Find the nearest Piers
When we think of a traditional seaside town most of us automatically think of the Victorian pier. Our Piers category brings all Coast Radar’s listings related to the traditional seaside pier together, where most now offer family entertainment and places to eat.
Finding the best things to see and do on a day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the piers links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search bar to plan your next UK and Ireland activity.
- Work on the Eastbourne pier began on 16 April 1866 and it was opened by Lord Edward Cavendish on 13 June 1870, although it was not actually completed until two years later. On New Years Day 1877 the landward half was swept away in a storm. It was rebuilt at a higher level, creating a drop towards the end of the pier. The pier is effectively built on stilts that rest in cups on the sea-bed allowing the whole structure to move during rough weather. It is roughly 300 metres (1000 ft) long. During World War II the decking was removed and machine guns were installed in the theatre providing a useful point from where to repel any attempted enemy landings. The pier features a camera obscura which existed in Victorian times but was restored in 2003. A number of traditional pier theatres were built over the years but after the last one was destroyed by fire in 1970 it was replaced by a nightclub and bar which remain to this day. On the landward half of the pier stands a fish and chip kiosk, an amusement arcade and a fast food outlet. Further out as well as the club there is a cafe, a restaurant, shops and fishing platform. The tower at the end of the pier (often used as a viewing point during the annual air show) contains one of the earliest camera obscuras ever made. In May 2009 the Listed building status of the Pier was upgraded from Grade II to Grade II*
- The Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare in north Somerset has an indoor pleasure park on the pier. Having been twice destroyed by fire, most recently in 2008, the pier underwent a major refurbishment programme and reopened to the public in 2010. Visitors today can enjoy free admission and there’s something for everyone to take part in whether it’s the arcade, one of the rides, go-karts, dodgems and much much more. Choose from a wealth of different food and drink outlets on-site. The pier is open all year round.
- The third Deal Pier, construction on it began in 1954 and it was opened by the Duke of Edinburgh on 19 November 1957. The previous pier was destroyed in January 1940 when it was struck by a ship. The pier is very popular for fishing with a lower deck on the end beneath the restaurant. Charges for fishing do apply, check at the kiosk. The pier has benches along the whole length with only a little protection at intervals along. You will also find some toilets at the end within the restaurant.
- The sea recedes over a mile from the beach at low tide leaving mud flats. Large boats were unable to stop at Southend near to the beach and no boats at all were able to stop at low tide. This meant that many potential visitors would travel past Southend and go to Margate, or other resorts where docking facilities were better. The solution was Southend Pier that extends 1.34 miles (2.16 km) into the Thames Estuary, it is the longest pleasure pier in the world. The pier railway runs the length of Southend Pier, providing public passenger transport from the shore to the pier head. It operates every day the pier is open, providing a quarter or half hourly service.
- Weymouth Pier is approached by a rather long pathway that runs around the edge of the ferry terminal. The pier itself is split into two, a commercial ferry terminal and public areas. Entertainment includes an amusement arcade situated in the rebuilt theatre. The pier is a popular location for sea fishing.
- Walton pier was originally built to a length of 530 feet in the 1870s but due to shallow water was extended in 1898 to a length of 2600 feet and is the second longest pier in Great Britain. Facilities on the pier include a large undercover amusement arcade at the shoreward end which has ten-pin bowling centre. There are fairground rides and a rail-less ‘train’ that takes passengers to the pier-head where there is fishing.
- Mumbles Pier is a Victorian pier first built in 1898. At 835ft long, it is an iconic landmark for south Wales, located near the village of Mumbles in the south-eastern corner of Swansea Bay. The pier is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment as it had fallen into disrepair. It is expected to reopen towards the end of 2013 and the restored pier will also include a new RNLI lifeboat station.
- Britannia pier is one of the two piers at Great Yarmouth. Positioned towards the northern end of the resort in the 1850s. The original wooden structure, designed by A W Morant, was a simple structure 700ft (212m) in length and approached through ornate wrought iron gates hung between two rather bland oblong buildings. The Britannia Pier was damaged by the ‘James & Jessie’ Schooner and a storm in 1868. these events resulted in a shorter pier. At the end of 1900 the original wooden pier was demolished. A new 810ft (245m) wood and steel pier was opened for public use in 1901. Over the years the pier has had many fires. The grand pavilion was to become the first victim, destroyed in a blaze only seven years after opening. A second pavilion was built, opening a year later in 1910, but this was again destroyed in a blaze in 1914. Within three months a third pavilion was built. The current day Pier offers all of the amusements that you would expect in a popular seaside town, including amusement arcades, restaurant, bars, funfair and theatre.
- Brighton Palace Pier features in films like Sweeney Todd, Dr Who and Carry on at your convenience and is as much fun in real life as it is in the films! It was built in 1891 and opened in 1899 and was one of three in the area. It had a concert hall which housed great shows during WWII but in 1973 a storm sent a barge into the pier and the theatre was lost. Today this modern entertainment centre houses fairground rides, thrill and children’s rides and a huge amusement arcade. In 2003 a large fire caused damage but luckily most of it was unscathed. The pier is now listed as a Grade II structure and brings Summer fun and entertainment to the hundreds of thousands of holiday makers who visit it every year! The pier is known for its rides and most visit at night when the whole structure is lit up and fun is in the air. The Booster stands 130 ft and rotates you 360 degrees accelerating to over 3.6G’s in 2.8 seconds! The Twist and the Galaxia rides spin at speeds that make your eyes ache. In the Summer you can cool down withan ice cream and a log flume ride with oceanic wave landings! What is great about the pier is that it has retained it is old worlde charm even though it has been thoroughly modernised with video games, shops, restaurants, bars and even a presence on social media in Facebook and Twitter to keep you abreast of all the news and events. Brighton Pier (1700ft/520m long) was opened in grand ceremony on May 20th 1899. Nowadays the Pier has amusements, theme park rides, restaurants and bars.
- Wellington Pier in Great Yarmouth on the Norfolk coast is an entertainment complex with an amusement arcade, bowling alley and casino hall. The 700ft wooden pier was first opened in 1853. Today it offers a range of attractions for all the family. There is a gift shop, café and bar on site. More details: www.wellington-pier.co.uk