In which indeed I do turn right at Liverpool. On starting walking the Mersey I had no plan bar reaching Liverpool. Now I sort of formulated a germ of an idea to continue to Blackpool. In the middle of November last year I set off from Fleetwood eyeing Barrow in Furness as a possible destination. Two days ago I was near Carlisle. These things sort of grow.
Gormley’s men are still guarding the beach, this was meant only to be a temporary installation, but it has proved so popular that it was never taken down. They are even working off their Christmas hangover
It’s another fine day, infact the temperatures get up to the mid teens this afternoon, making it positively balmy for mid January. The beaches here are of a very high standard, Formby in particular, but this is a part of the coast that people inexplicably ignore, miles of dunes, golden sand, what’s not to like?
Liverpool being the busy port it is, there is a steady flow of ships entering and leaving the harbour to provide entertainment seawards
I am still navigating by nose, and have not yet planned my routes in any great detail, which means that I soon hit my first obstacle, the River Alt, naively I thought that the Ribble was the first thing I would have to cross, although it looks a little scruffy and dejected below, it has been substantially cleaned up and deculveted , and now is regularly fished and a wildlife sanctuary.
See, it isn’t that bad really. The diversion does present me with my first new coastal walking rule, only to cross rivers by fording, bridge or estuary. Unfortunately the water is a little too deep and there’s unlikely to be a ferry service here, so I opt for the middle option. You may think that rules are a little odd on a self guided walk, but all coastal walkers tend to evolve the same set of rules for themselves , so we work on precedent rather than a code Napoleon, it is at this stage that I should plug my favourite walking blog which provides a lot of help and information for me – Ruth’s Coastal Walk – https://coastalwalker.co.uk/ .
It soon becomes clear that I would not have been able to continue along the beach, as I am walking past a military firing range.
It is a short detour around the estuary to cross a bridge and get back to the beach, at which point the coast near Formby reveals its beauty.
I even manage a selfie in the sunshine
This is my standard walking gear, so if you see me wearing the same again, in my defence I did ask Mrs R permission to throw the shirt away this morning, but she seems a little attached to it, so it has had a reprieve for another winter.
I never see the beach at Formby busy and do not understand why.
Formby is also renowned for it’s red squirrels, of which none are apparent today, however there is a fine view across the dunes
and a fine church, St Peter’s
Still, everyone else’s loss is my gain today and Formby beach is a great place to stop and catch the train back to my car in Crosby.
Copyright 2018 Allan P Russell