Planning Your Visit To Hilbre Island:

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Little Hilbre (Middle Eye) surrounded by the sea an hour after high tide.
2004, Courtesy of National Museums, Liverpool (Liverpool Museum)
  The islands are cut off from the mainland by the tide for up to 5 hours out of every 12 hours. When planning your journey you must find out the time of high water and allow sufficient time to complete your visit to the islands and your return journey to West Kirby safely. It is possible to visit the islands over high water, in which case allow for a stay of at least 5 hours whilst the tide is in, or alternatively, you can walk there and back over one low water period.

When visiting over high water set out from West Kirby leaving the Dee Lane slipway at least 3 hours before high water, or 3 hours on large tides 9.5 metres or higher, to allow for a stay of 5 hours or more on Hilbre. It is safe to leave Hilbre 2 hours after high water to walk back to West Kirby.

If visiting Hilbre over the low water period leave West Kirby Dee Lane slipway at least 3 hours after high water. When departing from Hilbre Island you must allow yourself sufficient time so that you leave Hilbre at least 3 hours before high water or 3 hours on large tides 9.5 metres and higher.

Allow 1 hour for the 2 mile crossing, allocate more time if you walk slowly, or have small children. Leave Hilbre no later than the latest crossing time, or you may be trapped by the tide. Be aware that strong winds may bring the tide in early or suddenly.

Tides are different every day - see the National Oceanographic Centre web site for Hilbre Island tidal predictions Tide table booklets can be bought locally and tide heights and times are displayed on the notice board at Dee Lane slipway.For further advice on tide times and crossing safely to Hilbre please ring Wirral Country Park at Thurstaston on Tel. 0151 648 4371 (10am - 4pm, on 7 days a week}.  

The Safest Route to Hilbre Island

  1. Start from Dee Lane Slipway, which is adjacent to the Marine Lake, West Kirby.

  2. Walk toward Little Eye, the smallest of the three islands, keeping it on your right.

  3. As soon as you pass Little Eye turn right and continue on the sand passing Little Hilbre {or Middle Eye} on your left.

  4. Between Little Hilbre {also known as Middle Eye} and Hilbre take the rough track over the rocks towards the south end of Hilbre where there is a footpath leading onto the island.

  • Facilities: There are no shops or fresh water on the islands, and very little shelter.
    There are compositing toilets on the island.
    Toilets are available at Dee Lane slipway 10am 6pm in the summer months.
  • Clothing: Always carry waterproofs, and warm clothing, and food and hot drinks in winter.
  • Footwear: Wear sensible footwear as rocks, barnacles and broken glass can cause injury.
  • Overnight stays: are not allowed.

Please help Protect the Wildlife:
All plants and animals in the Local Nature Reserve are protected.
Please do not collect any living creatures, pick or damage the plants.
Please avoid disturbing the roosting birds in winter.
Please keep to the paths or rocks to avoid trampling plants or eroding soil.
Please take your litter home with you.
Fires are not allowed on the Islands, if you see a fire please contact the Ranger or dial 999.
Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times on the Local Nature Reserve

Groups are asked to notify the Coastal Park Ranger Team when they visit the Hilbre Islands so that a record of visitor numbers to Hilbre may be kept and the rangers are aware of a group on the island should there be any issues. Groups can continue to book the Day Room for their use (but not just as a wet weather shelter).

Contact nos. for Information & Advice

The Thurstaston Centre, Wirral Country Park, Station Road, Thurstaston, Wirral, CH61 OHN

The Thurstaston Centre is open daily from 10 am 5 pm

Tel. 0151 648 4371
E-mail Wirral Coastal Park Rangers:
Access to the Local Nature Reserve is free of charge.