Southport is a large seaside town in
the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, England. During the 2001 census,
Southport was recorded as having a population of 90,336, making it the eleventh
most populous settlement in North West England.
Southport lies on the Irish
Sea coast of North West England and is fringed to the north by the Ribble
estuary. The town is situated 16.7 miles (26.9 km) to the north of the
city of Liverpool and 14.8 miles (23.8 km) southwest of the city of Preston.
Historically a part of Lancashire,
the town in its present form was founded in 1792 when William Sutton, an
innkeeper from Churchtown, built a bathing house at what now is the south end of Lord Street, the
town's main thoroughfare. At that time, the area, known as South Hawes, was
sparsely populated and dominated by sand dunes. At the turn of the 19th
century, the area became popular with tourists due to the easy access from the
nearby Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and the town quickly grew. The rapid growth
of Southport largely coincided with the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian
era. Town attractions include Southport Pier with its Southport Pier Tramway,
the second longest seaside pleasure pier in the British Isles and Lord Street,
an elegant tree-lined shopping street, once home of Napoleon III of France.
Extensive sand dunes stretch
for several miles between Birkdale and Woodvale to the south of the town. The Ainsdale sand dunes have been designated
as a national nature reserve and a RAMSAR site. Local fauna include the Natterjack Toad and the Sand lizard. The town contains examples of Victorian architecture
and town planning, on Lord Street and elsewhere. A particular feature of the
town is the extensive tree planting. This was one of the conditions required by
the Hesketh family when they made land available for development in the 19th
century. Hesketh Park at the northern end of the town is named after the
Hesketh family, having been built on land donated by Rev. Charles Hesketh.
Southport today is still one
of the most popular seaside resorts in the UK. It hosts various events,
including an annual air show on and over the beach, and the largest independent
flower show in the UK, in Victoria Park. The town is at the centre of England's
Golf Coast and has hosted the Open Championship at the Royal
Birkdale Golf Club.
Located a short journey away by road or train is the City of Liverpool, famous for culture, Premier League football teams (Liverpool and Everton), The Beatles and its nightlife.
Liverpool is a large, vibrant city with great cultural heritage and was
awarded the title of European Capital of Culture 2008, with the famous
Pier Head Waterfront being a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. Liverpool is home to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and is
also renowned for being the birthplace of a wide range of popular
musicians including The Beatles, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Frankie goes to Hollywood, Echo & the Bunnymen and many more. The city has two cathedrals and possesses the largest national museum collection outside of London.
Liverpool has a wealth of visitor and cultural attractions to visit and it is well worth taking time out from your visit to the 2017 European Outdoor Tug of War Championships and World Junior and Under 23 Championships to visit Liverpool.