What with one thing and another, this was the first time we’d done this walk since March. It goes out onto the Marshlands in the Dee Estuary, between Parkgate and Heswall. And in the summer, as there’s no shade, it can get too hot out there to walk all day. So the walk works best when it’s cooler. And also when the marsh plants have died back a bit, making it easier to spot all the little creeks that flow into the bigger channels out there.
This is the first walk we’ve done since the clocks went forward here in Britain, so by the end of the walk it will be darkling. But we begin in brilliant sunshine.
Regular readers will notice the first appearance since last winter of the coat of many colours. It’s a cold, windy day.
Then we find a new memorial bench has arrived since we were last along here.
And we soon reach what we now know to be one of the many Viking settlements along here, ‘Geittun’ (meaning ‘Geit’s farmstead in old Norse) or Gayton as it’s spelled nowadays.
It’s very wet out here today. Sarah says “If this walk had a soundtrack it would be ‘Squelch!”
And we notice the main channel has been widened since we were last here. No doubt to get more water further upstream to the new lakes we’ve seen formed up at Parkgate and Ness.
In widening the channel though, something’s gone missing. An old wreck of a boat that Sarah liked to sit in. Now sadly gone.
But the fact is we could have done with a couple more of these new bridges over some of the creeks. Because at one, where we have to jump across, Sarah falls over into the squelchy Marsh mud. Even gets it on her witches hat!
I am immediately blamed. The ‘helping hand’ I’ve offered her over the creek has in fact ‘pulled her to the ground.’ This of course is a vile calumny. But is nonetheless repeated for the rest of the walk.
At Lower Heswall we leave The Marsh. Normally on this walk we only leave for a short while before returning to it. But today it has been heavy going (and of course there’s been the falling over incident), so we decide to go most of the way back to Parkgate along the sheltered dis-used railway line that is the Wirral Way.
At this point Sarah’s energy is flagging (And there has of course been the falling over incident).
When we get there it’s darkling and cold and we’re the only ones sat on the wall opposite Nicholls Ice Cream Shop (‘Serving since 1937’)…
Sarah has mint choc chip and vanilla. And her dining companion rum & raisin and panacotta. Both with flakes. Delicious
A good day, good fun. And the falling over definitely wasn’t my fault.
Thanks to Gerry at ‘That’s How The Light Gets In’ for his thoroughly researched post on Viking settlements on the Wirral and elsewhere in the north west. Highly recommended reading for all who love these same places we do.