Greenlaning Flintshire & Denbighshire 27/05/18

Sunday the 27th of May 2018 and a few of us had arranged to meet up and drive a route –
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That Alan had plotted on paper maps, and Brett had then transposed onto MemoryMap for the rest of us to follow on our dashboard mounted tablets… Little did Alan know though that Brett had added a few on the end of the route, it was only when we were discussing which ‘lanes the big Discovery would have to drive round that I mentioned Moelfre, and Alan said “we’re not doing Moelfre? It’s not on my route?” that we realised the route had been lengthened at the end… “Only to get us back to St. Asaph”, retorted Brett – “you can’t be in the area and not drive Moelfre!” πŸ˜‰Β  LOL
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8am the Whistlestop Cafe on the HTM Business Park on the outskirts of Rhuddlan just a few miles from my home in St. Asaph. Left to right – Gary in the silver caged Jimny, Mark and son Ted in the Disco’, Brett and his daughter “TLB” – the lovely Becky – in the green Jalapeno Jimny and Alan and I (Dave) in the blue S200KYS Jimny. A smashing breakfast as usual, and at a good price, and we’re soon on our way –

Brett’s Introductory Video starts the day off πŸ™‚
As we left the cafe, Alan decided to change the start of the route and rather than driving up through Dyserth to get to Gwaenysgor, we drove to Prestatyn to take in the steep climb up from the coast, and enjoy the view, if we could see through the clouds! πŸ˜‰

Brett’s Video of the climb up, and the view as we loop round through the layby…

Into Gwaenysgor then and then down a UCR with ORPA dots known as Radar Hill as it passes the communications tower and radar, and up to the point on the video where we stop to chop up –
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A fallen tree down in front of us…
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Strong winds or a lightening bolt have felled the tree across the ‘lane…
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So we cleared enough to proceed down…
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Approaching the farm…

And as you can hear on Brett’s next video, he shouts over the CB that his transfer box selectors have jumped out, and so he coasts down back to tarmac –
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Where we effect a roadside repair… This involved taking the transfer stick gaitor off, then undoing the little rubber gaitor on the transfer stick below in the transmission tunnel, pop the lightbulb-like bayonet retention cap off and then pulling the transfer stick out from above, and then reset the selector rods with a big screwdriver. And then, like a Haynes manual “assembly is the reverse of dis-assembly” πŸ˜‰
All back together, selectors working, and on we go…

On the coast road near Gronant and up from the equestrian centre on a BOAT that runs up into the NW edge of Gronant.

And then up to Llanasa on another BOAT
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Mind the ducks crossing! πŸ˜‰

Next, just north of Axton, a BOAT and then a “RUPP” on the map although the signage says Byway (most RUPPs were reclassified as Restricted ByWays under the NERC act, but this one remains driveable, mostly as it has a few houses on it!
Next also north of Axton, we went to investigate another route that Alan had spotted on the map, one he’d driven in a rally car in the 1970’s. it’s a “white road”, a UCR, and the council’s RoW people confirmed it was an adopted road but not found on the definitive map, but is indeed legally driveable, so we thought we’d go and have a look –
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The start of it, nice and tight and scratchy, overgrown like we like, so we walked it for a bit, and then decided to go around to the other end for a look, rather than pushing on…
DSCN7727.jpgGood job our four vehicles hadn’t gone down, as then end was blocked by this vehicle on the drive of the house at the end…
As we were having a look round the homeowner popped out of the back door, and we had a nice long chat with him… He offered to move his car if we wanted to come down it, but we said we’d come back later in the year on another trip in the winter when the undergrowth died back a bit, and that we’d give him a knock before we came down it πŸ˜‰

Next one of two BOATs in the Tremeirchion area, just north of Sodom.
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A proper GREEN lane! πŸ˜‰

And then back up the other one that forms a loop –

The second part after a gate stop…
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The guys coming up behind us…

The next is another BOAT SW of Holywell, NW of Brynford, nice and rutted.
The next ‘lane was a fairly new one to us above Fron, near Ysceifiog, one we’d been told was only passable by motorbikes, but we drove down it ok, so this time we thought we’d go down and then back up again. We advised Mark it was probably a bit tight for the Disco’ so he and son Ted sat at the top to wait for us…

Fron down then, yes, probably a good think Mark and Ted waited at the top?!

Fron back up with Becky driving, what a woman! πŸ˜‰
It is very narrow and is probably best left to smaller 4×4 vehicles!

Next, the ORPA dots running south from Lixwm, you can hear me say on the video that when turning into it from the farm opposite, the Public Footpath sign actually points across the adjacent field, it’s a bit misleading. In the undergrowth we meet (presumbly Duke of Edinburgh?) backpackers and give them a bit of a “Surprise!”, they weren’t expecting to meet us there!

