Sunday, January 12, 2014

Don't assume: it makes an ass out of u and me

Well I did assume! 

The Walking World walk, that my better half had printed off, was the one we had done a number of times before.
It wasn't!
Thank goodness our conversation made me look at the map, Chris had printed off, before we had walked too far. 
We returned to the carpark, having almost got to Clock Face Road and set off on the correct route rather than the one I'd assumed to be correct.
If you want to follow in our footsteps, the 5.3126 miles route (not including the detour mentioned) has been saved. The URL for this route is at 

The first mile took us around Clock Face Country Park...

...including a brief stop at the toposcope.
If you are anything like us, you won't have any idea what a toposcope is either. 
Well don't get too excited it is a metal plate, showing the directions to look to view, weather permitting, major landmarks.

From Clock Face it was down onto the road and back in towards  Maypole and Griffin Woods.
The Mersey Forest, that Maypole and Griffin Woods are part of, has changed so much since we first visited this area. Making the walk more interesting as you can no longer view what lies ahead, until you turn the corner.

From Maypole Wood we exited onto a lane and after a short walk entered Griffin Wood.

A short detour over a bridge and into a clearing, took us to see some carvings including an owl

...hedgehog and a rabbit.
Back onto the route, we continued until, just before the M62 we met "The Green Man".
A much more detailed carving that we both found impressive.

Past a large pond, we crossed a quite high Footbridge and headed towards Bold Heath.
On our left there were a large number of dog owners taking part in training. Some obviously more advanced than others. I think most of the training was for the owners not the dogs!
Past the entrance of one of my favourite Golf Clubs, Mersey Valley Golf & Country Club, we arrived at Warrington Road, the A57.
After a short walk, crossing Clock Face Road and School Lane, we turned right along the drive towards Nursery Farm.
We went to the left of an impressive planter (It looked as if it was cast using concrete) of an articulated lorry.

Keeping to the edge of fields we eventually reached the disused railway cutting which, having turned right past some horses in a field, we followed until we reached Finger House Lane.
Crossing the bridge over the railway cutting we immediately turned right and past under the M62 and up into Sutton Manor.
If you've not see the large statue, called "The Dream", it's here you have the opportunity to climb the mound and view it.
We how ever continued along the edge of Sutton Manor to the Miners way and back to the carpark.
Another enjoyable walk albeit frosty at the start, and encouraging signs of spring, with lamb's tails (Catkins) brightening the hedgerows.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

It just seemed so wrong!

If you have travelled on Merseyrail, from Maghull towards Liverpool, you'll know what I mean.
The plan was to park at Maghull Station, catch a train to Aintree and walk back to Maghull.
Doesn't sound that great until you realise it includes walking along the Liverpool Loop Line, skirting Aintree Racecourse (the Canal Turn and other jumps), along the tow-path of the Leeds Liverpool Canal and up through Melling, past the Bootle Arms (sadly not open, we were too early) and back to Maghull Station.
The URL for this 4.3938 miles route is available at
So what was wrong?
Well the train from Maghull left from Platform 2 (the one nearest the carpark) not Platform 1, it's usual departure platform.
A bus replacement from Maghull to Ormskirk and, I assume, someone thought it would be nice to save people the walk over the footbridge. How nice and considerate I hear you thinking.
The impact?
For those who read the Rail Matrix some confusion but for others - well they walked over the footbridge and then back again once they realised their error.
And yes it did feel so wrong as we pulled off towards Aintree and the start of our walk.
Although cold it didn't take long to get warm as we made our way towards the Loop Line. 
The Pellican Crossing on the A59 seemed to have taken Sunday off as we ended up, after two complete changes of lights for traffic, crossing when there was a gap in traffic flow.
Can quite see why people don't wait for the "Green Man"!
Lots of birds flitted in and out of the trees bushes etc., as we walked along the LoopLine

and blossom was evident on some plants.

The jumps on Anitree Racecourse don't seem as impressive in their Winter format but a number of people were taking advantage of the footpath to exercise their dogs and/or wear out their children.

Ducks, Moorhens and Coots were expecting food but, I don't know why, we never seem to remember to take food for them.
Anyhow,if the Wetland Trust are correct, they shouldn't be fed with bread.
Leaving the tow-path we headed up towards Melling along probably the only muddy, wet stretch of the walk.

Past the closed Bootle Arms, very sad, it was all downhill to Maghull Station and then off to Costa for Lunch.

Started to rain just before the M58 but we were lucky with the weather and it was an enjoyable walk.