This ride is only open to members of the Wirral Cycling Group.  If you are an experienced rider who has ridden with other cycling groups and would like to join us on a ride, then please get in touch with us via the <Contact Form> so we can make arrangements.  If you have not ridden with a cycling group before, and would like to find out what riding with our group is like, then please book onto one of our monthly rides for newcomers.

You must not join a ride if you or anyone in your household is experiencing any of the Covid-19 symptoms
or if you have been advised to self-isolate

(C) Historical Ports of the Wirral from Chester to Birkenhead

10:30 Wednesday June 12 2024

Current Participants: 0 space(s) available

    This is a grade C ride of 38 miles starting outside Chester Railway station at 10:30 am and finishing at Hamilton Square Railway station in Birkenhead.

    There are quite a few parts of the route that go over rough dirt tracks; e.g. 3/4 mile over the path into Shotwick from Deeside Industrial estate, 3/4 mile on the public footpath from Shotwick to Puddington (including crossing a ploughed field), and just under a mile along a footpath through a grassy field from Neston to the Old Quay.  So it could get muddy and it may be best to use a hybrid or gravel bike (and flat shoes without cleats) if you can.  NB: We may cut out the track from Shotwick to Puddington, and the field to the Old Quay at Neston and divert along tarmac roads if the weather is, or has recently, been too wet.

    Please be at the start, outside Chester Railway Station by the taxi rank on Station Road by 10:15 for the ride briefing from the ride leader John Hampson.  The ride will start at 10:30.

    The route goes through Chester to the River Dee and the site of the Roman port (1st century) by the Old Dee Bridge, then around Chester past the Roman wall/wharf on the Roodee and onto the medieval port of Chester by the Watergate (12th to 15th Century).  Then to the Chester Canal Basin (opened in 1797 to provide a route to the Mersey) and up the Shropshire Union canal turning left at Greenway back towards the Dee Estuary to a series of old ports at Shotwick (12th century), Burton (14th), Denhall (15th), Neston (16th) and Parkgate (18th).

    We will stop for lunch at Wirral Country Park on the shore by Thurstaston, where there two cafes (The Whistle Stop and Flissy’s) and benches/tables if you want to eat your own food.

    Then on past the Hoyle Lake (17th Century) via the The Kings Gap (William of Orange’s fleet left here for Ireland in 1690), past the supposed Roman naval station at Meols (a port since the Iron Age, with a Viking ship buried under the car park of the Railway Inn).  Then beside the Birket (along the line of the proposed, but thwarted, Birkenhead Ship Canal) to the West and East Floats in Birkenhead (19th Century), before the final port, the modern ferry terminal at Twelve Quays (21st Century).  The ride finishes at Hamilton Square and there is no return trip to Chester planned.  Merseyrail trains from Hamilton Square go to Liverpool, West Kirby, New Brighton and via Hooton to Ellesmere Port or Chester.

    Here is the route on Komoot if you want to download a GPX file for the trip: <Historical Ports of the Wirral> (+ a different route here “avoiding the muddy tracks” in case it is or has been raining)