Rhos to Kinmel Bay. Highs and lows.
That should really be ‘lows and highs’ as I started the day on the front at Colwyn Bay, all a bit drab with its disused pier, overwhelming concrete and lack of facilities. Very few people ventured onto the sands. A poster probably reflecting the fading past. There was however a stunning art work of metal figures.I must have switched off walking along the bay as I went past the inland diversion and had to retrace to find paths up ‘Fairy Glen’, a green corridor following a stream up through Old Colwyn. This gave a chance for a break as I passed the high street. Old style, no frills, Gillian’s Kitchen – coffee and toasted teacake for £1.70, long may these places survive. Back into the glen to climb higher. The next couple of hours passed in a different world in the hills around Llysfaen. I wandered through golf courses, untracked woodlands, village lanes with tiny cottages, open meadows and limestone escarpment. To be honest I felt lost most of the time, could have done with a 1:25,000 map, but I somehow stayed on the NWP as I kept coming across the infrequent waymarks. All the while there were views across the rolling countryside. Don’t think many people venture up here. I eventually returned to the coast through an arch of a public house, The Valentine, in Llanddulas. The inn sign gives the wrong impression as the pub is really named after Lewis Valentine [born in Llanddulas] one of the founding members of Plaid Cymru. Then it was back on the coastal walkway/cycleway for 5 miles. The start wasn’t so bad at Abergele, I even found a fairly civilised cafe for beans on toast and a pot of tea. But from then on it was a continuous line of drab caravan parks separated from the beach by the railway. The wind farms out at sea didn’t seem over-intrusive in these surroundings. The few people braving the beach were huddled out of the wind, an epitome of English seaside holiday. As were the passing families with beefburgers, candy floss and cans of beer. The obese amongst these seem to have devised a certain ‘waddle’ to progress, much in evidence. I’m sure I looked just as strange to them with my boots and walking poles. Nobody stopped to chat. From time to time screaming above the sound of pop music announced a mini fun fair. Having said all that there were always extensive views; back to the Ormes and forward to the hills dropping to Prestatyn, the end of the NWP.There were a few passing aspects to improve my mood… I’d had enough at Kinmel Bay and found my way through a new marina to the River Clwyd where I’ll start tomorrow. Reflecting now this was a quite a varied days walking.