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HESWALL TOURIST INFORMATION & VISITOR GUIDE

The town of Heswall has a rich and longstanding history, dating back further than the Doomsday Book where it is referred to as ‘Eswelle’. In the nineteenth century, Heswall was a small hamlet centered around St. Peter’s Church, the land around the church dotted with cottages, dwellings and heathland.

As the nearby city of Liverpool grew, so did Heswall as wealthy merchants set up lavish holiday homes in the town, taking advantage of spectacular views across the Dee Estuary with the Welsh hills forming a distant backdrop.

Today, Heswall still has some opulent homes and its centre has become known as a “hot-spot” for shoppers, diners and for those looking to enjoy a good night out.

During the daytime hustle and bustle, Heswall enjoys a lively yet relaxed atmosphere.  While some national shopping chains exist, Heswall stays true to its roots in “local” business, with many lovely independent shops, showcasing local produce.

Heswall enjoys a strong coffee shop culture, with plenty of options to choose from. Whether you are looking to grab a hot cup of coffee and a slice of cake, while lovely quaint tea rooms offer everything from a pot of tea to luxurious afternoon teas.

As night falls, Heswall’s pace of life changes once again, slowing down allowing locals and visitors alike, to enjoy the many high-quality dining options on offer. Gusto Restaurant, Burnt Truffle and 107 Dining Room are just some of the lovely restaurants you can spend an evening in, while there are also several bars for those looking to enjoy a glass of wine or something fizzy.

If you don’t want your visit to Heswall to end quite so soon, then why not spend the night…? Heswall has plenty of places for you to chose from including; The Jug & Bottle, Premier Inn Wirral (Heswall) and Grasmere House to name just a few and if you can also enjoy the neighbouring Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa being only a short distance away.

For all you keen sports fenatics, Heswall has plenty to offer, with Heswall Lawn Tennis Club, Heswall Football Club and for the golfers among you, Heswall Golf Club, offering a round of golf with idyllic views across the Dee Estuary and Welsh hill.

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OPEN SPACES

Heswall has several open spaces, the largest being Heswall Dales enjoying dry, sandy heathland overlooking the River Dee and Welsh Hills and has the status of both Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

Other open areas also overlooking the Dee are the Beacons and Poll Hill, which is the highest point on the Wirral Peninsula. Whitfield Common, off Whitfield Lane, contains natural land as well as playing fields and tennis courts. The Puddydale is a large grassed area close to the middle of Heswall.

Heswall also enjoys Dawstone Park which was opened in 1931 and is beautifully maintained by the Friends of Dawstone Park. Notwithstanding Dawstone Park, Heswall also benefits from Hill House Park and Gardens which were the private grounds of the now known Jug & Bottle and are today lovely cared for by the Friends of Hill House Park and Gardens.

TRANSPORT

Heswall has easy access to the major motorway networks leading to nearby cities of Chester and Liverpool. Heswall is also served by the Heswall Railway Station operating on the Borderlands Line (Bidston to Wrexham Central) and there is also Heswall Bus Station.

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LOCAL SCHOOLS

Heswall is surrounded by high performing and very popular schools including; Heswall St. Peter’s CofE Primary School, Gayton Primary School, Barnston Primary School and Heswall Primary School.

With good quality teaching, support and positive Ofsted reports, children perform well and go on to further succession in neighbouring High Schools and Grammar Schools. What more could you want for your child’s grounding educational requirements.

NIGHT LIFE

Winding down after work? Then look no further. Heswall offers a thriving nightlife providing a perfect alternative to Liverpool and Chester, due to Heswall’s restaurants, bars and pubs culture. Silk Rd Restaurant, Gusto Heswall, Otto Lounge, Nova, 107 Dining Room and Paradox are just some of the places you can visit.

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Gayton Windmill - image from allertonoak.net
Gayton Windmill - image from allertonoak.net
St. Peters Church - image from wikimedia.org
St. Peters Church - image from wikimedia.org
War Memorial - image from wikimedia.org
War Memorial - image from wikimedia.org

POINTS OF INTEREST

Gayton Windmill – The restored mill, which was built in the 17th Century of red sandstone, is probably the oldest surviving tower mill in Wirral and once ground corn for the local farmers. It was last used in 1860 and is now incorporated into the adjacent house.

St. Peter’s Church – The Tower dates from the fourteenth century and has served all three churches on this site. The first was built around 1300; the second in 1739, but it was severely damaged by a thunderstorm on 19th September 1875 during which both the organist and the organ boy were killed, and others injured. The present structure was finished in 1879.

The Cave – Situated roughly half way up Thurstaston Road, the name derives from the cave located in the extensive grounds, in which local ship wreckers used to stash their ill-gotten gains. James Adam, a fruit broker from Liverpool, bought 1 acre 3 rods and 19 perches of land for £500 in October 1872 and employed architect Francis Doyle to design this beautiful property as an annual holiday home, until 1934, when Miss Penelope Adam took up permanent residence after her parents’ death. She lived there until 1959, when the house and extra ground totalling 21 acres was auctioned to a syndicate of local people for £12,700.

War Memorial – Just opposite the quaint Dee View pub, with breathtaking views across the River Dee to Wales, the War Memorial commemorates those 74 and 104 servicemen of the parish who fell in World Wars I and II respectively, and also the 7 civilians of the parish who were killed by enemy action during WWII. The site also contains the famous mirror places to aid drivers negotiate the tight bend – hence the nickname ‘Mirror Bend’ or Mirror Corner’.

Lloyds Bank – Built in 1907, it was designed by George Hastwell Grayson who also designed buildings at Trinity Collage Cambridge. The building at the rear, of brick and half timbering with herring bone pattern, was the manager’s house until the late 20th Century. In 1990 it was proposed to demolish it as part of the road widening scheme but this was defeated at the last minute prompted by the Heswall Society.

The Puddydale – The large green space of The Puddydale, a grassed area of 4 acres, was given to the Parish of Heswall in 1855 by the Enclosures Commission. The unusual name derives from a large pond or puddle near the road and winter time saw skating there. The flats, Red Dale, at the rear are built on the site of the school which stood there from 1909 for nearly 80 years before it was replaced by the current buildings in Whitfield Lane, still known as Heswall Primary School. The original school was always known as “The Puddydale”. The pond itself is remembered for sailing boats, fishing, and, sadly, as a Smithfield (drowning place) for kittens and puppies!

HDBA/Local Businesses

Heswall is home to more than 300 businesses, offering a brilliant variety for your every desire. With a good mix of independent and multinational franchises such as Dominos; Subway and Costa that cater for all tastes and age groups.

Heswall & District Business Association (HDBA) is here to protect, promote and support its local businesses in any way it can. They keep local traders informed of goings on within the local district, such as any planning applications or updates that the local area needs to be informed about.

With online shopping and big retail chains, the local high street is not what it used to be. This is where HDBA come in. “Let loyalty be the focal of shopping local”. HDBA promote local events, projects, offers and promotions from any of our local member high street businesses.

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