The West Kirby to Hooton railway line has been transformed into a linear park 20km long. Perfect for walking and observing the local flora and fauna. From time to time the park opens out beside the track, like here near the visitor centre at Thurstaston.
And who can this be? Surely not our very own sandysmith and her husband Dave???
Large, picture-postcard pretty commuter village right in the centre of Wirral. Another place where the Wirral sandstone can be seen juxtaposed with the Cheshire traditional style of black-and-white "magpie" half-timbering.
The porous red sandstone that most of the Wirral is built on doesn't support standing water for any great length of time. But here in the marshy, clay-lined centre of the peninsula, this peaceful lake has formed.
If you visit Parkgate you'll see signs outside several shops advertising "Parkgate ice cream". Parkgate has long been famous for its ice cream and indeed you can enjoy some very nice locally-made ice cream there just as Sandy, Dave and I did when we visited.
However, my childhood recollection is of the *real* famous Parkgate ice cream, made in small quantities and sold at the Boathouse café; yellow and creamy and gritty with ice crystals and utterly dreamy when bought for you on the annual Sunday School Treat. Alas, that was long ago...
Unique Suggestions: Buy an ice cream. It's really very good even if it isn't the original!
Fun Alternatives: The photo has nothing to do with ice cream. It's just an excuse for another picture of this extraordinary place.
This is Greasby, where I spent my most formative years between the ages of 3 and 11. The picture shows a 19th century iron replica of the old stone hiring cross, where agricultural workers would offer themselves for seasonal labour at hiring fairs. With the Coach & Horses pub, in the background here, and a few old sandstone farm buildings now pressed into service as restaurants and wine bars, this is about all that remains of old Greasby. The rest is acres of 20th-century commuter estates. Even the overgrown field by the Arrowe Brook, where I played and caught sticklebacks as a child, has now been built on.
Ah well, they say you should never go back...