58. Chester to Flint

My first day on walking the official  Wales Coast Path, although I had completed the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and other sections prior  to this some time ago. Although I had still one final section to walk on the SWCP, I decided to take advantage of the nearest section of the WCP to my home. I had decided to walk the WCP from North to South, purely based on convenience i.e. the northern section being closer to home.

The Shropshire Union Canal in Chester

Although the WCP does not start until the Welsh border is crossed I decided to start my walk in Chester, just across the border. To do this I first drove to and parked in the small Welsh town of Flint, just off the A55. I then caught one of the frequent trains into Chester.

Entering Wales and the start of the Wales Coast Path

It was lovely and warm, but slightly overcast as I emerged at a very busy Chester station. I walk about 300m and locate the Shropshire Union canal which runs through the centre of Chester. Although I am not a big fan of Canal walking, this walk is interesting with bends and plenty to see. The canal emerges at a large junction, with other canals joining and a set of locks which enable access to the River Dee.

The old swingbridge at Queensferry

I walk down a small side street and through a small play area. I emerge onto the banks of the River Dee. Here, there is an excellent cycle path and the river has become channelized and is very straight. I pass close to football ground at Chester and arrive at a slight bend in the river at the Welsh border. There are various indicators for the start of the WCP and I set off along a very long and straight section of the River Dee, almost 5 miles of it. It is quite strange to walk along something so straight and level.

The old wharf at Connahs Quay

I eventually arrive and pass under the newly busy A494 , the almost immediately the blue coloured the old swing bridge at Queensferry, where I cross over the busy  bridge and onto the opposite bank. This side of the bank, is no longer tarmac, but hard-core and grass. I soon come to the short, but old wharf at Connah’s Quay. The river has no begun to open out, with the large steelworks across the river dominating the views as well as the Power station which lies ahead.

The futuristic Flintshire Bridge – the largest asymmetric cable-stayed bridge in the country, but obscured by power lines from the local power station

The path makes a slight detour inland to pass the Connahs Quay power station. Unfortunately, the signage seems to disappear and I do not see anymore signs until I reach the outskirts of Flint. Here I am directed off the busy A548 and down towards the shoreline, which is some distance away from the river. I emerge in a car park just by the ruins of Flint castle. 4 hours for the 15 miles.

Distance today = 11 miles
Total distance =  862 miles




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