264 Crossens to Hesketh Bank

Today my walk gets off to a bad start and comes to a bad end. But the middle section is wonderful. Anyway, let’s start at the beginning.

I park in Banks Road and set off, passing a large granite boulder sat on the verge, which has a metal plaque set into the stone. Intrigued, I pause to read the inscription.

01 big boulder, Banks Road, Ruth's coastal walk, Sefton

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263 Formby, Southport, Crossens

My husband drives me to Formby beach. He has to use his best negotiating skills to get into the National Trust car park without paying in order to drop me off. From there, I head for the sands, following a track a little inland of the dune system.

01 Formby, Ruth's coastal walk, Sefton

Here I find a drowned pine forest. Drowned by sand. Continue reading

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262b Crosby to Formby

I set off along the Sefton Coastal Path – a combined walking and cycle-way. It’s a shame I can’t continue walking along the beach, but warning signs tell me the sands are treacherous.

13 Sefton coast path and cycle way, walking to Formby

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262a Crosby Beach

I restart my walk from the Waterloo end of Crosby. (Why the name ‘Waterloo’? This area seems to have an obsession with Wellington – from Anglesey to here, he has roads, pubs, monuments connected with him.) The path takes me along the southern edge of the Marine Lake. Ahead are the dunes of Crosby Beach… can’t wait to get there.

01 walking by Marine Lake, Waterloo, Crosby, Ruth Livingstone

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261 Liverpool to Crosby

I buy my £5.20 Saveaway Ticket from New Brighton station, Wallasey, and take the train to Hamilton Square. From there it’s a short walk to the Woodside Ferry terminal.

01 woodside ferry terminal, Ruth Livingstone, Mersey ferry

Everybody is queuing for tickets. I’m not convinced my Saveaway ticket is really valid, so I queue too. Without batting an eyelid, the lady at the desk gives me a ferry ticket. Additional cost? Nothing. Continue reading

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260 West Kirkby to Birkenhead

I return to West Kirby. The lifeguards are back. And the route to Hilbre Island looks enticingly easy… I’m nearly tempted to walk out again…

01 Ruth Livingstone in West Kirby, The Wirral

… just kidding! Continue reading

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259 evening – Hilbre Island

It’s 6:15 pm, and the light is bright in my eyes as I look westward towards Hilbre Island. There are figures out there, crossing the sand. It looks an easy stroll.

a01 walkers coming back from Hilbre Island, Ruth's coastal walk

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259 Heswall to West Kirby

I drive to Heswall, but it’s raining heavily this morning so I sit in my car and make notes for the piece I’m writing for Countryfile Magazine. Yesterday – in a howling gale – I had my photo taken for the mag. Now, I must get on with the actual writing.

Midday. The rain stops and it’s time to heave my rucksack onto my shoulders and get going. I walk down a narrow road, totally misnamed as ‘Broad Lane’. The tarmac is silver with water.

01 Ruth hiking the coast, Heswall, Wirral

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258 Neston to Heswall

The day is breezy, with dark clouds scudding overhead and the constant threat of rain. I return to the weird promenade at Parkgate, and leave my car.

01 the beach, Ruth Livingstone at Parkgate

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257 pm Neston to Parkgate

I’m back in England. The new cycle way winds through the Wirral marshland, first on tarmac and then along a wooden boardwalk surrounded by waving bulrushes.

a01 board walk across marsh, Ruth's coastal walk, Wirral

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