I took a train and then I took a bus. The train was from my home to Chester and the bus was from Chester to Holywell, the plan to take a look at the Thursday market.
It’s a town I hadn’t been out to for quite a while so I felt it was time for a catch up. I remembered fragments of the place from my previous visit, bits of the streets, the Shrine of St. Winefride and also a bit of the history of the short, steep branch line which once connected Holywell with the outside world.
The journey over wasn’t a long one, a couple of hours at the most, the train journey to Chester is one I make quite often and the bus services around North Wales are ones I’m beginning to explore bit by bit. Holywell is perched on the side of the Halkyn Hills, with views across the Dee Estuary towards the Wirral and is a market town, the market day is Thursday and there was a cluster of open stalls on the main street when I stepped of the bus. I headed down through the town found somewhere to have a bite to eat and then made my way to the site of the old railway station at the head of Greenfield Park. The park follows the route of the railway down through the valley to the coast with the ruins of Basingwerk Abbey at the bottom.
Though steep, the walk was an easy one, well shaded by trees, I was lucky with the weather on the day, the sun was out and the coolness under the trees was welcome. The peace and quite of the route is a stark contrast to what must have been a great clamour of noise and activity as ruin after ruin is passed. Mills, wire works, roofless workshops and engine sheds bleached their bricks in the heat while the metal skeletons of machinery lay silent on the ground.
I reached the bottom of the hill and after a chocolate bar and coffee break I took a wander around the ruins of Basinwerk Abbey before retracing my steps back up the hill to the town.
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