Next ‘lane is a UCR with ORPA dots running south from Garneddwen on the map, where we meet some motorbikes coming the other way…
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Next, another two UCRs with ORPA dots running east away from Nannerch, passed the big posh house to our left, as you can see on Brett’s next video –

Then we’re out onto the road, left and then right, and onto the other –

And then we head SW to –

The BOAT that we know as Kevin Keegans as he apparently used to live at the bottom of it?
At the top we pause for a break…

Next! We’re soon back driving and heading over Moel Dywyll, in the Moel Famau Country Park.
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At the gate at the top…
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And then dropping back down into the Clwyd valley (home to me!)
DSCN7750.jpgArm out of the window photography πŸ˜‰
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On a clear day you can see my house from here! πŸ˜‰
Coming down, Brett’s transfer box jumps out again…
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So again we roll down to tarmac and effect another roadside repair πŸ˜‰

This is a BOAT on the way at Llangwyfan, which is “not as map” apparently, as you can’t get through the grounds of the big house where the BOAT appears to run on the map, flat, but it’s on the way! πŸ˜‰

And then back heading south again along the Clwydian Way, along the edge of the Clwyd valley, again some cracking views when the weather is better…

The BOAT just north of Nannerch

And then back up to the car park where the Clwydian Way ByWays meet.

Back down the other side to Aifft…
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Waiting for the others by the gate before we herd the sheeps away from their shelter by the gate…
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Few tarmac miles…

Over to the BOAT at Rhydgaled.
And then a personal favourite! –
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Down Hafod Dafydd, and then, of course…

Back up!
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Next! this is an UCR with ORPA dots at Nantglyn.
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As I drive in I see something perched on the gate…
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A magnificent Peacock πŸ™‚

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Jimnys only again for this one, Mark turns round on advice that it is tight and scratchy with a drop into the field on the right, not advisable with young Teddy in the Disco’
The video pauses as I was taking half a tree out of my roof bars!

Carrying on…
LOL, I didn’t realise the others had missed the turning!

Up to the field…
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Looking back – these ORPA dots run right across the middle of a huge field, so the farmer grows crops either side of the RoW.
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The next one, this was a new one to us, one we’d looked at many times before from the other end just passed the ATV centre, we’ve often looked over the gate into the field trying to figure out where the RoW runs. This time, we’re back after Alan has found a video of the TRF (Trail Riders Fellowship) riding the ‘lane on their motorbikes. So we pulled up and half the group went for a walk whilst Gary and I lent on the gate having a chat… Whilst we did, a lady from the local farm (Nerys I guessed from the personal plate on her Volvo) pulled up for a chat, and I explained that we’d been researching this ‘lane for a good while and we’d found evidence that the RoW ran along the boundary fence, which she confirmed, and asked us to stick to it… of course! So, when the others came back on foot and said they were happy to drive it, we said about the chat with the landowner too…
So, off we went…

Up to the point where Mark’s Disco got tangled on the snorkel and roofbars, so we trimmed around him with the chainsaw πŸ˜‰
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Out from the tree and ready to proceed –

As we continue along the rest of the ‘lane and out passed the ATV centre. Nice to finally drive that one!

Next, having ended Alan’s route and about to take on Brett’s extension, we diverted to take in the BOAT at Segrwyd which was on the way as the crow flies πŸ˜‰

And then the BOAT along the river at Bryn Rhyd-yr-Arian
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Pausing at the gate in the middle, we can also see the river is at a safe level for our next ‘lane πŸ˜‰

On we go along the river bank after the gate…

And the final bit πŸ™‚

Down to the ford west of Mynyrd Y Gert, to a propped up gate before the actual ford.

Through the ford, up the rocks, and the homeowner is out watching us again… 😦
AIt’s all legal, confirmed with the council…?

Bont Y Gwyddel next then! Another old favourite…
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Very Tight and Scratchy…

Mark – seen waving at the beginning of the video – decides again on advice to give it a miss, and heads home with little Ted, almost his bedtime by now I bet too πŸ˜‰
So the Jimnys carry on…
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Popping out at the end, there was only Brett and Becky behind us, I hadn’t realised Gary had also decided to call it a day, suffering with earache 😦

On we go then, “and then there were two”, off to Moelfre
The video ends with me reversing to get my line right…
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Alan gets out to spot for me, we’d seen this fallen tree the last time we were here and had driven one wheel in the ditch and one on the bank and had to winch out of the other end… But time was getting on and my lovely wife Sarah was waiting for her promised Chinese takeaway, so I decided to breach the ditch a tyre on either side and crawl over it, but I wasn’t sure if I’d fit under the tree! Hence Alan out spotting for me, checking I’d get under and that my tyres were in the right place either side of the ditch…

As you can see at the start of Brett’s next video…
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In the tunnel of trees at the end of the last ‘lane of the day πŸ™‚

Brett’s closing remarks… as you can hear his transfer box jumped out into neutral four times during the day, and once on way home… so it’s now out from under his Jimny and winging it’s way to Rockwatt for a check and a refurb πŸ˜‰
An awesome day! I’d worked a long week before it due to staff holidays in my shop, so I really appreciated a great day out laning with me mates! Recharge the batteries as it were!
MANY THANKS to Alan for plotting the route, and leading from the passenger seat, map reading with paper maps and the occasional glance at the iPad to double check our position πŸ˜‰ And for opening all the gates, and for keeping me company and awake! πŸ˜‰ Thanks to Brett for digitising the route (and extending it at the same time LOL!) and for videoing, oooh, and for bringing his daughter the lovely Becky “TLB” along again, and for Becky showing us men how to drive! πŸ˜‰ And thanks to Gary and MArk and son Ted for coming along and making it such a fantastic day out!
And thanks to YOU! for reading our blog and watching the videos! Hope you enjoy πŸ˜‰


 

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