Hilbre Islands Local Nature Reserve

Hilbre Island | Wirral Council

Opening hours

Access to Hilbre Islands is dependent on the tides.

View tide times for Hilbre Islands (times are in GMT)

Tide times are also displayed on the noticeboard at Dee Lane, West Kirby.

Facilities and things to see

  • panoramic views across the River Dee estuary to the North Wales and Wirral coastlines
  • watching the island's colony of grey seals
  • bird watching - an internationally important site for waders
  • Telegraph Station information centre
  • old lifeboat station and slipway
  • to arrange a school or group visit contact us by email
  • day room with modest kitchen facility
  • toilets
  • navigational aids and structures (Trinity House)


The Friends of Hilbre works with Wirral Council to maintain and preserve the islands. Find out more about volunteering on the Friends of Hilbre website.


A guide to visiting Hilbre Islands

How long does it take to walk there?

Following the recommended safe crossing route it will take between 45 minutes and an hour.

Are dogs allowed?

Yes, but as it is a nature reserve they must be kept on a short lead at all times due to ground nesting birds and feeding and roosting wintering birds.

Is there any shelter on the islands?

Yes, a small wet weather shelter with benches is located next to the toilets.

Do I need to wear wellies?

Footwear is a matter of personal choice, the walk is over wet sand and rocks. Some people prefer wellies, some walking boots, others old shoes they don’t mind getting wet and muddy. Walking barefoot is not recommended.

What is the weather like today?

Check the weather forecast on the Met Office website

Is there a café or somewhere I can get a drink?

There is no café on Hilbre but the Friends of Hilbre sell teas and coffees on their Open Days.

Will I see the seals?

Seals are present on the island all year round but numbers are highest in the summer. With patience you should see seals swimming around the island or hauled out on the sandbanks in the distance.

Can I have a barbecue?

No. Barbecues and open fires are not allowed on the island.

Is it possible to stay on the island overnight?

No, camping is strictly forbidden anywhere on the Hilbre Islands Local Nature Reserve.

Can I drive out to Hilbre?

No. Access is on foot only.

Is there good mobile phone reception?

This depends on your network provider.

Who do I call in case of emergency?

Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.


View on a map

Email: wcp@wirral.gov.uk