Our roundup of the best activities, days out and family events in Southport includes theme parks, water parks, model railways, nature reserves, gorgeous windswept beaches and more!
Activities in Southport
With roller coasters, log flumes, go-karts, waltzers and a range of indoor activities, Southport Pleasureland is the leading theme park in the region. Located on the other side of Princes Park from our Southport Central Hotel, the family-friendly theme park has a large indoor amusement area with plenty of arcade games, food and drink outlets, gift shop and a large central park with plenty of grassy areas perfect for picnics. The park is free-to-enter and dog-friendly (as long as they’re kept on a lead), with rides paid for using a Fun Card system allowing you to pick and choose which rides to go on.
Southport Model Railway Village
Dunes Splash World
Opposite Southport Pleasureland on the other side of the Esplanade is Dunes Splash World, a large leisure centre and water park encompassing several pools, flumes, bubble spa, sports hall and gym. The all-weather pool is kept at 84 degrees Fahrenheit while a new toddler pool and play area has recently been installed including tipping buckets, rides and water fountains. Opening times vary throughout the year, so check ahead before you visit.
Southport Model Railway Village
The famous Southport Model Railway Village is an intricate and detailed miniature railway and village spread over 1.5 acres. Open from the start of April until the end of September, the village is home to over 200 1/18th scale buildings representing a typical Lancashire community, with a 500m mini train track snaking its way between the rolling hills.
Silcock’s Funland and Pier
Are you really by the seaside unless you have a go on the amusements, eat fish and chips and ride on a carousel? Thankfully, you can tick off those and more at the Silcock’s Funland and Pier near Marine Parade. A Southport staple for over 100 years, the centre is open year-round with dozens of rides, games and attractions for all ages, plus a wide range of cafés, snack bars, a casino and Pier Fish and Chips, the largest fryer in town. And it’s just next to the Southport Pier, a 150-year old Grade II listed structure which is the second-longest pier in the UK at over 1km long.
Around 5 miles east of Southport, Martin Mere is a wetland nature reserve home to over 100 migratory birds a short drive from our Southport Ormskirk hotel. A shallow lake in a vast marsh, the nature reserve also has an otter enclosure, eco garden and plenty of hides where you can get amazingly close to the birds. With over 2,000 animals living in the nature reserve, there’s something to see year round while they also hold regular events including photography workshops, family and toddler sessions and even the North West Puddle Jumping Championship!
Head a few miles south down the coast from Southport and you’ll come to Formby Beach, a stunning natural landscape including vast sand dunes, sweeping pinewoods and a glorious Instagram-worthy beach. The National Trust park is packed with amazing wildlife, bike and walking trails and some truly breathtaking views across the Irish Sea. There are plenty of picnic benches dotted along the park with public toilets at the main Victoria Road car park, while Squirrel Coffee is on hand from Wednesday to Sunday for cakes and hot drinks.
Held every September, the Southport Airshow has been one of the leading air displays in the UK since it took off 1991. With regular displays by the Red Arrows and some amazing aerobatic and RAF shows, the three-day airshow attracts thousands of fans each year who come and watch the action over Southport Beach. And thanks to the huge sandbanks, spectators get some amazing views right under the displays, with plenty of trade stands, simulators and kids activities held during the weekend. Unlike some other airshows, this is a ticketed-only event, so check ahead to book yours in advance.