Red Rocks Marsh, Hilibre Island, Welsh Hills, Walking to West Kirby
West Kirby Marina
Amidst the rainy season, our sunny day trip discovered more of the Wirral Peninsula - Hoylake and West Kirby, although it was almost diverted to Chester until we realised at around Port Sunlight that we had hopped into the wrong train on the Liverpool
Underground. My excursion carrier bag (raincoat, brolly, suncream and snack bar for all eventualities) continued on its merry way to Chester, since I forgot to pick it up on getting off again. We were reunited at the end of the day, much to my
amazement, at Liverpool Lime Street, thanks to a kindly station guard ringing round on the off chance to see if it had been handed in. It was personally delivered to me by the driver of the next train in from the last stop, where it was. There
was something sweetly hospitable about the whole thing.
Hoylake is on the estuary of the river Dee, a lovely spot, and post lunch, the tide being out, we walked around the bay to West Kirby through Red Rocks and the wild beach. Sea birds on the
sand flats chuntered together like contented ducks on a pond. Butterflies alighted on us as if we were part of the landscape. We were told of seals basking in the lee of Hilibre island in the Dee Estuary but didn't venture that far although
we could see others way out there on sands safe to cross at low tide. West Kirby's marina lets you walk on water around the path on its seaward rim, with Welsh hills only a step away across the view.
It was not without its eccentrics.
As we ate at the Monte Carlo in Hoylake, an elderly man with a white cockatoo on his shoulder passed by. We found him again sitting on the West Kirby promenade, his ensemble now completed by another parrot and two small pooches. Perhaps he
was the local variant on a dog walking service. He was very old school Lancashire laconic, meeting people's interest and photograph taking with stoic phlegm, the only thing I heard him say in response to someone asking about the parrots being,
thirty five, white un's twenty two," after which, having given the bare facts, he lapsed again into a distant silence and the grey parrot cracked on with its monkey nuts by way of keeping the entertainment going for admiring young onlookers.
Small boats tacked across the marina and vistors strolled peacefully, taking it all in. It was the seaside and yet not the seaside, with its own nature reserve atmosphere and panoramic views all around.