11 Winter Walks in Merseyside from Liverpool Ramblers Club
3 years ago
We all need to take some exercise but, with lockdown rules, we can’t travel too far.
So, with short journeys allowed to reach an outdoor space, we asked The Ramblers’ Pat Sullivan for a few ideas for walks in winter.
Pat, who’s chair for Liverpool Ramblers, says: “These are Liverpool walks, in the city centre and in different neighbourhoods.
“Some are shorter, just a mile or so, but round the city centre so with plenty of interesting things to see. In places where you can just wander, they can be as long as you like. Exploring places will add fun and interest your exercise.”
Here are Pat’s 11 winter walks in Liverpool…
Walk 1: North from the Pier Head
Start by the Cunard Building in the middle of The Three Graces. Walk across to the ferry terminal opposite, turn right and head north along the waterfront past the landing stage. Stop and have a look at the Memorial to the Heroes of the Engine Room. Then follow Prince’s Parade along the river with Prince’s Dock on your right. Go on to the very end then return on the other side of the dock. Walk onto the white footbridge which was designed by an architecture student and won a design competition in 2001. The bridge resembles the ribcage of a whale and is a reminder that whaling ships did once sail out of Liverpool. Maybe pause here and take a photo? Continue on past the Malmaison Hotel and back to the Pier Head .
“Just one mile but a good, invigorating riverside short walk for a winter’s day,” says Pat. “You could go straight on to Walk 2 – or leave that for another day.”
Walk 2: South from the Pier Head
Start again from the Cunard Building. Walk across to the ferry terminal and turn left to head south. First have a look at the memorials and statues close to the riverside. Head on past the Museum of Liverpool and cross the bridges over the Canning Half-Tide Dock. Stroll round our spectacular Albert Dock passing in front of The Tate and take the main exit out. Continue south with Salthouse Dock on your left then go on to the end of Wapping Dock. Turn back towards the Pier Head along Wapping and Strand Street. As you pass near it take a walk all around the George’s Dock Ventilation and Control Station – there are some fine sculptures on the building and particularly by the main door – can you find it and its two statues of Night and Day? Finally, take a look at and walk through Mann Island. On a clear winter’s day all the surrounding listed buildings are stunningly reflected on its black granite and glass.
1.5 miles (“or more if you explore a bit”).
Walk 3: Three Squares and a Garden
Start in Derby Square by the statue of Queen Victoria and where Liverpool Castle used to be. Head off along Castle Street to the Town Hall then continue behind it into Exchange Flags, your next city square and a pretty impressive one which, back in the day, served as an outdoor stock exchange. Have a look around it and then continue straight on again under the office buildings and cross into Old Hall Street. Go right along Old Hall Street to the Radisson Blu Hotel where you take a right up Rigby St into your third square. This is St Paul’s Square with buildings all of glass and steel, one of Liverpool’s most modern business areas and one you probably won’t know unless you work there.
So, after our three squares now head for a bit of winter green. Go back to the Town Hall, then back along Castle Street, left into Cook Street and on along Victoria Street. At the end, beyond the Mersey Tunnel entrance, you’ll find St John’s Gardens which nestle under St George’s Hall. Explore a bit, there are many war memorials.
Normally, if you are lucky, up the hill and on the plateau in front of St George’s Hall, you might find a Christmas Market – or in this pandemic year maybe something else seasonal and festive. It is also worth having a good look at our awe-inspiring cenotaph.
2 miles or so.
Walk 4: Four Fountains
Everyone knows about the fountains of Rome, but Liverpool has some impressive ones too. They are all very different but interesting to seek out on an unusual Liverpool walk. Your first fountains are on Thomas Steers Way in Liverpool ONE in front of the Hilton Hotel. Can you find them? Tricky in winter as they are dry but in summer kids (and some adults!) take outdoor showers here. The fountains commemorate William Hutchinson and his world-famous tidal readings. Take a look at the info boards to learn more.
Then set off for fountain two. Turn right along the Strand and make your way to George’s Dock Gates and its corner with Chapel Street. Here, right on the corner is the William Simpson Memorial Fountain. This was one of Liverpool’s many fresh-water drinking fountains for working men.
For fountain three head on up Chapel Street, turn right along Rumford Street, right again down Water Street then left along Drury Lane and there it is – The Bucket Fountain. This one is purely decorative, but it does have water and is fascinating to pause and watch it in action.
