Heading north out of the city takes you past some of Liverpool’s most economically challenged neighbourhoods – communities still struggling with the downsizing of the docks, and the disbursement following decades of neglect.
It’s not until you get to leafy Crosby, at the mouth of the Mersey, that things start to look up for North Liverpool: this likeable seaside suburb is home to Anthony Gormley’s beach installation, Another Place – 100 cast iron figures looking forlornly out to sea, some semi-submerged as the tides turn. It’s a wonderfully evocative piece. Crosby’s spruced up promenade, lakes and nature trails make for a pleasant afternoon’s stroll.
Formby’s National Trust-protected sand dunes and coastal pine forests are the last foothold for the region’s dwindling red squirrel population, and its village centre is a huddle of colourful local traders and bustling cafes.
Southport’s main thoroughfare, Lord Street, retains its Victorian elegance, with its tree-lined central gardens and cast-iron awnings.The town’s pier is England’s second longest, recalling the days when Southport was a popular outing for Lancashire factory workers. It’s still a pleasant place to take the sea air, and its proximity to the Golf Coast (the courses of Birkdale, Lytham St Annes and Southport and Ainsdale all within easy reach) and its yearly flower show gives the town a well-healed air.
Let us guide you around North Liverpool’s best and brightest areas.