An explorer's guide to the islands of Britain

53.382435, -3.227197
Distance: 8.3 km
Difficulty: Moderate
Method: Walking; wading
Wow Factor: 7 out of 10

Key Facts

  • Location: Wirral
  • Size: 1.2 hectares
  • Terrain: Sands and mud; footpath on island
  • Access: Tidal crossing
  • Height gain: 103 metres
  • Map: OS Explorer 266
  • Starting point: The walk starts at Dee Lane slipway in West Kirby, postcode CH48 0AQ. There is a car park on Dee Lane, and also free parking on the front. West Kirby also has a rail station.
  • Accommodation/food:

    Compost loos on the island with wet weather shelter close by; also toilets on Dee slipway. No food or drink on the island but West Kirby offers a full range of food and accommodation. The very popular West KirbyTap on Grange Road offers a great selection of real ales and ciders.

  • Island Summary:

    Hilbre is part of a string of islands that include Little Eye and Middle Eye. The ‘archipelago’ sits in the Dee Estuary with magnificent views of the English and Welsh coastlines. The vast sands are stacked with plentiful wildlife. Uninhabited Hilbre has a cluster of interesting buildings and some beautiful geological features all around its coastline, including a large cave.

  • Look out for:
    • Caves, gullies, geos and stacks
    • Incredible panoramas of the English and welsh coastline
    • Lerge seal colony & huge diversity of birds
    • Maroon yourself over the high tide with a picnic and have the place to yourself
  • Route description:

    The route takes in all three islands of the archipelago. It heads around the back of Little Eye first, then over the top of Middle Eye before reaching Hilbre itself. It is mostly on the sands with plenty of opportunities to explore the wonderful geological features of the coastline and the eclectic mix of buildings on the uninhabited island.

  • Getting there:

    The walk starts at Dee Lane slipway in West Kirby, postcode CH48 0AQ. There is a car park on Dee Lane, and also free parking on the front. West Kirby also has a rail station.

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