MWM and I decided to have a day out as the weather forecast was so good, so we went to Southport on the train from our local railway station. I took my 'stick' with me as I intended doing a lot of walking about and still feel I need my 'comfort blanket' when I'm outside.
We got the 9.30 a.m. train and arrived there at 11.15 a.m., and the first thing we did was to walk down to the promenade. Now the promenade in Southport is not as you may imagine near the sea! Oh no, there's the promenade then you have to walk about another half a mile further to get to the sea wall.
Click on photos to enlarge
photographs copyright 2007
Here's MWM standing on the Promenade with the Marine Way Bridge behind him. You have to go over the bridge to get to the sea wall.
You drive over the bridge and come to the car park and there it is the Sea Wall. The sea is a lot further out though, even when the tide's in. It's a standing joke that you can go to Southport and never see the sea!
The traditional Merry go Round Rides are not often seen these days but Southport still retains this quaint seaside tradition with this carousel at the top end of Southport's pier. The "Golden Gallopers" as it is known was built in the early 1900's and was purchased by Silcock's in 1989. It took 3 years to restore to working order and has 3 cockerels and 33 horses, all named after members of the Silccock family or their friends.
As we crossed the road and walked back into the town to have a sit down and a drink, we came across this statue of Queen Victoria and in the distance you can see an obelisk. It's not really leaning, it's just the way I took the photograph I think!
We stopped just past Queen Victoria and sat outside a pub with a drink - cheers!
Then set off again back to Lord Street (the main shopping street) which also boasts an obelisk. I think they like them don't you? You'll be pleased to know the only shopping I did was window shopping! By this time we had walked round in a circle and it was 1.15 p.m. so time for lunch.
We found this restaurant/pub in one of the side streets and had traditional Fish, Chips and Mushy Peas - an absolute must when you go to the seaside!
Fortified, I said I just had to see the sea so there was only one thing for it - a walk to the end of the pier!
Now Southport Pier is 3,650ft (1,112m) long. There is a little tram like thingy that runs the length of the Pier but I was determined to walk!
This is the start of the pier, you can just make out the sea in the distance. You can sponser a plank on the pier and have a little plaque with your name or message on it. We found this one for Ken Dodd O.B.E. Ken is a famous British Comedian.
Here I am striding out about halfway on my march. I'm the one on the right with the stick!
Look how big the beach is! The sea wall is just behind the line of cars on the left, where else can you park on the beach?
I made it! Here I am at the end of the pier having a well earned rest. Not sure who the chappie in the background is though! I sat down twice on my journey to the end of the pier but I wasn't in any pain, just tired. After all it was about 3/4 of a mile!
This is the the view I was looking at as I sat at the end of the pier - the long walk back! Shall I wait for the little tram I pondered? No, I'll walk and this time I won't stop until I reach the end.
So, off we go again.
I didn't stop once and as we got closer to the end we noticed a paddle steamer on the lake, which is just at the entrance to the pier. Only in Southport would you need a lake so close to the sea.
And just to the left of the paddle steamer a beer garden, right at the end of the pier. I was on a mission now! I need to rest and where better than in the beer garden with a lovely cool beer. I even managed to walk down the metal staircase you can see there.
drank rested there for about half an hour then it was time to set off for the train home. We had another 1/4 of a mile to walk back to the station but there was no rush, we had plenty of time.
We got to the station in plenty of time, even managing to look in a few shops on the way back, but we didn't buy anything.
The journey home was peaceful as we reflected on the lovely day we'd had and how far I had managed to walk.
We're now planning another day out, probably to York as soon as we get another good weather day. I'll keep you posted.