Steps up a tree, but this is far a I'm going!
A tree house or a bird hide in the wood South of April Rise Farm.
Looking back down the path we should have taken and others did!
Snowdrops nearly out adjacent to Wat's Dyke Way.
A path junction on Wat's Dyke Way - our route is mthe one that descends to the footbridge over Nant-y-Fflint.
On the road bridge over the A55 from Plas-isaf to the Brittania Inn at Halkyn.
The Britannia Inn being refurbished.
Lunch time in the old cemetery at Halkyn.
Lunch time in the old cemetery at Halkyn.
rossing the A55 again, headi9ng for Snwodrop Hill and Halkyn Road.
The Cenotaph in Flint.
Flint Castle in the sunshine as we arrived back at the cars.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.3 miles Climb: 1320' (GPS wind assisted, probably more like 850').
Time: 4 hours 34 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Jim and David S.
A cold windy day with over 20 m.m.h gusts, temperatures feeling close to zero and showers in the morning all in the forecast, some of us were doubting the wisdom of even thinking about walking.
Thankfully we did as it was no where near as bad as the forecast. It felt pretty cold at first as we put our boots on and everyone put on full Winter gear, good gloves being essential.
We set off in warm sunshine and as we headed through the centre of Flint it felt quite warm as the building shielded us from any cooling caused by the wind.
After passing Flint Cemetery we headed up the access track to April Rise Farm, but just before getting there, we crossed a stile on the left to take a path through the wood parallel with the access track. I thought that in the past the path went through the middle of the Gorse, so that I headed that way, but I was wrong, I should have followed Michel who had the 1:50000 OS Map on his GPS. I kept to the higher ground, passing a tree that had wooden steps in it trunk. I can only assume that it was the farmer at April Rise farm making it easy for his children to climb it. Yes an indulgent father - we came across what looked like a superb tree house.
Thanks to mobile phones and the fact that we had signals helped us to soon reunite and be back on track.
Even the fields on this section weren't a muddy as we had anticipated, and it wasn't long before we were back on the road again heading for Nant-y-Fflint. A few hundred yards down the road, Michel realised that he had left his Leki behind, so he decided to retrace his steps as we waited. Thankfully it was near the last stile we had cross as we joined the road.
It wasn't until we were getting near to Wat's Dyke Way and Nant-y-Fflint that it clouded over and we felt our first few drops of rain, but a few drops was all we got.
Along the path through Nant-y-Fflint there was a bank with abundant Snowdrops just showing through and a few plants were not far from being in full flower. There will be a delightful show of Snowdrops here in a few weeks time.
After climbing out of the Nant-y-Fflint valley past Plas-isaf to the road, it was a chance for some of the group to cross the "Britannia" bridge over the A55 for the first time.
As we passed the Britannia Inn, we looked through the widows to see how the renovations were going on - I don't think we will recognise the Brit when it reopens in the middle of February.
It was still a little breezy, so we took shelter in the old cemetery at Halkyn to have lunch, and as has been the case for the last few walks a European robin decided to check us out.
Although marked as a road on the OS Map, much of the route to the Halkyn Road was really just a track, very pleasant at times.
After lunch was largely downhill, and it was except for a little climb on Halkyn Road as we approached Flint.
We arrived back at the cars in glorious sunshine, having had a really varied walk without being blown off our feet or ever feeling too cold. Now some of us were looking forward to refreshment at a nearby hostelry.
Birds seen or heard today included: Oystercatcher, Herring gull, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Raven, House sparrow, European robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Common chaffinch, Fieldfare, Woodpigeon, Grey wagtail and Bullfinch.
After wak drinks were enjoyed at the Wetherspoons Central Hotel in Shotton, where locally brewed Hafod's Hopper went down well.