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.
- 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.
- Ryde Pier was a group of three separate piers: – a promenade pier (now a listed building) – an electric tramway pier (now gone) – and a steam railway pier (still used although not by steam trains). Pier History Designed by John Kent of Southampton, the construction started in 1813 and completed in 1814. The pier was constructed to solve the problem of embarkation and disembarkation from the ferries. Originally built of timber, to a length of 1,740ft (527m) and 12ft (3.6m) wide. As ferry size grew from small sailing boats then the pier had to adapt. It was extended to 2,040ft (618m) in 1824 and the pier-head was enlarged in 1827. A further extension in 1833 took the overall length to 2,250ft (681m), while the pier-head was again extended in 1842 and the late 1850s. A second horse drawn ‘tramway’ pier was built alongside the existing structure, opening in 1864. This proved to be of little success later to be replaced by electric trams. In 1880 on a third pier adjacent to the tramway pier a direct steam railway link to the pier-head was created. In 1895 a concert pavilion was constructed (demolished later) at the pier-head and over the next sixteen years the original wooden piles were replaced in cast iron.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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*
- 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.
- The modern pier opened in 1976 replacing the former Victorian pier that was damaged, with the Pier Pavilion now housing a sports complex. The end of the original pier can still be seen 1km out to sea. The victorian pier was the third pier to be built at Herne Bay, opened in 1897. Estimates of its length vary from 1097m to 1147m, putting it second to the one at Southend-on-Sea. Winter storms in 1978 and 1979 caused the collapse of the central section leaving the landing stage as it is now, adrift at sea.