Sand, Sea and Super Shopping in Southport

by Zoe Dawes / Jun 04, 2010 /
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Marine Bridge SouthportSouthport - a classic beach resort in the North West of England. I admit to being totally biased as it's my home town. I take pride in calling myself a Sandgrounder - born and bred in this beautiful Victorian seaside resort. Many people know of Blackpool and Liverpool - well, Southport is between the two and well worth the visit.

The biggest attraction for many is the award-winning beach which stretches for miles, backed by sand-dunes which shelter a variety of plants and, well-hidden, the rare Natterjack Toad.  It's perfect for making sandcastles, picnics and relaxing in the sun. (Not so good for swimming - the sea goes out for miles and it's very shallow.)  You can park on the beach and use the Park & Ride to go into the town.

For the children there is Pleasureland Funfair, a miniature train, model village, the ornamental Marine Lake with boats to rent, Splash World, skate park and plenty more.

Lord Street SouthportIf retail therapy is your thing then this is the perfect destination. Lord Street, a tree-lined, colonnaded street with beautifully laid-out gardens. is known for its boutique-style shops and the beautiful Grade II listed Victorian Wayfarer’s Arcade with its fab designer shops, great coffee bar and the biggest second-hand bookshop for miles.

Southport Pier

 

A walk along the Pier is a must. It used to be the longest in England until it partially burnt down - it was reopened some years ago with the help of donations for commemorative name plaques. You can see them embedded in the wood all along the Pier. Here's my son next to his Grandad's – look out for ‘Barnacle Bill Dawes’!

There are loads of excellent restaurants, bars and clubs, with a wide range of accommodation, from exclusive hotels to quality B&Bs.  The Vincent Hotel, very modern, opened in 2008 in the middle of Lord Street with a great restaurant and bar - try the Russian Spring Punch cocktail; vodka, cassis and champagne! Another favourite place is the Ramada Plaza Hotel on the promenade; it has a balcony bar where, if you’re lucky and the weather is fine, you get a breathtaking sunset over the Irish Sea…

If golf is your passion then the Southport area will be heaven for you; there are at least ten courses & links including the World famous Royal Birkdale and a Municipal Course where anyone can play. Nearby there are two lovely Victorian Parks and along the coast a wide variety of beaches and nature reserves.

Another Place Anthony GormleyThe vibrant port city of Liverpool is a short train ride away and for a truly awe-inspiring art installatoin, visit Crosby Coastal Park where Anthony Gormley's internationally acclaimed 'Another Place', consisting of 100 cast iron figures, stretches far out to sea ...

For more information on Southport, Merseyside and surrounding areas www.visitsouthport.comwww.seftonsnaturalcoast.com

  • If you would like a personalised Quirky Traveller Tour in the North West, which includes Merseyside, Cumbria and the Lake District, do get in touch www.thequirkytraveller.com
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