About Me

When? Started: 1993 Who? Started with staff and friends from U H S, Chester. Organiser: Martyn Harris We walk every Wednesday and Saturdays, New Years day and May Day. How many walk? Walks take place as long as there are at least 2 wanting to walk on that day. More walk on a Wednesday than on a Saturday. Most ever: 29. Numbers walking: 2-12 in mid-week and 2-4 on Saturday. Where do we walk? Saturday: Anywhere in North and Mid-Wales, Peak District, Shropshire and the Long Mynd and as far North as the Trough of Bowland. Thursday: Anywhere within about 40 miles of Chester. Type of walk: Distance: 6 – 14 miles. Climb: up to 4000’ (but usually very much less!). Those involved in 2017:- Martyn Harris, Fran Murphy, Sue and Michel Pelissier, Annie Hammond, Sue and Dave Pearson, Mike Dodd, David and Anne Savage, Wend and Ian Peers, Celia de Mengle, Wendy and Ian Peers, Roger and Margaret Smith, Tim and Carol Dwyer, Paul Collinson, Phil Marsland, Sylvia and Dave Jenkins, Sheila McNee, Ed Meads, Elaine and John Greenhalgh, Jim McCabe, Mal Pulford, Nigel Taylor, Naomi Deynem

Monday, 31 December 2007

Overall Walk Stats for 2007

This sketch (Especially the last bit!) really is appropriate when you take in to account
the group's walk statistics for 2007.

Overall distance walked when I have been involved: 960 miles.

(The equivalent of walking to London and back at least 4 times and a bit more!)

(This means that in reality we have all walked for pleasure more than a 1000 miles in 2007 (probably double this for Richard!).

Overall height climbed when I have been involved: 177,750'

(This is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest over 6 times!)

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Big Low, Berristall Dale and Kerridge 29th December 2007

Looking across Kerridge, White Nancy towards Alderley Edge from just below Big Low.

White Nancy and friends.

The only Hare seen today!

Walk stats: Distance: 8.8 miles (9 miles, if you count the walk to the Vale Inn afterwards); Climb: 1796'.
Time: 4 hours 30 minutes; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Dave J. Sue and Michel P.
There seemed to be only a remote chance of good weather according to the weather forecast, but once again we were blessed with an excellent day. Dry, sunny but windy during the morning and more overcast in the afternoon with at one time the threat of rain that didn't materialise. Views throughout were excellent, particularly across lowland Cheshire towards Alderley Edge.
Lunch was taken at White Nancy before traversing the wonderful little ridge Kerridge, a ridge that seems to separate the industrial areas around Macclesfield with the more rural settings towards Lyme Park.
Birds seen or heard today included: Nuthatch, Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Siskin, Bullfinch, Grey wagtail, Kestrel, Jackdaw, Rook, Woodpidgeon, Collard dove, Carrion crow, Chaffinch, Long-tailed tit, Goldfinch and Wren.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Vale Inn on Addlington Road, Bollington where their winter beer festival had just started. A beer called "Last Rites" was on offer. This was a very sweet rather sickly beer. The better options seemed to be the stouts and porter. Dave J prefered Slaters' Premium. Between us we sampled enough to get one pint free!
Overall an excellent day, and the only rain experienced was in the car on the way home! A great day and Man U were beaten too!

Friday, 28 December 2007

Limestone and Lead 27th December 2007

Moel Fammau under cloud.

Inspectiion of one of the mine shafts done. Mine capped area on Halkyn Mountain

Walk stats: distance: 7.1 miles; Climb:1353'.
Time: 3 hours 10 minutes; Walking average: 2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Annie H., Paul and Michael.

The walk started at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn on a day when at best were expecting it to be wet and windy. Fortunately there was only a few spits and spots of rain and although it was quite windy at times, the wind was quite warm. The temperature must have been close to double figures throughout the walk. Distant views weren't spectacular, but hey were there. Moel Fammau was often below black clouds, but Parkgate and the Wirral seemed to be getting some sun. This walk weaves through the ravaged landscape of limestone and lead mining past and present. In fact lunch was taken in one of the excavations created by lead miners, the only way that we could get out of the gusty wind. Michael added to the Christmas festivities by providing us all with mince pies, for at least one their first of the year. The mine capped area close to Rhes y Cae is a fascinating place, worthy of more time spent exploring. The walk was extended slightly to include Midlist Farm where Water Buffalo roam and Sheep happily graze. As usual we were welcomed by two Jack russels and two Collies as we went through the farmyard.

