Hidden village just a stone's throw from Lancashire is 'buzzing' once the good weather comes

Mark Moss (left) and John Clarke from Birkdale Cheese Co
Mark Moss (left) and John Clarke from Birkdale Cheese Co -Credit:Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo

Just a stone's throw from Lancashire's border lies a quaint village - described by locals as a "hidden gem".

Located just to the south of Southport, Birkdale is a typical Victorian settlement that's managed to retain many traditional businesses - from a fishmonger to a greengrocer, a butchers and a cheese shop. Sitting among these businesses is an array of independent bars and restaurants that attract both locals and visitors from further afield at the weekend.

Broughs' Butchers Birkdale dates back to 1996 but the building has been home to a butchers for 120 years. The shop has managed to retain much of its original character, including its decorative glass office where customers once queued up to buy their meat.


Manager Steve Devon told the ECHO: "It's one of the hidden gems of Merseyside, Birkdale Village. When the weather is nice instead of going right through from Liverpool to Southport or Southport to Liverpool on the train, people stop and see this village all buzzing and they'll get off.

"It needs to be good weather, it's like with anything really. Once the good weather comes it's buzzing along here. A lot of people like the quaintness of it still being a Victorian village."

Coast Birkdale is situated next to Birkdale train station with a terrace that is the perfect place to soak up the sun in the summer months. Eddie Dean took over as executive chef of the restaurant earlier this year.

He created a new menu, described as "flavour reimagined", made up of small plates from satay king prawns to Asian crab cakes, alongside larger dishes like beef ragu and 'off the grill' mains.

On the other side of the railway tracks is Bistrot Vérité, which specialises in French cuisine. Owned by Vérité family, Marc, Michaela and sons Jacques and Charlie, their name is one known across Southport as being synonymous with irresistible food.

Bistrot Vérité
Bistrot Vérité -Credit:Bistrot Vérité

The restaurant opened in 2009 and has since been mentioned in the Michelin Guide which described it as a "bustling" place to grab food. Just a few doors down is Barrique - a restaurant and wine bar that's hosted live music, a quiz night and a Charlotte Tilbury masterclass in the last week alone.

Assistant manager Rachael Laisney said customers come in for coffee, lunch and wine throughout the week but the venue is particularly "buzzing" at the weekend. A number of businesses in Birkdale noted people visiting the village instead of going into Southport.

Rachael said: "It feels more vibrant. You're less likely to walk past an empty shop. I think the downfall of the town has brought a lot more people to the villages. People come here and they bump into people that they know every week - it's more social."

Tony, a regular at The Barrel House in Birkdale
Tony, a regular at The Barrel House in Birkdale -Credit:Liverpool Echo

Over the road from Barrique is the Barrel House, a bar that opened in a former newsagents nine years ago. The Barrel House, which has featured in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide, still delivers a paper round in honour of its roots.

But today, instead of bread and milk, a huge selection of bottled beers line the walls from Belgium and across Europe, making it the perfect haven for beer lovers. Laura Cornish, who works behind the bar, told the ECHO: "Everyone in the village has got something different to offer. If you're wanting specialised drinks you come here."