Birkenhead sits on the opposite side of the famous River Mersey to its perhaps better known cousin, Liverpool.
The town first came to prominence when a priory was built there in the 12th century, and it became a place of rest for weary pilgrims. Over time the town grew, but in the 20th century, due to the declining use of the port, it began to decline. However, all that has changed thanks to Wirral Water’s planned regeneration of the dockyards, which will mean that Birkenhead’s future is secured.
Although it might not be the bustling metropolis and Liverpool is, there are still plenty of attractions for the visitor to enjoy. The original Birkenhead Priory is open for exploration and tours, and shouldn’t be missed if you are in the area – this is the building that started it all, and the amount of history and stories here is immense.
For a family day out why not visit the Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm? This surprisingly lovely piece of the country in the middle of the town is a great spot for learning about farm life. With a number of different animals, plays areas, and free entry it’s a true gem of a day out.
Ride on the trams, explore the museums and art galleries, and take some time to stroll in the beautiful Birkenhead Park.
Ferries from Liverpool Birkenhead
|Birkenhead Belfast||13 weekly||8 hours||See prices °|
|Birkenhead Douglas||2 weekly||4¼ hours||See prices °|
This information is for reference purposes only. Journey times are approximate. Frequency is based on typical schedules. Schedules are subject to availability and weather conditions. Information correct at the time of writing.
Taster Cruise Ship Itineraries
Sorry, no mini cruise routes can be found departing from Birkenhead sailing on a cruise ship.
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- DFDS Amsterdam mini cruise for two at Groupon from £69
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- 2 for 1 Guernsey mini cruise on Condor Ferries from £32
To find other ports near you, take a look at the UK port map here.
Liverpool Port, 12 Quays Terminal, Tower Road, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 1FE, United Kingdom
Known by some as Liverpool Port, this port actually sits in Birkenhead on the opposite side of the Mersey from Liverpool. Access to Birkenhead from Liverpool can be achieved by the A59 Kingsway or through the Mersey Tunnel.
The port is located just off the A554 and is well signposted. Birkenhead is ideally situated for easy access from the North West as well as from North Wales. The port is a very short distance from the M53 which leads to the M56, a gateway to North Wales, Cheshire and Lancashire.
As a guide Birkenhead port is approximately just over half an hour's drive from Chester. It's just over an hour's drive from Manchester and Preston, and two hours from Birmingham and Sheffield.
Long and short stay car parking is available for Stena Line customers only at Birkenhead. You need to inform a member of check in staff that your vehicle will be left in the car park. Car parking spaces are limited, cannot be pre-booked, and are available on a first come first served basis. Stena Line told me the car park is available free of charge but that a permit needs to be collected from the reception desk.
No parking facilities are available for the Isle of Man Steam Packet services meaning you'll need to arrive by train, bus or taxi if you wish to travel as a foot passenger. The company does offer a free coach transfer for foot passengers from the Liverpool Pier Head Terminal to Birkenhead port, which leaves at 1230 hours. A return service for ferry arrivals is also offered.
Getting there by coach
National Express run several coach services that travel via Birkenhead. The coach stop is on Europa Boulevard, opposite Conway Park railway station. It's a walkable distance to the port but a taxi would perhaps be the easiest option.
Route 303 runs between Blackpool and Weymouth, calling at Bolton, Liverpool, Chester, Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham, Oxford, Southampton, Portsmouth, and Bournemouth along the way.
Route 380 runs between Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Wrexham, calling at Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Darlington, York, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, and Chester along the way.
Route 538 runs from Inverness to Birmingham, with stops at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Carlisle, Manchester, Liverpool, and Stoke-on-Trent en-route.
Route 550 connects Southport with London, via Liverpool, Chester, Stoke-on-Trent, and Milton Keynes.
Finally route 385 runs between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Pwllheli, calling at Manchester, Liverpool, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, and Bangor along the way.
All of these services call at Birkenhead offering excellent coach links from the North of England, London, the Midlands, and North Wales. Book your tickets here.
Getting there by train
Birkenhead Hamilton Square is the nearest railway station located a short distance from both the Woodside Birkenhead Ferry Terminal and the Birkenhead Liverpool Ferry terminal.
From here local services run to Ellesmere Port, West Kirby, Liverpool Central, Chester, and New Brighton.
National train services typically go via Liverpool Lime Street. Journeys can take between two to six hours from London, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Glasgow and involve two or three train changes. Plan your journey here.