Birds seen or heard today included: Nuthatch, Blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Mallard, Black-headed gull, Carrion crow, House sparrow and Greenfinch.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn, where the J.W. Lees bitter was excellent as it always is!

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Dates and Walks December 2007

Updated 26th December 2007.
Happy Christmas everyone.

Please reply to Tito as soon as possible whether or not you wish to go to the opera when the group goes to Italy in June.
Saturday 1st December 2007Alderley Edge, are Hill and Over Alderley.

Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: Unknown.
Start: National Trust car park near The Wizard Grid ref:SJ860773
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m. and meet at the car park.
To get to the car park from Chester take the A51 then A54 towards Winsford, Middlewich and Holmes Chapel. From Holmes Chapel take the A535 to Chelford (Aldeley Edge). at Chelford turn right on to the A537 to Monks Heath. At Monks Heath take the A34 to Aldeley Edge. On the outskirts of Alderley Edge take the B5087 (Macclesfield Road). The National trust car park is just after The Wizard (pub). This is a pay and display car park and closes at dusk!
this walk combines two walks taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". The first walk heads north-east to Waterfall Wood, Daniel Hill, Alder wood and Hare Hill. Just after finlow Hill Wood it links in with the second walk that then heads south to St., Catherine's Church with its unusual octagonal tower.

Thursday 6th December 2007
Mynydd-y-Gaer and Llanefydd.

Distance: 5+miles; Climb: Unknown.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Start: Llanefydd car park next to the church and public convenience. Opposite the Hawk and Buckle Inn.
This walk is taken from Lorna Jenner's book "Walks in the vale of Clwyd and the Denbigh Moors". We will need to extend this walk a little on the day, possibly to include Mynydd y Gyrt.

Saturday 8th December 2007
Llandegla, Graianrhyd and Llyn Cyfynwy.

Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb: Unknown. (About 1500' at a guess)
Start: A car park in the centre of Llandegla village. Grid ref:SJ197525
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
The early start is still needed if we are to complete a walk of this length in daylight. Hopefully this will enable us to start walking by 9-00 a.m.
This is a walk that we have done before on a day when the weather was really kind to us. However this time we will avoid the section on the road where a mad motorist nearly hit Jamie!
These two walks are taken from Carl Rogers' book " Walking in the Clwydian Hills". Last time we took lunch at Llyn Cyfynwy, basking in the sun. Hopefully we can this time too!

Thursday 13th December 2007
Around Styal

Distance: 9 miles; Climb: Unknown .
Start: Styal - Quarry Bank Mill National Trust Car park. Grid ref: SJ836832.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m. and meet at the car park.
This walk is taken from Jen darling's book "Best Pub Walks in Cheshire". The area around Quarry Bank Mill involves a few paths along the Bollin river and goes through woods, so it will probably be worthwhile bringing binoculars with you. This is an area that I have wanted to explore for some time, especially after spending several months at rECOrd logging bird reports for the area.

Saturday 15th December 2007
Loggerheads and Moel Famau.

Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb: 1500'.
Start: The main Loggerherads Country Park car park, on the right just past the Loggerheads Inn. The car park is a Pay and Display car park. Grid ref: SJ202626
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m., and meet in the car park. (It is intended that we start walking at about 9-00 a.m.)
This is a walk that we have done several times in the past, often as the first Saturday walk in January. This year I thought that we would end the year with this walk, and finishing with a drink in the Cholomendy Arms at Cadole. For some of us this will probably be the last walk before Christmas and should allow them to have a celebratory Christmas drink with everyone.

Thursday 20th December 2007
Holywell Common, Pen-y-Ball and Pantasaph

Distance: 9 miles; Climb: 1500+'.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Start: Crooked Horn car park (park near the sign). Grid ref: SJ186741.
This is another walk that we have done several times before, but this time we will miss out most of the racecourse!
This is again two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain".
The route does take us to the Catholic Monastery, but no-one will be forced to visit the stations of the Cross.
No prizes for guessing where the after walk drinks will be!

