Troubador The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide

Released: 28/03/2020

ISBN: 9781838591908

eISBN: 9781838595685

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide


A guide to places to visit, history and wildlife along the Liverpool, Wirral and Cheshire shores of the Mersey Estuary

Stretching for around thirty miles to the coast, the Mersey Estuary is perhaps best known for Liverpool’s spectacular waterfront and the Mersey Ferry. But there are many hidden gems along its shores, including waterside parks, sandy beaches and poignant reminders of the days of steamships and sail.

The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide provides suggestions for places to visit around the estuary from its upper reaches in Warrington to where it meets the sea at New Brighton and Formby Point. Destinations include Liverpool, Birkenhead, Ellesmere Port, New Brighton, Port Sunlight, Runcorn, Warrington and Widnes. Places featured in Liverpool include the Three Graces, Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool Cathedral, and the city’s largest museums.

In addition to the main tourist attractions, readers will discover some less well-known sights, including lighthouses, a castle, outdoor art, medieval buildings, and a transporter bridge, along with ideas for boat trips around the estuary and its canals and places for a bird’s eye view of Liverpool and areas inland. 

There are also maps and route descriptions for fifteen suggested walks and cycle rides around the estuary, ranging from trips of a couple of hours to a full day out. The places visited include Bidston Windmill, Liverpool waterfront, Port Sunlight, the Manchester Ship Canal, the Another Place statues at Crosby Beach and the lighthouses at New Brighton and Hale Head.

For those interested in a more in-depth look at the estuary, there are chapters on its maritime history, wildlife and the influences from rivers and the tides. Topics include the development of the Port of Liverpool, the history of the Mersey ferries, how the estuary has been cleaned up in recent decades, modern-day shipping and navigation, and the many nature reserves around its shores. There are also tips on birdwatching and on where to see seals and the Mersey’s little-known tidal bore.

With stunning colour photographs, The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide is a must-read for travellers to the area and local residents alike.

Note: to reduce download times, some images have been removed from the ebook compared to the printed version.

Book of the Month

Very pleased that Coast Magazine has chosen 'The Cumbria and Lake District Coast' as Book of the Month in the January 2022 issue (December 2021)

Blog tour

Thanks to Random Things Tours for organising this tour. I was pleased by the interesting and insightful reviews, some of which are posted on this page (December 2021)

Book webpages

I've recently set up a webpage for each of my Troubador books, including links to blog posts and photographs. If you would like to see them they are available at the following links (September 2021):

Author website:

The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide:

The Cumbria and Lake District Coast:

Tidal bores of England, Scotland and Wales:

Tidal bores of England, Scotland and Wales - new ebook announcement

One of the more unusual topics in my book on Cumbria's coast (see below) is its tidal bores, and I've written a more general ebook on the topic too. It's also available from Troubador and is called 'Tidal bores of England, Scotland and Wales' (September 2021)

The Cumbria and Lake District Coast - new book announcement

After all the writing and research, it's great to be able to announce my latest book 'The Cumbria and Lake District Coast', which was published on 28 August 2021 (August 2021)

The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide - reviews

If you would like to see more reviews of 'The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide' there is a selection on the Goodreads page for the book (March 2021)

A Windermere Watershed Walk blog post

While thinking back to past trips, I thought I would share a few highlights from a long-distance walk around the lake's catchment a few years ago. It passed through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Lake District and was a contribution to a project to raise awareness of water quality issues in the lake (March 2021)

That's Books and Entertainment - book review

Great to see this review by That's Books and Entertainment (December 2020)

Blog tour

Thanks to @RandomTTours for organising such a well-run book blog tour. It's been really interesting to see all the comments from bloggers about the book, including several who know the area well. If you search on the hashtag #themerseyestuary on Twitter you can find links to some of the reviews (November 2020).

Unexpected sights

I've been asked a few times what my highlights are from trips around the Mersey Estuary so have been posting some images on Instagram and Twitter. These includes examples of wildlife, outdoors artwork and historical destinations. Search for @meteowriternews on Instagram and Twitter if you are interested to see them (October-November 2020)

Local bookshops

It's been a real pleasure to discuss the book with several local bookshops that stock it, including Broadhursts, Southport; Curiosity Bookshop, Runcorn; News from Nowhere, Liverpool; Pritchards, Crosby (September 2020)

Writing 'The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide'

Several people have recently asked how I went about writing the book and my own highlights from the research so I wrote a blog post about it (September 2020)

Essential Runcorn-book review

I really liked this review of 'The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide' that appeared in Essential Runcorn:

Author Kevin Sene is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a scientist specialising in issues related to water and climate and a lover of the area around the Mersey Estuary. The result is The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide with colour illustrations throughout and detailed information every step of the way. Runcorn and Widnes are well represented with, for example, Walk 7, 3 miles, starting and ending at Runcorn Station, and Walk 8, 2 miles, starting and ending at the Catalyst Museum. Contents include places to visit, route description for fifteen walks, fascinating insights into history and tips on where to see waterbirds and the Mersey tidal bore. Review by Curiosity Bookshop, Runcorn (September-October 2020)

