By Ade Blackburn
Merseyside is home to many beautiful walks and trails, especially along its coastline. They’re a great way to get outdoors, see some wildlife and make the most of the school holidays.
Our selection of coastal and canal walks includes Wirral’s fascinating wildlife community at Hilbre Island, Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ statues at Crosby beach and the Otterspool to Pier Head walk, which covers Liverpool’s historic waterfront.
The walks are ideal for keeping the family entertained and exercised this summer.
Garston Coastal Reserve Trail
On the Garston Coastal Reserve Trail you can view birdlife in the estuary and experience a unique view of planes taking off from Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport.
Brimming with wild flowers and bracken, the coastal reserve is a haven for wildlife including gold finches, swallows and different species of butterfly.
The trail stretches from Garston Docks to the airport and is a relatively easy 40 minute walk covering 2.4 miles.
Otterspool Promenade Walk
The Otterspool Promenade to Pier Head walk takes in the whole of the famous Liverpool Waterfront. You can take your time to view the iconic buildings along the river.
Gaze out over the Mersey watching the boats and stop off for a wander in the Festival Gardens along the way. The walk also takes in Liverpool Watersports Centre, the centre provides a variety of affordable activities for individuals and groups.
The route covers 4.9 miles and is suitable for all ages, surfaces are mainly level.
Southport Coastal Walk
The Sefton Coastal Path at Southport is a beautiful journey through a variety of landscapes – perfect for blowing away those cobwebs.
See the impressive Southport Pier, salt marshes of the Ribble Estuary, the RSPB Nature Reserve and the Queen’s Jubilee Nature Trail.
The 9.5 mile route starts at Crossens and finishes at Ainsdale.
Formby Coastal Walk
On a clear day, the views across the Irish Sea are outstanding and a stroll along the beach can reveal many of the shorebirds that make Sefton’s coast so important for wildlife.
There are clearly marked paths along the 4.25 mile route, making it perfect for a day out and family picnic.
Crosby Beach Walk
Crosby Beach has beautiful views over to New Brighton and is also home to the famous sculptures of Anthony Gormley’s Another Place – 100 cast iron statues stretching for 1.5 miles.
In addition to the ‘Iron Men’, the beach walk takes in the elegant art-deco houses at Marine Terrace and the old seafront residences of Blundellsands. Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre and West Lancashire Golf Club are also en route.
The walk covers 5 miles from Waterloo to Hightown and mainly uses flat paths.
Lydiate Loop Walk
The last leg of the walk will see you take a canal side stroll down a section of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal – the longest canal in the country!
The route is 6 miles and generally flat throughout.
The Wirral Way is situated within the beautiful Wirral Country Park. The route starts in West Kirby and runs through to Hooton along an old disused railway line.
Wirral Country Park is perfect for seeing wildlife, a variety of birds nest in the dense hedges and you may see up to ten kinds of butterfly in summer.
There are also stunning views over the Dee Estuary to Wales. The entire route is 13 miles but you can just choose to walk sections of the Wirral Way.
You can visit Hilbre Island throughout the year, it’s a pleasant walk across the sands from West Kirby to the island – an archipelago and one of just 43 unbridged islands in the UK that can be reached on foot from the mainland.
In the summer, it’s possible to see grey seals swimming just off the shore, and it’s a great place for spotting sightings of rare and endangered wildlife all year round.
It takes roughly an hour to cross the 2 miles to Hilbre Island and is essential to time your walk to fit in with the tides.