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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.

A particular feature of the town is the extensive tree planting.

This was one of the conditions required by the Hesketh family when they made land available for development in the 19th century.

The Domesday Book states that there were 50 huts in Otergimele, housing a population of 200.

The population was scattered thinly across the region and it was at the northeast end of Otergimele (present day Crossens), where blown sand gave way to alluvial deposits from the River Ribble estuary, that a small concentration of people occurred.

By 1820 Southport had over 20,000 visitors per year.

Southport Pier is referred to as the first true "pleasure pier", being one of the earliest pier structures to be erected using iron.

From south to north, these villages were South Hawes, Haweside, Little London, Higher Blowick, Lower Blowick, Rowe-Lane, Churchtown, Marshside, Crossens, and Banks.

As well as Churchtown, there were vicarages in Crossens and Banks.

Local fauna include the Natterjack toad and the Sand lizard.

The town contains examples of Victorian architecture and town planning, on Lord Street and elsewhere.

Town attractions include Southport Pier with its Southport Pier Tramway, the second longest seaside pleasure pier in the British Isles Extensive sand dunes stretch for several miles between Birkdale and Woodvale to the south of the town.