Escape the City: Great Outdoor Destinations That Are Easy to Get to From Liverpool
Liverpool is one of England’s best-known cities thanks to internationally recognised exports like The Beatles, Liverpool Football Club and David Morrissey. It was once the second most populated city in the nation, although its significance has declined slightly over the last century. It still remains in the top 10 (sometimes the top 5, depending on how you measure it) most populated cities in England, and plays an important role in attracting tourists to the region.
Major sporting and cultural events also help to keep Liverpool on the map, including the annual Grand National horse race, which attracts hundreds of millions of viewers from all over the world and sees millions wagered with bookmakers each year. Many brands look to compete for casual fans who typically only place bets for the Grand National each year, so offer generous bonus bets to attract customers.
But it’s not just horse racing; the Merseyside Derby is one of the most-watched football games, while the city hosts several music festivals and art exhibitions throughout the year too.
While tourists may explore the city when they visit, few are aware of the abundant nature that’s just a stone’s throw away from the city centre. This is a shame because some of the most beautiful parts of the country can be found in the areas that surround Liverpool, and most visitors miss out.
If you’re planning a trip to the north west, then why not consider including these sights on your itinerary?
Formby is a village north of Liverpool on the coast of the Irish Sea. It is home to many wealthy scousers, including footballers, musicians and actors, although its most famous residents are squirrels.
In most of the United Kingdom, squirrels can be found in parks just about everywhere. The native species, the red squirrel, was once found in abundance right across the British Isles, but for around 150 years they have been in decline.
The Victorians introduced the grey squirrel (either deliberately or accidentally), and a wild population had been established by 1876. In the following decades, grey squirrels slowly beat their red cousins to the food and habitat, causing the native species to die out.
Red squirrels can still be found today, but only in a limited number of places, namely western Ireland, northern Scotland, Anglesey, the Isle of Wight, and Formby.
Combined with the beach and sand dunes, this makes Formby a great place to visit. Visitors can relax in the sun, explore the dunes and see rare nature, all in one place. The nearby RAF base means you might also be able to spot planes as they come in to land.
The Wirral Way
The Wirral Peninsula is a strip of land on the opposite bank of the River Mersey to Liverpool. It’s a short car, ferry or train ride from the city centre, making it easy for residents and visitors alike to make the trip.
The Wirral Way is a cycle and footpath that runs the length of one side of the peninsula, following the route of a former train line. You can still see signs of the former railway, with high station platforms at Thurstaston and the preserved station at Willaston.
The route runs alongside some of the most picturesque sights in the north. From Parkgate, you can look over towards the Welsh coast and Mount Snowdon. A short walk from here is the “Dungeon”, which is actually just a footpath that takes you into a wooded area with some large rocks, but it’s fun to explore and climb on them.
It’s a great day out for both walking and cycling, with plenty of places to stop for a drink, lunch or an ice cream.
Although it is manmade, Victoria Park is still a great place to visit when you want to escape nature. Located in Southport, a few miles further north than Formby, Victoria Park is a large open space with several acres of lawned areas.
This makes it great for sunbathing, picnicking and playing ball games. It’s size also makes it popular among cyclists who enjoy escaping the busy streets while taking a leisurely ride amongst nature.
Crosby Beach became famous after becoming home to the Another Place sculptures in 2007. These 100 cast iron statues stand at various intervals in the sand, covering 2 miles of coastline.
They are life-sized figures of the artist’s body, and they get submerged and uncovered by the tide throughout the day. They are popular among tourists and art fans who flock to the area to see the statues in person, although they have provoked some controversy amongst locals.
Located in Disley, Lyme Park is a little further afield than the other locations on this list, but it’s still worth visiting. This National Trust site is a large estate that was owned by Sir Thomas Danyers and then the Leghs family, before being given to the National Trust in 1946.
It contains three distinct areas: a large mansion which is constructed in Baroque, Palladian, and Elizabethan style, a set of beautifully manicured gardens, and a deer park. Sheep, red deer and Highland cattle can be found grazing in the large estate, although visitors may not always be able to see many animals depending on the season.
Regardless of what wildlife you can see, Lyme Park is a great place to enjoy a walk in nature.
Also in Cheshire, Delamere Forest is a large wooded area that covers 2,400 acres. A short drive from Liverpool, it’s a popular destination among locals who come to walk and cycle among the trees and look for various species of bird, including owls and woodpeckers.
Some attractions have been installed in the forest too, including a large obstacle course that lets guests swing from tree to tree, and facilities for guided Segway tours in the forest.
For city folk, Delamere offers a balance between nature and civilisation. Its visitor centre provides clean toilets, cycle hire, and a cafe that serves quality coffee and hot food. This makes it great for people who want to get close to nature, without giving up the comforts of modern life.
Have you ever visited any of these great places? Any other tips for days out from Liverpool?