Tuesday 13 October 2015
Hightown to Wallasey, The Wirral
Ivor’s house, Runcorn
Kathrine’s house looks across the dunes at the Irish Sea and the busy shipping lane heading into Liverpool docks. The geese were on the move in the morning and I headed past the sailing club and onto the beach. I had been advised only to walk as far as the docks and then to get the train from Waterloo into Liverpool.
It was a lovely walk along the beach and the promenade, past Crosby. The Burbo wind farm was in the distance and huge ships kept passing.
As I approached the docks it looked like there were people going for a swim in the sea. In fact they looked like they were heading determinedly into the water as if they were going to swim to Wales (or else to drown themselves).
These are The Iron Men: Anthony Gormley’s sculpture, Another Place. There are 100 iron figures on the beach and they are quite an attraction; lots of people were out looking at them.
I left the beach, walked to Waterloo train station and caught the train through Bootle to the centre of Liverpool. I could have stayed on the train and gone to Wallasey, but why would I do that when I could get the famous ferry across The Mersey? Walking down to the ferry port I saw the beautiful part of the city with its talk, elegant buildings like the Cunard Building and the Liver Building.
I was just in time to catch the Dazzle Ferry. The regular Mersey ferry had been painted in dazzling colours and patterns in honour of the WW2 dazzle patterns.
The ferry was packed with tourists and it gives a guided tour of Liverpool and Wallasey landmarks (after playing the first few bars of its own song).
We docked at Seacombe and I stopped for a coffee before walking alongside the river to New Brighton, the right hand tip of the Wirral. The walk was signposted with bits of art and things to look at.
New Brighton was once a bustling holiday resort but I didn’t stop for candy floss or a tour of Fort Perch Rock, the small fort built to help repeal a possible Napoleonic invasion.
I rounded the corner of the River Mersey and headed halfway along the Wirral coastline as far as Leasowe train station. The coastline was rather barren on a grey afternoon, looking at grey water and with grey buildings behind the grey concrete path around the edge.
At least Wirral has a designated Wirral Circular Trail that is a 37 mile long circumferential path taking inthe 3 sides of the peninsula and heading across-country to join them up.
My walk through Leasowe showed me one of the less affluent parts of the Wirral; no hint of seaside living here.
I caught the train back under The Mersey to Liverpool and then on to Runcorn to meet up with Ivor. I’d promised to visit Ivor on my way and he very kindly offered to put me up for the night, even though he’s just turned 90. We went out for a lovely dinner with his son and grandson and their wives.