southport guide
Photo by Ronald Saunders from flickr

Southport

Creative Tourist

Southport is a large seaside town in the county of Merseyside, which also takes in Formby, West Kirby and Liverpool. Formerly known for genteel ladies of a certain age and crust-less afternoon teas, Southport is subtly and gradually changing from crumbling grandeur and kitsch amusements to an attractive town with a focus on the arts. Take The Atkinson: this determinedly innovative, Grade II-listed arts centre offers a theatre, galleries, museum, deli and an artisan bakery.

There’s also the Waterfront Arts project and excellent architecture, including the wonderful, cathedral-like fernery at the Botanic Gardens and the Belle Epoque colonnades of Lord Street. Legend has it that the graceful boulevards of central Paris were modelled on Southport, after Napoleon spent two years in exile here. Southport does, of course, boast “Britain’s longest overland pier”, a listed structure with its own tramline to carry visitors over a mile between Southport promenade and the pier head.

There’s also Southport Market, a number of good places to eat (if you know where to look) and the Southport Model Railway Village – a pretty unique experience, and yours for only £4.50 entry. Finally, let’s not forget the British Lawnmower Museum, a short walk from the town and everything a specialist museum should be: earnest, interesting and incredibly eccentric.

Discover our top picks

Liverpool Biennial 2021 – The Stomach and the Port
Exhibitions 20 March–6 June 2021, FREE

Liverpool Biennial 2021 – The Stomach and the Port

The 11th edition of the UK’s oldest and largest festival of contemporary visual art is about to open, with work by over 50 artists.

Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever at The Lowry
Families 28–29 April 2021, from £18.15

Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever

It’s Peppa’s Best Day Ever! Join Peppa Pig and all her friends and family on as they embark on fun-filled day long adventure. With all the familiar faces, and plenty of chuckles, chortles and trademark snorts this show will have your little ones captivated.

Cinema Until 31 March 2021, from £9.4

Babyteeth – Streaming on Netflix

Babyteeth, the debut feature from Australian director Shannon Murphy, balances heartbreak and humour, with a little grit, as it depicts one teenager’s struggle with cancer.

Swan Song at Unity Theatre
Theatre 4–6 February 2021, from £10.00

Swan Song at Unity Theatre – CANCELLED

CANCELLED: The event has been cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Aliza Nisenbaum at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 27 June 2021, FREE

Aliza Nisenbaum at Tate Liverpool

International portrait artist Aliza Nisenbaum will present a new painting at Tate Liverpool this winter, depicting members of the city’s key workers.

Don McCullin at Tate Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 9 May 2021, from £11

Don McCullin at Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool presents a major retrospective of work by Don McCullin, widely considered to be one of the greatest photojournalists of our time.

Sean Edwards: Undo Things Done at Bluecoat in Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 21 February 2021, FREE

Sean Edwards: Undo Things Done at Bluecoat in Liverpool

Undo Things Done, a poetic inquiry into place, politics and class intertwined with personal histories, takes as its starting point Sean Edwards’ experience of growing up on a council estate in Cardiff in the 1980s.

Tony Phillips: 12 Decades at Bluecoat in Liverpool
Exhibitions 20 March–6 June 2021, FREE

Tony Phillips: 12 Decades at Bluecoat in Liverpool

Tony Phillips’ 12 Decades continues a survey of modern history that has occupied him over the last 40 years. The series will go on show at Bluecoat in 2021.

German Revolution Expressionist Prints at Lady Lever Art Gallery
Exhibitions Until 28 February 2021, FREE

German Revolution Expressionist Prints at Lady Lever Art Gallery

Schiele, Munch, Picasso – Lady Lever Art Gallery’s latest exhibition features some of the most influential European artists of the early 20th century.

L– A City Through Its People at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool
Exhibitions Until 7 March 2021, FREE

L– A City Through Its People at Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool

Open Eye Gallery pays tribute to the proud city it calls home with three exhibitions about the people who live there.

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