Guide to Upton
Including Ganneys Meadow Nursery School and Family Centre for ages 2-5, Irby Primary School from 4-11, Weatherhead High School for Girls and Kilgarth School for boys, Upton has 11 schools which received an ‘outstanding’ grade at their last Ofsted review all within a three mile radius. There are also specialist SEN schools for all ages with similar exceptional performance reviews.
In addition, available schools rise to 38 when including those with a ‘good’ rating. With the many outstanding options through all ages in mind, it’s easy to see why Upton is popular among young families looking for somewhere to raise children and offer the best possible schooling – when looking for somewhere to provide children with a great start, Upton is as good a place to settle down as any.
Upton Group Practice – the local medical centre – received a ‘good’ rating at its last review from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and contains a Rowlands Pharmacy for dispensing prescriptions. The village also has a dedicated dental practice – Upton Dental Practice – which offers both general and cosmetic dentistry. So, while Upton may not be the largest village, its residents are well cared for when it comes to their day-to-day medical needs.
For anything more serious – for injuries, accidents or surgical procedures – there’s Arrowe Park Hospital, just over two miles away from the village, which also offers an accident and emergency service. Services in Upton are part of NHS Wirral CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) and you can find out all about them here.
While, for the most part, Upton residents nearby dining options are traditional English fare – with a choice of chip shops, pubs and Indian and Chinese takeaway on offer – but even this small village has a growing selection of restaurants. There are also a wealth of options nearby in Greasby and Heswall which between them can offer a gastronomic world tour.
However, for the committed foodie, nearby Birkenhead can provide a Michelin starred restaurant, and Bromborough, a short drive away, has a restaurant with two rosettes from the AA and, if you’re looking for a romantic evening or meal with family and friends, there are culture rich Chester and Liverpool located only a short drive away – should you wish to follow your meal with theatre or a concert.
Upton is extremely well connected by road – and Liverpool, Chester and Manchester are all accessible with relative ease. By car, your commute to Liverpool would take around 16 minutes, Chester 30 minute and Manchester 65 minutes – making Upton a great commuter village for three of the northwest’s best performing cities.
By train, things are a little more difficult, and Manchester becomes an hour and 40 minutes, Chester an hour and fifteen minutes and Liverpool just under 40 minutes. This is primarily due to the nearest station being outside of the electrified Merseyrail area (though still Merseyrail operated) and, therefore, on the Borderlands Line – operating between Bidston and Wrexham. The latter is reachable in around 40 minutes, however, opening up another possibility for commuters by train.
While it may have begun as a small farming community, Upton experienced a booming economy and was one of the Wirral’s major villages until the industrialisation of the northwest and the subsequent development of Birkenhead in the mid-19th Century. Historian William Williams Mortimer had this to say in his 1847 work ‘History of the Hundred of Wirral’:
“…though now only a small village, Upton was formerly considered the metropolis of the lower mediety of Wirral, and had two annual fairs of considerable importance, and also a weekly market that was discontinued in 1620, the village having been recently almost entirely rebuilt, contains several good houses, among which may be particularly mentioned Upton Hall…”
There is also evidence that the village goes back much further than its confirmed thousand years, however, and when the original church at Overchurch was demolished in 1813, a runestone thought to date to the 7th or 8th Century was discovered in the ruins.
One of the main attractions in Upton itself is the Upton Meadow Millennium Wood – an ancient, semi-natural woodland, community forest and county wildlife site with informal public access. The area has just under a mile of footpath and is one of the last unbuilt, natural areas in Upton. The site was leased to the Woodland Trust (for 99 years) in 1997 by Wirral Borough Council, and parts of the woods were planted that same year.
However, there are also plenty of museums nearby – including the tram museum in Birkenhead and U-boat story in Seacombe – as well as the historic pottery and sculpture on display at The Lady Lever Art Gallery. Then, if you’re looking for family friendly days out, New Brighton – a traditional seaside resort – is also right next door with plenty to do from adventure golf to a fun fair.
If you’re more about a quiet evening at the local, then Upton’s highly regarded pubs are perfect – but the village is not a place famed for its nightlife. Instead, its residents simply have to make do with nearby Liverpool and Chester – both cities with thriving nightlife not to mention everything from bars to museums, clubs, sport, music and theatre.
Unless you’re keen on the party scene, there’s no real need to travel quite so far for an evening’s entertainment – there are theatres throughout the Wirral staging small productions and comedy nights, as well as New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion which runs a full program of drama, opera and musicals. Though Upton is a sleepy village compared with some, it’s exactly this – when combined with its proximity to vibrant towns and cities – which makes it such a wonderful place to live.
Ford Road is where you’ll find the majority of Upton’s beauty salons and stylists (though there are plenty more dotted throughout the village) and includes the five out of five Tripadvisor rated Chokie Massage and Beauty Therapy which offers a complete range of massage treatments, as well as hair stylists, a makeup and beauty studio and half a dozen other salons offering everything you could need for an evening out or special occasion.
Salons may not be the first thing that buyers and renters think about when choosing a new place to live, but it shouldn’t be discounted. These are the little things that can make somewhere nice to live a great place to live.
In addition to the ease of access Upton offers to the shopping havens of Chester, Liverpool and Manchester (Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, LiverpoolONE and The Trafford Centre are all under an hour away), Upton is located within five to ten miles of half a dozen retail parks which offer a slightly more leisurely dose of retail therapy a little closer to home.
Nearby Bromborough has The Croft Retail and Leisure Park, Birkenhead has both the Pyramid Centre and Rock Retail Park, the JunctionONE Retail and Leisure Park is a short drive away and the Coliseum Shopping Park in Ellesmere Port a little further still. So, while Upton may not be a thriving shopper’s paradise, there are still a lot of options on offer.
Upton, like most of the UK, is a short drive from a number of supermarket chains and there are larger Tesco and Aldi stores nearby. However there are also the Vineyard Farm in Bromborough and Claremont Farm in Bebington which offer an alternative weekly shop – both stocking sustainable and locally sourced fresh produce including cheeses, meats, vegetables and handmade baked goods.
There’s also the five star rated butcher Heseltine’s – a fixture in the village – from which you can pick up something special for Sunday lunch and plenty of independent stores in surrounding villages offering unique services – such as Hoylake Pantry, a zero waste shop selling wholefoods by weight, and detergent refills, toiletries and more without single-use plastic.
Did You Know?
- An 1837 tithe map of the area shows a half-circle of standing stones around a wooded hollow with a diameter of around 350 metres. Although there are few records about the stones, this suggests the area may once have been a religious site during the Neolithic period.
- The name of Overchurch - possibly from the Old English Ofer Circe (roughly translated as ‘shore church’ or ‘church on the shore’) may indicate that the shore of the Irish Sea was much closer to the centre of the village during the Anglo-Saxon era.