Distance: 23 miles
Max Altitude: 22 m
Min Altitude: 1 m
Height Gain: 254 m
Height Loss: 252 m
We had been fortunate overnight in camp. Only a few light showers but mostly dry. After saying goodbye it was time to bid farewell to Eli. I was very sad to see her go.
After taking a dose of Vitamin I (ibuprofen) for my leg, I got back on the Wales Coast Path next to the Dee at Shotton. The path was flat as far as I could see so I thought I could get some decent mileage under my feet if the weather held.
Tata steel works and Connah’s Quay Power Station dominated the skyline in front. Power lines and pylons zigzagged above.
The flat walking meant that I made it to Flint in what felt like next to no time. Unlike the Offa’s Dyke Path where my progress was slowed by the relentless hills, here I was seeing the kilometres just fall away, and that encouraged me on.
I decided to leave seeing the castle for another day in order to press on. The path entered the Flint Foreshore after that. I was walking right next to the sea, sometimes on marshland. The sun beamed down upon me.
I soon came towards the first and only mini hill of the trail section I was on, near Bagillt. There were impressive views out towards the Wirral and back to Flint but even better, a huge dragon fire beacon.
The information board told me it had been placed there by the community in 2012 to commemorate the opening of the Wales Coast Path, following the regeneration of this particular bit of the coast at Bettisfield.
If I was impressed by the dragon, I was even more impressed by the sight that next lay ahead near Llanerch-y-Mor – a rusty ship covered in street art sitting aground named The Duke of Lancaster.
Its decaying exterior has been transformed by renowned graffiti artists. If I could have gone inside to explore I would have but I was on private land.
After walking past a gas terminal at the Point-of-Ayr, the next stop was Talacre, where I couldn’t resist taking this self-portrait. Sorry.
Nearby was a decommissioned lighthouse, which was built way back in 1776. It sorely needs a lick of paint. I googled it and discovered that it had featured in a Dulux commercial a few years ago. I’d say it’s high time for them to return.
With the pain in my feet now breaking beyond the capabilities of my vitamin I, I trudged past the manicured yet soulless Presthaven Sands resort and over the Gronant Dunes.
I was soon at my intended finish point for the day – the Nova Centre in Prestatyn, also the end of the Offa’s Dyke Path. I had reached this very point in a state of euphoria just a few days ago. I sat and watched the sunset for a while and contemplated my journey so far.
My (often inaccurate) GPS app was telling me that I had walked almost 21 miles but I suspected it was farther. So I checked the distance tables on the Wales Coast Path website to discover that I had covered a fantastic 23 miles from Shotton to Prestatyn! Feeling chuffed with my longest Walking Wales distance yet, I headed towards camp for the night, with a grin that didn’t leave my face until I fell asleep.