Wirral Country Park is a 12 mile linear park which follows the line of the old Hooton to West Kirkby railway, which closed in the 1960s.
Running through it is the Wirral Way, which is used by walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
The way is a haven for wildlife and is popular with barn owls. Once in serious decline in Wirral, the owls are making a comeback thanks mainly to the Wirral Barn Owl Trust.
From Hooton the Wirral Way swings west, passing to the south of Willaston, where Hadlow Road Station can be found.
Hadlow Road Station has been restored – complete with track – to how it would have appeared in the 1950s.
From Willaston the park crosses a bridge under the A540 Chester High Road, then goes through a sandstone cutting into Neston, joining up with Station Road for a short distance before crossing Bridge Street by the Millennium Bridge.
On the Millennium Bridge is this poem, which compares the sounds when this was a railway with the sounds now:
Billowing steam floats to the sky from the steam trains passsing by
Clickety clop crunching leaves whisper of breeze now quiet and calm
From Neston the line turns to the north west and heads for Parkgate. Just before reaching Parkgate can be seen a relic of world War II – a concrete pillbox which as intended to defend Parkgate Road and the railway bridge (since demolished) should the Germans have landed troops at Parkgate! Today it is protected as a monument, by the local council.
Here the Wirral Way crosses Parkgate Road and continues to the north east of Parkgate, roughly parallel with the coast into Wirral Borough and on to West Kirby.
Contact Wirral Way Rangers on 0151 327 5145
You can find details of walks and cycle rides, some of which use the Wirral Way.