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Southport is a traditional seaside town on the coast of northwest England. It is one of the most vibrant locations in the region during the summer months. Diverse nightlife, the fabled Lord Street shopping outlets, a casino, the New Pleasureland amusement park and Steamport Transport Museum draw holidaymakers of all ages every year. The attractions are not only limited to the town. With a car rental, visitors are able to reach regional beaches, Liverpool, Blackpool, the Yorkshire Dales and even the Lake District with ease.
Who to Book With
Three car rental firms, Alamo, Enterprise and Practical, together with local suppliers SDH and Wennington, are the main hire companies in town. Their supply depots are situated on the outer edges of town, and it is far simpler to book a vehicle online to save the trouble of calling each company. Daily rental rates are generally much cheaper when booking online.
Best time to go
Summer is Stockport’s peak season, and in July and August the streets and beaches are thronging with tourists. Demand for accommodation and car rentals in these months pushes prices up. May, June and early September are better for relaxing crowd-free visits and the weather is still comfortable.
Need to Know Essentials
Hire companies need to see the items listed below at car collection time:
- A UK driving license or international driving permit
- Secondary identification, such as a passport
- The voucher that shows the booking number
- The bank card utilised to confirm the reservation
Southport is not difficult to navigate for motorists, even though some streets are pedestrian-only and others are one-way. It is not a big town, and dual-carriageways allow drivers to get quickly on their way for sightseeing excursions. There are parking spaces and car parks in town with charges beginning at £0.60 for 30-minute stays. Maximum parking times are dictated by the colour-code of the particular zone.
In the precincts of the town everything is fairly close together and a car is an unnecessary luxury. As Southport is spread out along the coast, its few urban bus routes tend to run north and south. Taxis are the other option for jaunts around town, but for trips a little farther afield, car hire is more convenient.
Southport Railway Station, operated by Merseyrail, is found on Chapel Street, just two minutes’ walk from Lord Street. The station has services from Liverpool, Manchester, Wigan and Bolton. Coming from London Euston Station, passengers usually change in Wigan for arrival at Southport; the trip takes 3.5 hours on average.
Private-hire and Hackney carriages both operate in Southport. Hackney carriages are permitted to wait for passengers at designated taxi ranks, while private-hire companies can only take telephone reservations. Due to the fact that many people take the train to Southport, there are numerous taxi firms here, among which All White Taxis comes well-recommended.
There are two public bus operators in Southport. The one with the most routes is Arriva North West. This company offers a convenient Esplanade Market Street to Lord Street service as well as one to outer suburbs and nearby locations such as Bootle and Liverpool. Stagecoach operates buses to and from Preston.
Many people spending time at this English seaside town use the opportunity to visit nearby attractions. Southport excels itself in this respect and has loads of interesting draws within comfortable driving distance. The golden sands at Crosby Beach stretch for 22 miles, and there is also the chance of riding a heritage steam train, and Lancaster Castle and pristine villages such as Ambleside in the Lake District to visit.
Crosby Beach - Located approximately 15 miles south of Southport and features vast stretches of sands which are rarely crowded. Crosby is also home to Antony Gormley’s famed two-metre cast iron statues known as Another Place. Crosby is just north of Liverpool, meaning drivers can park here and continue into the city on public transport.
Lancaster Castle - A medieval complex with highlights that include a majestic keep, a 20-metre gatehouse and Adrian’s Tower. The castle’s Shire Hall contains more than 600 shields, representing 1,000 years of English monarchs and historic sheriffs.
The East Lancashire Railway - This is a heritage line that runs on over 12 miles of track from Rawtenstall. Both steam and diesel locomotives pull the heritage expresses that pass through charming villages and on to Bury. In Bury, there is a museum housing transport from yesteryear, including a 1930s ice-cream vendor’s bicycle and a Yelloway holiday coach.