These steps lead down to The Bear Pit! Yes, really The Bear Pit.
See, this is The Bear Pit. You would be forgiven for wondering why on earth Eastham Country Park would need a Bear Pit, please be reassured that it is no longer used except to house three wooden sculptures!
It is what remains of the Pleasure Gardens created by Thomas Stanley to entertain the visitors that he brought across the Mersey on his ferries in the late nineteenth century. This was at a time when Eastham was considered to be The Richmond of The Mersey.
Shockingly, in the Visitor Centre there are photographs of lions being wheeled in cages around the gardens to “delight” the visitors. Thankfully, there is no remaining evidence of this!
There are signs to the Bear Pit throughout the Woods. It is much easier to find nowadays than it was when I was a little girl and it was so overgrown and quite frankly, scary. It isn’t anymore, do visit if ever you are passing.