Woolton and Childwall
Last updated 11th June 2005
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This walk of about 4 miles (6½ km) takes in some of the peaceful green spaces of south Liverpool that were not included in Walk 1. It is made up of park-land, woodland, a section of disused railway line and pleasant suburban roads. It visits historic Childwall (with its fine church and interesting pub, the Childwall Abbey) and Gateacre Villages. The going is not hard on the feet, but the woodland areas can be very muddy, so wear something with a good tread.

The relevant Ordnance Survey 1:25000 Explorer map is No. 275. 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 southern entrance [1] to Reynolds Park on Church Road (the one nearest to Woolton village). Straight ahead as you enter is the Topiary Yew Garden, but turn right just before this along a path that leads to a gate into the Walled Garden. This is beautifully tended with flower beds and mature borders. Go back to the Yew Garden and descend the gently terraced slope by the central path. The garden is formally laid out with immaculately trimmed low hedges and flower beds. Half way down, take the path to the left and head straight across the central field to its far corner. Down through the trees on the right, the ground suddenly drops and you have good views over the countryside to the east.

Follow the path up to the northern entrance to the park on Church Road by a lodge house on the right. Turn right onto Church Road and note the old reservoir tower [2] up Reservoir Road opposite, Liverpool's highest point at all of 292 ft (89 m). At the end of Church Road take the second exit at the min-roundabout, which is Woolton Hill Road. Shortly you come to railings on the right bounding Black Wood. Go along to the next corner to find the entrance, where you take the middle of three paths diagonally across the wood. As you approach the railings on Woolton Road, take the path to the left, which leads to another gate. Cross Woolton Road here to arrive at the entrance to Childwall Woods opposite.

Go straight ahead through the woods but look out for a path branching off to the right away from the houses. You eventually come out at a narrow depression with a passage through the bank on the opposite side and a college building through the trees on the right. To the left here is a kind of roadway cutting through the rock; this was once an approach to Childwall Hall, which used to be where the college is now. Go straight ahead through the opposite bank and, shortly after the path bends to the left, take a path on the right through a gap in the boundary wall onto Childwall Abbey Road. At the bottom of the hill on Childwall Abbey Road is historic Childwall Village, with the unusual Childwall Abbey pub [3] (well worth a visit) and the lovely All Saints Church [4] opposite. The churchyard is very atmospheric with ancient gravestones and tombs and attractive views towards Prescot.

Go right at the church and then round to the left onto Well Lane. Follow this down the hill, aiming for a railway bridge. Just before this, take the path up to the left onto the Liverpool Loop Line (part of the Trans-Pennine Trail), a disused railway track. Follow this to the left for a little way for a fine view back towards Childwall Village and Woods.

Retrace your steps and follow the peaceful track bordered by trees for a further mile or so. You will see a gate across the way ahead and, just before this, take the path on the right down to Belle Vale Road. Turn right and walk up to the traffic lights in the centre of Gateacre Village. This is an attractive scene, especially if you can catch it at a quiet time. There are old sandstone cottages, mock-tudor buildings and a plethora of pubs: the Black Bull [5], the Brown Cow [6] and the Bear and Staff [8]. Go straight through at the lights up Gateacre Brow. On the left is the austere sandstone Gateacre Chapel [7], dated 1700. This is the start of a longish uphill stretch, I'm afraid. Go right at the top and then left into Woolton Hill Road. Up we go until, just as the road levels out at the top, there is a footpath marked on the left. This is the rear entrance to Reynolds Park. Following this, we soon come to the park itself, crossing which takes us back to the start.