We walk the common land

Well whisper it, and you’d never know it today here in Northern Britain where it’s once again cold and rainy, but yesterday we walked out into a surprise slither of Summer.

Warm enough so I forgot my fleece and so right through the afternoon and into the evening it didn’t matter. Sarah even had a sleep, on a warm rock in the drowsy sunshine. It felt like we were on our holidays. And we walked the common land.

The map of the land laid on the land.

The map of the land laid on the land.

Thurstaston Common is by some distance the largest piece of common land remaining around these parts. And even though two sections of it were shamefully enclosed during the 19th century and remain so today, it’s still the closest we get to wilderness in our place, and so we treasure it.

And yesterday we decided to spend the whole of our time on the common land, not just cross it on the way to elsewhere as we have before. But to celebrate it and be with it, because it belongs to us all.

Looking across past Leasowe Lighthouse, to Formby Point, far across Liverpool Bay.

Looking across past Leasowe Lighthouse, to Formby Point, far across Liverpool Bay.

And the other way, across the Dee Estuary to Wales.

And the other way, across the Dee Estuary to Wales.

Out across the Common, primeval swampland.

Out across the Common, primeval swampland.

Climbing a tree for a better look at what?

Climbing a tree for a better look at what?

Thor's Stone. A sandstone outcrop of fanciful legends,

Thor’s Stone. A sandstone outcrop of fanciful legends.

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Containing ancient inscriptions.

Containing ancient inscriptions from as long ago as 1999.

We stop for lunch on the open heathland.

We stop for lunch on the open heathland.

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And find strange markers, signifying what?

And find strange markers, signifying what?

Walking on, through the trees we suspect an enclosure.

Walking on, through the trees we suspect an enclosure.

Yes, it's Hillbark, the fairytale wedding hotel. Bidston Court, as was, transplanted to this piece of stolen land.

Yes, it’s Hillbark, the fairytale wedding hotel. Bidston Court, as was, transplanted to this piece of stolen land in the early 1930s.

Beautiful, but ridiculous in this wilderness.

Beautiful, but ridiculous in this wilderness.

We restore ourselves with a cup of tea in the nearby Barking Mad Café.

We restore ourselves with a cup of tea in the nearby Barking Mad Café.

And walk on.

And walk on.

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Far downhill at Caldy the noise of rugby players.

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Up here, peace.

As afternoon turns into evening.

As afternoon turns into evening.

The two friends turn for home.

The two friends turn for home.

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At the end of a perfect day, walking the common land.

5 thoughts on “We walk the common land

  1. Stephen Roberts

    Very familiar landscape for me – an exiled Wirralonian. I was walking on my current equivalent to Thurstaston Common – Warton Crag -yesterday and thinking about how it compares to my old Wirral haunts. I also thought about how much you would like it. You will have to come and walk it sometime. I’ll send you a picture of it to whet your appetite.

    Reply
  2. Ronnie Hughes Post author

    Thanks Jan, we take versions of this picture every now and then, on sunny days as the sun is descending behind us. We call them ‘Two against nature’ pictures. Not because we’re really against nature, of course, but from the Steely Dan album cover that inspires them.

    Reply
  3. cheethamlibMandy

    What a marvellous walk and sort of unexpected to see a proper swamp and then the fairytale palace which black magic has transported to the common land. I like the shadow figures and the great boulders which Thor must surely have smashed with his great hammer eons ago..

    Reply

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