The River Alt is narrow at this point. Don't be alarmed if you hear gun shots here! An army training camp is situated just on the other side of the river and they can often be heard doing their rifle practice. If you want to cut the walk short Hightown station is soon reached -from the boatyard on the River Alt, join the road cross the roundabout and keep ahead along Lower Alt Road where you will find shops and the station.
Otherwise remain beside the River Alt at the boat house for a further 3.5 miles following the "toad" waymarks of the coastal path to reach Formby.
At Formby the National trust nature reserve is one of the best places in England to see the endangered red squirrels. The coastal pinewoods provide the ideal habitat for the red squirrels and the pine cones are an important source of food.
Now if I had the talent of the aforementioned artist I would paint the view just a little higher up as we ascended into the dunes again and looked back towards the Alt Estuary. With the afternoon light glinting on the water this was a beautiful sight...certainly one of my favourite views form the coastal path that we walked.
The Blundelsands sailing club maintains one of only a few tidal water sailing clubs in Merseyside and the boats moored in the River Alt are an evocative sight. During our walk we can across this artist and from the picture you can see why she wanted to paint the view.
From the sailing club a marker points the way to a viewpoint over the remains of a submerged forest - only visible at low tide. It is a few thousands years old so all that can be seen are rotten trunks and stumps only - not much to see really so don't worry if the tide is in, you haven't really missed much.
The hightown dunes and meadows are home to skylarks in spring and summer.
Oystercatchers, redshank and dunlin can often be spotted too. the gorse flowers and wild roses add a splash of colour to the greenery also.
Just past the coast guard station near Hall Road train station you will enter the Hightown Dunes and meadows. These dunes are just south of the River Alt and are primarily used by local people and aa such are quiet and peaceful places for a walk.
Following on from Hightown dunes on the coastal path the path swings inwards and follows white topped posts to reach a private sailing club by the River Alt
The path from the estuary leads into the River Alt itself. The path is easy and level and is strewn with wild flowers.
From the sunken forest clamber up the sand dunes and continue on the coastal path in the direction of the Alt Estuary - which is of international importance for wildfowl.