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

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Amelia Charlotte Pelissier Arrives

Birth Announcement

Sue and Michel are the proud grandparents of a little girl
Amelie Charlotte.
Born on the 28th December at 17:45.
Weighing 6lb6oz.
Mother and baby are doing well ... and the Dad (Christoff) is recovering quickly!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Dates and Walks December 2008

Updated on the 21st December 2008.
Thursday 4th December 2008.
Valley, Moor and Estuary as well as Pen-y-Ball and Pantasaph.
Distance: 11 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Greenfield Valley Car Park. Grid ref: SJ19775
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". One walk is described as a walk of great variety and interest and the other walk explores the hills above Holywell. We have done both before, but not for some time.
After walk drinks will be at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.
Saturday 6th December 2008.
Five Dales Walk.
Distance:7-9 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Monsal Head Car Park (Pay and Display £4-50). Grid ref: SK186715.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from the "Pathfinders Guide to the Peak District", although we will extend it by starting at Monsal Head instead of Tideswell. The five dales are: Tideswell dale, Litton Dale, Miller's Dale, Cressbrook Dale, Tansey Dale and Water-cum-Jolly Dale.
After walk drinks will be at the the Monsal Head Hotel, if we can get a seat. if not it will probably be at the Wilkes Head at Leek if I get my way.
Thursday 11th December 2008.
Loggerheads and Maeshafn.
Distance: 8 miles; Climb: 2000'.
Start: Lay-by opposite the Loggerheads Memorial. Grid ref: SJ202626.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This is walk that we have done several times before, ind includes the ascent of Moel Findeg with its fine views towards Moel Famau. It uses a walk from Carl Roger's book " Walking in the Clwydian Hills." This walk is a little shorter than our usual Thursday walks, but we might be able to explore the Moel Findeg area a little more.
After walk drinks will probably be at the Glasfryn, Mold.

Saturday 13th December 2008.
Dove Dale and More.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1300'.
Start: Car Park at the foot of Thorpe Cloud (Pay attendant on entry, expect it to be on parr with the Pay and Display car parks in the Peak District). Grid ref: SK994603.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
We last did this walk in April 2006, a long time ago considering that it is one of my favourite walks in the White Peaks. The walks are taken from Mark Richard's book "Walks in the White Peaks - Southern Dales". After climbing Thorpe Cloud it follows the usual route to Mill Dale, then along the road to Alstonfield and rejoins Dove Dale at Coldeaton Bridge. The return from Mill Dale will include the secretive Hall Dale.
After walk drinks will be at the Wilkes Head at Leek.
Thursday 18th December 2008.
Halkyn, Limestone, Lead and Moel Ffagnallt.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:2000'.
Start: Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn. Grid ref: SJ212712.
We haven't started a walk from this location for quite some time. I thought that as this is the last walk before Christmas that it was a good time to do so. It combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". This walk combines two of my favourite walks in this fascinating area on our local patch.
No prizes for guessing where the after walk drinks will be!

Saturday 20th December 2008.
Brushfield, Taddington, Chelmorton and Flagg.
Distance:11-12 miles; Climb:1200'.
Start: White Lodge Car Park on A6, 2 miles west of Ashford. Grid ref: SK170705.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This combines two walks from Mark Richard's book " White Peak walks - Northern dales". One he describes as being a mildly energeic expedition into the high country flanking the A6 to the west. It mounts the the Brushfield Ridge where Monsal and Toddington Dales can be admired. The second walk is described as an excursion that examines a trio of communities founded on the flanks of this five dales ridge.
After walk drink wil probably be at the Wilkes Head, Leek if I have anything to do with it!
Thursday 25th December 2008.
No arranged walk on this day.
Day off to go to church to celebrate Christmas.
Saturday 29th December 2008.
To be arranged if there is demand!

Walk stats for 2008

Harris Hikers Walks Statistics for 2008.

Overall distance walked by Harris Hikers in 2008.
946 miles.
Overall height climbed by Harris Hikers in 2008.
This is slightly down on 2007, but each one of us has had circumstances that have prevented us from joining the group on several occasions.
These stats are for the walks that I have been with the group or have have been given the appropriate data. Tito's stats may be different, I'm sure he will give everyone their own individual stats in the near future.

Taddington and Flagg 20th December 2008

The first "view" of the day and the low lying clouds that didn't want to clear all day.
On the way to Brushfield Hough Farm.

Walk stats: Distance:11.7 miles;Climb:1454'.
Time:5 hours 31 minutes;Walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Celia and Dave J.
Another wet one! We experienced drizzle or light rain for virtually the whole of the walk, but at least it wasn't cold and we did have the luxury of a bus shelter at Flagg for lunch. This was a walk for the "stile bagger". This walk, especially between Flagg and Taddington must hold the record for stiles, not all easy to negotiate. Nevertheless this walk does have potential and would be well worth a revisit on a warm sunny day when its finner points could be appreciated.
Birds seen or heard today were few and far between but included:Fieldfare, Robin, Chaffinch, Bluetit, Great tit, Carrion crow, Housesparrow, Magpie, Blackbird and Jackdaw.
After walk drinks as is often the case on our trips to the Peak District were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek. Dave enjoyed his Hartington Bitter, Celia her ........... (I can't even type the word out!) and Martyn a lovely cup of coffee, but he did also have a carry out!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Halkyn Mountain and Moel Ffagnallt 18th December 2008

