Hilbre Island, UK — Ultimate Guide for a good trip
Hilbre Island is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the United Kingdom. The island is located in Merseyside and is part of the west coast of the Wirral peninsula. It is located in the middle of the river between Hilbre Island Bridge and Neston Bridge.
It`s a small island, which is only about 1 mile long and 1/4 mile wide. It has a lighthouse, bird sanctuary and many other things to see and do. The island has been used as a location in various films including The Bridge on the River Kwai and Saving Private Ryan.
If you are planning on visiting Hilbre Island, it is important that you know what to expect before arriving on the island. Below we have created an ultimate guide for visiting the island with all of the information you need to know before visiting this beautiful place:
Hilbre Island tide times
The island is only accessible when it’s low tide and this can be checked online here or by looking at the tide times below:
On average, tides are lowest every 12 hours and highest every six hours. This means you can go there any time between 7 am and 3 pm without having to wait long for another opportunity to do so!
What is the best time to walk to Hilbre Island?
The best time to walk to Hilbre Island is during a neap tide when there is less difference between high and low tides. This is because these tides have smaller tidal amplitudes, meaning that the range between high and low water levels will be smaller. The best time for a neap tide is when the moon is new or full, as this means that the gravitational forces of both the moon and sun are working together to create a lower tidal amplitude.
A spring tide occurs when there is a full moon and a new moon at the same time, creating larger tidal amplitudes than normal in fresh water. These tides happen two weeks after a new moon or full moon has occurred, so they can be predicted with some accuracy using astronomical charts like this one from NOAA’s Ocean Service Center — Tides & Currents Division (OCS).
How to get to Hilbre Island
Hilbre Island is located in the Dee Estuary, near the village of Hilbre. The island can be reached by car, train or boat.
- By car: If you’re driving yourself, it’s best to park in one of the car parks at either end of the causeway. The closest one to the island is the Hilbre car park (OS grid reference SD254775). This has a ticket machine which accepts cash and cards. There’s also a pay and display car park in New Ferry, at the other end of the causeway (OS grid reference SD234580).
- By train: You can catch a train from Chester to Frodsham, where there are good connections with buses into Chester city centre. From Frodsham station, you can catch an hourly bus (#19) which stops at New Ferry at about 16 minutes past each hour (see timetables here). This bus then continues on to Hilbre Island via Hooton Village Road and crosses over the causeway onto Hilbre Island itself.
- By ferry: the ferry crossing takes just five minutes and there are two boats that make the journey. The first leaves at 11 am, while the last one sails at 4:20 pm from Bidston Dock. The ferry will take you to the island and back again for £3.50 per person (free for under-fives).
Enjoying a safe visit
Quick Guides. Check tide timing on the day of visitation. The route can be taken from West Kirby three hours after the tide. Please leave the area 3 – 4 hours before the prevailing tide begins. It is about an hour’s walk from the sea lake to the principal island. Check noticeboards on slipways. WALK INTO THE MAIN ISLAND OF MINOR LAKE. Do not try crossing Hoylake because there is an extremely slippery river blocking your route.
Planning a visit to Hilbre Islands
Please watch the weather! Websites. It’s safe to cross west Kirby 3 hours after high tide. The weather can get cold so bring warm waterproof clothing. Walking boots and wellingtons can assist you in avoiding slippery water. You have to leave the island three hours in advance of the next highest tide. It takes around an hour to go through the ocean to reach the main islands. The islands have many places to enjoy spectacular picnics but bring your trash home. There’s no water and 2 toilets that use compost. Stick to the path.
What documents do you need to get there?
In order to visit the island, you will need:
- Passport (UK residents only) or ID card
- Valid EU Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
- A vehicle with valid MOT and insurance
- A valid driving licence
It’s important to remember that Hilbre is a nature reserve, so there are rules to be followed.
The island is open from dawn until dusk. There are no toilets or car parking facilities, so you’ll need to bring your own supplies.
