Speke Garston Coastal Reserve
Speke Hall, The Walk, Liverpool, L24 1XDRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Take a stroll along the historic boundary of the Speke Hall estate to the Mersey shoreline. Enjoy views of the Wirral peninsula and North Wales, view birdlife in this internationally important estuary and experience a unique view of planes taking off from Liverpool Airport.
- Bus stop
Start: Speke Hall, behind the children's play area SJ416823
Walk through the Home Farm courtyard and go straight ahead, past the children's play area. You will see two paths ahead of you - go through the hedge for the Coastal Reserve walk as the other path will take you up the Bund. You can always return and explore this route later.
Follow the path around the curve until you reach a metal gate. Give it a good push!
This path curves around the base of the Bund, an earth embankment which was built in the 1960s to protect the hall from noise and vibrations from the airport. If you want to see the views from up there, turn left when you reach the end of this walk and head up the sloped path.
Continue on the boardwalk until you reach the concrete taxiway. This is a great point to stop and take a minute to watch the planes taking off and landing.
Liverpool Airport was originally built in the early 1930s on the other side of Speke Hall on farmland belonging to the estate. The current runway was built in 1966 and the strip of land you walk over on point 4 of the route was used to link the old airport to the new runway until 1986 when the new terminal was built on the other side of the hall.
Follow the red line along the taxiway until you reach a stone path. If you're wondering what the holes down the centre of the taxiway are, it's where the lights went to guide the planes! Walk down this path and don't forget to look left towards the river
The metal contraption sticking out into the river is a lighting gantry which is an extension of the runway to help guide planes in the right direction so that they can land safely in the dark. It's also a favourite spot of the local cormorant population.
Head along the top of the cliff for 400yd (365m) towards the yacht club (the building that looks like a sail). The path splits into two forks at this point.
If you wish to take the short version of this walk, take the left hand fork which will lead you around the yacht club in a circle and then retrace your route back down the taxiway.
If you want to make this walk a little longer, carry straight on past the yacht club. In 0.6 miles (1km) this path will join up with the Mersey Way footpath which runs along the shoreline of the river towards Liverpool. You're welcome to venture further if you wish but be warned, the gate leading back to Speke Hall will be locked at 5pm! On your way back, follow the way markers for the Mersey Way and Oglet to find the red line down the taxiway.
To finish the walk, head back down the runway, through the gate and back round the path towards Home Farm. Why not take some time to admire the views and the local flora and fauna?
The mud and sand flats of the Mersey estuary (best viewed from point 8 on the map) provide a great feeding ground for thousands of birds. Redshanks, dunlins, curlews and many species of duck enjoy a good meal here and cormorants especially like using the lighting gantry as a roosting area. The plants are typical esturine species such as fleabane and lousewort. They're prettier than they sound and provide food for many types of insects.
End: Speke Hall, behind the children's play area SJ416823
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 2.4 miles (3.8 km)
- Time: 40 minutes
- OS Map: OS Explorer 275 - Liverpool
This route is along flat, level footpaths and boardwalks with a concrete section across the old airport taxiway. Surfaces on these paths vary and some may be difficult for wheelchair users. Dogs are welcome but please keep them on leads to minimise disturbance to the wildlife. There are no benches along the route.
- How to get here:
By foot: One mile off the A561. Follow the brown signs towards Speke Hall and go down the main drive towards Visitor Reception
By bike: Sustrans route NCN62, 1¾ miles
By bus: Local bus routes 80, 86 and 82 run towards Liverpool Airport. From the city centre, the most direct bus is the 500 which picks up outside Liverpool Lime Street train station every 20 minutes. All of these services can drop you off approx 1 mile from our main entrance
By train: Local Merseyrail services run every 15 minutes to Liverpool South Parkway and Hunts Cross train stations, both of which are approx 2 miles from Speke Hall. National services run to Liverpool Lime Street station in the city centre which is approx 8 miles away
By car: Speke Hall is adjacent to Liverpool Airport and 1 mile off A561. We are close to the motorways: follow airport signs from M62 exit 6 or M56 exit 12. Brown National Trust signs clearly mark the route south from the city centre
- Large, free car park at Speke Hall
- Cycle racks available. Ask at reception to loan bike locks.
- Mobility scooters and wheelchairs available for loan on request
- Home Farm Visitor centre comprises shop, restaurant, toilets, maze, children's play area. Main Hall is approx 200 yards from this with toilet facilites and a tea room near it.
- All facilities available Wed-Sun 11am-5pm in the main season, Sat & Sun 11am-4pm in the winter months and closed from mid December-mid February. Please check opening times here.
- Contact us