I have been longing for the warm weather to finally arrive so I could once again venture outside into nature where I am at my most happiest. Last week I dedicated my time purely to this, and traversed the North West to places that I love dearly, and new destinations that have been on my ‘must visit’ list.
I kicked off on Monday with a trip to the Wirral Peninsula where I began the Wirral Walk at Parkgate. Parkgate is a historic port which served as an important embarkation point for Ireland. Over the centuries the port began to silt, so much so that it eventually became totally displaced by the famous port at Liverpool.
Parkgate, near the beautiful village of Neston, has a world-famous ice cream parlour which has been serving locals and tourists since 1937.
It was also the home of Mostyn House School, former pupils to which include the 6th and 7th Dukes of Westminster. The school closed in 2010 and was subsequently converted into apartments. The bell in the tower was removed and was rehomed at the prestigious Charterhouse school.
Along the sea wall are cottages and homes that have been present since the 17th century, the view from which, across the silt and Dee Estuary, is North Wales.
The Wirral Walk ends at the beach town of West Kirby. Here, across the vast beach, are stunning views of the Irish Sea. In the distance you can see Hilbre Islands - an archipelago consisting of 3 islands. These tidal islands can only be reached by foot during low tide.
The islands were mentioned in the Domesday Book and can be traced back to the Stone Age. In 1926 Roman pottery was discovered on the island, along with Stone and Bronze Age items.
On Tuesday I ventured to nearby Derbyshire, which is sandwiched in-between picturesque rugged moorlands and leafy towns and villages. The weather took a turn for the worst and it felt like bleak mid-winter rather than late spring.
I always like to pack some extra essentials ‘just in case’ because the North West is known for unpredictable weather. Below are my walking-trip staples.
Men's Better Sweater 1/4 zip fleece
Sigg Water Bottle from Arket
Patagonia Men's Rainshadow Waterproof Jacket
Kind Bars from Waitrose
Mophie Power Station Wireless XL Portable Battery from Apple
Aesop Hand Sanitiser
Fortnum & Mason Hamperling
Wednesday was a much needed day of rest because, by this point, I had completed around 30km of walking. I took the opportunity to spend the entire day lounging around the house in my new Derek Rose Loungewear Set, from Mr Porter, which I recently treated myself to. I also began reading a new book, John Cheever’s Collected Stories, because it has been a while since I last had time to sit down and lose myself in one.
Derek Rose Basel Stretch Micro Modal Jersey T shirt and Lounge Shorts from MR PORTER
The Stories of John Cheever from Blackwell's
By Thursday I was raring to recommence my travels and began with a journey to Dovestone Reservoir in Greenfield, at the cusp of the Peak District. I have visited Dovestone many times and am still in awe of the 360 degree vista of rolling hills and moorland. The reservoir is connected to two others nearby, Yeoman Hey and Chew, which are equally beautiful. There are many different trails around Dovestone with some that take you deep into the moors where you can find an abundance of wildlife such as Grouse and Pheasant.
Friday was a local trip to my beloved Dunham Massey, a Neo Classical mansion that sits on 300 acres of medieval parkland graced by deers. Dunham was once the home of the ancient Stamford family, the final Earl bequeathing the mansion and land to the National Trust upon his death. I always think that from the outside the mansion looks somewhat underwhelming, but true magic lies inside.
The house is moated to the rear and has luscious gardens that are abundant with mature trees, a rose garden and orangery.
Saturday was spent at Delamere Forest in Cheshire. Originally a hunting forest for the Earls of Chester, the woodland came under the control of the Forestry Commission and was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its quaking bog, Fenland Habitat and rare Cheshire plant-life.
The forest has mile upon mile of walking trails and is a great family day out or a wonderful trip for those who enjoy long walks amongst the peace and quiet of nature.
Finally, Sunday. By this point my legs and body had become ever so tired having racked up about 90km. Anticipating this, I placed an advance order with Betty’s of York for some lovely cake, biscuits and tea to arrive ahead of Sunday. I was also in the mood to hunker down at home and watch some classic films. I began my movie marathon with Atonement before moving onto A Room With A View and then finally ending with The Go-Between - each an adaptation of a favourite novel.