The final day! I stayed at LLetyr Eos Ucha, a small B & B outside Bodfari. Very nice stay, half way up the hill out of Bodfari, there were good views from my beroom window to the south.
The weather forecast was not good and it was raining when I woke up. By the time I set off the cloud was breaking up and the sun was trying to shine through. I thought that today would be an anticlimax after the moorland ridge I walked along yesterday. I was reassured by the couple staying at the B & B that it was an interesting days walk and indeed it was. I was mainly walking through farmland but there were still some hills to cross with good views.
I set off steeply up a field to reach a lane at the halmet of Sodom. There were good views of Snowdonia to the west and, further north, I could see the sea. I followed a road uphill past the wood of Sodom Culvert before turning off to a path through fields that crossed the shoulder of Cefyn Du. Here I could see the limestone spire of the marble church at Boddelwyddan glinting in the sunlight.
There were workers on the path with strimmers trimming back the bracken. The cloud continued to lift and I could soon see Prestatyn in the distance as well at wind farms out in the Irish Sea.
The path continued to undulate and I could hear traffic on the A55, the main road between Merseyside and Anglesey well before I could see it. The cloud lifted a bit as I crossed the shoulder of Moel Maenfa and I could see the Snowdon range to the West. I crossed the road on a footbridge and followed a lane to the village of Rualt.
After walking through the village I took a path that climbed steeply alongside a wood and then across fields over the shoulder of Mynydd y Cwm. As the path started to descend there was a father and son dismantling their tent. They were walking Offa’s Dyke and then, after a short rest, were heading on the coast path around west Wales back to Chepstow, an extra 1000 miles. They had minimal kit. It looked like they were sleeping in a festival tent that was held together by safety pins. They were the complete opposite to me, no planning, they would just walk until they were tired and then pitch the tent. If they passed somewhere that sold food they would have a hot meal otherwise dinner was cereal bars.
I left them to pack up and continued to a road. I crossed more fields and then ascended over the shoulder of Marian Ffrith. Here I could clearly see the sea and the offshore wind farms.
The path continued through farmland and over another low hill. I descended into the Fyddion valley at the site of the Felin Fawr flour mill, the old axle of the waterwheel still visible..
A mill was recorded here in the Domesday book. In the 19th century there were seven mills in this valley using water power for the production of flour or cloth.
As I crossed a road to head towards Craig Fawr, the most northerly hill of the Clywdian range Jonathan caught up with me. We walked for a short distance before he went ahead at the start of the final, steep, climb up on to the Prestatyn cliffs. There were good views over the Irish sea and Snowdonia and the Great Orme could be seen to the west.
Prestatyn is a modern town and the sight of a Tesco superstore and an M & S were perhaps a mundane end to the walk. I descended from the cliffs into a residential part of Prestatyn before heading down the main street to the monument marking the end of the walk and a celebratory raspberry ripple and white chocolate ice cream.
This was a good, enjoyable, walk. There were some really good ridge walks over high ground with spectacular views. The paths were not busy so I never felt I was on a route march. I enjoyed the woodland sections as, usually, they were natural forests with a good diversity of plant life rather than the sterile conifer plantations. There was quite a lot of farmland. This made life difficult for me as my knee got more painful and difficult to bend as I went along so stiles became a bit of an ordeal. Sales of ibuprofen soared! The B and B and pubs I stayed in were very nice. There was usually somewhere to buy food at the start of each day’s walk but the borders are sparsely populated and places to get lunch en route were the exception rather than the rule.
I did the walk because I had never visited the Welsh borders and I was not disappointed. Part of the reason was as a training exercise before tackling the Haute Route later in the summer, I had already been to Scotland in May and was planning another short trip in July. However, just before I started Offa’s Dyke I twisted my knee and walking 177 miles on an injury was not a good idea. Investigations showed OA and a PCL strain which has taken about 6 weeks to settle down and, as yet, I have not tested the knee on the hill since I returned from Prestatyn.