North Wales mini break – Day 3

After the rain of the previous day the last day of my break turned out to be beautifully sunny though also very windy. I had to be off my pitch by 11am so the first dog walk was just a fairly short one close to the site, meaning I could have breakfast and get ready for the homeward journey without rushing. Handing in my barrier pass at reception and ready for the road my first stop was down the hill for a good walk along the path near the beach. A few wisps of grey cloud were still hanging about from early on but with blue sky and sunshine the area did look nicer than the previous early morning.
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My next stop was another visit to Eileen; I’d left my phone in the van while I was out walking and when I got back I found a message from her to say that she and hubby had gone to the harbour with Tilly so I decided to go straight there to see if I could find them. On my way I made a brief stop to take another photo of the friendly neighbourhood giraffe wearing his new and very tall Christmas hat – I’d taken a photo two days previously but somehow it got sunlight reflection on it. When I got to his garden however I found that his hat had been blown off in the wind and he was left with just a stick sticking out of his head, so Eileen has very kindly sent me the photo she took herself a few days before Christmas.
Before the wind
After the wind
Round at the harbour I parked up near the Harbour Hub cafe and took a walk along the boardwalk and dunes of Horton’s Nose nature reserve, one of the last sand dune systems on the North Wales coast. I didn’t see anything of Eileen, her hubby and Tilly so thought I may have missed them but as I headed back to the van I found them in the car park. It was agreed that we should go across to the cafe and instead of coffee we had hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows, accompanied by bacon rolls. In spite of it being the middle of winter and the wind still blowing it was really quite warm so it was very pleasant sitting in the sunshine at one of the outside tables and chatting over our snack lunch, but all too soon it was time for me to say goodbye and hit the road.
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My third and final stop was Talacre Beach along the coast and close to the mouth of the Dee estuary. From the A548 a long lane took me past fields and a mixture of private bungalows and static caravan parks, then towards the end I came to a couple of amusement arcades, a walk-round ‘sells everything’ general store, a chip shop, small bakery, ice cream parlour, bar/restaurant, a small cafe and the Lighthouse Inn, with the end of the lane itself leading to a footpath through the dunes.
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Leaving the van in the car park near the Lighthouse Inn I set off on the trek through the dunes and across the beach to the Point of Ayr lighthouse. Built in 1776 to the design of Joseph Turner of Hawarden and modelled on a pre-existing Liverpool Docks Board light at Hoylake it was constructed to mark the entrance to the Dee estuary following the loss of two Dublin packet boats and more than 200 lives. Trinity House assumed responsibility for the light in 1819 and soon afterwards rebuilt the upper section with a new lantern light.
The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1844 after a piled structure was built further round the estuary. In 1882, following the grounding of a steamship which had just started a voyage from Mostyn, further along the estuary, to Barrow-in-Furness with a cargo of iron and coal, it was alleged in court that this second lighthouse was situated too far inland so in 1883 it was replaced by a lightship moored in the estuary though this has long since disappeared.
The original lighthouse has a slight lean but in spite of being in such an exposed location it has withstood countless storms over the years. In November 1973 it became Grade ll listed and was restored in the 1990s, then in 2011 it featured in the background of a tv advert for Dulux paint which was designed to mark the 50th anniversary of the first appearance of their Old English Sheepdog mascot, although as I’m not familiar with the advert I fail to see the significance.
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With no more en route stops and no delays on the motorways the rest of my journey home in the sunshine was uneventful and I arrived back before the daylight faded. In spite of the cloud and rain it had been good to get away for a couple of days and also to experience a new-to-me camp site, and as the old year turned into the new one I already had a few ideas for another North Wales break in the not-too-distant future.

16 thoughts on “North Wales mini break – Day 3

  1. It was good to meet up with you before you set off for home and it was very pleasant sitting in the sunshine having a chat and brunch. I’m happy to report our friendly neighbourhood giraffe has now had the stick surgically removed from his head πŸ™‚ Talacre beach is a great place to walk the dogs and interesting to read about the history of the lighthouse. I’m glad you had a nice winter break and a good journey home, we hope we’ll see you again in the not-too-distant future.

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  2. Having brunch at the cafe was lovely and it was hard to believe how warm it was in spite of the wind. Hard to believe too that it’s already two weeks since I was down there, it seems like only a couple of days ago – where does the time go? I hope it didn’t hurt when the giraffe had the stick removed πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I’d love to meet whoever lives there, they must have a great sense of humour πŸ™‚

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  3. The weather was actually very warm for the time of year and with a fan heater in the van I was lovely and cosy living in there. I’ve tent-camped in -5c before now and as long as I have heating it’s fine. I’m now planning my next break down there πŸ™‚

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  4. You are giving me a longing to get out a little more… It’s a long time since we’ve been to that part of Wales. We tend to go south now, to meet up with Mr FD’s friends from uni, who live near Cardiff.

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  5. I’ve never been any further south on that coast than Barmouth and Fairbourne, sometimes I think I should go a bit further down but I really do like the north and there’s so much I haven’t explored yet.

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  6. You made the most of that last day, and the sunshine even put in an appearance for you. I’ve been fancying a day at the coast myself but I’ve just read about dogs being ill after visiting the beaches in North Yorkshire so that’s put me off for the time being.

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  7. I read about that yesterday and thinking about Archie I wondered if you’d seen it. My two have been absolutely fine since we got back – they are never off the lead anyway – so maybe the problem, whatever it is, is just in North Yorkshire

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  8. Don’t ask me why, but I love visiting lighthouses. Some people collect Toby Jugs, but I could easily collect lighthouses. I’m glad you enjoyed your break πŸ™‚

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  9. Im glad you had a great camping trip and the weather wasn’t too cold for you. At least you can snuggle up with those lovely doggies of yours if you need to keep warm. I always think Hugo is a great Hot Water Bottle. πŸ™‚

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  10. Sorry to disappoint you but I don’t snuggle up with the dogs, they have their own beds in the back of the van. I actually took a hot water bottle with me but didn’t need it – I was surprised at how warm it was for the time of year πŸ™‚

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  11. Honestly, you would not know if was Twixtmass looking at your photos – more ‘weird weather”.

    So lovely you could meet Eileen at the harbour, I bet that bacon roll tasted good. xx

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  12. It was nice to get a bit of sunshine Jayne, and being so warm for the time of year made it a really pleasant day. The bacon roll was lovely, as was the hot chocolate – I’ve never had it with whipped cream and marshmallows before πŸ™‚

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