Date: Saturday, 24 May 2014
Walked from: Prestatyn, Wales
Walked to: Bodfari, Wales
Walked with: Annette
Distance: 13 miles
Stayed: Darley Cottage B&B
Weather: Mostly dry. Soggy last hour
Photos: Sustrans sign at the start of the route
After at least six years of thinking about walking the Offa’s Dyke path, today I finally started on the 14 day, 180 mile (give or take) journey along the Welsh and English border.
Considering the less than auspicious start to my journey yesterday (I KNOW trains to N Wales go from Euston. So what on earth made me head to Paddington initially instead?!?) the first day did not disappoint: it had bumpy bits with views, was very pretty and definitely worked the ‘verdant’ look that Wales is famed for. After popping into M&S (don’t think we’ll be seeing one of those again anytime soon) for lunch and an extra fleece for me we were on our way, quickly leaving the town behind. The first climb took us up the gorse covered Bryn Prestatyn Hillside, with views back over the sprawl of seaside town and the coast and into a series of lovely fields, tracks and country lanes – mainly accessed via stiles. Rumour has it there will be over 400 of the buggers to cross over the length of the trail. Don’t think that’s the kind of ‘getting their leg over’ most people seek out on holiday…
We didn’t pass through many places, but the ones we did had some good names, which we mainly couldn’t pronounce. Top marks go to Sodom in particular. Needless to say, there wasn’t a Gomorrah in sight!
The path isn’t likely to be quite the social whirl we experienced when we did the Coast to Coast last year, but at the pub tonight (The Downing Arms) we met a number of other guys who had all started the walk today so I think we may make some friends on Offa’s Dyke too! One of my favourite things about walking is being able to strike up random chats with strangers because, frankly, if you’ve gone the past five miles without seeing a human, it’s a bit odd if you don’t stop for a chat. Which was how the first couple we met heading to Prestatyn today asked us to pass on their email addresses to another couple they knew we would pass later on who they made friends with over the past few days. We did: job done 🙂
Next stop is an early night – tomorrow we tackle the Clwydian Hills…