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Consider alternatives to popular hotspots, urges council

Published: 25/05/2021

NE Wales - hope mountain - landscapes-008-min small.jpgAs lockdown restrictions continue to ease, Flintshire County Council is encouraging residents to get out and explore some of the roads and sights less travelled in the region.

Many popular spots for scenic walks and attractions have automatically been top of people’s lists as the weather improved and restrictions reduced.

And Flintshire County Council is keen to ensure the public maintain social distancing and other covid regulations to stay safe.

During peak periods, Wepre Park was so busy that the car park was closed to manage visitor numbers and maintain social distancing.

Flintshire County Council’s Chief Officer for Planning, Environment and Economy, Andrew Farrow, insists there are plenty of alternatives to the often-busy options available.

He said: “The breadth and depth of things to do and see in Flintshire is magnificent.

“The county has a number of hidden gems and less-frequented public spaces, which offer just as stunning views and experiences as their more popular counterparts.

“There is something for everyone and many of these walks or historical locations are the perfect way to spend an afternoon out with those you care about and learn something new about this region.”

Walking and hiking has become a firm favourite during lockdown, with Flintshire offering numerous walks through the woodland and rolling farmland that makes up the county.

Those looking for scenic lakeside views could find themselves heading down the walking route between Caerwys and Ysceifiog. 

The five-mile journey takes walkers through a lushly populated forest and around the picturesque and man-made Ysceifiog lakes, which often see nesting coots and moorhens along the trees as well as dragonflies skimming across the surface of the water over the warmer summer months.

If breath-taking views are what you look for, the walk between Waun y Llyn and Llanfynydd can provide that and more, with the four-mile trek winding you up among the hills and between former sandstone quarries, also providing you with a look into the history of mining at Waun y Llyn. 

Walkers seeking stunning views can also take an extended path along the stream and through the wooded valley of Nant-y-Ffrith, take a peek into Denbighshire by visiting the Gwaenysgor viewpoint, or enjoy the coastal views provided by the Flintshire portion of the Wales Coast Path.

Other walks that could catch your eye in the county include:

  • The three-mile heritage trail that starts and finishes at Buckley’s Etna Country Park,
  • A circular walk from Glasfryn in Mold taking you high into the hills and through Gwysaney Estate and Soughton,
  • A hike up to the top of Halkyn Mountain, zigging past former mining sites and common land often used to feed sheep, 
  • A path which brings you in a loop around the Waun y Llyn Country Park and up to the summit of Hope Mountain (pictured), giving you views of the Flintshire countryside, A trip along the beaches and sandhills of the Point of Ayr, ending up at the Dee Estuary with scenic sights of the Wirral and Welsh coast.

While Caergwrle Castle is a popular spot for fans of Welsh history and culture, those looking to experience a different history-packed offering are encouraged to try out Mold’s own former castle at Bailey Hill or the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park.

Bailey Hill has recently undergone a £1.8 million upgrade to improve access, pathways and includes a new outdoor performance area on what was the ‘inner bailey’. During the redevelopment work access to the park has been limited, but with work completed the park is now fully open for residents to enjoy.

Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, near Holywell, provides a fascinating look into 2,000 years of history, from religious monuments such as Basingwerk Abbey to the factories which played a part in the nation’s industrial revolution, all spread across 70 acres of woodland.

History buffs looking for a further informative site are also encouraged to visit the foreshore of Flint, which takes you along the River Dee and up to Flint Castle, a location well known for its unique and imposing great tower.

For those looking to replace the exciting thrills that come from the biking trails through Nercwys Forest, two wheels could be swapped for paddle boarding and kayaking around the waters of the Park in the Past, near Hope.

Do you have any hidden gems you would like to share? Visit the Explore Flintshire pages on Facebook (@exploreflintshire) and Instagram (@explore_flintshire) and send us your best picks.