The good old fashioned seaside pier, as intrinsic to the British seaside experience as fish and chips and Kiss Me Quick hats, is in danger of extinction.
Several of these beautiful icons face an uncertain future: some are likely to disappear through dereliction unless they are given some love soon. So we want to do our bit by bigging up our historical seaside monuments, which ooze with quintessential British charm and nostalgia.
Seaside piers are as individual as the character of the resort in which they are built - beautiful, strange eerie creations that mark our seaside towns. Our pictures show some of the most recognisable icons in Britian. How many can you name?
Guess the British seaside town!
At 700m long, the longest pier in Wales is a testament to Victorian architecture. This wonderful structure has featured in many films, including the 2002 version of the <em>Forsythe Saga. </em>The shape of the pier is unique, too: it was thoughtfully built in a T-shape, so visitors can look back at the land as well as out to sea. Do you know where it is?</p>
- Llandudno, north Wales
One of the UK's most famous coastal landmarks, this pier opened in 1899 and was one of the few piers built purely as a Victorian pleasure emporium. It's still going strong today - around 3 million visit it every year.</p>
- Palace Pier, Brighton
One of the last remaining Victorian piers in Wales, this structure has fallen upon hard times in the past but is now benefitting from a £3.9 million refurbishment which will breathe new life into it, including the redevelopment of the pavilion as a cinema.</p>
- Penarth pier, Wales
The longest pleasure pier in the world (it measures one and a third miles in length) even has its very own train running along it, although since a fire in 2005, there's much less to see at the end of it. Where is it?</p>
- Southend-on-Sea, Essex
This unique structure is built from disused railway lines formed into eight 100ft arched spans. In 2011, plans for a futuristic £1m visitor centre to be built on the ramp were approved by North Somerset Council and work will begin once essential maintenance has been completed.</p>
- Clevedon pier, Somerset
A fire broke out on this pier back in 2008, destroying the pavilion, and this popular pier was closed for two years while repair works took place. An estimated 100,000 people turned up for its official re-opening in October 2010. Recognise it?</p>
- Grand Pier, Weston-Super-Mare
The sculptural remains of one of Britain's most iconic piers cast an eerie beauty over the seafront. Despite its disrepair, it still remains one of the most photographed buildings in the popular seaside town. Opening in 1866 as a simple promenade pier, by the 1900s it had become a thriving centre of seaside entertainment.</p>
- West pier, Brighton
This grade II listed building was used as part of Britain's defence during the second World War. Part of the decking was removed to make room for machine guns to be installed in the theatre, providing a useful base to repel attempted enemy landings. These days, the pier is used for lighter entertainment purposes...</p>
- Eastbourne pier
OK, so this is more of a breakwater than a pier - but it's still a British seaside icon and we love the picture! Most visitors come to see the lighthouse at the end of this beautiful curved structure, which took 22 years to build, is now popular with fishing fanatics. Where is it?</p>
A nice easy one! Do the big wheel and the donkeys in the foreground give this one away?</p>
This Suffolk icon was originally built as a landing stage for the Belle steam ship that passed by from London Bridge in the 1800s. After being washed away and restored, the pier is enjoying renewed popularity. With a traditional old-fashioned end-of-the-pier arcade and gift shops, visitors to this poplullar resort flock here in their thousands during the summer.</p>
- Southwold pier, Suffolk
- How many British piers can you name? Click on the image and start the quiz!
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