To our own surprise, we hadn’t done this walk since 8th January, our first Friday Walk of this year. Like The Marshlands last week we don’t often do it in the summer as there’s virtually no shade. And also because there can be too many people for our liking during the holidays. Mind you, there were quite a lot of people on the walk today. And that’s because, dear reader, this Friday Walk took place on a Saturday.
Yes, we knew the rain on Friday was likely to get progressively heavier all day. And we knew we wanted to do this walk. And we just didn’t fancy trekking back from Hilbre, across the open sands, in driving rain. And you know what? They’re our lives and we can do what we like with them! So we Friday Walked in bright sunshine, on a Saturday.
Yes, Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre they’re called. Hilbre is apparently after St Hildeburgh, variously thought of as Anglo Saxon or Viking. The other two are two of the least convincing names for islands I’ve ever heard. Maybe because they’re uninhabited no one’s ever felt too creative about their names. My 1840 map of the area calls the middle one ‘Middle Island’. So now, I think, we know. They’re nothing to do with ‘Eyes’.
I did attempt a photograph of this, but its a pathetic collection of little black dots across miles of open sand and water.
And decide not to bother. We’ve been there many times. And today we know the island, lovely as it is, is going to be crowded with other walkers. and so we strike off west, not particularly into the wilderness, but certainly into the mildly discouraged.
At West Kirby there is a notice board containing clear directions about how to walk to and from the Islands. Which we’re about to ignore.
But we know precisely what’s happening because we’ve checked the tide table. It’s two o’clock, just before low tide today. And the best and only possible time to do this walk. We wouldn’t do it at any other.
And as we get closer to Red Rocks we see clearly what would happen later as the tide comes in.
But it’s low tide about now and of course we safely reach the far shore, as we’ve seen many others do before us. And when we get there we find a much expanded marshland has silted up over here since we were last at Red Rocks, several years ago.