Fancy a bracing New Year’s walk with a non-calorific treat at the end of it? Earlier this week we braved the gnarly weather and headed to Southport for a stroll along Southport Pier and a play on some old fashioned penny slot machines.Advertisement
Southport Pier is Grade II listed and the second longest pier in the country, Southend Pier being the first. Battered by the wind we walked the full 1112 metres from beginning to end. The sun receded as we set off, shafts of light sucked away by some magnificent dark clouds, casting us into darkness by the time we reached the pier head. According to the Southport Pier website the pier was destined for demolition back in 1990 but was saved by a single vote against.
The pier’s remodernisation was completed in 2002 and included a tram track running from Southport to the pier head. In 2005 a new battery operated tram began servicing the track and runs every day except Christmas Day, so if you are feeling lazy – hop on!
The highlight of our stroll was discovering the National Museum of Penny Slot Machines housed in the modern pavillion at the pier head. The museum houses over 100 working exhibits, operated on pre-decimilisation pennies. This hidden gem recently appeared on the BBC’s Coast and it’s popularity has soared. It’s wonderful. Change your 50ps and £1 coins for old pennies and play the old style fruit machines, sweet grabbers and have a blast on an old style shoot ’em up Shoot dem Bones.
The Pavilion also houses a cafe and airport style floor to ceiling windows for superb views of the coastline and out to sea.
Southport Pier is open every day except Christmas Day. Check opening times. Entry is Free.