No I won't turn round and have my picture taken!
The group at the trig point on Halkyn Mountain, now restored to its former glory.
Thank you to whoever took the trouble to complete its restoration, trig points mean so much to walkers.
Part of the still working industrial heritage of Halykn Mountain, taken from Moel Ffagnallt.
I thought you did that when you're looking out from a ship,
not on land looking towards Moel y Parc!
Where am I? ......On the top of Moel Ffagnallt.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles; Climb:1834'.
Time: 4 hours 5 minutes; Walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.3 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Richard, Celia, Tim, Gordon, Sylvia and Dave J.
Our thoughts today were with Sue,Michel , Christof and Danny and Sue's father and the rest of the family as today was the funeral of Sue's mother.
This walk turned out to be full of surprises. The weather turned out to be almost perfect, quite warm but not too warm, dry, sunny at times, but perhaps a little on the breezy side towards the end. This walk, somewhat contrived inroute, described by Tim as a "clover leaf route", a good description, if a five year old had attempted to draw a clover leaf. Nevertheless for me this is a magnificent walk with good views in all directions and its wonderful industrial heritage, both past and present. Advantage of past mining works was taken when we had lunch sheltering from the wind behind spoil tips! At lunch Roger presented everyone with a magnificent home made mince pie (not made by Roger, but made by Margaret as you would expect) and the Gordon too produced some mince pies. Our treats for the day weren't to end there. We went to the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, that wasn't a surprise since we had started there, but after bringing Sylvia a cup of tea, Sarah brought us a huge plate of chips and what must have been a loaf of bread and butter. What a wonderful thing to do, and needless to say not a scrap was left on the plate - you can't beat a chip butty, even Richard had one!
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Chaffich, Blackbird, Carrion crow, Magpie, Raven, Goldfinch, Fieldfare, Jackdaw, Collared dove, Wren, Housesparrow and Stonechat.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Dovedale and More 13th December 2008

The stepping stones across the Dove.Looking for Long-tailed tits or so they said!

The Lion rock in Dovedale.

Walk stats: Distance: 10.6 miles; Climb:1249'. Time:5 hours 5 minutes; Walking average:2.7 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard and Dave J.

This walk was destined to be a wet one, and it lived up to its name. Light and persistent rain accompanied us throughout the morning and only stopped about 1-00 p.m. Nevertheless it is always enjoyable to walk from Thorpe Cloud to Milldale along the Dove and today we had the added interest of the river being in spate. We were expecting the usual Derbyshire mud but we experienced very little, but it was very wet underfoot, and one path on the flanks of Bunster Hill was quite difficult to negotiate as the main path seemed to disappeared in a minor land slip and the wet grass slope made progress not too easy!

Birds seen or heard today included: Starling, Common gull, Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Goosander, Mallard, Kestrel, Carrion crow, Blackbird, Wren, Grey heron, Dunnock and Dipper (Richard's bird of the day).

As usual when we come to this part of the country we were, after walk drink were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek. this time we managed to to get seats next to the fire, even though the pub was busy. everyone else seemed to be clustered around the bar, perhaps enticed by the free bread and cheese available! We had a long chat with the landlord who has been in charge for 8 years and despite our memories to the contrary Dolly the resident Staffy has only been there that long too! The landlord only gave us taster of the Whim Ales, Black Christmas, a dark winter brew running in at 6.5%. Only one member of the group could fully enjoy more that a mouthful as he was the only one that wasn't driving at all.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Loggerheads and Maeshafn 11th December 2008

The group at the stile on the western top of Moel Findeg.
Moel Findeg summit ridge.
Moel Famau from Moel Findeg, one of the many fine views from this vantage point.
Walk stats:Distance:7.8 miles; Climb:1171'.
Time:4 hours 3 minutes; Walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.7 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Gordon; Barbara and Dave J.
What a glorious sunny winter day this turned out to be, a day to savour and be thankful to be out walking!
Although much of the early walk was completed in the shade with temperatures close to zero, it made for very pleasant walking and continually gave us stunning views with the Clwydian hills basking in in the sun.
Lunch was taken on the summit of Moel Findeg summit, something that in the past weather conditions had prevented us from doing. However on this occasion the sun was shining and the wind was absent, no wonder we lingered longer than usual. We all sampled some of Martyn's fruit cake, originally meant to mark Annie H.'s last walk this year with the group, but unfortunately bad road congestion on the M53/A55 prevented her from doing so.
Birds seen and heard today included:Robin, Wren, Nuthatch, Blue tit, Great tit, Housesparrow, Magpie, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Starling, Black-headed gull, Common gull, Blackbird, Collared dove, Redwing and Sparrowhawk.
Finishing the walk early only three of us decided it wasn't too early to celebrate with drinks at the Glasfryn. Unfortunately Cwrw Eryri wasn't on offer, but a very enjoyable Winter's Warmer from the Great Orme brewery was sampled instead.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Five Dales Walk 6th December 2008

