“ Address: 87 Liverpool Road / Birkdale / Southport / Tel: 01704 551 193 „
Recently we fancied a few days away and when we were deciding where we should go, my boyfriend mentioned he would like to go back to Freshfield, Formby where he had visited a lot when he was younger. I began looking for somewhere to stay and I came across The Birkdale Guest House, in Birkdale near Southport. Although it was actually one of the more reasonable places, my reasons for picking it were quite shallow - It had only recently opened and the photos showed very nicely decorated rooms.
Rather than book through the site I was on I went directly to the guest house's own website, which was easy to navigate and had plenty of information on it and contained photographs of all the bedrooms. I headed for the tariff and bookings section and put in the dates we wanted to stay, as they were available I made our reservation online and was pleasantly surprised that the rate dropped by a couple of pounds each night. On making the reservation I had to pay a deposit which was the price of one night's stay, if we cancelled giving 48 hours notice a full refund would be given however we would not be eligible for a refund if we gave less notice than this. The remaining balance would be paid when we checked out.
After I had completed the payment I was emailed a booking confirmation, which contained the information about the deposit again as well as check-in confirmation, a booking reference and the authorisation code for the payment. The confirmation was well laid out and very clear and easy to understand.
As we had been to the Red Squirrel Reserve at Freshfield on our first day of the break, so we approached the guest house from Formby. Although we had a Sat Nav with us, the guest house was on the main road (A5267 Liverpool Road) through Birkdale and quite easy to find. From the direction we approached it was on the right hand side of the road just before the cross roads (Crescent Road/Left and Eastbourne Road/Right) the cross roads are controlled by traffic lights so easy to spot. There is also a doctor's surgery next door just before the guest house which has a sign visible from the road, as does the guest house it's self.
There is off road parking available, which is situated at the back of The Birkdale accessible by a driveway at the side there is space for five cars and the parking is free for guests. They also have facilities for bicycle storage, which I would have liked to take advantage of but we couldn't fit our bikes in the car.
The entrance is at the front, and has steps and also a lift for wheelchair users or those with impaired mobility.
On arrival, we checked in and were greeted by Marion who runs the guest house with John and offered tea and coffee. We were then showed to our room, the lounge and dining room. After putting our bags in our room, we went and sat in the lounge where there was a flat screen TV with Freeview and bookshelves filled with books. WI-FI is also available although we didn't use it while we were there so I can't comment on this. There was also an A-Z of Liverpool, and an information pack to look through. Marion then brought us through a cafetiere of fresh coffee, cream, milk and biscuits. I've never received such a warm welcome at a B&B or Hotel before and we were made to feel like guests rather than customers. I grabbed a book to read and relaxed with my cup of coffee.
There are five rooms at The Birkdale; 2 Twin, 2 Doubles and a Single. One of the Twins is a suitable for disabled guests as it is on the ground floor and has hand rails in the bath room. The single and one of the doubles can be linked by a locking door to make a family suite.
Our room was also on the ground floor at the front of the house, it was decorated in a lovely teal colour and actually wasn't too dissimilar to the colour scheme we have in our own bedroom. There was a large double glazed window which let in plenty of natural light. In the room there was a large desk, which had the TV and tea & coffee making facilities on it, and another information pack containing maps and useful places such as doctors, dentists and restaurants in the local area. The wardrobe was sufficient for the clothes we had taken with us for a two night break, and had plenty of hangers in it. We had an en-suite shower room which was compact but big enough for one person to use comfortable, the shower cubicle was about the size of a double cubicle. There was also a power point for an electric shaver or toothbrush.
An iron and ironing board and hair drier are available on request.
The king size bed was very comfortable, there was only one pillow each but Marion had told us to ask if we wanted more.
Despite being next to a main road we weren't disturbed by traffic noise.
Marion had asked us what time we would like breakfast (included in the price) when we arrived, and we chose 9 am as we had left early that morning and fancied a lie in the next day. Breakfast options were a full English consisting of bacon, fried or scrambled egg, sausage, black pudding, mushrooms and tomato (a vegetarian option was available) cereals, yoghurt or toast. I thought it was a good idea how the bread and toaster were in the dining room so you could toast the bread when you wanted and do it how you preferred. I had a full English (minus the black pudding yeuck) on the first morning and bacon and mushrooms the second day so I could make myself a sandwich. The breakfasts were very tasty and filled us up until lunchtime.
We paid the remainder of our bill when we checked out and could pay by card or cash.
The location was brilliant as it was a five - ten minute walk from the train station, where we got the train into Liverpool which at the time of writing was £4.40 for an adult return ticket. The trains run every fifteen minutes and takes about forty minutes. It is also close to the Freshfield and Formby nature reserves and the Royal Birkdale Golf Course - these are also accessible by train. Birkdale Village has some lovely looking shops, and restaurants which we didn't get the chance to look in or try. However we did eat in The Crown pub which is part of Ember Inns and a couple of minutes drive (it was raining heavily) from The Birkdale (turn left as you leave). The food we ordered was very enjoyable and reasonably priced. It wasn't served up immediately after we ordered and didn't seem like it came out of a microwave either.
We were made to feel very welcome by both Marion and John, and they were only too happy to let us know of any places of interest they thought we might like to know about without making us feel they were forcing their knowledge of the local area on us.
I would definitely recommend The Birkdale to anyone who might be staying in the area, and we would more than likely stay there again if we went back there.
The tariff depends on what room you book and the nights you stay but starts at £35 per night for a single and goes up to £120 per night for the Family Suite.
The Birkdale's full address is
87 Liverpool Road
Tel: 01704 551 193 (between 10am & 9pm)
or visit their very informative and easy to navigate website