What to Do in Southport
Southport is a coastal town in northwest England that is known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture, sandy beaches, and attractive parks and gardens. There are many things to do in Southport, for adults and kids alike. Read on to discover all the wonderful sights Southport has to offer.
Things to Do in Southport
As a mum with two kids, Southport is one of my favourite towns to visit in the local area to keep the whole family busy. Some of the best things to do include:
- Southport Pier
- Marine Lake
- Southport Model Railway Village
- Ainsdale beach
- Southport Art Gallery
- Botanic Gardens
- Royal Birkdale Golf Club
- Southport Theatre
- Hesketh Park
- Shopping on Lord Street
- Southport Market
Let’s take a look at each in turn
Southport Pier is a Grade II listed structure that is over a mile long and offers breathtaking views of the Irish Sea. The pier is a popular tourist attraction with both adults and kids and is a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon.
The pier was originally built in 1860 and has undergone several renovations over the years. It is now home to a range of amenities, including a café, a gift shop, and an arcade. A train runs the length of the pier which is great if you wish to visit with those who cannot walk long distances.
One of the best things about visiting Southport Pier is the opportunity to take in the stunning views of the sea and the surrounding coastline. The pier is a great place to go for a walk and take in the fresh sea air, and it is especially beautiful in spring and summer evenings when the sun is setting.
In addition to the views, there are also plenty of other things to do and see on the pier. The arcade is a popular spot for families, with a range of games and attractions to keep kids entertained. The gift shop is also worth a visit, with a range of souvenirs and gifts available for purchase.
If you’re feeling hungry, the café on the pier serves a range of hot and cold drinks, as well as sandwiches, cakes, and other snacks. The café has outdoor seating, so you can enjoy your refreshments while taking in the views of the sea. You may recognise this cafe from the TV series Time starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham.
Southport Pier is a great place to visit for a relaxing afternoon. Whether you want to take a leisurely walk, play some games, or just sit and take in the views, there is something for everyone on the pier.
The Marine Lake in Southport is a man-made lake that is located in the heart of the town and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The lake covers an area of around 20 acres and is home to a variety of waterbirds, including swans, ducks, and geese.
One of the best things about visiting the Marine Lake is the opportunity to take a leisurely walk around the perimeter of the lake. The lake is surrounded by a well-maintained footpath, which is perfect for a relaxing stroll or a more strenuous hike. The path is also suitable for cycling, so if you have a bike, you can take in the sights and sounds of the lake while getting some exercise.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, the lake is also a great place to go fishing. The lake is stocked with a variety of fish, including roach, rudd, and carp, and there are several designated fishing spots around the lake.
In addition to walking and fishing, the lake is also a popular spot for boating. The lake is home to a number of small boats, including rowing boats, pedalo boats (including really cute swan pedalos!), and kayaks, which can be rented from the lake’s boathouse. Whether you want to explore the lake at your own pace or join a guided boat tour, there are plenty of options available for visitors.
If you’re visiting the lake with young children, there is also the tree top playground to explore as well as a paddling pool located near the lake, which are sure to keep them entertained. The lake is also home to a number of picnic areas, so you can bring a packed lunch and enjoy a leisurely outdoor meal while taking in the beautiful surroundings.
Southport Model Railway Village
The Southport Model Railway Village is a miniature village that is home to a collection of working model trains and over 50 miniature buildings. The village covers an area of around 2,000 square feet and is a popular attraction for both adults and children.
One of the main highlights of visiting the Southport Model Railway Village is the opportunity to see the model trains in action. The village has a number of working model trains that travel along a network of tracks, passing through tunnels, over bridges, and through the miniature buildings. You can watch the trains as they pass by, and you can even operate some of the trains yourself if you visit on a special operating day.
In addition to the model trains, the village also has a range of miniature buildings, including houses, shops, churches, and even a castle. The buildings are all accurately scaled and are beautifully detailed, with many of them being built by hand. You can explore the village and see how the miniature buildings are constructed, and you can even go inside some of the buildings to see the intricate details up close.
The Southport Model Railway Village is also home to a range of other attractions, including a small playground and a picnic area. The village is a great place to visit with children, as there is plenty to keep them entertained, and it is a fun and educational way for them to learn about model railways.
Ainsdale Beach is a beautiful sandy beach located a few miles south of the centre of Southport. The beach is a popular destination throughout the summer and winter months thanks to its beautiful dunes and the stunning views it offers.
Ainsdale beach is well-maintained and has plenty of space for sunbathing, playing games, and building sandcastles. The beach is also a great spot for swimming, with lifeguards on duty during the summer months to ensure the safety of visitors. You can even park right on the beach so you’re never too far away from your belongings.
