Every time I am on the Wirral, I try to catch a Wirral sunset. It has become somewhat of a mini tradition of mine. One which I thoroughly enjoy. Of course, there is plenty of coastline to choose from and even a hill or two to perch on top. But I do enjoy it with a beach between me and the sky.
New Brighton and Wallasey Beach
This new year, the chosen location for Wirral sunset spotting was down at Wallasey beach. We also added on a bit of sunset spotting along the prom at New Brighton for luck. You don’t get so much walking that way, but the cool blue hues of the sky gives a warming reminder of the setting sun behind you.
The nice thing about this part of the Wirral, other than the obvious part of it being right on the coast, is that there is a really solid path along the coastal walk making it suitable for everyone. With the added benefit of not having much to trip over when it goes dark too. Something I find very useful when out walking in the winter months.
Although it might be of a different form these days, New Brighton and Wallasey were part of a thriving beach resort in the latter part of the 19th century. Rail travel helped people come to the coastal town from Lancashire and Liverpool. Many of the large houses along the promenade were converted to cheap hotels.
Nowadays, it might not be the booming town it was, but it certainly still sees some substantial footfall. Even on a cold winters day, you will find families pounding the prom, walking dogs and chatting away along the lines of the beach.
I posted one of my sunset pictures over on Instagram the other day, sharing my musings of the teenage mind. It is funny how many times I will have walked along the prom and seen the sunset, only to not really think much of it. It is a conversation I have had with my travel blogger friends about revisiting places we had been to in our younger (more distracted) years of life. (you can read more of my thoughts and theories by giving me a follow over on Instagram)
I think it is both amusing to look back on the years I missed out on these beautiful things and also a nice reminder to keep my curiosity alive. It is true that there will always be something exciting around the next corner when you look for it.
It is a funny old thing. Going to watch the sun go down. Some people place meaning behind it and others, including me, simply enjoy it for what it is. A beautiful, quiet part of the day filled with glorious colours.
As the final oranges and blues disappeared beyond the horizon, we turned back to catch some glimpses of the flickering city lights over on the Liverpool front.
Lights along the docks
Probably not quite the kind Liverpool front you were expecting. I would think many would be imagining the Liver Building and Three Sisters along Pier Head. But I love the towering cranes and industrial side of the North Dock. I thought that it might have been this view which influenced part of my love of Rotterdam. The red cranes rearing their heads from the concrete bases where the ships come in to exchange wares.
Our wander following the Wirral sunset took us towards New Brighton and the lights of the arcades and shops. This is somewhere I spent a lot of time when I was younger. Both with my family and my school friends. The lights and sounds would be exciting, especially coming from a small countryside village on the other side of the peninsular. We would walk, Rollerblade, bowl and enjoy spending our pennies in the slot machines.
It was obviously this part of town which absorbed much of my teenage attention. So much more exciting than watching the sun go down over the beach. Or so I thought at the time.
Wandering in the dark
There is something nice about the time after the Wirral sunset. After any sunset, actually. The darkness with takes over the light and changes the mood of a place. It calms down further. People go home and only the few walkers remain. Many heading to the warmth and dim light of their nearby houses.
As the promenade emptied, we decided to head back ourselves. We could have wandered the Wirral if we had carried on into the evening.
Meandering our way back to the car with the fresh sea wind to our backs now, it reminded me of how many other spaces around the Wirral must be different with my adult eyes. A fresh mind and an interest in all things architectural and historical (my GCSE History teacher would be surprised to learn about this!)
In my non-plans for 2020, I think I am going to re-explore many parts of the Wirral. Urban and not so much to see what I can find out. It’ll be a mini project and time to reflect and enjoy the area anew.
When you’re back home and doing your usual things, perhaps do the same as me. Head back to places your visited or hung out at when you were younger. See how your vision of it has changed. How time has changed it.