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.
- The Pier at Clacton-on-Sea was opened on 27 July 1871. The pier was originaly a wooden structure 160 yards (150 m) in length and 4 yards (3.7 m) wide. Initially built as a landing stage for goods and passengers, and from when it opened steamships operated by the Woolwich Steam Packet Company docked at the pier. By the 1890s Clacton was becoming a popular holiday destination due to its easy reach from London for day trippers and in 1893 the pier was lengthened to 1180 ft (360m), and entertainment facilities including a pavilion and a waiting room were added. Today the pier has a variety of indoor and outdoor activities that helps make Clacton one of Essex’s popular family seaside resorts.
- Skegness Pier has had a chequered history from its humble start as a promenade for the inhabitants of a small but popular Victorian holiday town it has now grown into the focal attraction of holiday visitors. It now enjoys hundreds of thousands of visitors every year as they walk along the pier and take in the spectacular views of Skegness beach and enjoy the many traditional seaside attractions like the carousel, trampolines, cafes, restaurants, ten pin bowling, laser quest, ice creams, Adventure World, video games, and glow bowling! The pier is right at the centre of the Skegness seafront and has ample parking nearby. For those interested in a little history, Skegness Pier construction was started in 1879 and 2 years later opened in June 1881. The pier was originally a T-shape with a concert hall at the pier head along with departing and arriving steamboat trips. A storm in January 1978 caused major damage and due to the cost, part of the pier was demolished. The pier is now 118 m (387 ft) long with no evidence of the original pier head.
- The original Swanage Pier was built between 1859 and 1860 for use primarily by the local stone quarrying industry, and included a tramway which ran the length of the pier and some way along the seafront. The old tracks can be seen to this day, inset into the seafront walkways.
- Hythe Pier stretches 700 yards (640 m) from the centre of Hythe to the deep water channel of Southampton Water. It is approximately 16 feet (4.9 m) wide, and carries a pedestrian walkway and cycleway on its northern side, and the track of the Hythe Pier Railway on its southern side. Designed by J Wright, construction of Hythe Pier commenced in 1878 and completed in 1881. Hythe Pier, the Hythe Pier Railway and the Hythe Ferry together provide a transport link between Southampton and Hythe on the opposite side of Southampton Water. This link is heavily used by commuters and shoppers from Hythe, as well as forming an important link in the Solent Way and E9 European coastal paths. Each train on the Pier Railway connects at the pier head with an arrival and departure of the Hythe Ferry. The ferry service carries both passengers and bicycles, and takes about 10 minutes for the crossing.
- Cromer Pier is at the heart of the edwardian seaside resort of Cromer with its narrow roads and cliffs. Cropmer has had wooden piers since the 1400s and in the mid 1800s the pier was still just a short structure. In 1901 the pier was finally replaced with a more elegant structure.
- Birnbeck Pier is unusual in that it links the mainland with Birnbeck Island, a 1.2 hectares (12,000 m2) rocky island. The pier has been closed to the public since 1994. The grade II* listed pier was designed by Eugenius Birch and opened in 1867. The gothic toll house and pierhead buildings were designed by local architect Hans Price. The main pier is 1,150 feet (351 m) long and 20 feet (6 m) wide. As it has abutments at either end, one on the mainland and one on Birnbeck Island. The construction is more like a bridge than other traditional pleasure piers. A landing jetty extended on the west side of the island to allow steamers to bring day trippers to Weston-super-Mare from ports on both the English and Welsh side of the Bristol Channel. The pier opened on 6 June 1867, Cecil Hugh Pigot-Smyth again being the host of the ceremony, the town taking a holiday and holding a banquet in the Town Hall. The toll to walk on the pier was 1d, but this was quickly raised to 2d, the maximum allowed by Act of Parliament; 120,000 people paid the toll in the first three months. A new wooden northern jetty was added in 1872 which allowed the removal of the original western landing place. Another jetty was added on the south west corner in 1898 which reached deep water even at low tide, thus allowing steamers to use the pier at all states of the tide. This was damaged in a gale in 1903, rebuilt in 1909 but closed in 1916. It was finally removed in 1923. The northern jetty had also been damaged in the 1903 storm but was replaced by the present steel structure in 1905. Article taken from wikipedia.
- 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 Brighton West Pier, opened in 1866. Now derelict and neglected for many years, the future hangs in the balance, its only chance of survival depending upon English Heritage’s alternative and less costly proposal to restore the pier back to its original 1860s appearance, without the theatre and concert hall. Due to the weather the appearance of the pier is constantly changing and may not reflect the pictures in the gallery.
- 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.
- Clevedon Pier is a seaside pier on the English side of the Severn Estuary. The landing stage at the end of the pier is occasionally used by ships and is a popular spot for angling. There is a cafe at the pierhead, and a souvenir shop at the toll house. Clevedon Pier was opened on 29 March 1869, partially constructed from Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s second-hand railway lines, 225 metres (738 ft) long and 14.5 metres (48 ft) tall. The tidal range at this part of the estuary can reach 14 metres (46 ft) and the landing stage at the end of the pier has several levels to allow boats to dock at all stages of the tide. The paddle steamer Waverley first visited the pier to take on passengers in 1886. In 1893 the pier head was replaced in cast iron with a new timber landing stage, and the pier head pavilion was completed in 1894. The Toll House on the pier and the adjacent Royal Pier Hotel were both designed by local architect Hans Price. In 1899, 20 feet (6 m) of the decking was washed away by a storm. In 1910, part of the landing stage was damaged in another storm and replaced by a concrete landing stage in 1913. On 17 October 1970, spans 7 and 8 of the pier collapsed during stress testing, which had been introduced in the 1950s to obtain insurance cover, where long polythene tanks resting on the pier were filled with water, to create a pressure of 50 p.s.i. (2.4 kPa). In 1998 the Pier restoration was finished and it was re-opened to the public.