Birkenhead

Birkenhead is a town on Merseyside, England, situated on the Wirral peninsula in the historic county boundaries of Cheshire, just across the River Mersey from Liverpool. It is not a tourist destination in its own right but can make for a rewarding afternoon trip from Liverpool, and is well worth a couple of hours of anybody's time. The town grew around the huge Cammell Laird's shipbuilding works, its population peaking in the 1921 census when it was the 20th most populated town in England. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was so impressed by Birkenhead's public municipal park after a visit in 1850, he incorporated many of its features into his work on New York's Central Park.

Get in

Trains arrive from Liverpool's main stations every few minutes on the subterranean Merseyrail network, taking no more than 5 minutes. There are 5 stations, Hamilton Square being the best for the riverside, square and museum, Conway Park the best for the shopping district and Birkenhead Park the best for the famous park. Birkenhead can also be reached by the Mersey tunnels from Liverpool (toll payable) or the M53 from Chester. Alternatively, the famous Ferry cross the Mersey deposits you in the riverside area of the town.

Get around

Frequent and reliable Merseyrail services operate between the town's stations. There is also an extensive bus network. A Saveaway ticket is valid on all public transport in Birkenhead.

See

Do

Explore Birkenhead park. The first public park and the inspiration for Central Park, New York. It is larger than most parks and has some beautiful wooded areas and duck ponds. Especially popular in the summer months.

The Ferry cross the Mersey, immortalised in the Gerry and the Pacemakers song, is considered by many to be essential on any trip to Liverpool, and by definition involves a trip to Birkenhead.

Buy

Birkenhead has the usual unexciting array of British high-street chain stores for your everyday requirements. Those seeking specialist shops or anything a cut above the norm should head across the water to Liverpool.

Eat

Drink

Birkenhead has one must-visit pub for the pub architecture/real ale fan, The Stork Hotel. The Edwardian tiling, mosaic floor and etched windows make for a sumptuous drinking experience. There is always a selection of real ale and cheap hearty food is served at lunchtimes. 200yds from Hamilton Square.

Sleep

Go next

Port Sunlight, William Lever's model village, is a few minutes away and is easily accessed by rail or road. The Wirral Coast has some excellent walking opportunities, including the Wirral Way. The ancient walled city of Chester is 30 minutes away by road or rail.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, December 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.