DAY 37: Ellesmere Port to Liverpool (13.29m)

I leave the Gladwin's early, heading up the Wirral. Through the residential areas of Great Sutton, Childer Thorton, Hooton and Eastham.

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I leave the main road to explore Port Sunlight which was built by Lever Brothers to accommodate workers in it's soap factory. William Lever had a rather paternalistic attitude to his workers saying he wanted to share profits with them but that "It would not do you much good if you send it down your throats in the form of bottles of whisky, bags of sweets, or fat geese at Christmas. On the other hand, if you leave the money with me, I shall use it to provide for you everything that makes life pleasant – nice houses, comfortable homes, and healthy recreation". To be fair though he did build them a lovely village with lots of green space and beautiful Arts and Crafts houses.

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At the heart of the village is the Lady Lever Art Gallery - a magnificent showcase for William Lever's extensive collection of painting, sculpture, ceramics and furniture.

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I leave Port Sunlight and head further up the Wirral towards Birkenhead. 

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As i approach the Mersey at Birkenhead the hunched brick figure of the ventilation tower for the Mersey Tunnel looms ahead. 

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I'm at the ferry terminal ready to make the trip across to Liverpool. The ferry has had a repaint designed by Sir Peter Blake as part of the First World War commemorations. The design is inspired by dazzle camouflage (strong complex geometric patterns) painted on ships during the First World War.

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 WW1 Dazzle Ships

WW1 Dazzle Ships

On the PA system a blast of Gerry and the Pacemakers is played and we past the shipyard building Boaty McBoatface (now called RRS Sir David Attenborough). We swing round to face Liverpool and head towards Pier Head and the three graces - the Liver Building, Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.

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A ten minute walk from Pier Head I reach my hostel (£8 a night!).