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The sprawling Merseyside resort of Southport has grown from its original small village centre since the first bathing house was built in 1792...
Today the seafront is lined with a wide sandy beach, and away from the town’s central area there are many sand dunes, including the protected National Trust coastline at Formby with its red squirrels.
The town itself is arranged around the main central thoroughfare of Lord Street. Built in Victorian times this has many shopping arcades, restaurants and cafes. There are gardens along Lord Street known as the Town Gardens. To the west of the street is the entertainment area leading down to the seafront esplanade and pier. There is plenty of choice of traditional seaside fayre, from fish and chips to candy floss, as well as amusements. On the beach you’ll find a variety of watersports on offer including sandboarding.
The Atkinson is a cultural centre housed in the library and art gallery bestowed on the town by William Atkinson in 1875. Head here for local exhibitions and arts, including films and gallery showings.
The quirky British Lawnmower Museum houses more than 200 lawnmowers and tells the story of this essentially British machine and our devotion to the perfect lawn. It’s not every day you to get to see a garden mower donated by the likes of HRH Prince Charles, celebrity gardener Alan Titchmarsh or media personality Vanessa Feltz. Well in Southport you can!
Liverpool (LPL) is the nearest airport to the town. It’s around a 45-minute drive to the south on the other side of the city. You can pick up your hire car here or at a number of downtown locations in Southport. To find the best price on car rental in Southport, use TravelSupermarket’s search tool to the left.
When you get a great deal on car rental, Southport and the wider Merseyside area become easily accessible. So where should you explore?
Heading out of Southport you’ll soon reach Formby. The National Trust looks after a coastal stretch here of dunes and woodland. It is home to a rare and protected colony of red squirrels native to the UK and under threat by the more dominant grey squirrel from North America. You can go for walks and admire the sheer size of the dunes, blown up by the winds off the North Sea.
A short drive south will bring you to Crosby beach and the Antony Gormley statues.
Liverpool is the next place of interest. This maritime city is packed with shopping, eating and entertainment and, of course, there are many museums to explore such as the World Museum, the International Slavery Museum, the Walker Art Gallery and Tate Liverpool. Walk around the remodelled Albert Dock and visit the exhibits in the Maritime Museum, as well as gaze up at the architecture of the three Graces which line the waterfront. With two fantastic cathedrals to admire, and two cathedrals of football in Anfield and Everton, there is much to occupy you.
Across the Mersey you can visit the Wirrall with Port Sunlight and its gallery, museum and garden village or head along the M53 to Chester with its historic centre.
Golf lovers will want to pay a visit to Royal Birkdale, bird watchers will enjoy Marton Mere Wetland Centre and racegoers can attend the Grand National at nearby Aintree.
And with Manchester, Preston and Blackpool all within easy reach, you’ll easily make the most of your hire car.