Port Sunlight Village … and on to Wales

Friday 25th May 2018

As we had walked the quota of miles for this leg of our trip, today was a ‘free from walking day’ – so, what did we do, we started the day off with a run!

We’d promised ourselves all week that we would use this day to fully explore this beautiful village we’ve been staying in – Port Sunlight. As the rain decided to join us today we headed for the Museum first and learnt so much about the history of the remarkable entrepreneur and reformist, William Heskith Lever, who not only set up and ran a hugely successful business but created this haven for his workers to live in – driven by his passion to move people away from slum living and narrow lives, and achieve a motivated workforce. Steve and I have been bowled over by this place, if it wasn’t so far away from family we might feel tempted to snuggle into this still charming community.

The museum was interestingly set out and it was great to see products from our past such as Sunlight Soap, Lux, Lifebouy household soap and Vim – who remembers those? – it’s amazing what you forget until you’re reminded. Next door to the museum is a family house set up as it would have been in the late 19th/early 20th century – and it really was incredible the space and facilities they had for that time.

After the museum we went to the Art Gallery that Lord Lever had opened and named the Lady Lever Art Gallery in honour of his late wife. Again he had wanted to open the eyes of his employees to the wider cultural world – what an inspiration this man was. We really enjoyed viewing his art collection which included a Turner and a Constable painting …. and even a sculpture named ‘Deidre!’

The gloomy weather settled in for the rest of the day so a photographic wander around the village was off the cards – we resorted to some chill time in the house, early dinner and a bit of local pub time.

Saturday 26th May 2018

Now despite having had a few wines the night before, we were awake early to get to the Birkenhead Parkrun for 8.30am. It was in a pretty park and we’d read that it was a fairly flat course – there was however a sneaky hill at the end of mile 1 and as it was a three lap course it meant you had to face this uphill battle three times. Steve managed to get a PB however, I missed out on one by about 9 seconds – but it was the best time I had done in ages! Actually enjoyed it.

We sadly checked out of our Port Sunlight accommodation today – we will definitely come back. As the sun was shining we took the opportunity to whizz around the village to take some photos.

With the car all packed up we drove across the border into Wales and found a convenient parking place for today’s walk. We parked in Shotton and took the bus to where we thought was an ideal place to pick up the River Dee path, which forms part of the Wales coastal path. Unfortunately we didn’t get the planning of this quite accurate – we found ourselves on the wrong side of the river – this meant we had to walk all the way back into Chester which added an extra couple of miles onto our walk – hey ho!!!

It did however mean we got to see and hear (very loudly) Chester Racecourse which was exciting, lots of galloping horses.

Lots of straight riverside walks again today … still no sea!! Many many cyclists whizzing along this path. Some sections more scenic than others – Steve positively drooled over some of the ploughed fields – he’s seriously missing his OCD task of mowing stripes into his beloved lawn!!

So after 8 miles of walking we reached our destination – back to the car. We drove on from there to our next Airbnb in Bagilt. Beautiful house owned by Andy and his son Josh and beautiful sheepdog Frank. Showered and made some dinner … then it was down to the local pub – The Blossoms – to watch the Champions League Final – well, won’t say too much more about that!

Sunday 27th May 2018

We had a leisurely start to the day – doing less miles each day means we don’t need to get up at the crack of dawn. The bus from the village only goes every 2 hours so we chose 11.00am rather than 9.00am (wise choice). Another 8 miler today – a whole mixture of environments – riverside, industrial areas, woods, mudflats and roads (very noisy roads in fact)! Just steady plodding – nothing particularly eventful – a few more aches and pains to add to the collection, but what’s new – we’re old!!!

And back to our cosy Airbnb where Steve cooked us a roast beef dinner – can’t be bad. 😊 It doesn’t all have to be hard work you know.

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