Wirral: Back to the beach

The Wirral Peninsula is a favourite destination of mine. It’s a train ride from Manchester to Liverpool and then a quick hop on Merseyrail’s bright yellow shuttle.

The last stop is the town of West Kirby, familiar to me since moving north. I walked to neighbouring Caldy Beach for the first time, a sandy expanse with views of north Wales.

It was a luminous day of bright sunshine, the odd shower and cloud plumes filling the big sky. The light changed rapidly, making photography joyful and exciting.

I walked around West Kirby’s Marine Lake and walked uphill to the town’s striking war memorial – a great viewpoint.

This is a place I would return to time and again. Would you like to visit? Please leave your comments below

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Stockport: Discovering the Old Town

Stockport is just a short train ride away from Manchester but it’s taken me five years to explore the historical Old Town.

It’s bristling with beautiful architecture, from the imposing St Mary’s church, an elaborate Victorian glasshouse that houses an indoor market, to the magnificent Art Deco Plaza cinema and theatre. Come and take a look… READ MORE BELOW

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The old town is made to explore on foot, although be prepared for some steep stairways and uphill sections.

It’s now made for day trippers, with independent shops to explore and cafes to enjoy. Everyday outlets are all concentrated in the cheerlessly modern Merseyway mall which is best avoided.

You should also wander down to the area where you can visit Stockport’s air raid shelters and see the hat museum’s totemic chimney. There you’ll find the 1930s splendour of the Plaza and can glimpse the town’s impressive railway viaduct.

If you think Stockport is just the rail stop before Manchester, then think again. It was a pleasure to visit and I’ll be heading there again.

Stockport town centre sign

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Spurn Point: End of the world

Spurn Point is an exposed slither of land between the Humber estuary and the North Sea in East Yorkshire.

I’d always noticed this slim spit of territory on maps and was lucky enough to visit on a warm, sunny August day.

It’s a 7.5 mile (12km) hike to the tip of Spurn and back again, taking in beach, heathland and a few buildings including the totemic black and white lighthouse. 

Spurn is peacefully desolate. You can see wildlife, look towards the city of Hull and Grimsby, photograph the landscape or just decompress.

This is a memorable place to wander around – but be aware of tide times and wild weather which could affect your visit. For me it was a touch of sunburn! Would you like to experience wild Spurn?

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Worsley: Salford’s oasis

The twin cities of Manchester and Salford are developed, densely populated urban centres.

But on the very edge of Salford you will come across Worsley, a pleasant surprise with English village vibes. It’s just a 30-minute bus ride from the centre of Manchester where I live.

With its Tudor-style houses, caramel-coloured waterways and tranquil, unspoilt woodlands, Worsley feels a world away from the grittier parts of Salford.

The nearby M60 motorway may spoil the illusion, but this is a Greater Manchester village that’s a pleasure to wander around.

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Heysham: Village by the sea

Visitors to Lancashire in north-west England flock to its seaside resorts of Blackpool and Morecambe.

But it’s worth stopping at Heysham (pronounced Hee-sham) which is a charming little village perched on the cliffs with beautiful sea views. CONTINUES BELOW

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However, there’s another side to Heysham which is hard to ignore – a nuclear power station and ferry terminal which support a large population beyond the quaint village.

I’m quite fond of industrial facilities but failed to find any redeeming features about the power plant. But on this side of Heysham you can see The Ship sculpture, a truly intriguing landmark.

My advice is to concentrate on the village, the remains of St Patrick’s chapel and enjoy those commanding views over the bay.

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Humber Bridge

The Humber Bridge, which connects East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, is the UK’s longest single-span suspension bridge. It’s a man-made thing of beauty and wonder.

I was lucky enough to visit on a little staycation to the nearby city of Hull. You can trudge along the Humber shore for fantastic views, even walk underneath this colossal but graceful structure.

It was a quick pitstop graced by wonderful skies. I’m told the bridge looks different every time – a reason to return with my camera!

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