Day 119: Hawarden Bridge to Leasowe
Distance: 19.73 miles
Ascent: 561 feet
Weather: Sunny Spells
Accommodation: The Clark's Family Home
With my new poster attached, and after saying goodbye to James & Gina I was on my way firstly crossing over Hawarden Bridge. The path followed a very wide cycle path through Deeside Industrial Park with it’s many vast warehouses and factories. The air was full of the fumes from the industry and suddenly and very unexpectedly as I thought I was on a cycle/foot path a bus whizzed by that I only heard at the last moment (apparently shuttle buses between the factories can use this track as well even though it is not a road.)
After passing under the A548 the route began to become more scenic, as it skirted the outside of the military firing range. It was at this point, in an unremarkable spot along the path that I crossed back into England. There were some lovely expansive fields of bright yellow rapeseed which looked lovely in the sunshine and after crossing a board walk across the marshes the route followed a mixture of cycle path, lanes and reed walking firstly to Nessholt and then Parkgate. Parkgate seemed like a very well-off place with many nice houses and some fairly posh pubs and a coffee house. I stopped for a quick tea before carrying on.
I had hoped I would be able to get as far as the sewage works along the edge of the marsh before having to divert a couple hundred meters inland onto The Wirral Way. But I ended up having to divert onto The Wirral Way a bit earlier than expected as the ground conditions were becoming incredibly boggy. This was no real issue as it didn’t affect the distance and followed parallel to the coast anyway. This part of the Wirral Way was part of an old railway and it was very atmospheric, walking along the flat treelined route. Using this path I soon made it to West Kirby and with the sun out I popped into the shop and got stuff for a little picnic. As it was high tide the lagoon wall was covered so I headed straight along the promenade.
From West Kirby the path heads into the dunes and skirts the famous Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) Golf Course, if I’m honest this course didn’t look any nicer than many of the others I have passed, I am sure to an actual golfer it is better in quality. Once in actual Hoylake I followed the promenade fortunately in the glorious sunshine, and then behind the Wallasey Embankment with views of the seemingly never-ending sands. I could also begin to see the large red cranes that line the docklands on the outskirts of Liverpool in the distance across the water.
I soon passed close to Leasowe Lighthouse, which was not particularly inspiring and reached the end point of my day in the carpark near Leasowe about 2:48pm, naughtily 3 minutes later than I had told my kind host (James) at the beginning of the day. In fact it had been a fairly full on day as I had only left at 8:10am and was aiming to complete the 20 miles before James had to go on the school run about 3:00pm. As it was flat and dry I was able to keep up a good pace, and had only 2 short breaks one 5 minutes for a tea and one 15 mintues for lunch and was glad that I could keep up the pace.
Having finished early I chilled out a bit and am looking forward to relaxing and getting on top of admin on my rest day tomorrow. Today was a surprisingly scenic day and one i really enjoyed and finished of by a lovely home cooked meal.
I should finish by saying goodbye to Wales which has in general treated me very well.