Your fourth and final fountain is in William Brown Street close to Wellington’s column and opposite the Walker Art Gallery. Make your way there to see The Steble Fountain which was unveiled in 1879. This one could grace Rome or Paris and there are copies of it in many countries. It’s made of cast iron and bronze and adorned with statues of marine gods. There are many other water features in Liverpool. One is the Chalybeate Spring which features on the next walk so maybe try to find it another day.
Walk 5: Georgian Liverpool
Start in front of the Anglican cathedral. There is a large car park, or you can walk up from the city centre. Take the steep path down into St James’s Gardens. There was first a quarry here then, in the 1820s, the space was laid out as a cemetery. Since the 1960s it has been a public garden. You may spot some early snowdrops already flowering here. Walk across the length of the gardens passing the Chalybeate Spring and the Huskisson memorial.
Go up the path to the exit and turn left on to Upper Parliament Street. Take the first left into Hope Street and then the first right into Huskisson Street. All the streets you will now follow are lined with fine Georgian terraces. Continue up to Falkner Square and take a stroll around this beautiful square before continuing via Sandon Street into Falkner Street where you turn left. The TV series ‘A House in Time’ was based on a house in this street. At the end by all the restaurants turn right and head along Hope St.
Lots to see here including the Philharmonic Hall and fabulous nearby pub of the same name. At the Everyman Theatre turn left down Mount Pleasant and left again into Rodney Street, Liverpool’s finest Georgian street. Follow it right to the end, taking a look at some of the many blue heritage plaques as you go, and you are back where you started the walk.
3 to 4 miles ‘depending how much you wander’.
Walk 6: Stanley Park
Standing between Everton and Anfield football grounds in Liverpool 4 Stanley Park is a beautiful expanse of green. The park opened in 1870 and has been restored to its former glory. It has a stunning, fully restored Victorian conservatory and intriguing sandstone pavilions. Wander its many pathways and around its lakes.
Walk 7: Everton Park
Not far away from Stanley Park is Everton Park. This is a large stretch of hillside with a high ridge between Shaw Street/Netherfield Road and Heyworth Street where there’s a car park. The views from here are spectacular. You look down over the city and its docks, across the Mersey to Wirral and to Wales beyond. This is one of the finest viewpoints in Liverpool, perfect for that winter sunset. There’s also a Heritage Trail which tells you about the Royalist encampment here in the Civil War, and the famous Molly Bushell’s toffee shop. The area is criss-crossed with paths. All in all, a great place for a winter wander.
Walk 8: Croxteth Park
This vast country park date from 1575. Take any entrance – the main ones are in West Derby or Muirhead Avenue L11. Croxteth Hall stands in the centre and is very impressive, as is the long avenue leading up to it. Have a look around this busy part of the park and then just wander the many quiet footpaths which will take you across open fields and through ancient woods. You’ll see fine highland cattle grazing in their fields – and it’s hard to believe you’re still in Liverpool.
Walk 9: Rimrose Valley Country Park
Located between Waterloo and Litherland, this is a much-valued open space. Recently it’s been threatened by road development but thankfully saved. There are woods, open fields and plenty of footpaths to explore. The Leeds-Liverpool Canal runs along one side. There are two main car parks by the canal. Rimrose Valley is also just a short walk from Waterloo Station.
Walk 10: The Mersey Way, Garston
From the Speke Retail Park head down Banks Road to the well-marked beginning of The Mersey Way. Follow the main or any of the minor footpaths that follow the river upstream. There are great views across to Cheshire and you’ll see many sea birds. Head towards the sailing club. Here you can go down to the slipway and the river. If you return to the main path by the clubhouse you can continue on towards Speke Hall and John Lennon Airport. Eventually the path may become very muddy and you will need to turn back the way you came. If you do this late afternoon on a clear winter’s day the sunsets can be terrific.
Walk 11: Allerton Country Park
Google ‘Allerton Country Park’ and download the walking guide and map. This is a 7-mile walk, or two miles less if you leave out one section of woods. The route takes you from Calderstones Park to Allerton Tower, Clarke Gardens, Woolton Woods and Camp Hill then back via Woolton Village, Reynolds Park and Black Woods to Calderstones. Linking several parks and stretches of woodland, this is a great country walk for a winter’s day – and you don’t even leave Liverpool.