THE WIRRAL PENINSULA
The Wirral Peninsula is an area of around 60 square miles in North West England, joined to the county of Cheshire at one end, and surrounded on three sides by water. To the west, the River Dee, with its spectacular views over to the Welsh Hills, forms part of the boundary between England and Wales. To the east, the River Mersey with Liverpool’s world-famous skyline, and to the north the waters of Liverpool Bay and the Irish Sea.
We are so fortunate to live on the Wirral Peninsula, home to some of the most beautiful scenic countryside in England, with its many attractions from delightful rural walks and cycle routes to stunning beaches.
This is an eight-mile circular route, suitable for most able-bodied walkers. It’s a family-friendly half-day walk (approx. three hours) with moderate amounts of ascent and descent through a variety of landscapes from woodland to coastal.
Starting at historic Hillbark Hotel, the walk takes you through the tranquil beauty of Royden Park, winding across Thurstaston Common to Thor’s Stone, with panoramic views of the River Dee, River Mersey and Irish Sea.
Passing the beautiful old red sandstone church of St Bartholomew in Thurstaston, take the country lane to the atmospheric Heswall ‘Dungeon’, where the footpath winds down through a wooded valley, with a stream and a waterfall. Then continue onto the Wirral Way, the track of an old railway line, with truly spectacular views over to the Welsh hills at this point.
The path continues across the clifftops overlooking Thurstaston beach and the SSSI saltmarshes of the Dee Estuary; a haven for rare birds and wildlife. Don’t forget your binoculars!
Leaving the cliffs behind, you walk through picturesque Caldy village, mostly built with locally quarried red sandstone. Then it’s on through more woodland to the top of Caldy Hill. Stop here and just enjoy the sheer beauty of the panoramic view across the Dee Estuary and Irish sea, stretching for many miles as far as Llandudno and the Great Orme on a clear day. Then it’s back to Hillbark Hotel for a well-deserved rest.