CREDIT: Mark Reeves

Hilbre islands - an offshore adventure on foot

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Event info

This is an on-location workshop for up to six people. 

The Hilbre islands form a small archipelago lying about a mile off the coast of the Wirral.  They comprise Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre Island itself and at low tide they can be accessed on foot.

The islands present the landscape photographer with a wealth of opportunities including rock formations, seascapes, rock pools, waterfalls (yes really!) and dilapidated structures.

This trip to the islands will be led by local resident Mark Reeves ARPS and the day will begin (sea conditions permitting) by wading out to Little Eye before the tide has fully receded. 

The purpose of this is to maximise the opportunities for photographing various rock groups while they are still surrounded by water.

We will then work our way along the archipelago, stopping to photograph whatever we find along the way.  Arriving eventually at Hilbre Island we will stop for a picnic lunch following which participants will be able to photograph the now uninhabited island's small cottages, semaphore post and derelict lifeboat station as well as its varied sandstone rock formations and seascapes towards Snowdonia or back towards the mainland.

Later in the afternoon we begin our return via a different route for more photography along the way.  The shoot will end with sunset and then returning together to the shore.

Most of the terrain is flat sandy beach, mud, shingle and rocks with some short steep ascents and descents to access the islands.  However, many of the photographic opportunities arise from walking over slippery sea-weed covered rocks.  Because some of the sand and mud is very soft, this event is NOT suitable for wheelchairs or scooters.

During the day around 5 miles of walking will be required.  There are public toilets at the meeting point and if these are closed, toilets are also available in the  Morrisons supermarket across the road.  There is also a composting toilet available on Hilbre Island but at the time of writing (May 2021) this is closed because of covid-19.  

Meeting point

The meeting point is outside the cafe entrance at the Wirral Sailing Centre at the end of Dee Lane, West Kirby (see below for details).  At the time of writing this new cafe has not yet opened for business but should this change, then we may be able to meet inside for a coffee instead of outside.


- Wellies (not ankle-length) and waterproof trousers that will fit snugly outside your wellies will be essential for wading to Little Eye.  If you do not bring suitable legwear and footwear, and don't want wet feet, you will have to wait (about 30 minutes depending on conditions) and catch up with the rest of the group when the tide recedes.

- Microspikes such as these  are highly recommended by Mark Reeves for any slippery locations and will be essential for walking over slippery rocks during this event.  Grippers with coils instead of spikes will not provide sufficient grip.  If you do not bring microspikes you will not be able to safely access some of the locations.

- Warm and waterproof clothing suitable for the weather.  Please note that the islands are very exposed and can be very cold and windy, so be prepared!

Please also bring:

- camera, charged batteries, memory card
- tripod
- 6 and 10-stop neutral density filters (if you wish to take long exposures)
- packed lunch, advisable to include hot drink
- mobile phone (charged) for keeping in touch during the day


Being coastal, this event is highly dependent on suitable sea conditions (i.e. fairly calm).  For this reason, alternative dates have been planned should it not be possible to go ahead on 20th October.  Please make sure that you can be available on all three dates.

Ticket prices for this event include a £2 carbon offsetting charge.  For more information click here.

Your data

Please note: your personal data (name, email address and telephone number) that you supply when booking an event will be passed to the event / workshop leader in order to enable them to:

  • contact you in advance of the event to remind you or notify you of joining instructions (or changes thereto) etc.

  • contact you at short notice before or during an event in case of any emergency or last-minute changes (e.g. because of weather).

By booking the event you are deemed to consent to this sharing of your data.

Event Organiser

Dave Glenn (Member Events Manager)


Venue Information

Getting to the meeting point

The sailing centre is a short walk from West Kirby rail station which connects directly to mainline services in Liverpool.

For those who wish to drive, parking on South Parade (the promenade) is free but in good weather it can be difficult to find a space.  The alternative is the pay-and-display car park across the road from meeting point. 

The pay-and-display costs around £5 per day and can be paid by cash, card or smartphone app.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation by You

If you wish to cancel your booking PLEASE let the event leader / organiser know with as much notice as possible. If nothing else, this can avoid them delaying the start of the event while they wait for you.

If you have paid for an event, please note that this fee/ticket price is non-refundable unless we are able to sell your place to somebody else. You are welcome to sell your place yourself but, again, PLEASE notify the event leader / organiser in advance of any change.

Cancellation by us

Event leaders are asked to make plans for alternative activities or locations in the case of poor weather and, in most cases, events will proceed despite poor weather unless, in the view of the event leader, the weather will lead to unacceptable safety risks or very little chance of successful photography. It is inevitable, however, that occasionally an event will be cancelled for this or another reason beyond the RPS’s control.

Occasionally an event may also be cancelled owing to lack of bookings. So if you wish to attend an event, don’t leave it till the last minute to book as it may be too late.

If an event is cancelled we will give you as much notice as we are able and any payment by you to the RPS in respect of the event offered as a full refund. In the case of events cancelled because of lack of interest we will aim to give at least three weeks’ notice wherever possible.

Please note we are NOT able to refund any associated or consequential costs including but not limited to travel, accommodation, insurance premium or other costs incurred by you in order to attend the event.


Wirral Sailing Centre

Dee Lane

West Kirby


CH48 0QG