Friday, 28 April 2017


We have said before that there are some great places to see in the UK, and while Anne H jetted off to Paris a little while ago, hubby and I, together with daughter and her boyfriend, and our two close friends Paul and Gillian (Gill has previously featured on our blog as she owns the fabulous Yorkshire School of Sewing) headed off to Southport on the north-west coast.

We have visited several times, since Paul takes part in an annual reunion each year, and it is a lot of fun – dressing up and with a very formal dinner, followed by a good old knees-up and a 1960s disco! 

We stay at the Royal Clifton Hotel – a huge Victorian hotel on the sea front, which always does a special deal for the reunion.  However, the room décor and comfort very much depends on whether you are in the original part of the hotel or the more modern extension. Our daughter said her room was so hot she had to open all the windows while hubby and I froze, and I had to pile coats on the bed in an effort to get warm (I failed).

However, the food, despite the mass catering, was excellent and we did have a wonderful weekend.  There is actually loads to do in Southport, so there was never a dull moment.
We took a stroll along the Grade 11, 1000 metre historic pier, which is so long that there is a little train to take you to the terminus.  However, we chose to walk – it took about 15/20 minutes to the end, where there is a café and we enjoyed a welcome hot drink, since this was the middle of winter! First opened in 1860, the pier is the second longest after Southend.

There are a few amusement arcades, which don’t interest me, but there was a beautiful old carousel, built at the turn of the 20th century and restored in 1989.

The beach goes on for miles and miles (actually 22 miles of it) and runs into Lytham St Anne’s and Blackpool to the north and Liverpool to the south, but the actual sand goes out to sea for two miles at low tide, so quite a walk.  However, there is the picturesqueMarine Lake next to the pier where some hardy souls were sailing.

Southport also has a lovely shopping centre which reminds me of Harrogate with its Victorian arcades and wrought iron covered boulevards.  However, there are also quite a few concrete 1960s buildings which are not sympathetic to the architecture. Our favourite shop is in the royal arcade, and sells a mixture of vintage, antiques, and curiosities – everything from a sideboard to a diamond ring, with pots and pans, books and records thrown in!

One thing we didn’t get to do was to see the Antony Gormley “AnotherPlace” statues on Crosby beach, just a few miles away. 100 life-size cast iron statues are scattered along 3kms of coastline, each weighing 650 kilos and made from casts of Gormley’s own body. However, visitors are reminded not to walk out to the furthest statues as the coast-line is very muddy at this point.

Bizarrely there is also a vintage lawn-mower museum in Southport, though I don’t see us visiting that any time soon! And for the golfers, the Royal Birkdale will host the British Open this year.

For those planning to visit during the summer months, there are plenty of activities for the kids at Splashworld, and flowers shows, food and drink fairs, air displays and even a musical fireworks championship at different times of the year!
Looking at the promenade, you can actually envisage what a thriving seaside resort this must have been in the early 1900s, before foreign travel became the norm for UK holidaymakers.  The huge hotels, the historic pier and the covered canopies give Southport a unique vintage vibe.

And at the other end of the scale  - the vibrant city of Liverpool is just a short drive or ride away with its fabulous shopping, museums and the wonderful Albert Dock – and of course, the world-famous Cavern Club – all of which we visited a couple of years ago.

However, I thought you might like to hear what my daughter said about the weekend she spent with us wrinklies…. “I like old people’s discos – the music is so good!”  Result!


  1. Thank you, your post is very helpful in planning our trip to England this fall. As a 60's newcomer I welcome the fashion advice, next time we're on walk-abouts in my home town of Montreal I'll take some pictures and share. Although I doubt I will do as well as the two of you!

  2. That is so kind of you. We live in the north of England and most visitors tend to visit either London or Scotland - we are mid-way in between! If you do manage to get to the north, York is well worth a visit, as are the North Yorkshire Moors and Dales National Parks - and the Lake District. We have showcased some of these in recent months on the blog, so please look back over the past year to see some of the places we have visited. Montreal would be a wonderful place to visit - Anne H holidayed in Vancouver (still quite a way from you!) last year and had a wonderful time.


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