Birkenhead is steeped in history and had a stellar reputation for ship building as well as being a powerful seaport. These days it continues to grow thanks to its close community and investment in local projects, and has a large variety of housing options available in the borough and its surrounding areas. Birkenhead centre serves a lot of communities around the Wirral with its quality shopping, from well-known brands to independents. Claughton is a small local village with a high number of Grade II listed buildings.
Close to Birkenhead and Claughton are some the Wirrals most sought-after schools and colleges. Birkenhead School is a leading mixed school for juniors, secondary pupils, and also has a sixth form. St Anselms College is a Catholic grammar school which also has a reputable sixth form.
The Sixth Form College can also be found in Birkenhead as can Birkenhead High School Academy and Prenton High School for Girls. There are also a number of junior schools available close to Birkenhead and Claughton such as Our Lady and St Edwards RC Primary, Woodchurch Road Primary, and Bidston Avenue Primary.
Available in Claughton are a number of smaller shops including charity shops, a bank, bakery, post office, and some small local independent ventures. There is also access to a Tesco Express, while a pharmacy is available as part of Claughton Medical Centre.
Main shops and a number of high street brands can be found in the centre of Birkenhead. As well as Birkenhead Market, with small independently-owned stalls, the centre includes the Pyramids Shopping Centre with a Marks & Spencer, Argos, EE, and many more retail units. There are other shops available in the surrounding precinct as well as a number of fast food outlets in the Pyramids.
The Coffee Shop in Claughton village is a daytime favourite while restaurants like Fusion have good reputations. Traditional pubs are also close by for food and drink, such as the Shrewsbury Arms, Caernarvon Castle Pub, and the Queens Arms on the outskirts.
Birkenhead has popular restaurants including international cuisine such as Yimas Greek Taverna and Sawasdee Thai Restaurant. It also has a number of pubs and clubs such as the unique Gallaghers Bar with its own barbers, The Brass Balance and The John Laird. Transport links also make Liverpool and nearby Oxton good destinations for food and drinks.
Birkenhead Park is huge and one of the most historical in the United Kingdom. First opened in 1847, it was designed by Joseph Paxton and was the inspiration behind Central Park in New York. Theres a lot to discover in Birkenhead Park from a beautiful boathouse by the lake, Japanese-inspired gardens, a domineering grand entrance, hidden ponds, and more.
Theres a visitor centre in the park that acts as a hub with details of local listings and events to discover, with the park also featuring a cricket pavilion, Grade I listed buildings, and the Wirral Academy of Arts. Birkenhead Park also has childrens playgrounds for youngsters to discover, and free outdoor gym facilities.
There are five train stations close to Birkenhead and Claughton. Stations on the Wirral Line include Birkenhead North, Birkenhead Park, Conway Park, and Hamilton Square. Trains lead to end-of-the-line West Kirby and into Liverpool city centre, while connections toward Ellesmere Port and Chester can be made at Hamilton Square.
Birkenhead Central train station is also close by, and Birkenhead bus station is large enough to service the majority of the Wirral with routes into Liverpool and beyond, whilst the Mersey tunnel offers road access to Liverpool.
Close to Conway Park train station is Europa Boulevard, an entertainment park which features a Vue Cinema with a Europa Pools Leisure Centre close by. As well as wave machines, water slides, and other features to enjoy, the complex also has gymnasium and leisure facilities where classes such as Zumba and Pilates are held.
For more adult-orientated entertainment, Birkenheads Genting Casino features a lot of games (poker, slot machines, and electronic table games) and a late bar. Birkenhead also has its share of nightclubs and bars including the popular Beach Bar, Cool Rooms, Revolver Venue, and The Cotton Club.