Down at Red Rocks

I mentioned yesterday that sometimes the real world feels slightly inferior to the escapist world of books. I thought about this for a while and part of me thought ‘oh dear, that is a bit sad/bleak’, part of me thought ‘well it’s true some of the best days of the year can be those spent lost in a good book’ and part of me thought ‘shouldn’t it be more of an equilibrium of both?’ So, after a chat with him indoors (The Beard, who was bemoaning the fact he hasn’t been on the blog for ages) we decided that in 2016 we are going to make sure that one day of the weekend is devoted to some out door activity or cultural trip, rather than just hibernating with books/the telly/gardening/painting/playing with the cats/eating which we can both be known to do. It might be a trip to an indie bookshop, a wander in the woods, visit a catherdral, stately home or castle, it might be a museum or art gallery, a zoo or aquarium. Whatever it is we will go and do something different. So we promptly got our coats and boots on and headed to one of our favourite places, the seaside, where it was all looking a bit And Then There Were None…


While I was not born anywhere near the seaside, in fact the Peak District really couldn’t be more landlocked, I spent a huge amount of time visiting it when I lived in Newcastle from the age of three until I was about 9 or 10 and have always loved it. This may seem very odd for someone who doesn’t like books set on boats, I know, yet I have always loved it for the same sense that I have loved woods and forests, the sense of endless possibilities and the hint of fairytales, magic and adventure. Who knows if you might just spot the fin of a mermaid out to sea, what dastardly deeds might be going on the island out there? What monsters or ghouls could be lurking in the sands? Of course I know all of this is unlikely, ok not going to happen, sometimes it is nice to be lost in the sense of endless possibility. I mean look, I spy some kind of beast on the rock outcrop between me and the island ahead…


Oh no, it’s just Chris. If anywhere was going to feel like anything could happen it has to be Red Rocks, by Hoylake which is on the Wirral just down the road from us, which has a feeling of both the alien, the prehistoric and the mythical. No wonder it is used often for the scenes of Dr Who which are meant to be set on Mars. See magical, though I do seem to have ruined some of the magic there, oops let’s move on…


Is it not just stupendous? And that is twenty minutes down the road from us in the Mystery Machine. It just takes your breath away sometimes does nature. It reminded me why nature books are selling so well, sometimes we forget the little (and the not so little) marvels and miracles that surround us all the time. I was stood just watching the sea and the birdlife for about thirty minutes before braving the marshy sand and bog (you have to be careful, so please note) to head to the small little island I have named the Savidge Isles which sits 500 yards out and you can only get to by paddling to when the tide is in or as agilely (don’t scoff) as you can from the shores.


But brave it we did and ended up on our own private island where we could hunt seashells, watch sandpipers, forage in rockpools – which regular readers will know are also one of my favourite things ever – hunting for crabs, re-enact All Saint’s video’s (which we did) and then pose like models for the Littlewood’s catalogue, well maybe the Jacamo one. Ha!


It was like a contest as to who was the most furry. After collecting some shells, and searching the shore and through flotsam and jetsam (brilliant saying) for heart shaped stones which Chris’s mum collects, we walked to the furthest part of the Savidge Isle and were greeted by the most wonderful view.


Totally worth the squelchy walk to get there and the squelchy walk back to dry land, where we headed off for coffee and cake and to ransack the local charity shops for any treats. All in all a wonderful day, after which the only way to end it was curling up with a good book! Now we are wondering where we should go next week, which I will be sharing with you all whether you like it or not, ha!


Filed under Random Savidgeness

17 responses to “Down at Red Rocks

  1. You are so right about the seaside. There is something special about it. I live in Sunderland which people tend not to think is near the sea but we have wonderful beaches at Seaburn and Roker. When my daughter was at university in Leicester she complained that it was strange not to look out of a window and have a sea view. We can watch the ferry that travel s from Shields to Amsterdam from our landing window. Thank you for the great photos and the reminder that joy is to be had near to hand.

    • A pleasure Hilary. I know some of the beaches of Sunderland and they are beautiful. I think one day I would like to have a house with a view of the sea. I’m not sure that I would end up getting much done though!

  2. Ah, The Sea, The Sea as someone once said! Wonderful, atmospheric photos. Husband and I made a similar resolution a few years’ ago – it didn’t last, sadly, but it was fun while it did. Maybe one to resurrect for 2016!

  3. dirtmother

    People laugh when I say my big ambition is to visit the Wirral. Thank you for vicarious delights. Any books set there that you know of? (Had a great time reading Cynan Jones’ books when staying near Aberaeron this Summer)

  4. Paul Crompton

    Hi Simon – I enjoyed your blog – I have a teacher friend from Warrington who uses Hilbre Island for his A Level fieldwork – us Geologists love the red sandstone. Personally, I’m an Alderley Edge kind of guy (not cos I’m a WAG) but it’s the same sandstone, relics of a time when we were at a more southerly latitude – more akin to the present day Sahara and I love that.
    Can I ask you a personal question – did you do a degree in Eng Lit ? My daughter graduated from Abeystwyth last summer and is now doing a Masters in crazy/grumpy women from the 1800s !! What careers do English graduates end up doing ?? I have a rough idea of what you do – but how did you get there ?
    I hear what you say about making an effort to do something constructive one day a week, even though you’re quite comfortable and perfectly happy with the routine…
    Paul (not Pete, it’s a long story)…

    • I have a soft spot for Alderley Edge, I used to live near that and there’s amazing views and wonderful walks. It might pop on my list of places to go this year!

      I did not go an English Lit degree (you can probably tell sometimes from my grammar, ha) I left school before I completed my A Levels.

  5. Bet

    I applaud your resolution! You will never read all the books you want to, and it’s good for the brain, the body, and the relationships to get out and about a bit. My husband and I have been married for almost 35 years, and most of our best memories have to do with being outside -mostly with the kids, but now that they’re grown we enjoy kayaking on our own.

    • Fresh air is also a friend, though ironically I prefer running in a gym to running outdoors. I love a wander in the countryside or by the sea, or in the woods. I basically like a wander and a mooch. Ha. I quite like the idea of kayaking, like mooching with paddles, nicely taking the world in, unless you head towards Rapids eek!

  6. I love it when bloggers take time from their technology and go on excursions. If we all did that imagine the places of the world we would share. Love this beach, so beautiful. I do hope you do this. Love the photo of you two in the coats. Nice coats. You really will have to come explore a beach in Tasmania.


    That was lovely. Thank you.

  8. A Kiwi in Oxford

    It looks amazing and so wild, compared to so many places in this country. The Wirral was featured on Countryfile on the weekend; the co-incidence of two mentions must mean that I have to find the time to visit sometime soon. I do miss the sea living inland as we do.

  9. Pingback: Things Have Gone Awry… | Savidge Reads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s