To get to the start point, take the A55, and take the exit signposted for the Britannia Inn. Follow the road past the Britannia Inn, and at the next T-junction (turn right, straight on really). follow this road, until it makes a right angled turn down hill, but here turn left (again straight on really) on to the Brynford road. Keep on this road, ignoring a left turn and two right turns as the road heads past the houses and starts to cross Holywell Common. The parking place is on the right opposite Holywell Common and its guide post that looks a little bit like something that you might expect in the wild west.

Saturday 22nd December 2007
Loggerheads, Maeshafn and Moel Findeg.

Distance: 9 miles; Climb: 1500'.
Start: Loggerheads Country Park car park Grid ref: SJ202626.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m. and meet in the car park.
Again this is walk that we have done several times before, and is a walk for those that have done all of their Christmas shopping!
Celebrations at the Cholomendy Arms as usual.

Thursday 27th December 2007
Limestone Lead and Halkyn Mountain.

Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Leave Chester Start time will probably be a little later than 9-00 a.m., so please give me a ring during the evening on Boxing day, to confirm the start time.
Start: Britannia Inn car park, Pentre Halkyn.
One of my favourite walks at any time of the year. The walk is one adapted from one of Dave berry's walks from "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain", but we will extend it a little as we feel fit. This will probably mean a vist to Moel y Gaer, and a walk through our friend's paint ball territory.

Saturday 29th December 2007
Big Low, Berristall Vale and the Saddle of Kerridge.
Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 2000'
Start: The Adlington Street car park Grid ref: SJ931782.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m. and meet in the car park.
This is another walk that combines two walks from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". He describes the walks as moderate to strenuous and includes some of the most scenic surroundings around Bollington. We have already strolled along Kerridge Hill and can vouch for that part of the walk.
After walk drinks will be in the Vale Inn, a hostelry that impressed us on the first visit. This time it is in the middle of their real ale festival. Offers to drive gladly accepted!

Richard's 60th birthday walk - January 1st 2008 - see "Dates and Walks January 2008" post below. The walk is a 10-30 a.m. start - leaaving Chester at about 9-45 a.m.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Loggerheads, Maeshafn and Moel Findeg 22nd December 2007

The only picture I managed to take - enjoying a drink in the Cholomendy Arms.

Walk stats: 8.3 m.p.h.; Climb: 1495'.
Time: 4 hours 30 minutes; Walking average: 2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.

A walk for the shortest day.The walk started in better weather conditions than we could have hoped for after looking at the forecast on Metcheck. Only in the last part of the walk from the Rainbow Inn to the Cholomendy Arms and back to the car were we treated to very heavy rain, always a problem for those that have the misfortune of having to wear spectacles. On one section Celia decided that it would be a good idea to test out her running down hill skills, but unfortunately she gained too much momentum and took a tumble. She seemed O.K., but on a closer inspection realised that she had quite a severe split in the skin on her arm, which everyone agreed needed hospital attention. Richard ministered some temporary patching up, applying several plaster to try and hold the skin together and covering it all up with a large plaster. It ended up with her friends' abandoning her at the Miners Arms at Maeshafn, leaving her to her fate to a giraffe! The landlord made her cup of coffee and ordered her a taxi and dispatched to the Countess, where she was quickly and and impressively treated according to Celia), and is all set to go off skiing tomorrow - butterfly stitches in place!

Lunch was taken in the shelter of the rocks at the Northern end of Moel Findeg. Views were there, by this time it was rather misty in the distance.

Birds seen or heard today included: Buzzard, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Robin, Blackbird, House sparrow, Hedge sparrow, Pied wagtail, Jay, Nuthatch and Magpie.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Cholomendy Arms at Cadole. A Skinners' brew and Stocking Filler brewed by Grays were those sampled today. Both drinks met with approval! Sylvia enjoyed a mug of teas and crisps.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Holywell Common, Pen y Ball and Pantasaph 20th December 2007

The group at the Pen y Ball Monument.