Our first view of our Five/Six Dales walk from Monsal Head viewpoint. Water-cum- Jolly Dale
Almost in snow in Tideswell Dale.
Walking down Tansey Dale.
Walk stats:Distance: 8.9 miles; Climb:728'.
Time: 4 hours 10 minutes; Walking average:2.8 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Celia, Mike D. and Dave J.
What a glorious day this turned out to be! Bright and sunny all day, cool at times in the deep sided valleys but could have been regarded as short wearing temperatures when in the sun at lunch at Litton. These five dales, part of the Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve, are always a delight to ramble through, and today was no exception. The views, especially when we looking down towars the valleys were superb with distant fields outlined with snow that had drifted towards the stone walls. Our only real challenge of the day was our need to wade through water along Water-cum-Jolly Dale, but fortunately the depth of water on the flooded path was only about 4 inches deep and our boots could cope with it!
The dales included on this walk were Upper Dale/Monsal Dale, Water-cum-Jolly Dale, Miller's Dale, Tideswell Dale, Tansey Dale and Cressbrook Dale, six in all, but we did start from Monsal Head.
Birds seen or heard today included:Robin, Wren, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Raven, Goldcrest, Housesparrow, Blue tit and Great tit.
After walk drinks were taken at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where the beer and the welcome were excellent, but this is what we have come to expect from this wonderful friendly hostelry. It could do with being a touch warmer in the winter, but thankfully this time I did remember to put my fleece on!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Valley, Moor, Pen y Ball and Estuary 4th December 2008

Exploring the upper Greenfield Mill site.
Lunch - basking in the sunshine, almost too bright to look at the photographer!
The final stretch from the Duke of Lancaster along the old rail track next to the sea.

Walk stats: Distance:11.6 miles; Climb:1903'.
Time:5 hours 25 minutes; Walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard,Gordon, Annie H, Sylvia and Dave J.
Numbers reduced today due to family commitments and too much belief when listening to the weather forecasters!
Those that braved the weather were rewarded with a fine dry and at times sunny day. The temperatures were somewhat cool especially on the area around Pen y Ball, but the only rain experienced was just as we getting close to the start point at 3 p.m. Indeed the worst of the weather was as we returned home in the car. I was on the damp side too as we had to run from the car up the steps at the Britannia Inn!
Overall this is a varied walk, much to the surprise of most of the group who hadn't visited the Greenfield Valley with it wonderful archaeological heritage before. Much longer could have been spent exploring this site, but today's walk was long enough without! We didn't have time to take to the waters at St. Winfred's Well!
A usual the climb up Pen y Ball Hill seemed like torture, why Richard does this regularly with his shopping on the 10 mile trip from Ysceifiog I never know!
As ever the views toeards the eastuary and beyond to the Wirral are superb and today it was even better with a rainbow to admire too.
Another added bonus was using footpaths that took us to a school for autistic children before dropping down directly towards the Duke of Lancaster, thus avouding the half mile walk along the main road.
The highlight of the day was getting good views of a Sparrowhawk hunting Fieldfare, showing its magnificent skills as it weaved in and out of the bushes in persuit.
Other birds sen or heard today included:Buzzard, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Jay, Magpie, Dunnock, Housesparrow, Black-headed gull, Coot, Teal, Moorhen, Mute swan, Mallard, Redshank, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Robin, Pied wagtail and Oystercatcher.
J.W. Lees bitter was enjoyed at our usual venue mentioned above!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Dates and Walks November 2008

Updated 27th November 2008.

Saturday 1st November 2008
Eyam, Bretton Clough and Eyam Moor.
Distance: 9-10 miles.
Start: Car park in the centre of Eyam village. Grid ref: SK216766
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This is a walk taken from the Pathfinder Guide "Peak District Walks". The introduction to the walk claims that all major fatures of the Peak District are encountered this walk based upon the attractive and fascinating village of Eyam.

Thursday 6th November 2008
Ffrith Mountain and the Alyn Gorge.
Distance: 7-12 miles.
Start: Lay-by opposite the Loggerheads Memorial. Grid ref:SJ202626.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book " More Walks in the the Clwydian Hills". He describes the extension to Moel Famau as one of the most enjoyable and least demanding routes to the summit. The other he describes as an excellent walk exploring beautiful valleys and foothills.
After walk drinks will be at the Glasfryn opposite Theatre Clwyd.

Saturday 8th November 2008
Bakewell, Chatsworth and the River Wye.
Distance:9 miles. Climb:1500'. Start: Car park in Bakewell. Grid ref:SK218685 Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m. If more than one car is required, it will probably be worthwhile going in convoy to ensure that we end up in the same car park.
This is a walk taken from the Pathfinder Guide "Peak District Walks". As well as attractive riverside walking, this walk gives grand views of Chatsworth House and an opportunity to visit Haddon Hall.

Thursday 13th November 2008
Denbigh Castle and Lleweni Hall.
Distance:9 miles.
Start: Layby/off road parking area close to the Brookhouse Mill just outside Denbigh. Grid ref: SJ072658.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd". He describes one walk as an interesting walk that takes you on a green approach to Denbigh Castle. The second walk he describes as being a delightful walk along the Afon Clwyd and Afon Ystrad. This is a walk that most of us know quite well.
After walk drinks will be at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn.

Saturday 15th November 2008.
Nant y Pandy and beyond The Ro.
Distance:10 miles; Climb: 2000+'.
Start: Layby near the The Original Butterfly Man Centre. Grid ref:SJ157425
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". The walk features a beautiful narrow wooded gorge, interesting old slate quarries, open moorland and a delightful bridleway along the rim of the Dee Valley. The first part of the walk climbs through the Ro valley to open moorland with its extensive views. A chance to revisit some old friend, Moel Fferna!
Another chance to visit that little gem The Grouse Inn a Carrog.
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.

