Living on the coast in Wirral we are pretty spoilt with nice places to go for a walk on a sunny spring day. There’s the beach and Hilbre Island at West Kirby, the gorgeous views and quiet little beach at Caldy, Red Rocks down in Hoylake and the sprawling common which joins on to the beach at Thurstaston.
Then there is the resort of New Brighton, traditionally all about the seaside, the amusements and the ferry it was the place to go in the 60s for a sunny day right across the water from Liverpool. It once had a tower higher than Blackpool’s, but that was sadly neglected and taken down just after the First World War, the metal sold for scrap.
New Brighton these days is enjoying a bit of a resurgence. The seafront has seen a lot of investment and there are lots of new bars and restaurants by the prom, bringing in more visitors and putting it back on the map for a family day out.
There’s the Black Pearl pirate ship, a community art project which has turned into a local treasure. A wooden boat on the beach which kids love to play on, similar to its little sister ship in Hoylake, the Grace Darling.
We played on there the other day with my friend Karen – who blogs at Mini Travellers – and her twin girls. Flo loves hanging out with the bigger girls and they all get on so well. They were more than happy to have a scoot down the prom to the ship before we walked across to Vale Park to check out the fairy garden there.
The park is on the hill going up from the prom, and as you walk up you get an amazing view across the River Mersey to Liverpool’s waterfront. A long time before I started this blog I had an idea to write about the parks which had the most beautiful settings – an idea which came to me in Barcelona, but still, this park would make it onto that list!
There’s something about the light in March that makes everything seem much brighter. Just looking at the crocuses peeking out of the grass made me feel better, in a week which has been quite upsetting for me it was nice to have a break and a breath of fresh air with the girls.
The park’s fairy village was made by the community too, and local children have been encouraged to add to it by collecting stones from the beach, decorating them with their names and leaving them in the park. It’s well worth a visit if you’re nearby.
While we were in New Brighton we went along to try a new cafe called Blackberry Grove. It’s a short walk from the main prom but well worth it for the fresh, independent vibe and diverse menu. Much as I love a pizza and a glass of wine, this place offers plenty of choice including veggie options like the gorgeous tofu kebabs I had and the halloumi and chilli fritters which Karen tried. So good!
The kids menu was really lovely too, homemade food in big portions which the girls all loved. Burgers and chicken goujons are on the menu for the little ones, and they were all so nicely made the grown ups ended up polishing them off!
We’ll definitely be back to New Brighton again soon.