A cool but sunny mid-week walk in October half-term. We parked at Barkby Beach, near Pontins, where the ticket machines were out of order, as they had been at the beginning of summer. The walk today was all tarmac or pavement, right along the promenade or embankment.
There were quite a number of people around – dog walkers, cyclists, a few families – as we walked along the embankment with a footpath and cycle path. We passed the start or end of the Offa’s Dyke Path, with this rather nice sculpture, which hadn’t been there all those years ago when we were last in Prestatyn to start that walk!
A short walk past a golf course, with caravans in the distance brought us to Rhyl Promenade. Rhyl is looking very run down. Even at half-term, with a good number of visitors about, many amusement arcades and cafes were shut. The Sun Centre closed down earlier this year, but we could still look in through the window. It doesn’t look any different than it did 20 odd years ago! We could also have booked tickets to see Ruth Madoc or Sue Pollard in a choice of panto … we kept walking!
At the far end of town is a new bridge across the harbour, only opened recently to accommodate the Coast Path and cycle route. The sculptures are of famous people from Rhyl …(I can name three famous Belgians!)
We had lunch on a bench overlooking the harbour which was quite pleasant although the sun went in and it got a bit chilly. We took a short detour round the headland to see the view, then continued on a tarmac path past endless caravan parks. Some did at least have grass and some space between caravans, but I do not see the attraction at all. A chatty man caught up with us and talked for a while about women’s rugby and maths! We left him at Abergele rail station with the intention of returning by train. However, it had only just gone 2 o’clock so we decided to carry on to Colwyn Bay.Past Abergele, the path runs virtually alongside the A55, which is a familiar route. It was rather interesting to walk and see it from a different perspective. Sometimes we were level with the road; other times we dropped down, but could still hear traffic noise. Apart from that, it had a pleasant feel to it, with bushes alongside the path and the sea on the other side. We were interested to see a flock of gulls floating near a set of posts as if they were waiting in turn for the tide to go out so they could sit on the posts as they were uncovered. There were quite a number of cormorants on the posts too. Llandulas was a nice spot with an inlet nestled under the dual carriageway. If there had been a station here, that would have been ideal. Instead it became a bit of a slog into Colwyn Bay. However, we did get a closer look at the jetty that takes stone from the quarry. There were people on it so it still is functional.
The path turned into promenade. On our map printed out from the Wales Coast Path website, this is marked as closed with an alternative inland route shown. However, it was all open. I wonder if the promenade had been repaired after last winter’s storms? Also there is a rather swish new marina building, so that could have necessitated some closures, I suppose. We walked up to the pier, arriving just before dusk, with lovely evening light across the bay. The pier is closed and nearly derelict (but looks like an interesting photographic subject!).
We turned off then, to the station, just a few hundred yards away. It was a pity that it was too dark on the way back to look out at the way we had come! We were both pretty tired – possibly because it was pretty level and repetitive walking. At least we’ve made it past all those caravans!!