So we’re back for some more Coastline explorations. We’re doing a three week house-sit in Walton-Le-Dale, near Preston and hoping to walk a good chunk of the Lancashire coastal path while we’re here.
Today’s walk involved a drive and park up in Formby (free parking at the Train Station), then a short train ride to Seaforth (luckily no strikes today)!!… where we set off from the ‘Port of Liverpool.’ Not such a glamorous start with the heavily equipped docks and some main road walking, plus it was grey, windy and wet. Put it this way, it could only get better!
And before very long it did …. we were signposted to Crosby Beach and promenade – fabulous expanse of sand, easy walking promenade and best of all, the Anthony Gormley sculpture installation named ‘Another Place.’ I have wanted to visit this for years so very pleased that this featured in today’s walk.
Another Place consists of 100 cast-iron, life-size figures spread out along three kilometres of the foreshore, stretching almost one kilometre out to sea. It is such a spectacular sight.
The Another Place figures – each one weighing 650 kilos – are made from casts of the artist’s own body standing on the beach, all of them looking out to sea, staring at the horizon in silent expectation.
There is absolutely no doubt that these 100 figures are of the male variety – the artist leaves nothing to the imagination!!
According to Antony Gormley, Another Place harnesses the ebb and flow of the tide to explore man’s relationship with nature. He explains: The seaside is a good place to do this. Here time is tested by tide, architecture by the elements and the prevalence of sky seems to question the earth’s substance. In this work human life is tested against planetary time. This sculpture exposes to light and time the nakedness of a particular and peculiar body. It is no hero, no ideal, just the industrially reproduced body of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe, facing a horizon busy with ships moving materials and manufactured things around the planet.
Whatever the reasons behind this piece of work, it is magnificent … and I highly recommend a visit.
As well as enjoying this beautiful stretch of beach and cultural interest, the sun came out to play too … albeit with a chilly wind.
After leaving the flat sands, the coastal path took us into some undulating sand dunes … not too bad though … pretty firm underfoot and pretty mild on the ascent/descent front – bliss in comparison to some horrific sand dunes we’ve encountered over the years.
The last stretch was a very long straight flat path, running between a military camp/firing range and the railway line. Occasional trains whizzing by and some loud activity from the firing range. We were certainly left in no doubt about the dangers … signs all along the path read “Do not touch any Military Debris. It may explode and kill you.” Message received loud and clear.
After 8 miles of walking we reached our destination in Formby. We hadn’t seen one cafe on the whole stretch so were parched and hungry. We’d only encountered one toilet block too and at 40p a pee (Steve edit ha ha!) we managed a little grumble!! So it was off to find a bite to eat.
So an easy first day. We’re here for 21 days but only intending to walk about 10 of those days. We had hoped to do Morecambe Bay but unfortunately it’s not accessible at this time of the year. We’ll be spending some days running, relaxing, National Trust visits … and there’s plenty of dog walking to do. We’re looking after two little dogs who are full of fun and character – Charlie and Billy – I have fallen madly in love with them. We have a cat called Ella to look after too but she is so low maintenance in comparison – she doesn’t get a look in with the lively boys!
Happy Tuesday evening everyone – so happy to be back out on that path!