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has anyone stayed in southport what is it like have dd aged 4 and my brother has 2 ds ages 2 and 6 and one dd aged 8
I grew up in Southport - there's plenty to do with little ones, e.g. model village, boating lake, pleasure beach fairground thing (if that's your idea of fun ), big sandy beach to run about on. Shops are nice (although it's relative... if you live in a big city you'll think the shops are rubbish!), and there's the Botanic Gardens and Hesketh Park both on the edge of town which are lovely and my children really enjoy both.
BUT... the seasidey touristy bit can be a bit tacky, and there's a lot of stag & hen parties at night now. Obviously I couldn't vouch for places to stay given I lived there so didn't stay in hotels! And you need to bear in mind that the tide doesn't come up to the beach and it's really dangerous to try and walk out to meet the tide, so that rules out any beach paddling for your children.
Depending on what you want, you could have a really nice break staying in Southport, having a day or so pottering around there, a day in Liverpool where there's loads to do (and it's just a really short train ride from Southport), and maybe drive along the coast a bit and go here... but it's really a matter of personal preference.
thanks for that have been researching it it look lovely i think its a defiant now thanks again
Ooh but the shops in Southport are nice. And they've got that posh tea shoppe thingy haven't they?
We're staying at Pontins there in a couple of weeks and looking forward to a break.
I like Southport - sort of Blackpool's gentle and embarrassed-to-be-close relative when you get away from the seafront
lovely beaches in formby which is only a 15 minute drive from southport. also ainsdale beach nice too , nature reserve in formby ( formby point)
lots to do in southport as has been said and there are lots of reasonably priced B&Bs, but also some much nicer hotels , such as the Vincent and teh Ramada, depending on your budget
have a look at the southport tourism site for information and offers etc...
MHB is it Coronation Park with the boating lake? Does Hesketh Park have a play area?
lulumama is the nature reserve in Formy the National Trust one linked to about?
Yes the nature reserve is the Formy the National Trust one. Nice little woodland walks with paths which link out to the beach. If you have membership the car park is free entrance, otherwise a small fee. FWIW the only public toilets are near the car park ticket booth. You can park in the wooded area, or down further down closer to the beach on the beach car park. The local train station makes it walkable - about 10-15 mins walk to the entrance.
hesketh park does have a play area and crazy golf and a cafe which does good chips!
botanic gardens also has play area and golf and a cafe. they did have boating lake, but i am not 100 % sure it is still open.
there is a new play place opened at ocean plaza.. can;t remember what it's called, it's above chiquitos. and there is another play place in birkdale village called giggle's gym
loads of good shops and tea rooms. lots of family friendly restaurants
ainsdale beach , which is right near pontins is a lovely sandy beach with dunes.
Hesketh Park has a lovely play area (well I think it's lovely, my children are 6, 4 &3, not sure how it would be for much older ones).
Not sure about Coronation Park and a boating lake, but the Botanic Gardens definitely has one which I think is still open although might be worth phoning to check.
<shakes sand off from walk on sand dunes>
Can you paddle in the sea at Ainsdale Beach?
yes, very shallow at either high or low tide. But when it is hide tide lots of dry sand still to sit and play on. Plus the dunes. Low tide is great for cricket, kites, running around etc. local web pic On sunny weekends icecream van and always lifeguards on quads going around. Like most beaches designated areas for horse riding and dog walkers.
Also read about the Ainsdale Discovery Centre
bcc website which is close to the beach. Past Pointins on your left, then keep on the road which turns right down a small road. At the end the centre, it is only very small and by 5pm on Sunday was closed. But there is a tel number on that link so you cold call to check opening times and facitlites before arriving. I have only ever walked past it myself.
Past Pointins on your left, then keep on the road which turns LEFT. Doh!
Thanks for all your help we had a fab (and cheap) holiday thanks to you guys. Just thought I'd post about what we did in case it can be of any help to other people lookin at going there.
We had a picnic in a park every day - we did Victoria park where DS loved watching people race there radio control cars on the special track and boats on the model boating lake, Botanic Gardens - there were no boats or train though as suspected but DS loved the aviary and fernery, Kings Gardens where we went on the land train and Hesketh Park (spotted after we went that there was also an aviary here but we didn't see it as we only went to the play area).
