Home to beaches, football clubs, leafy villages, buzzing towns and the thriving city of Liverpool, Merseyside has a lot to offer.
What to expect living in Merseyside
Merseyside sits in north west England, with the vibrant city of Liverpool at its heart. The Mersey Estuary divides the county in two, with the Wirral on the west, and Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens and Sefton on the east.
Transformed by significant regeneration in recent years, Liverpool was crowned European Capital of Culture in 2008. And it is now part of Chancellor George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse project to increase the connectivity of the country’s northern cities and rebalance the economy.
Other pockets of Merseyside are also on the up, with St Helens and Warrington benefitting from an influx of government money designed to improve infrastructure, housing and amenities.
The seaside town of Crosby and Liverpool Waterfront both made into The Sunday Times’ list of best places to live in Britain in 2016.
Where to start your property search
Southport: If its fresh sea air that you’re after, then consider the large resort of Southport. Birkdale is the most sought-after area, where you can find cheese shops, independent restaurants and an award-winning traditional butcher.
Crosby: The town has a wide blustery beach yet is just six miles north of Liverpool city centre. Crosby has sought-after schools and shops, including Pritchards bookshop and Satterthwaites Bakehouse.
St Helens: Nestled between Liverpool and Manchester, the bulk of St Helens town centre is made up of terraced houses dating back to the late-19th century and early 20th century.
Liverpool: If you’re a city-lover, then look no further than Liverpool. You can take your pick from brand new, centrally-located apartments, converted warehouses on the waterfront, Georgian terraced houses, and large detached houses in the suburbs.
For villages with historic buildings and a community feel, head to the Wirral Peninsula. You’ll find large Victorian houses, tree-lined streets, village greens and country pubs. The village of Willaston is particularly idyllic - the first day of May is marked by maypole dancing on the village green.
Getting around and about in Merseyside
Train: Three train lines run from Liverpool Lime Street station: the Northern Line (heading to Southport, Ormskirk and Kirby); the Wirral Line (for Chester, Ellesmere Port, New Brighton and West Kirby); and the City Line (for nearby Wigan, St Helens, Warrington and Manchester).
Car: Getting in and out of Liverpool is straightforward thanks to a strong road network. The M62 runs between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull. And the Mersey tunnels – a series of toll roads - link Liverpool with the Wirral Peninsula. Buy a monthly fast pass and make daily savings.
Air: Located six miles north of Liverpool city centre, Liverpool John Lennon Airport is the 14th busiest in the UK, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. It provides flights to destinations across Europe and the U.S.
Ferry: Mersey Ferries offers a variety of cruises in the area, including the Manchester Ship Canal Cruise between Liverpool and Salford Quays.
For travel further afield, ferries and hovercrafts connect Liverpool with France, Holland, Ireland and Germany.
Things to do in and around Merseyside
Head for the coast: Merseyside’s 100-mile coastline has something for everyone. Highlights include Albert Dock in Liverpool, the traditional promenade in Southport, golf courses, such as Royal Birkdale, England’s largest sand dune system in the Sefton Coast area, and a wealth of nature reserves, woodlands and beaches. Crosby Beach in Sefton is now home to world-famous artist Antony Gormley’s sculpture, ‘Another Place’.
Watch a football match: Liverpool or Everton? This is the first question most people will ask if you live in Merseyside. Everton FC plays at Goodison Park Football Stadium in Walton, while Liverpool FC’s home is at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool. Season tickets are available for both, and for many residents watching a game at home or at the ground with family is an integral part of their weekend.
Get a cultural fix: Liverpool is not short on history and culture. Follow in the footsteps of the Beatles stars John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney and nose around the homes where they grew up. Alternatively, explore the city’s many art galleries and museums, such as Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool and The Lady Lever Art Gallery. And visit Liverpool Cathedral, Britain’s biggest cathedral, described by Sir John Betjeman as “one of the great buildings of the world”.
Turn to retail therapy: If you’re a shopaholic, you’ll fit in well in Liverpool. Major shopping destinations include Liverpool ONE, home to more than 160 high street and designer brands, and the upmarket shopping centre, Metquarter.
Visit a safari park: Further afield, Knowsley Safari Park in Preston, Lancashire, is a great place to visit for a day out. It claims to have the longest safari drive in the UK (five miles) and is home to more than 750 animals.
Best kept secret in Merseyside
If you’re looking for a slice of the good life, look up Rice Lane City Farm. Covering 24 acres in the middle of Liverpool, it offers animal husbandry, farm skills and crafts and more.
3 Reasons to live in Merseyside
- The seaside: grab your bucket and spade and head to one of the area’s beaches, such as Hoylake Beach, Crosby Beach or Formby Beach.
- The countryside: find the rural idyll in the pretty villages along the Wirral Peninsula.
- Liverpool: the thriving city is bursting at the seams with history, culture, shopping and nightlife.