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Is Birkenhead a Good Place to Live?


Is Birkenhead a Good Place to Live

Birkenhead is far from a tourist hotspot. It’s poverty-rich and scarce in employment opportunities. I once lived in a city like it, and it introduced me to the best of humanity.

Is Birkenhead a Good Place to Live? If you value authenticity and strength over shopping malls and tourist spots, Birkenhead’s gritty underbelly will bring your life plenty of much-needed meaning. It has its own kind of beauty, which it expresses best through its docklands and quirky architecture. It might lack wealth, but it makes up for it in personality.

Birkenhead is characterised by its Gothic architecture, docks, and parklands. Its rentals and properties are economical, and its 88, 000 population introduces you to small-town life at its finest. It’s famous for its shipbuilding and seaport, but its pub life is equally vibrant. The charming historical tramways and parks punctuate each day with a piece of the past. 

Birkenhead’s tunnels have their own secrets, thanks to their intriguing history. When you become part of the community, you develop a passion for things you’ve never shown an interest in before. You can expect your social life to become a little quirky, but that’s just one example of how Birkenhead embraces you as its own.

You’ll spend Saturdays picking strawberries and Sundays browsing antique stores. The city even has its own gaming subculture. Let’s take a look at Wirral’s mysterious lifestyle. 

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Is Birkenhead a Good Place to Live?

The region is known as the leisure peninsula, and it’s been rated the happiest place in the North West for its friendly neighbours, safety, and lifestyle destinations. If you have a family, there are several schools in the Wirral Area.

Birkenhead School goes far beyond the National Curriculum. As a top-performing school, it focuses on developing resilience and ambition in every student. It will cover your children’s educations all the way up to their last adolescent years, and while it values academia, it also teaches its students resilience and values. If you’re a parent, Birkenhead School is reason enough to create a new life in the area. 

Oxton is arguably its best neighbourhood. It’s known as Birkenhead’s ideal escape for its leafy streets and charming secret gardens. It’s best to avoid the North End, which is marred by crime and poverty. These two issues tend to co-exist, and Birkenhead is no exception. It has approximately 2, 000 burglaries a year and almost as much theft. Its violent crime rises well beyond its other offences, reaching almost 10, 000 incidents each year. 

If you’re travelling by public transport, there are local bus and ferry departments, but the famous historic trams are far more fun to use. I’ve found that public transport systems are the best way to get in touch with communities. This is where you get a sense of a city’s culture and sensibilities, and if you’re lucky, you’ll make plenty of friends along the way. I certainly have. 

You can’t live in Birkenhead without developing a passion for soccer, and you’ll learn to love the game at the city’s many English pubs. Every city I’ve ever lived in has brought with it a wealth of new friends, so use your relocation to meet people at the many clubs and meetups in the city. It has a tight-knit community with several social groups for hikers, professionals, and poker players. 

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Is Birkenhead a Good Place to Work?

Birkenhead is, admittedly, not a city for everyone, but if you’re allergic to pretension and value places for their personalities and people as I do, it might just change your life for the better. You’ll probably feel its authenticity most in your work life.

The area is turning the downtown region into a business capital, but for the moment, its biggest employers are Vauxhall Motors, Unilever, and Cammell Laird. If you’re an engineer, blue-collar or factory worker, it has plenty of diverse opportunities.

White collar jobs are a little harder to come by, but there are teachers, marketers, and software developers making an excellent living there.

The local unemployment rates are 25% higher than the UK average, with median salaries falling just below £20,00 a year.

Compared with England’s medians, Birkenhead salaries are one to four per cent lower. The work culture has more in common with Liverpool than Wirral, so you will enjoy a certain degree of sophistication.

There are only 0.3% more workers drawing jobseekers’ allowance than in Wirral. Commutes to work are relatively easy unless you’re travelling to the outskirts of the city, where traffic can become somewhat unmanageable. Of course, your job does little for you if it’s not in keeping with your monthly expenses, so what can the area’s housing market offer you? Let’s find out.

Is Birkenhead a Good Place to Buy a House?

Three-bedroom housing prices in the best parts of the city are just above £100, 000 on average, and if Birkenhead’s ambitious economic investment is anything to go by, homeowners will secure excellent resale values in the years to come.

It’s certainly becoming a fashionable city as transport connectivity opens up access to Liverpool. Meyerside’s housing trends reveal an upswing in the property market, and with many one and two-bedroom homes selling for £60, 000, there is plenty of investment potential here.

Large families might find the property market a little challenging to navigate given the dearth of five-bedroom homes, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find that dream space for between £250, 000 and £800 000. Currently, Meyerside’s housing market is 20% below its 2007 trends, so it’s a buyer’s market that has an excellent chance of recovery.

Depopulation figures are rising, which could be responsible for the low prices. Estate agents are seeing stronger buying right now thanks to the upswing in high-end properties and retail investment. Foreign student figures are rising, and property development is equally mobile. If you do decide to move to Birkenhead, you’ll need to consider your retirement years. What kind of life does the city offer its older residents?

Is Birkenhead a Good Place to Retire?

Look beyond Birkenhead’s lack of wealth, and you’ll find a region that’s distinctly human. Its people are its greatest asset, and when your days are entirely dedicated to leisure, that’s a core component of your quality of life.

The area has a handful of retirement homes and sheltered properties alongside its care homes. It’s one of the cheapest places to retire, and if you’re looking for a part time retirement job, the market is active. Sandbanks Retirement Community consistently receives low rankings, so it’s best to stick to Riverside and Merseyside. You can expect to pay around £60, 000 for a one bedroom retirement property, and up to £68, 000 for a two bedroom house.

Three-bedroom properties in local retirement villages are scarce. Birkenhead Park is a tiny slice of heaven. It’s the first publicly funded park in history, formed during the Industrial Revolution. If you need to commune with nature in the midst of a work-free day, this is the perfect place to spend your time. Of course, the docks are a wonderful addition to your retirement lifestyle, too. 

Is Birkenhead a Good Place to Visit?

Birkenhead’s dockland carries you across Penny Bridge, beyond the warehouses, and past four miles of quays. At sunset, you almost believe you’re in a different city. The Amorini Antiques Centre has plenty of artwork and books worth trading, so if you don’t want to spend your money, take your collectables along.

Claremont Farm’s doors are always open during the Pick Your Own Festival. You’ll roam through fields of gooseberries and strawberries, then go home to enjoy your fresh fruit. If you need to get in touch with Mother Nature more often, Victoria Park is an enclosed community garden that brings romance to your lunch hours. It has views of the Mersey River all the way to Liverpool.

Parents adore the Spaceport Planetarium, which runs workshops and exhibitions throughout the year. You won’t leave before sunset, and like most things in Birkenhead, it comes with a decidedly light price tag. 

Thousands of people use the Birkenhead tunnel every day, but few know that 17 people lost their lives during its construction. This kind of history leaks into every part of the city. This might be a gritty region, but it doesn’t neglect its art.

The Lady Lever Art Gallery hosts over 12, 000 works alongside temporary exhibitions diverse enough to include fashion and decor. The Williamson Gallery is more museum-focused but hosts plenty of modern art. If you prefer cards to landscapes, the city even has its own poker room at Casino Wirral. It hosts tournaments every month, and community Hold’ em games every Friday.

Terry Tregorius

Terry is passionate about travel and finding new great places to live, work and visit. He specializes in the UK where he lives with his family. Read more articles by Terry Tregorius

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