Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mersey Way - Liverpool to Speke

Our 4.543 miles (7.3113 km) route along the River Mersey yesterday has been saved and can be seen at http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6782699.
We set off from home in sunshine and walked down to Maghull Station, catching two trains to end up at Liverpool South Parkway station.
To be honest, the initial part of the walk, along the B5171 and through Garston, was spoiled by the amount of rubbish on the footpaths.
Once on the Mersey Way, however, things improved considerably. 
I was annoyed that I'd forgotten my monocular as the tide was out and the number of birds along the river was amazing.
Take a look at the slideshow of some of the photographs I took...

or go to https://sharalike.com/s/kXTk
Our plan had been to return by train, from Hunts Cross, having gone back inland after John Lennon Airport. That wasn't to be as there was a sign, on the Mersey Way, telling us we couldn't continue any further - no reason given.
So we went back through Speke Hall and went to Dobbies for lunch.
We then caught a bus back into Liverpool, a train back to Maghull and a walk home; by which time we were walking in sleet.
An enjoyable walk and the big plus for going on a Saturday, rather than our usual Sunday walk, was the frequency of Buses and Trains.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Not so much a walk, more of a "Spot the Red Squirrel" stroll

Today, albeit "Brass Monkey" weather (the name given to the brass triangles that supported stacks of iron cannon-balls that, in cold weather contracted, causing the cannon-balls to fall off), we went for a very short Meander, 1.8 miles (2.9km), along Formby's glorious beach...

Patterns on wind swept beach
...with it's dramatic sand dunes...



...and through the sweeping coastal pinewoods...



You can see our approximate route at http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6781023

The woodlands at Formby are home to a population of red squirrels, 


...making it one of the few places in the UK where you can catch a glimpse of these shy creatures.
The sand dunes are covered with marram grass and home to a number of rare and protected species, the ever-shifting sand dunes are one of Formby's fantastic features. Today they shifting was not only observed, it was also felt as the strong winds sand-blasted us as we headed onto the beach.
We were lucky to see...

  • gulls, 
  • sanderlings
  • crows, 
  • magpies, 
  • wood pidgeons, 


  • red squirrels, 
  • blackbirds, 
  • robins, 
  • Can you see him?
  • sparrows,
...and more.
An enjoyable walk in the sunshine, before heading off to The Railway for lunch.

You can see what we thought of our lunch in the Maghull Foodie Blog.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Eastham Ferry Squirrels

Today we decided, as the sun was out, to revisit Eastham Ferry; It's some time since we'd been and we expected to see squirrels...
video

...result!
First of all we walked to our local Merseyrail Station, in Maghull, then it was off to Liverpool Central, change train, to catch the Chester train to get off and start our Wednesday walk at Spital Station.

Today's 5.2327 miles (8.4212 km) route has been saved and is available at...
Upon emerging from the station, we turned left and headed down towards Brotherton Park and Dibbinsdale Local Nature Reserve. We both noticed how many flowers were out early...
 It didn't take long before we reached the entrance to the Reserve. More information can be found at...




 Of course we did a slight detour to see St. Patrick's Well...
 ...not sure I'd consider drinking from it.
 The walk through the Nature Reserve, along side the River Dibbensdale was very nice...
 especially the wide range of fungi we spotted...


 ...and the sound of flowing water...
 ...along with the bird song, mallards, moorhens, crows, robins,  jays and more. The fungi still grabbing our attention...

 We passed under the railway line...
 ...via the "Badger tunnel"...

 ...and continued through the nature reserve...
 The carved dragon's head...
 ...wasn't as obvious as it has been in the past. In places foam in the river was trapped in amongst fallen trees...
 ...and the very low sun found its way through the bare trees of the woodland.
 We crossed the River Dibbensdale a number of times...
 ...and there were signs of the flooding in previous weeks...
 We left the Nature Reserve at Bromborough Rake Station and headed towards the River Mersey, past Saint Barnabas Church...
 ...on the way. The views of the River Mersey were stunning...
 ...enhanced by the blue sky and reflected clouds...
 It was then time for lunch. We had a choice but decided upon...
 ...the Eastham Ferry...

...no longer a hotel. Apparently people still try to book rooms!
The photograph provides an interesting insight into the history of Eastham Ferry...
 We enjoyed our lunch...

...which you can read about in my Maghull Foodie Blog.
It was then time to walk back through Eastham Country Park, with the vast number of squirrels...
 ...past the Rugby Club, Tennis Club...
 ...and onto Bromborough Station...

to catch two trains home.
Another enjoyable Meander, made even better by the sun being out!
Take a look a the slide show...