Home Page

tree

COUNTRY PARKS

NORTH WEST ENGLAND

CHESHIRE

{Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Wirral, Home}

ANDERTON NATURE PARK

Tel: 01606 77741

From the M56 follow the signs for Marbury Country Park, carry on past the country park through Anderton and the Nature Park is on the left.

Open: All year, car park locked 5.00pm in the winter, 8.00pm in the summer.

Wildlife haven transformed from industrial wasteland adjacent to Anderton Boat Lift. Superb calcium rich grassland with impressive displays of orchids in the summer. Things to do: Picnic and barbeque area, nature walks, particularly good for birdwatching, dragonflies and butterflies. Access onto Trent and Mersey Canal. Some paths are wheelchair accessible but there are also steps in places.

ASTBURY MERE COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01260 297237
Sandy Lane, Congleton

Astbury Mere is within easy walking distance of Congleton town centre. It is signposted off Sandy Lane, off the A34.

Open: Visitor Centre open daily 9 am to 5 pm

The Park's 25 acres was developed on the site of a former sand quarry. Enjoy a stroll through the wildflower meadows and admire the views over Astbury Mere towards Mow Cop, or stretch your legs along the mile long Easy Access Trail. The more adventurous can also enjoy a walk in the attractive local countryside via the extensive footpath network that links into the Park.

LITTLE BUDWORTH COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01606 301484

Open: All year, car park locked each evening.

Directions: Lies between Tarporley and Sandiway, signposted from the A49, just south of the A54.

Splendid example of lowland heathland which is particularly attractive in late summer. Birch and oak woodland offer good birdwatching throughout the year. Things to do: Way marked trails, nature watching, guided walks, birdwatching. 2km sandy gallop for horse riders link into the surrounding byways. Accessibility: Step free circular route with uneven surface, wheelchair users may need assistance.

MARBURY COUNTRY PARK

Between Northwich and Comberbach off A533 or A559, signposted from Junction 10 on the M56.

Admission: Car park charges

A former residence of the Smith-Barry family, Marbury Country Park is now managed by Cheshire West and Chester Council as a country park. The walks and trails take visitors through the historical landscape which includes the magnificent Lime avenues, Arboretum and raised terraces, which provide glimpses of Budworth Mere. The ancient woodland, open parkland and streams provide a rich haven for a host of wildlife from Bats to Beetles. Visitors are able to enjoy the children's play area, orienteering course and a range of events throughout the year. Marbury Country Park also hosts the Cheshire West and Chester, Countryside Management Service Rangers' Office.

STALYBRIDGE COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0161 330 9613
Off Huddersfield Road, Millbrook, Stalybridge

Lying just over a mile to the North East of Stalybridge, this developing country park centres on the Brushes Valley with four reservoirs running into the Pennine Moors.

STYAL COUNTRY PARK

Forming part of the valley of the River Bollin the park is open all year during daylight hours. A wide variety of pleasant riverside walks can be undertaken in attractive woodland and guided tours of the woods and Styal village are offered on the second Sunday of each month. A restaurant, shop and toilet facilities can be found within Quarry Bank Mill. .

TEGGS NOSE COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01625 614279

Directions: Just off the A537, signposted from Macclesfield.

Open: all year
Admission: Car park charges

Wild, upland environment with tremendous views across the Cheshire Plain, ideal base to explore the edge of the Peak National Park. Things to do: Tegg's Nose Trail, Gritstone Trail, orienteering course, climbing & abseiling (must be booked in advance), picnic area, viewpoint car parking, quarry machinery display, attractive clough woodland, birdwatching, sledging fields, indoor picnic and exhibition area. Cafe weekends only from Easter to September Accessibility: Difficult because of nature of terrain, it is very hilly. 2km trail to Langley Viewpoint.

WEAVER PARKWAY

Tel: 01606 593133

Directions: Accessible on foot from Winsford town centre, railway station approximately 1m. By car from the Red Lion roundabout in Winsford turn left up the hill, bear left at next roundabout opposite Morrisons, 1st left into Weaver Valley Road and car park just on left hand side.

Open: All year

Attractive riverside walk along the historic Weaver Navigation through industrial and natural landscapes. Excellent for birdwatching and particularly good for dragonflies and butterflies during the summer. Things to do: Picnic area at Newbridge, first phase of Weaver cycleway from Nat Lane to Newbridge (2km) complete, riverside path continues past Hunt's Lock all the way to Northwich. Also links into the Whitegate Way. Accessibility: Cycleway is wheelchair accessible, assistance may be required on other paths.