Thursday 20th November 2008
Fron Hen, Big Covert and Bryn Alyn.
Distance:11-12 miles.
Start: Large lay-by 1 mile south of the village of Llanferris. Grid ref:SJ187598.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "More Walks in the Clwydian Hills". We have done both before, although I don't think we have done them together.
After walk drinks will be at the Glasfryn.

Saturday 22nd November 2008
Chatsworth Hall and More.
Distance:9 miles.
Start:Carlton Lees car park close to Chatsworth Park. Grid ref: SK258686.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Mark Richard's walks from his "White Peak Walks - Northern Dales" This is a walk that we did a few years ago, and on that occasion we were reunited with a former member of the Modern Language department from Upton High who happened to be staying in a holiday cottage nearby.

Thursday 27th November 2008
Gladlys, Nant-y-Flint and East of Holywell.
Distance:11-12 miles.
Start: Car park adjacent to the Stag Inn, Bagillt. Grid ref:SJ219753
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain." Both walks explore the undulating hinterland between Bagillt and Holywell and offwer good views across the Dee estuary.
After walk drinks will be at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn.

Saturday 29th November 2008
Thors cave and Bincliffe.

Unfortunately this walk has had to be postponed - I've got a problem with my loo and someone is coming round on Saturday to see if they can sort it out.

Distance:11 miles.
Start: Wetton village car park. Grid ref: SK108552.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines two from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks - Southern Dales. It is along time since we did either of these walks, and the last time we did, Garrie and Margaret Leslie both came.
After walk drinks will be at the Wilkes Head, Leek.

Gadlys and East of Holywell 27th November 2008

Rainbow over the Dee Estuary - the best and only good view of the walk.

Walk stats: Distance:6.2 miles; Climb:1018'.
Time:2 hours 36 minute; Walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.4 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Annie H, Sue and Michel.
We definitely got the best and the worst of the weather today. It started with bright sunshine and once we reached the top of Gadlys Lane a fine rainbow was evident for quite some time. this was a walk that didn't quite go according to route descriptions right from the start. First we missed the turn off and ended walking up Gadlys Lane, but at least we did miss a few muddy sections by doing so. Then as we attempted to drop back down to the coast again a stile was enclosed by water a little too deep for comfort and we retraced our steps and continued down the road towards Holywell. the advantage was of course we didn't loose all the height we had gained. We continued on the East of Holywell walk for some time, passing through one field that was the host to what must have been about a thousand Woodpigeons, quite a sight when they took to the air before settling down again. by the time we reached the road , the sun had disappeared and the rain was starting to set in. It was soon time to make a decision, do we carry on, or do we get back to base as soon as we could. The latter was chosen, and even then nobody objected and we all arrived back like drowned rats. Wet maybe, but at least our boots were clean!
Birds seen or heard today included: Blackbird, Hedgesparrow, Herring gull, Woodpigeon, Song thrush, Fieldfare, Carrion crow, Magpie, Great tit, Jay and Buzzard.
we were forced to retire early to the Britannia Inn early where we thought a nice hot bowl of soup would have gone down well. Alas it wasn't to be Sarah and Kelly had gone away on a few days break and no food was available. At least Kelly's mum served us a good pint of J.W.Lees bitter and allowed some of us to eat our butties!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Around the Great Orme 22nd November 2008

The new path to the summit.
At the summit of the Great Orme - the first visit.
At the trig point on the summit of the Great Orme.
Walk stats: Distance:8.6 miles; Climb:1783'.
Time: 4 hours 9 minutes; Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overallwalk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Roger.
A last minute change of plan brought us back to the beautiful limestone outcrop called the Great Orme. Weather conditions were good, cool at first, breezy on the top and at times very warm sunshine, making us look a little over dressed as the temperature briefly rose into double figures. This was still not warm enough to make us follow the example of three young men who had just finished their early morning dip as we arrived and the temperature on the car thermometer was still only 7 Celsius. We started the ascent the usual way up the many steps that climb steeply towards the road that leads to the Copper Mine. However this time we decided to follow the new guide post directing us to the summit. This proved to be a delightful path on good grassy paths and avoided the road section that we normally follow past the Copper Mine to the summit.
This route will certainly be the route of choice in the future.
On the summit plateau itself we saw very few people apart from a couple of runners and three men repairing one of the dry stone walls.
Views towards the Carneddau, just enabled us to se that some of the peaks were snow covered, always better to look at that having to tramp through!
The highlight of the day was probably the 50+ feral goats that we saw grazing on the western slopes of the Great Orme (both sides of the road) as we descended along the toll road back to the car at Llandudno West shore.
Birds sen or heard today included:Carrion crow, Raven, Robin, Common gull, Herring gull, Jackdaw, Stonechat, Kestrel, Black-headed gull, Oystercatcher and Mute swan.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where we surprisingly found Richard, Ollie, Andrew and Rose enjoying a meal together before Ollie sets sail on Fort George. We all wish him "Bon Voyage" and hope his destination might allow him to catch up with some cricket in the Caribbean!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Fron Hen and Bryn Alyn 20th November 2008

