The port of Birkenhead on Wirral was a town of firsts in the 19th century, including being home to the world’s first publicly funded park.
But Birkenhead Park, a naturalistic 100 acres of meadows, fields, gardens, woodland, lakes and structures, has another boast. It inspired the American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in his design of New York’s Central Park.
Birkenhead Park isn’t the only Victorian joy of this peninsula. Wirral’s other secrets include the industrial garden village of Port Sunlight, Ness Botanic Gardens (which introduced the rhododendron to Britain’s borders) and pretty Parkgate village, with its now landlocked seafront promenade.