Bidston Hill and Village
Last updated 17th November 2007
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I've been meaning to do a walk based on Bidston Hill for quite a while and I'm glad I finally got round to it on a fine, crisp November morning. It's probably 20 years since I last visited the area and I'd forgotten how lovely it is. There are also great views and it oozes historical interest. So here we have a 2½ mile (4 km) stroll based on the Bidston Hill Heritage Trail as described in a leaflet put together by the Friends of Bidston Hill, available from the ranger's office at Tam O'Shanter Urban Farm. The route is mainly over clear paths that may be muddy and sandstone slabs that are usually horizontal but occasionally require a little care to avoid slipping or tripping. You should wear strong, waterproof shoes with a good grip.

The relevant Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Explorer map is No. 266. For further information on the locations visited, click on the images.

Detailed mapping and satellite photography for this walk courtesy of Bing Maps
Printer friendly page for this walk (no photos)

Start at the Tam O'Shanter Urban Farm car park [1] off Boundary Road. Walk back to have a look at the farm and the old cottage; there are toilets here too. Walk back to the car park and take the path immediately to the left. Where King George's Way crosses, follow it to the right through the pleasant woodland of Taylor's Wood to emerge onto an area of heath with the way marked by sandstone slabs and steps. Bidston windmill is soon seen ahead. Keep on ahead to cross the footbridge [2] over Vyner Road North. The view to the left from the bridge includes the Carneddau range of Snowdonia. Once over the bridge, the windmill [3] is right in front of you.

Carry on straight ahead over the rocky slabs to reach a viewing table. Unfortunately, tree growth over the years has more or less eliminated the view, but there are grand views to the right over Birkenhead and Liverpool at various other points. Soon Bidston Observatory [5] is seen ahead.

Just before you reach the observatory, take a sort path to the left that goes down some steps (these are eroded and slippery) for a close-up look at the Penny-a-Day Dyke [4] (stop sniggering!). Return to the main path and follow it to the left of the observatory, where you immediately come to the lighthouse [6]. Past the lighthouse there are more fine views to the right.

Eventually the path takes a left turn and starts descending. Just before this there is a sandstone slab slightly inclined downwards towards the right, where you will see the ancient horse carving [7]. Follow the path to the left as it descends with a wall on your left. It becomes a broad track past some houses. At the bottom, turn right. Pass Bidston Hall [8] up on your right to reach Bidston Village Road.

Go left along Bidston Village Road into the old village. Have a look at St. Oswald's Church [9] and the old cottages and farms and soak up the atmosphere.

Retrace your steps to Bidston Hall and take the narrow path that ascends alongside the right-hand boundary wall. Keep to the path nearest the grounds, passing a Heritage Trail waymarker on the right, until you emerge into more open country and the ground levels off. The path once more goes over rocky slabs. Eventually you will see a cottage on the left. Follow the path closest to the cottage and when you are end-on to it there is a waymarker on the left. Just by this is the ancient sun goddess carving [10]. Keep along the path nearest the boundary on the left. It enters some woodland and then emerges onto the approach road to the Proudman Oceanographic Institute [11].

Turn right up the road and just before the top look for a path that goes off to the left. Keep straight ahead along this, ignoring the path that immediately goes off right. A very pleasant stretch of woodland and heath brings you back to the windmill, which you will eventually see ahead. Return over the footbridge and take the path immediately to the left that starts off alongside the road but then curves away. Go through a gap in an old stone wall where there is a nice view back to the windmill. You then enter Taylor's Wood and finally emerge into a field where you willl see the car park ahead.