Discover Beautiful Vistas From Lancashire’s Most Southernly Point

Just sharing some thoughts for a flat circular coastal walk around Lancashire’s most southernly point. It’s only about 20 miles from Winstanley too. All set around the gorgeous Conservation Area village of Hale which is just south of Liverpool.

With the lighter nights there is now more opportunity to enjoy a relax with your partner, family, dog or even on your own to contemplate your day. This article shows you how to discover the best kept secrets of some flat walks all with panoramic views. After the walk, there is a lovely pub with a beer garden serving great food. Yet it’s also not too far from Woolton and Gateacre villages, both crammed with great places to eat too. When I was told about it several months back, I was curious to find out for myself. Since then, due to its proximity I have walked the various paths regularly, loved it and so has my hound.

Although popular at weekends, weekdays and evenings can be serene and peaceful. One section of the walk can be a little muddy after heavy rain so I do not recommend white trainers! Sadly the walk is not suitable for wheelchair access, although the village park and streets are fine and worth a nose anyway. In order to find out more about the lighthouse and even a 9 foot plus local giant who really existed then please, do read on…

The Walks

3 Suggested Scenic Walks at Hale Village Merseyside

So there a number of routes you can explore depending on time available, ability and of course desire. All are on flat terrain. The footpath state is pretty much dry throughout with the exception of a few short sections in the woods after heavy rain, though they can be mostly avoided too by walking around them. Depending on the chosen direction of your walk, there are plenty of places to park. That’s true even when the area is busy which is mostly on a weekend.

I’d recommend one of three key walks if you have never been before. Each is listed below. Each have their charms. When you reach the river and its views over to Frodsham, Helsby and the Clwydian Hills of Wales, feeling the sea air then wow. It really is invigorating and tranquil all at the same time. It is hard to feel you aren’t looking out to sea, but just across the widest part of the Mersey estuary.

1 From the Church to the Lighthouse & Back through the Woods and Park

Discover Beautiful Vistas From Lancashire's Most Southernly Point - Route 1 frpm Hale Church

Definitely my recommendation for your first ever visit. If you want to wander down to the lighthouse first, then drive past the Child of Hale pub and park anywhere from the Church onwards or even just before it. During the week or evenings there is likely to be plenty of space. However on a sunny weekend it cen be vibrant, so the park may be a better option. Personally I have never found it a problem and since my first visit I am now a frequent visitor. Please be thoughtful to the wonderfully manicured street edged lawns of the residents when parking and avoid parking on the actual grass borders.

Start of Walk 1

Once parked up, walk in the same direction from or past the church depending on where you did park. As you pass the last of the houses you will see the lighthouse across open fields and wind turbines on the opposite bank in the distance. The lighthouse mark’s Old Lancashire’s most southernly point. For those of you who remember before Greater Manchester and Merseyside were created by Thatcher. True, strictly speaking, it’s no longer in the administrative border of Lancashire. However it is most definitely part of true Lancashire.

Hale Lighthouse - Southerly most point of Lancashire

At the end of the lane you will arrive at a gate that marks the start of the track down to the lighthouse. There is a bin at this point for any dog walkers to use. Head down the track to the lighthouse. It is bordered by hedges that do have intermittent gaps. As this is active crop growing farm land please do not let your dogs, kids or grandparents roam the fields! There is opportunity to do so along the shore from the end of the track. Once there you will find a further gate and a couple of information boards detailing the local history and bird life. Turn right and head through that gate.

At the River

Discover Beautiful Vistas From Lancashire's Most Southernly Point - The River

From here you can remain on the path, or step down the rough sandstone steps on to the foreshore. The foreshore is extremely broad, even at high tide. However please do not let children wander too far away. Whichever option you decide on, follow the direction of the path towards the woods in the distance. You will be able to make out the control tower at the end of John Lennon airport in the far distance. If on the foreshore head back up the bank to the path before the clump of trees and you will discover a wooden footbridge over the small river tributary. You can turn right here to head back up to the village park. Alternatively you can continue along the path to several other paths that also turn right through the woods and back to the same park.

Back towards the Start

Whichever path you choose is pleasant either through the fields or woods. All eventually converge before bringing you out into the park and a chance for an ice cream, or a little further to the Child of Hale pub, it’s beer garden, great food and decent real ales. Explore the village with its thatched rooves including the residence of the Child of Hale whose well-tended grave is in the church yard.

2 From the Park, Down Through the Woods & Along the Coast to the Lighthouse

Discover Beautiful Vistas From Lancashire's Most Southernly Point - Route 2 from the Park

Choosing this second direction and following the coast from the west towards the lighthouse after a wander through the park and various paths in woods then there is plenty of space in the park car park or surrounding roads. The entrance to the park is right in the centre of the village just before the Child of Hale pub. If you have a young family, it offers plenty of space for children to play while you enjoy an ice cream from the usually present ice cream van! Of course don’t forget the little ones or the pooch for the ice cream.

To progress your walk head down the central path of the park towards the woods. Once there, a number of paths take you down towards the shore. After rain it can be a little muddy in places so definitely not for those with white trainers and certainly not party shoes! It’s a lovely tranquil path, twisting and turning through the natural woodland. The odd pond here or there. Just keep heading south towards the coast and you cannot get lost – honestly!

