^ Ainsdale On-line, retrieved 24 October 2007
  3. ^ Vikings In Lancashire, Formby Civic Society, 4 March 2004, archived from the original on 30 September 2011, retrieved 24 October 2007
  4. ^ Harrop, Sylvia (1985), Old Birkdale and Ainsdale, Birkdale and Ainsdale Historical Research Society, 1st ed., pp. 1–13, ISBN 0-9510905-0-X
  5. ^ Harrop, Sylvia (1985), Old Birkdale and Ainsdale, Birkdale and Ainsdale Historical Research Society, 1st ed., pp. 120–127, ISBN 0-9510905-0-X
  6. ^ Disused Station UK, retrieved 26 July 2015
  7. ^ Your Councillors by Ward Archived 15 May 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Sefton Council. Retrieved on 24 May 2010
  8. ^ "Tower mill, Ainsdale - Images & Documents". Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  9. ^ Lancs Record Office DDIn/46/4 (Birkdale lease to Richd Rymer alias Black Dick, by lives of Eliz. ‘his now wife’ and Wm his s.)
  10. ^ current locsl Merseytravel timetables
  11. ^ Kitebeach Ainsdale-on-Sea Rules and Conditions of usage, Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council, archived from the original on 26 September 2006, retrieved 23 March 2008
  12. ^ Ramsar sites in the UK, Joint Nature Conservation Committee, retrieved 23 March 2008
  13. ^ Natural England: Special Sites, Natural England, retrieved 23 March 2008

External links[edit]