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Seven amazing places to visit in Wirral

8 months ago

You can live somewhere for years without ever discovering some of the gems it has to explore, which is why the annual Heritage Opens Days held recently are great for putting the spotlight on all those well-known – and not so well-known – places.

It highlighted a fair few must-sees and dos in Wirral – but you don’t have to wait for special days to see many of the amazing attractions …

Port Sunlight Village in the Wirral

Port Sunlight (c) Paul Thompson

Built by Lord Lever to create homes for workers at his soap factory in the Wirral, Port Sunlight’s always been a great place to visit with its beautiful gardens and ‘model’ village, and now it’s better than ever. You can visit the museum and learn how William Lever created the village and changed living and working conditions, visit an Edwardian worker’s cottage, and have fun in the new interactive SoapWorks family experience.

Leasowe Castle 

It’s thought Leasowe Castle may have been built for Ferdinando Stanley, 5th Earl of Derby in 1593, possibly (although this is disputed) as an observation platform for the Wallasey races which took place on the sands in the 16th and 17th centuries, and are regarded as a forerunner of the Derby races. Since 1982 it’s been used as a hotel and you can soak up its history and grandeur by staying at the hotel, or drinking and dining in its Wreckers Bar or Brasserie 1593. Afternoon teas are served in the Star Chamber, its historic ceiling with bright gold stars and four tapestries depicting the four seasons once at home in the same-named English Court of Law in the Royal Palace of Westminster.

Eastham Country Park 

Eastham country park

As well as superb views across the Mersey estuary it’s blessed with an abundance of wildlife. There are 100 acres of woodland which make it ideal for peaceful walks, birdwatching, and orienteering. There are picnic areas and in spring and summer the delightful Tea Garden serves drinks and food. Events are often held in the park, and you can find information on these and things to do at the rangers’ office, open all year round.

Bidston lighthouse

(c) Roger W Haworth

After the original was damaged by fire, the current Bidston Lighthouse and keepers’ cottages were re-built by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board in 1873, to a design by George Fosbery Lyster, and operated as a lighthouse until 1913, and as an electric telegraph station until 1914. The building is Grade II listed and, while privately owned, is still frequently opened to the public.

Parkgate for ice cream 

As well as a picture-postcard seafront Parkgate’s famous for its ice cream made by local treasure, Nicholls, which has called the area home since 1937. Overlooking the Dee Estuary, as well as more flavours of ice-cream than you can point a stick at Nicholls also sells chocolates, sweets, jams, marmalades, and biscuits. (Oh, and inside the shop is an 8ft statue of Jack Sparrow made entirely from car parts!).

Birkenhead Park

Birkenhead Park - Wirral

The ‘People’s Park’ is acknowledged as the first publicly-funded civil park in the world, designed by Joseph Paxton and opened in April, 1847. Declared a Grade 1 listed landscape by English Heritage in 1995, it was a major influence in the design of New York’s Central Park and boasts several listed buildings including the Grand Entrance – an ionic styled gateway with three arches flanked by lodges, designed by Liverpool architect Lewis Hornblower – and its Swiss Bridge, the only covered bridge of traditional wooden construction in the whole of the UK. It’s got cycling and walking trails, tennis courts, fishing lakes, a visitors’ centre and gallery, and we could go on…

Royal Liverpool Golf Club 

The Open - Royal Liverpool Golf Club - Sports
Credit: Royal Liverpool Golf Club

Home to this year’s British Open Golf Championships, the famous links golf course and club in Hoylake was founded in 1869 on land which was also used by the Liverpool Hunt Club, and for the first few years of its life it doubled as golf course and racecourse until the horses left for pastures new. The layout of the racecourse is still visible, bordering the Championship’s 3rd and 18th holes – while the saddling bell can be found in the clubhouse.

Find more information on the Wirral here.



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