Bryn Alyn from the slopes of Fron Hen.
Walk stats: Distance:10.8 miles; Climb:2541'.
Time: 5 hours 13 minutes; Walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Annie H., Celia, Tim, Sylvia and Dave J.
Today's walk was completed in good walking conditions, somewhat cool, dry and at times unexpectedly the sun came out. The only downside was bracing wind that accompanied as on both our visits to the limestone area of Bryn Alyn. Underfoot it was to put it politely a little muddier in places than we would have liked, the worst bit was self inflicked as the majority, led by Richard, chose to take a closer look at the Burley Hill Quarry while Dave and Martyn were checking out the route we should have taken. Martyn suggested that Richard's punishment for leading them astray was to join us in our after walk visit to the Glasfryn, but he said it was more than he could bear! Overall this is a very enjoyable and varied walk and the section around Bryn Alyn will always be a regular on our walk lists.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blackbird, Collard dove, Dipper, Coal tit, Great tit, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Kestrel and Buzzard.
Most of us enjoyed Cwrw Eryri close to the open fire at the Glasfryn.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Beyond the Ro and Nant y Pandy 15th November 2008

The second most enjoyable part of the day - after a pint of Lees at The Grouse Inn at Carrog of course!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.0 miles; Climb:1731'.
Time: 4 hours 47 minutes; Walking average: 2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger, Sylvia and Dave J.
The weather forecast for the day wasn't too bad, but it turned out to be much worse than expected. For most of the day we were walking almost continually through damp moist air and at times in cloud. We decided to give our friend Moel Fferna miss and keep below the worst of the cloud. Despite everything overall it was quite a pleasant walk and once more we managed to use a couple of paths that we hadn't used before and at the same time avoided one path that has a notoriously slippy section of smooth rock on it. Views today were somewhat limited and left to memories of past visits. The best of the views was probably heading down to Cwm Canol along a path spoiled in parts from the wheels of off-roading motor-bikes.
Birds seen or heard today included: Long-tailed tit, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Raven, Robin, Starling, Pheasant, Meadow pipit, Goldfinch and Dipper. The Grouse of course doesn't count.
Roger, the driver for the day, didn't appreciate the scenic short cut from Carrog to the A5014 Corwen to Llandegla!

Friday, 14 November 2008

LLanweni Hall, Denbigh Castle and More 13th November 2008

The recently renovated St. Marcella's Church.
Crossing one of the many fields.
On the ramparts of Denbigh Castle.
Walk stats: Distance:11.5 miles; Climb:677'.

Time 5 hours 48 minutes; Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0.m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J. Michel and Sue, Celia, Fran, Annie R., Annie H. and Sylvia.
The forecast for today sugested that we would probably be walking in rain most of the day, but thankfully this proved wrong and after the first hour it hardly rained at all and at one point we almost had some sunshine. Very little wind and temperatures that must have been in double figures made this unusually warm for this time of the year.This pleasant low level walk in the Vale of Clwyd turned out to be rather wet underfoot, but I don't think anyone was complaining about wet feet at the end of the day. Having walked in this area a few times after completing most of the first walk we crossed the stile by the first bridge when it should have been the second bridge. We were now startting on the walk that visited the church that has the wonderful Jesse window. After a bit of O.S. map work we managed to join up with the second planned walk to Denbigh Castle with a few more miles on the clock than we originally expected to do. and few new paths under our belt.
The only challenging climb of the day was up the steps to Denbigh Castle. as it was open some of the group climb the ramparts too.
After walk drinks were at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. It's always good to be back there with a good pint of J.W. Lees bitter in your hand.
Birds seen or heard today included: Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Long-tailed tit, Blue tit, Wren, Robin, Grey Heron, Dipper, Blackbird, Greylag goose, Mute swan. Mallard, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Buzzard, Grey wagtail, Pied wagtail, Cormorant, Snipe, Woodpigeon, Common sandpiper, Goldfinch and Rook.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Around Bakewell 8th November 2008

The Derwent at Bakewell. Chatsworth Hall
One of the challenging sections across open fields.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.1 miles; Climb:1234'.
Time:4 hours 36 minutes; Walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia, Barbara;Mike D., Sylvia and Dave J.
This was a very pleasant walk starting in the picturesque town of Bakewell. Generally the weather was kind to us with only one heavy shower that lasted for only a few minutes. At times the temperature was a little too warm for this time of the year. The only drawback for the day was the muddy nature of some of the paths, the one to Haddon Hall being so bad that we abandoned this there and back extension soon after setting down the path. The highlight of the walk was probably the section through Edensor Village and along the banks of the Derwent in front of Chatsworth Hall.
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Blue tit, Chaffinch, Carrion crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Magpie, House sparrow, Pied wagtail, Mallard, Moorhen, Coot, Canada goose, Wren and Black-headed gull.
Some of us were fortunate enough to sample Hartington Bitter at the Wilkes head in Leek after the disappointment of the closed and unwelcoming Buckingham Hotel in Buxton.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Moel Famau and the Alyn Valley 6th November 2008

