I can honestly say I never thought I'd live in Formby.

It's a great place, with a beautiful sandy beach, sweeping sand dunes, pine forests and grasslands. Perfect for a day out in the sun.

But after spending almost 30 years in my beloved South Liverpool, I figured that's where I would stay - until I met my now-husband.

The swap from Aigburth for Formby definitely took some getting used to, and there are a lot of things I miss about where I spent most of my years so far.

Formby has a lot of plus points too, though. Having a beach on your doorstep definitely takes some beating.

Here are some of the things I've learned since moving here:

Comment below with your favourite things about Formby

15. There's no Aldi

I love a trip to Aldi - who doesn't love a bargain?

The food is affordable, it literally sells hot tubs, and you're never far from one. Until you are.

When I lived in Aigburth, there was one a five minute walk from my house. Here I am an astonishing six miles from my nearest Aldi.

There's a Waitrose around the corner, which is fine enough, but it's a little out of my price range.

14. Footballers

Steven Gerrard on Formby beach with his daughters
Steven Gerrard on Formby beach with his daughters.

Formby really is Footballer Land.

Everybody knows footballers and other local celebrities live in Formby, but I didn't realise quite how many - or how down to earth they would be.

Which is all good until you nip the shop with wet hair and no makeup on and bump into Jurgen Klopp.

13. I am miles from a walk-in centre

People living in Formby are some nine miles from their nearest walk-in centre.

With no such facility nearby, it means a trip to Litherland - or Ormskirk, which is even further.

Southport Hospital, which is nearer, does have an A&E department, but children are not able to receive treatment here. The nearest children's A&E facility is also in Ormskirk.

12. So many great pubs

Formby has a number of great pubs and bars.

“The Freshie” on Massams Lane has been in the Good Beer Guide for a few years now - as well as being the runner-up in the national Camra Pub of the Year Award

There are also a number of cracking independents which serve local beers, making for a great little pub crawl.

11. The centre is not near the train station

An empty Formby Railway Station
Formby Railway Station. Photo by Colin Lane.

Most places you visit, you get off the train and you're in the midst of it all, or at least can see whatever "it all" is.

When you leave Formby station, you're met with a bridge.

If you don't know where you're headed, you could just as easily end up in the woods as the village.

10. Everyone has a dog

Okay, not everyone, but pretty much everyone I've come to know since moving here has at least one dog.

They love the beach, and there are plenty of dog-friendly shops, pubs and restaurants, too.

9. Accents

There is no Formby accent.

Some people sound Scouse. Some people sound "posh Scouse".

Some people sound like they're from Lancashire, and others almost have no accent at all.

8. Community

Group shot of Formby Community Football Club (FCFC) on a pitch in the sunshine
Formby Community Football Club (FCFC).

The sense of community is huge. There are plenty of people happy to help you out if you're ever in need.

One such group is Formby Community Football Club (FCFC) - who organised deliveries of food and medicine, made phone calls to the isolated and even cut grass throughout the lockdown.

FCFC was set up in 2019 and has 28 teams offering football to players from age three up to 84.

The club’s vision is that football can be a vehicle for social cohesion and improved health, tackling issues from anti-social behaviour to loneliness.

7. So many beautiful surroundings

Between Formby's beach, pinewoods and green spaces, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to going for a walk.

And it's hardly surprising this means plenty of visitors come here when the weather is nice, leading to...

6. People will park outside your house

Daytrippers come to Formby when the sun shines because we have a beach. This is a solid fact.

Yes, people park outside my house on such days, but it isn't (usually) a problem. It's something to be expected with living near the beach.

5. It's a politically diverse place

Many parts of Merseyside have historically been very pro-Labour, but Formby isn't one of these.

Come election time you're likely to see a mix of support for parties cross the board, which certainly makes things interesting.

4. It's not small

Having only ever really ventured from Freshfield station to the beach prior to a few years ago, I always thought Formby was tiny for some reason.

It's not.

It's some 2.5 miles across at its widest point. Something I found out the hard way after I offered to drop some books off at various addresses - on foot, in really awful shoes.

3. Asparagus

This vegetable helped to shape the Formby you see today, according to the National Trust.

It's grown among the sand dunes, and it's absolutely delicious.

There's also an Asparagus Trail where asparagus has been grown in the past and a few plants can still be seen growing.

2. So many big cars

Land Rovers, Range Rovers, and others I don't know the name of.

All of them look like they could swallow my tiny four-seater whole, and they're absolutely everywhere.

1. Horses

These are also commonplace, and even they could probably swallow my tiny car to be honest.