New Brighton: Coastal living in the popular seaside resort
Sun, sea, ice cream and fish ‘n’ chips. New Brighton has been one of the Liverpool City Region’s best-loved seaside resorts for over 150 years. Recent decades haven’t been particularly kind to this little corner of Wirral, but a redeveloped waterfront has sparked a palpable sense of excitement once again.
We think it’s the perfect time to grab your bucket and spade and set up home in New Brighton.
Words by Lawrence Saunders
A buoyant beachfront
Day visitors have been flocking to New Brighton beach for generations and it’s not hard to see why.
The ¾-mile stretch of golden sand offers the perfect location for a spot of sunbathing and boasts unrivalled views of Liverpool’s spectacular skyline.
The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down though. Nearby Marine Point offers plenty of leisure opportunities for visitors and residents alike well into the night.
The £70 million development on King’s Parade includes an eight-screen cinema, a string of restaurants and bars, a children’s play centre and an award-winning miniature golf attraction.
The rebuilt Floral Pavilion Theatre, where the late, great Ken Dodd graced the stage on numerous occasions, continues to attract big budget touring shows and famous acts.
Exciting openings – Marine Street Social
A sure fire sign of renewed confidence in a town is the number of new, exciting businesses opening up, and one forthcoming multi-use venue at Marine Point surely fits that description to a tee.
Marine Street Social is expected to launch in May, and promises an impressive line-up of live music, entertainment, street food, cinema, art, sport and more.
It’ll even have its own roof terrace so you can enjoy a drink and a dance overlooking the Irish Sea when the sun comes out.
An awarding winning bite
Charming independent bar and eatery Blackberry Grove has earned a string of awards since launching a short walk from the seafront in 2015.
Its reasonably priced and varied menu caters for a broad spectrum – with vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free eaters especially well taken care of.
This Grosvenor Road restaurant’s commitment to offering a diverse menu was recognised in 2016 when Blackberry Grove was named as one of the 20 best places in the country for people with food allergies to eat out at.
Liverpudlian Joanna Jones is the brains behind this seaside success story and thinks New Brighton is a location really on the up at the moment.
“It’s a lovely vibe and there are some fantastic people here,” says Joanna, who now lives in New Brighton with her children.
“There are independent businesses, eateries and bars popping up all the time. It’s really great to see.
“There are so many free community based events too, like yoga at the beach, sunset swims, group drumming and mindfulness sessions.
“My children and I often pop to the beach after school and walk the dog. I often tell them how lucky they are to have this on their doorstep.”
Spotlight on Seabank
Amble away from the seafront and you’ll find Seabank Road and its growing collection of independent shops, bars and eateries alongside a smattering of well-established family businesses.
Flying Dutchman Stores is one such landmark, having been part of the New Brighton community for over 50 years. This peculiarly titled shop stocks household products, timber, fencing and gardening supplies – perfect for those weekend DIY jobs.
Another New Brighton business with a storied past can be found a stone’s throw from Seabank on Magazine Lane.
Dodgshons Bakery, which has been run by Mr and Mrs Jones since 1975, produces an assortment of fresh bread, pastries, cakes and other sweet and savoury creations on a daily basis.
Anyone hungry for a spot of antique hunting won’t be able to resist a rummage through Liberty Antiques or The Vintage Interior Fairy, with its selection of French shabby chic furniture and handmade gifts.
“Seabank is interesting for its mixture of antique and second hand shops which have brought business back onto the high street,” says Adam Dobbs, owner of Antiques & Other Stuff – another Seabank purveyor of antique, reclaimed and pre-loved wares.
“It’s a beautiful place for a day out with the family being close to the beach with many little independent businesses existing close by.”
Food-wise, Adam highly recommends Rockwood Bistro next door, which he calls “by far the best restaurant in New Brighton”.
Advanced bookings are advised at this classy eatery owned and operated by chef-patron Christopher John Wood and manager Pauline Cragg.
Rockwood’s dishes are designed and created by Christopher John using fresh ingredients which are all prepared on site to ensure a “unique dining experience”.
“There are so many free community based events, like yoga at the beach, sunset swims, group drumming and mindfulness sessions.”
Trains to Liverpool run every 15 minutes from New Brighton train station – a short walk from the promenade. The journey time to James Street is just over 20 minutes with regular services to Ellesmere Port and Chester also available.
Although New Brighton no longer has its own landing stage (it closed in 1971), commuters can still catch the ferry to Liverpool from nearby Seacombe and the crossing time is around 10 minutes.
Heading further afield? The M53 is a short drive away, allowing quick and easy access to the rest of Wirral and on to Chester in less than 40 minutes.
New Brighton possesses a diverse mix of housing, catering for families and couples alike with Victorian homes complemented by more modern developments.
According to figures from Rightmove, most of the properties sold over the past year in New Brighton were semi-detached homes which went for an average price of £179,399.
Terraced properties sold for an average of £134,607, whilst flats averaged £111,839.