Monday, July 21, 2008

Local Walk and Tall Ships

Our walk this week was from the "Running Horses" in Lydiate, Merseyside, along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, to Jackson's Bridge, and cross country to return via the Old Cheshire Lines Railway.
In total 5.2257 miles. You can view the route taken at
No photographs of the walk this week but still a walk both Chris and I enjoyed. There are a number of places visitors to the area may wish to visit including the ruins of Lydiate Hall (built in the early 16th Century by the Ireland Family who held the Lordship), St Catherine's Chapel (Ruin of a private chapel for the Ireland Family), and the Scotch Piper Inn (Reputed to be the oldest pub in Lancashire and to date from 1320). The church on the corner of Hall Lane is the church of St Mary, built in 1854 by Thomas Blundell. An ancient sandstone cross stands in the churchyard.
The Cheshire Lines path forms part of the Trans-Pennine Trail and also a European Route to Istanbul. I'll give that one a miss; just a bit too far!
The shock of the walk was finding the Running Horses was closed and up for sale; bang goes our plan to park-walk-return-pint and a meal!
Not put off we decided to go to Liverpool as the 'Tall Ships' were visiting the Capital of culture.
We were rewarded with fine views of the ships, from the train, as we passed through Sandhills Station. W e left Moorfields station to walk down to the docks and WOW! There was Richard Wilson's - Turning the Place Over
Sculpture by Richard Wilson
Turning the Place Over is an incredible piece of public art and a brilliant feat of technical engineering. It seems apt that it should be in the Port of Liverpool as the whole thing is made possible by a specially designed giant rotator, the kind usually used in the shipping and nuclear industries.
Richard Wilson is internationally celebrated for his interventions in architectural space that "draw heavily for their inspiration from the worlds of engineering and construction.
It runs in daylight hours during the summer months and from 7am to 7pm during the winter.
I've put a video of the artwork on YouTube which you can watch at Impressive!
As on 20th July 2008
We were amazed at the number of people down at the docks; the picture above is an autostitch of three images. It was very well controlled and the crowds were entertained by stilt walkers, in various guises...
Bath Time!
and others in fancy dress.
The cruise ship, Crystal Symphony, in the middle of the Mersey was equally as impressive, and far easier to get to see.
Crystal Symphony
An enjoyable day including a trip on the train. What more could I ask for!

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rimrose Valley Revisited

I'm not sure how long it has been since we walked through the valley park but it has matured considerably. The valley was always subject to flooding; in the 20th century it has been used for tipping, allotments and playing fields and it is only in recent times that Sefton MBC began its transformation. Larger areas, in particular the southern end, feel really natural and its success as a nature reserve is undoubted - even water rail has been heard here. The walk is very flat and took us around the fringes of the park, with occasional detours along boardwalks into the reedbeds.
Home to many...
It is known that reed warbler, whitethroat, reed bunting and sedge warbler have bred here; fleeting sightings and constant bird song provided visual and audible evidence.
The final stretch of the walk took us along the Leeds Liverpool Canal from Buckley Corner towards Seaforth; here we saw lost of fish, including a small (6" long) pike, coots, moorhens, swans...
5 ugly ducklings
...a heron...
Hunting for a meal perhaps...
and, unusual for this stretch of canal, a narrowboat!
Heading towards Bootle
I'm sure that once the link through to the Albert Dock is completed, this will become a regular sight again. How nice!
As you can see by the pictures we had fine weather! Sorry I tried not to mention it but, like the walk, it was very nice! You can view the 5.0493mile route of this walk at to many...

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, July 06, 2008

MOSI Visit

Too wet to go walking today so Chis and I went to MOSI (Manchester's Museum of Science & Industry) to look at 'Body Worlds 4: The original exhibition of Real Human Bodies".
As stated on their website, "BODY WORLDS 4 offers MOSI exhibition visitors an unprecedented encounter with the human body in its post mortal state!"
It was indeed a unique exhibition by the creator of the world's first anatomical exhibitions, Dr Gunther von Hagens, BODY WORLDS 4 is stunning.
We were presented with over 200 authentic specimens, including both diseased and healthy organs and whole body specimens that have undergone Plastination - Dr von Hagens' groundbreaking method of halting decomposition and preserving the body after death for medical study.
Plastination is the process of extracting all bodily fluids and soluble fat from specimens and replacing them with vacuum forced impregnation with reactive resins and elastometers, such as rubber, silicon and epoxy. The specimen is then cured with light, heat or certain gases, which give it rigidity and permanence.
Football gets everywhere

Sadly, but understandable, photography and filming is not allowed in the BODY WORLDS 4 exhibition. These images are linked to MOSI's Website and when they update the website will no longer be visible.
There is a charge for entry and, if you want to get the most from a visit, for the Audio Guide (The audio guide, I would go so far as to say, is essential). Specimens on display are assigned a number and have corresponding audio narratives that can be accessed at random. The guide features information on the function and composition of human anatomy, and gives background on diseases and their effects on the body.
A thoroughly enjoyable visit, educational, informative and thought-provoking. By its very nature there are displays of bodies and organs and this should be considered if as parents you are thinking about bringing young children to the exhibition.
We are off to see Paul Simon tonight at the new Liverpool Arena; what a great day this is turning out to be!
Blogged with the Flock Browser


Our walk last week, yes I know this is late, started and ended at Ness Gardens; built by Liverpool cotton-broker Arthur Bulley on a sandstone outcrop above the River Dee.
His great desire was to bring new plant species into Britain, especially from the Alps and Himalayas. The result is well worth a visit; sadly we were too wet even to enjoy a snack in the cafe; not because of rain but from pushing through overgrown paths through plants that were very wet indeed.
The initial views are of the River Dee with a backdrop of the Clwydian Hills  of North Wales. The highest visible point being that of Moel Famau. I alway enjoy walking the banks of the Dee and this was no exception. Chris and I both noted that the number of Egrets has increased considerably. The Harp Inn was tempting but was closed; I'm sure I've said this before but we should make an effort to visit some day.
We left the River Dee behind as we headed inland at the Old Quay; all that remains of the 16th century port that flourished here, now completely landlocked. It is hard to think that in the mid-16th century the water here was deep, providing a safe anchorage.
Our return journey took us back along the Wirral Way. The trackbed along this section, through Neston, is flanked on the left-hand side by high sandstone walls carved from bedrock and showing the groves made by railway engineers as they cut through the rock.
Through Neston
Note I'm looking back from where we joined this section. On the right, a lower wall and small sandstone cliffs are festooned with mosses, lichens and ferns that favour this kind of sheltered, moist environment.
Yet another pleasant walk on the Wirral spoiled only by very wet legs caused by dense bracken on the final old, double hedged footpaths that you find all over this part of Merseyside. In total a walk of 5.9371 miles. You can follow our route at
Blogged with the Flock Browser