WHITEGATE WAY

Tel: 01606 301484

Directions: Runs from Winsford to Cuddington. Whitegate Station is signposted from the A54, south of A556.

Open: All year, daily. Car park locked in the evening.

Easy walking or riding along 6 miles of former railway line. Shady wooded cuttings contrast with open embankments offering spectacular views across the Cheshire countryside. Things to do: Picnic area at Whitegate Station. Excellent links into the public rights of way network make it an ideal base to explore the wider countryside. Local places of interest include Sixes and Marton Holes, Vale Royal Abbey and Petty Pool Woods. Annual 'Steam along the Way' event with miniature locos and model engineering exhibition. Accessibility: Path is step free but uneven in places and has some slopes. Wheelchair users may need assistance.

LANCASHIRE

{Cheshire, Lancashire, Manchester , Merseyside, Wirral, Home}

BEACON COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01695 622794
Beacon Lane, Up Holland, Lancashire WN8 7RU

Take the minor road, which links the A5209 at Newburgh with the A5777 at Up Holland

Beacon Park lies on the upper slopes of a ridge-facing southwest and forms a backdrop to town of Skelmersdale. There are magnificent views of the West Lancashire plain, the Irish Sea and inland to the Pennine Moors. Short walks are available in the park and there are many footpaths in the surrounding area. Places to visit on route include the Beacon Park Centre, which incorporates an exhibition area, and Ashurst Beacon. Parking and picnic areas can be found throughout the area.

BEACON FELL COUNTRY PARK

Situated 8 miles north of Preston - signposted from Longridge, Broughton

Overlooking the great Lancashire Plain, this park offers some of the most spectacular panoramic views across Lancashire. Specially managed to provide for the day-tripper with car parking and picnic areas, Beacon Fell provides the ideal day out for all the family. A brochure is available from the Tourist Information Centre in Preston.

BROCKHOLES

Just off Junction 31 of the M6.
Sat Navs PR5 0UJ and follow signs for Brockholes

Car parking charge

Brockholes is on the site of an old quarry and the environment has been created to provide habitat for lots of different wildlife. Hides, paths and viewing points have been built to allow you to get closer to wildlife without disturbing it. You can take a stroll by the River Ribble, explore the ancient woodland and amble around the lakes. Gravel Pit Trail 30 minutes walk, Meadow Lake Trail 1 hour walk, Reserve Trail 2 hour walk. Guided walks of the reserve are available throughout the year.

CUERDEN VALLEY COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01772 324436

The Park is situated between Bamber Bridge, Preston, and Whittle-le-Woods, Chorley. It is within 20 minutes' drive of Preston, Leyland and Chorley. It is close to motorway junctions on M6 (28 and 29), M61 (9) and M65 (Western end), with car parks on A6, A49 and B5256.

Cuerden Valley Park is a pleasant 650-acre country park, which is open to the public all year round. Following the scenic valley of the River Lostock where a picnic area has been provided along with a 10-mile network of footpaths, a cycle path and bridleway. A restoration project has been undertaken by Cuerden Valley Park Trust to restore some of the original features of the estate including the Pinetum/American Garden and the Victorian Walled Orchard with traditional species of apple and pear tree. At the southern end of the Park archaeological work has been carried out at, Lower Kem Mill, a bleach and dye works that burned down in 1914. The Friends of Cuerden Valley Park arrange informative walks and talks each month. A Schools Education programmes is available on the site by appointment. There is a visitor centre at The Barn, Berkeley Drive, Bamber Bridge, which is open 9.00am-5.00pm on weekdays.

FOREST OF BOWLAND

Tel: 01772 534140

The Forest of Bowland is situated to the East of the M6 Motorway between Preston and Lancaster.

The Forest of Bowland is large in scale and almost wilderness in aspect. The name implies a large forest area, which, at one time it was, but the use of the word Forest comes from the Norman word Foris which meant outlying land of little or no value except for game.

The area is essentially upland country consisting of a plateau of rolling hills and moors which are dissected by deep valleys. The hills rise extremely steeply out of the surrounding low-lying land giving them a character similar to the Scottish Highlands.

In the north, Bowland consists of a block of gritstone moors extending from around 183 metres to 550 metres above sea level. In the south of the area the fells are more detached and can be easily seen, as hills in there own right.

