Monday, 6 May 2013


It was about time I did a trail ride again so as it was a sunny day I boarded the train for Widnes and set off down the hill to the River Mersey. I do this as otherwise there is a lot of cycling through the town and somehow cycling on a trail is more hard work than cycling on the road, so I know I can go a little further and be sure not to have a slog back home.

I cycled directly over the steps at Ditton, where I have counted 51 or thereabouts, steps, all stretched out so you can hump the bike down and then up again. The steps zig zag up a hillside to reach the bridge. This arrangement is because the river has a very wide mud bank either side and it would be impossible to just have a normal bridge as one side is higher than the other. The view is super from the top. I've not  loaded many pictures of this as I have already made a post of a trip to Hale Village, so don't want to cheat.

I had a lovely surprise after I had come out of the churchyard, where I sat for a while, there was a brand new bronze statue of The Childe of Hale, John Middleton, born 1578. Apparently there had been a wooden one which had rotted. You will see from the photo how large the statue is. He was supposed to have been 9' 3" tall. There is a little cottage which he lived in which is now up for holiday lets.

You have to show it in perspective to see the size of the statue. I think it is a bit taller than he was actually supposed to be.

The lighthouse on the Mersey Way, seen through a field of Rape

John Middleton's cottage. See the plaque on the wall

Coming in to Land

Widnes Bridge, shining in the sun. Years ago, just behind this bridge, was a Transporter Bridge, which travelled over the river, with the cars and foot/cycle passengers. I actually remember it and used to love going over on it.

In addition to seeing that I decided to have a ride down to the lighthouse, where the Mersey Way starts. I didn't go all the way to the lighthouse as I was running short of time. The photo shows it through a field of Rape, in full bloom.

Seeing a few planes coming down, apparently very suddenly, I realised how close to John Lennon airport Hale village is. I waited a while and managed to get a plane as it came above. They fly very low as there is such a short distance to landing.

On the way back, I noticed there was a Bird Ranger's cabin at Pickerings Pasture and - goody, there was a cafe and it was open. I rushed over and had a large tea and a piece of carrot cake but that was rather sickly, too sweet for me really. It was very cheap, £1.50 for both. Although I had eaten sandwiches and plain cake earlier, I was feeling as if I needed an energy rush to get me back up the 51 steps.

Back through Widnes, up the hill, all the way to the station. I'd had a great day, done some of my volunteering and was keeping myself in shape at the same time. I really needed to get out, as I had felt so bunged up with my cold the last couple of weeks. I went out the day before too.

I hope I haven't bored you with the same trail ride. I do this as there don't seem to be many people out this end to cover it. I have tried to put mostly different pictures and the statue has only been erected about 3 months, so that is completely new.


  1. Nice to see these photos- those steps are a real problem with loaded bikes. We had more to negotiate on this weekend s trip.
    We still have a working transporter bridge here in Middlesbrough.Glad to hear you are bck out on the bike rides

  2. Not bored at all, I loved reading about your ride, and the 'photos made it feel as though I was with you. Nice that you found somewhere for a cup of tea on the way home, shame about the cake though!
    Thanks for visiting my blog earlier today. I was really interested to hear about the 'name change' in the Lorna Hill books, it's years since I read them, but I've been promising myself I would read them again. Your comment might just give me the push I needed to get them out and get started.