We all know Liverpool is great but why not head north of the city to Southport? This coastal town is the perfect place to relax and unwind away from the hustle and bustle of city life without having to travel too far. Check out our guide to some of the best reasons to escape to this classic seaside resort and discover there’s more than just sea and sand here.
1. Wander around Hesketh Park
One of the largest parks in Southport, Hesketh Park, has plenty to offer for both locals and visitors. The picturesque park is perfect to get lost in any time of year and you can still feel the sea air without getting sand in your shoes. There are multiple trails to explore, as well as a lake, ornate fountains, wildlife, a children’s play area and four different gardens, as well as a herbaceous walk, all within the park. Located just off the town’s main road, Lord Street, meaning you won’t be far from getting close to nature.
2. Hit up a rather gorgeous gin bar
Sit inside or outside with a G&T and some delicious food at Remedy, a bar with a beautiful beer garden including a converted Victorian pavilion building. A summer evening sat here is definitely something to look forward to! The bar has more than 80 gins to choose from so you’re spoilt for choice. The Southport bar on Lord Street also serves a range of whiskies as well as hot drinks for those cold, windy months by the sea, plus a selection of freshly baked cakes too.
3. Discover the shops in Wayfarers Shopping Arcade
Go back in time by walking down this Grade II listed arcade, which opened in 1898, and pop into some local shops here. From barbers to bridal wear, there are plenty of businesses for you to explore in this glass-domed arcade. This Southport shopping area is great if you’re looking to pick up a gift for someone (or yourself) as there are shops selling jewellery, accessories, candles and even some hearty home cooked pies. And if you just can’t get enough of arcades head south of Lord Street for the Royal Arcade where you’ll find numerous antiques.
4. Scream to go faster at Southport Pleasureland
Adults and children alike can have hours of fun visiting all the attractions at Southport Pleasureland. Who says you’re too old for the dodgems and the waltzers? Some people see yoga as a release but others may find screaming til your lungs get sore on a rollercoaster an even better release, after all we will have been indoors for rather a long time and that’s something to shout about or get off our chest.
5. Devour some drool-worthy fish and chips along the pier
The seaside only means one thing- fish and chips! Dine in or pick up a takeaway then head to Southport Pier for a sweet view as you tuck into the dish on a bench there. We can already taste the flaky fish wrapped in crunchy batter, the chunky, crispy chips, all drenched in salt, vinegar and rich, smooth gravy, or possibly curry sauce, depending on how we’re feeling that day. For a fish and chip meal in Southport that doesn’t disappoint, head to Fylde Fish and Chips, located in both Birkdale and Marshside. We’ve already got our eye on their salt and pepper squid and intrigued by their bang bang curry.
6. Sip on a coffee at this delightful café
All that walking around Southport might make your legs weary which calls for a sit down with a coffee. If you’re after a caffeine fix then head to the Scouse favourite café, 92 Degrees Coffee, with their Southport branch based in an old high-street bank from the 1930s. As you sip your brew you can marvel at the stunning features inside including elaborate plaster cornices and arches. And you can feel at home (not that it’s far away) by ordering their Hope Street blend. Plus, there’s no extra charge here if you happen to prefer oat milk as a dairy-free alternative.
7. Munch down on some delicious bakes
After a sweet fix? Southport vegan café, Mega Fauna, is serving up some sweet treats in the town that are definitely worth a taste. The Wesley Street café not only serves chocolate brownies in a range of flavours (hazelnut, peanut butter and Biscoff) it also serves vegan sandwiches and toasties.
8. Head to this beautiful lake
This mile long lake along the town’s Victorian Promenade offers plenty of fun on the water including speed boat and pedalo hire. You can even pedal across Southport Marine Lake in a rather unusual way with one of their aqua cycles! For a more relaxing time on the water there are lake ferry cruises too.
9. Relive the 1920’s with this Peaky Blinders-inspired bar
By order of the Peaky Blinders, you’ve got to visit this Southport bar. You’ll find this drinking hole up at the north end of Lord Street and you can sample from their 15 draught beers and vast wine selection. The 1920s theme not only features on its façade but indoors too with wallpaper and lighting of that era, as well as Victorian sculpted pillars. Plus you can even book a room here if you want to extend your stay.
10. Dip your toes in the sea at Southport Beach
If you’re feeling brave enough, dip your toes in the sea or even go for a swim. If going abroad isn’t on the cards for you this year then let’s make the most of the fantastic British beaches like this Southport one. The coastline stretches for 22 miles so there’s enough space to plonk yourself down on a towel and listen to the waves come in and out (with an optional ice cream in hand). If you keen on stretching your legs head south towards Ainsdale and Formby beaches.
11. Unwind at this relaxing spa
In need of some TLC? Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa can offer you just that. Located around 6 miles away from Southport, this hotel is the perfect place to pamper yourself as it has a spa pool, gym and steam room available to guests, as well as multiple treatments including massages and facials that’ll leave you glowing.
12. Settle in for a night at the theatre
Back in 2008, Liverpool was named European City of Culture and we can see why, especially when you visit The Atkinson in Southport. The building is home to music, theatre, art, literature and history since it features a stage, studio space, art gallery, Egyptology museum, local history museum known as Between Land and Sea, and library. There are plenty of shows planned for you to go and see, whether it’s a play, comedy show or concert, so you best get booking!
13. Tuck into a wide selection of food and drink at Southport Market
Opening the renovated market on King Street in July 2021, this food hall has a fairground theme featuring colourful light bulbs and carnival-esque stalls and signage, giving a nod to the seaside location. Southport Market boasts eleven stalls with a range of vendors, as well as a bar, where you can order tasty food to tuck into varying from wood-fired pizzas and Greek dishes like souvlaki and mezze platters to burgers, hot dogs and loaded fries as well as Canadian dishes such as poutine. For that classic carnival sweet treat there’s Cone Head serving unique ice cream cones with fun toppings as well as creations named after sunny Southport inspirations such as ‘Botanic Gardens’ and ‘Southport Sarnie’. Southport Market is also home to a pop-up market as well as Blackhurst Butchers, who were established in the Southport Market since 1963 and are the market’s longest residents, who supply fresh and local produce for you to take home.
14. Soak up the view of Southport from this hotel’s rooftop terrace
Bliss Hotel is located on Southport’s promenade and if you head up to their rooftop bar you can sit with a cocktail in hand and lounge on their terrace overlooking the city’s gorgeous lake and witness views that stretch for miles. Whether it be a Blissful Negroni, Elderflower Mojito or Mango Aperol Spritz, Bliss Hotel has got you covered. As well as a rooftop terrace the hotel offers yoga classes, brunches and golf packages, plus you can relax in one of their elegant rooms with views of the shimmering Irish sea.
15. Seriously, need we give you any more reasons?
Grab your coat and head up to Southport for a damn good time. Because we do like to be beside the seaside.