Southport is a large seaside town in Merseyside, England. At the 2001 census, it had a population of 90,336, making it the eleventh most populous settlement in North West England.
Southport lies on the Irish Sea coast and is fringed to the north by the Ribble estuary. The town is 16.7 miles north of Liverpool and 14.8 miles southwest of Preston.
Historically part of Lancashire, the town was founded in 1792 when William Sutton, an innkeeper from Churchtown, built a bathing house at what is now the south end of Lord Street. At that time, the area, known as South Hawes, was sparsely populated and dominated by sand dunes. At the turn of the 19th century, the area became popular with tourists due to the easy access from the nearby Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The rapid growth of Southport largely coincided with the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian era. Town attractions include Southport Pier, the second longest seaside pleasure pier in the British Isles, and Lord Street, an elegant tree-lined shopping street.
Extensive sand dunes stretch for several miles from Woodvale to Birkdale, the south of the town.