Group photo - is anyone there on the top of the Jubilee tower on Moel Famau.
The group about to leave the summit of Moel Famau.
Almost a view - the route down to Reservoir N0. 3.
Walk stats: Distance:9.9 miles; Climb:1734'.
Time:4 hours 59 minutes; Walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Gordon, Annie H., Sylvia and Dave J.
This walk was completed almost entirely surrounded by damp air, and on Moel Famau itself it was like being in a cloud. It wasn't cold and with no wind it was only late in the day that it started to clear. These two walks from Dave Berry's "More Walks in the Clwydian Hills" provided an excellent route to Moel Famau from Loggerheads. Surprisingly the path down to reservoir No. 3 was new to all of us. This pleasant route back down to Cilcain seems less used than other paths, but I for one will need to take more care on the grassy wet and muddy sections if I'm to avoid the indignity of slipping and sliding so frequently!
The views were more or less none existent except for the delightful section on the Leet Path above the Alyn.
Birds seen or heard today included:Carrion crow, Magpie, Nuthatch, Rook, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Buzzard, Wren, Robin, Meadow pipit, Blackbird, House sparrow, Blue tit and Great tit.
Cwrw Eryri was enjoyed by most of us at the Glasfryn. Surprisingly for this hostelry it was very quiet, there was only about four other people there.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Around Eyam 1st November 2008

Looking across towards Eyam Moor from just outside Foolow.
Looking across the Hathersage towards Stanage Edge/Burbage Edge.
Richard and Dave investigate the ring circle on Eyam Moor.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.4 miles; Climb:1793'.
Time: 5 hours 12 minutes; Walking average:2.4 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Sylvia and Dave J.
What a good walk this turned out to be around the fascinating plague village of Eyam. The weather was kind to us in that we only had a few spots of rain, and in fact we had the luxury of basking in the sunshine for lunch. However out of the sun and temperatures must have been close to zero! Once again Derbyshire lived up to its name and many of the well trod paths were muddy, just enough to make you slip if you weren't careful. Although I'd walked in this area before , I didn't anticipate that it would take us over towards the Hope Valley, giving us superb views over Hathersage and beyond to the edges. Autumn is really here now with many of the trees displaying glorious reds, oranges and golden hews al the more magnificent when lit up in bright sunshine. The walk was a little shorter than the guide suggested so we extended it by exploring Eyam Moor for a further mile or so in search of a ring circle.
Birds seen or heard today included: Kestrel, Robin, Fieldfare, Crow, Magpie, House sparrow, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Long-tail tit, Meadow pipit, Blackbird, Mistle thrush, Jay, Goldfinch and Raven.
The Wilkes Head in Leek was the venue for our after walk drinks where the Hartington Bitter was in particularly good form. A usual Dolly the resident Staffordshire Bull terrier was there to welcome each one of us in turn in the hope of obtaining a crisp or other morsel of food. It's always good to visit this wondeful character Leek hostelry.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Around Llandyrnog 30th October 2008

Our first good view of Moel Arthur from the Vale of Clwyd. The Clwydian Hills from Just outside Llandyrnog.
Crossing one of the many fields.
Walk stats:Martyn only: Distance:7.4 miles; Climb:583'.
Time:3 hours 40 minutes;Walking average:2.4 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
The rest of the group: Distance:!2.4 miles; Climb:1354'.
Time:5 hours 49 minutes;Walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group: (Martyn)Richard, Roger, Gordon, Annie H., Sylvia and Dave J.
Weather in the morning was quite good, cold but dry. The Clwydians looked magnificent clothed in a covering of snow. We didn't quite make the snow line but, but certainly added to the beauty of the views to the east and the west as we walked largely in the Vale of Clwyd. Conditions underfoot could at best be described as wet and at times very muddy. Several ancient churches were on the route, but alas we didn't get the chance to see inside any of them!
Having completed the main walk Martyn decided it was time to take the comfort of the car as the rest of the group set off in search of St. Cynhafal in what turned out to be heavier and heavier rain! As they arrived back at the car I know who made the right choice!
Birds seen and heard today included: Buzzard, Herring gull, Robin, Carrion crow, Magpie, Starling, Blue tit, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Fieldfare, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, House sparrow and possibly Redwing and Bullfinch.
Only Richard missed out on a visit to the Golden Lion, Llandyrnog with its real fire and very drinkable but rather on the cool side Facer's DBH. Thankfully this hostelry opened at 4-00 p.m, an hour later than the Good Beer Guide, but just right for us!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Dates and Walks October 2008

