UK's largest warship HMS Queen Elizabeth bids farewell to the Mersey

The Royal Navy's largest vessel - the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth - has departed Liverpool after a four-day visit.

The flagship of the British fleet has drawn crowds of spectators over the weekend although the public were barred from stepping on board because her visit was classed as 'operational'.

The 65,000 tonne flagship made a striking sight as she set off from Liverpool Cruise Liner Terminal at the Pier Head just after 9am.

The sound of her horn could be be heard across the city region as she sailed off towards the Irish Sea.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest - and most powerful - warship ever built for Britain and is one of two aircraft carriers along with her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales.

Her flight deck comes in at an enormous four acres, and will be used to launch the new F35 Joint Strike Fighter fast jet.

Marine traffic in Liverpool Bay on Credit: