It's feeling a lot more like summer out there, so why not make the most of the warmer days by taking advantage of the stunning beaches within around an hour's drive of Chester ?

When the sun's shining, there are few better ways to spend the day than heading to the seaside to some of the pretty beaches that are right on our doorstep.

Here are just a few suggestions:

Crosby beach

Crosby beach has become something of a tourist attraction ever since Antony Gormley’s Another Place installation was introduced, and the iron men statues standing proudly facing out to sea along the beach definitely make for some interesting photo opportunities.

As well as the iron men, Crosby beach is known for its beauty. It received Keep Britain Tidy’s Quality Coast Award in 2011, and the coastal path provides a relaxing walk, with views of Wirral and North Wales on a clear day.

Formby beach

Formby beach is one of our more distant selections, but it is definitely worth the extra few miles. Its golden sands seem to go on for miles, and the high dunes create a dramatic landscape perfect for pictures.

Enjoy a picturesque walk to the beach via the National Trust-protected Formby Pinewoods, which are home to red squirrels.

West Kirby beach

West Kirby may not be the biggest beach in the world, at just 300m long, but it is no less popular than its neighbouring beaches.

On a sunny day it’s jam-packed with sun-worshippers, windsurfers and people making the two mile trek to Hilbre Island.

Next to the beach is Marine Lake; a 52 acre, five foot deep saltwater lake, enclosed by a walkway and home to the Wirral Sailing School.

Talacre beach

Talacre in North Wales is set beside miles of world famous golden sand dunes, a stunning beach, RSPB nature reserve and an iconic lighthouse that was recently seen on TV in Dulux's national ad campaign.

The 870 mile Wales Coastal Path also runs through Talacre and was voted by Lonely Planet as the world's greatest region in a best-in-travel 2012 guide.

Penmaenmawr beach

A long sandy beach with a recently refurbished promenade, Penmaenmawr looks out on to the Menai Straits and its many facilities make it a popular family resort.

There are landscaped terraces, flower borders and grassed areas, a cafeteria, amusement arcades and beach chalets for hire and children have access to an outdoor paddling pool and play area. You can also try your hand at windsurfing, sailing and canoeing.