There is nothing quite like enjoying a warm summer's day at the British seaside.

And with the recent 'heatwave' across the UK the water can look quite inviting for a quick dip of the toes.

But how many of us bother to check the quality of the water for a dip?

Now, we have, so you don't have to.

For several years in a row, Formby has remained the highest-rated beach near Greater Manchester, and that doesn't seem ready to change any time soon.

The popular beach, just over an hour's drive from Manchester, has retained it's 'excellent' rating from the Government's Environment Agency.

Also highly rated is the quieter beach near Blackpool, Bispham, which has recently been moved up from 'good' to 'excellent'.

It's also only an hour and a half drive from Manchester.

That said, the nearby St Annes North has now lost its 'good' rating for water bathing, and been rated as 'sufficient', with just one star out of three.

Ratings have discovered large levels of litter on the beach - and this includes sewage and tar washing up.

The levels, though, were not high enough to be objectionable.

Meanwhile, Formby received glowing appraisals for its cleanliness.

Southport beach

Also making the list for Good bathing water were: