Southport is a proper, traditional British seaside resort, born and bred. Although the area’s been inhabited for millennia, the town as it is now began its life in the late 18th century, when it was developed specifically as a holiday destination.
The pier, one of Southport’s signature pieces, was designed by James Brunlees and opened in 1860. It was the first in the country built as a ‘pleasure’ pier (having no industrial purpose). It’s non-industrial purpose is obvious when you walk down it. At just over a kilometre long, it’s is the second longest pier in the UK, yet when the tide is out, the end of the pier is still nowhere near the water.
Along the length of the pier are benches and shops selling ice-creams, hot dogs and the like, and at the end of the pier is a beautiful sculpture, whose design was inspired by the wind and water. The pier also houses a small train for those unable (or unwilling) to walk the kilometre-long pier.
Along the beachfront are myriad cafes, bars, parks, amusement arcades and chip shops, as well as a children’s adventure playground and a fairground. There’s more there that can be done in one day.
My photo story
We went for a family day out in Southport in late May. I had a friend visiting for the week, and it was due to be the warmest, sunniest day of the week. So, on the train we hopped.
The combination of the bright sunshine, the architecture of the pier and the vast expanse of flat sand surrounding it made for great opportunities to get some high-contrast abstract shots. And, as the town is a tourist attraction, there were crowds of people around, which made for some really great street-photography opportunities.
It really was a lovely day. We walked the pier, ate chips and lay out on the grass in the sunshine.