The start of the walk through Wepre Park, heading for Ewloe Castle.
Wepre Brook on the way to Ewloe Castle.
A Little egret in trees above Wepre Brook.
Climbing the steps to Ewloe Castle.
Ewloe castle from the South side.
Church of the Holy Spirit, Ewloe.
Lunch time in Northop Hall.
On the old railway line through Broadoak Wood.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.3 miles. Climb: 727'.
Time: 5 hours 40 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue Pelissier, Phil and David S.
We arrived at Wepre Park with a little rain still in the air and the temperature just above freezing. The section through Wepre Wood up to Ewloe castle was a delightful. In fact the whole of Wepre Park was a surprise to us all, even those of us who had visited it previously. Much work has been done and is still being done to make park a real treasure with its reputation enhanced by its inclusion in Iolo William's TV series on Welsh Parks.
Just before climbing to Ewloe Castle we saw three possibly four Little egrets on Wepre Brook
We explored Ewloe Castle before setting off in the direction of Aston Hill which gave us views over Deeside Industrial Zones.
It was to the West of Seaview Farm that we encountered our first problem, where a fallen tree block our way forward. Thankfully we saw a local dog walker taking a path that detoured around the wood and rejoined the path beyond the blocked section.
Just after Aston Hill farm, David spotted what looked like a church tower in the distance, so we made a short detour to investigate. It turned out to be the Church of the Holy Spirit, Ewloe, built around 1937. As we were looking around the outside of the church, a lady spotted us and invited us to look inside the church, a bonus that we weren't expecting.
After this little detour, we headed straight for Northop Hall, where had lunch on a bench by the bus stop.
On the way to Northop Hall we could see Moel Famau with a snow covering, particularly on its lower slopes.
Little did we know at that time what challenges lay ahead! Mud glorious mud, difficult stiles, overhanging brambles waiting to attack us (David's nose pays testimony to this) and finally a hail storm.
We were glad to get onto the old railway track through Broadoak Wood and the last part of the described route.
I'm sure the extension from Northop Hall to Northop Hall Farm and Merllyn will never be repeated, well at least not by us!
We arrived back at the car, and once again it started to rain, encouraging us to change quickly and head for the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn with its welcoming fire and excellent range of beers and ciders.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Goldfinch, Common blackbird, Little egret, Grey heron, Woodpigeon, Wood nuthatch, Common pheasant and Common starling.
Heading towards along the A55 from Northop towards Conwy, we went through a blizzard that only stopped as we entered the car park at the Blue Bell. By the time we left, even the dusting of snow on the tree branches had disappeared, the road was clear and there was even blue skies to see!