Whether you’re beginning your trip from the Liverpool side of the Mersey or travelling across the Wirral peninsula, Hamilton Square station will be a familiar stop. The station is connected to every Merseyrail route on the Wirral and is only a short 5-minute train ride from Liverpool’s city centre stations. But if you’ve kept yourself in the dark and yet to emerge from the underground station to sample its array of surrounding tourist attractions, Georgian architecture, museums, cafés and nightlife spots, then there are few excuses. So, while you’re circling the dates in your calendar for the trip, familiarise yourself with our guide to the best attractions in the area; a selection of alehouses, museums, cafés and more. What’s more, you won’t even need to stray any further than 10 minutes from the station to enjoy a packed day out.
The gateway to the Wirral, unofficially, Hamilton Square is both striking in its orderly architecture and sweeping views of the river Mersey. Glance left upon emerging from the station and you’ll be met with riverside views; the Anglican Cathedral hanging on the right shoulder of Liverpool’s city skyline with further views of St Johns Tower puncturing the stratosphere on a clear day. Glance right and you’ll find yourself staring down the epicentre of Hamilton Square where Birkenhead Town Hall stands tall as the architectural spearhead of Hamilton Square Quarter.
Hamilton Square Quarter
Home to one of the largest collections of Grade I listed buildings outside of London, Hamilton Square Quarter is a good starting point for any day out in the area. No single building surrounding the park square is identical in design, leaving much to be explored by eagle-eyed fans of Georgian architecture. At the tip of the Quarter, and perhaps the standout feature, is the grand Birkenhead Town Hall, complete with a craning clock tower visible from the Liverpool side of the Mersey. In the middle of the Quarter sits a beautifully kept array of gardens. This provides the perfect spot to take a moment to wind down and drink in the surroundings or even sketch out a plan of where you’d like to visit next.
Wirral Tramway & Transport Museum
Trams may no longer be a feature in the average Merseyside commute, but they were once the lifeblood of travel for both the Wirral and Liverpool. Despite being phased out in the 1950s, you can still hop on board a history lesson at the Wirral Transport Museum and learn more about the heritage of one of the world’s first steam-powered tramways. The museum also offers an immersive experience of riding the trams from the museum to the Woodside Ferry Terminal with regular services throughout the day. Also in the museum, which is set to complete a brand new refurbishment, you can traverse further transport history through the collection of vintage buses, cars and motorbikes on display.
Amorini Antiques Centre and Ain’t That Swell Tea Rooms
Only 2 minutes on foot from Hamilton Square, Amorini Antiques Centre is a seriously good find. Spread over three floors, you can find yourself happily lost in this treasure trove of antiquities, art, jewellery, ceramics and clothes, with scores of curiosities dotted around on ornate furniture. Testament to the team’s commitment, Amorini is dedicated to offering one of, if not the largest collection of antiques on the Wirral. And if you find yourself parched while hunting around the maze of items, Ain’t That Swell, a vintage tearoom, is also situated in the same building with a dazzling array of teas, cold drinks, cakes, soups and sandwiches on offer.
Gallaghers Pub & Barbers
A gin and tonic might be your more conventional pub duo, but for Gallaghers, the combination of a pint and haircut proved to be a winner. This establishment, just a minute’s walk from river-facing views and five minutes from Hamilton Square, offers real charm with its crowded decor and cosy vibe. It’s also packed bar featuring an expertly amassed offering of real ales. To top that off, there’s also a wide selection of pub foods to help complete a fine traditional pub experience.
The story of U-534, a German underwater vessel deployed during WWII, is a fascinating one. Having refused to surrender with the rest of the U-Boat fleet at the end of the Second World War, the boat continued to operate in the Scandinavian seas near Denmark before it was eventually sunk by the RAF. To this day it is still not known why the crew didn’t surrender, with conspiracies ranging from embarking on one final rogue mission to a hunt for Nazi gold. The wreckage of U-534 is now exhibited just a five-minute walk from Hamilton Square Station at the U-Boat Story, next to Woodside Ferry Terminal. Perfect for all ages, the U-Boat story offers an up-close view of life on U-534 and draws you in to the enduring mystery of its final days at sea.
Glenn Affric Brewery
If you’re willing to stretch your legs, then the Glenn Affric Brewery is well worth the effort. Just within 10 minutes distance of Hamilton Square Station, neighbouring the Birkenhead Priory, the Affric Brewery is the melting pot for an impressive selection of signature drinks honed to perfection by the Wirral brewers. Perhaps what’s most alluring, inside the brewery sits the Taproom, open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from the afternoon into the evening. Here you’ll be able to kick back and soak up the Brewery’s famous house selection of pilsners and IPAs, as well as the occasional exclusive on tap.
The Wilfred Owen Story
Like his mentor Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen is remembered as one of the best-known war poets, starkly capturing the horrors of trench warfare with his arresting prose. Although Owen, originally from Shropshire, would not return from serving in the army, he and his parents relocated to the Wirral shortly before being stationed on the frontline. And it is here, a short walk from Hamilton Square, where you can find a museum dedicated to his life and works. Not as specialist as you might think, the Wilfred Owen Museum serves as an eye-opening experience for more than those with an interest in history and early 20th Century literature.
By now, it will probably have been established that just a short walk from Hamilton Square Station you can catch some pretty incredible views of Liverpool’s skyline. Well, few will be able to compete with the panoramic views found in Home Coffee’s Woodside café. Situated within the historic Woodside ferry terminal, the indoor café space is placed amongst ornate staircases and serves a wide selection of hot drinks and home baked puddings. However, the show stopper comes in the form of the café’s grand balcony overlooking the river. Whether you’re in the mood to watch boats trundle by in the scorching heat of summer, or gaze at the composed architecture resting on Liverpool’s shoreline through winter, Home’s Woodside balcony is a must-see.