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

Corrina, Corrina at Liverpool Everyman
Theatre 17 May–4 June 2022, from £10.00

Corrina, Corrina at Liverpool Everyman

Explore a twisted world of power dynamics, superstitions and revenge, in this world premiere that sees the Everyman stage transformed into the bow of a ship.

Liverpool Theatre Festival
Theatre 31 August–11 September 2022,

Liverpool Theatre Festival at St Luke’s Bombed Out Church

Don’t miss this super theatre festival packed with live outdoor performances featuring musical theatre, drama, comedy, cabaret, opera, and children’s shows. Programme to be announced soon.

Poet Joy France
Literature 20 May 2022 7:00 pm, from £10

Spoken Word at the Mansion House

The Reader’s Spoken Word evenings at the Mansion House in south Liverpool’s Calderstones Park are back, with a packed line-up this May.

Cinema Until 13 June 2022, from £7.00

Gaspar Noé Presents at FACT

To mark the release of the new feature by French provocateur Gaspar Noé, Picturehouse at FACT have invited the director to programme a brand new film season.

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Liverpool’s Zap Graffiti teaches all the basic skills and techniques you need to make a street-style creation you’ll be proud of.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics
Exhibitions Until 29 August 2022, from £6.00

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics at Walker Art Gallery

A treat for the eyes and curious minds, the Walker Art Gallery’s spring exhibition of Tudor portraits is sure to delight audiences.

Fog In My Head, 2021 (film still), image courtesy Suki Chan
Exhibitions Until 12 June 2022, FREE

Suki Chan: CONSCIOUS at the Bluecoat, Liverpool

The Bluecoat will offer an in-depth look at Suki Chan’s project CONSCIOUS, which tackles questions of collective consciousness and memory through films, photography, sculpture and virtual reality.

Exhibitions Until 19 June 2022, FREE

Let The Song Hold Us at FACT Liverpool

‘Let The Song Hold Us’ at FACT Liverpool is a poetic examination of the role of music in understanding our heritage and personal mythologies, and a moving reflection of its power in bringing people together and shaping our sense of belonging.

Exhibitions Until 8 January 2023, FREE

Refractive Pool: Contemporary Painting in Liverpool at Walker Art Gallery

‘Refractive Pool: Contemporary Painting in Liverpool’ at Walker Art Gallery celebrates local talent with an exhibition of paintings by 21 Merseyside artists alongside a publication.

Hurvin Anderson, Double Grille, 2008 © Hurvin Anderson. All Rights Reserved, DACS/Artimage 2022
Exhibitions Until 4 September 2022, from £5.00

Radical Landscapes at Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool’s summer show ‘Radical Landscapes’ delights with a fresh, rebellious and thoroughly modern look at the subject of landscape via a display of over 150 works, spanning a century of landscape art that falls far from the traditional.

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