Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 101 – A Walk With Gracie – 19 August 2019

This sort of counts as a coastal walk, as we started on the beach and finished there, but it sis more enjoyable because I took my granddaughter Gracie, 6, and her dad John with me. It’s the first time Gracie has been on a hike, and John wanted to show her the views from the Head at St David’s.

St David’s Head is an ancient site, neolithic remains have been found there, and it is mentioned in Ptolemy’s Geography as the Promontory of the Eight Perils. It also marks the divide between the Irish and Celtic seas. Also nicely, as with Bempton, it was the site of a Chain Home Low radar station.

We set off from Base Camp at Whitesands Beach, leaving Mrs R in charge.


Then it was tackling the jungle of the car park, and navigating between the surfers and day trippers until we turned right onto a minor road and started to climb. At this point Gracie started complaining that she was tired, however, as children can be peverse, as soon as we got onto steep paths proper, she started to enjoy it and began to scout ahead for us.

The views of the bay are spectacular, the surrounding countryside being largely flat, you can see for miles.

There was a slight detour, when we managed to take a wrong turn, you can see it on the map at the bottom, but we bore that in our stride and climbed further.


Even though some did have to rest


We reached the site of the radar station, where we took in the view


and took time for a selfie


Just before the peak, I gave up, not because I was tired, but because I did not want to risk falling from clambering up the bare rock, however, for John and especially Gracie this was not a problem and they lept gazelle like up the rocks.

That said, I did enjoy my rest at the foot of the rocks and didn’t envy their moment of glory, after all dad should take his child to the peak.

After that it was a quick descent, ice creams and a rest on the beach, just two miles, but enjoyable. Map below, or if you like videos.


Copyright 2019 Allan Russell





Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 33 – Flint To Ffynnongroyw – 16 June 2017

At Flint I am not sure whether this is a good sign or not perhaps the Welsh are helping me.


A couple of miles walk down the road towards Prestatyn, I am in a case of deja vu, as I used to live in Greenfield Manchester, I get the joke.


There is also an Uppermill up the road from it, which makes it even more of a home from home. Greenfield, Wales’, claim to fame is an old mill system and Basingwerk Abbey, built in the 12th century.


The road is straight and largely uninteresting until I get onto the coast path once more and come to the Duke Of Lancaster, which I have passed several times in the car, but never seen up close. It once served on the Heysham Belfast route, but has been lain up here since 1979. It was intended to have it as a nightclub, then a large art gallery (well they let graffiti artists loose on it, but at the time of my visit it was being painted black, which I presume it still remains.


I could see Parkgate across the estuary, and could even faintly make out Hilbre on the mouth of the Dee.


A little further down was Mostyn, once a major junction, and now just a signal box and an abandoned station.

The Lletty Hotel had an interesting door.

It is thought this was once a smugglers inn. The Honest Man is supposedly an Englishman who built the hotel, and had to leave quickly, but left money on the table so that the tradesmen were not out of pocket.

The Point of Ayr Colliery was near here and there is a memorial to the miners at Ffynnongroyw (pronounced Fin-On-Grew)


Before catching a bus to Prestatyn, I took in the views of the mouth of the Dee from the railway bridge


A short but productive ten miles, and I am now off the estuary and back onto coast.

Copyright 2019 Allan Russell



Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 100 – Carlisle To Gretna – 30 July 2019

Showers are threatened today, but I wanted to finish my walk of the Cumbrian Coast by walking up and into Scotland. Perhaps one day I will attempt the leg to Stranraer, but I have enough on my plate with England and Wales now. Carlisle was as impressive as ever and I recognised many places from previous walks, including Ristorante Adriano where we stopped for sustenance before crashing out on the Bowness walk earlier this month.

Crossing the Eden, I was headed north west and chanced upon Cavendish Terrace, a very desirable street of Merchant Houses, including the one where Woodrow Wilson’s grandfather was born, and he visited on his journey to the UK at the beginning of the last century. It’s not on these pictures, but these houses sell for an amazingly low price, one that wouldn’t get you a flat in London.

