The Hilbre Islands truly are one of the most beautiful locations for walking in Wirral, or spotting rare and endangered wildlife. The islands are an archipelago, and classed as one of just 43 unbridged tidal islands in the UK that can be reached on foot from the mainland.
Indeed, walking to the now-uninhabited Hilbre Islands at low tide has been a popular leisure activity for decades. The passing of each season represents opportunities to see different flora and fauna on the islands.
Hilbre Islands are situated at the mouth of the Dee Estuary, which is one of the ten most important estuaries in Europe for overwintering wildfowl and waders. Hilbre Islands are also important as a stopping-off point for the twice-yearly migration of birds along the west coast of Britain. On the island is the Hilbre Island Bird Observatory.
The summer months also provide a perfect opportunity to see Grey Seals swimming just off-shore, bobbing their heads above the water and watching those on the island. They pay close attention, as once the public leaves as the tide comes in, the Seals come ashore.
If weather and tides allow, taking a walk out to Hilbre Island is an absolute must when you’re in Wirral, and an experience you will never forget.
Visit the Friends Of Hilbre website for more information.
The Islands are cut off from the mainland by the tide for up to four hours out of every 12. If you are planning a visit, you must allow yourself enough time to leave Hilbre at least three hours before high water, or long if any of your party walks slowly. It takes about one hour to cross the 2 miles to Hilbre.
Before visiting Hilbre Islands please remember to check tidal times you may be able to do this on 0151 648 4371 or 0151 648 3884 (although please note the visitor centre is not staffed all day). Tide tables can also be purchased locally and are on display at Dee Lane slipway. You can also get an idea of the tide times here.
Whilst on the Island, it is important to remember that there are no shops, public toilets or any fresh water on the islands, and very little shelter. Suitable footwater should always be worn, and always carry waterproofs and warm clothing.
The West Hoyle sandbank, to the west of Hilbre, provides a haul-out for quite large numbers of Grey Seals, and these can be seen swimming around the islands most days of the year. Whales and dolphins have also been sighted off the island
Hilbre Islands are a unique experience, and are ideal for people who enjoy exploring new areas, or for nature lovers. The views across the Dee Estuary are truly beautiful, and opportunities to see such rare wildlife are exceptional at Hilbre.
For Boat Trips with Wirral Sailing Centre please click here
For more information about discovering the Hilbre Islands and Wirral please go to the Islands of England website.