Black Pudding Gaiters

Hiking, travelling, gear



Manchester Runway Trail

Today’s walk was something a little different, rather than majestic mountain ranges and vast vistas, the views would be of aircraft….lots of aircraft.

At 9.30am, I parked up in the Styal country park/Quarry bank mill car park. According to the website the car parking charges are £5*, however, when I arrived the booth was unmanned and I parked for free.

After a quick scout round in case there was a Pay and Display machine hidden away, I left  the car park the same way I drove in then, taking  a road to my left, headed North, with the Quarry Bank Apprentice House to the left.
IMG_1861I spent a little bit of time looking around this part of Styal which was built  in the late 1700s by  Samuel Greg for those working at his mill.

After passing the two churches,  I headed in to Styal Woods and on to  the North Cheshire Way.
I later discovered the North Cheshire Way is a Long Distance Path (71 miles) starting near my home in Wirral, past the airport and on to Disley Station in the Peak District. Might be one to complete in the future!

This part of the route is a pleasant woodland walk following and occasionally crossing the River Bollin. There is a fairly steep climb up the steps to cross the river at Giant’s Castle Bridge.
Emerging from the trees, passing a field of cows, I could here the distinctive noise of a couple of jet engines powering up. Up until now, it was difficult to visualise a large, international airport was just the other side of the trees.

I must admit my aviation nerdyness got the better of me and I did leave the path, waking up a grassy embankment to take a look over  Runway 2 05R/23L.  Unfortunately all aircraft movement was on the far runway, Runway 1, 05L/23R but I still got some great views of the departing aircraft (unfortunately, arriving aircraft were just a bit too far away).
Virgin 747 take off

Returning to the North Cheshire Way, I continued until I reached a roundabout.
To the right is a dual carriage way passing underneath the runway, however, the route continues almost straight across this fairly busy road.

Manchester Airport
The raised grass section just off the road looks over towards the airport and is a good spot for photos.
Continuing along part of the walk allows you to  get right up close to the runway, albeit from the other side of a high metal fence.
The path passes around one of the airport’s fire station and follows along the entire length of the runway.

I left the North Cheshire Way at the end of the runway, taking a right to towards the landing lights. Manchester airport landing lights

The path swings round to the opposite side of the runway. There are no views of the runway on this part of the walk but you do have departing aircraft fying just a few feet over head at the location marked ‘1’ on my  route map

The path  joins a quiet road which continues in the direction of the runway before crossing the River Bollin. I took a  right,  following the river through the tunnel , beneath the runway.
This brought me out near the fire station and I retraced my steps back towards the roundabout on the main road, however, rather than return following the river  I stayed closer to the perimeter fence, climbing an embankment to look right across the airport.


The runway path stopped at Altrincham Road which I followed in to Styal, a picturesque village with thatched cottages and cosy pubs.
After taking a right on to Styal Road, I took the footpath at the end of Holts Lane back to Quarry Bank Mill.

The GPX file for this 9.5 mile/15km walk is available to download


* Prices August 2016

Back to Bled

Saturday 4th June
For the first in a long while, I was flying out to my holiday destination at a decent time, I didn’t have to leave my house until 10 am. The traffic  flowed freely and I arrived at Manchester airport before check in opened.  It was interesting to see how many pairs of  shiny new walking boots I saw  in the check in queue, perhaps new to walking? During the course of the week it became worryingly obvious how little experience and knowledge of the outdoors some people have.

Adria airways view from window This would be my seventh time  to Slovenia. The first visit was when the former Yugoslavian country was still outside the EU and my old passport has a few Brnik stamps.
I was now returning to the area where my love for the country first started, Lake Bled.

