Rhyl to Prestatyn and back

10th October 2016

For our last walk of the weekend we needed to join up the gap we had left between Rhyl and Prestatyn. We decided to walk both ways and spend a bit of time in Prestatyn along the way, hoping to find some quaint seaside shops.

So from the campsite we headed straight out onto the coastal path on a glorious day – we had really been lucky with the weather this weekend.

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The tide is out, the beach looks lovely and there are the wind turbines
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A fabulous beach

Walking this way you have to cross Rhyl Harbour on the new footbridge.

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Rhyl harbour
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The footbridge
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The view the other way

And then we walked along Rhyl seafront, and we have never seen so many mobility scooters – there must have been a convention or something!!

The old swimming pool complex that Sharon could remember going in as a child was being knocked down (well it was quite old now!!)

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The beach stretches out to Prestatyn

And the beach stretched on for miles and miles, coffee and cake after coffee and cake… hence the smiles…..

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And before we knew it we were at Prestatyn with it’s beachhut-like leisure area.

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A detour into town for a shop – no, nothing worth buying, and a nice lunch and we then headed back the way we came, except for one small detour:

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Time for one last selfie and yes, Sharon did have an ice-cream as well, she just hid it from shot

The end of a fabulous walking weekend – today was 16.2 miles in total taking the weekend total to 62.7 miles, but only 5 miles was counted towards the coastal path total, making 233.9 miles walked and 636.0 miles to go still.

We are already planning our next trip up to cover off Conwy and Llandudno down to Bangor, so it won’t be long till we complete the whole of the top of Wales.

Flint to Chester

9th October 2016

This walk is on page 1 of our book (which walks from North to South) and we were hoping for as big a momument in Chester as there was in Chepstow all the way back on 1st January 2016.

We confess that after yesterday’s 18.9 miles we could have done with a rest day, but this was a flat and short section, so we deliberately started the day quite late and at a relaxed pace.

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And today did remind us a bit of that first leg in Chepstow, although the walk here was a bit nicer. There were handy markers along the pavement showing the coastal path symbol and directional arrows for both ways, rather than the usual signs, which were slightly harder to spot.

Today was all about walking the Dee estuary, with Ellesmere Port on the other side of the river, and parts of the walk covered industrial estates, and fishermen in lines along the river.

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The new Queensferry crossing
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Industrial units
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A statue

The path follows the estuary for quite a while but then suddenly you cross the estuary at the small old Queensferry crossing, and the last few miles of the walk are on the other side of the river – still technically in Wales apparently.

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A view across to Ellesmere Port
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The Dee estuary once we had crossed

I confess that our pace was not fast, and our start was late, and suddenly darkness descended, and it felt quite lonely walking along the last part of the path in the dusk, with only the occassional cyclist with their lights, and a mobility scooter to keep us going. We weren’t even sure we would know where the coastal path ended but we found it.. just….

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A small worn plague on the floor
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And two stone pillars, but they didn’t come out very well in the dark

And that was that, not quite the atmosphere that we had hoped for, and a bit dark, but we had walked the last leg of the coastal path (without a lot of the middle). Which section becomes our final leg to complete the whole path remains to be seen, but to have done the start and the end this year at least felt good, mirroring (in my mind at least) a year of highs (getting engaged) and lows (the loss of Cleo).

But our challenge wasn’t quite over as the coastal path ended in the middle of nowhere and we still had to walk into Chester city centre and find the train station to board the train back to the car with a train full of drunks – oh this is the life!!

So 16 miles walked today, of which 12.5 were coastal path making 228.9 miles in total and 641.0 to go. One more day – let’s hope it is easier and lighter!!

Prestatyn to Flint

8th October 2016

Day two of our weekend saw us head from Prestatyn to Flint and, due to an issue with a missed page, this turned out to be further than thought (well than Andrew thought), so it turned into a very long and hard day.

We drove to Prestatyn and parked up by the station, leaving us a short walk to the sea front to pick up the coastal path by the Prestatyn pool. But first some breakfast at Teddy bears and tea pots – yes really – every table had a teddy bear sat in a chair and all around the room were – teddy bears and tea pots – we had a feeling of Norman Bates about it all – but the bears were well behaved and the food was good.

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Teddy bears and tea pots restaurant at Prestatyn

The inital part of the walk was similar to yesterday, along a path by the coast, but quickly the ground changed to sand dunes and rough plantation and it was quite undulating for a couple of miles.

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After an excursion through PrestHaven (the Haven campsite) we reached a beach we could walk along, the tide was out and in the distance was a disused lighthouse, said to be haunted by a previous occupant.

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The beach
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The haunted lighthouse

The path then headed off the beach – signposted by the best looking signs of the whole coastal path so far….

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Across a car park, and around a gas plant, with a nice sculpture on route.

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After going under a bridge we were held up for 10 minutes while some stray sheep were rounded up and carried on to the awaiting trailer, then off we went again along a ridge and then a few roads, a bit in land from the coast.

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Come on Shaun

The path then followed the coast except for small estuaries where we had to come in-land, walk along the road a bit then back out again – but one of these in-land sections gave a lovely view.

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One of my favourite views of the day

By now we were really flagging, all the coffee was drunk, and food supplies were low. We headed for the dragon on the hill which is one of the millenium beacons used to light up a network around the country.

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A small diversion followed to find a Home bargains to stock up on drinks and snacks and then we found Flint castle (closed alas), with time for a selfie.

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Flint castle….nearly finished
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The picture doesn’t reflect just how tired we were by now

And that was this leg completed – a massive 18.9 miles walked and 18.5 of it was coastal path, so the total moves on to 216.4 miles completed and 653.5 to go. 2 more days of this yet!!

Colwyn Bay to Rhyl

7th October 2016

Our first walk since Cleo passed away and, to be honest, we probably only did this because the caravan had been booked for months. So we headed up to Rhyl (a 4 hour 30 min drive!!) and found the camp site – the view from the caravan window (while not exciting to most people) was amazing as that path seen out of our kitchen window is the coastal path – we are going to be sleeping about 6 feet from the coastal path!!

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So we walked the 2 miles into Rhyl and caught a train to Colwyn Bay. The weather was overcast but mild for October and the walk was mostly flat. The path was never more than a few feet from the coast on our left, and the wind turbines out to sea were a constant view point.

Colwyn Bay itself is rather run down, as shown by the pier, but the town is trying to redevelop and the beach looked very nice.

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The rundown pier
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Our first Coastal Path signs of the day
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Will she or won’t she…. she won’t as it turns out, well not without help!

Behind us was the sticky out bit of Llandudno (which will have to wait for another weekend) and ahead of us Rhyl stuck out so there was nothing else to see really.

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Llandudno to the West
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What are these??

The mystery of the weekend was why the tidal wall was made up of what looked a bit like the top of corkscrews, all made out of concrete and  all individually numbered – over 20,000 of them in total – does anyone know what they are or why they were used here?

Our pace was quite quick, but we needed a refeshment stop and found a very nice cafe which made a lovely cup of tea….

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The beach cafe

A stop for a game of pooh sticks on the nature reserve and before we knew it we were at the camp site, with a gate right on the coastal path.

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So for today the total walked was 11.6 miles, of which 10 were coastal path taking us to 197.9 miles walked and 672.0 to go – nearly at the 200 mile point.