UK & Ireland

The best nature walks near Liverpool for your next hiking weekend

Seek out undisturbed nature and unique British monuments on some of the UK's best walks that are within easy reach of the northern port city

This historic port city may be known as the home of the Beatles and two famous football teams, but you can find endless walks near Liverpool along windswept promenades, through undisturbed woodlands and to a number of hidden natural gems close by. There are more than enough walks to keep the whole family entertained every weekend if you know which direction to take.

Stand-out walks near Liverpool take in the illustrious history of this northern city, passing world-famous buildings and monuments, along beaches that have inspired artists and authors for centuries, and through country parks that were once the exclusive domain of the landed gentry. These are some of the walks worth seeking out.

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1. Sefton Coastal Path: Embark on a stimulating country walk through biodiverse landscapes

A combination of windswept sandy beaches, marshland and spectacular vistas make the Sefton coastal path one of the most popular walks near Liverpool. Spanning almost 21 miles, this walk can be divided into sections and completed over a number of weekends.

The logical starting point for this country walk is at Crossens, where the endless Marshside salt marshes offer the chance to watch flocks of breeding and wading birds. The route then passes Southport’s famous pier and promenade before arriving at the nature reserves of Ainsdale; home to rare orchids, parnassus grasses, lizards and the National Trust’s red squirrel reserve.

Formby Point, with sand dunes and pine woodlands, soon comes into view as you progress along the route. An old fortress and shingle beach stand as a backdrop to the shadowy figures of 100 iron figures of people standing on two miles of beach, engulfed by the sea as the tide comes in.

2. Pistyll Rhaeadr: Experience nature at its most spectacular at this waterfall near Liverpool

The Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall, located near the village of Llanrhaeadrym Mochnant in northeast Wales, is just across the border from Liverpool and is considered one of the seven wonders of Wales — the tallest single-drop waterfall in the UK. This walk is dominated by the flowing waters of the 240-foot waterfall as it crashes from the top of a cliff into the Afon River below.

The walk begins at the car park at the foot of the falls and along winding dirt paths past the waterfall, bringing you so close that you can feel the spray on your skin, and through untouched woodlands of towering trees and wild country fields where you could see wild deer and rare birds.

A quaint country lane surrounded by hills and often shrouded in mist brings you back to the starting point of this waterfall walk, with the fast-flowing waters of the river leading the way. If this two-mile walk is not quite long enough, you could head north from the waterfall and take the more challenging walking route to Cadair Berwyn, one of the highest peaks in Wales.

3. Moel Famau hike: Take this country walk for breathtaking mountain views

A six-mile loop hiking trail near Ruthin in Denbighshire is one of the more challenging walks near Liverpool. Starting at the Forestry Commission car park, you can take the Moel Famau route clockwise or anticlockwise, both ending back at the starting point. The clockwise route boasts sweeping views of grassy fields, thick forests and mountain peaks on the way up to the top of Mount Famau, and a quiet and less steep path down the mountain through forests.

It is not unusual to have the whole trail to yourself if you arrive early to see the sunrise glowing over the hills. You will pass through windswept fields of heather moorland, forests and farmland, with grouse, stonechat and curlew calling this place home. From the peak of Mount Famau, you will have uninterrupted views across Wales and northern England, the Irish Sea and the Snowdonia mountain range.

4. Leasowe Lighthouse walk: Enjoy river views just across the River Mersey

The Birkenhead side of Merseyside, just a short boat ride across the water from Liverpool’s famous “Three Graces,” boasts an abundance of historic and natural sights and a circular walking route that is often overlooked by locals and visitors alike.

The Leasowe Lighthouse walk near Liverpool starts at the Gunsite car park near Leasowe railway station. Following Telegraph Lane, the route runs alongside the River Birket, past Victorian-era red brick confectionary factories and to the 18th century Leasowe Lighthouse. The towering white lighthouse is a striking feature on the Wirral coastline, once used to guide ships on their way to Liverpool docks.

From the lighthouse, the walking route passes along the sea wall. From here you will be treated to uninterrupted views of the Irish Sea, rolling yellow sand dunes and windswept grassy fields and beaches that you could have all to yourself. Follow the coast past the red and white brick Leasowe Castle Hotel, built in 1593 by Ferdinando, the Fifth Earl of Derby, and along the top of more impressive sand dunes back to the start of the route.

5. Allerton Country walk: Meander through the history and nature of Liverpool

A seven-mile country walk in the upmarket Allerton suburb of Liverpool is a great way to escape from the noise and crowds of the city. The walking route starts in front of the imposing Mansion House in Calderstones Park. Following signposts, you will pass manicured herbaceous borders before arriving at the park lake and the ruins of Neolithic burial stones that are over 3,000 years old.

You will cross a golf course fairway before arriving at Clarke Gardens, part of the Ancient Manor of Allerton, and its beautiful plantation of flora and fauna. The route quickly increases in gradient to the top of Camp Hill, from where you will be treated to fine views across Merseyside and the Liverpool skyline and the hills of North Wales.

There are remnants of Iron Age settlements scattered across this area. Following the walking trail you will pass through Reynolds Park, with its walled topiary garden and Dahlia flowerbeds, and the Childwall Woods nature reserve, home to towering birch, chestnut and sycamore trees. The path then leads back to the starting point.

6. Delamere Forest trails: Spend time exploring hidden walks in England's pristine woodland

The Delamere Forest, located in Cheshire, is the largest area of woodland in England, covering 972 hectares. There are three major walking routes through the forest, each with something different to offer and all starting at the forest entrance.

Blakemere Trail: This 2.7-mile trail is ideal for birdwatchers as it passes through thick wooded areas, shaded by 1,000-year old mature trees that are home to rare bird and insect species. The pinnacle of this walk is Blakemere Moss, a large lake surrounded by trees that reflect on the water’s surface. The lake is home to an abundance of tench, pike, roach, carp and eels and birds including lapwings, gulls and mallards.

Linmere Trail: This is an easy country walk that covers only 1.7 miles. Most of this trail is along gravel and sand paths, passing part of Blakemere Moss, shaded tree canopies and the famous carved wood Gruffalo statue, inspired by the Julia Donaldson books.

Old Pale Trail: This is the toughest walk through the Cheshire woodland, with steep stone paths leading to a panoramic peak. This nearly two-mile walk passes lakes and leafy trees that change appearance depending on the season on the way to a lookout point on higher ground, from where sweeping views across seven English and Welsh counties can be enjoyed.