So what’s changed?
Well flight wise, a lot. Slovenia’s national carrier,  Adria Airways  still have the traditional check in at Manchester i.e. no online check-in (although it is slowly being rolled out) The only seat choice you get is aisle or window.
I was sat by the window on seat 9A on the Airbus A319. The place between me and the aisle seat was free which allowed me to spread out a little.
Gone are the days of the free meal and drinks, the only free beverage now is water although various drinks and snacks were available to buy.
The airline’s ‘OnAir’ service is good. Connect with the WiFi on your phone or tablet to play games, read magazine articles, play games or chat with other passengers. The aviation section  of the magazine is a particularly interesting read and, when the views were lost beneath clouds, the 2048 game passed the time.
It was a nice flight with a smooth landing.
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is small enough to allow you to pass through quickly and, once outside, a number of shuttle buses to Lake Bled were parked up. .Despite the terrible weather forecast, we saw blue skies when we landed and remained as I made my way to the Hotel Jelovica in Bled.

Balcony view hotel Jelovica Bled Slovenia
Balcony view

I was told at check-in that the hotel has no single rooms so I was given a good sized double room (369) with views of the church and castle. As with most hotels in Europe, there are no drink making facilities in the room, but there is a vending machine on the second floor filled with soft drinks and a few snacks.

Dinner is an all you can eat buffet which included free drinks; wine, beer, water or pop. As I entered the restaurant,  I gave my room number and was shown to my table for the week then just got up and helped myself.
My meal started with the Slovenian staple, thin beef soup with noodles. The salad came with a choice of dressing (I went for pumpkin oil), then it was steak  in a porcini sauce with duchess potatoes. There was also an impressive array of deserts which were very popular with those with a sweeter tooth than I!

I took a leisurely  wander to the lake after dinner, returning to room at 9.30 pm  for a drink and early night. Luckily, the church which was a few feet from my balcony turns the bells off at night, however, the ringing starts again at around 6.

Sunday 5th June
Woke fairly early after a decent sleep.
After breakfast, I took a stroll to the shopping centre by Hotel Golf.
Bled hasn’t changed much over the years but the supermarket opening times certainly have! Gone are the days of the Mercator closing Saturday afternoon and staying shut until Monday morning. Supermarket wine
One supermarket just up the road from my hotel on Presernova Cesta is open 7am – 9pm Monday to Saturday and 8am – 5pm Sundays & holidays. It even has a 24 hour vending machine offering drinks, sweets, ham, cheese and sandwiches.  I think this shop also has draft wine for you to fill your own bottles, I’m not 100% sure of this but have seen something similar in Pescasseroli, Italy.

The shopping centre contains a few bars and restaurants, the supermarket, pharmacy, clothes shops and the tourist information office.
Shopping in Slovenia is cheap – although compared to England almost everywhere is!  50p buys a half litre of Cola, 40p for a can.  80p gets a half litre bottle of beer.
Not that you go to Bled for the shopping!

After stocking up on a few drinks for the walk and for the room afterwards, I headed to the lake.
It was 9.15am and still reasonably quiet as I walked along the path on the ‘road side’ of the lake. It’s worth doing the lake walk early as it can get busy later in the day.

The 88 StepsNot far from the bottom end of the lake, there are three paths all heading to Osojnica, I took the third option.
Here came the start of the climb.
Although the path was through woodland and it was still early in the day, the temperature was already quite warm and humid.  I was glad of the drinks in my rucksack!

At one point there are 88 steps to ascend and some climbing, assisted with an iron rope and footholds but the views from the top are amazing!
Staza Hill dominates the right hand side of the lake with Bled directly ahead and Mlino on the right. I could also make out the mountains of the Karavanke range which mark the border with Austria.

Views over lake Bled

I continued on route 6 to Velika Osojnica. My map implied that once I got there I would need to retrace my steps a bit. The lack of markings past the view seemed to confirm that.
chamoisTo be honest, there are better,  unobstructed views along the walk but it’s another peak ticked off (756 metres) I returned to the junction of paths and continued straight on, passing some local wild life!

The path descends through woodland back to the Lake. I carried on around the lake until reaching a path to Visce. The route around the lake was getting busy and I was keen to get off the beaten track again.  (Continuing around the lake would make the walk five half miles in total)

SnakeIt didn’t take long to loose the crowds…. and come across  a snake doing battle with a frog!
Both went their separate ways when the sensed me coming, much to the frog’s relief! The masses on the lake path would probably have no idea of the types of wildlife just a few metres away.