Then across the M6 and through Kingmoor Nature reserve which is an old horseracing ground left to return to nature. That came out onto the old Waverley line railway, the route was closed in 1969, but part has been reopened as the Borders Railway. It connected. It was drizzling a bit at this point, hence the water on my lens.


Unfortunately this did not continue as long as I would have liked it to and the rest of the journey was along roads, which although quiet, had the distinct disadvantage of hugging the motorway to my right, so whilst I had few cars pass me, there was a constant buzz of traffic to my side to disturb the peace.


The path then optimistically diverted across the motorway to Todhills, which seemed a sad place as it is one street facing the motorway in the middle of nowhere (a bit like the picture above, but with houses) many of the houses seemed abandoned, although there were newbuilds. To add insult as I reached the end of the village, I had to turn round, and walk back as the path was closed off. At that point it started to pour and I donned my cagoule, only for the skies to dry up for the rest of the day, the gods having achieved their objective.

Back on the road, I crossed the river Esk, the second I have passed ( the other being near Ravenglass, which I forded). This river forms part of the border.


The village here is called Metal Bridge, after the Thomas Telford designed bridge that once crossed the river here. Behind me, the peaks of the Lake District were faintly visible, and ahead was Scotland.


It was a couple of miles still to the border, but thankfully after this, the road veered away from the motorway so I had a field dividing me from the constant roar, although the scenery did not improve.


Then it was over the Sark bridge, built again by Telford, into Gretna and Scotland

I will concede that the outlet village at Gretna is much like Runcorn, albeit lacking the charm, however in the centre, the Church, War Memorial and Hall were a pleasant place to sit whilst resting and refuelling

Then it was the train back to Carlisle, from a rather folorn and functional railway station to be greeted back at Carlisle by The Dalesman. There was a steam train at Filey last week, but I confess to being too lazy to walk to the end of the very long platform at Scarborough to take a picture then.


Twelve miles covered today, and ambition to walk between Wales and Scotland, via England achieved, also I note my century.


And here is an video of my walk by way of experiment on Relive

Copyright Allan Russell 2019


Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 32 – Shotton To Flint – 29 May 2017

Today is the day I learn to pay attention to the weather forecasts, because it rains. Train to Shotton, and then a walk back to Hawarden Bridge, as that’s where I left off last time, discover it’s only about 300 yards, but then I have to walk to the river anyway to follow it, so no great shakes there.

The clouds are heavy and the day dank.

I walk past Broughton where Airbus make the A380. I was in Hamburg this year and we passed the Airbus factory there. After that it is Connah’s Quay, which like Parkgate has suffered from the silting up of the Dee. It was once the setoff point for ferries to Ireland, and had a major rail terminal. Now, it is just small boats that use the harbour.


On the way to Flint the rain really sets in, and I get absolutely drenched. So I can spare you pictures on this stretch, mind you there was not a great deal to see either. Apart from this odd road sign.


Yes, I don’t know either. The rain has stopped by the time I get to Flint, where the castle provides the highlight of the day, appropriately for my walks Burgh By Sands and Lanercost there is an Edward I connection, as the castle was the first to be built during his campaign to conquer Wales, and it had a strategic position, being one day’s march from Chester, and on the Dee, which was at that time fordable to England. It was used as part of the Iron Ring, a network of castles designed to encircle North Wales and Oppress the Welsh. In more recent times, Turner visited it and painted there, his rendering is much better than mine, so here it is, followed by mine.


Flint Castle JMW Turner 1838

After that it was a train back home, via Chester and Crewe this time, making it a circular tour. Just seven miles today.





Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 99 – Bempton To Filey – 25 July 2019

It is the hottest day so far this year, thankfully on the East Coast it is just very warm, and there is a nice cool breeze coming in from the North Sea, so setting off from Bempton Station it is a straight one and a half mile walk back to the coast. Bempton itself is still a pretty little village, though admittedly not one I would choose, although playing at the White Horse are Ukes Of Hazard, who I think I would see for the name alone. Still the cottages are picturesque


After a mile of walking the sea comes into view, and the path then leads oddly through the RSPB gift shop (they obviously want me to buy something) then out onto the cliffs, which are still busy with birdwatchers, it is obviously a popular destination, the extent of the car park shows that, it has a massive overflow facility, presumably for when a rare bird shows up.


