A Summer Postcard - Walking the River Dee


A week ago I went on one of my favorite walks across the sands of the river Dee estuary at low tide to the wild salt kissed trails of Hilbre island.


This local nature reserve offers the weary wanderer, panoramic views across the river, bird watching at an internationally important site for waders, an old lifeboat station/slipway to explore and the chance to spot grey seals in the waters around the island.

But beyond all that, this hike to Hibre is the closets place to me where you can completely escape the trappings of the city and civilization for a few hours.

Setting off from West Kirby, the walk takes you across a flat desert of wet sand mottled with wave marks left by the retreating tide and swirls of sand spaghetti from sand worms sheltering beneath the estuary.


Soon the bustle of the beach fades in a sigh of summer breeze. At the half way point of the three mile walk is a small islet that remains above the tideline at high tide called Little eye. The temperature was around 35 degrees Celsius that day, so I stopped to to rest, drink some water and take a few pictures of the local flora.


I love the peace of this place - patches of Daisies dance in summer zephyrs, their yellow and white eyes contrasting with the deep emerald seaweed.


After leaving Little Eye, my meandering traversed shale platforms of rock, across crab and muscle specked rock pools until I reached the shores of the second islet, Little Hilbre. Instead of walking over the top of this small island, I decided to walk around the small cliffs to see what I could find.

In a shady spot on the north side of Little Hilbre I stopped for another swig of water, admiring this random bit of art. An eye stared off back toward the shore of west kirby; toward the promise of ice cream and the fish and chips shop.


I carried on to Hilbre traversing river rocks slick with slime.


I finally reached Hilbre island at around 2pm as the sun rode high in the sky. There were only about 5 other people on the island as I'd set off in the early stages of low tide.

I walked first to the end of the island where the slipway juts out into the Irish sea to catch the breeze and listen for the bark of seals.

Unfortunately, there were no seals in the water that day. Their song couldn't be heard from the distant sand bar between Hilbre and the north wales coast indicating that they were out to sea on a fishing expidition.


I clambered the rocks for a while finding a nice shaded spot looking out to sea to meditate. Gulls wheeled crying a mournful caw to the summer's sun while seaweed popped and sizzled in the afternoon heat haze. The breeze whispered as guillemots dived into calmed waters, scooping up sprats to feast on the rocks.

I sat for a long time in the quiet of nature - meditating, still... in sacred symphony.

A poem I wrote on a previous trip to Hilbre Island.

I spent most of the rest of the time on the island sunbathing as families arrived and the background sounds of excited children swimming in the rock pools around the island merged with the warble of wading birds.

Finally, about 4 hours before high tide I got up and left the tranquil haven of Hilbre for the long walk back to shore before the tide came in.



Before jumping on the train back to Liverpool 😎


All images in this post are my own, taken on the walk to Hilbre Island. If you have enjoyed this post, please check out my homepage @raj808 for similar content. Thank you.


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