We also went on the tram on the pier up to the old fashioned arcade which was really good fun and then to the contrasting modern day arcade. DS loved the little fair ride by the entrance and the carousel too.
The paddle steamer was good but couldn't really hear much of the guide and the motor boats were great fun. As it is so big and spacious I let DS steer himself and just guided him every now and then.
DS is transport mad so we also went on the open top bus. However I wouldn't go on it for a tour especially as there was no one speaking about the things as we went by them which is what I usually experience on tour buses. If you weren't that bothered about actually going on the bus you could get exactly the same thing from just following the bus around (and that's free )
The miniature railway going up to pleasureland was also a favourite. We didn't actually go into pleasureland although we would have done if we'd been there longer, ditto for splash world. We looked on ocean plaza at the play place but it didn't appear to be open yet.
I can recommend both Westminster and Nostalgia tea rooms (and Nostalgia's lumpy bumpy pie ) and also the Gelateria by Debenhams. We got a massive tub of 10 scoops of ice cream for only £4.20 which worked out much cheaper than having a tub with 1 scoop in each.
I was very surprised at how reasonable parking was. We used the little £4 car park which I think was by Leo's and Morrison's which I think was £3 for the day? You can also park just outside the centre for a £1 and get the bus into town.
The cheapest place to get petrol when we went was the Shell garage in Ainsdale Village, followed by Asda and Sainsbury's.
When we went to the Botanic Gardens we also visited Churchtown a lovely quaint village with thatched cottages and some nice little shops. The chocolate shop is a must and there's also a good bra shop (expensive but there was a sale when i went and the women in there were very lovely even though they measured me wrong lol) and a wooden toy shop which had lots of lovely dolls houses and accessories.
Formby point was lovely. You can either use the NT car park which is £4 and you can park right by the entrance to the walks and then move further down by the beach or use the lifeboat road car park which is £3.50 but further away from the beach. Unfortunately there aren't many squirrels now and it's unlikely you will see any or very few because of a disease called Squirrel Pox. There were a few independant shops in Formby which were nice and good if you wanted to get something a bit different than what you can get at home.
We were going to visit Crosby and Farmer Ted's too but we never got around to it so that's on the list for the next visit.
Also MHB said the tide didn't come up to meet the beach. Most days we were there it didn't but it did on one day. Also lots of people walked out to meet it - it was level with the end of the pier which took about 5-10 mins to walk the length of so not that far. However I did notice the red flags were always up so I was wondering why it is dangerous to do so?
really glad you had a great time!
walking out to meet the tide is not to be recommended, people do get stranded and stuck out there!
We have been out to meet the low tide. But as lulu says it can be dangerous. You need to be cautious when they tide turns as it comes in quickly and you can be left on a sandbank, with lots of water up to waist deep around you. So just keep an eye on the tide and keep watching the sandbanks and little streams around you to see if they are filling up.
Glad you had a nice time. Sad about the red squirrels at Formby.
I can recommend this lovely two bed cottage in Southport sleeps 2-4, on cottages4you
Ooh just seen this! Glad you had a nice time nappyaddict I have lived in Southport 2 years now and still get the 'holiday' feeling sometimes - went to Formby Beach yesterday morning for a nice breezy walk.
I think we are heading back there this summer. Any more ideas for things to do that we didn't do last time?
Bumping this because we are heading back on the 20th June
List of things to do this time:
Hesketh Park - apparently it has a train there as well now and think we can get the 44 bus from Lord Street. Does anyone know what other buses go by there from Southport or Ainsdale?
Ainsdale Beach & Discovery Centre
Formby Beach and look around the shops - What's the train station in Formby called, I seem to remember it had a different name?
Crosby - I think this is where Coronation Park (the one with the model boating lake) and the Alexandra Park opposite is? What else is there in Crosby and does anyone know what buses we have to get from Ainsdale? I seem to remember it being the 47 or 48?
Day trip into Liverpool
We were going to go to Farmer Ted's but it looks quite complicated to get to on public transport.
What is The Sands pub, The Arion Hotel, The Railway Hotel, Dolce Vita restaurant and Toby Carvery like in Ainsdale for food (quality an prices)? Are there any other pubs/restaurants around there or good fish and chip shops?
Also are there any other supermarkets apart from Co-Op?
Cant help much but are you thinking of Freshfield train station. ?
At Hesketh Park? They said it had a children's train there on one of the websites I was reading.