This month we are in the north-west visiting Liverpool Marina which, although just 10 minutes from the bustling city centre, is far enough away to enjoy peace and tranquillity.
Liverpool Marina was built in the mid-1980s by the Merseyside Development Corporation as part of a major regeneration initiative for the south docks and now forms part of the world famous Liverpool Waterfront which, attracting more than six million visitors a year, is the third most popular visitor destination in the UK. The marina is a destination location, just minutes away from the city centre famous for its maritime heritage, iconic buildings and music, namely The Beatles – who have been in the news recently with their new single – and earlier this year the Eurovision Song Contest! In addition, ferries cruise the waterfront, where the iconic mercantile buildings known as the ‘Three Graces’ – Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building – stand.
FACILITIES & BERTHING
The marina has more than 300 highly secure berths, in two adjoining docks, for vessels of up to 30m with a maximum beam of 7.75m and draft of 3m. Access from the River Mersey is via Brunswick lock which has a tidal window of approximately four hours.
Originally designed as a coastal marina for leisure craft, it became the Leeds and Liverpool Canal terminus when the Link opened in 2009 and is now a popular long stay destination for canal boats, the majority of which are wide beams and river craft.
But its customer base is unusually varied and, apart from inland waterway and coastal sailing and motor vessels, includes wind farm service vessels, commercial fishing boats, tripper boats and a significant number of themed and other craft offering visitor accommodation on line.
The latest additions to the fleet are floating lodges which are attracting interest as a funky floating alternative to park homes from down-sizers, investors, holiday retreats and home working.
The marina offers a range of services including mobile pump outs and fuel, which are available to pre-book online seven days a week. The lock is operated in line with tide times between 5am – 10pm. Out of hours locks can be booked online.
There is also a full service chandlery and boatyard with 60 tonne hoist (Bluepoint Marine) as well as marine engineers Outboard Marine. Other facilities and services include:
- Free, newly installed super-fast WiFi
- Digital laundrette
- Lively sports bar and grill with panoramic views of Brunswick dock
- Newly refurbished private showers and WCs
- Household recycling, battery and oil disposal facilities and an Elsan disposal unit
- Secure post room
- 24 hour concierge and security service
- Electronic gate access only pontoons
- Secure bike storage
- More than 200 car parking spaces
- Mobile pump outs and fuels 7 days a week
Facilities in progress include an on-site mini-market and artisan coffee and cake shop as well as a dedicated training/hot desk room for berth holders.
Access by road, rail or air to the marina could not be easier with the motorway network from north, south and east terminating less than five miles away, and Liverpool Airport is 25 minutes by car or taxi. Even the Isle of Man Ferry docks only a stone’s throw away.
There are two train station options. James Street will bring you out by Albert Dock; walk along the seafront away from the city centre and you will see the masts as you approach. Brunswick train station is just opposite the marina; cross over the road and take a left at Sefton Street.
Approaches to Liverpool by motorboat or yacht are made down the Queen’s Channel, the Crosby Channel and the River Mersey following the same route as the heavy shipping. The channels are all well marked by numbered and lit buoyage to cope with the strong tides. This buoyage MUST be followed. On approach, use Ch37 or M1 to reach the lockkeeper. Locks operate in accordance with tide times, and you can download the tide times via the website.
Approaches via canal or narrowboat are via the Leeds and Liverpool canal link managed by Canal & River Trust. You will need to contact them directly to book a lock, which is £10.
Liverpool Marina is ideally placed for those wishing to cruise the Irish Sea, offering a huge choice of destinations for the cruising yachtsman including the beautiful coasts of North Wales, the Isle of Man, Ireland, Cumbria and Scotland.
For the racing yachtsman the Liverpool Yacht Club racing series has become some of the best-attended events on the west coast of England. With racing throughout the year, and fleets in excess of 30 boats, you can be assured of keen competition whatever you sail.
BUSINESSES AT THE MARINA
- The Yacht Club Bar & Grill – Located on-site offering fresh food, hot drinks and a wide range of alcoholic beverages from 10am – late, seven days a week. They also have five large HD screens showing major sporting fixtures as well as a Sunday carvery and live music.
- Blue Point Marine – full service boatyard with 60 tonne hoist
- Outboard & Marine – marine engineers based on the grounds of Blue Point Marine’s yard.
- Prima Laundrette – digital laundrette open 24/7 on Coburg yard.
- Quayosk convenience store and cafe
- RYA training school (from January 2024)
OUT AND ABOUT
Liverpool itself is a fascinating base with all the attractions that you would expect of a modern, cosmopolitan city akin to London with museums, art galleries, a first class shopping centre and enough clubs, bars and restaurants to please even the most critical.
The Royal Albert Dock is, of course, a popular visitor attraction as is the Maritime Museum, The Beatles Story museum and Tate Art Gallery to name a few.
To tour Liverpool by water, you can take several boat trips such as taking a ferry across the Mersey or dine on the water on the Floating Grace. By land you can take the hop-on hop-off bus tour or hire a bike from Liverpool Bike Tours, who are conveniently berth holders of Liverpool Marina.
“It was my plan for the 2023 sailing season to sail up the Mersey and to visit Liverpool. I phoned the guys at Liverpool Marina in advance and they could not have been more helpful, even when my plans changed and I had to arrive a day earlier. The lock in and out was efficient, and I was given a prime visitor berth very close to all amenities. There was live acoustic music in the friendly bar and a very pleasant 15 minute walk into the heart of this fantastic city. Great value for money at just over £30 per night for our 11m yacht (it is over three times that to stay in the centre of London). Sailing up and down the Mersey was fantastic, a big thank you to all the guys at Liverpool Marina for their terrific hospitality.”
Tony and Mandy, Good Rum