At the Shore

The paths through the woods bring you out on to the river bank. From there you can head east to the visible lighthouse. The path does also head right for those who wish to explore. That takes you past the boundary of John Lennon airport and The Oglet (Oak by the shore). An area named after the original hamlet consisting of entirely arable land and a couple of farms. Over a century ago it was home to the hamlet and a small salt refinery and mill. It is packed with diverse flora and fauna. It marks the most southerly point of the city.

Heading Left to the Lighthouse

The Mersey from Hale Lighthouse

You are now on the revers path of the route described in walk 1 above. Follow the path along the bank top until you come to the small footbridge over the tributary into the Mersey. Past here, you can continue on the footpath or even scramble down one of a number of steep short paths on to the foreshore. Either way there is alovely view of the lighthouse, Frodsham and Helsby Hills that would take you to Delamere and the Welsh Hills beyond.

A Choice from the Lighthouse

From here you can turn left and follow the track up to the road that goes back into Hale village past the Church towardsthe pub and park. Optionally if you want a longer walk carry straight on along the riverbank. It still eventually comes out in the village after a shortish circuit through farmland.

3 Head Up Behind the Child of Hale Statue on the Left Before the Church & Back Round to the Lighthouse

Child of Hale - John Middleton on Lancashire's Most Southernly Point

The 3rd option starts off just after the large building with the Child of Hale statue outside of it. Turn left here along the track. It takes you onto a public footpath through farmland. It is well marked and bordered by well-tended hedges. Part way along you will come across an information board that provides a little history of the area. It explains about the Within Way Hale Ford, the Civil War and the original Widnes Transporter Bridge. Want to find out more? I don’t give out spoilers, you’ll need to take the walk!

There is ony one path here and it brings you out to the river bank west of the lighthouse. The only option is to turn right and head in the lighthouse direction.

Once at the lighthouse you can turn right again along the farm track that heads towards the road into the centre of the village. Optionally carry straight on along the bank and follow the directions described in the first route from the point of the lighthouse. You’ll even find two further information boards there and local wildlife and history!

4 Clickable Map Showing the Area of the Walks

Courtesy of Google (click to explore)

Hale Village

A genuine chocolate box looking village with pretty thatched roof white walled cottages. Some of which are even holiday rentals including the Child of Hale’s original dwelling. If you are looking for a place to eat, then the local pub Child of Hale does serve good food. It has a beer garden and is dog friendly too.

The village is quite small but contains some lovely whitewashed cottages with thatched rooves. The park is great for children and a lovely place to while away an hour whether on your own or in company.

The Child of Hale

John Middleton aka the Child of Hale was alleged to be 9’3″. His impressively constructed resting place shown below with its inscription Here lyeth the bodie of John Middleton the Childe Nine feet three Borne 1578 Dyede 1623 is in the local church yard too.

John Middleton's Grave at Hale Village Graveyard

He was taken to the court of King James fighting and beating the king’s champion wrestler. His cottage shown above is till used as a holiday home. Further history of the Childe and other local history is provided in the link at the end of this article. Perhaps unsurprisingly he was hired as a bodyguard by the local Sherriff. A life size statue is on prominent display at the start of the first walk.

Gateacre and Woolton

If you really want to make it a full day out then you can always start out in nearby Gateacre or Woolton village for a breakfast at one of several independent restaurants. Similarly you could make it your end of day choice with some wonderful restaurants and bars. Of course the latter is if you haven’t already taken advantage of the Fayre on offer at the Child of Hale pub.

With its Liverpol Cheese shop offering a vast range of cheeses that is hard to rival from anywhere and its range of craft beers. I will let you specualte as to whether I was attracted because of the cheese or beer. There is also a tremendous butchers. Italian, Greek, Turkish, Chinese and varied menus at the Elephant make it hard not to find something you might like. They are definitely worth a visit.

Speke Hall

Often proclaimed as one of the best examples of a Tudor timber framed house in the whole of England. The status symbol of the Norris family with its secret passgaes and curious rooms. It has gained a reputation for being haunted It is just 5 minutes drive from Hale Village. If you want to go there first, then just follow the signs for Liverpool Airprot.

Otterspool Promenade

Slightly further afield and still on the river is Otterspool promenade. It has a couple of decent eating places: Millers Steakhouse and a lovely Independent Cafe with indoor and external seating. There is plenty of open spaces for a stroll on a sunny day, kite flying, dog walking, frisbee etc. It isn’t walkable directly from Hale (except for the most intrepid amongst you), but is a good stop off point for food and a chill.

Otterspool, or originally Otter’s Pool is on the site of an ancient fishing village and its history can be traced back to Roman times. A link to its past by a local historian is provided at the end of this article.

How to Get to Hale Village & Lancashire’s Most Southernly Point

Courtesy of Google Maps

Co-op Food – Winstanley to Hale Village Lighthouse – Google Maps

So Did You Discover Beautiful Vistas From Lancashire’s Most Southernly Point?

Discover Beautiful Vistas From Lancashire's Most Southernly Point at Dusk

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Author: Jeff Quirk – Winstanley

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