Post image for Wales Coast Path: Ffynnongroyw to Flint

Wales Coast Path: Ffynnongroyw to Flint

November 29, 2015 · 9 comments

Date walked: 16th August 2015

Map used: OS Explorer 265 – Clwydian Range

Distance: 14 miles

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Breakfast at the Linegar Inn was a mixture of self-service (from a very restricted range of cereals, no fresh fruit, no pastries and instant coffee) and a served-to-order cooked breakfast. The cooked bit was fine but not to have any marmalade was unforgivable!

The path continues alongside the busy A548 for about two miles. There was an “official” alternative route inland, which would have avoided this at the addition of about a mile; it was a longish day anyway, so I opted for the road.

The A548 near Ffynnongroyw, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Not looking so busy in this pic

It was pretty uninteresting couple of miles, although I thought the (ex) Mostyn Railway Station was quite jolly.

Mostyn Railway Station building, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

It closed in 1966

Having exhausted Mostyn‘s jollity, the path then leaves the road, crosses the railway line by a footbridge and takes a route alongside the estuary. Looking back I could see that the path had avoided Mostyn Dock and its associated works, which was something of a disappointment (really).

View to Mostyn Dock from the Wales Coast Path, photographed by Charles Hawes

Do read the link- the dock will come up in my last post of the walk

The next mile was uneventful; a couple of guys fishing enjoying the peace and relative quiet.

Fishermen on the Dee estuary near Mostyn, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Fishermen don’t like life too exciting

Then it got very interesting, as up ahead was a great big ship in a great big mess.

The Duke of Lancaster ship, Mostyn, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

This is a first!

The Duke of Lancaster was a passenger ship that operated in Europe between 1956 and 1979. The intention of the current owners was to transform it into a docked “fun ship”. Do read the link- its a great and continuing saga.

The Duke of Lancaster ship, Mostyn, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Kinda spooky, isn’t it?

 According to the (disputed) Wikipedia entry, the plan is to open it again as an art gallery and in 2012 and 2013 several mural artists were commissioned to decorate its exterior. Plans seems to have stalled at this point.

The Duke of Lancaster ship, Mostyn, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

And maybe beautiful?

I suspect that it will quietly rot away over the next few decades – or perhaps it will get salvaged and disappear.

The Duke of Lancaster ship, Mostyn, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

But certainly very weird

Whatever it’s future it made my day.

The Duke of Lancaster ship, Mostyn, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Perhaps everything might feel a little dull after this

The next couple of miles were fairly dull. On the roadside there were some industrial units.

Industrial units on A548, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

I seem to remember they were quite noisy

The estuary was mostly hidden by a sea-wall of large boulders….

Sea wall on Dee estuary, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

….many of which were quite attractive in their own right.

Sea wall on Dee estuary, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Rocks can always be interesting

The next point of interest was Greenfield dock, where a crouched figure carved in wood has been put on a tall post. The excellent leaflet I had picked up produced by Flintshire’s Countryside Service informed me that it is called “The Boy” and was made by Mike Owens.

Sculpture at Greenfield Dock, photographed from The Wales Coast Path b y Charles Hawes

I didn’t notice all the flies when I took the pic

There were a few little boats in the quiet dock that was once important port.

Greenfield Dock, photographed from The Wales Coast Path b y Charles Hawes

All a bit sleepy

 There wasn’t much traffic on the estuary – just a few tiny trawlers that were slowly phut phutting up and down.

Trawler on the Dee estuary, photographed from the Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Or possibly, chug chugging

Just after passing a recycling centre there was a mysterious channel into the estuary with no explanatory board, so I can’t enlighten you as to its origins.

Channel into the Dee estuary, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

All suggestions welcome

The next settlement I passed by – still separated from the coast by the road and railway line – was Bagillt. In the late C18th  Bagillt had become a centre of raw-mineral extraction and manufacture in North-East Wales. Hundreds of men laboured in 11 collieries that surrounded the village. Who’d have thought it?

The wide inlet of Station Gutter is what remains of the dock and quay that was used to ship materials out.

Station Gutter, Bagillt, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

Another example of the dramatic change that has taken place in the coast over the last two or three centuries

At its mouth a few fishermen were sorting out their little boats.

Fishing boats at Bagillt, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

After this hive of activity, the path returned to its more pastoral character, now on top of grassed over sea-defences.

The Wales Coast Path approaching Flint, photographed by Charles Hawes

A very pleasant stroll

Flint Marsh has been colonised by a birch wood, which made a brief change from the open scenery.

Ffynnongroyw to Flint-28

Approaching Flint the path meets another channel from the estuary that reaches into the town. This was Flint Dock.

Tidal channel on the Dee estuary at Flint, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

The path goes to the top of the dock and then skirts a wood and an industrial estate on the other side to reach the castle.

Flint Castle, photographed by Charles Hawes

I took this later; Flint Castle was the first of Edward I’s ring of castles around North Wales

Unsure of the location of The Ship Hotel, where I was staying, I put it into my phone and followed the directions though the industrial estate to the main street. It was a pretty dull street, but the hotel is a big place, so easy to find.

Ship Hotel, Flint, photographed from The Wales Coast Path by Charles Hawes

When I walked in I was assaulted by the noise of music playing in a near empty, but quite attractive and large bar. I could see that there were several decent pints on (Good) and no where to escape from the music (Bad). Checking in was a novelty. I had to provide a thumb print onto a scanner which my perfectly genial host explained would allow me (by a sensor plate) to access the upper floor. That’s a  first.

The room was pretty shabby, the carpet needed hoovering and the shower had mould in it and it wasn’t en-suite but I had been in worse on this trip. I couldn’t stand the idea of eating in the bar, though, so after showering and changing I wandered into the very dull town and had a take-way kebab. Nice.  Breakfast was not included for my £35 so I then popped into the Tesco Metro for some pastries for the morning and a big bar of chocolate to scoff in front of the telly. A day ending with chocolate is always a good day.

 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

John November 29, 2015 at 11:27 am

Wot! No marmalade? And no sheep either! Not surprised the Duke got you snapping away. I’ve seen it but, for some reason, keep forgetting it’s there so it’s always a surprise when it pops up. The BBC got inside a few years ago (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2rZWtX844w if you’re interested – also gives a different slant to the arguments with the local council). Looks like you had a lovely sunny, and mostly peaceful, day.

Reply

Charles November 29, 2015 at 2:31 pm

I was shocked! there were some sheep behind the geese! Thanks for the link.

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Anne Wareham November 29, 2015 at 12:55 pm

Text seems to have shrunk. Maybe the effect of galloping to the end….

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Charles November 29, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Oh. I can’t see any change in text size when I am looking at it.
xx

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Anne Wareham November 29, 2015 at 5:10 pm

I meant the amount! XX

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John November 29, 2015 at 5:45 pm

Well there were no caravan parks to moan about. Nor any sign of an ice-cream van. And the photos did the talking (I’ve run out of superlatives). And we have to wait till next week to find out if you were there to meet him at the beginning!

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Paul Steer November 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm

I like the boy with flies

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John Rowley December 27, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Excellent blog.
Backs up what many people say. The Duke of Lancaster ship and Llanerch y mor dock were an Oasis in a desert of Chemical plants, Industrial units, Recycling yards, Incinerators and Sewage beds until the Council poisoned the waters.

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Charles December 27, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Thanks for the comment John. Walking through places one has little idea of what controversies surrounds places. There’s clearly a lot here.

Reply

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