The enclosed valleys in Bowland are intensively farmed and there are many picturesque and historic villages with several interesting features. Examples of these villages include Chipping, which probably dates from Anglo Saxon times and has a flourishing furniture industry, Slaidburn, the former administrative capital of the Forest of Bowland and Wray which is a delightful village of old cottages.

HAIGH HALL COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01942 832895

J27, M6,take A49 towards Standish, then B5239 to Haigh, J6 M61, take B5239 to Aspull, then Haigh

Once the home of Earls and Lords, Haigh Hall is surrounded by 250 acres of park and woodland, with magnificent views across the Douglas Valley to the Welsh Hills. Haigh Hall and Country Park is an enjoyable day out with something for everyone. Explore and enjoy the stunning parkland, woodland and plantations. There is no entrance fee to get into the park.

JUMBLES COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01204 691 549

On the southern edge of the West Pennine Moors, part of the Country Park is in Lancashire and part is in Great Manchester. The main parking areas for the park are at Ousel Nest, on B6391 to the north of Bromley Cross and at Jumbles Reservoir off the A676 Bolton to Ramsbottom road.

The valley and the surrounding area echo a long and interesting history of industrial activity based on textiles, a factor which has been fundemental in the development of the area for water catchment and storage. The country park was opened in 1971 following the construction of Jumbles reservoir, and has been popular with visitors and the local community ever since. Jumbles information centre is open throughout the year, offering visitors a permanent exhibition on the local and natural history of the area, ideas for other places to visit in the West Pennine Moors and an insight into the water business. Refreshments are also available.

RIVINGTON PIKE/MOOR

Follow A673 to Adlington and almost into Horwich and then turn left to double back past the High School and along Rivington Lane or drive into Chorley, through Cowling and keep heading south on a minor road parallel to the motorway which you eventually cross before you turn left into Horrobin Lane which takes you over the reservoir and into the village of Rivington.

From the Great Barn Information Centre, you can walk to the reservoir shore and then south to the castle. The area is criss-crossed with paths and tracks almost all of which are traffic free, although bikes do use the area. The ruin was never fully built and is a replica of Liverpool Castle. All the paths between the reservoir and the road are fairly flat. There is a small outdoor play area with a climbing frame/slide and some picnic tables. A café serves snacks and drinks at a reasonable price.

SUNNYHURST WOODS

Tel: 01254 701545
This area is to the west of Darwen and access can be obtained from the main Blackburn to Bolton Road.

Sunnyhurst Wood lies in a valley running in a north-easterly direction formed by a brook which originated on Darwen Moors. The old keepers cottage is now a Visitor centre with different exhibitions. Parking is available at the Visitor Centre at Sunnyhurst Woods at the Royal Arms car park and at Slipper Lowe car park.

TOWNELEY PARK, BURNLEY

Situated on the A646 trunk road to the south east of Burnley

Towneley Park is set in the grounds of the hall of the same name. There are short walks throughout the Park and longer walks can be started at the park into areas such as Deerplay Moor and Worsthorne Moor, the latter being an Access Area. Parking is available at the park. You can visit Towneley Hall and there are various scenic viewpoints on the surrounding moors to walk to.

TWINE VALLEY COUNTRY PARK AND FISHERY

Tel: 01706 825314
Riding Head Lane, Shuttleworth, Ramsbottom
Off the A56 Whalley Road, near Ramsbottom

A family run Country Park at the edge of the Pennines set in 50 acres with magnificent views. Fishing, walking, horse-riding, hiking, small animal park. Home cooked food at the Fishermans Retreat. Excellent centre for walking (guide books if required) and guided walks. See llamas, deer, pigs, shire, miniature ponies etc.

WITTON COUNTRY PARK AND VISITOR CENTRE

Tel. 01254 55423
It is just off Preston Old Road (A674), Blackburn

There is a large free car park at the main entrance to the park off Preston Old Road A674

The park covers 480 acres and is a mixture of woodland and parkland. There are stables with exhibitions of old horse drawn farm machinery, farm hand-tools and a natural history room with some interesting displays. There is a childrens corner and a small mammal centre with Shrews, Voles, Ferrets, Rabbits etc There are several picnic sites, ample car parking and a large children's playground. Leaflets are available for the numerous footpaths and nature trails.

WYCOLLER COUNTRY PARK

Situated to the east of Colne on the edge of the Pennine Hills.

