infobox UK place
country= England
latitude= 53.60212
longitude= -3.04044
map_type= Merseyside
official_name= Ainsdale
population= 12,723 (2001 Census)
metropolitan_borough= Sefton
metropolitan_county= Merseyside
region= North West England
constituency_westminster= Southport
post_town= SOUTHPORT
postcode_area= PR
postcode_district= PR8
dial_code= 01704
os_grid_reference= SD312122

Ainsdale-on-Sea is a village in Sefton, Merseyside, England, situated three miles south of Southport, of which it is a suburb. At the 2001 Census it had a population of 12,723.citeweb|url=|title=2001 Census: Ainsdale|work=Office for National Statistics|accessdate=24 October|accessyear=2007]


Prior to 1600

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. [ citeweb|url=|title=Ainsdale On-line|accessdate=24 October|accessyear=2007] [citeweb|url=|title=Vikings In Lancashire|work=Formby Civic Society|date=4 March 2004|accessdate=24 October|accessyear=2007]


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. [Harrop, Sylvia (1985) "Old Birkdale and Ainsdale", Birkdale and Ainsdale Historical Research Society, 1st ed., pp1-13, ISBN 0-9510905-0X]

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. [Harrop, Sylvia (1985) "Old Birkdale and Ainsdale", Birkdale and Ainsdale Historical Research Society, 1st ed., pp120-127, ISBN 0-9510905-0X]

Ainsdale railway station opened in 1848.

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. Until 1 April 1974 the village lay in the traditional borders of the county of Lancashire.

Local Landmarks

*Ainsdale Mill, built around 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 station was constructed to serve the mill during its operating years.

*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 Great War.


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.

Frequent bus services are provided by Arriva, including:
• 44 Crossens - Formby via Ainsdale
• 47 Banks - Liverpool via Ainsdale
• 48/48A Southport - Liverpool via Ainsdale
• 49/49A Crossens - Woodvale via Ainsdale

Recreation and sports

Ainsdale has teams in football, cricket, bowls and hosts the Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club. The Football section of Ainsdale Sports and Social Club hosts teams from Under 7 up to Under 16 and Open Age Teams.

Ainsdale beach is designated by Sefton Council as a kite beach where kitesurfing and land-based kite traction activities are allowed. [cite web|authorlink=Sefton Council|title=Kitebeach Ainsdale-on-Sea Rules and Conditions of usage|url=,%20Ainsdale%202005.doc|accessdate=2008-03-23]

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 UK Ramsar site [cite web||title=Ramsar sites in the UK|url=|accessdate=23 March|accessyear=2008] [cite web|authorlink=Natural England|title=Natural England - Special Sites |url=|accessdate=2008-03-23]

Notable people

Actor Anthony Quayle was born in Ainsdale in 1913.


External links

* [ Ainsdale On-line]
* [ About Ainsdale by Fred Bates]
* [ Ainsdale-on-Sea Kitesurf Club - AOSKC]
* [ Ainsdale-on-Sea weather]

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