Even though I have walked the majority of the Head, there are still spectacular cliff views here.


How the birds manage to keep on their precarious ledges without being blown away is a wonder. Here are some cute little chicks for you.

Just a bit inland are the remains of RAF Bempton, which was the second Chain Home Low radar station to be built. Chain Home Low gave the capability to detect low flying aircraft invisible to the existing Chain Home Network, the first station on Flamborough Head was found to be too low, so this station was built. It was finally closed in the 1980s but apparently has been used by Satanic Cults, so is now sealed off. A teenager went missing there in 2010 and has never been found, that would explain the memorial I saw on the cliff side whilst walking.


As I leave the vicinity of the RSPB sanctuary people fade away and I am left to walk in solitude. Filey is now faintly visible in the distance, at 42 times zoom…


The path follows the cliffs for around four miles, then veers up to a summit before dropping away , and the countryside becomes more gentle with fields to my left and lower cliffs to my right.


A sign tells me that I am now in North Yorkshire, and the scenery now changes dramatically, with a white bay ahead, which looks almost Carribean, although knowing the North Sea, I guess it won’t be as inviting in the water. I can see many holidaymakers on the beach, and it seems to be populated as far as Whitby four miles away.


The path descends quite steeply, and even though there are steps, it is tricky to navigate and quite hairy at times as it hugs the clifftop, behind me I can see the last of the Flamborough cliffs


I reach the beach and it is rocky, although my initial concerns that it would be difficult to walk are soon allayed as the sand is firm and it is easy to negotiate a way between the trickier rocks.

The sea has worn away the wartime coastal defences here.

and the cliffs have changed from rock to clay, making them more susceptible to erosion.


After my peaceful walk I am confronted with holidaymakers

and Filey is getting closer.


After the quiet of the Head, it is nice to walk amongst crowds, there are even more people here than at Bridlington, however, that walk was before the summer holiday break. I pass an Art Deco house perched on the cliffside.


Some houses further down seem to be in danger of falling over the cliffs. I feel sorry for the owners, who must fear each storm and the damage it does. There was one particularly vulnerable spot where some of the concrete ruins had been piled up to protect the soft clay, but it didn’t make for a particularly picturesque part of the beach, although it did provide a comfy spot to rest and have some water.


It was a glorious summer afternoon when I reached Filey, and the beach there was heaving


Again, I was surprised at the elegance of the Yorkshire resorts, they have retained the Victorian charm without succumbing to the tack. Not that I don’t love a tacky resort, however Filey shows itself well.

Filey also contributed to aviation history, the very first airplanes built in England were tested on this beach by Robert Blackburn who built the aircraft in Leeds. Mr J W F Tramner obtained permission from Filey UDC in 1911 to use to fly his planes.

The beach at Filey extends four miles, and when the tide is out there is nearly a quarter of a mile in width. The  sands are generally smooth and hard. On my J.A.P. motorcycle I have done 46 m.p.h. per Cowey speedometer, and with my 20-h.p. Vulcan car have done 35 m.p.h. with six men up.
This will show you what Filey sands are like. A splendid site is being prepared for sheds, a proper slipway from the sands, 12 yds wide, is being made, and an approach road from the land side half a mile long for motor cars is being constructed. I intend to put up two large sheds at present, and am prepared to let one of them for short periods to other experimenters like myself.

From Flight 18-6-1910


A twelve foot high Fisherman sculpture stands proudly in the centre of the Promenade.


and at the end of the Promenade, Filey Brigg, my next stage awaited me.

However, that’s for another time, and I turned inland through Church Ravine (named because it is a ravine leading to a church) and to the railway station, which was a cool haven in the hot weather, the tunnel providing a cool breeze


It’s just as well, as I had 50 minutes to wait, having just missed the pvreious train, and that was made worse as the next train arrived 20 minutes late. However, I got to Scarborough in enough time to have a quick look up and down the high street in anticipation of my next walk up this coast.

It did have some fine buildings.

