Sometimes our traditional pubs in Southport's residential areas are unfairly overlooked, and yet they can offer you a great night out. I recommend this tour of three such pubs, close to each other and not far from bus routes. I found the real ales in all three pubs were well-kept.
The Zetland in Zetland Street is well-known for having one of the finest bowling greens in the North West (booking advised). It is a multi-roomed pub which offers three real ales: Jennings Cumberland is on permanently, and the two guest ales on my visit were Banks's Sunbeam and the popular Wainwright. Although it had been a while since I had called in, I'm glad to report that it's still a friendly local. The Zetland has several regular events: there is a quiz with cash prizes on Saturdays and bingo on Sundays. They have live music about once a month.
The Mount Pleasant on Manchester Road is also a multi-roomed pub with a glass conservatory; it has an extensive food menu with various offers and choices for kids. There are usually three real ales: Sharp's Doom Bar is always available, and when I was there the guests were Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Robinson's Trooper. Films are shown on Thursday afternoons, a quiz is held on Fridays and there are live bands on Saturdays. Darts teams play there and big live sports events are shown.
The Imperial on Albert Road is also well-regarded for its food, which include special offers, but it also serves four real ales. When I called in, there were three regular beers, all from Holt's brewery: Two Hoots, IPA and Bitter, along with a seasonal guest, Mistletoe from the Bootleg Brewing Co, a beer I hadn't come across before, but found to be a full-flavoured, strong (5%) pale ale. Other features of this pub are TV sport, a quiz on Sunday nights, and sometimes live music. I noticed a sign advertising poker night on Wednesdays.
If after all this you still fancy another pint, it's a quick walk, or even quicker bus ride, into the town centre.