Saturday, 30 July 2011


Flint → Prestatyn

wales-coast-path.png Distance: 16.1 miles
Ascent: 44 metres
Duration: 4 hours 49 minutes

Wales Coast Path
« Parkgate | Colwyn Bay »

I'm writing this entry from a picnic table outside the Promenade Bar of the Beaches Hotel, Prestatyn. There's a wedding reception here tonight, and I'm caught in the buffer zone between the boys in jeans to my left, and the girls in glamorous dresses to my right. Ahead of me is a wide beach which is slowly succumbing to the incoming tide. I was planning to stay until the sun set. There's some time to go yet, but think I'll be disappointed: after an exhausting, hot day, the sun tucked behind a cloud an hour ago and hasn't been seen since.


When previewing this section on the map, I anticipated a lot of time spent pounding the tarmac of the A548. But shortly after leaving Flint Castle, I was delighted to see a promising sign pointing towards the shore. "Coast Path", it read. Beyond lay a beautiful path: wide and nicely finished with a fine gravel surface. This was repeated north of Bagillt where once again I had expected road walking.


At Llannerch-y-môr the path is diverted away from the dockside where the former car ferry the Duke of Lancaster has stood grounded for the past thirty years, great tears of rust running down its peeling paintwork.

Wedding update: the boys have just left (the girls have shown no interest).

Those who've been following my journey for a long time might guess why I've been spending so much of this year in Wales. Five years ago the Welsh Assembly Government committed to creating an all Wales Coast Path, which they intended to open in 2012. There's been little news about whether or not they're still on track, but the new footpath along the southern bank of the Dee estuary is a good sign.

The girls have gone now. I think the cake is about to be cut.


I've been wary of late in stating my walking goals publicly since I rarely seem to fulfil them. But now it is time to come clean: I aim to complete the Welsh coast before the full path is open. This is why we returned to complete Anglesey and Llŷn, and why I got up at five o'clock this morning to take a train to Flint. After today I have approximately three days of walking left on the north coast and just a day and a half on the south. The end is in sight.

As for the wedding party, that celebration is far from over. The speeches are done and the disco's just begun.

Posted by pab at 19:32 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!