Guide to Neston
Neston has 5 schools rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted within a five mile radius of the town – including Woodfall Primary School which takes children from between ages two and 11. Including schools rated both ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’, this rises to 30 schools. The nearest ‘outstanding’ senior school (for ages between 11 and 18) is St John Plessington Catholic College just under six miles away which is mixed gender.
The town offers an outstanding option at all levels within the range of a reasonable morning school run – with most schools reachable in under 20 minutes. While it is a little more remote than some other popular areas of the Wirral, it is nevertheless popular as the town itself more than makes up for increased journey times. You can see the schools on offer in the Neston area here.
The town is home to two medical clinics – Neston Medical Centre and Neston Surgery – three dental practices with NHS places, three pharmacies – one of which is a Boots and, all in all, is reasonably well provided for in terms of general medical services for your everyday ailments and day to day treatment.
For more serious complaints or accidents, the nearest hospital is between Arrowe Park, Clatterbridge and the Countess of Chester Hospitals – though none are especially far away, Clatterbridge is the nearest at just under five miles from the town while the Countess of Chester is just over 10 miles away. Neston’s medical services fall under NHS Cheshire Clinical Control Group (CCG) – you can find more about them here.
Despite its size, the town of Neston has plenty on offer when it comes to dining. Whether you’re looking for a traditional pub lunch, a big breakfast or an evening meal, you’ll find a wealth of possibility. There are the standard UK favourites – Indian and Chinese cuisine – as well as Mediteranian options from Greek to Italian.
However, that’s just what’s on offer in the town itself, and Neston is surrounded by towns and villages which are equally well stocked with fine dining. If you want something a bit special, for instance, there’s nearby Leasowe Castle serving meals beneath a star-studded ceiling that was once part of the Palace of Westminster, or Fraiche in Birkenhead, a Michelin starred restaurant.
Neston is about as far away as you can get from Liverpool while remaining on the Wirral Peninsula, yet you can still reach the city in just over half an hour by car. Chester, too, is only a short drive away at around 25 minutes, while Manchester is just over an hour away, meaning that three of the north west’s best performing cities are accessible in or around the national average commute time of 59 minutes.
Things take a little longer by train, however, with Liverpool taking around 50 minutes, Chester 90 minutes and Manchester more than two hours. Neston train station is on the Borderlands Line between Bidston and Wrexham – with the latter being reachable in 40 minutes by road and 90 by rail – which is operated by Transport for Wales.
Neston was granted a Royal Charter in 1728 and, for much of the 18th Century, the town was a bustling port. However, its history goes back much further and Neston was named in the Anglo-Saxon era Domesday Book.
As well as a port, Neston also had a thriving mining community – with Ness Colliery operating for almost a hundred years between 1759 and 1855 and was famous both for transporting coal using underground canals and for a campaign of sabotage carried out by its owners against a rival family’s mines. A second wave of coal mining then began in 1875 with the establishment of the Neston Colliery and continued, including through a period of national ownership during the First World War, until 1927.
One of the main attractions in and around Neston is the town itself which went through a period of regeneration following the formation of the Neston Market Town Initiative. The town now hosts a busy Friday market which draws residents and tourists alike to the town.
If you’re looking for a more natural attraction, then you’ll love the RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands – a bird and wildlife preserve which is not only great for the birds, but also offers some fantastic nature walks through woodlands and around wetlands absolutely teeming with birds and other wildlife.
It doesn’t end there, however, as Neston is within a short drive of dozens of other nature reserves, historic English towns and villages, as well as of the cultural and historic hotspots of Roman Chester and history-rich Liverpool.
Your entertainment options within the town of Neston are generally limited to the town’s cafe culture – with fabulous places to meet with friends for coffee and a bite to eat. For galleries, museums and theatre, you’ll likely have to venture out of town – but you’re never too far from something to do on the Wirral, with nearby galleries in Port Sunlight and Heswall, theatre in New Brighton and plenty of museums dotted throughout the ancient peninsula.
If you’re more of a night-owl, the club-scene of Neston may not be the reason you move to the town, but then with the cities of Chester and Liverpool both within reach of a late night taxi ride, their nightlife, concerts, sporting events and more are all options that won’t require an overnight stay or break the bank.
Neston’s High Street and Parkgate Road both offer plenty of highly rated beauty parlours, salons and technicians offering every therapy and service you could possibly need from a town. You’ll find nail art, beauty salons, hair stylists and tanning studios all within a quick walk both of each other and of the town centre, meaning you shouldn’t struggle to find a business that matches your taste and style.
Although you might say that beauty parlours aren’t among your primary concerns when looking for a new place to call home, it is always a relief to find that you won’t have to travel too far in order to find top quality beauty services ready for nights out or special occasions – or just the occasional cut and colour.
Neston High Street is mostly full of cafes, and the standard town centre fare from shoe shops, restaurants, greetings card stores and the like, so for a proper day of shopping, you’ll need to take a trip to one of the area’s many retail parks.
Nearby options include the Sealand Road Retail Park in Chester and The Croft Retail and Leisure Park in Bromborough. However, the town’s proximity to Liverpool city centre opens up the purpose built LiverpoolONE retail and leisure park, which is an ideal destination for shopping. In addition, the historic city of Chester is also a thriving shopping town on the doorstep and Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet is also only a short drive away, making Neston a well placed town even for the most committed shopaholic.
Neston provides the usual access to supermarkets, with both an Aldi and Sainsburys as well as a smaller Tesco Express all in the town and with ease of access for your weekly shop. However, the town also has plenty of independently owned stores offering local produce – including a weekly Friday outdoor market which offers exceptional choice, including:
- Local artisan breads
- Fresh Cheshire produce
- Local fine meats, fish and cheeses
- Homemade cakes, jams, pies and chutneys
- Sweets and treats
So whether you want to keep to your much loved supermarket brands, or branch out a little with some locally sourced produce, then Neston has everything you might need.
Did You Know?
- Neston was the birthplace of Lady Emma Hamilton, the 18th Century model and actress, long-term mistress of Vice-Admiral, Lord Horatio Nelson and muse to portrait artist George Romney. While often known in the modern era for her relationship with Nelson, she appears in multiple works of art, including operas, portraits and plays and a memorial to her can be found in the town.
- Sir Thomas Stanley, owner of Ness Colliery, was repeatedly sued for trespassing and attempts of sabotage by Thomas Cottingham who owned the competing Little Neston Colliery. Cottingham was awarded £2000 in 1822 (the equivalent of £256,000 in 2020), but it wasn’t enough to save the mine which closed not long after.