The area around Wycoller is very well served with footpaths offering walks of varying severity and length. The area has great scenic, historic and through its association with the Brontes considerable literary interest, and the surrounding countryside and wild moors emphasise the particular character and appeal of Wycoller. All the paths in the area also have their attractions whether it is magnificent views from the moors above Copy House, or the peace and tranquility of walking up the Dene in the shade of the trees overhanging the beck. There are also many longer walks on to the Moors such as Boulsworth Hill and over to Haworth by the Bronte Way. Places of interest to visit while walking include the historical hamlet of Wycoller, the ruins of Wycoller Hall, the Country Park Visitor Centre, Fosters Leap and Boulsworth Hill. Wheelchair trail and nature area linking the village with the Aisled Barn and the Dean Road. Two car parks are provided at the Country Park.

WYRE ESTUARY COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01253 857890
River Road, Thornton

Take the A585 to the River Wyre Hotel. At the roundabout, follow the signs for 'Stanah Picnic Site' on the B5412. The entrance to the Wyre Estuary Country Park and Wyreside Visitor Centre is approximately 2 miles away.

Open: Every day

This Country Park is a gateway to the Wyre Estuary. Its development has involved the improvement and upgrading of many miles of public rights of way to ensure easy access. There is ample car parking, riverside walks and a bird hide for studying birds on the estuary. The park is available to all visitors, surfaced paths enable wheelchair access and a tapping rail with associated interpretation allows blind or partially sighted visitors to enjoy the amenities.

YARROW VALLEY COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01257 279538
The Visitor Centre and main entrance is located Birkacre Road (B5251), Chorley

Set in the attractive landscape of the Yarrow Valley near Chorley, this 300 hectare Country Park provides an ideal setting for a host of recreational activities and boasts an abundance of wildlife. The park was created on land previously used for bleaching, dyeing, calico printing and mining. The Birkacre area of the park is of local historical importance with it's restored mill lodges and watercourses. The park encompasses Duxbury Woods and extends out towards Euxton.

GREATER MANCHESTER

{Cheshire, Lancashire , Manchester, Merseyside, Wirral,Home}

ALKRINGTON WOODS

Tel: 01706 373421
Parking and access from Manchester Old Road (A576), Rhodes, Middleton

Once part of the Alkrington Hall Estate, this area of mature woodland provides an ideal habitat for a wide range of flora and fauna. Informal paths take the visitor through the woodland, along the banks of the River Irk or around the fishing lodges at Rhodes.

ASHWORTH VALLEY AND CARR WOOD

Tel: 01706 356592
Nr Heywood, Rochdale

Popular rambling area through steep wooded valleys and moorland following the course of Cheesden Brook. Historical mill remains and varied flora and fauna. Taking a stroll through the wonders of nature and this historical area will be sure to keep your kids' minds off their new video games and movies they have piled on the floor surrounding the TV stand for 60 inch TV sets you have in your living room at home. It's always good to get them out of the house sometimes for some other forms of entertainment.

BLACKLEACH COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0161 790 7746
Hill Top Road, off Bolton Road, Walkden, Worsley, Salford
The country park has two car parks both of which can be accessed via the A575, Bolton Road. The main car park which has disabled parking bays and direct access to the visitor centre is off Hill Top Road with the second being accessed off Harcourt Street. Both car parks are clearly sign posted off the main road.

Open: Both car parks are open from 9am until 9:30pm during the summer and 9am until 5pm during the winter. The country park has 24 hour pedestrian access and when the car park is closed road side parking is available.
Admission: Free

Blackleach Country Park is a green haven within the city where you can enjoy the countryside on your doorstep. Just half a mile north of Walkden town centre, the 50 hectare site has been reclaimed from its industrial past as a result of a community campaign. Officially designated as a Local Nature Reserve in 2004, this site also received the prestigious Green Flag award in both 2005 and 2006.

