2012: Friday Walks, The Darkling

This week we decided to make sense of last week’s walk, where we’d loved the first half but not the second. We wondered if the Thurstaston Common half of the walk could be mixed with our long cherished Shining Shore walk to form the perfect longer walk.

Our planned route.

Parking at the top centre of the map in Royden Park, round the eastern edge of the green bit, Thurstaston Common. Through Thurstaston, along the tops to The Dungeon, Down to the Shining Shore, along the beach past the sandstone cliffs, up onto the cliff top . Then along Telegraph Road (an obvious piece of eighteenth century enclosing), through Thurstaston again, climbing the south western part of the green bit, Thurstaston Hill, then down through the woods to the top centre in Royden Park where we started. About eight miles we reckon.

Starting at the ‘Barking Mad’ Café. Four stars?

Where Sarah is perfectly happy.

We have a look over the top of the wall at the walled Garden, still closed.

And then set off, in a sunny shower.

Through the swampy woods, after Thursday’s torrential storm.

Where Sarah demonstrates…

An interesting stile, or is it a gate?

Through tiny Thurstaston Village.

Where they’ve had Remembrance Sunday.

We will remember them.

Campanula growing in a stone wall.

The full lanes of high summer cut back for the winter now.

The leafless hedges giving us our first view of The Shining Shore.

But there is greenery and even some flowers still. So along the lanes Sarah has been Collecting.

So when we get into The Dungeon…

Sarah makes a display.

Down past the winter trees…

To a late lunch by the shore. It’s past three o’clock now.

Then down onto the shore where the cliffs are crumbling.

All the way through the woodlands and down the hill we’ve noticed that the clay soil is sodden with water. More than we’ve noticed in all of our time walking these hills.

And it looks like the pressure of all this water…

Together with erosion by the tides, is taking the cliffs away very quickly.

Sarah scoops up a bit of sandstone mud…

And attempts to smear it on me.

Meanwhile, the sun is setting, the darkling has begun.


A murmuration.

In minutes…

We are into the gloaming time.

Geese heading back to the marshes at Ness for the night.

Up the long straight road to Thurstaston as the darkness gathers.

Up onto Thurstaston Hill. Liverpool twinkling in the distance across the Mersey.

Time for head torches as we descend through the woods.

Through the wilds of Royden Park, suddenly lit up by the ridiculous fairy tale wedding hotel.

Finally back at the car, for tea, and chocolate from Texas (thanks Gayle).

A perfect walk, a wonderful day, and a darkling adventure at the end of it. Who could ask for more!

And don’t forget, you can now see all of The Friday Walks in one place, here.

7 thoughts on “2012: Friday Walks, The Darkling

  1. cheethamlibMandy

    No indeed, who could ask for more – I liked especially the murmuration, what a wonderfully evocative word.I can’t help it but I’m fascinated by the story of the fairytale hotel.Walking in the gloaming with a head lamp really ticklesmy fancy- marvellous walk..

    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Yes, we were mildly frightened when we realised how far we had to go and how dark it was getting. But that just added to the pleasure of being out there. It’s never as dark to your eyes as it looks on a photograph.


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