As part of our wheelchair walks series, I’d like to share a walk we did on the Wales Coast Path in North Wales.
Wales is blessed with 870 miles of stunning coastline, and the best way to experience it is on foot.
Opened in May 2012, the Wales coastal path is a dedicated route spanning the entire coast of Wales. Sadly, I won’t be able to push Bridget along the whole length, but I can walk the accessible sections, so that’s what we’re doing.
Even though we need to avoid the more difficult sections of the Wales Coast Path, we’ll still get to see plenty of quaint villages, the wild coastline and, of course, seaside towns.
To be precise, we’re starting our assault on the path in the north, in Chester.
The path starts on the banks of the River Dee, about a mile away from the main road; it’s a gentle walk to the start and very wheelchair friendly.
Start of the Wales Coast Path
On the eye, the start is a bit of a non-event. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t two lumps of rock, a bin, and a shabby old sign.
I think Wales has missed a trick. This is an iconic path, a massive achievement, and I can’t help thinking they’re underselling the importance of it, but that’s just my opinion.
On closer inspection, the lumps of rock are Welsh slate standing proud on either side of the path; they’re dressed with intricate carvings depicting a proud Welsh history.
The bin isn’t a bin, it’s an art piece boasting the Wales Coast Path shell logo, and the “Welcome to Wales” sign needs updating.
Welcome to Wales
Bridget and I walked this section on a warm evening. Tranquil doesn’t describe how peaceful this section is. The soothing sound of the flowing river is only occasionally interrupted by the odd cyclist as they pass by.
I’m used to walking long distances, and I guess the round trip from the main road in Chester to Queensferry and back is about 8 miles. You don’t need to walk this far; just turn around when you’ve had enough!
When it opened in May 2012, the Wales Coast Path became the first continuous path in the world to cover a country’s coastline; when you link it up with Offa’s Dyke Path, it circumnavigates the whole of Wales.
The route is helpfully marked with the Wales Coast Path markers on signposts and the floor. The floor markers are coin-sized directions which are pretty cool, and it’s a bit like a treasure hunt looking for them along the route.
Our walk finished at “The New Jubilee Bridge” in Queensferry. Known locally as the Blue Bridge, it’s named to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897.
The Wales Coast Path
The terrain on parts of the Wales Coast Path isn’t suitable for wheelchair users, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a large proportion of it.
** The official Wales Coast Path website is a fantastic resource covering the whole path, including which sections are accessible, distance charts and information about what to do on the path. **
We’d also love to hear about your adventures on the Wales Coast Path, so do let us know if you’ve walked any of it.