BROWNHILL COUNTRYSIDE CENTRE

Tel: 01457 872598
Wool Road, Dobcross, Oldham

Check website link above for details of opening times

Surrounded by dramatic Pennine scenery, Brownhill Countryside Centre is situated in the heart of Saddleworth between Dobcross and Uppermill. The picnic area and nature garden which is being developed to give 'access for all' offers local opportunities for visitors. Information for those wishing to go further afield can be found in the centre. Exhibitions, crawly tunnels and live exhibits are among other attractions which can be enjoyed free of charge in the centre. There are also toilets with access for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

BURRS COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0161 253 5111
Woodhill Road, Bury

Bury Metro acquired Burrs in 1986 and since then the site has been transformed from a derelict industrial site to a modern country park. The initial phases of the reclamation concentrated on the removal of derelict areas associated with the former industrial uses. The use of interpretation, together with sympathetic hard and soft landscaping treatments has allowed the visitor to gain an insight in to the history of the site in a pleasant countryside setting. Important features such as Burrs mill chimney, the mill floor and the water wheel pit have been retained so that the history of the site can be appreciated. Burrs is home to one of the sculpture clusters on the Irwell Sculpture Trail and has three sculptures, Waterwheel by David Kemp, Stone Cycle by Julie Edwards and Picnic Area by David Fryer. The cluster has a common theme and traces the evolution of Burrs from an industrial site to a country park.

CLIFTON COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0161 793 4219
Clifton House Road, Clifton, Salford

The Clifton Country Park car parks are accessed via Clifton House Road.

Check website link above for details of opening times

This park has a wide variety of wildlife habitats set within 80 acres of countryside. There are woodlands, open grassland, ponds, wetland areas and a lake. There is also a Visitor Centre where you can obtain details of walks.

DAISY NOOK COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0161 308 3909
John Howarth Countryside Centre, off Stannybrook Road, Failsworth, Manchester

The Park includes beautiful woodland areas, a lake, a canal and flower filled meadows with bridleways and footpaths that link to other countryside areas. At the visitor centre there are exhibitions, activities for children, souvenirs and cafe.

MERSEY VALLEY

Tel: 0161881 5639
Mersey Valley Visitor Centre, Rifle Road, Chornton-cum-Hardy, Manchester

The Mersey Valley is an important area of countryside in South Manchester, where visitors can enjoy activities including walking, horse riding, cycling, orienteering, water sports, wildlife watching and picknicking. The warden service manages the area for people and wildlife.

MOSES GATE COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01204 334343
Rock Hall Visitor Centre, Hall Lane, Farnworth, Bolton

Check website link above for details of opening times

Situated in the Croal Irwell Valley, 3 miles from Bolton town centre, Moses Gate Country Park offers a diversity of habitats, supporting many different forms of wildlife and is used for a range of activities - walking, boating, cycling, horse riding, model boating, fishing, orienteering, canoeing and model aircraft flying (some of these require a permit). The Kingfisher way-marked trail (approximately 11 miles) also runs through the Croal Irwell Valley.

PENNINGTON FLASH COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 01942 605253
St Helens Road, Leigh

The Park lies close to the A580 East Lancashire Road and is well signposted from it

The park is open daily and the central feature of its 1100 acres is the flash, or lake, with bird watching, angling and sailing. There are footpaths, bridleways, picnic areas and an information centre.

REDDISH VALE COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0161 477 5637
Mill Lane, Reddish, Stockport

Reddish Vale Country Park and Local Nature Reserve is in open countryside only ten minutes drive from Stockport Town Centre. It is surrounded by walks of varying lengths, with trails and guides available at the centre, and makes an excellent base for school parties. The Visitor Centre is found next to the old mill lodges of a calico printing works. The lodges provide a valuable habitat for resident wildlife and is also an essential stopping off point for migrating wildfowl.

SMITHILLS COUNTRY PARK

Smithills, Dean Road, Bolton

Set in 2,000 acres of woodland, farmland and moorland on the edge of the West Pennine Moors, Smithills Country Park offers superb views over Bolton and the surrounding area. There are four self-guided tours around the Park with leaflets available on each.

TANDLE HILL COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0161 627 2608
Tandle Hill Road, Royton, Oldham

Tandle Hill is a mixture of magnificent beech woodland and open grassland with a wide panorama of the surrounding countryside. There are several walks around the park and links to Crompton Moor. Cafe in the Visitor Centre.

WERNETH LOW COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0161 368 6667
Lower Higham Visitor Centre, Higham Lane, Hyde

Just 15 kilometres from the centre of Manchester the 80 hectares (200 acres) of Werneth Low Country Park are both a haven for wildlife and an area for recreation. The Country Park offers pleasant walks, a visitor centre, and events for all the family, all year round. Werneth Low has long been famed for its stunning views. On a clear day sit and admire the far flung views to the Pennines or across the Cheshire Plain to the Welsh hills. The towns of Greater Manchester lie nearer at hand, while southwards and eastwards the scene is dominated by the Peak District valleys, hills and moors.