I zig zagged around, passing the monument to Adolf Muhr, a merchant who once owned Bled castle.
The path eventually came out near the castle and from there I returned to the hotel to plan the next route.
This walk  was 7.45 miles/12km in total (starting and finishing at Hotel Jelovica)  and can be downloaded from the ViewRanger website

Given that it was early afternoon and the sun was still shining, I headed out again. I followed the single track roads through some villages to the South East of Bled.
It doesn’t take long to leave the centre of Bled and begin walking alongside fields with views of the mountains beyond.


This route took in the villages of Koritno, Bodešče and the larger village of Ribno.
Although I was  walking, I imagine it would make a nice bike ride which can be easily extended to include other villages.
I was walking mostly on roads but they are so quiet that it  never caused a problem. I also find the drivers in Slovenia to be extremely patient with walkers and cyclists.
This 5.8mile/9.44km route is available to download.

Dinner tonight was  tomato soup, salad, garlicky cray tails, venison ragu with 3 grains and mixed vegetables. Once again, very nice!

After dinner, at around 9pm I got my head torch and went for a walk round the lake. Initially I wondered if this was the best idea, lots of midges flying around but (unusually) none bothered me (perhaps it was the garlic) so I continued on for around  four miles.
Most of the path has some street lighting but it’s well worth taking a torch as it can get very dark in places particularly on the wooden walk way on the side furthest from town. It’s also worth taking a tripod, there are some lovely photo opportunities.

Lake Bled at night

This brings me on to something else, safety.
Despite being a female travelling alone, I am sometimes a little blasé  especially in Slovenia. I didn’t think twice about a night walk, however,  Slovenia is a very safe country, the World’s  10th safest in 2016 . Yes, there is a small amount of petty crime in the larger cities but the risks can be reduced by taking the usual common sense precautions.

Back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep….another walk planned for tomorrow!
Part 2 >>

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Getting lost, getting wet

Monday 6th June
I started the day early with cheese and tomato sandwich, fruit salad and fresh orange juice (oddly, the fresh juice was only available this one morning).
I took a stroll  to the tourist information office in the centre of town to pick up a walking map for €7. My current map only covered a small part of Bled and it was also showing signs of its age.
Back to the room to change in to my walking gear then I headed out towards the picturesque village of Ribno.

At the southern end of Ribno , I crossed the bridge before taking a right on to route 11. It was a bit of a climb up through the woods and it wasn’t always clearly marked but I just kept heading up!

SignpostThe path came out on to a track. A right takes you to the mountain hut Lovska koca Talez , a number of signs in the woods pointed to it earlier. I gave this a miss and instead went to the left then  a right on to what was supposed to be a marked route to Babji zob.
It was a pleasant walk, passing meadows on the gravelly track. A wooden sign confirmed I was heading in the right direction… but, could I spot the path?!
I continued to the end of the road with out seeing anything remotely path like. Not to worry according to the map, there were potential routes at the end of the road…..nope….
I retraced my steps to the point the GPS claimed the path was. I headed upwards. I knew there would be a climb  but  this was steeper than expected, then this ‘path’ stopped in a clearing.
Once again, I retraced my steps, returning to the point where the stream crossed the road, an obvious feature marked on both my paper and GPS maps. I measured the distance between this point and the required path then paced it out. Still no luck!
Returning to the wooden sign didn’t help so decided to give up  and hastily drew up ‘plan B’.

Heading  back to the hut junction on the track,  I pondered about heading towards it for the view but decided to press on, something I would later be very grateful for.

Get wet!I took the track heading East, slowly working my way down hill through the trees, then came the rain.
Just a few spots at first then a torrential down pour.
Out came the water proof pants and jacket. The nifty built in rain cover went over the Lowe Alpine sack.
Both me and my kit was protected from the elements but it didn’t make for pleasant walking.

