High street shopping in West Kirby
PUBLISHED: 00:16 10 December 2011 | UPDATED: 14:29 22 February 2014
West Kirby residents are well-served by attractive shops and cafes in this lively Wirral town<br/>WORDS BY POLLY BERKELEY PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID BILLINGTON
The road to West Kirby
Where it is
West Kirby is situated in the North West corner of the Wirral peninsula at the mouth of the River Dee across from the Point of Ayr in North Wales. To the north east is Hoylake, to the east are the suburbs of Grange and Newton and the village of Caldy is to the south east.
About West Kirby
West Kirby gets its name from the Vikings who called it Kirkjubyr which means village with a church. It is tagged with West to distinguish it from another town in the Wirral Kirby-in-Walea, which is now known as Wallasey. West Kirby was a township and parish within the Wirral Hundred and became part of Hoylake West Kirby civil parish and urban District in 1894. On April 1st 1974, the town was absorbed into the newly-formed Metropolitan Borough of Wirral as part of local government re-organisation.
West Kirby is thought of as the jewel in the Wirrals Leisure Peninsula a much sought after location that is surrounded by the Irish Sea, River Mersey and River Dee.
Its not necessarily the first place youd think of when mentioning the great British seaside but this is in fact the epitome of a beach resort with its prom, parks and Marine Lake where windsurfers come from all over the UK to indulge in high adrenaline action... and of course its shops.
Like most of our seaside places, West Kirby has many relics of the Victorian age which add to its charms. Of course the area dates back much further, to Viking times in fact when it was named kirkjubyr, which translated means village with a church. These days, rather than be focused around the old St Bridgets Church, it is the railway station thats the starting point for most travellers here.
Aside from all that bracing air and sights of the sea are all the lovely independent retailers. The area seems to have resisted being taken over by too many big high street names which adds to its many attractions, hence a visit to West Kirby really is a chance to buy something a little different, which we all love to do, dont we? Add to the fact of the excitement of seeing the sea and this is a rather fabulous location.
As well as the speciality shops, there are bistros, bars and restaurants to explore. Take time to blow away the cobwebs by venturing along the fabulous promenade where there are stunning views of the estuary and Hilbre Island.
Banks Road turn left at the end of the prom is where the shopping centre begins. This is the opportunity to browse, as there really is a splendid array of shops here, many of them tucked away beneath the arcades. Further on you will come to the station and the concourse where there are further shops and businesses in a host of nooks and crannies. The Merseyrail station provides easy access through to Liverpool and Chester.
When youve shopped and enjoyed the seaside attractions theres Ashton Park a short walk from the town centre. Its a starting point for walks across the sands to the Hilbre Islands Local Nature Reserve.
Wirral Country Park includes the former West Kirby to Hooton railway, woodlands rich with wildlife and low cliffs near to Thurstaston Visitor Centre, grassy headlands rising above the miles of fine sands along the Dee Estuary. The views across to the Clwydian Mountains are superb.
Stroll along the promenade and watch the fishermen rowing out to their boats.