Since we walked along the bank of the Mersey to Widnes last November we’ve been promising ourselves a return visit to get a better look at the place than we could on such a short early winter day. Being midsummer and being so sunny we couldn’t have had a better day than today to do so.
Sarah’s also written her own impressions of the day on her Monkey Puzzles blog.
Close as it is to Liverpool neither of us is familiar with any more of Widnes than the river frontage we walked to in November. So we begin today by looking for the town centre.
Built to look like the Victorian Arcade it clearly isn’t.
But glad though we are to see a market this all feels like a precinct surrounded by car parking. So we feel there might be another town centre somewhere?
We get in the car and drive, feeling that much of this place has been given over to new roads and roundabouts.
And of course it was. With docks, railways and chemical factories.
And of course it doesn’t look at all like that any more.
But it does feel like a place that’s been torn apart and never quite put back together again.
Like, some distance from the place calling itself the ‘town centre’ we find somewhere that actually looks like one.
But the large ‘Victoria Square’ is almost deserted. Cut adrift from the town which once must have clustered around it. We wonder if this lonely Square was a 1995 redevelopment too?
We head for the River.
Which is in fact Widnes Dock.
We walk along to look at more ways of crossing from Widnes to Runcorn.
More on that in a bit.
Meanwhile Sarah is looking up at not one, but two, engineering wonders of the world.
Through the tunnel under the Transporter Bridge terminal you can walk into the River Mersey, should you so choose.
We’d thought we might go in. But not for £5.95 each, thanks. Museums only cost this kind of money when the Tories have got at them.
Instead we decide to go and look back at Runcorn from the other side of the river.
Yes, there’s a whole Runcorn New Town we’re not going to today. We will though, another time.
Neither of us have ever been down here before.
Whatever, they’re both beautifully curious places and we loved having a good walk around both of them.