And then it was the journey back home. The train was busy, infact full because of the sunny weather, but I had reserved a seat and was thankful for it. It became even fuller at York, because the East Coast Line to London was closed, and people were diverted to Manchester. Changing at Huddersfield, I caught the next train, and the aircon had failed, together with having to stand, it was stiflingly hot. Still I returned home on time, and happy to have covered ten miles today.


Copyright 2019 Allan Russell.




Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 98 – Flamborough Head – 18 July 2019

For the first time in a while the journey starts when I step off the train, and only two trains to my destination this morning, Bridlington on a fine sunny morning. The station hall is decorated with flowers, making it a very welcoming start.

It is a much reduced station, and oddly it has not been reconfigured, so the only existing platforms are 4,5 & 6. Thats typical Yorkshire, not wasting money moving the old 1,2 & 3 signs.

Walking down the high street, there’s a queue of about 10 people waiting outside a shop, it turns out to be a tattoo shop, the English on holiday. Still I do like Bridlington, it combines tacky seaside with fine Victorian buildings, a lovely beach, slot machines and there is Flamborough Head infront of me, a Nature reserve. I make no apologies for the number of pictures, the whole day was a visual joy.

I could even see back to a hazy Spurn Point in the haze, although a picture would not do that justice. Despite the obvious temptations of Brid, I had a walk to do, and crossing the links (where the little seaside train even has its own dedicated stops) I soon got into the outskirts, passing the cricket club, and the headland was nearing me now, cliffs rising to around 450 feet in places with vertiginous drops. As usual the path skirts these heights with helpful warnings about erosion…

The path was clear and level, apart from three drops into coves, though being at the beginning of the walk they were not as dispiriting as walking the river Eden into Carlisle last week.  The highest were 105 steps and 77 steps.

Being away from the town, it was much more deserted on the beaches, although there were a fair few people walking the cliffs.

Midway on the walk was the Head itself, a majestic outcrop of rock.


At the head itself are two lighthouses, the oldest dating from 1669 and the modern one from 1806.

Out at sea in 1779 British and American warships fought in the revolutionary war, we came off worse that time.

I was not prepared for the amount of wildlife here, I was told there were 200,000 birds nesting, and boy were they. They all had homes on the cliffside.

But best of all were the basking seals.

Moving past the Head, there were plenty more picturesque coves.

At this point the cliffs are at the highest, and the path narrowest! However, there were scores of birdwatchers here to look at the nesting gannets. I will say that the local tourist board caters well for their visitors, each small beach had toilets and ample parking, still it still had the air of an undiscovered place.

Sadly it was all to soon the end of the walk (and after 14 miles I was tiring a bit, and had a train to catch at Bempton. The station was modest but had what looked to have been a grand station house, although it is now unmanned.

Definitely a place to visit again


Copyright Allan Russell 2019


Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 29 – West Kirby To Neston – 3 May 2017

A lovely fine morning setting out from West Kirby and beautiful blue clear skies with long views of Hilbre, Hoylake and Wales

And of course West Kirby itself as I walk around the boating lake:


I’m soon out of town and waling along the cliffs which overlook the Dee. It really is a more sedate river than the Mersey.

Obviously there are a few people with the same idea of a walk on such a pleasant spring day.

It is a day full of great views and peaceful strolling , half along the beach and half along the old railway line that used to go to Hooton.


You could be fooled at times that this is an estuary, it looks so seaside like


An unusually named bridge on the railway path piques my curiosity

There’s a path with signs to the Dungeon, so how can I resist. Turns out the dungeon is a wooded valley with a small waterfall, Dungeon derives from Denge, meaning land by a marsh, still it is an worthwhile diversion.


A few miles further down the path I reach Parkgate, which is a total revelation and has become a firm favourite for Mrs R and I to visit. It was once the major seaport for traffic to Dublin until the Dee silted up, but in its Georgian heyday it hosted Handel, and Lady Hamilton, it was once even considered back in 1825 as the starting point for the proposed Manchester Ship canal.


The Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser of 24 September 1825 has a full description of the proposed route and costings. That would really have hacked the Scousers off had we done this. Unfortunately it never got off the ground. It is on columns three to four of the attached.

