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Mersey Waterfront is a Regional Park which spans more than 120km of the City Region's coastline, taking in the river Mersey and its estuary and parts of the rivers Dee and Ribble. It has been established to create a major internationally acclaimed attraction with a unique sense of place for people to live, work, invest and visit


Tour the Manchester Ship Canal:

Aa truly memorable journey along the 35-mile stretch of canal. It includes a lively commentary giving a revealing insight into the facts, the history and the dramas of one of Britain’s major waterways. The cruises take in spectacular scenery leaving its passengers with an awe-inspiring sense of how its construction shaped the city of Manchester and the North West of England.

This six-hour cruise departs from Pier Head [Liverpool] and Salford Quays [Manchester] on selected dates throughout the summer. We will be operating cruises during 2008 from May through until September. For a complete list of cruise dates and times please view the timetable.

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The River Mersey

The River Mersey is a river in the north west of England. The river's name comes from Anglo-Saxon "border river", likely because it was the border between Mercia and Northumbria.

The Mersey is formed from three tributaries: the River Etherow, the River Goyt and the River Tame; becoming the Mersey near Stockport, Greater Manchester.

From Stockport it flows near Didsbury, Stretford, Urmston, Flixton, and then at Irlam it flows into the Manchester Ship Canal, which canalised the River Irwell to this point. The course of the Mersey has been obliterated by the Canal past Hollins Green to Rixton although the old river bed can be seen at Warburton; at Rixton the River Bollin enters the Canal from the south and the Mersey leaves the Canal to the north, meandering through Woolston, where the Ship Canal Company's dredgings have formed a nature reserve (Woolston Eyes), and Warrington. It is tidal from Howley Weir in Warrington, although high spring tides often top the weir. At the Runcorn Gap between Widnes & Runcorn rail and road bridges (Runcorn Bridge) span the river and the Ship Canal, which runs alongside the widening estuary to Eastham Locks where canal and river unite, and from here the estuary narrows to flow between Liverpool and Birkenhead into Liverpool Bay on the Irish Sea, after a total course of around 70 miles. The conurbation on its banks near the coast is known as Merseyside. The eastern part of this estuary is much affected by silting, and part of it is marked on modern maps as dry land instead of as tidal. At the point between the Woodside Ferry Terminal and Albert Dock, the Mersey is 1.2km (0.75 miles) wide.

Two road tunnels run under the Mersey at Liverpool: the older Queensway Tunnel (opened 1934) connecting with Birkenhead, and the Kingsway Tunnel (opened 1971) connecting with Wallasey. There is also a railway tunnel dating back to the 1880s, which carries passenger services on the Merseyrail franchise. Crossings are also possible via the Mersey Ferry, again at Liverpool.

The river is now internationally famous thanks to the music of the 1960s known as Merseybeat and its strong association with Liverpool, which produced songs such as "Ferry Across The Mersey".

The Mersey Estuary - Seaforth Nature Reserve

Over 30 acres of land within the heart of the Liverpool dock area. The site is a paradise to bird watchers and is an important are for seabirds and waders. Cosisting of freshwater and salt lagoons it also provides a valuable source of food for the ducks that overwinter in Liverpool. For those interested in in viewing the widlife three viweing hides are available for use by one of the freshwater lagoons. For more information telephone: 0151 920 3769.

River Statistics:

• The length of the River Mersey is 110 km, of which the Estuary is 26 km long
• The total area drained by the Mersey and its tributaries is 4,680 km2
• Over 5 million people live and work within the catchment
• The name ‘Mersey’ originates from Old English ‘Maere’ meaning boundary
• The Mersey was the ancient boundary between the Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria
• The River Mersey forms at the confluence of the River Tame with the River Goyt in Stock

Booking Information:

For Manchester Ship Canal Tours: Tickets and gift vouchers can be booked on-line or by telephoning: 0151 330 1444

SPACEPORT - Visit the space themed visitor attraction at Seacombe Ferry Terminal.
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