By the time I reached Konica the rain had almost stopped. I left the track, taking a minor road to the left.
There was a bus stop on the main road where I packed away the water proofs, refolded the map and plotted where to go next.
It was still early afternoon and the sun was making another appearance.
I pressed on to the church Sv Lambert and into Lancovo, crossing over the river  continuing in the direction the picturesque, medieval town of Radovljica.

 Radovljica. Slovenia Radovljica has the largest number of sunny days in the Gorenjska region and sure enough, the rain had stopped and there was a little bit of blue sky around.
Radovljica streetsAfter wandering around town, under some buildings which once formed the moat and passing houses dating from 15th and 16th century, I went out towards the airfield – I couldn’t resist it!

Wandering past the large garden centre on the outskirts of town, I joined the cycle path alongside the A2/E61 road. I stopped to  watch a light aircraft doing a few circuits with the majestic  mountains behind. It reminded my of a fantastic holiday I took here a few years ago. I hired an aircraft from the Adria’s flight centre and piloted myself from Ljubljana to Bovec, unforgettable! It’s funny though, wherever you fly int the world,  the pilot always wants a cuppa.  As soon as I landed  the owner of the airfield at Bovec comes out with a mug of coffee.

Lesce Bled AirfieldGetting back to my walk…I took a left at Letaliska Ulica, following the signs to the airfield, peeping over to glimpse,  the control tower, hangers and runways.

Returning back through the town of Lesce (a settlement dating back as far as 1004!), I took the cycle route to Bled. At one point the track ends and it’s not too clear that you need to take a quieter road running parallel to the main road.
By now the clouds had darkened and there were a few rumblings of thunder. Despite walking almost 18 miles toady,  I some how found the energy to do the last stretch very quickly! Just as I got to the hotel the heavens opened with some of the heaviest rain I’ve seen!
The rest of the evening was spent in the hotel.

A 14.25 mile/22.9 km version of this walk without the ‘getting lost’ parts is available for download.

Part 3 >>


I have visited Austria on a few occasions. I was only 5 or 6 years old when I spent a week in Kitzbühel in the Tyrol region.
Other visits have been day trips, once to Salzburg taking the bus from Germany and on other occasions, wandering over it’s border with Slovenia. I returned for a ‘proper’ holiday in 2014.

Red Bull Air Race Matt HallAs a pilot, I love anything aviation which makes a great excuse for travel.
I have visited the Air and Space museum  in Washington DC and  decided the Air Show was a good reason for traveling to Singapore, however, most of my miles have been racked up watching the Red Bull Air Race.

I’ve followed the RBAR around many countries, including some places I’d never dream of going to otherwise, such as Detroit and Rotterdam.
In 2014, the RBAR was visiting Spielberg in Austria….cue another  holiday!

22nd October 2014  
I arrived at Manchester airport after a long drive following an accident on M56 and checked in to the flight for Munich.
The earlier flight in to Manchester was late arriving which  probably explained our speedy one hour thirty flight time. Despite this quick flight, I had very little time in Munich before boarding the  Embraer e195 for the short flight to Vienna.  The weather here wasn’t great, rainy and a 25 knot wind gusting 45, luckily straight down runway rather than across!

At Vienna airport, it’s a short walk to the station for the CAT train in to the city centre.

My hotel Ruby Sofie, was  five minutes walk from station.  From the CAT station turn right to Marxergasse, the hotel is on the left after the Magic shop.
In room amp
My room, 528, was an odd shape. There was a sink by door, a desk at end of corridor and the bed was round a corner. I think this odd design may be due to an emergency exit being behind my room. Not having another guest room next door meant I could put tunes through the provided Marshall amp at decent level (-:
Yes, an amp in the room to plug your phone/tablet in. You could even hire a guitar from reception! The hotel also provides a Samsung tablet  in the rooms. This contained hotel information, radio and some games.

The  bed was very comfy and the gap between the inner and outer windows made for a great fridge!
One strange design feature was the glass wall separating the bathroom from the main living area. Luckily I was travelling alone!

VIENNAAfter unpacking, I took a walk around town. It was night time and very wet, not the best way to see a city but I managed to tick off St Stephen’s cathedral, the Imperial Palace and the Opera House.

