Guide to Oxton
Within a three mile radius of Oxton are no less than 17 schools which received an ‘outstanding’ grade at their last Ofsted inspection. This includes two schools for children with special educational needs, primary schools, infant schools, junior schools and senior schools – offering young families the option to send their children to an outstanding school from age 2 to 19 without venturing much further than walking distance.
Parents need not worry, however, there are no shortage of school places – the available schools reach a total of 72 if both ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools are included and to 170 within a five mile radius.
You can find out all about the available schools in the area here.
Oxton has three doctor’s surgeries within the boundaries of the village itself, with more than a dozen in adjoining Prenton and Birkenhead. The same is true with dentists – with one in the village and another half dozen in the surrounding towns. There are also three local pharmacies, meaning your day to day assessment and treatment of minor illness and injury is well taken care of.
For more urgent matters, accidents and injuries, there’s Arrowe Park Hospital just over three miles away which has an accident and emergency unit in addition to general hospital facilities. Oxton medical services fall under the NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – you can find out more about them here.
Oxton, as a suburb of Birkenhead, is blessed with numerous options for discerning diners that range all the way from one of the last remaining Wimpys in the UK all the way up to the Michelin starred, much lauded Fraiche. However, with more than two dozen restaurants that have achieved a 4.5 stars or higher rating on Tripadvisor, there are plenty of restaurants within a short distance for visitors and residents of Birkenhead to embark on a culinary world tour without having to worry about dropping below a 4 star rated restaurant.
However, if you’re looking for something a little more casual, you can rest assured that there are plenty of traditional English public houses serving traditional food and a range of real ales, with Oxton in a wonderful position to reach the towns, villages and tourist areas of the Wirral.
Oxton’s nearest train stations are Birkenhead Park and Birkenhead Central, both around a mile and a half away. Birkenhead Park is on the New Brighton and West Kirby branch line, and Birkenhead Central is on the main Wirral Line which runs between Liverpool and Chester with national rail services at both ends – the former takes approximately 25 minutes to reach (including a walk to the station) and the latter around 90 minutes.
By road, Liverpool takes about 15 minutes, Chester half an hour and Manchester takes just over an hour – meaning that, by car at least, all three cities can be reached either well within or about the same as the average UK commute time of 59 minutes.
The Old Norse name for the settlement Oxa-tún – which means ‘a farm where oxen are kept’ dates the village’s origins to around the 7th Century, and by the 13th Century the name had been Anglicised to Oxeton. However, the predominantly Victorian village of Oxton owes much of the way it is today, and many of its buildings, to the booming Victorian Liverpool, the wealthy merchants and tradesmen from which settled and built homes from brick and fine sandstone.
St Saviour’s Church, Bidston Road, is Oxton’s Anglican parish church, built to a cruciform plan and of red sandstone with a welsh slate roof in English Gothic style. The foundation stone was laid in 1889 and completion of the church took place in 1892.
Oxton is only a short distance from both New Brighton and Birkenhead and the various attractions on offer there, but before we get to those, the village is walking distance from Birkenhead Park – the inspiration behind New York’s Central Park, where you can take a stroll across the UKs last remaining covered bridge of wooden construction and take in the Grand Entrance and various lodges around the park, each in a different historic architectural style.
For a little family friendly entertainment, there’s also the New Brighton seaside resort with soft sand beaches, a fun fair and amusement arcade as well as a soft play for children up to 12 years. There’s also The U-Boat Story at Woodside Ferry Terminal which tells the history of the last U-Boat to leave Germany during the Second World War and Mersey Explorer Cruisers available from the same place.
You can take in a game at Prenton Park, or take in a show at the Floral Pavilion theatre which runs a programme of ballet, drama, opera, or visit one of the area’s many museums and art galleries. On the Wirral, you’re never too far from a cultured evening out, but equally (if you’d rather just catch the latest blockbuster), then there’s The Light Cinema in New Brighton, which offers coffee and cocktails as well as live music and the latest releases.
There aren’t too many nightclubs on the Wirral, so it will be no surprise that Oxton is lacking late night party venues, but there are restaurants and bars available within a short drive – and, for anyone craving a night out, Liverpool with its world famous nightlife (a tourist draw on its own), is just an affordable late night taxi ride away.
The Wirral Globe featured a news story in September 2020 that should give some indication of the choice on offer to residents of Oxton. Birkenhead, the nearest town, ranked 10th in the UK by density of beauty venues per square meter. While Oxton has a couple of salons and beauty parlours available in the village, the choice of nail parlours, tanning centres and stylists nearby mean there’s little chance you won’t find an appointment ready for a night out or special occasion.
There’s a lot of stress that comes with moving home – worrying about where you’re going to find the destressing treatments to get you through shouldn’t be one, so you can rest assured there’s plenty on offer in and around Oxton.
The village of Oxton would be unlikely to welcome the busy high street you’ll find in one of the nearby big cities, but while the village preserves its Victorian village aesthetic, shoppers are lucky enough to have several retail parks nearby.
There’s The Croft Retail and Leisure Park in Bromborough, JunctionONE Retail Park, and The Rock Retail Park and Pyramids Shopping Centre in Birkenhead. In addition, the fifteen minute drive to Liverpool city centre makes LiverpoolONE, the purpose built retail and leisure park an ideal place for a day of shopping.
The village itself may be better suited for coffee and a catch up, but there’s plenty of shopping nearby.
Oxton has Lidl, Sainsburys, Asda and Tesco Extra all within a short journey from the centre of the village and several other big brand supermarkets in Birkenhead and New Brighton, nearby. However, there’s more to a weekly shop than just the big brands, and that’s where the Wirral has the ability to delight.
There are plenty of independent stores and markets, from popular Hoylake Pantry, a zero waste shop for wholefoods and plastic free refills for detergents, the Vineyard Farm in Bromborough, and Claremont Farm in Bebington, both of which supply sustainable, locally sourced fresh produce.
So you’ll be well provided for whether you want your favourite brands, or something a little special as a treat.
Did You Know?
- Due to its status as a conservation area, new developments are required to match the village’s aesthetic from size to building materials in order to retain the feel and character of Oxton as a whole. The conservation area is promoted and maintained by the specially founded charity The Oxton Society.
- The land upon which the majority of Oxton sits once belonged to the Estate of the Earl of Shrewsbury and this is commemorated in the names of many of the village’s road names which include: Ingestre Road, Shrewsbury Road, Talbot Road, Waterford Road. The Shrewsbury Arms, the oldest pub in the village, is also a reference to the fact.