We set off just after 10:30 at a brisk pace for the Mersey Ferry passing through Neston, Raby and Thornton Hough (where the intricate skills of the stonemasons could be observed at the church entrance). Brimstage followed then onto Storeton dropping down to the Mersey estuary via Higher Bebbington and Prenton. We arrived at the Birkenhead Ferry having circumnavigated our way around Cammell Laird in time to catch the crossing and were joined by a large party of school children.
The crossing was uneventful and the views were greatly limited but sufficient to enable us to see the two ‘Liver Birds’ on top of the Cunard Building; the female we were advised was looking for the returning seafarers whilst the male was seeing whether the pubs were open.
Photographs by Brian Mac and Mike Gilbert
On through Albert Dock, following the estuary to Otterspool, then onto Cressington, circumnavigating our way in and around Garston before passing through Speke and finally picking up the Trans Pennine Trail that took us on to Hale for our lunch stop at the ‘Childe of Hale’ where we were suitably well served.
After lunch we again followed the Trans Pennine Trail to Widnes where we were able to experience the aroma from the Granox factory. Keith advised that Granox and Widnes have such a long history you know you are in Widnes because of the distinctive smell.
At the Runcorn Widnes Bridge Dave H took over the navigation to make sure we didn’t end up at the local hospital lost and wondering where we should go next. He took us via Runcorn Hill, Weston Village then via various cycle routes and footways to the A56 and Route 5 to Frodsham. We had a delightful café stop at the Castle Park Arts Centre in Frodsham before splitting into two groups; those
making for Ness and north of Chester (Clive, Ivan Brian, Tom and Mike G) and those for south and east Chester (Dave H, Keith, Steve and Jim).
Return to Ness Gardens was about 56 miles but for most of the group they would have covered in excess of 60miles.
Overall a very pleasant cycle ride with its mixture of interesting urban and industrial features. Also a big thank you to Brian and Dave H for navigating us all safely through such a complex area.