Cheshire, as it existed before 1974, had very little coastline and, as now defined, virtually none at all. The sea can be seen along the west side of the Wirral peninsula but unless you have consulted tide tables you are likely to need powerful binoculars. Along the northern coast of the peninsular there is sea and miles of sand rather than estuary and spartina grass although the tide does go out a long way. The west and north side of the Wirral come into their own for walkers in the winter, when the fields are too muddy to traverse. Park on the promenade near Dover Point in Hoylake (SJ 231 906) and you can have a bracing walk along the sea front to New Brighton and by the side of the Mersey estuary while remaining dry shod. Alternatively, park at Thursaston Visitor Centre (SJ 238 833) and walk along the beach to Red Rocks at the NW corner of the peninsula and into Hoylake. You can return on the Wirral Country Park track along the line of the former railway. Two photographs below show the Dee between Thursaston and West Kirkby on 4 January 2007 when it was surprisingly sunny for January. At about 1 pm there was the highest tide of the month and a strong westerly wind. This picture with the breakers coming in was shown by Diane Oxberry on Northwest Tonight that evening.
In the 1960s, New Brighton had become a very depressed holiday resort with amusement arcades and "greasy spoon" cafes. Since then, one of the main streets has been demolished and replaced by housing. It is now largely a dormitory town with few of the trappings of old seaside resorts. However, in 2008 a major improvement has been made with a new Floral Pavilion, which a theatre, bar, coffee bar and lounges. The walk from New Brighton to Seacombe has had some improvments with more decorative features set into the paving and new plaques to give details of the history of the area. It has been named The Wirral Maritime Heritage Trail. Here you can learn about Mother Redcap, Guinea Gap, the one o'clock gun and many other historic topics.
Along Magazines Promenade, facing the Mersey are some Victorian and Edwardian villas built for Liverpool's merchants and professional classes, who could cross the river using the ferry at New Brighton, Egremont or Seacombe.
|Lighthouse and Mersey Estuary||Perch Rock Fort|
|Fort Entrance||War Memorial in Vale Park|
|Villas overlooking the Mersey on Magazines Promenade||Villas on Magazines Promenade|
|Bandstand in Vale Park||Mother Redcap Nursing home on site of smugglers' pub|
|Ornate Iron Plaques set in the pavement||Magazines Promenade|
|Magazines Promenade||Magazines Promenade|
|New Floral Pavilion, opened December 2008||February visitors enjoy the new lounge|
|Seacombe Ferry and Space Port||Ventilation Shaft for the Kingsway Tunnel|
|Obelisk with signs for heritage features||Wirral Maritime Heritage Plaque at Seacombe|
|The Dee with breakers at 1 pm on 4 Jan 2007||
The Dee at 3.30 pm on 4 Jan 2007
|Perch Rock Fort, January 2014||View across the Mersey|
A Sheltered Spot
|A panorama of Liverpool seafront from Seacombe|