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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cleethorpes Pier, In the late 19th Century Cleethorpes in North East Lincolnshire was becoming a popular resort for those wanting to escape the large industrial towns of Yorkshire and Lancashire. The Cleethorpes Pier was officially opened on August Bank Holiday Monday 1873. The large difference between low and high tide meant the pier needed to be long, some 1,200 feet (370m) in length. The pier comprised a timber deck and pavilion (constructed in 1888), supported on iron piles. During the second world war a section was removed to stop its use in any German invasion attempt.
- 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*
- 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.
- 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.
- Worthing Pier is a traditional seaside pier that opened on 12 April 1862 and sits in the middle of the beach front at Worthing The pier today has the Pavilion Theatre and Cafe situated at the land end of the pier,whilst in the middle is the 1935 amusement arcade and the southern end pavilion has a cafe & venue.
- 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.
- 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.