Thurstaston

I don’t get to see the sea very often so, with being up on the Wirral peninsula for a few days around Christmas, I was keen to take a stroll along the shore.

Originally the plan was for Lauren and I to walk around three sides of the Wirral from Birkenhead to Caldy taking in views of the River Mersey, the Irish Sea and the River Dee. However events conspired against us being able to take on this 18 mile or so walk.

Instead we decided on a shorter walk along the shoreline of the River Dee to Thurstaston and then back over the hills to Caldy.

The weather was bitterly cold and I wished I’d worn another layer or two. There was no breeze, so it could have been considerably colder if there was a strong wind to fight against.

The first leg of the walk was along the beach to Thurstaston. The beach had remnants of snow and the stranded sea water was frozen in small puddles awaiting the tide to return.

The views of the estuary were just spectacular. In all the years I have walked along the shoreline I have never seen it looking quite so impressive as this day when the hazy winter sun was low in the sky and glinting off the frozen undulations in the sand.

After arriving at Thurstaston visitor centre we wandered for a short distance along the old disused train line from West Kirby to Hooton before leaving it for a path signposted “The Dungeons”.

The Dungeons weren’t very exciting. There were no emaciated prisoners or sadistic torturers. Just a cutting in the sandstone with a small cave and a little waterfall. The waterfall was fairly pretty with it being frozen.

Next up was a trip to the top of Thurstaston hill taking in great views of the River Dee estuary.

From the “summit”, it was a short stretch to Thor’s Rock (a favourite clambering place for kids) and then a little longer on to Royden Park. We were treated to the sight of a couple of tiny steam trains chugging around the park carrying a few cold-looking passengers.

At Royden Park, the proximity of the Farmers Arms was too near to ignore so we had a quick 20 mins drinks stop. A thoroughly excellent pint of Bombardier was effortlessly consumed by me – the best pint I had during my stay on the Wirral.

The final journey was back down a new path for me towards Calday Grange Grammar School and then over Caldy hill. We made a small detour to nosey in on the massive houses on Caldy hill that seem to pass hands from one overpaid (Liverpool) footballer to the next.

Duration 4:34 hours
Distance 8.2 miles
Path (Google Earth)