I mentioned the Wirral Way in my 10 Free Family Days Out post, if you are a family who loves to get out for a good walk or cycle together then read on and discover how we rate the Wirral Way for a day out.
The Wirral Way used to be the Birkenhead Railway line, and it ran from Hooton to West Kirby. After closing in 1962, it was converted into a 15 mile stretch of public footpath. It now is a cycle and walking route and meets in places with a horse path which runs along side it. There are still two visitors centres along the route, one in Willaston, which is a preserved railway station, and the one in Thurstaston, which is just a visitor centre, with only the station platform remaining. We usually go to the Thurstaston centre to start our walks, there is parking, a cafe plus two independent cafes, and an area with ponds and benches that look out over the River Dee.
Parking is now charged for at the Wirral Country Park at Thurstaston (50p for 1 hour, £1 for 2 hours, £2 for 2+ hours). We usually walk in the direction of West Kirby, the path this way is a wide gravel path which is sheltered by banks and trees along its route. It’s sheltered aspect means it is protected in the winter and has some shade in places in the summer. The gravel path does develop large shallow puddles but these are great for splashing, and the gravel means it is always useable (there are parts that I know are not gravel but this section is good). It depends on how energetic we are feeling but we usually only wander as far as Caldy Golf Club, as I find this is more than enough for my little one. Along the way it is nice to let her run a little ahead and let her investigate flowers and bugs at will. She loves the freedom and I don’t mind the slowish pace of a curious toddler. I often take the pram so she can hop in if she feels tired, and I can still get a decent walk out of it. There are several bridges in the direction of West Kirby and Erynn loves to stop to call out underneath each of them, to hear her voice echoing back under their arches. As you exit the arch of the bridge just before the golf club, the trees and banks give way to houses on one side and a fence on the other with stunning views over the Dee to North Wales. Erynn loves this section as she has an opportunity for fence climbing whilst I stop to take in the beautiful view. If you are a family who loves to cycle the Wirral Way is worth checking out, I can’t speak for it’s full length, having only ever done Thursatston to West Kirby, but it is generally a good path.
Route is good year round,
Not so good:
The only thing we have to watch out for is cyclists who fly through without slowing down for ambling toddlers. Most cyclists are very careful, but you do get the odd one or two who don’t seem to care.
I suppose for some people they would prefer a circuit so the view is ever changing and you don’t have to double back on yourself, but for us this isn’t a problem.
5/5 fun factor