Day 25: Hale to Hilbre Island

What can I say about today except it’s been weird and not entirely pleasing.

For some reason I left the B&B in an uneasy mood this morning without knowing why. Now I’m not trying to say I’m psychic or anything, but I may be able to predict when something bad is going to happen. I was on my way to the first stop at Hale, near Liverpool Airport, this morning on the M57 and suddenly the car starting shaking like crazy as I drove. I pulled over onto the hard shoulder and got out to check the tyres and saw that one of my rear tyres had completely burst. I then contacted my breakdown company and a guy (who struggled to find me as I originally gave the wrong junction number) came out and changed it. I had also managed to lose my hubcap somewhere along the way. It’s all fixed now though and we were able to carry on with our journey, just a little later than planned.

Hale is a little village that, in my opinion, is a bit too close to the airport. There aren’t planes flying dangerously low overhead or anything, but I can’t imagine the people of Hale were particularly happy about the airport’s creation. The lighthouse there (pictured) is at the end of a lane (Lighthouse Lane, in fact). It’s fairly standard lighthouse fare in my opinion.

My second stop was the Waterways Boat Museum at Ellesmere Port where the old lighthouse is still very much standing. It doesn’t look particularly “lighthousey”, but I bought a milkshake from the cafe there, which was nice. I saw it as a recovery treat following the trauma of the tyre incident.

The next six lighthouses I went in search of were all fairly close together in the Birkenhead/Wallasey area. The small and intriguing structure (I think it’s actually a replica) at Woodside ferry terminal in Birkenhead was rather nice and they had a few other items on display there so I grabbed a few shots of them too.

New Brighton is a lighthouse that can be approached at low tide and I had previously considered visiting in the past whilst I was in Liverpool for work (I decided against it then as more sleep was the preferable option). It had just started to rain when I arrived there so it wasn’t an amazing experience. The lighthouse, as I keep reporting from these parts, is looking rather weathered now.

I then bypassed two of the lighthouses (one in Wallasey and the other in Leasowe) partly by accident. The former lighthouse in Hoylake is now a private residence and the lamp has been removed from the top, so it’s essentially just a tall, round tower now. I managed to park outside and get a sneaky picture nonetheless.

It had really started to rain and I had concerns about arriving at the campsite in time when I got to West Kirby. From here, at low tide, you can walk out to Hilbre Island (which some crazy people were doing). I, however, stayed on the safe confines of the promenade.

I think, on my way back to the M53, I caught a glimpse of the old lighthouse at Leasowe. It was a big old tower in the beach area anyway, but I had decided by this point to head back inland for the evening. This also meant missing the lighthouse in Wallasey, but some sacrifices just need to be made. These smaller lighthouses along the edges of rivers etc. aren’t the most fascinating, so I am happy to skip them every now and then if it means making it to some of the bigger ones.

After losing some time due to the tyre incident this morning I wasn’t sure that I’d still be on track to head for Wales tomorrow, but I am pleased to report that my first stop in the morning will indeed by my first Welsh lighthouse! Yippee! 🙂

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