A seaside pier is a long, narrow platform that extends out over the sea, typically from the shoreline of a beach. Today they are a popular tourist attraction and often feature amusement arcades, food and drink vendors, and other leisure facilities.
Piers can vary in length and design, but they are typically made of wood or steel and are supported by pilings or columns driven into the sea bed. In the United Kingdom, seaside piers have a long history dating back to the 19th century, when they were first built to provide Victorian tourists with easy access to the sea and often a place for stream ships to dock. Today, many piers are listed as historical or heritage structures and are protected by law.
There are many piers in the United Kingdom, and here is a list of some of the more well-known piers:
- Brighton Pier – a historic pier in Brighton, East Sussex
- Southend Pier – the longest pleasure pier in the world, located in Southend-on-Sea, Essex
- Blackpool Pier – actually three piers located on the Blackpool seafront, Lancashire
- Weston-super-Mare Pier – located in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset
- Clevedon Pier – a Grade I listed structure located in Clevedon, Somerset
- Eastbourne Pier – a Victorian pier in Eastbourne, East Sussex
- Bournemouth Pier – located in Bournemouth, Dorset
- Southport Pier – a pier in Southport, Merseyside
- Margate Pier – located in Margate, Kent
- Mumbles Pier – located in Mumbles, Swansea, Wales
This is just a small selection of the many piers in the UK, and you can explore them all using our interactive Pier Map.