It’s called ‘Otterspool Promenade’ but I’ve always thought of it as Liverpool Beach. A long, wide, open space by the banks of the Mersey where the people of Liverpool come out to play, on sunny days like today.
Long time readers might have been here before. Otterspool is part of my regular 10k run. And I’ve also told you about John Moss, the slave trader, who used to live here at Otterspool House. But today I’ve already had a run this morning, so this is our a sunny afternoon out.
Otterspool House was demolished in the 1930’s and the ‘Promenade’ was then constructed from the rocks and rubble taken from under the river as the Mersey Tunnel was constructed.
A riverside walkway and a wide open levee.
And today, after weeks of arctic cold, it’s just a bit warmer. And it looks as if our long awaited Spring is about to happen. As we walk on we find more cars and more people. Headed for the children’s playground. But also for the new adventure centre and its new café.
And you can also shin up the apparatus in the Adventure Centre, where they do things like abseiling, zip wire and even bushcraft. They also boast that you can use this for ‘team-building’ (probably if you’re in a team you don’t like).
But we’re here for lunch, along with half the population of Liverpool, in Otter’s Café. It’s a cheerful place, full of young and old, eating chips and omelettes and wraps and ice cream. You might not find it in a good food guide but a good life guide would have to save a space for it. Sitting here, people watching out of the window, as the sun shines on the river from a clear blue sky, Sarah cheerfully says ‘I feel like I’m on my holidays.’ And that gets it. This feels like sitting in a busy taverna beside the Mediterranean, and we’ve only come two miles down the road. To Liverpool Beach.
‘But where’s the beach?’ you might well be asking. Well, there isn’t one as such. There is a bit of a beach you can get to, upriver by Speke. And a magnificent one, downriver and out round the bay at Formby. But here? Well, come and see.
We imagine the domestic argument. ‘My turn now!’ ‘No it isn’t!’ ‘Yes it is! YES IT IS!!!’ Demented and distressed parent rushes over, grabs the scooter and heaves it over into the muddy riverbank screaming ‘Now none of yiz can ‘ave it!’ Cue howling and wailing.
Today though, all is peace, with the distant water sparkling as the tide returns. A splendid afternoon out at Liverpool Beach.