Almost a doorstep adventure, but not quite. I ever-so-slightly cheated. To avoid the unpleasant section from Ellesmere Port to Birkenhead on the East side of the Wirral Peninsular (its all motorways and dual-carriageways), I took the local train to Birkenhead.
Getting off at Hamilton Square (also a good starting point to get the ferry across to Liverpool), I headed North towards New Brighton. Most of the ride is traffic free (almost 40 miles back to my front door) and the first section takes you along the stunning coast line looking over to Liverpool. The blend of old buildings, cathedrals with modern sky scrapers and arenas give an interesting perspective of the city.
After 8 miles of cycling into a head wind, I hit New Brighton. The town here contains a small fort, obviously a good vantage point as its on the edge of the coast. In recent years, the council has spent a lot of money here and its now quite a modern seaside town, with a good variety of restaurants and coffee shops (mmm, coffee…)
I decided not to stop here and to cycle onto the next major point on the Peninsula, West Kirby. Famed for its permanent boating lake and Hilbre island, a small island that is possible to walk to during low tide. Its also a good place for an Ice-cream and you’re spoilt for choice, Mr Whippy, traditional Cornish or my personal favourite, a feast! Once refuelled, the ride takes you along the Wirral Way, an disused rail line that runs from one end of the Wirral to another.
Its also traffic free and a joy to ride along the gravel path. As its an old rail line, its also flat, so its quite easy to get some miles in with little effort. The path goes past an old Victorian Port, Parkgate. Now made even more famous for its ice cream shops and a cosy little pub, the Harp Inn. As I’ve already had an ice dream, it would seem rude not to have a beer.
From the Harp, the cycle path has been extended through to Deeside passing over marshland and through an RSPB reserve. Its best to soft pedal through here as no-one wants a conflict with the bird-watchers and cyclists to arise. Both parties thankfully have been sensible, the bird watchers stick to the edge of the path, and the cyclist go slow so not to disturb the birds, perfect!
From Deeside, the path follows into North Wales and taking a tight left hand bend, I’m heading east again and back towards home. Its a great ride, almost all of it traffic free and Mersey Rail are more than happy to take cyclist on the train without booking! Good stuff really