53.3292-2.95851Eastham Country Park (Eastham Ferry) (lies approximately 1 mile from the M53 Motorway junction 5) and is reached locally by the A41 (New Chester Road) and Ferry Road via Eastham Village. Public Transport - the nearest Merseyrail Station is Bromborough (approximately 1 mile distance). A bus services is available along the A41 to Bromborough and Eastham Village to Eastham Ferry.). Since the Middle Ages, a ferry service operated across the river Mersey between Eastham and Liverpool, the early ferries being run by monks from the Abbey of St. Werburgh. By the late 1700s, up to 40 coaches each day arrived at a newly built pier, carrying passengers and goods for the ferry. Paddle steamers were introduced in 1816 to replace the sailboats, but the demand for a service declined in the 1840s with the opening of a railway link between Chester and Birkenhead Woodside Ferry. In 1846, the owner of the ferry, Thomas Stanley, built the Eastham Ferry Hotel and shortly after, the Pleasure Gardens were added to attract more visitors. The gardens were landscaped with Rhododendrons, Azaleas, ornamental trees and fountains. Attractions included a zoo, with bears, lions, monkeys and antelope, an open air stage, tea rooms, bandstand, ballroom, boating lake, water chute and a loop-the loop roller coaster. Entertainers performed in the gardens during summer, and included Blondin, the famous tight-rope walker who once wheeled a local boy across a high wire in a wheelbarrow. In 1894, the Manchester Ship Canal was opened by Queen Victoria, bringing added prosperity to the area and a Jubilee Arch was built at the entrance to the Pleasure Gardens in 1897 to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee. In its heyday Eastham Ferry was known as the 'Richmond of the Mersey', but its popularity declined during the 1920s and the last paddle steamer crossing took place in 1929. The Pleasure Gardens fell into disrepair during the 1930s and the Iron pier and Jubilee Arch were later dismantled. In 1970, to commemorate European Conservation Year, the area was designated a Country Park and today, it is once more a popular place of recreation.
Village Hotel Wirral, Pool Ln, Bromborough Pool, Wirral, CH62 4UE (20 minutes walk from Port Sunlight station), ☏ +44 844 980 8035. A 4 star hotel with 117 modern furnished bedrooms, Italian restaurant, swimming pool, spa and sauna as well as business facilities. £69+.