Anyone with an interest in the past and perhaps driving to Southport should take the time to turn off the by-pass and visit Little Crosby. Despite being within 8 miles of Liverpool it has retained its rural character by, for example, opting not to have street lights.
The village is perhaps the oldest extant Catholic village in England, the squires being the notable recusant Blundell family. The village character has changed little from a 1600s description that "it had not a beggar, ..an alehouse ..[or] a Protestant in it..."
Many of the cottages date from the 16th-18th centuries. I used to love wandering around there as a kid.
Some interesting information and links are on Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Crosby
I'll try to dig out and post some of my photographs of the place.