Today’s walk was a gamble. As I sat munching my cereal, the hail was bouncing off the windows and the dark skies threatened more was to come.
There were two very different weather forecasts, one predicted hail, sleet and snow, however,  the other, more favourable forecast was clear skies for most of the day.
Every the optimist, I packed my sack full of waterproofs and warm clothing and headed out.

On the motorway the windscreen wipers struggled to clear the window quick enough,  I was starting to question my sanity…..

My luck did improve as I pulled in to the free car park off High Street in the centre of Caergwrle near Ye Olde Castle Inn.  It was only around 9:45 in the morning but I snuck in to the second to last parking space, it pays to get here early if you want a parking spot.
As I changed in to my boots the sun started to make an appearance….perhaps this was going to turn in to a decent day.

Leaving the car park through the  exit on to Bryn Yorkin, I took this road up to the top where it meets a footpath then took the route leading off to the right.
I somehow managed to come off the path but continued North West eventually rejoining the proper path and popping out from the wooded area on to a quiet, narrow road.

There are numerous paths around to avoid too much road walking but I continued on the road given that the alternative route crossed over water a couple of times, perhaps not ideal after all the recent bad weather and flooding.

Hawarden Airfield EGNRAt the T-Junction, I took a right and continued on to the path.
It was around this part of the walk I got some familiar views over towards Hawarden airport, home to Airbus If you strike it lucky, you may see the giant Beluga A300-600ST aircraft which often visits the wing producing factory.
As a pilot who trained out of Hawarden, this view toward the  approach to runway 04 brought back some very happy memories although the PAPI lights are a bit worrying there!

20160115_120542_HDRA thin layer of snow covered the track/bridleway and there was more snow on the ground as I headed towards Bryn-hyfryd and Top-y-Rhos farm.
I reached yet another road, taking a left for a short while then  another left  on to the path to Waun-y-Llyn Country Park
Waun-y-Llynn offers some great views over the Clwydian range, Flintshire and Cheshire, made even nicer with the dusting of snow.

Snowy scene Hope Mountain

Take path straight through to the car park (which could be another good starting point for this walk) then continue straight on up Mountain Road.
There were two possible footpaths to take to get off the road, both covered in a blanket of snow. The first took a diagonal route across what, in these conditions, looked like a featureless field. The second option followed along side a wall. The latter of those two made most scene navigation wise!

Bryn York Estate archery

Head left slightly at the road then cross over to the farm. Again, the snow made it difficult to see the footpath and the fence erected straight along the route didn’t help matters. Luckily it was low enough to step over
At the end of the field take a right on the road then on to the path to  Bryn York Estate which  hosts a number of activities.
You’ll probably spot the signs up for their archery and pass through the estate’s organic orchard.
After exiting the orchard, cross over the road and  continue on the paths back down to Caergwrle.

20160115_132006_HDRTo add a few extra miles on, I took a wander up to Caergwrle castle.
Built in 1227, quite a bit of the structure still remains and some features, such as the old bread oven and well are still visible.
Nice place to finish off the flask of coffee!

This walk is just over 6 miles/10km in total and the route can be downloaded in gpx format from View Ranger….and, apologies for the ‘interesting’ shape of this route!

Route from Caergwle car park

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