Manchester Ship canal route and costings

However, today Parkgate is a lovely destination with a great Fish and Chip shop. It still shows traces of its maritime past, and although the tide very rarely reaches the shoreline (when it does the place is overrun by rats fleeing the water)

I had the chips on the sea wall. It is my firm belief that these are the best fish and chips I have ever tasted. I commend Parkgate Chippy to all visitors. I hear the restaurants are good too, but I cannot believe they can surpass this:


Of course if you don’t want to overlook the estuary, then you can dine in. After lunch it was a look around the village.

It is a very affluent place, as the cricket club pavillion demonstrates


After that, a quick descent into Neston to catch the train back, via a convoluted route, to West Kirby. Nine miles today, but another walk with great views

Copyright 2019 Allan Russell




















Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 95 – Hornsea To Bridlington – 4 July 2019

It’s a slightly easier ride to the start this morning. Only one bus at the end instead of two, and a bonus as I get off at Hornsea at the front and replan my route, and find that I can walk along the coast the whole way. I can see Bridlington and Flamborough head ahead of me as I set off down the beach


The going is easy, the sand firm and I pass what look like the remains of WWII coastal defences as I go along


It is very peaceful, there is the odd dog walker as I go along the beach, and from time to time as I pass a caravan site, that’s one where you can descend the cliffs, there are holidaymakers taking advantage of the fine sunshine to sit on the beach. And there is one solitary boat.


However, most of the time, it’s just me, and it is very peaceful

The cliff erosion is very marked in places. Fences are up on the cliff top and the sea looks relentless in its battle on this coast, hardly surprising since it is just soil that it is wearing away, some sites seem to have given up the battle and retreated inland. At one point, I pass a house that has collapsed over the cliff.

The tide is out, although by the look of it you could walk this path at high tide, and there is almost 1000 metres at times between cliffs and sea. I guess at one point that was land.


After eight miles of golden sands I stop for a rest and a banana at the only obstacle that I meet along the route at Fraisthorpe.

I could have walked around on the cliff side but I bravely ford the raging torrent (it is all of 10cm deep and rest on the remains of a tank trap as I look around the coast towards Brid, which has been slowly growing on the horizon as the day progresses, and now I can make out individual buildings, as opposed the the blurred townscape at the start in Hornsea.


Getting nearer, now and Bridlington is much more distinct ahead of me, and comfortingly, Flamborough head does not seem too daunting beyond it.

The cliffs are much lower here, but the danger of erosion is still as great, the coastline is the fastest eroding in all Europe.

There are more on the beach now as I near the town, and some pretty buildings as well


As well as some quad bikes and an RNLI van motoring along the beach.


Bridlington is busy, and thriving. I think I have been once before, but it was a long time ago in my University days, so I can’t really comment on whether it has changed or not, but it does look like a solid English resort.

The harbour is also buzzing, with a constant stream of boats entering.

I sit on the harbour wall, eating Fish with Mushy peas and enjoy the summer sun. Fish not as nice as Hornsea, but welcome after the walk as I am hungry. Then it’s a quick stroll to the station for the train back

Thirteen miles today, a good walk, and all along empty golden sands, much better than the roads I have trekked most of the way from Spurn


Copyright Allan Russell 2019







Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 28 – New Brighton To West Kirby – 27 April 2017

From the Mersey to the Dee today, you never think of posh leafy Cheshire having a coast, but that’s what the Wirral is, and since my walk today I have grown to love the place, Mrs R and I often come back and are never disappointed. Only drawback was the weather was not kind to me today, it takes me another soaking to learn to carefully consult the weather forecast before setting out, if I can.

It was overcast in New Brighton when I set off


visibility was not good either and then the rain set in, for a while I could not see the sea from the promenade so I still don’t have an idea what a lot of the coast here looks like. Keep intending to go to Meols again anyway, because I am a big fan of the late 80s early 90s comedy Watching. The Leasowe lighthouse was central to that. My camera was soaked at this point, so it’s just a blurry picture I got.


Eventually it did start to clear up around Meols, and my mood started to raise.