Decided on a trashy meal from Spar which could be stretched out  for breakfast the next day (the hotel was room only.) I wasn’t going to be trudging round in the rain looking for a meal!

It would be unfair to comment much on Vienna,  I can only recommend the fantastic rail system and the hotel I stayed at. Just a few hours on a dark, wet October night is not the best way to see Vienna.

 23rd October
I’d already booked my trains online and the journey was to be made on specific trains with reserved seats, always the best option when you have luggage to carry.
The first train got in late so it was a dash to find the platform, got there with seconds to spare.
I had window seat next to luggage rack and I was glad of this spot as the train soon got high in to the hills, offering some great views.
The Railjet train included a small cinema showing kid’s cartoons and each carriage had moving maps showing the time to the next stop, very useful when you don’t really know where you are.

DSC03529We arrived in to Leoben just after mid day. It was a short walk from the town’s only station to the Falkensteiner hotel.
Luckily, despite my early arrival, the room was ready for me. The good sized Asian themed room had a balcony overlooking a park and river.
Like the other hotel, there was a window between the shower and bedroom this must be an Austrian thing!

As I mentioned earlier, the RBAR is a great way to visit towns and cities which would not otherwise be on the holiday radar.
Leoben is one such place, predominantly a University town and also the industrial centre of the area, but, for me, it was the ideal location, close enough to Spielberg to attend both race days (needless to say, closer towns got booked up quickly),  available  a good price and a few options for walks on the non-race days.

View to LeobenAfter a quick coffee from the room’s Tchibo pod machine, I walked round grounds then headed North, over the river following it down to Winkelfeld Strasse then East on Schiessstat Strasse, dropping down to cross the river at Pionierweg.  At the end of the road, near the Aldi, I walked  South towards Karntner Strasse, crossing over to continue South until the  road ended and the path into the woods began.
Initially I continued South to the first junction of paths. Here I went North then followed the path round to the West eventually reaching the remains of the 13th century castle at Massenburg,  The view point which offers great view of town and the large Gosser brewery.
I headed back down, zig zagging around town, ending up in Leoben City Shopping mall.
As with my other walks, the GPX file of this route is available to download

After a quick shower, I headed down to dinner. Normally, when I travel alone, I don’t like too much fuss at meal times but there weren’t too many options and to be fair, they didn’t turn a hair at me turning up in jeans and trainers and I wasn’t made to feel uneasy despite being the only lone diner in the room.
To give an idea of the quality of food; the starter was salmon mouse (cue Monty Python quotes) with corn relish and bean sprouts. Next up was curry foam soup.
Main course was turkey stroganoff with spätzle (a sort of small egg noodle) and leeks.
Dessert was semolina with sweet pesto and mixed fresh tropical fruit.
Nice and surprisingly filling but if that wasn’t enough there was also a bread and salad buffet.

The post meal walk was just around town, lots of other people seemed to have the same idea, wandering going nowhere. Not much around apart from student garage bar

24th October
Fantastic spread at breakfast, Salmon, roll mop herring, freshly baked bread, salad and cold meats with tabasco….for starters!

Discovered that you only get two free pods for the coffee machine and I used both on the first day….
Ho hum stocked up on pop and bottles of water before heading off on a days walk.

Path 605 to Schollinger

Leaving the hotel, I went towards the train station then  South down Zetenschlag Strasse, continuing at the traffic light junction on to Mautgasse before taking a right on to  Kamtner Strasse.
After crossing the railway, it’s then a right on to Kerpey Strasse for about 100m where a left takes you on to Am Galgenberg. The footpath is on the left a short distance down this road heading South West. I followed the power lines to the junction with Rappoldweg, taking the left hand path.
Continue on this route at its junction with the nature path, passing a tiny church.

Some great views over to the mountains.

