This page contains a small introduction to this great city. It merely gives people, from around the world, a sample of what they can experience when visiting here. If you live in this city or have connections to it, NDN wants to know about interesting news items and events that are happening.
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Southport is a famous seaside town in the North West of the U.K, being less than 20 miles from the city of Liverpool and just over 40 miles from the city of Manchester.
First founded in 1792, when an Innkeeper from nearby Churchtown opened the first Bathing House which made it popular for Victorian holiday makers. It was not only the bathes, but the beach, sand dunes, sea views and fresh sea breeze. Being on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, during the Industrial Revolution, it had great transport links too, which also helped its growth.
Southport has managed to keep some of its Victorian charm, but add a variety of entertainment and attractions for all the family, thus making it a popular holiday and short break destination.
The beach and this section of coastline stretches for over 22 miles and the panoramic views of the golden sands are a sight to be seen. Some of the ‘sunsets’ pictured from this region, are one of the best seen the whole country.
The beach is used for a variety of activities; kite flying, sun bathing, beach volleyball, football, swimming, running, picnics or just the traditional buildings of ‘sand castles’! In other words, everything that is needed for the perfect holiday or day out at the seaside. The beach is in the ‘Good Beach Guide’ and classed as having a good standard of water quality, cleanliness, lifeguards, multiple parking, toilets and many activities.
As a part of this coastal area is the Ainsdale Sand Dunes Natural Reserve (NNR), which is 508 hectares of sand dunes, beach and woodland. There are 10 kms of tranquil footpaths, which is home to a vast diversity of rare, special and beautiful species. These include the Natterjack Toad, Great Crested Newt and Sand Lizard, plus many more. There is also an array of rare wild flowers such as the Dune Helleborine, Seaside Centaury and Yellow Barsia, again, plus many more. It is a location that joins land and sea and so produces a unique environment to discover and enjoy.
The beach also has the famous Southport Pier, which has been Grade ll listed since 1975 and is the second largest in the country, measuring 1,112 meters long. It has a tram way, pavilion, museum, casino, amusement arcade with slot machines and children’s fun rides, plus a restaurant that serves ‘everything seaside related’!
‘Southport Pleasureland’ is a 32 acre pleasure park with the motto ‘Where memories are made’ and it is clear why they have chosen those words, especially when considering what children of all ages love to do when on holiday. A multitude of rides, side shows, cafes, magic shows, play areas, amusements, bars, picnic areas, seaside food, performances and an F1 go-kart track, are just some of the amazing things there.
Keeping on the entertainment theme, visitors find it difficult to see everything that is on offer in a week, never mind a weekend or just a day? The most popular venues are;
Splashworld is a water babies paradise; with fast flumes, fountains, toddler pool, tipping buckets, pools, bubble spa and cafe to watch the children enjoy themselves.
Another water based attraction is Southport Marine Lake, which has many activities to take part in including; pedalos, motor boats and rowing or just to relax and enjoy watching all the birds that frequent the area.
Kings Gardens is a 17 acre Victorian Town Centre Park with Grade ll listed shelters, visitors centre, Venetian Bridge, play area, mini golf, model railway, cafe and beautiful landscape.
Southport is home to the only outdoor Model Railway Village in the UK and is an amazing venue for all ages, having fabulous panoramic viewing areas of the railway layout. It consists of country scenes, villages and towns with one of the largest 45mm railway system in the UK winding its way through them. There is 1.5 acres of beautiful miniature landscape to meander through and a quaint Teashop and gardens to relax in.
For many people, Southport is all about shopping. It has a large variety, from designer clothes to tourist souvenirs. The main collection of shops are on Lord Street, which stretchers from one side of the town centre to the other, plus all the side roads that run off it. There are interesting alleys that lead to artisan areas, such as the Victorian Wayfarers Arcade, which is not only a Grade ll listed location, but houses a number of interesting shops and eateries. There are over 30 shops on two floors, that sell item of jewellery, gifts, fashion, homeware and beauty products, plus speciality shops too. Large sections of the pavement area outside the shops are covered by ornate canopies that gives the area a unique look, but also provides cover in case the weather is not kind to visitors.
It is not only the shops that attracts visitors to Southport, it is the food and drink too. There are hundreds of places to chose from and therefore there is something for everyone. If visitors want to immerse themselves in traditional seaside food, such as candy floss, hot dogs, rock and donuts they can, but also there are many establishments that provide international quality cuisine. One of the favourites for visitors is high-tea or cream scones (no matter how you pronounce it?) and there are several Tea Shops that provide this type of treat.
There is also a great choice of bars, restaurants, clubs, casinos and hotels, so the fun does not have to stop once the day light disappears, it can continue into the early hours of the morning.
Due to easy access from Liverpool, Manchester and Preston, the town holds large events and conferences. There are many large hotels with these facilities, plus the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre, so it makes it a great place for Weddings, Shows, Parties and Concerts.
Southport is 45 minutes away from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, which handles 5 million passengers per year, both for tourist and business reasons, with flights to and from over 60 destinations around the world. Its known as being the ‘Fastest, Easiest and Friendliest’ airport in the country and is recognised for its relaxed and hassle free environment, yet providing high class operational performance.
Some say that Southport is synonymous with one particular venue and that is Royal Birkdale Golf Club, which is one of the finest courses in Great Britain, if not the world. It is a links course and has held the Open Championship and Ryder Cup several times, plus women and junior championships too. It has an impressive Clubhouse, with great facilities, spectacular views and prides itself on giving everyone a warm welcome.
There are several other courses nearby too, such as; Southport & Ainsdale, Formby, Hillside, Hesketh, Park and West Lancs, plus many more in the nearby region. Tours can be arranged of several of them on one visit or just pick a favourite and play a round while there!
The town is famous for its beach, shopping and golf, but also for the Southport Flower Show, which is one of the UK’s biggest of its kind. It attracts thousands from around the world and is a site to behold, whether you have green fingers or not. The programme is packed with competitions, gala evening, celebrity guests, show gardens, roadshow, entertainment, food and drink. The town turns into a massive colourful and sweet smelling garden of every variety of flower that can be imagined and for gardens worldwide, it is one for the calendar.
Another popular event is the Southport Air Show, which is always a spectacular event and where many different aircrafts can be seen in the skies; Eurofighter Typhoon, Hawk, Chinook, Sea King, De Havilland, Westland Sioux, Vulcan, Spitfire and Hurricane etc. Plus The world famous Red Arrows Display Team and Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team.
This destination has a number of important organisations involved; Southport Tourism Department, Myriad Travel, Barron Financial Solutions, Liverpool John Lennon Airport and LEP (Visit Liverpool).
Why visit Southport for a day, weekend or holiday, the above says it all. There are not many places in the UK, in fact the world, that can be visited, where entertainment comes from the Land, Sea and Sky. From Victorian bathing house to high tech conference facilities, this town has come along way, so if visitors have to come a long way, it will be worth the trip! Visit Southport!