Saturday, 31 January 2009

Heswall Shore and the Dungeon

Heswall Shore

This is a very pleasant and varied 3.5 mile walk which falls into four clear stages. The walk begins in the car park / bus terminus in Banks Road a hundred yards from the shore. You first walk up Banks Road away from the shore and, after passing through a housing estate, climb steadily through a nature reserve.

It is slightly disappointing when this ends with your arrival at a residential road to begin the second stage, along the road. This gives way to a farm track and then a fenced path by fields, all the time parallel to the shore, with increasingly clear views over the Dee estuary.

Stage three involves the descent to the shore and is the prettiest stage of the walk. You into a path which leads steadily downhill through an imaginatively named ravine, called The Dungeon. We couldn't find any convincing explanation for this, although we did see a rocky overhang which might have suggested a secret dungeon, or oubliette.

The Dungeon does have a delightful stream wending through the trees ....

.... and then turning into a small waterfall.

The path continues at a higher level, and later crosses the Wirral Way - here on a section of disused railway line - before a final track brings you to the shore.

For stage four, you walk along the shore to reach a boatyard, which happily has Sheldrake's pub and bistro nearby, where we had an enjoyable lunch before returning to the car.

There were a lot of seabirds just out of clear view to the naked eye, but we were impressed to see two birdwatchers ensconced with telescopes and cameras stoically observing them. We admired their fortitude as it was bitterly cold day, especially on the shore, but we were not tempted to emulate them.

Rating: three stars

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