Ormskirk is a market town in Lancashire in the north-west of England, located near Southport. It is a growing town and has a very long and interesting history. If you want to visit, get onto the M6 and drive in the direction of Lancashire. From the M6, Ormskirk is signposted, so it's easy to find.
What's in Ormskirk?
Ormskirk town centre consists of many shops, including Woolworths, Dixons, WHSmith, New Look, Home Bargains, Taylors (or Ormskirk), Thorntons, and numerous cafés. On Thursdays and Saturdays there is a market, which is very historic and interesting to look around. Just outside the centre of Ormskirk a Safeway supermarket was built in about 1996, which is very busy most of the time.
In 2000, a new retail park was built in the town centre. This has become home to McDonald's, Argos, Aldi, and What Everyone Wants. The McDonald's has proved to be very popular with the rapidly growing Ormskirk population.
Ormskirk has a train station, with direct routes to Aughton, and further afield, Liverpool. There is also a large bus station, which provides easy links to all of the surrounding area.
The rest of Ormskirk is mainly residential; some old areas and quite a few new ones. There is a fire station on the main road (A59), and there are a few local corner shops. Ormskirk is right next to Aughton, and they seemingly merge. Ormskirk has a hospital, which has now joined forces with Southport hospital, but still retains its autonomy.
There are three churches in Ormskirk and the main 'parish church' has a very intriguing history. It has both a tower and a steeple; the reason for this is that the steeple wasn't large enough to house a bell, so Henry VIII made sure a new tower was built to accommodate one. The market is very old, and was started for local farmers to sell their produce before the supermarkets evolved. The market is still very popular, and is crowded on both the Thursday and Saturday when it is open.
Ormskirk has three secondary schools, Ormskirk Grammar School, Cross Hall High School, and St Bede's Secondary School. Ormskirk Grammar and Cross Hall are, in September 2001, merging to become 'Ormskirk School'. It had grants of over a million pounds from the government to fund this project. Also in Ormskirk is Edge Hill University College, which is very popular, and which has a large number of its pupils enter university.
Ormskirk has a town crier; he is always there for important events, including the annual switching on of the Christmas lights.
By day, Ormskirk is a busy little town with a variety of shops, and several other attractions to visit. By night, things are very different.
Ormskirk has many bars, pubs and restaurants which all cater to different crowds. Taking a student's perspective, the most popular outlets are Disraeli's and Aribba; both have pool tables. However, Disraeli's has a whole room upstairs devoted to pub games, including snooker and a gigantic game of 'Connect Four' on the wall. This floor is also home to the second bar.
In Disraeli's there is often background music, and on special occasions, such as Christmas and Halloween, a DJ can often be found pumping out popular tracks, much to the delight of the students. For those who prefer to dance the night away, Aribba offers a resident DJ and a dance floor at a small entrance fee, although once inside, the drinks are extremely cheap and are often on 'buy-one-get-one-free' offer.
In Ormskirk there are many traditional pubs, including The Cricketers and The Golden Lion to mention a few. Such places are nice for a drink or two with friends, the weekly pub quiz, and a game of darts or pool. Many traditional pubs are the 'second home' of cliques of students who deem themselves 'regulars' since they are dotted around the town, usually near to where students are residing in off-campus accommodation.
Not into alcohol, or looking for a night off the beer? Try one of Ormskirk's restaurants which offer meals originating from various countries around the world.
Le Frog is a French restaurant located near the bus station. It is quite small, but offers a wide range of traditional French dishes. Closer to the train station is Café Bar which specialises in Italian food. They also do a meal deal where you can order a starter, main course and dessert for £5, Monday to Friday before 7pm.
Towards the outskirts of Ormskirk is 5-Ways, a restaurant which is part of the Big Steak Pub chain. This is extremely family orientated. It includes a Wacky Warehouse indoor play area for the children, a large family eating area, and a restricted bar area with a pool table for over-18s. The menu includes many English meals and also some from abroad. In addition, they also provide a children's menu. The drinks are quite expensive in 5-Ways, but the food is reasonably priced and very tasty!
The new restaurant is called the Sand Piper, and it's near the Little Chef.