60. Flint to Prestatyn

This was to be the second walk of the Wales Coast Path for and appeared to be a very straightforward section requiring just to stick close to the coast.

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Flint Castle

I parked at the free car park just next to the castle in Flint and started walking north-west. This part of the Flintshire coast is littered with old industrial ruins, most being old docks and quays that served the local hinterland and bigger towns such as Liverpool. Flint Dock was one such place and is now just a relic of a time gone by. The path goes along the substantial seawall which runs all the way to Bagillt, at which I come across the Bagillt Beacon, a metal dragon sculpture housing a brazier which is lit on special occassions.

At Greenfield Dock I find an information board telling me how the Airbus A320 wings, which are made further up river at Broughton, are shipped down the Dee to the working port of Mostyn on a special barge for onward transport.

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The Duke of Lancaster
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John ‘Jack’ Irwin

The weather has remained cool and overcast which has enabled me to make good time on the flat terrain. I then come across the highlight of the walk, the beached ship The Duke of Lancaster. This was amongst the last passenger-only steamers built for British Railways in 1956. The ship had been there since 1979 and has quite an interesting history particularly surrounding how or what ‘she’ will be used for. The ship is covered with graffiti, some good, some bad. My favourite piece of artwork is a picture of the ship’s first captain, John ‘Jack’ Irwin. The ship is berthed at an old quay and is fenced off with barbed wire. The WCP skirts inland to the main road road to get around the quay.

On arriving at Mostyn Docks the path follows the main road which has a good footpath running alongside it. At Ffynnongroyw the A548 splits into a dual carriageway and I am directed off through the small village and eventually emerge at the A548 again which requires care in crossing both lanes. The path emerges at a sewage works and I cross the main railway line by means of a bridge. I am now amongst the overgrown roads of an old derelict industrial site, which sits next to a fully operational gas terminal.

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The Point of Ayr lighthouse

The path enters the Point of Ayr Nature Reserve which culminates in the road end at Talacre. I am suddenly surrounded by beach-goers who are enjoying the mid-afternoon sun. I round the Point of Ayr and pass the lighthouse. I am now heading into quite a stiff breeze, which will be head-on all the way to Prestatyn. I can also make out parts of the North Wales including a distant Great Orme. Prestatyn is also busy with holiday-makers and I quickly head up the main street to the station to catch the usually frequent train service back to Flint. However, not today as the train is delayed by 40 mins due to the knock-on effects of a tanker fire on the M56. I also get the double-whammy of huge congestion at Chester on my drive back on the A55. Walked about 18.5 miles in 5.5hrs.

Distance today = 18 miles
Total distance =   901.5 miles

 

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