Travel tips: Flintshire in northeast Wales, and the weeks best deals - Halong Junk Cruises

Travel tips: Flintshire in northeast Wales, and the weeks best deals

Lighthouse at sunset on Talacre beach in Flintshire
To the lighthouse: sunset on Talacre beach. Photograph: Steve Wilson/Getty

Take me there: Flintshire

Why go?
It’s easy to overlook this little corner of northeast Wales as you whizz through it on your way to Snowdonia. But if you want an excuse to stay, you won’t have to look far. The new Wales Coast Path has opened up the coastline’s intriguing mix of natural beauty and gritty industrial heritage to walkers. A new festival curated by Cerys Matthews, meanwhile, opening this month (see below), introduces the quiet charms of its market towns, rolling hills and great food.

What to do
Explore the beautiful Clwydian Range and parts of the Offa’s Dyke footpath: there are dozens of walks to download at walkingnorthwales.co.uk. Blow away the cobwebs on the golden expanses of Talacre beach. The dunes are home to the rare natterjack toad and the Dee estuary is a haven for birds. Learn how to throw an axe, skin a rabbit, cook on a campfire – and sample some great food and music – at The Good Life Experience, a new festival on the Hawarden Estate (20 September, thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk).

Where to eat
The Gwynne Arms was given a makeover two years ago by Charlie and Caroline Gladstone (founders of cool homeware shop Pedlars and the excellent Hawarden Estate Farm Shop), and now serves superior pub food in stylish surroundings (theglynnearms.co.uk).

Where to stay
Gladstone’s Library in St Deiniol’s must be one of the most unusual places to stay in the UK. Founded by the former prime minister, William Gladstone, it now combines an impressive book collection with a residential wing offering great-value rooms (doubles from £89, dinner, B&B, gladstoneslibrary.com)

Insider tip
Jane Clough, co-ordinator of the Taste of Flintshire Food Month, a celebration of local chefs and produce (until 21 September), recommends the Wales Coast Path around the Dee estuary, with its “birdlife, stunning beaches and unusual views of local industry.”

Give me a break

The front of Askham Hall, Cumbria.
Askham Hall in Cumbria

Home: Country house hotel in Cumbria To celebrate its first year of opening, Askham Hall hotel in Cumbria is offering subscribers to its newsletter a 30% discount on midweek stays. The offer is available from Tuesdays to Thursdays, providing you book dinner on one night. Standard room rates are from £150 for a double. The country house hotel has a restaurant, spa, outdoor pool and renowned gardens (askhamhall.co.uk).

A skiier jumping down snow in the Tatra mountains in Slovakia
Skiing the Tatra mountains in Slovakia

Away: Ski the Tatra mountains Mountain Paradise is offering four-day ski trips to the Tatra mountains in Slovakia – ideal for beginners to intermediates – for the first time this winter. Trips depart on Thursday and return on Sunday, with accommodation in mountain lodges or hotels, and return flights from Luton to Poprad. A break at Pension Vila Park in the High Tatras costs £499pp, including flights and transfers (mountainparadise.co.uk).

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Travel | The Guardian
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