Updated on 27th September 2008
Walk location for Thursday 30th has been changed again. The trip to the Lleyn Peninsular has been cancelled. The Pearsons are coming home early and won't be able to meet us. No doubt we will have other opportunities to visit Yr Eifle and Tre'r Ceiri Hill Fort in 2009.
Thursday 2nd October 2008
Llantysilio Mountain
Distance:8 miles; Climb:2000'.
Start: Car parking area opposite the Panderosa cafe on the Horsheshoe Pass. Grid ref:SJ193481. Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This is a walk that we have done many times before both in winter and summer, but I can't remember doing it in autumn before. This is one of my favourite walks in the Llangollen area. This route is the one found in Dave Berry's book "Walking Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". This walk is as near as you will get to a ridge walk in this rolling hill area of the Llantysilio Mountains. On good days the views in all directions can be superb.
After walk drinks will probably be at the Crown Inn, Llandegla.
Saturday 4th October 2008
The Llyn Padarn Circuit and the Powdwr Oil Walk.
Distance:9-10 miles; Climb:1400'.
Start:Lakeside Car Park (pay and Display) close to Llanberis. Grid ref:SH579065.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk involves two walks taken from Dave Salter and Dave Worrall's book "New Walks in Gwynedd from Mountain Tops to Valley Floors". One walk is described as a low level walk that brings views of Snowdon's northern cwms, Moel Elio, the big dipper ridge and the Dinorwig quarries. The second walk is described as a gentle and scenic walk that has a tragic note to it, a reference to an explosion that took several lives in Cwm y Glo.
after walk drinks will probably be at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn.
Thursday 9th October 2008
Around Aled Isaf
Distance:8-9 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start:Off road parking close to the dam at the eastern end of Aled Reservoir . Grid ref:SH916579 Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Now that we know the way across this open moorland, this has become one of my favourite walks. The terrain can be quite boggy and despite the absence of paths on the ground, there is something special about trekking across the wild moorland that is Hiraethog. The walk is taken from Dave Berry's book " Walks Around Hiraethog Moors and Lakes".
After walk drinks will probably be at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn.
Saturday 11th October 2008
Around Altwen, Cwm Gyrach, the Druids Circle and Foel Lus.
Distance:10-11 mile; Climb:2000+'.
Start: Car parking area at the top of the Sychnant Pass. Grid ref:SH750770.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk involves another two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North wales Coast". One walk is a new walks to us, although some have us have done the Foel Lus part of the walk and the walk to the Druids Circle. This area is always good to walk in giving fine views with little effort expended. The Jubilee walk around Foel Lus will be a real treat for anyone that has not done it before. This high well maintained footpath gives fantastic views to the coast and Penmaenmawr.
After walk drinks will probably be at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn.
Thursday 16th October 2008
Foel Fennli and Moel Fammau.
Distance:11 miles; Climb:1700'.
Start: Car park adjacent to to the toilet block on the road from Llanferris to Bwlch Penbarra. It is the car park that you pay £1 on entry and is the car park that Richard used on the day we found someone's purse.Grid ref:SJ1736122.
Leave Chester 9-0 a.m.
This is another walk that we have done several times, but it is always good to return to our local patch. At least mid-week shouldn't too busy around Moel Fammau summit, but if everything goes to form it is very likely to be windy!
After walk drinks will probably be at the Gold Cape on Wrexham Road, Mold. If not the Glasfryn will be on offer.
Saturday 18th October 2008
Thurstaston to Hoylake.
Distance:13 miles; Climb:530'.
Start: Thursaston Country Park car park. Grid ref:SJ239834
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This seemed to be an appropriate walk to do on the day we all meet at Fran and Tito's in the evening to reminisce on our Italy adventure. This last time we did this walk was that memorable occasion when we took lunch on Red Rock and had all sorts of fancy goodies courtesy of Fran and M & S. Much of the walk, tide permitting is along the shore, so bring along binoculars if you can. High tide is at 14-12 and is 30.8' (9.7m).
After walk drinks will probably be at the Dee View, Heswall.
Thursday 23rd October 2008
Moel y Gaer, Moel Fammau and the western Fringes.
Distance: 10-11 miles;Climb:2000+'.
Start: Car park at the top of Bwlch Penbarra (Pay and Display). Grid ref: Sj162606
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry'a book " Walks Around the Clwydian Hills". One walk he describes as anexhilarating walk exploring part of the Moel Fammau Country Park and include the main ridge over Moel Llys-y-coed and Moel Dywyll. The other walk provides a fascinating exploration of the little known western flanks of the Clwydians.
After walk drinks will probably be at the Gold Cape on Wrexham Road, Mold. If not the Glasfryn will be on offer.
Saturday 25th October 2008
Longstone Edge and Water-cum-Jolly Dale.
Distance:10-11 miles; Climb:1200'.
Start: Monsal Head Car Park (Pay and Display). Grid ref: SK186715.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This is the first of several winter walks in the Peak District.
These walks are both taken from Mark Richard's book "Walks in the White Peak - North Dales".
He describes the outing to Longstone Edge as a most entertaining proposition. We have visited Water cum - Jolly - Dale many times, and most of us fully aware of the delights of this valley.
After walk drinks will probably be at the Monsal Head Hotel and if we are lucky Hartington Bitter will be on offer.
Thursday 30th October 2008
In Search of St. Cynhafal and part of St. Cwyfan's Trail.
Distance:10 -12 miles; Climb:2000'.
Start: Roadside parking in Nant Glyd, Llandyrnog. Grid ref:SJ109651.
Llandyrnog is on the B5429 road from Llanbedre D.C. to Bodfari. To get to Nant Glyd, in the centre of Llandyrnog turn towards Llangynhafal (Gladstone Terrace) then right into Nant Glyd, which offers good roadside parking.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale Of Clwyd. He describes the first walk as being a delightful 6.5 mile walk, but when we last did it came to 7.6 miles on the GPS. This walk follows riverside and field paths as wll as a delightful old bridleway before visiting the lovely remote 15th century church of St. Cynhafal.
If time allows the second walk of 6 miles is described as a walk visiting the attracrive countryside north of Llandyrnog and visits the smallest medieval church in the Vale. In the graveyard there is the grave of a man that lived in three centuries. This walk can be shortened to 4.5 miles if need be.
The location of after walk drinks (if any) can be decided on the day but the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn could still be the best choice.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Longstone Edge 25th October 2008

One of the delightful hidden valleys on the way to Longstone Edge.

