Wirral cycle route - Wallasey and New Brighton
- Credit: Paul Taylor
It’s into the saddle for a bracing bike ride along Wirral’s north-east coastline, taking in the best of New Brighton
Pedalling up the prom to New Brighton, you pass handsome villas which look out over the Mersey estuary. You imagine their first owners being Victorian merchants and industrialists who made enough money in the then-mucky city of Liverpool to be able to put a large body of water between them and the source of their wealth.
There are many little glimpses of history to be had on this outing. There's Wallasey Town Hall, glowering imperiously over the water in a spot no civic building has any right to be (and now home to memorial gardens for the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy).
There is Fort Perch Rock, built in the early 19th century by Liverpool worthies wanting to fight off any invasion by the French. There is the handsome brown-and-cream-tiled shelter at Vale Park, which stands on the spot where Dr Poggi's New Brighton College once stood. Destroyed by fire in 1862, this college counted among its pupils at least one of the sons of Giuseppe Garibaldi, the general who helped to unify Italy.
On the way into New Brighton, you pass a plaque informing you that The Beatles played at the Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, on no less than 27 occasions between 1961 and 1963. I like to think there's a connection between this and the inscription on a bench nearby: 'John and Edna Procter. Lived in Wallasey all of their lives. Met at a dance in New Brighton. Singing and dancing together until the end of time.'
This is an easy cycle ride (one of several suggested by www.visitwirral.com) outward along the prom, returning via quiet residential roads, a nature reserve and park.
1. We begin from the Seacombe Ferry Terminal in Victoria Place, Wallasey CH44 6QY. There's plenty of parking in the area. Facing the ferry terminal building, with the Spaceport on your right, head left up the promenade, following the sign for the cycle route to New Brighton. This soon broadens out into a prom big enough to easily accommodate walkers, runners and cyclists. Wallasey Town Hall comes into view fairly soon on your left, with an impressive flight of steps. Next point of interest on the left is the The Ferry pub, Egremont, which has uninterrupted views across the Mersey. We pass here again on the way back, so it's a good refreshment stop.
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2. From The Ferry, continue up the prom. You will pass Vale Park, with that ornate shelter. Upon reaching the centre of New Brighton, head towards Perch Rock and find the narrow path which runs between the far side of the Marine Lake and the beach.
3. You are soon back on the promenade with expansive views on your right towards the off-shore Burbo Bank wind farm. Continue on past the roundabout where a clown holds a 'Welcome to New Brighton' sign. Keep going until you reach a coastguard post, where the prom seems to end, then bear left down to a narrower coastal path, still hugging the sea wall. The cycle path runs slightly above this and parallel with the sea wall.
4. Look out for a sign: North Wirral Coastal Park, The Gunsite. Bear left here, away from the sea, and keep going ahead until you reach a car park on the right, then a T-junction. Go left here, into Green Lane, following the National Cycle Network route 56 sign. At the next T-junction with a main road, go left, then soon after cross over to the right, following the NCN 56 sign, into Bayswater Road, which turns into Greenleas Road. At the next traffic lights, go straight across and when the road ends keep ahead on the tarmac path through Bidston Moss Nature Reserve. Cross over the bridge and go left on the other side, passing beneath the M53. Then look for a turning to the left which brings you to a bridge over the railway. Having crossed the railway, do not continue on the bridge but take the route to the left, downhill, back under the motorway and alongside the track.
5. There are playing fields ahead. Keep left on the path around the fields and when you reach Mosslands Drive, go right. Soon after, turn left up Mossdene Road, then right into Breck Road and left into Cliff Road. After a short ascent, go right into Station Road. When you reach the junction with Mill Lane, cross over into Rostherne Avenue, following it round to the right, then turn left into Love Lane. Cross the T-junction. At the top of the road, keep ahead on the path with bollards. When you emerge onto Greenheys Road, go right into Central Park, again following NCN 56. Turn left after the football pitch, then right, passing the pond on your right. Continue on this path, going to the left of an enclosed basketball area to reach an exit onto Liscard Road.
6. Cross and continue ahead into Church Street. At the next traffic lights, go straight on to reach the prom again at The Ferry pub. Turn right to retrace your steps back to Seacombe.
Area of Cycle: Wallasey and New Brighton
Distance: 11 miles
Time to allow: 2 hours, with stops at points of interest
Map: OS Explorer 266
Refreshments: The Ferry, 48 Tobin Street, Wallasey, The Wirral, CH44 8DF
Paul will be back next month with a walk around Rossen Clough and Croker Hill but if you can't wait that long log onto cheshirelife.co.uk where you'll find more walks to enjoy around the county. And don't forget your camera - your pictures could win you prizes. See online for full details of our readers' photos competition and to see the entries we've already received.