The name does not sound like it would be a pretty walk. In fact, a few years ago, the name seemed rather apt. This picturesque street in Southport, Merseyside (what was Lancashire), had lost its shine. I remember it as a child and young adult as a colourful gardeners delight. Happily, Rotten Row has been resurrected to its former glory and once again holds pride of place next to Victoria Park. Thanks to the many hours of dedicated volunteers from the Friends of Rotten Row (FORR) and the Heritage Lottery Fund, Rotten Row displays a bounty of different plants and flowers for all to enjoy.
Rotten Row runs from the roundabout at Victoria Way/Duke Street to Weld Road. On the sea side are the 746 metres of glorious herbaceous borders adjacent to Victoria Park. On the opposite side are houses with terraced gardens above the street, some of which have thatched rooves. Some days when I am in Southport, I deliberately go the long way into town just to walk down this street. There are some storyboards with pictures of what the street looked like in its prime and telling how the beds have been restored. It was interesting to note that volunteers from the FORR usually clock around 77 hours a week keeping the border in good condition. The FORR have won numerous awards since 2012 including the Green Flag Community award in 2015. Park your car for free on the street, take a stroll and stop and smell the flowers.
If you’re planning a visit to the North West, you might want to keep in mind that Victoria Park is the home of the Southport Flower Show every August and a Food and Drink Festival in June.