The view in to Coombs Dale fro the start of the "precarious narrow trod".
Longstone Edge - the bit we walked along.
Walk stats: Distance:8.7 miles; Climb:1411'.
Time: 4 hours 22 minutes; Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia and Dave J.
Much to our surprise this walk was completed in the dry with very little wind. The rain only caught up with us for the last ten minutes or so of the walk.
We started the walk at the Monsal Head rather than the described routes suggestion of Greater Longstone. The Monsal Trail was the way we chose on the outward journey. This was a delightful path with the sun shining through the trees autumn leaves giving a blaze of reds and oranges.
The route description presented one or two challenges and we didn't quite get it right all of the time. A good reason for doing this walk again, especially since we missed viewing "Deep Rake"! However the route we did take was also good and has a good chance of becoming the way of choice should we do it a third time.
This walk did give a feel about it of walking along a ridge, giving good views into the valleys below and the entrance into Coombs Dale along the "precarious narrow trod" was quite dramatic!
Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Magpie, Jackdaw, Raven, Robin, Mistle thrush, Dunnock, House sparrow, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Buzzard and Kestrel.
The Monsal Head Hotel was so busy that we were forced to retreat to our usual hostelry at Leek. Most of us enjoyed Hartington Bitter in the characterful Wilkes Head.
Overall a good day in the Peak district, it was good to be back in this part of the woods again!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Moel Famau and its Western Fringes 23rd October 2008

Settting off towards Moel y Gaer
The delightful little visited side valley on the southern flanks of Moel y Gaer.
On the Western Fringes of Moel famau.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.7 miles; limb:3374'.
Time:4 hours 54 minutes; Walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Richard, Gordon, Anne H., Celia, Tim, Sylvia and Dave J.
The forecast wasn't good and we were all anticipating rain for most of the walk. Fortunately this didn't materialise and we only got a few spots of rain just as we were arriving back at the car. The wind however was another matter, it was so windy that it blew the boot lid down catching Roger on the head giving him a cut that bled quite profusely for some time. Manfuly he set off with the rest of the group, but soon realised that it would be wiser to go home. "Nurse" Richard obliged and caught up with the rest of the group at lunch.
This was quite an interesting route using some paths on the western flanks that we had never used before, adding to our footpath knowledge of our local patch.
After lunch we followed the Offa's Dyke path over Moel Llys-y-Coed, Moel Dywyll and Moel Famau. It was here that the gale force wind challenged us most and frequent forced side-steps were the order of the day.
Birds seen or heard today included: Raven, Carrion crow, Magpie, Jay, Kestrel, Fieldfare, Wren, Starling, Redwing and a flock of finches.
Enjoyable Cwrw Eryri were quaffed at the Glasfryn, but Richard decided not to join us.
Thankfully Roger felt much better when I contacted him later in the day.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Around Caldy and West Kirby 18th October 2008

The view from Red Rocks towards the lighthouse at Talacre.
Walk stats: Distance: 12.6 miles; Climb:674'.
Time: 5 hours 7 minutes; Walking average: 2.9 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sylvia and Dave J.
What a gloroius day walking it proved to be. Wonderful sunshine almost from the start to the end. Timing of the walk was a little out o take full advantage of the high tide pushing the wading birds closer to the shore. Nevertheles we did enjoy an early lunch (11-45 a.m.) sitting at Red Rocks watching the incoming stide getting closer. The views across the estuary towards the Great Orme were a joy to behold. We had a little detour to Gilroy Nature Reserve, but even this only added a Mallard and a farm yard type duck to our list.
Brids seen or hearde today included: Coot, Moorhen, Wren, Chaffinch, Housesparrow, Common gull, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Shellduck, Redshank, Starling, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Kestrel, Cormorant, Carrion crow and Blackbird.
Enjoyable drinks were quaffed at the Dee View in Heswall with the added bonus that Liverpool's home match against Wigan was being shown live!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Foel Fenlli and Moel Famau 16th October 2008

Setting off early on the walk.
The Vale of Clwyd from the ramparts of Foel Fenlli.

Heading for the Jubilee tower on Moel Famau.
Walk stats: Distance:8.9 miles; Climb:20078'.
Time 4 hours 10 minutes; Walking average:2.5m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Tim, Annie H., Sue and Michel, Sylvia and Dave J., and Gordon McNee.
The forecast for showers and temperatures as low as 6 Celsius meant that we were all back to winter gear. An early heavy shower resulted in us all setting off in waterproofs tops and bottoms. Although being accompanied by a cold north-westerly wind, the rain didn't persist and apart from one other shower just before lunch we were blessed with fine sunny walking conditions. Only Dave J., Sylvia and Roger climbed to the top of Foel Fenlli while the rest of us chose the delightful Offa's Dyke path that contoures alongside one of the hill fort ramparts, giving good views towards Ruthin and the Vale of Clwyd below.

The summit of Moel Famau was windy as usual, but we manage to shelter on the east side for a lunch stop in the sun. We still got gusts of wind that delighted in wisking away Michel's lunch wrappings. Not to be labelled a "litter lout" Michel entertained us with his "hunting skills" to recapture the escaped items!
The return route back to the car park was accomplished quicker than we expected and we were forced to head for the Glasfryn where we were enjoying Cwrw Eryri before 2-30 p.m.
Birds seen or heard today included:Fieldfare, Carrion crow, Wren, Meadow pipit, Chaffinch and Kestrel.
It was good to see Gordon joining the walk for the first time after an enforced absence due to a short three month work contract that lasted well over a year!