An Introduction to Wirral

Given the unique character and almost island nature of this peninsula, the pride of the Wirralians in their home is understandable.

Bordered on three sides by water: the River Dee to the east, the River Mersey to the West and the Irish Sea to the North (and some say by the Shropshire Union Canal to the South), the 15 by 7 mile rectangle that forms the Wirral has always celebrated the independence of Its spirit and location.

Thought by some to be the ‘birthplace of England’ following the Battle of Brunanburh in 937, the area has long been fought over and its invasion by everyone from the Celts to the Romans, Anglo Saxons, Norsemen, Vikings and Scots, has added a great deal to its rich culture and history.

Ever adaptable, the Wirral’s very special location and attributes have been recognised and utilised throughout its history.  Whether as a hunting forest for Earls, a safe harbour for boats, a ferry terminal for Liverpool, a stage coach post for Chester, a port, shipbuilders yard and dock for international trade ships, a coal mining centre, a retreat for wealthy gentry or a seaside holiday resort, the Wirral has survived and still thrives.

Today the Wirral maintains this level of diversity and offers visitors and residents a wide range of employment (including the docks, manufacturing and services) and leisure opportunities.

Two thirds of the Wirral’s population live in only one third of its land (on the east side in Wallasey and Birkenhead) so there is no shortage of wide open space.  Much of this is owned by the National Trust and / or classed as Sites of Special Scientific Interest or Nature Reserves.  The best of these include Bidston Hill, Caldy Hill and Stapleton Woods, Hilbre Island in the River Dee, North Wirral Coastal Park (covering 400 acres between Meols and New Brighton), Thurstaston Common and Royden Park at Frankby and the Wirral Way (following the old railway line between West Kirby and Hooton).  Also ideal for taking the sea air is the promenade at Wallasey (the longest in the UK) and the Grade I listed Birkenhead Park (which inspired Central Park, New York) while other gems include the award winning Grade II listed Ness Botanical Gardens at Neston and Arrowe Hall and Park.

Views from these sites, across the Mersey to Liverpool, across the Dee to Wales and out into the Irish Sea towards the Isle of Man, arguably make the Wirral the best of these three places to actually live!

Art lovers have a choice of two important art galleries: the Lady Lever Art Gallery and Williamson Art Gallery.  Both are located with some of the Wirral’s most important architectural contributions - the Grade II listed Lever Brothers model village at Port Sunlight and the Georgian terraces of Hamilton Square in Birkenhead respectively.  Picturesque villages, such as Burton, or the old port at Parkgate are also well worth a visit and for sheer history, Birkenhead Priory (Merseyside’s oldest surviving property), Leasowe Lighthouse and the ancient carvings on Bidston Hill, should not be missed.

For those looking for something more energetic than walking, there is the famous Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake, host to The Open Championships, as well as land sailing (or sand yachting) on its beaches.  A total of nine other golf courses are scattered across the Wirral including those at Arrowe Park, Bebington, Bromborough, Caldy, Heswall, Leasowe and Wallasey. At West Kirby, the man made Marine Lake is used for everything from windsurfing to sailing, canoeing, power boating and sea kayaking.  Football fans have their own League One football team of Tranmere Rovers, based in Birkenhead and Bebington’s Oval Sports Centre caters for everything from swimming (in its 25m pool) to skiing! 

After all that, you can head to New Brighton for the more relaxing seaside pursuits of ice cream eating and sandcastle making, or indulge in some retail therapy at the Pyramid Centre in Birkenhead and catch a film at the 11 screen cinema at Croft Retail and Leisure Park in Bromborough.

Should you ever wish to leave, the Wirral is well connected to the ‘mainland’ via a wide variety of transport methods.  The M53 runs the length of Wirral from Chester and is connected to Liverpool by two road (the Kingsway from Wallasey and the Queensway from Birkenhead) and one rail tunnel.  There are extensive bus services across the peninsular and beyond, as well as train services on both the Wirral Line (which links many of the towns and villages and travels into Liverpool at frequent intervals) and the Borderlands Line (which takes travellers into Wales).  Finally, of course, there is the world famous Mersey Ferry, which you can catch from Woodside and Seacombe across the river to Liverpool for work or pleasure.  All of which makes for easy journeys to Chester, Manchester and beyond and to Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Manchester Airport for national and international travel.

Schools on the Wirral are generally considered to be excellent, with better than average performance at A level.  Those singled out for mention by Ofsted as ‘particularly successful’ include: Calday Grange Grammar School, Pensby Hgh School for Girls, Ridgeway High School, St Marys Catholic College, West Kirby Grammar School and Wirral Grammar School for Girls.

Whatever your occupation or hobby and whatever you are looking for in a home, it is on the Wirral and Move Residential will help you find it.

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