Welsh Castle Quest Day 4 – Goodbye Dee

Greetings Fellow Adventurers!

Today saw us completing the last leg of the Dee Estuary. In true quest form, we had the endurance test of the heat, but with some shade and the coastal breeze we just about coped.

For most of the walks on this holiday, we were following the Welsh Coastal Path (WCP) – a long distance route that runs around the whole of Wales. Generally the paths are very good and the route marking is excellent.

The WCP is very well way-marked

Following the WCP, we had plenty of chance to enjoy the views of the estuary and the local wildlife. There were plenty of Gulls, Oyster Catchers, Egrets and other birds to keep us busy. All the while looking back down the Dee to where we’d been a few days before.

Looking back the way we came – that in the distance is one of the bridges and power station we walked past along the Dee River… 

After a while we passed a small fishing port where the Cocklers ply their trade using techniques that have hardly changed over the centuries (Although I suspect modern boats, GPS and radar might have improved their chances).

Cocklers’ boats from centuries past – well maybe 

Further along, with the sun beating overhead – we reached a very interesting sight indeed. A cruise liner dry-docked and seemingly abandoned in the middle of nowhere.

Interesting – just watch out for icebergs! 

The ship happens to be the ‘TSS Duke of Lancaster’ – built in 1956 by Harland and Wolff (yes the same company that built Titanic!). She was among the last passenger-only steamers built for British Railways and operated as a ‘Silver Service’ passenger-ferry and cruise ship throughout Europe. She was later refitted with a modified deck and stern door to operate as a car ferry.


She was retired in 1979 and bought by a local company that brought her here. They opened it as the ‘Funship’ with shops and a planned hotel, but alas, due to issues with a low bridge blocking emergency vehicles and other unsolvable planning issues, the owners walked away and left it to rot. There were plans last year to open it as a ‘Zombie tour’ venue, but that has since fallen through too. Her fate at the moment seems a bit uncertain.

Captain beardy…

Maddie was very taken with the ship and we all felt a bit sad about her present condition – it seemed a rather poor end to a grand old lady. M’s very keen on raising money to buy it and restore it.  Good luck to her is all I say, that is indeed a worthwhile ambition. After we managed to tear her away  (and our Son Nathan away from the off-shore wind-farms).

Off Shore Wind-farms are cool! 

Afterwards we carried on up the path to complete this leg of our walk. Goodbye to the Dee Estuary – onward to Rhyl and the wilds of Northwales!

Until tomorrow my Friends!





30 thoughts on “Welsh Castle Quest Day 4 – Goodbye Dee”

  1. What a warm day today for the UK, you did well to keep going on the walk. I saw a TV program about the Lancaster and the plans this guy had to turn it into a shopping centre, nice to know it’s still around (just)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was intrigued by the Duke of Lancaster when I saw the picture in Alli’s post so I’m glad to find you had written about it. I went off and googled it to find out what it was doing there and read about the Fun Ship and the Zombie thing the present owners wanted to do. The most recent article I could find was from January and it seems that the ship must have been repainted at some point because in that article she looked an even sadder sight. It seems the issue was about getting emergency vehicles access and I hope they are able to resolve it as it would be a shame to see the ship abandoned to rust or be taken away to be broken up. I quite hope Maddie does figure out a way to buy it and save it from such a fate. It’s a very attractive design and it must have been fun to travel over to Belfast aboard her back in the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I agree – I think its a crying shame that she’s been left to get into that state – there can’t be many liners of her age left.
      I’m glad you liked the post – Alli asked me write about it especially so she could link to it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There wouldn’t be many as usually 25-30 is considered old for a ship. The Queen Mary of course survives in Long Beach, California as a hotel/entertainment venue but other projects like this often seem to flounder. QE2 is sitting in Dubai as a hotel. She’s not as old of course. I hope that the Duke of Lancaster gets a reprieve.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It does seem to be a bit hit and miss as to what gets saved – some really famous liners have been scrapped over the years. Let’s hope this isn’t one of them.


  3. The black and white picture at low tide reminds me of some of the youtube videos of an impending tsunami. . .

    I LOVE the story of the abandoned cruise ship. I hate to see ships rot away. Check out the story of the SS United States that has been dock in Philadelphia for years. It still holds the record as the fastest transatlantic ship and is still a rocket by even todays standards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I’m glad you liked the photo – and I can see what you mean. I wasn’t trying to arty as such – but when I took the picture I hadn’t noticed I’d left the camera set to M and over exposed it by about 2 stops… This was all I could do to save it!

      I hate seeing them left to rust too. I’m hoping a team of old Geezers will take it on and restore it. I’ll check out the SS United States – sounds like quite a ship!


Leave a Reply to John’s Postcards Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s