For selfish reasons, I had planned a route out to The Piccadilly at Caerwys, even though the Moderates had last gone to Caerwys only last November (although not to The Piccadilly). This was because the return route, over the Halkyn mountain, would take us down the lane where I had my accident last March and I wanted to see if I could meet up with some of the locals who helped me in my hour of need and who also gave comfort and cups of tea to John and Ivan that fateful afternoon. A kind of redemption ride, if you like.
We set off out of Hawarden by the usual climb through Buckley and on to Sychdyn, which got everyone nicely warmed up in the morning sunshine. Then on by the narrow lanes at Myachlog and the very steep climb to Rhosesmor. By this time, layers were being stripped off and breath being gasped for, as several of us have not attempted serious hills for many months. Ray left us near Brynford, as he had an appointment to attend.
We went on via Babell and Pant to avoid the steep hill and to approach Caerwys from the north. The Piccadilly was almost empty when we arrived at about 12.15, so we were quickly served with drinks and food. Everyone agreed that this was excellent, once again cementing this as one of our favoured lunch stops.
Suitably refreshed, we headed north-west from Caerwys to cross the busy A55 by negotiating several layers of Armco barrier. We passed through Chwitffordd and Gorsedd, then south through Bryndford and over Halkyn Mountain. The views from here were stunning (see photo) with both Liverpool cathedrals and Beeston Castle clearly visible.
|Photo by Steve T|
The descent took us through Halkyn village and then on to the track by The Bluebell Inn which leads to Middle Mill Road where the accident took place. Whilst at The Piccadilly, I had called John Sigsworth (thanks to John M for the number) and arranged to call to see him at his home at Midlist Farm. So I was able to thank him for his help that day. Unfortunately, his neighbour, Ian, was not in, but we did speak to the lady who lives in a house at his farm and who had also been present that day.
Redemption achieved, we carried on down to Northop and the busy roundabout at Ewloe before reaching the car park at Hawarden. Along the way, Keith had peeled off for Guilden Sutton, where he had left his car. It seems that the 40 miles and 2264 feet of climb that the rest of us had done was not enough for him!
See route map and/or gpx file download