If you’re feeling more active, there are also a range of water sports available on the beach. You can hire a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard and explore the coast, or you can try your hand at windsurfing or kitesurfing. The beach is also a popular spot for fishing, with a range of fish species found in the waters, including cod, bass, and flounder.
Atkinson Art Gallery
The Atkinson Art Gallery is a popular attraction located in the centre of Southport on Lord Street. The gallery features a collection of artworks from local, national, and international artists, and it is a great place to visit for anyone who is interested in art.
The gallery has a mix of permanent and temporary exhibitions, so there is always something new and interesting to see. The permanent collection includes a range of paintings, sculptures, and other artworks, while the temporary exhibitions showcase the work of contemporary artists.
In addition to the artworks themselves, the gallery also has a range of educational resources and activities for visitors to enjoy. The gallery has a number of interactive displays that allow visitors to learn about different art movements and techniques, and it also hosts a range of workshops and events throughout the year. These include art classes, lectures, and other educational activities that are suitable for people of all ages.
The Atkinson is a great place to visit for anyone who is interested in art, whether you’re an experienced art enthusiast or just looking for a new and interesting attraction to visit.
The Botanic Gardens is a beautiful park located in the heart of the town. The gardens cover an area of around 20 acres and feature a range of plant species, as well as a lake, a small waterfall, and a number of attractive walking trails.
When you visit the Botanic Gardens, you have the opportunity to see a range of different plant species which makes it a great educational place to take the kids. The gardens have a range of plants and flowers, including rare and exotic species, and there are also several greenhouses where you can see tropical and subtropical plants. The gardens also have a number of interesting features, including a Japanese garden, a rock garden, and a herb garden.
In addition to the plants, the Botanic Gardens are also home to a number of other attractions, including a small lake and a waterfall. The lake is a popular spot for fishing, and there are also a number of small boats that can be rented and taken out on the water. The waterfall is a beautiful and peaceful spot, and it is a great place to sit and relax while taking in the sights and sounds of the gardens.
The Botanic Gardens are also home to a number of walking trails, which are perfect for a leisurely stroll or a more strenuous hike. The trails take you through the different areas of the gardens, and they offer a chance to see the plants and flowers up close. There are also several benches located throughout the gardens, so you can take a break and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Royal Birkdale Golf Club
The Royal Birkdale Golf Club is a prestigious golf club located just outside of Southport in the suburb of Birkdale. The club has two 18-hole courses, the Championship Course and the South Course, and it is a popular destination for golfers of all skill levels.
One of the main highlights of visiting the Royal Birkdale Golf Club is the opportunity to play on two of the finest golf courses in the country. The Championship Course is the club’s premier course and has hosted a number of major championships, including the Open Championship on eight occasions. The course is known for its challenging layout and fast greens, and it is a great test for experienced golfers. The South Course is a more relaxed and forgiving course, and it is a great option for golfers of all abilities.
In addition to the golf courses, the Royal Birkdale Golf Club also has a range of amenities for visitors to enjoy. The club has a pro shop where you can purchase golfing equipment and clothing, as well as a clubhouse where you can relax and socialize after your round. The clubhouse has a restaurant that serves a range of meals and drinks, and there is also a bar area where you can unwind with a drink.
The Royal Birkdale Golf Club is a great place to visit for golfers of all abilities. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, you’re sure to find something to enjoy at this prestigious club. You’re sure to have a great time on the course, and you’ll be able to experience the history and tradition of one of the finest golf clubs in the country.
Southport Theatre is a popular venue for live performances located in the heart of Southport. The theatre has a capacity of around 1,000 people and is a great place to see a range of shows, including plays, musicals, concerts, and stand-up comedy.
The theatre has a varied program of shows, so there is always something new and interesting to see. Whether you’re a fan of drama, comedy, music, or dance, you’re sure to find something that interests you at the Southport Theatre.
The theatre has a bar area where you can purchase drinks and snacks before the show or during the interval, and there is also a foyer area where you can relax and socialise. The theatre also has a number of comfortable seats, so you can sit back and enjoy the show in style.
Hesketh Park is a beautiful park that covers an area of around 60 acres and is home to a range of amenities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.
When you visit Hesketh Park you have the opportunity to take a leisurely walk or a more strenuous hike through the park’s beautiful grounds. The park has a number of well-maintained walking trails that take you through the different areas of the park, and there are also several benches located throughout the park, so you can take a break and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
Hesketh Park also has a children’s play area, which is a great spot for kids to burn off some energy, and there are also several sports facilities, including a football pitch, a cricket pitch, and a bowling green. The park also has a number of picnic areas, so you can bring a packed lunch and enjoy a leisurely outdoor meal while taking in the beautiful surroundings.
