The Metropolitan Borough of Wirral is a metropolitan borough of Merseyside, in North West England. It has a population of 321,238, and encompasses 60 square miles (160 km2) of the northern part of the Wirral Peninsula. Major settlements include Birkenhead, Wallasey, Bebington, Heswall, Hoylake and West Kirby. The city of Liverpool over the Mersey, faces the northeastern side of Wirral. Bordering is the River Mersey to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and the River Dee to the west; the borough of Cheshire West and Chester occupies the remainder of the Wirral Peninsula and borders the borough of Wirral to the south. The borough of Wirral has greater proportions of rural areas than the Liverpool part of Merseyside.