The Mersey Estuary stretches from Warrington in Cheshire to Liverpool, Wirral and the coast, with many great places to visit, spectacular wildlife and a fascinating maritime history. This page brings together the information on the Mersey on this site under the following headings:
- Places to visit
- Maritime history
- Wildlife and environment
It will be updated as new items are posted; I hope you find it interesting.
Places to visit
Outdoors art of the Mersey Estuary
This article describes some of the great outdoors art to appreciate around the estuary, such as the Another Place statues in Crosby, Liverpool’s superlambananas, Future Flower in Widnes, and other examples from around its shores:
Seeing the estuary from on high
One of the best ways to appreciate the scale of an estuary is from on high, and this post describes some viewpoints around the estuary, such as Liverpool Cathedral, Birkenhead Priory and the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes.
There are many unexpected sights to see around the Mersey Estuary such as a castle, a pagoda and a windmill. This post gives some more examples:
Photographs of the estuary
The Images section of this website has a selection of photographs of the estuary, including tourist destinations, wildlife and shipping.
There are also higher resolution versions of these and other images on the Alamy stock photography website for use in newspapers, magazines and other media, such as websites.
Although intended for editorial use and making large prints (e.g. for wall art), feel free to browse through them too if you’d simply like to see more of the estuary. They are available at this link.
The Mersey Estuary: A Travel guide
I wrote a book about the estuary and this short video describes it, along with images of some interesting places to visit from Warrington to Runcorn, Widnes, Liverpool, Wirral and the coast. This post also describes how I went about writing the book and some personal highlights.
Development of the Port of Liverpool – Then and Now
Channel 5 recently aired a new documentary about the development of the Port of Liverpool and modern-day operations and this brief review describes some interesting highlights from the programme.
Development of the Port of Liverpool – land reclamation
With the exception of the first dock to be built – the Old Dock – most docks in the Port of Liverpool were built out into the estuary, and this article describes this remarkable feat of land reclamation.
Before computers, the tides were predicted using tidal prediction machines, which were a type of analogue computer. Bidston Observatory on the Wirral was at the forefront of this research and this article describes how these machines worked and an exhibition in Liverpool with a working example.
Other ports around the estuary
Before the development of road and rail transport, the Mersey and Dee estuaries were once busy with ships travelling upstream, such as to Chester, Ellesmere Port and Warrington. This article provides an introduction to the development of these ports and their subsequent decline.
Timekeeping in the days of sail and steam
Before the advent of modern navigation aids, obtaining an accurate time signal for marine chronometers was essential. This article describes some of the techniques that were used in the days of sail and steam, including Liverpool’s One O’clock Gun.
RRS Sir David Attenborough and Boaty McBoatface
The UK’s new polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough recently crossed the Mersey from the Cammell Laird shipyard, where it was built, to visit the Liverpool Cruise Terminal for a few days. This post gives news on recent developments.
Much has been published on the maritime history and wildlife of the Mersey Estuary and the following article suggests some interesting websites and books to explore.
Wildlife and environment
Wildlife of the Mersey Estuary
In recent decades, there have been major improvements to the water quality in the estuary and new nature reserves have been created. This article give a brief introduction to how this came about with links to more information.
The Mersey Tidal Bore
One little known wonder of the Mersey Estuary is its tidal bore, which occurs on the highest tides. This aticle describes how it forms and where it can be seen.
Liverpool’s lost rivers
For a city the size of Liverpool, there are surprisingly few rivers within its boundaries. This article discusses how drainage works have caused most to disappear and some signs that still remain.
During the winter, many thousands of wading birds gather in the Mersey Estuary and along the north Wirral coastline. Sometimes they perform a beautiful aerial dance called a murmuration and this post gives some tips on photographing this natural wonder.
Much has been published on the wildlife and environment of the Mersey Estuary and the article under ‘Maritime History’ referred to above also includes a selection of interesting websites and books on this topic.
So, hopefully this compilation of articles on the Mersey Estuary has been useful, and please let me know if you have other suggestions for posts on places to visit, maritime history or wildlife in Liverpool, Wirral and Cheshire.
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