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Just getting out for a walk is one of the most simple, yet enjoyable, things families can do together.
Pat Sullivan, chair for Liverpool Ramblers, says: “In summer when so many are heading for busy, crowded beaches, or sitting in long queues of cars to get to attractions, you can head to our wonderful woodlands, countryside, and quiet coastal areas instead.
“Here you can relax in the quiet and enjoy the clean air – you can actually taste the difference! – and once you’re there, the summer birdsong is worth a stop and a listen as it is at its most varied right now, you can look at all the shades of green, and you can escape for a while.”
We asked Pat for some of her favourite routes for families to enjoy, and she adds: “As ever I can’t send people off to walk in the unknown without maps or proper shoes etc., so I have stuck with routes which should be safe and are mostly well-signed.
“They are simple, summer walks for families to enjoy both in and close to Liverpool.”
Take the 82A bus to Hale Village or park in the Hale Park car park. Follow the path across the park and into the ancient woods by lovely Hale Village. Turn right through the woods and continue to the shore. After the woods turn left and you now have a footpath along the coast to the lighthouse. To return to Hale Village either go left up Lighthouse Road or continue on to Witham Way and follow it back to the village.
Distance: 3 to 5 miles depending how far you choose to walk.
Start at West Kirby Station and head down to the boating lake. Turn left and follow the coastline to join the Wirral Way. From the Wirral Way take the signed turn off to Caldy Hill. Now you climb up through the woods that cover these hills. Do remember to keep looking back as the coastal view is great. From the viewpoint and column continue on over the main road to the war memorial. Then head back down into West Kirby.
Distance: 4.5 miles.
Take the train to Freshfield Station and head for the pine woods OR park in the National Trust car park there. From the information board opposite the public WC follow first the Squirrel Path. Then soon pick up signs for the Asparagus Route – red arrows and pictures of asparagus. This beautiful and interesting route has been designed by the National Trust and you can download it from their website with maps and information. It shows both the history of asparagus growing here and also the rich variety of trees. There is broadleaf woodland, as well as extensive pine woods.
Distance: 3 miles plus one more from and back to the station.
The northern end here of the Sandstone Trail, which starts 34 miles away in Whitchurch, is spectacularly beautiful. There are endless woods of ancient trees set against the Cheshire sandstone cliffs. Join the Trail high up at the War Memorial, some parking possible here, or walk up, joining the Trail up the road from Frodsham Station. Follow the Trail to Woodhouse Hill and take in the arboretum then head back to the start.
Distance: About 6 miles depending on how much you wander!
This area contains great woodland walking with a historic coastline – there was an early crossing across the Mersey from here and the Manchester Ship Canal begins here. These ancient woods also contain the remains of a bear pit. Parking is by Eastham Ferry, and the nearest railway station is Eastham Rake.
Distance: A 2 to 3 mile wander, longer if you wish and if you walk from Eastham Rake.
There are splendid woodland walks on the reclaimed sites of former collieries. Close to the A57/B5419 you can park and walk the woods of Sutton Manor heading up through the trees to The Dream statue. For more lovely woodland and great views over the Lancashire plain follow signs on to Clock Face Country Park- or drive and park there.
Distance: whatever you want to make it.
This ancient, extensive and unspoilt area of woodland is a definite must-visit in our region. It can be a bit busy, but just park at any of the car parks and just wander. BUT for a quieter walk, drive on through the forest to the A556, head right fairly briefly then stop at the first marked car park on your left. From here you can head south to the much quieter Primrosehill Wood.
Distance: Just wander around shere and enjoy any distance you like.
The so-called Fairy Glen is a very beautiful stretch of woodland on the banks of Sprodley Brook near Parbold. The signed footpath through it starts close to the viewpoint at the top of Parbold Hill on the A5209. The leafy walk down the Glen is just lovely, with footbridges, little falls and springs. You can just walk down to the last footbridge before the Leeds- Liverpool Canal and then turn back again retracing your steps which makes for a really lovely walk OR take a right on a footpath then soon another right for a footpath back up to the main road.
Distance: 2 or 3 miles of lovely, leafy walking.
You don’t even need to travel beyond our city to find lovely ancient woods. These two woods are close neighbours and easily accessible via bus routes 61, 81, 86c which stop nearby for the Childwall Abbey Road entrance. Explore either or better both of these adjacent woods and you would not believe you are still in the city of Liverpool.
Distance: 2 or 3 or more miles as you wish.
And Pat says: “You can join the Ramblers and go on led walks through splendid local woods, coasts and countryside.”
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