Wirral Walks - West Kirby to Hoylake Circular Walk

Circular Walk

Our route starts at the corner of Anglesey Road and Greenbank Road in West Kirby, Wirral, where a very small free car park services residents and the sports club. Beyond the car park is the entrance to a public footpath.

This public footpath is regularly used by walkers, cyclists and skaters. It is designed in two lanes, one for the walkers, the other for anyone on manual wheels. Cars cannot get down here. The path runs beside the railway line which goes from West Kirby station into Birkenhead. A high fence keeps everyone off the rails, but there are two crossings which should be used responsibly as people have been killed there.

West Kirby beach
West Kirby beach

Map of West Kirby and Hoylake, Wirral.

Public footpath - the high fence on the left extends only the length of the adjacent sports ground.
Public footpath - the high fence on the left extends only the length of the adjacent sports ground.

Wirral Greetings Cards from Spooky Cute Designs

More Wirral greetings cards at Spooky Cute Designs
More Wirral greetings cards at Spooky Cute Designs

Welcome to Wirral

The Wirral peninsula, on the west coast of England, is justifiably famous for its country and coastal walks.

Prior to the arrival of Normans, Wirral was considered to be a part of Wales. There were settlements of Irish and Welsh Celts, and Danish Vikings. This fusion of culture is seen nowhere else in Britain apart from Northumberland.

Many of the place names on Wirral derive from this colourful history. Reenactments and demonstrations of Wirral Viking society are staged by Wirhalh Skip-Felag, an enthusiastic group who are dedicated to maintaining authenticity in their presentations.

Property on Wirral is in high demand due to the area's convenient location for access to Chester, North Wales, Liverpool and Manchester. It offers the benefits of a semi-rural, coastal environment with ease-of-reach for city life and business.

House prices can be steep. Caldy, Heswall and West Kirby are among the most expensive areas in Cheshire and Merseyside.

For the small business investor or sole traders, there are several busy market towns well worth looking into. Upton, Neston and Birkenhead especially have well-established shopping areas which regularly attract the crowds.

Hoylake Municipal Golf Course

Opposite the train tracks lies Hoylake Municipal Golf Course, an extensive site which attracts both locals international visitors with a lively program of golfing competitions.

Golf has been played here since 1898, when the Grosvenor Grange Ladies Golf Club first formed as an off-shoot of the nearby Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Around thirty years later, the parish council purchased the land and extended the thirteen-hole course to an eighteen-hole course, and the Hoylake club was then formed.

Today's club offers an extensive program of golfing competitions throughout the year. It also has a clubhouse for members' and visitors' use.

To contact Hoylake Municipal Golf Course, use the link at the end of this article.

Wirral Wildlife

The train track sidings and the edges of the golf course are home to a broad range of wildlife, such as the bird of prey photographed here. They'll only live where there are plenty of mice, voles, shrews, weasels, rabbits and other smaller birds.

If you're lucky, you might spot buzzards. In recent years these have begun to return to Wirral. More common sights are herons, who are attracted to the area's marshy pools where frogs and toads, even the rare Natterjack toad, breed freely here.

Yellow Welsh poppies and gone-wild clematis and honeysuckle fill the train sidings during summer months. Various trees also grow well here; birch and willow, oak and horse chestnut are common sights.

Catkins in the spring sunshine
Catkins in the spring sunshine

Hoylake

Hoylake is the second oldest seaside resort in Britain. The oldest is Westward Ho! in Devon. Hoylake still retains much of its original historical charm in its architecture and atmosphere, though it also offers a lively nightlife and several quality restaurants.

The public footpath will bring you to Hoylake train station. As you exit the path you will see the bridge arching over the tracks, just beyond the large car park.

Walk over the train tracks at the public crossing only when the barriers are raised, (or use the bridge.) You will see a roundabout displaying a large sculpture depicting flying seagulls. To the right of this is Market Street, where there are cafes, antiques shops, an auction house, other independent high street shops and also Hoylake Library.

At the roundabout, turn left onto Meols Drive.

Novel set in Hoylake!

Discover the Artisan-Sorcerer Series!
Discover the Artisan-Sorcerer Series! | Source

The Artisan-Sorcerer Series

To the public they are artists, creating beauty in their shared Liverpool home. In private, they are members of an ancient occult order riddled with intrigues and power struggles.

Will Morgan keep them safe in their turbulent world of dark magic?

Each character steps up to reveal their story - and their piece of the hidden history of the mysterious order which dominates their lives.

Rowan: An Artisan-Sorcerer Story is set partially in Hoylake. Rowan lives with secrets. His family know nothing of his life after his mother banished him from the family home. Rowan is attracted to the handsome and vivacious Aiden, a member of Morgan Gruffudd's secretive community of artisan-sorcerers. But blackmail threatens to destroy the new life Rowan has been building.People are dying - and Rowan is caught in the middle of a secrets.

