The Flâneur

Pool of Life > Tweed Run

MINIMUM-EXERTION, maximum-elegance bicycle outing for ladies and gentlemen who find plastic helmets, 'mountain bikes' and gaudy Lycra distasteful and intimidating.

An informal ride with opportunities for tea and buns, beer and chips, etc. along the way as well as picnics and sea-bathing for the adventurous, participants are those whose dress is dignified and stylish, urbane rather than urban.

Pipe-smokers are particularly welcome!

Provisional Itinerary of the
Inaugural Liverpolitan Tweed Run

A Jaunt by Bicycle
Sunday 15th May 2011.

In order to make the ride both scenic and relatively exertion-free for the chronically unfit, the immaculately-dressed and the hung-over, it starts in Britain's oldest municipal park, Paxton's picturesque Birkenhead Park, and it follows a level path with little or no motor traffic around the north east coast of the Wirral peninsula, with sea views, beaches, lighthouses and a fort.

Liverpolitans can easily and quickly reach the route by train (9 minutes from Liverpool Central Station) or ferry (15 minutes from Pier Head) and the faint-hearted or prematurely-inebriated can take the train home from several locations without having to complete the full ride. Bicycles are carried free of charge on Merseyrail trains.

The Health & Safety Bit


The recommended helmets for this jaunt are the deerstalker and the pith.


The recommended caps are the flat cap, the smoking cap and the fez.


Horrible injuries can occur to cyclists wearing denim, baseball caps and sportswear. Riders are advised only to wear natural fibres preferably ones that have been fashioned into garments to delight the stylish eye.


I do not envisage that machines shall be left unattended at any point but riders are always advised to have a lock aboard at all times!



Rendezvous One, the Capuccinos café in The Pavilion in Birkenhead Park opens at 9am for bacon rolls, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, fry-ups, etc. with lots of outside tables. There are pristine lavatories, splendid flowerbeds and an exhibition area should we have to wait for stragglers.
The pavilion is only a few hundred yards from Birkenhead Park Station which is a 9-minute journey from Liverpool Central Station. Suitable trains from Liverpool Central depart at 0950,1005,1020, 1035.


Depart from The Pavilion for slow, easy cycle to Seacombe Ferry Terminal, which is Rendezvous Two.
The ride between the Park and Seacombe is the only part that involves bicycling on open roads but these are relatively quiet off-peak midweek and should be quieter on a Sunday morning.
On Vittoria Street, riders should bid good morning to Homer the parrot in the cage outside The Vittoria Vaults on the left. Right turn onto Corporation Road towards Tower Road.
The only slightly hairy bit for novices is Tower Road which involves crossing two bascule road bridges over water at East Float and three roundabouts, the third having a right turn, but this is not a race and the wobbly can dismount and cross the road as pedestrians, no shame is attached! At Alfred Pier Head we join a footpath and cyclepath along the riverbank to Seacombe Ferry.


Rendezvous Two - Seacombe Ferry. Those who chose to take the ferry from Liverpool will arrive here aboard ferryboats casting off from the Pier Head at 0910, 0955 and 1055. There is a café here, amusements including radio-controlled model boats and starting here involves no riding on open motor roads with traffic.

After here the ride is a case of simply following the promenade to New Brighton and beyond. This is not a race or a distance-covering exercise of interest only to the sort of characters who are morbidly enthusiastic about sweating, so riders can stop as often as they like. Our progress is to be dignified, elegant and convivial.

To give some kind of purpose however, the suggestion is that the first stop is at the capacious beer-garden of The Queen's Royal Hotel on Marine Parade in New Brighton.

After quaffing a refreshing draught we resume the journey along the seafront to a picnic site known as The Gun Battery, unless popular feeling is that we press on further to the picnic area at Leasowe Lighthouse, there to eat our sandwiches, smoke our pipes and tell ripping yarns. The lighthouse will be open from noon until 4pm.

The return journey is to be executed at the same pace and we might permit ourselves to visit that venerable old hostelry on the Magazines Promenade, The Magazine!

Obviously other inns and cafés are available and these are only suggestions. Weather conditions on the day will dictate exactly how we proceed upon - or indeed even cancel - the jaunt. With luck it will be a superb day and interest in sea bathing or just good old British paddling from the beach near the Gun Battery has already been expressed.

From the Pavilion in Birkenhead Park to the Gun Battery is 7.6 miles, and with the return journey Tweed velorutionists can boast of having ridden over fifteen miles, but without perspiration or indignity!

Se the map of the route at: