Birkenhead to Preston

I have cycled from Preston to Glasgow, in bits and pieces and mainly on the coastal roads and tracks, that I have been able to access from the train (start and finish points) and usually with out an over night stop. Now I am thinking of extending my remit to start at Birkenhead cross over the Mersey and ride up to Preston.Yes the idea was triggered off by the recent publicity for the Mersey ferry but it would be a logical extension to my travels. Has any one any experience or suggestions i.e. traffic conditions distance of such a route? (I reckon 50-60 miles, including maybe 20+in heavy traffic)


Über Member
I think I'd cheat and get Merseyrail to Maghull and miss the city bit out, having said that I've been out on cycling group rides and ridden up 'The Dock Road' (regent rd?) then somewhere around Kirkdale/Bootle then jumped across to Leeds and Liverpool and ridden up to and through Maghull (surface and locals can be worrying) but there is a paralell route goes past the big house (Walton Gaol) and the linear park near canal with better surfaces, drop onto canal to get to Netherton and route joins TPT (NCR 62) briefly, then at Sefton Ln. turn right towards Maghull, cross A59 somewhere and into estate on other side and head north towards Halt Green and join NCR91 - Left would be flatter than right I think (need NCR55 at some point off RH NCR91). Almost of this is OK surface wise but I ride a CX and you'd want 28/32mm tyresfor comfort. Biggest problem around Maghull and north is the limited crossing of canal/river/ditches/railways. Majority of roads north of Ormskirk are OK though some are nasty being 'fast' and narrow and twisty. I've also ridden back from Ormskirk staright down A59 and it's fine (until Switch Island(!)), then jumped onto NCR62 near Aintree station and dropped off near Newsham Park and into Kensington and into City Centre.
Thanks for your reply s , I will riding a Dawes Nomad with hub gears and I had thought of using the canal but the surface on most of them is so changeable and I must admit I was / am worried about the reputation of certain parts of Liverpool (which in reality is no worse than parts of any big industrial city). I will give it a lot more thought and do a bit more map checking and maybe round August do something about it.


Über Member
Do it I did Fleetwood to prestatyn through Preston to Southport then kept as near to coast as poss through docks absolutely no probs not best scenery though.


South Liverpool
I think I pretty much did this "coastal" route last May as one of my century rides (there and back). The bit I didn't do was the ferry crossing. It's flat and fast although being coastal the wind can play a part.

Traffic-wise if you're used to city riding I wouldn't expect any problems, just try and avoid the rush hour. I found the Preston road layout more confusing than Liverpool but that's probably down to familiarity. Road surfaces were largely well tarmacked although "The Dock Road" is notoriously lumpy/bumpy but perfectly rideable on 23mm tyres with good observation. Just watch out for any tram lines (only at one point from memory, and that may have been some time ago).

Reputation-wise I would have no more concerns than on any other route through populated areas, probably less :okay:

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