Snowdonia from the Pen y Ball Monument.

Walk stats: Distance: 9. 7 miles; Climb:1167'.
Time: 4 hours 35 minutes; Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Dave J., Celia, Annie H., Sue and Michel P.

This walk was completed throughout in bright sunshine. I was thankful that I was wearing my new reactalight glasses and they worked well! Despite the sunshine temperatures were on the cool side, never rising above zero Celsius, and at times I'm sure felt more like minus five Celsius or even cooler. However we managed to get a little shelter from the wind, and Sue revived us with some superb homemade Stolon cake, and Michel revived our spirits with a tot or two (for some) of slow gin!

Back to the walk, the ground underfoot was frozen, but we still had to take care crossing the muddy sections! Too often the frozen surface gave way under our weight and it was just as muddy beneath. These problems were only on a short section as we approached Holywell racecourse. Views from Holywell Common and the Pen y Ball Monument were outstanding with the Snowdonia mounts clearly in view from Moel Siabod, Snowdon, the Glyders, Tryfan and the Carneddau all there to see. This was all the more amazing where near to the Dee estuary was shrouded in mist and the Wirral had disappeared all together.

Birds seen or heard today included, Nuthatch, Great spotted woodpecker, Blue tit, Great tit, Wren, Magpie, Fieldfare, possibly Redwing, Blackbird, Sparrowhawk, Robin and Buzzard.

As is normally the case when we walk in this areas, after walk drinks were enjoyed in that wonderful Lees hostelry, the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. The Lees bitter once again being in fine fettle.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Around Styal 13th December 2007

TheRiver Bollin.

Look at theMedievel cross at Styal.

Crossing the Giant's Cliff bridge over the River Bollin.

Walk stats: Distance: 9.5 miles; Climb: 621'.

Time: 4 hours 31 minutes; Walking average: 2. 6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.

Group: Martyn, Annie H., Michel and Sue P.

Today's group was a very select little group. Tito was still in Italy, Dave J and Sylvia were sunning themselves on the Northumberland coast, Richard was on Imogen watch with her Nativity and Celia had a better offer!

Weather wise we couldn't ask for more. Bright sunshine for most of the walk, with blue skies to match. The location of this walk could have meant that we were fighting the tourists, but after leaving the car park we only saw two men and a dog all morning. The walk alongside the River Bollin was surprisingly up and down, involving quite a lot of ascending and descending steps. This was quite a varied walk and would have lots to offer as Spring walk, just as the trees were coming in leaf and perhaps the river flow was not so great. The walk went very close to Manchester airport, but very few planes seemed to disturb the air on this occasion. One plane did go only a couple of hundred feet above. Lunch was take by Ross Mere, where we basked in sun washing a couple fishermen. We didn't see them catch anything, although their keep nets were in the water. Towards the end of the walk we crossed The Carrs, an area of open land much frequented by dog owners, several of which seemed to have four or more dogs!
Birds seen or heard tody included: Carion crow, Blackbird, Robin, House sparrow, Blue tit, Woodpidgeon, Coot, Grey Heron, Mallard, Mute Swan, Sparowhawk, Nuthatch, Jay and Great Crested Grebe.

After walk drinks were taken at The Ship Inn in Styal. It wasn't the best pint of Cains that I have tasted, but the Young's Winter Warmer was OK.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Llandegla, Graianrhyd and Llyn Cyfynwy 8th December 2007

Llyn Cyfynwy.

Did we really have to stop for lunch?

Walk stats: Distance: 9.9 miles; Climb:2540'.
Time: 4 hours 41 minutes; Walking Average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.

In contrast to the 12 degrees experienced only two days ago, temperatures today were 10 degrees cooler, and that was before the wind chill effect. We started and finished in rain, but were fortunate to have some good spells between about 1o a.m and mid-day. The strong winds did't materialise until we arrived at Llyn Cyynwy where we had a job to stand up and Celia's rucksac cover attempted to escape. Lunch was taken where a small woodland acted as a wind break. The only views today were across Llanarmon yn Ial towards Moel Fammau.