MERSEYSIDE

{Cheshire, Lancashire , Manchester, Merseyside, Wirral, Home }

HALEWOOD COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0151 443 3682
off Okell Drive, Halewood, Merseyside

Halewood Park is situated on Okell Drive, Halewood, Knowsley, Merseyside.

Open: All year dawn-dusk

The site has an extensive footpath and bridleway network set in a former railway junction. It is at the southern end of the Liverpool Loop Line Path and there is a programme of events and activities.

PEX HILL COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0151 495 1410
Off Widnes Road, Cronton, Knowsley

Small, peaceful country park with panoramic views. Astronomical Observatory open by appointment.

STADT MOERS COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0151 443 3682
Pottery Lane, Whiston, Knowsley

From the M62 junction 6 take Windy Arbor Road from the roundabout, signposted to Whiston. Continue to the T-junction and turn left into Greenes Lane. Follow the road round to the right over the bridge into Pottery Lane. The Visitor Centre and car park is on the left before the motorway bridge.

Open: All year daily dawn-dusk
Admission: Free

Stadt Moers Park covers more than 220 acres of land between Whiston and Huyton and includes meadow, woodland and pond habitats, set amongst a network of footpaths. The development of the Park has been an ambitious project in the heart of Knowsley to transform formerly derelict land into the largest area of public open space in the Borough

WIRRAL

{Cheshire, Lancashire, Manchester, Merseyside, Wirral, Home}

ARROWE COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0151 678 4200

Ivy Farm, Rangers Office, Arrowe Park Road, Upton Wirral
J3 M53 follow signs

Open: all year daily

This is the largest park on the Wirral, comprising 400 acres. There is open parkland and deciduous woodland, and also an 18 hole Municipal Golf Course. There is a visitor centre which interprets the history of the park.

BIDSTON HILL

Tel: 0151 606 2000

2.5 miles from Birkenhead

Bidston Hill is another popular site for walkers to visit. At the top of the hill is a restored windmill which dates back to the early 1800's which is open to the public on bank holidays. Tamoshanter Urban Farm is the main attraction for visitors. Entry is free and children get the opportunity to see a variety of animals in a free range farming environment.

EASTHAM COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0151 327 1007

Westminster House, Market Street, Birkenhead

Eastham Country Park lies approximately 1 mile from the M53 Motorway junction 5) and is reached locally by the A41 (New Chester Road) and Ferry Road via Eastham Village.

This is a local beauty spot on the banks of the Mersey which used to be a Victorian Pleasure garden Visitor Centre and Tea Gardens.

THURSTASTON COMMON

Tel: 0151-677 7594

Take the A5027 (or from Wallasey take the M53 to Upton and then the B5139 via Greasby to Frankby Green. Turn left along Hillbark Road to Royden Park gates. From Chester or West Kirby Take the A540 and then the B5140 (Montgomery Hill) turn right to Royden Park gates.

Thurstaston Common is another popular site with car parking and picnic facilities. The common is worth visiting even in the depths of winter as it can be as stunning as it is in the height of summer and consists of a large stretch of rugged sandstone hillside thriving with many species of gorse, thistle fern and heather. Thor's Stone is a single block of sandstone which gets its name from the Norse god Thor. When viking settlers first came to Wirral over a thousand years ago they believed that their god of thunder displayed his anger by smiting Thor's Stone with his mighty war hammer. With the Common being the Highest point in Wirral and a frequent target for lightening strikes during electrical storms, it's no wonder that the site had such significance for the settlers, who held religious ceremonies on the common. There are wonderful views across the estuary to North Wales and looking inland you can see right across the Wirral. The

WIRRAL COUNTRY PARK

Tel: 0151 648 4371

Directions: Well signposted from A540 and A41. Excellent rail links at Hooton Station.

Open: All year, car park at Willaston locked 5.00pm in winter, up to 9.00pm in summer - please check notice board for details.

Wirral Way, the former Hooton to West Kirby railway line with a restored station at Willaston. Spectacular bird watching over the Dee estuary during the winter months. Things to do: Easy walking and horse riding on separate tracks, several picnic areas, good links into the public rights of way network. The section from Parkgate to Thurstaston is managed by Wirral Ranger Service who have a visitor centre at Thurstaston. Accessibility: Path step free but uneven surface. Wheelchair access under barrier.

Home Page Top of Page