I kept on the path heading West, taking the right  near the group of buildings coming out of Neiderunweg then a left left headed West in to Schollinger.
I  stayed on the road as it turns to head North up to the junction where a left leads to  Tanzbergweg.
Turning right at the next junction,  I eventually reached St Peter Freinstrein passing through the village before taking a right near the fire station on Schulstrasse.
Near the railway line, head South on the footpath then continue on the roads parallel to the railway line towards the industrial area. SkullThe steel works here apparently are Europe’s biggest producer of rails (as in train tracks)  I also passed a large area owned by Colas, presumably used for storage .Various items there including a  giant skull!
I left the roads, joining a path above the town cemetery before coming back on to Am Galgenberg then back through town to the hotel.

This walk is available for download.

11 degrees. Some cloud but dry, that’s the main thing!
Afterwards, I went to the Aldi Hofer for some supplies. This shop is open at 7.40am (!) closing at 8pm, however it does not open on Sunday. An alternative shop is the Spar at  the train station is  open until  9pm every night incl Sundays and opens 6am..handy!

Sat 25th October
Red Bull Air Race day and weather looking good!

Early breakfast then took the 08.21 train to Knittelfeld.  This train goes up to St Michael then back on itself toward Knittelfeld.  €16.60 for return (in Oct 2014)

After leaving Knittelfeld station, I took the number 3 bus from just outside the station. Thankfully the driver kindly let me know when to get off on Triester Strasse, from there  was then a short walk North up Verbindungsweg to the Spielberg Red Bull Ring.

Air Race at Red Bull Ring Spielberg Austria
Spot the Air Race!

Lovely hot sunny weather. Better than most air races held in summer! Unfortunately, the Brits didn’t do well in today’s qualifiers, finishing quite far down the field.
The Austrian pilot, Hannes Arch had the  best run of the day.
There were various other activities as well as the Air Racing during the day both on the ground and in the skies.

Once the events had finished, I took bus 1 from  the road I left the bus earlier in the day. Only couple of minutes wait for the bus and just 7 mins to wait for the train to Leoben from platform 3 at 18.07

Sun 26th October
Took breakfast with the Red Bull sky diving team and the Blanix gider team this morning!

Decided to walk from Knittelfeld station rather than get the bus, this only took about 40 minutes. The gpx file for this 4 mile walk can be downloaded from ViewRanger

The fantastic weather and beautiful scenery helped make this a great race day.
Unfortunately, British pilot Paul Bonhomme just missed out on the final 4, finishing 5th. Much to the local’s disappointment,  Arch blew his chances of winning not only race but also the World Title  finishing 4th.
Martin Sonka  took first,  Nigel Lamb second and Nicolas Ivanoff 3rd meaning Brit Lamb took title.


Bit of a wait for bus back but nowhere near as bad as could have been considering (if i read time table right) there are only a handful of buses per day.

Started at the Falkensteiner  Leoben
Beef Starter

Back to the hotel for dinner; starter of beef with toast and red horseradish followed by soup with strudel. Main course was beef goulash served with dumplings. The meal was finished off with apple tiramisu decorated with  physalis which seemed appear every where every meal!

 27th October
Early start,up before 6. Unlike many hotels I’ve stayed at in the past, no problems getting an early breakfast, I got to the dining room a little before 6.30 but it was fully open.
Check out painless in fact despite being 7am,  three people on reception even at this early hour.

I arrived at the station for the 07.15 train to Bruck which did mean around 30 min for next train but better than rushing and missing it.
Someone was sitting on my reserved seat but found another easily and made myself comfy,  plugged my tablet in to the plug socket and made the most of the free wifi
It was a short walk to change for the s1 to Mitte then the modern Vienna CAT to airport.  Lots of room on this train with space for luggage although could check in at station.

Sadly there wasn’t much to do at the airport especially airside, so little infact everyone ready to board the aircraft long before boarding time so got off reasonably on time for the first flight in to Germany.
Wow, Frankfurt is a massive airport! Landed at Terminal A then faced a long walk to Terminal B.

So, in conclusion….a great holiday I would never have considered if it wasn’t for the Air Race.
Leoben isn’t a big tourist destination but there is enough for a few days here if you enjoy walking. The transport links mean it’s easy to get around and it’s reasonably well priced.
I wouldn’t be surprised if I returned for another Air Race in the future!

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

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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