We recommend visiting in the summer months of September or October for the best chance of seeing birds and other wildlife on the island. You can find more information about the best time to visit here. If you’re planning on taking your dog with you, please note that dogs aren’t permitted on the island.
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5 interesting facts about Hilbre Island
- Rich in history: The island has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and it was a popular spot for smugglers during the 18th and 19th centuries. During World War II, the island was used as a lookout point to monitor enemy aircraft.
- Home to a variety of wildlife: Hilbre Island is a bird sanctuary and is home to a variety of seabirds, such as guillemots, razorbills, and kittiwakes. You can also spot seals and porpoises in the waters surrounding the island.
- Filming location for movies: This place has been used as a filming location for various movies, including The Bridge on the River Kwai and Saving Private Ryan. The island’s unique landscape and coastal setting make it an attractive location for filmmakers.
- Only accessible during low tide: The island can only be accessed during low tide, and the tide times can be unpredictable. It’s important to check the tide times before visiting and to leave the island a few hours before the next high tide.
- A popular destination for outdoor activities: It offers opportunities for walking, birdwatching, and picnicking. The island also has a lighthouse that visitors can explore.
What to do on Hilbre islands.
If you’re looking for things to do on the island, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. From walking and cycling to fishing and bird watching – there’s something for everyone!
What Hotels Are Near Hilbre Island?
Hilbre Island is a beautiful location and there are plenty of things to do in the area. It’s also a great base for exploring the Wirral coast, with New Brighton, West Kirby and Seacombe all within easy reach.
There are no hotels directly there but there are several nearby. If you’re looking for something more luxurious, try the Hilton Liverpool City Centre or Radisson Blu Hotel Liverpool City Centre. For something more budget-friendly, try The Thistle Hotel or Premier Inn Liverpool City Centre.
What restaurants are near Hilbre Island?
There are some great places to eat around. The best way to find a restaurant is by using the TripAdvisor app or website.
The following restaurants are within walking distance:
- The Anchor Inn (1.1 miles) — serving great food at reasonable prices, this pub has been a favourite of locals and visitors alike since 1775!
- The Ship Inn (1.2 miles) — another popular local pub with great views over the River Dee and food served all day.
- The Old School House Restaurant (1.3 miles) — a luxury fine dining restaurant set in an old school house with spectacular views over the River Dee estuary.
What do you think about visiting this island? Hopefully, by now, you have enough information to make an informed decision. Keep in mind that anything can happen when travelling, so it’s always a good idea to check your information and know what to expect before arriving at your destination. If you found this article helpful, let us know in the comment section below and share this post with friends! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our ultimate guide, and we truly hope that you get the most out of your visit!
The best time to visit Hilbre Island is during a neap tide when there is less difference between high and low tides. This is when the moon is new or full, creating smaller tidal amplitudes. Tide times are also affected by the weather, so it’s worth checking online or on Tide times charts before you head out.
Hilbre Island can be reached by car, train, or boat. If you’re driving yourself, it’s best to park in one of the car parks at either end of the causeway. You can also catch a train from Chester to Frodsham, then an hourly bus (#19) which stops at New Ferry, or take the ferry crossing from Bidston Dock.
In order to visit Hilbre Island, you will need a passport or ID card (UK residents only), a valid EU Health Insurance Card (EHIC), a vehicle with valid MOT and insurance, and a valid driving licence.
It’s important to watch the weather and bring warm waterproof clothing as it can get cold. Walking boots and wellingtons can assist you in avoiding slippery water. You have to leave the island three hours in advance of the next highest tide. There’s no water and only 2 toilets that use compost. Spectacular picnics are recommended but bring your trash home. Stick to the path to avoid damaging the natural environment.
Tide times for Hilbre Island can be checked online or by looking at the tide times chart. It’s important to check before you head out as the island is only accessible during low tide. Tides are lowest every 12 hours and highest every six hours, so you can visit it any time between 7 am and 3 pm without having to wait long for another opportunity.
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