At the weekend I was out walking with Crosby Rambling Club. Our destination was Prestatyn on the North Wales Coast. The area was new to us but we were able to take in sections of the Clwydian Way and Offa’s Dyke.
We started our walk from the centre of Prestatyn and followed the main street out of town to begin the steep climb to the open ground above the town.
Passing to the rear of some masts we followed the Clwydian Way towards the village of Trelawnyd.
High above the village we made a diversion to Gop Hill. The summit of the hill did not look natural and in fact is man made and one of the most important Bronze-Age mounds in the UK. There is evidence of a burial chamber and the site was built above a series of caves that were inhabited back to the ice age.
We stopped for lunch just below the summit and nearby there was a pile of stones and a plaque dedicated to Freyja.
Freyja was a Norse Goddess associated with love, sex , beauty, fertility, war and death. She rode a chariot pulled by two cats accompanied by a boar named Hildisvini. She possessed a cloak of falcon feathers and was the owner of the necklace Brisingamen. What was she doing in North Wales?
We next followed green lanes heading towards Dyserth and linking up with the Offa’s Dyke Path.
We paused at a ruined building which had once been a flour Mill with a huge mill wheel on the outside wall. We were in the Valley of the Mills.This valley once boomed to the thump of cloth mills and the whirring grate of the grindstones of the flour mill. Our mill was known as Felin Fawr or ‘Great Mill’.It was a flour mill powered by the waters of Ffynnon Asa. It was the largest of the seven mill wheels that worked between here and Dyserth in the late 19th century.
On the outskirts of Dyserth we climbed to the summit of Craig Fawr from where there were fine views across to Snowdonia and the North Wales coast from the Great Orme to the point of Ayr and to the off shore wind farms in the Irish Sea.
A steep descent led us down to a cycleway, the route of the disused railway line that led us back to Prestatyn.
I had plenty of time to enjoy a pint of Doom Bar before the coach journey back home.
Only just over nine miles but enough on these short winter days.