What life is like on a narrowboat in Salthouse Dock

“People may think we’re hippies, but we’re not. It’s our house.”

This is the view of Elizabeth who lives on a houseboat in Salthouse Dock. Like everyone else, she only stays there a few months a year.

The mother-of-two is passionate about Liverpool and where she lives. The quay, she says, is at the heart of the city’s cultural heritage – it was once the beating heart of global commerce – and should be respected by all generations.

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Elizabeth, 43, told ECHO: “Living on a boat is a lifestyle choice. And the canals are an English heritage site, where ships and boats carried goods.

“I lived in London on a boat and now my family and I are here. People may think we’re hippies, but we’re not. This is our home, our children go to school.



Elizabeth told ECHO: “People may think we’re hippies, but we’re not. It’s our house.”

“Liverpool is like any other European city on the sea. We look after each other, it’s a community and we share common interests.

Salthouse Dock, opened in 1753, played an important role in shipping salt from Northwich, Cheshire. The wharf now houses families, retirees and workers on a semi-permanent basis.

A few boats from Elizabeth is Mark Hardman. The 76-year-old has been a passionate advocate for life on the water and the freedom it can give you.

He told ECHO: “It’s a unique scenario. You have museums and many pubs on your doorstep.



Bob Smith and David Rackstraw on Bob’s Wild Rover

“We have good neighbors and we never run out of things to do. When you’re stuck in a flat in Kensington, what can you do?

“I’ve done my ironing and laundry and I can go out on the town now.”

Salthouse Dock is often overlooked by the famous Royal Albert Dock, which is surrounded by cafes, restaurants and apartments.

But there’s no shortage of things to do in Salthouse Dock either. Peter Kenny, for example, runs Liverpool’s only floating restaurant from the moorings.

It offers insightful historical tours with afternoon tea or an evening meal. His company, The Floating Grace, won the 2020 Employer of the Year award and won a veterans employment award.



Peter Kenny runs the highly acclaimed Floating Grace passenger restaurant

He is particularly passionate about the armed forces and offers ex-soldiers a 10% discount.

Peter told ECHO: “We are delighted to have trained veterans for 17 years and I have been recognized for that in 2020.

“Last year (we were in the) top three for riverboats and tour operators. I’m very passionate about history and what our ancestors built.

Her reservations manager, Kim, lives next to Peter’s Floating Grace when it’s docked. She told ECHO: “I had never been on a boat before, I had never done anything. My husband fitted out the boat and now I love it.



Kim is the Floating Grace tour operator

Another resident is Bob Smith, who spends half his time in Liverpool and the other half in Thailand.

The 75-year-old said: ‘I was born just ¾ of a mile from here and have worked in many different countries.

“But this is our city and I love it here.”

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