Yesterday I finished the walk, arriving at Prestatyn, a holiday town on the Irish Sea.
The weather during the second half of the walk was wonderful—no rain, warm, every day a mix of sun and cloud. Ironically, this morning walking to the station for the train to Manchester the weather was cold with low cloud and drizzle. Perhaps the gods wanted to make sure I understood how generous they had been.
Like the first half, the days were varied. A large part was walking in fields with endless gates to open and shut, stiles to climb and farm animals who always listened to whatever I had to say. I was growing a bored with the fields by the end of the first half of the walk, but in the second half I discovered that I enjoyed the open space and the simple routine of entering each new field, trying to discover where the gate to the next field was located and seeing how this new flock of sheep or herd of cows would respond to me.
It wasn’t all fields. There were days high in heather hills, forests (actually tree farms, all the old growth has been cut), canals, and a day with a long stretch across a scree slope beneath rocky cliffs.
A couple of days I walked with Rob, an English hiker, but he was doing the walk in a day less than me; we eventually parted when he had a longer stage. I missed his company but I also enjoyed solitude.
The walk went by quickly. It is different from the alpine and pilgrimage walks I’ve done, and took a few days to appreciate, but it is one of the best.
Photo gallery, no photos featuring cows or sheep…
Trees and a hiker on the dyke
Lime kiln from the 1800s in Llanymynech
Recreational canal boats
Aqueduct carrying the canal 40 m above a river
Narrow towpath and canal on the aqueduct. The towpath is part of the walk.
Path across a scree slope
Paved path across boggy area in heather
Path in the hills
Ancient burial mound atop a hill
Another gate and field ahead
Stile with a dog gate
A sculpture at the seaside in Prestatyn marking the end of the walk
Boots in the Irish Sea