By the end of the walk we were pretty wet to say the least and very appreciative of a bus shelter where we could exchange our wet gear for dry.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Starling, Redwing, Fieldfare, Mallard, Coot, Widgeon, Blackbird, Carrion crow and Pied wagtail.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Crown Inn, Llandegla. The Lees bitter was good, but not as good as the pint sampled at the Britannia Inn earlier in the week. Therer was a new landlord at the Crown so hopefully opening hours will be a little more helpful for uss in future.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Mynydd y Gaer and Moefre Isaf 6th December 2007

Blustery conditions at the modern cairn on Mynydd y Gaer.
Annie H., Dave J., Richard and Celia.
(What did we say about Graham Beech's photograph of the author and friends?)

View from the slopes of Moefre Isaf.

Martyn at the trig point / GPS location station on Moelfre Isaf.

Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles; Climb:2500'.
Time:5 hours 15 minutes; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Dave J and Annie H.
This 5 mile walk from Llanefydd turned out to be almost double the length with the improvised extension to Moelfre Isaf. The weather forecast for the day was horrendous and anyone in their right minds would have stayed at home. However the worst we had to experience was a strong blustery wind, especially when we were on the top of Moelfre Isaf. Even the temperature was barmy, reaching at least as high as 13 degrees Celsius. I don't think it reached the heights experienced down the valley in Rhyl where it was 16 degrees Celsius, the highest in the country.
This was a wonderful varied walk and the bonus of Moelfre Isaf just added to it. The views throughout were superb, even if we couldn't quite see Snowdonia. Just how much rain had fallen in the area recently was evident from the volume and speed of the water in the rivers and the fact that at times it was as though we were walking on water! This didn't deter us from enjoying the walk and all agreeing that it is another walk to be repeated in Summer conditions.
Birds seen or heard today included: Fieldfare, Redwing, Blue tit, Great tit, Grey heron, Carrion crow, Buzzard, Magpie, Dunnock, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Pied wagtail, Collared dove and Robin.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. Once again the Lees bitter was in excellent form. Celia bought the crisps and ate them, after the mean purchaser of the first round refused to buy any!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Alderley Edge, Hare Hill and Over Alderley 1st December 2007

The view from Alderley Edge, looking towards Manchester.

The waterfall in Waterfall Wood on Alderley Edge.

St., Catherine's church, Over Alderley

Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles; Climb:1091'.
Time: 4 hours 43 minutes; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Tito, Celia, Michael, Paul, Sue Powell, Sylvia and Dave J.
This pleasant and gentle walk seemed like a Thursday walk with the turnout of nine being the largest group for some time.
It was also completed in better than expected weather conditions, with the sun being out for most of the walk. The strong north westerly winds weren't as strong as they were forecast. Nevertheless it was still cool at times, encouraging us to keep on the move. It didn't rain, but in places it made up for it with wet, muddy and boggy conditions underfoot.
The climb was surprisingly over a thousand feet and several places gave good views towards Manchester and across the Cheshire plain to Beeston and beyond. This was a good walk and one we will repeat with a few minor alterations to avoid some of the minor road walking. Lunch was taken in the grounds of St., Catherine's church, Over Alderley where a seat was available for some of us. St., Catherine's church was built in 1840, and constructed in what seemed like a rather cheap looking brick, but it had an octagonal tower, a feature that made it stand out as out of the ordinary. Tito seemed on a mission, as his ruck sack became fuller and fuller with samples of holly with berries. I only hope he left some for the birds!
Birds seen or heard on the walk today included: Grey Heron, Blackbird, Pochard(first sighting this year), Mallard, Buzzard, Kestrel, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Great tit, Jay, Magpie, Carrion crow, Starling, Robin, House sparrow and Nuthatch. At one time, just after lunch, a party of several hundred Starlings entertained us with thier shoal like movements across the sky, often performed before they drop down to roost.
Celia was convinced that we had tried to lose her on the way back, accusing us of not waiting for her and giving her the Kings Head as the pub where we were going for a drink, but Tito came to the rescue ignored all directions given but still located us in the Cross Keys, Knutsford which was the correct name of the place that we intended to go. Timothy Taylor Landlord, Deuchars IPA and Coach House Cranberry Ale were quaffed with relish in surroundings that seemed better than the last time that we were there.