Log No 192. Thu 28th Nov 2013 - Runcorn to Birkenhead, 26 miles (2974 miles walked)
To make getting back to Runcorn easier I was hoping to get a long walk in today, 25 or 26 miles.
Looking over to the River Weaver
This meant an early start and I got going at 07.30, I can't start any earlier than this because it's too dark to see the map properly.
The weather was identical to yesterday, drizzle for an hour or so then it dried up but still remained cloudy.
The map showed a path along the edge of the docks at Runcorn but I couldn't find a way to get to it past all the security.
I was forced up onto the main road for a while until I got to the access road to the Power Station at Rocksavage, the map showed that the road was also a public footpath.
Five minutes down this road and there was a manned security gate and fence across it. I hadn't noticed a footpath sign at the start of the road but the map clearly showed it.
I asked the security guard what happened to the public footpath, he told me the road had been widened and slightly realigned and that the footpath was the other side of the hedge, he said my options were to go back to the start of the road or push through the hedge snd drop down a steep bank. No prizes for guessing which option I took.
Following this footpath I finally got down to the edge of the canal.
Unlike the docks on the Liverpool side of the Mersey which are mainly tidal all the docks from Runcorn to Birkenhead are served by the Manchester Ship Canal which is fed from the River Weaver.
Liverpool from Birkenhead
I crossed over the navigation canal and the River Weaver into Frodsham and then took a cycleway adjacent to the M Ship Canal, not that I could see anything of it, round the edge of an industrial site and into the village of Ince.
My planned route from here had to be abandoned because what looked like a good through road on the map was for access only into the seemingly unending array of Works from here to Ellesmere Port.
The final 5 hours were along the A5117 then the A41 through Great Sutton, Bebington and into Birkenhead. The highlight of which was finding an Apple Tree and taking 4 apples off it.
A tram at the Mersey Ferries Terminal
I did take a couple of other less busy roads but I tried to go in as straight a line as possible.
It was 15.30 when I got to the Ferry Terminal, a quick time for the 26 miles, I only had 2 short stops.
The "Snowdrop" Ferry coming into Birkenhead
The quickest way back to Runcorn was by taking the Ferry across the Mersey back to Liverpool and then the train to Runcorn.
The next ferry sailing was at 16.35 so I went across in the dark and I got back to the camper at 18.00.
The ferry coming into Liverpool
I decided to have a third night here in Runcorn rather than driving on and hoping to find somewhere else to stop so I will have to have an early start in the morning.