Royal Liverpool Golf Club

Royal Liverpool Golf Club from Meols Drive
Royal Liverpool Golf Club from Meols Drive

As you walk along Meols Drive you will see unusual and character-rich architecture ranging from Georgian to Victorian Gothic to contemporary. Many of these properties fall into the one-million-plus (Pounds Sterling) bracket. Many of these houses directly overlook the Royal Liverpool Golf Course, which stretches along much of the length of Meols Drive.

Built on a racecourse belonging to the Liverpool Hunt Club, the golf course was commissioned in 1869.  The original course was extended in 1871 when it was given Royal designation thanks to the patronage of His Royal Highness The Duke of Connaught.

The Hoylake links are among the toughest and most demanding tests of golfing skills in Britain, partly due to their close proximity to the sea.  Winds racing across the Dee Estuary can play havoc with a golfers aim!

The club offers an extensive program of competitions, including the Open which attracts international competitors and thousands of spectators.

Meols Drive - and a sign for Hoylake Lawn Tennis club
Meols Drive - and a sign for Hoylake Lawn Tennis club
The Meols Drive/Graham Road junction.
The Meols Drive/Graham Road junction.

You can continue along Meols Drive to arrive in West Kirby, or you may wish to turn into Graham Road which is a slightly shorter route which cuts out a curve on Meols Drive.

Graham Road will bring you back onto Meols Drive. Cross over to Lingdale Road and walk towards the beach which is reached by the short, steep passage shown in the photograph below.

Passage to West Kirby beach at the end of Lingdale Road.
Passage to West Kirby beach at the end of Lingdale Road.
West Kirby beach, looking towards the dunes walk and Hoylake.
West Kirby beach, looking towards the dunes walk and Hoylake.

West Kirby Beach

As you walk out of the passage at the end of Lingdale Road, the glorious expanse of West Kirby beach will stretch as far as you can see. To your far right are sand dunes, over which snakes a boardwalk passing over reed ponds where you'll see many species of shorebirds plus sand lizards and Natterjack toads. Keep walking, and you'll arrive at Red Rocks at Hoylake. (See links below for further information.)

Directly before you are the three islands, Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre. Information about tide times and the safe walking route out to the islands can be found on the information board by the ramp leading to the promenade. Public toilets can be located in the adjacent building.

To your left you will see West Kirby Marina, popular for windsurfing, yachting and kayaking despite the heavy presence of weaver fish, whose spines are poisonous. West Kirby Sailing Club also has its home here.

West Kirby beach, with the three islands - Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre - on the horizon.
West Kirby beach, with the three islands - Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre - on the horizon.

West Kirby

Grange Road and the entrance to West Kirby train station.
Grange Road and the entrance to West Kirby train station.

West Kirby

Leaving the beach, walk along Dee Lane past Sandlea Park, and you will pass Morrisons supermarket and then come into West Kirby village itself. Most of the shops stretch down Banks Road, but others can be found in and around The Crescent.

West Kirby train station will be in clear view as you leave Dee Lane and go onto Grange Road. Next to the station is The Concourse, which houses West Kirby Library, a medical centre, a sports centre and a One Stop Shop. As you walk in front of this concrete building you will see the public swimming pool.

Follow the narrow path in front of The Concourse. The Wirral Way can be accessed across the road, and via this Ashton Park. Or if you continue up Black Horse Hill, you will soon arrive at The White Lion, a lovely old-world pub where you can get a good meal in a friendly, easy-going atmosphere.

However, our route takes us left onto Orrysdale Road which leads onto Anglesey Road, and back to where this circular route began on the corner of Anglesey Road Greenbank Road.

Spring crocus in bloom outside the public swimming pool.
Spring crocus in bloom outside the public swimming pool.

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Black Horse Hill looking towards The White Lion (the white building in the centre of the photo.)
Black Horse Hill looking towards The White Lion (the white building in the centre of the photo.)

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4.5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of West Kirby to Hoylake Walk
Path leading to Orrysdale Road which becomes Anglesey Road.
Path leading to Orrysdale Road which becomes Anglesey Road.

© 2010 Adele Cosgrove-Bray

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Comments 5 comments

Mrs Joanna McIlhatton 6 years ago

Lovely photographs. They show West Kirby etc at its best.


AdeleCosgroveBray profile image

AdeleCosgroveBray 6 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England. Author

Ah-ha, a visitor from Riverside Writers! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos, Joanna.


Train Track 6 years ago

Great shot of the bird of prey, especially as it is just sitting in the tree not too far away from you. West Kirby beach looks fantastic, it always amazes me how far the tide retreats in some parts of the UK.


AdeleCosgroveBray profile image

AdeleCosgroveBray 6 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England. Author

West Kirby regularly wins Blue Flag awards for having one of Europe's cleanest beaches. The tide goes out a long way but it comes in again swiftly, the bay being flat and wide.

Thanks for dropping by.


tom cookson 3 years ago

photo depicting Black Horse and White Lion pub. Pub is correct but road is, of course, main road in West Kirby looking towards Grange Hill. Black horse is at the top of Grange Hill on the left.

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