Pier-ing into the distance

There is something fascinating about seaside piers that stretch out into the sea. Many of them date from the end of the 19th century and are in danger of collapse or have been declared unsafe. So if you visit anywhere on a Beat the brochure holiday and there’s a pier, take your time to enjoy it while you can.

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Florida, USA

Florida has at least 25 piers, referred to as fishing piers, around its coast line. All of them offer fishing facilities and most of them require a licence to fish. The exception to this is Naples Pier. It’s not only a great place to fish, but also to catch the sun going down.

St Pete’s Pier has more than just fishing facilities. There are shops, restaurants and an aquarium too. Oh and you can buy a bucket of fish from the bait shop and feed the pelicans.

Pier 60 at Clearwater is right in the middle of the busy Clearwater Beach. There’s nothing to do but stroll along it or fish and it’s particularly good for night time fishing for Snook.


Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane’s Shorncliffe Pier is decorated with white timber fences and old colonial street lamps. It is one of Australia’s oldest timber piers, built at the end of the 19th Century and stretching 350 metres into the bay. Last year it was closed with the possibility of demolition hanging over its head. Fortunately the local council have decided to spend millions of dollars on its restoration and make it safe.


Around the UK

Southend Pier is the UK’s longest pier stretching more than 2,000 metres into the Thames Estuary. It has a diesel/hydraulic railway that runs its length. Notching up only half the distance is Southport Pier in the North West, which has a tram to take visitors from one end to the other! Hythe Pier near Southampton has a narrow gauge railway which links the pier to Hythe town centre. Blackpool Central Pier may not be as long as some of the others, but it has many attractions for holiday makers from rides and shows to an arcade of shops and stalls. All of these piers date back to the 19th Century and are a part of the UK’s culture and heritage.





Fishing on Naples Pier, Florida