The Event

The Fernley is back for its second year in Southport and takes place on New Year’s Day 2016. This UK event ‘oddity’ commemorates one of the largest ever Lifeboat disasters; the tragic loss of 27 lifeboat men, with 14 lost from Southport and 13 from St Annes, Lytham which was launched to save the troubled ‘Mexico’ boat on 9th December 1886. The event also aims to recognise one of Southport’s greatest benefactors, John Fernley, whom The Fernley is named after.


individual team family history


Join us on New Year’s Day at 10.00am for registration between The Ramada Plaza Hotel and The Hungry Horse Restaurant. Starting with a new tradition called the ‘Procession of the Oars’ along Southport Promenade which will lead onto the ‘Offering of Water’ at the Drinking Fountain, a gift from John Fernley to Southport in 1861. The procession will head up to the 1886 Memorial Obelisk where a short act of remembrance to Southport’s lost will take place. All participants will have the chance to place a single flower on the 1886 memorial as a sign of respect.




A single green flare will then start The Fernley. A phased start launches individuals, teams, families and dogs into a bracing 2 mile walk, jog or run around the newly restored King’s Garden’s, then along the full length of Southport Pier for gulps of sea air along 'The Shout' before turning at 'Mexico Turn' for the return journey 'Fishermens Rest'. All participants conclude under the finish arches with a ring of the 'The Fishermen's Bell' behind The Ramada Plaza Hotel. You will be greeted with a medal and a hot chocolate to warm you up!




For those more adventurous, the ‘Fernley Plunge’ awaits with an invigorating immersion and wade across 120 meters of the icy waters of Marine Lake watched in ore by hundreds of spectators. The winning male and female then have to drink Sandgrounder beer out of the old fisherman's boot and collect their medal along with ringing of the old fisherman’s bell which may signal the finish but the start of an amazing new year.


marine lake


If the Marine Lake can't tempt you, and you prefer to stay on dry land, wrap up warm and join thousands of spectators on the side lines or watch from one of the many cafés that will be serving hot refreshments. There will be entertainment and other activities planned throughout the day.

Roll of Honour

We expect great interest so booking early will secure your place in the inaugural event that will become a Southport tradition. So enjoy a new start to this New Year, wrap up warm, breathe in that sea breeze and then possibly enjoy a hearty lunch at one of Southport's many fabulous restaurants! 

Participate in this annual #Sandgrounder event. It's time to celebrate the brave…it’s time for The Fernley!


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The Fernley Course


On The Day Prices

Fernley Full Immersion £30
Fernley Walk (Family) £20
Fernley Walk (Adult) £15
Additional Child £8



Get the whole family involved by signing up today.

Perfectly suited to all ages and abilities, the route can be walked or ran and taking part in the swim is optional.

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