BBC Radio Merseyside - interview

Delighted to be interviewed by Sean Styles on BBC Radio Merseyside. Thanks Sean for an enjoyable interview (27 August 2020)

Warrington Worldwide - book review

Yes-Warrington can be a tourist attraction (19 August 2020)

Warrington Worldwide

Essential Runcorn

That's Books

Informative and interesting guide to the Mersey estuary with cycling and walking routes to occupy yourself with historical and natural history notes as well to get the full picture of the Mersey.

by Stephen

A decent guide to the whole area alongside the Mersey estuary, which managed to bring back fond memories of Liverpool city centre, "Another Place" and more for me. It's very nice pictorially, reminding anyone of the diverse pleasures to be had in the area (although to my disappointment it didn't detour round to Meols and a certain famous phone box). I did think it a little woolly, however, in the text – the general information bit promised us too often we'd see something in the future, and was a little namby-pamby, the text can be quite repetitive at times, and the cycling trip guides aren't nearly as comfortingly detailed as I'd have expected. You'd have to really gen up on maps before striking off, even if mostly they're straight waterside routes – either that or I'm just some southern softie who wouldn't know a real lobscouse when it hit him.

We then get further, more competent and discursive looks at the geology and tides of the whole estuary, and how tide prediction as a science was partly born in the area – and how to do it today; the history of the area as a maritime hotbed; and the wildlife of both the waterways and skies thereabouts. In the finish I can see this as having a strong market in the area, and not just those in Liverpool or on the Wirral itself, as it covers much inland ground too, and I would think it some good interest to those wishing to stay in and learn about the region. I wish it success.

by John

The Mersey Estuary is a travel guide to the area by Kevin Sene. Released 28th April 2020 by Matador, it's 256 pages and available in ebook format (other editions available in other formats). It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a good general guide to the area with a richly varied collection of associated activities both solitary and family/social oriented. The introduction (with a good traveller's safety segment) is followed by particular places to visit arranged by geographic area (Lower estuary - Liverpool, Wirral - Cheshire, and upper estuary), with more attractions arranged thematically (rivers & tides, maritime, and wildlife). Many of the sites listed in the book conveniently include active links for further reading. The pictures (most of which are credited to the author himself) are clear and illustrative. (Note: the book should be viewed full screen for the photos to display correctly).

The author also includes a short bibliography and reading list for further information.

I would definitely recommend this guide to anyone contemplating a trip to the area as well as people (like me) who aren't travelling at all in the midst of the pandemic and just needed to "leave home" without leaving home, as it were.

Five stars. Very well written, down to earth, and up to date.

by Annie

The first thing to say about The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide is I live on the Mersey in an area mentioned in the book and I had no idea about a lot of the things in this book. It is well written and has an abundance of information split into sections on places to visit along the Mersey, the natural environment, the history of the estuary, the maritime connections and wildlife.
Amongst all of this information and great photography, Kevin Sene provides walking and cycling routes throughout Merseyside as well as several links to for local travel and further reading on the different areas around the estuary.
This is highly recommended for anyone looking to visit the area and for local residents looking to learn more about what the Mersey has to offer them.

by Darren

A great little guide to anyone who likes local history or wants to take a wander around the Mersey Estuary.

by NetGalley review

A very detailed and informative book about what the Mersey Estuary has to offer. This book caught my eye because I lived in the area for over 20 years and I was interested to see what Kevin Sene had to offer up in this traveller guide.

The book was filled with rich history of the area, significant maritime information, information about walk and cycle routes and other places of interest (some of which I didn't even know existed!)

I really enjoyed the chapter about Tidal Bores in the Mersey Estuary and the walking routes were a nice touch.

The ebook format has a great function, allowing you to access various web resources directly - via the hyperlinks - for additional reading.

This is a great guide for highlighting the abundance of what the Mersey Estuary has to offer and I would recommend to anybody visiting the area.

by NetGalley review

Kevin Sene

Kevin Sene is a scientist and writer with a love of mountains, estuaries and the coast who enjoys getting off the beaten track.

A keen hillwalker and photographer, he once lived in Cumbria and cycled the length of the coastline. His book 'The Cumbria and Lake District Coast' describes places to visit along with insights into the history and wildlife of the coast.

The inspiration for his previous book 'The Mersey Estuary: A Travel Guide' arose when he lived just a short walk away from the estuary and after work often used to go cycling and jogging along its canal towpaths and shores. In addition to sights to see it includes 15 walks and cycle rides in Liverpool, Wirral and Cheshire and background on the maritime history and wildlife of the estuary.

Tidal bores are another of his interests and he has written an ebook describing why and where they occur. 'Tidal bores of England, Scotland and Wales' was the result. This features ten tidal bores around the coast of England, Scotland and Wales, such as the Severn Bore, along with tips on increasing your chances of seeing one and sightseeing ideas nearby.

His other books are more technical and explore the influence of climate on floods, droughts and water resources. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Author website:

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