I am walking from Land’s End to John O Groats to raise money for Romilly’s charity to help street children. The walk begins with ‘Where shall we park the car?’ on the right.
I left our hotel before breakfast was served and took a taxi back to Queensferry Bridge. My plan was to walk along the river and then pick up the Wirral Way. It was low tide and the water glassy. The man on the gate at the Tata works told me that the path ended after a few hundred yards and I would have to return. I felt sure that I could continue. It ran between scrubby sycamores and a stone embankment. Even if the path ended I would walk along the beach of the river, I thought, and climbing down through the branches of a tree found myself on the sand. But what had looked like sand turned out to be a very sticky mud. Furthermore the tide was coming in rapidly. So after taking pictures of the boats abandoned there I climbed up and walked back to the gatehouse.
Low tide, the River Dee © James Forshall
From the Tata works gatehouse it was quite easy to find the Wirral Way, which is a cycle path. The people in Wales had been friendly, the people on the Wirral were even friendlier. Jo Williams told me how he had saved several of the railway locomotives, which had carried coal and steel, and had tried to list the last of the …..Railway signal boxes to exist. ‘Aye, it was a busy place, the Wirral was’. On the path everyone said, ‘Good morning’, or ‘How er yer doin?’, or ‘Nice weather’. On Dartmoor few say that and if you, you greet them with a, ‘Good morning’, they look uncomfortable, as if you might ask them for money, or worse. Not that the people walking on Dartmoor are from Devon, but incomers from London or the South East.
Joyce and her husband told me about the local botanical gardens, how Nelson had come Parkgate and how Handel had played there. Near the Harp, Paul and a friend were exercising their racing pidgeons.
A little later I fell in with a young man who was out for a constitutional. At ‘The Harp’ we had a drink together and when he heard that I had no where to stay that night he offered me his sofa for the night. We were to meet in Birkenhead. He took my rucksack which by now was feeling very heavy. My right leg was sore and with all the chatting I still had a long way to go before Birkenhead. I was very grateful for his help.
Many thanks to all those who have donated so generously. If you would like to help Romilly to help street children you can do so at