The Wirral is a district of north-west England, formerly completely part of the county of Cheshire but since 1974 largely in the metropolitan county of Merseyside. It is a peninsula, shaped like an elongated rectangle. It is bounded on its SW side by the estuary of the River Dee, on its short NW side by Liverpool Bay, part of the Irish Sea, and on its NE side by the estuary of the River Mersey. To the SE it is connected to the main part of Cheshire.
The Wirral is low-lying; formerly agricultural, it is now to a great extent urban and suburban in character. The main town is Birkenhead; other towns include New Brighton, Wallasey, Hoylake, West Kirby, the abandoned port of Parkgate, Bebington, and the model village Port Sunlight, built for workers at William Lever's Sunlight Soap factory.
Wirral district includes the uninhabited Hilbre Islands, located off the NW corner of the peninsula. The population of the Borough of Wirral is 312,000 (2001).