Bidston Observatory

Bidston Observatory Artistic Research Centre is a grade-II listed building, built in 1866 using local sandstone excavated from the site. It sits on the ridge of Bidston Hill watching over the Windmill, Park Wood and Bidston Village, visible from both Wales and Liverpool.

The Observatory was built in 1866 when Liverpool Observatory had to relocate due to the expansion of Waterloo Docks and was made using the stone mined during the creation of the cellars, the deepest of which (36 feet or 10.97 meters) maintains a constant cool temperature. Over the last 140 years the Observatory has undertaken a diversity of tasks, many of ground-breaking importance and is now Bidston Observatory Artistic Research Centre; a not-for-profit study site that focuses on providing individual users and groups with a low cost, temporary place to dictate their own methods of work.


How to get there

Address: Bidston Observatory, Wilding Way, Prenton, CH43 7RA


On the M53, take the A554 exit, junction 1, towards Wallasey / Birkenhead. Continue on the A554 along Hoylake Road, turn right down Worcester Road and then right again up Wilding Way. The Observatory is at the top of the lane.


No parking will be available at Bidston Observatory, except for anyone with access requirements.

There are a few local parking options:

  • On-street parking close by, with lay-bys on the way up (5-10 minute walk)
  • Free parking at Tam O Shanter Urban Farm, Boundary Road, Bidston, Birkenhead, Prenton CH43 7PD (13 minute walk)

Please note, the walk up to the Observatory on Bidston Hill is up a slight incline


Take the train, in the direction of New Brighton or West Kirby. You can get off at Birkenhead North. This will take about 12 minutes. It is about a 20-minute walk to the Observatory, which includes the small hill of Wilding Way.

Merseyrail trains finish around 23:30. 


We would like to encourage audience members to cycle to AND Festival 2021 events if this is an option for you. If you don’t own a bike and are travelling to the Bidston Observatory from Liverpool, you can hire a bike with City Bike Liverpool from multiple locations across the city and catch the ferry across the River Mersey. Both pedal and electric bikes are available:

Pedal bikes – £10 for a full days hire (or 25p per 15 minutes)

Electric bikes – £20 for a full days hire (or 50p per 15 minutes)

See City Bike Liverpool’s website for more information.

All bikes are welcome on the Mersey Ferry and there are bike racks available at Bidston Observatory. We put together the scenic route from Woodside Ferry Terminal to Bidston Observatory which you can view on Komoot. Approximately 1850 grams of CO2 emissions have been avoided by you making this journey on a bike instead of in the car.

Four film screenings as part of Observatory Cinema were presented at Central Hydraulic Tower for AND Festival 2021. There was also an installation of  broadcast work Radio Ensemble during the open air cinema weekend.

Venue info:

  • Bidston Observatory, Wilding Way, Prenton, CH43 7RA

Useful links