Bebington and Port Sunlight

36 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

September, 2015

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

My children loved the new library in Bebington. There were circular windows with narrow ledges that they sat on and looked at their choice of books, while glancing out at a circular pond with a fountain. That was 30 year ago and it certainly has changed. The feature windows are now blocked off from access and view by book shelves and tables. The fountain has gone and the pond now a flower bed. The whole building looks sadly worn and tired.

My husband and I visited, as part of our golden wedding nostalgia trip. We did not linger, but went on to nearby Port Sunlight village. A conservation area with many grade two listed buildings, so no change here!

The village was built in the late 19th by William Lever to house the workers in his newly built soap factory. Different architects were used, resulting in different styles of buildings. There are half-timbering buildings; some with carved woodwork and masonry, and twisted chimneys. Some houses were built in Flemish style, with bricks imported from Belgium. Interestingly, only the fronts are visible from the roads. There are open areas of lawns and flower beds bordering the tree lined roads. A game of cricket was being played on an open pitch, with grand pavilion. It all looked very spacious. Lever’s intention was to make life pleasant, with nice houses, comfortable homes, and healthy recreation – but no pub! The workers must have felt they were in heaven! I was interested to see the garden center and village theatre were still there
The most well know building in the village is the Lady Lever art gallery. Lever was a keen art collector, and the art gallery shows his collection plus modern-day artwork. The collection includes a range of furniture, paintings, sculptures and ceramics. I go inside and admire my favorite art work, ‘The beguiling of Merlin’ by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Burne-Jones. I marvel at its large size, its subtle colouring and detail. Lever had an eye for publicity and commissioned Millais to paint rather sentimental pictures, (which are on display). After purchasing them, he had additions of soap bars and bubbles added. These were then used for posters, which are familiar to this day! This art gallery is very accessible, near main roads, yet plenty of free parking spaces nearby. It is well worth a visit.

A relatively new addition to the village is an interesting visitors centre, housed in one of the original buildings, which tells the history of the soap works and the village.
An oasis of beauty and calm in a built up area!


Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.