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Sailboat on the Marine Lake, West Kirby

Discover Wirral’s secret for yourself…


…We’ve got everything, right on our doorstep

The Wirral peninsula can justly claim several unique advantages for holidaymakers. In fact its central location and very particular geographical quirks make it unlike any other holiday destination in the UK. This is why…

Wirral lies between the River Dee and the River Mersey, overlooking the Welsh Hills and the spectacular Liverpool skyline. This position creates a local climate which is extraordinarily mild, thanks to the warming effect of the peninsula’s three coasts. Wirral is not only warm, it is drier than the rest of the northwest because it occupies a rain shadow created by Snowdonia to one side and the Lancashire and Lake District hills to the other. It’s a fact that Wirral is warmer, sunnier and drier than places as little as 20 miles away - and on the coast, it is warmer still (which also explains the location chosen for Ness Botanic Gardens in the 1800s – see below).

As well as the mild climate, there is virtually no other location in the UK which is as blessed as Wirral for its wealth of different opportunities for holidaymakers…The Barnacre Cottages are ideal bases from which to explore this wonderful and unique peninsula, and its neighbouring cities of Liverpool and Chester. For more hardened “daytrippers”, excursions to Snowdonia in North Wales (1 hour), the Lake District (2 hours), Manchester (50 minutes) or The Peak District (2 hours) are all also perfectly achievable alternatives.

Looking closer to home, Wirral is absolutely beautiful: we have an amazing coastline, picturesque countryside and 50 miles of fantastic rural walking and cycling routes and beaches. Much of the cycling is on the flat and off-road: the Mersey coastline has an unbroken cycle track stretching from Birkenhead round the peninsula to Hoylake. After a short hop across the railway line it’s back onto another 12 miles of virtually unbroken off-road cycling along the Dee Estuary on the Wirral Way, a disused railway line.  Both routes are perfect for more sedate cyclists and for families. (We hire children’s and adult bikes, including a tandem, for very reasonable rates. Children’s bikes are from £6 per day, adult bikes from £8 per day and the tandem from £15 per day. Prior booking is essential).

Wirral is a golfer’s paradise - no fewer than 14 courses to choose from within the peninsula alone, plus mini-courses, a driving range and pitch-and-putt for the recreational golfer. Wirral is part of England’s Golf Coast which contains three Royal Links courses - Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, Royal Birkdale in Southport, and the Royal Lytham & St Anne’s in Lancashire - plus many other beautiful and challenging courses.

Back in Wirral, there’s plenty of excellent quality food and drink: everything from a Michelin-starred restaurant to a range of town and country pubs, restaurants and tea rooms. The peninsula also has a plethora of excellent food retailers plus weekly Farmers’ Markets held in a different location each weekend, and all offering superb local artisan-made food and drink – perfect for special picnics and delicious fuss-free evening meals at home in the cottages. There is also no shortage of good quality takeaway and home delivery services.

A trip to the roman city of Chester (40 minutes away by car) to see the medieval half- timbered “Rows” is another treat; And don’t miss a walk along the ancient city walls and roman ruins and a visit to its spectacular zoo (recently the subject of a major behind-the-scenes documentary series on TV).

It goes without saying that Liverpool (20 minutes away by car) is packed with world-class things to do and see. Trips to Liverpool can also be easily made via Merseyrail train, a 10 minute bus service, or via the world-famous Mersey Ferries…

More information is an excellent starting place for details of theatres, music, local museums and galleries, events and much more.


You’ll find lots of information at:
Royal Liverpool Golf Club
Local golf competition


Everton Football Club

Liverpool Football Club

Tranmere Rovers Football Club

Local attractions

Chester Zoo Quite simply, world-beating.
Knowsley Safari Park  Famous for the amazing safari drive experience…  

Ness Botanic Gardens  64 acres of bone-achingly beautiful gardens overlooking the Dee towards Snowdonia. Created in 1898 by cotton magnate and philanthropist AK Bulley (who funded many Victorian plant-hunters’ expeditions) the Gardens are planted informally and are extremely family-friendly with lots for children of all ages to enjoy including willow dens, play areas, grass labyrinth, chickens, trails and treasure hunts. For plant lovers, they are a feast!

Museums and galleries

Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight

Williamson Art Gallery and Museum

Liverpool museums, including International Slavery Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, World Museum…


Cheshire Oaks With a quarter-million square feet of retail space, comprising more than 145 boutiques, restaurants and cafés, Cheshire Oaks is the UK's largest Designer Outlet and a shopaholic's heaven!

Liverpool One With uber-stylish shopping, restaurants and entertainment close to the iconic Liverpool waterfront, this vibrant part of the city is a not-to-be-missed treat for city lovers and fashionistas.

Farmers Markets Wirral Farmers' Market is in New Ferry on the 2nd  Saturday of every month; Heswall Farmers Market in The Church of the Good Shepherd Parish Hall in Heswall on 3rd  Saturday of every month; West Kirby Farmers' Market in St Andrew's Church Hall, West Kirby takes place on the 4th Saturday of every month. All are open 9am – 1pm.


Every Wirral beach where the water quality was tested in 2016 was rated as “excellent”. For more details of which Wirral beaches are best quality for swimming, will welcome dogs, or have lifeguard cover, go to:

Hilbre Island The four mile walk out to Hilbre Island and back (off the West Kirby shoreline) is well worth the effort. It is ESSENTIAL that the correct route is used and that setting off times take account of the rapidly-changing tides. To plan your safe trip, get full details from: 


(We regularly have cast members of the major productions stay in our cottages!)

The Floral Pavilion

The Everyman

The Liverpool Empire

Theatre guide

Eating out

You'll find lots of information at:

Wirral's Michelin-starred restaurant is Fraiche in Oxton village

There is an excellent range of other outlets - from fine dining in sumptuous surroundings at Hillbark Hotel to excellent gastro pubs such as The Viking in West Kirby Simple pub food is available at the end of many of the local walks. Call the Countryside Rangers at Wirral Country Park in Thurstaston on 0151 648 4371 / 3884  for details of local walks and other wildlife activities.