After a tip-off from my friend Ed (now in Finland, good luck!) about interesting day trips on the North Wales coast, I finally headed off last week to Colwyn Bay with the intention of walking along the coast back to the seaside town of Rhyl. Actually this wasn't one of the routes that Ed had suggested - but I guessed it should be possible as I'd cycled from Prestatyn to Colwyn Bay and back about 9 years ago with some friends on a sponsored bike ride (I still remember my soup at Colwyn Bay on that trip).
I didn't really spend any time in Colwyn itself, instead I headed to the Victoria Pier which I remembered from years before. It's in a bit of a sad state now though, from years of neglect and vandalism - although it doesn't look so bad from a distance in my pictures:
Kyle kindly emailed me a link to the Wikipedia entry at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victoria_Pier, which tells the rather story of the pier's slow decline over the last 50 years or so. It also looked like a new leisure complex was being built nearby while I sat and had a cup of tea there.
Heading eastwards much of the route is sandwiched between the coast and either the railway or the A55 road, and aside from occasional further dereliction (abandoned mine workings, water tanks and sea platforms) there isn't really a lot to see between Colwyn Bay and Abegele. But I liked the solitude, and was fascinated by mile upon mile of the coastal defences made from dolosse - hundreds (or more likely tens of thousands) of large concrete blocks piled up along the coast line like over-sized children's toys:
After 6 miles I finally reached the beach at Abergele and Pensarn, where there are holiday caravans, families on the beach, and fish and chips. (Apparently there's also a reef but it was high tide when I arrived). After toying with the idea of getting the train from the nearby station I decided to carry on to the next town, which I'm still not sure was the best idea - my feet were feeling pretty sore 4 miles later as I reached the seafront at Rhyl. But it was a memorable sight, and there was ice cream:
I didn't spend much time in Rhyl, which was perhaps a shame as it looked like a nice place to have a bit of a wander around. But it was a great day out, and as one of Ed's suggestions was to walk from Prestatyn to Rhyl, maybe I'll try that next time - though I need to let my feet recover a little first.