Around Old Birkenhead
Last updated 14th September 2009
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This gentle stroll of 1½ miles (2½ km) around the old centre of Birkenhead crams a lot of interest into a short distance: classically elegant Hamilton Square, ancient Birkenhead Priory, Monks' Ferry and the World War II U-Boat exhibit at Woodside. Many who do not know Birkenhead (and this will include a significant proportion of scousers) will be in for a surprise. The waterfront promenade from Monks' Ferry to Woodside provides probably the finest of all views of the Liverpool waterfront. The circular route as described begins at Hamilton Square railway station, but a great day out from Liverpool would be to take the Mersey Ferry tour and get off at Woodside to do this walk before returning to Liverpool on the ferry.

The relevant Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Explorer map is No. 266. For further information on the locations visited, click on the images.

Detailed mapping and satellite photography for this walk courtesy of Bing Maps
Printer friendly page for this walk (no photos)

Exit Hamilton Square railway station and head to the right up Hamilton Street; the north-east corner of Hamilton Square is a short way along. Walk around the square by all means, but the best way to appreciate the overall effect of the magnificent architecture is to head for the central Queen Victoria Monument.

From the monument, make for the south-east corner of the square. Along here is the best view of the grand old Town Hall (now the Wirral Museum). Turn left for a closer look at this and the War Memorial.

Just past the old Town Hall turn right into Mortimer Street for more fine buildings. At the end, turn right into Chester Street and, passing Brandon Street (worth a glance) reach Ivy Street on the left. Turn into Ivy Street and then right into Priory Street.

The entrance to Birkenhead Priory is at the end of Priory Street on the left. It is located in an uninspiring area but you will soon be transported away from all of that (check the opening times on the Web though). Merseyside's most startling time warp begins at the Great Hall. Passing through you come to the Chapter House and above that the Scriptorium. Finally there are the ruins of St. Mary's church. It is worth spending a bit of time here as there is much of interest and plenty of atmosphere to drink in.

Exit the Priory back along to Ivy Street and turn right down to Monks' Ferry, a pleasant spot. Here the Liverpool skyline will immediately grab your attention, but you can see the extensive reach of the River Mersey as it curves away to the south-east with Cheshire's distant Peckforton Hills on the horizon.

Turn left along the waterfront promenade to Woodside. This is an entirely peaceful area well away from intrusive noise and a nice spot to sit on the wall for a bit of lunch and a relaxed look at the view. When you arrive at Woodside ferry terminal, there is a very interesting museum dedicated to a World War II U-Boat (entrance fee). At the ferry terminal there are toilets and a café. Now make your way back to Hamilton Square station and the conclusion of the walk.