The late 19th century village of Port Sunlight was built by William Hesketh Lever to house his soap factory workers at Lever Brothers, which eventually turned into the global giant Unilever. Today its streets, gardens, tearoom, art gallery and museum are open to all.
We started off our visit at the Lady Lever Art Gallery. In the basement there’s an interactive space where you can discover more about William Lever and Sunlight Soap, draw pictures and dress up. It is worth going down here first because you can collect a trail which will help children explore the more beautiful but rather dry remainder of the gallery.
Next we bought a ‘village trail’ from the nearby museum and gave the kids a chance to run off some energy by strolling through the streets and some of the 130 acres of parkland surrounding the village. There are 900 Grade II listed houses to see (some totally chocolate box pretty!) incorporating 30 different architectural styles, together with a war memorial, garden centre, pub, and other public buildings.
Back at the museum we couldn’t resist a scone in the eclectic tearoom, aptly named Tea, on the first floor. The museum itself tells the story of the village and life in Victorian and Edwardian times. A couple of exhibits which interested my children were the
reconstructed Victorian parlour and a village model.
Port Sunlight isn’t an attraction aimed at children but it has a little bit of something for all ages, making it a good choice for a family day out when you might have a mixed age group of grandparents, kids and teenagers.
Lady Lever Art Gallery: Daily 10am-5pm. Admission free.
Art Gallery Café: Daily 10am-4.30pm with hot food served 12-3.30pm. Highchairs and children’s menu.
Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight Village,
Wirral CH62 5EQ
Tel: 0151 478 4136 liverpoolmuseums.org.uk
Museum: Daily 10am-5pm.
Adult £3.95, Child £2.75, under 5s free.
Port Sunlight Museum, 23 King George’s Drive, Port Sunlight, Wirral CH62 5DX
Tel: 0151 644 6466 portsunlightvillage.com