Hesketh Park is also home to a number of historic and cultural attractions, including a Victorian bandstand and a War Memorial. The bandstand is a popular spot for live music performances, and it is a great place to sit and relax while taking in the sights and sounds of the park. You will also find an observatory that is home to a telescope used for stargazing and observing celestial objects. The observatory is run by volunteers and is open to the public on certain days and nights of the week, providing an opportunity for visitors to learn about astronomy and observe the night sky.
Shopping on Lord Street
Lord Street is the main shopping street in the town of Southport. The street is home to a range of shops and businesses, including department stores, fashion boutiques, gift shops, and cafes. Lord Street is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and it is a great place to spend a leisurely afternoon shopping.
One of the main highlights of shopping on Lord Street is the variety of stores and shops available. The street has a mix of independent and chain stores, so you can find a wide range of products and items to suit your needs. The department stores on Lord Street are a great place to go for fashion, home goods, and other essentials, while the independent boutiques and gift shops offer a more unique shopping experience.
In addition to the shops, Lord Street is also home to a number of cafes and restaurants, so you can take a break from shopping and refuel with a coffee or a meal. The cafes on Lord Street serve a range of hot and cold drinks, as well as sandwiches, cakes, and other snacks, so you can find something to suit your tastes.
Southport Market has recently reopened and is now a hotspot within the town to find great food and enjoy some gorgeous drinks.
Located on Market Street, Southport Market is a hive of activity with a number of eateries to pick including pizza, Greek gyros, pasta, sushi and cake. Open between 10am and 10pm, you can stop by for lunch or even have a few evening drinks nestled in the buzz of an amazing atmosphere!
What’s on in Southport throughout the year?
As well as the above fun things to do in Southport, the town has a jam packed calendar of annual events that are well worth a visit. These events include:
- Southport Flower Show
- Southport Air Show
- Southport Food and Drink Festival
- Southport Comedy Festival
Let’s take a look at each in turn:
Southport Flower Show
The Southport Flower Show is a popular event held annually during the month of August and features a range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.
One of the main highlights of visiting the Southport Flower Show is the opportunity to see a range of beautiful flowers and plants. The show has a number of garden displays, including show gardens, floral displays, and horticultural exhibits, which are all designed and presented by expert gardeners and florists. The show also has a number of stalls selling a wide range of plants, flowers, and gardening supplies, so you can purchase something to take home with you.
In addition to the flowers and plants, the Southport Flower Show also has a range of other attractions including food stalls and cafes, so you can refuel with a snack or a drink while you explore the show. There are also several entertainment stages at the show, where you can watch live performances and demonstrations. The show also has a number of children’s activities, including face painting, crafts, and gardening workshops, so it is a great place to visit with kids.
Southport Air Show
The Southport Air Show is a popular event held annually in July featuring a range of aircraft displays and aerial performances for visitors to enjoy.
The show has a number of static displays of aircraft, including military planes, civilian planes, and vintage aircraft, which are all on display for visitors to see and learn about. The show also has a number of aerial displays, which are performed by professional pilots and display teams. The displays include aerobatic routines, formation flying, and other exciting aerial manoeuvres, and they are a great opportunity to see some of the world’s most advanced aircraft in action.
Southport Food and Drink Festival
The Southport Food and Drink Festival is a popular event held in June and features a range of food and drink-related attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.
You can sample a range of delicious foods and drinks from local and regional producers. The festival has a number of stalls selling a wide variety of foods, including artisan cheeses, meats, and other specialty items, as well as drinks such as beer, wine, and cider. The festival also has a number of demonstrations and cooking classes, where you can learn about different culinary techniques and recipes, and there are also several food-themed entertainment stages, where you can watch live performances and demonstrations.
Southport Comedy Festival
The Southport Comedy Festival is an annual event held at the end of September. The festival features a range of comedy acts and performances, including stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, and comedy plays. The festival is held in a number of venues throughout the town, and it is a great opportunity to see some top-quality comedy acts and performances.
The Southport Comedy Festival attracts a range of comedians, both established and up-and-coming, and it is a great place to see some of the best talent in the comedy industry. The festival also has a number of workshops and panels, where you can learn about different aspects of comedy and the comedy industry.
I hope this post has given you lots of inspiration for things to do in Southport. Do leave a comment if there’s something you love doing in Southport that we have missed!