Take a River Cruise on The Razzle Dazzle Mersey Ferry

Wheelchair Friendly Days Out in Liverpool

With winter just around the corner, it’s time to explore Liverpool, starting with the Mersey Ferry.

It sounds weird saying “exploring Liverpool”, but it’s such a dynamic city, and there’s always something new to see.

Liverpool’s a city awash with icons, and there’s no better place to start than on the iconic Mersey Ferry.

Tip: Don’t start singing “Ferry Cross The Mersey”. It’ll stick in your head all day.

The Mersey Ferry

The ferry was simply a workhorse in days gone by, crisscrossing the river with commuters. During rush hour, it still does, but the ferry is more of a tourist attraction these days, take a look at what they’ve done to it:

Razzle Dazzle Mersey Ferry

This ferry, known as the Dazzle, was created by Sir Peter Blake to commemorate World War One. The eye-catching patterns were initially painted on ships to confuse the enemy, it sounds crazy, but apparently, it worked.

We boarded Dazzle at Seacombe for a river cruise. You can get on and off the ferry at Seacombe, Woodside and the Pier Head, or stay on for the round trip. Onboard, there are refreshments, audio commentary, and, of course, Gerry’s “Ferry Cross The Mersey” puts in an appearance.

If you’d like more information about Mersey Ferries, including access information, ticket prices and timetables, visit MerseyFerries.co.uk. Also, check out “100 Interesting Facts”… here’s a sample:

  1. The Benedictine Monks ran the first regular ferry from Birkenhead to Liverpool. The Monks would row over to the fishing village in Liverpool on market days and offer the service to travellers.
  2. Edward III granted the service a Royal Charter in 1330.
  3. Edward III also granted the right to the Earl of Chester to run the ferry service from Seacombe to Birkenhead, establishing the Wallasey ferry. These two operations merged as Mersey Ferries in 1968.
  4. Rowing across the Mersey would take 90 minutes in calm weather, however much longer in rough conditions.
  5. The ferry had over 100 arrivals and departures on the Liverpool – Wirral service in one day.
  6. The ferry used to run all night before the opening of the Mersey Tunnels.
  7. The Mersey Ferries were the only way of getting across the river until the opening of the railway tunnel in 1886.
  8. In 1863 when the Channel fleet visited, 55,000 people took the ferry out to see the Navy ships.
  9. Before radar was installed in 1947, ferry captains had to rely on fog bells to give them an audible target to aim for
  10. The Mersey Ferries were the first to install a radar system for safe navigation in fog in 1947.

Seacombe Ferry Terminal

Mersey Ferries Seacombe

Disabled parking is an issue near the Pier Head, so we decided to take a trip through the Mersey Tunnel and park up in Seacombe. I love the views of Liverpool from Seacombe!

Bridget Looking Towards Liverpool

There’s plenty of free disabled parking at the terminal, and access to the terminal is flat with automatic doors.

Inside Ferry Terminal

Access down to the ferry is quite steep, and you can ask for assistance. I can say that I found it challenging going on the ramps, especially coming up. I’m sure the staff at the terminal would help push you if you needed it. Here is the Mersey Ferries Access Statement, and I’d still contact them if you are unsure.

Ferry Terminal Access Ramp

Access ramp at Seacombe

We had some time to kill before the ferry left, so we had a little bimble around the terminal and breakfast in the cafe.

Mersey Tunnel Air Vents

Seacome Terminal

Tunnel at Seacombe

Landing Stage Seacombe

Breakfast

If you’re visiting with the kids, you can also see Spaceport, but I think you have to pay extra!

Top Tip: If you are getting off the ferry in Liverpool, check out these Wheelchair Friendly Things to do in Liverpool

Onboard The Razzle Dazzle

The Mersey was calm; you’d have to be careful getting on the ferry if it were choppy. The access platform bobs up and down with the boat, and there’s a lip to get over. The ferry staff are more than willing to help you. Take care.

Access on to Ferry

Ferry Moored at Seacome

Onboard we could only access the lower deck; if you climb stairs, you could go on the top deck for better views. There is plenty of seating areas, refreshments and an accessible toilet on the lower deck.

Bridget was happy at the back of the vessel because it was less busy. I was trying to get some decent photos – fail!

On The Mersey

View of Ferry Terminal

I tried to do a few arty-farty photos…

Rope

Sealed Door on Vessel

Liverpool From Ferry

Pier Head

Bridget on Razzle Dazzle

Woodside Terminal

We didn’t get off at Woodside; if you do, you can visit the U-Boat Exhibition, which is included in the price of your River Explorer ticket. I feel sorry for the tyres…

Woodside

Tyres at Woodside

Tyre Getting Squashed by Ferry

Tyre

Tourists on Mersey Ferry

Ferry Ramp

Leaving Woodside

They still fix warships on the River Mersey …

Warship in Dry Dock

Then onwards to Liverpool …

Coming into Liverpool

Museum at Pier Head

The Pier Head

Whether approaching the ferry or viewing it from the opposite side of the river, the Pier Head and Liverpool skyline is spectacular. I remember when the area was a smelly bus station and derelict docks. These days, it’s dominated by the Three Graces, Museum of Liverpool, Albert Dock, Echo Arena, Conference Centre and the Liverpool Eye.

The Pier Head itself has been redesigned. From a wheelchair user’s point of view, it’s wonderful.

We decided to get off the ferry and bimble on the Pier Head. The ramp-up from the jetty is steep. Ask for assistance if you need it. I managed it, but it wasn’t easy.

Landing Stage at Pier Head

Liver Buildings

Three Graces in Liverpool

Wheelchair Friendly Pier Head

Canal at Pier Head

For more information about Liverpool, use Visit Liverpool

It was time to head home. Here’s my first attempt to make a video aptly named “The Leaving of Liverpool”.

Ferry Cross The Mersey

We’ve been on the ferry plenty of times, but never as tourists. It is one of those must-do things when you visit Liverpool. Six hundred thousand visitors a year can’t be wrong.

We highly recommend the river cruise. Access is generally acceptable but check before visiting if you need a push.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it. You might also enjoy Liverpool Waterfront and Seacombe to New Brighton Wheelchair Friendly Walk.

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About The Bimblers 116 Articles
The Bimblers is a travel blog exploring the UK's best accessible holidays. Travelling with a chronic illness or disability just got easier as we share travel tips for wheelchair users and people with limited mobility.

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