I could even now see back to Bootle and New Brighton


Although as I sat away from the wind on a promenade shelter, it wa still choppy at Meols. I need to return and work out properly at which house Malcolm’s mum lived.

After choppy Meols came Hoylake, which is very sedate and posh on the mouth of the Dee. Walking through the well heeled streets, I started to understand how the Wirral gets its reputation.


At the mouth of the Dee there is the Hilbre archipeligo, three tidal islands which are accessible from the beach at West Kirby. They are on my list to walk to. Today, they were not accessible.

The tide was decidedly in at West Kirby, all the time we have visited since then, the sands have been golden and welcoming. Today, wild wet and windy. Even the walkway around the boating lake was covered.

The sun now coming out again, I took one look back along the sands to Hoylake and set off to the station. Just a short 8 miles today, but an enjoyable walk, and one to repeat in the sunshine.


Copyright 2019 Allan Russell

Turn Right At Liverpool And Keep Walking- Day 94 – Aldbrough To Hornsea – 27 June 2019

Another long journey to start, well they all are on this coast, but its train to Stockport, then change for Sheffield , jump on the train to Hull there, and then Bus to Withernsea from Hull, waiting at Withernsea for the bus to Aldborough. Set off 6:06, arrive 11:15. It’s a great journey on the stopping train to Sheffield, and a fine early view of a misty Kinder Scout.


On the bus to Withernsea get chatting to a local who is full of praise for Hull (well it is an undiscovered gem, and City of Culture did it a lot of good – Londoners were amazed that the Humber is so wide)  he tells me that Withernsea was the birthplace of Kay Kendall, considering Genevieve is one of my favourite films, I am disappointed I did not know that, and did not visit the lighthouse museum.

Withernsea grows on me a little each time I visit.


There are lots of Caravan sites along this coast (well it is the home of Willerbys) and they have come on a lot too in the quarter century or so since I last stayed over this side. I quite fancy a return one day, the countryside is nice and coastal views great.

I can’t say the same for the walking, it is still the B1242 I am following, it isn’t a busy road, but it is monotonous. Apart from some people working the fields, I don’t see an awful lot, and at one point take a picture of The Cross Keys pub just before Mappleton, as I fear I will be pictureless at the end of the day otherwise.

At Mappleton, I stop for banana and water, and see if I can walk along the coast, from the top it looks enticing:


However, not too wise to have walked along the coast this far it seems…


Other blogs have been braver than me, and apparently it is safe to walk, but the tide being in would have prevented me from making this route


and although the route to Hornsea looks a little easier, the tide was up to the cliffs on this side, so it had to be back to the road. Still, I could have fished.

Mappleton itself was a pretty little coastal village with brightly coloured cottages and All Saints Church.

The church is a largely a Victorian one, and was completed in 1854, when a ship bearing Tadcaster stone ran aground on the beach. The canny Yorkshiremen appropriated the stone to build the roof.

After Mappleton the road walk continues, but it is far more pleasant as the road is not far from the sea at this point, and I can see Flamborough head and Bridlington in the distance. There is also more to sea from cornfields, to abandoned buildings:

Eventually I get to Hornsea. I mentioned I have been before, and I didn’t like the place, but today it has a great feel about it. The houses on the way in have a confidence about them, and I walk through a clean and ordered council estate to the beach. The caravan sites were also of a very high standard

There is a lot of development going on, and a new front is being built, but the front is full of holidaymakers and schoolchildren on days out. It is pleasant to just sit down and take in the activity.

It is the start of the Transpennine trail here, so I could go all the way back to Liverpool, I choose not to


But I do decide to avail myself of the local speciality. I highly recommend Port Of Call Chippy on the front. Friendly service and some of the best Fish and Chips.


After that, it’s along the promenade a bit further until I get to Cliff Road, where my bus will arrive to take me back. Hornsea I have been unfair to you in the past. I apologise.

Waiting for the bus, I catch a nasty bout of hayfever which swells up both my eyes, but am entertained by listening to two ageing hippy ladies discuss their favourite Hornsea charity shops on the bus back to Beverley station.

Eight miles covered today, short, but it was a long set of journies to the start.



Copyright 2019 Allan Russell