Secluded village with a stunning beach an hour's drive from Stoke-on-Trent

The stunning beach is just a 30 minute drive away from Liverpool
Thurstaston Beach, Wirral. Photo by Colin Lane -Credit:Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo

As the weather is finally warming up many of us are looking at daytrips and maybe a weekend away. The minute the sun starts to shine the mind will wander to beaches and stunning coastlines.

Well there is one place you may not have heard of - Thurstaston. It's just over an hour's drive from the Potteries and sits in the Wirral.

Our colleagues at the ECHO went to check it out. And here's how they got on:

Driving down a rural country lane into Thurstaston, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were on holiday. The village is home to farms, a caravan park, cosy cafes and beautiful walks.

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Thurstaston Beach is small in size but it wouldn't look out of place on the Cornish coastline. Wooden steps lead down from Wirral Country Park to the beach on the sandy banks of the Dee Estuary. It sits at the bottom of clay cliffs and on a clear day offers beautiful views across to Wales.

An old railway line forms part of the Wirral Way which runs through the village, attracting walkers and cyclists. Flissy's Coffee Shop opened on Station Road six years ago and serves ice-cream all year round, come rain or shine.

It is located just a short walk away from the beach and has a large outdoor area that's a suntrap in the summer months. Open from 9am-5.30pm each day, the cafe's all day menu includes breakfast bagels and wraps, paninis and sandwiches with fillings such as halloumi, crispy bacon and fish fingers.

Onwer Fliss Dean at Flissy's Coffee Shop. Photo by Colin Lane
Flissy's Coffee Shop in Thurstaston pictured owner Fliss Dean. Photo by Colin Lane -Credit:Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo

Manager Kumara Pickering told the ECHO: "I think the area is very unique compared to everywhere else. It's a lot smaller than, say New Brighton, but you've got the Wirral Way and the caravan park."

"When it's summer we have our hatch open of a night time, so the cafe is closed but we sell chips, drinks, ice-cream, so people at the end of the day can still get their ice-cream fix."

A little further along Station Road you'll find the Nest Cafe and Bar, which opened its doors in March this year. Surrounded by farmland, the countryside cafe is a popular spot with dog walkers and beach-goers.

It also attracts holidaymakers staying at the nearby Wirral Country Park Caravan and Motorhome Club Campsite for its live music and open mic nights. Co-owner Angela Church told the ECHO: "This is a great location."

"There's nowhere around here like this - it's unique. We're close to West Kirby, Caldy, Hoylake is not too far away either."

Head chef Mark Mclean, who previously worked at Queens bistro on Castle Street, serves a selection of small plates at the Nest, alongside mains, from a homemade pie of the day to a pulled pork and white bean cassoulet.

Fresh cakes are also made by Les Bell, who used to own Chantilly's in Hoylake. Angela said: "The food is all cooked from scratch and it's all bought local. We're employing a lot of local people from the area."

The Nest is also set to refurbish its outdoor area which will be used for wedding parties and private hire events. Just a short walk away you'll find Thurstaston Common, a scenic walking spot and Site of Special Scientific Interest, spread out over 250 acres.

Tucked away in the woodland on Thurstaston Hill is Thor's Rock - a large sandstone landmark shrouded in mystery. Legend has it that Viking settlers once held religious ceremonies at Thor's Rock and children would dance around the stone once a year.

Benty Farm Tearooms
Benty Farm Tearooms in Thurstaston. Photo by Colin Lane -Credit:Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo

Geologists now think that the rock is a natural formation, which was later 'exploited by quarrymen' in the 18th and 19th centuries. Benty Farm Tearoom overlooks Thurstaston Common and can be accessed on foot from School Lane.

Charlotte Reed's family have lived on the farm for five generations, with the tearoom first opening its doors in 2014. In the spring, the family open up its field of 10,000 tulips where visitors are invited to pick their own flowers.

The farm also offers strawberry and raspberry picking in the summer months, followed by sunflower and pumpkin picking later in the year. Charlotte told the ECHO: "It was always an idea of my grandad's just to serve cream teas on the cobbled yard."

Charlotte Reed at Benty Farm Tearooms
Benty Farm Tearooms in Thurstaston pictured Charlotte Reed. Photo by Colin Lane -Credit:Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo

"We thought 'let's try it.' We opened and it was quite quiet to start off with. We thought 'what have we done?'"

"The first Mother's Day hit and that was it then. It just went 'bang' and we were like 'this is going to work.'"

"Gran was always making bread and things like that so I always think 'imagine if she was in here now with us.' She was up at six every morning."

Benty's afternoon tea includes a selection of sandwiches and homemade cakes, quiche and fruit scones served with jam and clotted cream. The tea rooms also serve sandwiches made to order and homemade soup.

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