The Dee Estuary is currently one of the UK’s premier birdwatching locations for wetland and shore birds. With views of the Welsh hills beyond, the estuary is a hugely significant landscape in Cheshire and of international importance in ecological terms. Walkers and birdwatchers now enjoy the estuary. Once, sea going vessels docked and made Parkgate a great port before the silt produced this dynamic landscape. Nowadays Parkgate is better known as a place for relaxing and is home to a number of pubs and restaurants. However, it is most famous for its ice cream shops and one of the most pleasant past times is to eat an ice cream whilst strolling along the promenade.
The Estuary’s status as a place of mystery and legend was assured by Charles Kingsley’s poem The Sands of Dee which tells the tale of Mary and her death on the estuary. It captures the melancholy of the treacherous deserted flats and shifting sands. Rumour is that she can still be heard calling the cattle home to this day. It is a warning to treat the estuary with respect. Whether in summer or winter the estuary has a feeling of mystery with many stories to tell.
Other nearby sites
Ness Gardens: The botanical gardens of the University of Liverpool are world renowned. The highlight is in spring with the Laburnum Arches. www.nessgardens.org.uk
Wirral Country Park: Running for 12 miles up the Wirral Peninsula and including attractive beaches the Wirral Country Park is on the site of a former railway line. Featuring wild flowers, it is now popular amongst walkers, cyclists and horse riders, much of which runs along the coast. http://www.wirral.gov.uk/er/wcp.htm