Day One: Friday, 27th April 2012

I'm starting, so I'll finish
I’m starting, so I’ll finish

The first day of the holiday, but with very little walking to relate. Having donned our rucksacks for the first time in a few months, we stopped at a local hostelry less than 500 metres from home! The Noah’s Ark seemed to be doing a roaring trade, which wasn’t surprising given the recent torrential rain. We enjoyed a sausage sandwich and chicken with a chilli sauce. Replenished, we walked down the hill to Stoke-on-Trent railway station. Although Prestatyn isn’t very far away, the journey involved two changes (Crewe and Chester). Everything proceeded like clockwork, reinforcing my admiration for the rail network. The ticket prices, however, were pretty steep – £24 single for a journey covering only 40 miles.

At Prestatyn, we were picked up by Malcolm, the proprietor of Plas Ifan, a B&B on the southern tip of the town. He was fully booked for the night, but he had kindly arranged for us to stay in a house owned by the family, about half a mile away. This proved to be very comfortable, and we had the whole house to ourselves. We walked back into town, meandered down High Street and continued on to the sea front, the official starting point of the Offa’s Dyke Way.Neither of us had been to Prestatyn before and yet I had heard so much about it, as many people in The Potteries regard it as their second home, returning devoutly to North Wales for every holiday.

Wind turbines in Liverpool Bay
Wind turbines in Liverpool Bay

There was something endearingly old-fashioned about the town from the groynes on the beach, the little shop selling buckets and spades, and the high street itself, climbing majestically away from the sea.

We returned via The Cross Foxes, a rather unprepossessing, sparsely decorated pub, where we had a swift pint, before getting food for the evening from the Coop rather than eating out. Chicken jalfrezi, chicken tikka masala, and a bottle of Bordeaux all for £12! We ate and quaffed whilst watching a quarter final of Young Musician of the Year (strings). All very edifying. We retired to bed early, apprehensive in the knowledge that all but one kilometre of the walking lay before us.