After my tragic train ride to the Lake district, I was a bit apprehensive towards taking the ride to Southport. But, by God’s Grace this ride was unlike the previous one and though very early in the morning it was a comfortable and pleasant ride. As usual the scenery changed from Manchester to its outskirts; the fields with horses and sheeps grazing around; the lush open greenery restricted by the likes of one lonely house at the end of the horizon. After about a nearly one hour journey, we reached Southport. As summer approached Manchester, at times the temperatures rose quite an extent with long rainless days; thus the prospect of visiting a beach was quite refreshing. Alas! The sun decided to be moody that very day and evaded the sky. It was cloudy, dark and windy but not bad enough to affect the high spirits of the people. There were still lots of amazing things to do in Southport without the Sun.
Here is my list of top 10 things to do in Southport (with or without Mr [Read Moody 😛 ] Sun )
- Visit Model Railway Village and Adjoining Parks
A short walk from the train station leads you to the model Railway village. It is quite an interesting experience visiting this exhibit. From miniature villages, trains, train station to people, churches and canals everything was beautifully recreated in this museum. There is a nominal fee of £4 per adult and £3.50 per child/concession to visit this museum. It reminded me of the Cartoon Thomas and his Friends . this would be an ideal place for children. You can also collect an activity sheet from the reception and have fun solving it with your child. The kind lady at the reception handed me one too, which i politely passed onto my parents and started playing with my own puzzle- my camera (Why I called it a puzzle? everyday I discover new features and wonders of this little machine ; it sure deserves to be called a beautiful puzzle).
Adjacent to the Railway Village is a children’s park. From bungee jumping, rope-way travelling and swings , care has been taken that your child does not get bored. Adult supervision is always given while the children are playing and the grounds are large enough to actually have a mini-picnic there itself.
2. Boating in the Lake
Southport Promenade provides family boating facilities in the Lake. A minimum fees is to be paid for hiring a boat for a certain amount of time from the ticket booth nearby. This boating experience offers great views and an experience of a lifetime.
Perhaps not something usually heard of near a sea beach, but Southport does have a golfing centre as well. In fact, to not offend the children, there is also a children’s Golf arena beside the one for the adults.
4. Eating out in the open air pubs/inns/restaurants with Live music
One of the best ways to chill and enjoy the cold wind of the beach is to visit an open air pub/restaurant and relax with a glass of beer/ soft drinks / food ; listening to live music and dancing (well not literally) to its rhythmic beats. And Yes Southport Restaurants serve Fish ‘n’ Chips which is a must try. Since I do not eat fish, I am giving you the opinions of my parents who have tasted it and testified it as good food.
5. Walking the length of the Southport Pier
Walking along the entire length of the pier would take around an hour. It is actually very interesting how the scene changes on both sides. From restaurants, Funland, Golf Course, Main Road, Beach and then finally endless water on both side- everything can be seen in this one hour walk. Interestingly, you even get to see the Blackpool Tower from the Southport Pier, which is a sight that cannot be missed !
6. Taking a tram ride along the Pier
Another brilliant way to explore the pier within ten minutes is to take the tram which runs the entire length of the pier. For just a £2 fee per person you can ride the entire pier within minutes. We decided to walk till the end of the pier and take the tram ride back to the starting point.
7. Trying your luck at the Games
Let me tell you, my luck is not very good with these games. However I would not discourage you to try yours. Apart from Funland, there are several Game booths scattered all over Southport where you can play games and if luck is on your side, WIN SOMETHING!!!!
8. Visit the Beach
Instead of heading towards the pier, if you take the road below it , you would reach the beach. I had not gone to the beach but witnessed most of the interesting happenings from the pier itself. Kids, building sand castles running about in the water to fill in their tubs , dogs running about here and there playing catch the ball, children holding their parents hands and enjoying the touch of the cold water on their feet, some brave hearts even joined in for a little swim – these sights and more filled the beach scene on both sides of the pier. Just beside the beach is the Southport Eye and the Amusement Park. Though we skipped it but if at the beach then it is one of the recommended activities to do.
9. Shopping at the Wayfarers Victorian Arcade
This glass roofed Victorian shopping mall hosts a lot of labels – fashion, lifestyle, food and the likes. My personal favourites were an antique shop selling interesting curios of Southport and England and a beautiful stone jewellery shop.
10. Taking a stroll around the town
After visiting the pier and having lunch, we still had sometime before our train arrived and decided to take a stroll along the city. We did not deviate too much from the Southport Station so as to be able to return in time for our train and yet managed to catch some exciting sights. The Fountain built in the middle of a park in the Memory of the people’ s princess Lady Diana, had become a local shower for the kids to take a bath of sorts. The various beautiful buildings and sculptures including several obelisk reflected the history of this port city. Interestingly, the Wishing Well was on a sabbatical from granting wishes. And when in Southport, you cannot miss its more-than-30-flavours of ice creams available in every shop.
Southport is very much a city whose essence can be enjoyed whole heartedly within a day. I recommend it as a day trip for anyone who would love to go to a beach during summers and otherwise. Let me know in a comment below which activity/s did you like the best amongst the ones listed here or if I have missed anything that you particulary enjoyed in Southport. I hope you enjoy the sights of Southport till I come back with another one of my adventures. I would leave you with a photograph that I shot from the pier. . . . . . .