Guide to Port Sunlight
There are twelve schools local to Port Sunlight (within a 3 mile radius) which received ‘outstanding’ ratings at their last inspection by Ofsted. These include a single sex senior school each for boys and girls as well as mixed gender St John Plessington Catholic College. There are also outstanding options at all levels (and a unique drama school) available, meaning that families can ensure a world class education for their children at all ages.
As a result, Port Sunlight is extremely popular with young families looking for a place to settle down. You can find out more about the outstanding schools available in and around Port Sunlight here.
Port Sunlight has two medical centres – Kings Lane Medical Centre (rated ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission) and Civic Medical Centre (also rated ‘good’) – serving the area. There are also two dental practices offering general and cosmetic dentistry and half a dozen pharmacies in the local vicinity.
For more serious complaints, accidents and emergencies, the local hospital is Clatterbridge Hospital just over three miles away and the nearest accident and emergency unit is around six and a half miles away at Arrowe Park Hospital. Services in Port Sunlight are part of the NHS Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and you can find out about them here.
With Port Sunlight, it’s easy to point out links to Chester, Liverpool or Manchester as primary dining destinations, or the Michelin Starred Fraiche in Birkenhead, but there is plenty within a short walk from Port Sunlight. For example, Riviera at the Leverhulme Hotel has been awarded two rosettes by the AA Best Restaurant Guide, and there are more than ten restaurants and takeaways with 4 to 5 star ratings on Tripadvisor within a very short distance.
You could be looking for a gluten free breakfast, a vegan lunch, steak dinner or a sumptuous dessert and you’ll find it all – including the opportunity to sample half the world’s delicacies – all within a few miles.
Port Sunlight is served by the aptly named Port Sunlight Railway Station, which is on the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network and has regular services to Chester, Ellesmere Port and Liverpool – with national rail services provided at both Liverpool and Chester. It takes around 30 minutes to reach Liverpool by train and 50 minutes to Chester.
Port Sunlight is also well connected by road, and the time to Chester drops to 26 minutes by car, while Liverpool can be reached in 15 minutes and Manchester in 59 minutes – which is the average commute time in the UK. It’s therefore more than possible to work in a big northern city and still have the village life in Port Sunlight.
Unlike most of the Wirral, the towns and villages of which can trace their village back to Old Norse, Viking and Saxon roots, Port Sunlight is a model village built by the Lever Brothers company (which later became Unilever) and specifically William Lever who oversaw the village’s creation for his workers.
Between 1889 and 1914, 800 houses were built to house a population of three and a half thousand. Each block of housing was designed by a different architect and in a different style from Flemish style which used bricks imported from Belgium.
With more than 900 Grade 2 listed buildings, Port Sunlight was declared a conservation area in 1978 in order to preserve its unique character.
For a small village, Port Sunlight is not short of attractions – not least the village itself which was one of the first purpose built Victorian worker towns and offers trails around its 900 listed buildings as well as containing The Lady Lever Art Gallery and Port Sunlight Museum and Garden Village.
There is also the fantastic Port Sunlight River Park offering wonderful views of the Mersey and the Liverpool skyline as well as walks of differing levels of strenuousness on their wending way through the recently built park.
If you eventually tire of Port Sunlight, however, then there is a wealth of nature walks, museums and galleries in the local area as well as two of the north west’s most historic cities – Liverpool and Chester.
If theatre, musicals or classic cinema are what you need, then Port Sunlight’s historic Gladstone Theatre will cater well for you – with comedy, music and a host of other entertainment on offer. There’s also The Lady Lever Art Gallery, another beautiful historic building containing Roman sculpture, Greek vases and art and ceramics from all over the world.
If nightlife is more your speed, then Port Sunlight residents can be sure that the nightlife, concerts, sporting events and more on offer from nearby Liverpool and Manchester, two cities regularly placed in the top 10 for nightclubs and bars in the Britain, are both close enough to make a late night taxi ride affordable with a little help from your friends.
Port Sunlight residents are spoilt for choice where beauty therapies, spas and salons are concerned. There’s the luxurious Leverhulme Hotel & Spa in nearby Bebington, as well as the Vista Spa & Beauty with a wide range of available treatments and its five star on-site salon. There are also dozens of independent hair and beauty salons which offer everything from a quick trim to a day of pampering.
As Port Sunlight is so well connected, however, the immediate surroundings are just the beginning – and nearby Birkenhead ranked 10th in the UK by density of beauty venues per square meter. With so many options, there’s every chance you’ll find your new favourite salon in no time.
Keen shoppers will already be aware of Port Sunlight’s proximity to LiverpoolONE, Manchester’s giant Trafford Centre and Designer Outlet Cheshire Oaks, but there are also smaller shopping fixes available closer to the village – such as The Rock Retail Park and Pyramids Shopping Centre in Birkenhead.
While it may take a little convincing to talk a shopaholic out of a day at one of the huge complexes on offer in the north west, there are plenty of places to shop in and around the village. However, Port Sunlight’s transport links and location related to three major shopping destinations (Chester, Manchester and Liverpool) make it a great place to live for even the most ardent shopaholic.
Port Sunlight offers easy and convenient access to a number of the big brand retail stores, with smaller M&S and Sainsburys as well as larger Tesco, Aldi and Asda stores nearby. However, if you fancy something a little different, there’s Claremont Farm in Bebington and Vineyard Farm in Bromborough – both offering sustainable, locally sourced fresh produce from vegetables to meats and cheeses as well as handmade sweet and savoury baked goods.
In the surrounding area, there are also plenty of independent butchers, bakers and grocers offering sustainable and locally sourced meat and produce – meaning that residents of Port Sunlight can choose their favourite brands, or take home something special as a treat (or both!).
Did You Know?
- While it is less ancient than many of the towns and villages, the purpose built Victorian worker’s village of Port Sunlight contains 900 Grade 2 listed buildings. Given its relative newness, it should come as no surprise that, while many local towns and villages have names derived from Old Norse and Saxon, the village of Port Sunlight was named after something quite different - a cleaning agent produced by Lever Brothers (later Unilever) which sold well in the late 19th Century.
- Hulme Hall in Port Sunlight was the venue that hosted drummer Ringo Starr's official debut as a member of The Beatles. The concert took place on the 18th of August 1962 and also led to his first press interview which also took place at the venue.