By ADAM WAREING

With today set to be the hottest day of the year and school holidays in full swing, it’s time to escape Blackburn and head for the beach.

We’ve found the best seaside spots within an hour’s drive to make sure you make the most of the great weather while it lasts.

Blackpool

What better place to start than perhaps the country’s most iconic beach resort, and it’s only a 40-minute drive away.

You could take a ride on the famous donkeys along the seven-mile stretch of sand or visit Blackpool Tower, the Sealife Centre or Pleasure Beach.

Lifeguards: Yes

Dog friendly: No

Lytham St Annes

This beach is just five minutes further down the coast from Blackpool, but it’s a much more relaxing option to say the least.

It has a pier and the donkeys you’d find on Blackpool front, but behind the row of sand dunes are wonderful gardens and a boating lake for a calm stroll.

Lifeguards: No

Dog friendly: No (May 1 – September 30)

Fleetwood

The old fishing town of Fleetwood is an hour away from Blackburn and it’s worth visiting their newly-renovated seafront.

You can sit back, de-stress and enjoy the great views of Morecambe from the golden stretch of sand.

Lifeguards: Yes

Dog friendly: In parts

Morecambe

Morecambe is worth much more than a view from afar, with a number of beaches just 50 minutes away from Blackburn to cater for all the family.

South Morecambe has the most sand to play in whereas the main beach has its own interactive play area to stop the kids getting bored.

Lifeguards: Yes

Dog friendly: No

Formby

Another hour-long drive could take you to Merseyside where Formby beach is hidden behind the National Trust’s pinewoods, home to rare red squirrels.

A thick layer of sand dunes and forestry gives this beach a much more secluded feel than many others in the area.

Lifeguards: Yes

Dog friendly: Yes

Crosby

Merseyside’s other gem is a beach like no other, with it doubling as a work of art as well as being a Quality Coast Award-winning seafront.

Its home to Antony Gormley’s Another Place artwork, made of 100 life-sized, iron-cast sculptures modelled on the artist’s very own naked body.

Lifeguards:

No

Dog friendly: Yes