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, a mid-week and 3-4 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, 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., Joyce Russell

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Dates and Walks December 2009

Updated 26th December 2009.
December dates to remember.
Margaret and Roger Smith have kindly invited all of the walking group to their open house event on Wednesday 30th December 2009 between 15-00 and 18-00 (3 p.m. - 6-00 p.m.)
Mulled wine and nibbles will be available!
Let them know if you intend to go.
Tim and Carol have kindly invited us to join them for a meal together on the evening after our New Years Day walk.
Thursday 3rd December 2009.
Moel Arthur, Moel Llys-y-coed, Cilcain and Cwm Gain.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:2000' at a guess!
Start: Llangwyfan Forestry Car Park. Grid ref: SJ139668.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the CLwydian Hills". It is two walks that we have done several times before, but walks on this section of the Offa's Dyke path across the Clwydians is always worth repeating. The summit of Moel Arthur is always a good viewpoint for those that have enough energy left at the end of the day! Dave Berry describes these walks as being a stimulating walk in the foothills of Moel Famau, hopefully we will agree!
Saturday 5th December 2009.
Timberbrook and Bosley Cloud.
Distance:11 miles; Climb:1500+'.
Start: Picnic area/car park in Weathercock Lane, Timberbrook. Grid ref: SJ894628.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks taken from Carl Rogers' book "Circular Walks Along The Gritstone Trail and Mowcop Trail". Hopefully we will be able to complete the routes as planned, rather than improvise at the last minute when some of the roads around Bosley were closed due to snow! The walk will allow us to revisit sections of the MOwcop Trail and the summit of The Cloud with it viewes across the Cheshire Plain.
Thursday 10th December 2009.
The Alun Valley, Moel y Waun, Llyn Gweryd and Limestone Pastures.
Distance:11 miles; Climb:2000'.
Start: Llandegla Village car park, adjacent to the bus shelter and opposite the Post Office. Grid ref:SJ191561.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
Thiswalk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the CLwydian Hills". He describes one walk as being delightful and the other as being an easy walk with scenic delights. What more could we want from a walk, and as we know Dave Berry is frequently delighted on his walks! From past experience parts of the route can be muddy underfoot.
Saturday 12th December 2009.
Mynydd Garthmyn, Capel Garmen Burial Chamber, Dinas Mawr and the Machno Falls.
Distance:11.3 miles; Climb:2153'.
Start:Main car park in Betws-y-coed (Pay and display in places!). Grid ref:SH795565.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley." It gives us another chance to enjoy this varied walk exploring the attractive uplans area to the East of Betws-y-coed, featuring the classic viewpoint of Mynydd Garthmyn and visiting the impressive Capel Garmen Burial Chamber. The second walk follows scenic quiet country lanes past an ancient packhorse bridge and gives views of the Machno Falls and the Conwy Gorge.
Thursday 17th December 2009.
Rhuddlan and the Clwyd Estuary and the Point of Ayr.
Distance:9 miles; Climb:Not a lot!
Start:The car park at Foryd Bridge at the Western end of Rhyl (Pay and display). Grid ref:SH995996.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks On The North Wales Coast", but unfortunately one starts in Rhyl and the other at the Point of Ayr, so having completed the first walk we will need to drive to the start of the second one. These two very easy low level walks are not everyone's cup of tea, but they do give the opportunity to do a little birdwatching on route, so don't forget to bring binoculars with you if you have any. The first walk follows the Western path alongside the Afon Clwyd from Rhyl to Rhuddlan and returns via the path on the Eastern side of the river.
The Point of Ayr walk goes through the Nature Reserve and along the shore as well as visiting the RSPB hide at the Point of Ayr (Unfortunately I think the hide is permanently locked due to vandalism).
Saturday 19th December 2009.
Llyn Elsi and Sarn Helen.
Distance:9.1 miles; Climb:1516'.
Start:Main car park in Betws-y-coed (Pay and display in places!). Grid ref:SH795565.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley."
Another chance to repeat this lovely walk that we did lasy year when Llyn Elsi had a thick covering of ice over it, and for quite awhile we were followed by a friendly Robin. The walk follows attractive woodland paths and waymarked trails and culminates with extensive views from the Monument above Llyn Elsi. The route returns via Sarn Helen Roman Road and the final section uses an attractive path alongside the Afon Llugwy.
Thursday 24th December 2009.
The West Kirby to Red Rocks, Hoylake and The Grange.
Distance:8-10 miles. Climb:500' (at a guess).
Start: Marine Lake at West Kirby (Park as near to the sailing club as you can).
This is another walk to bring binoculars, especially for the first part of the walk around the Marine Lake and along the beach to Red Rocks.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Saturday 26th December 2009.
No walk planned.
Thursday 31st December 2009.
Gadlys and Nant-y-Flint.
Distance:8-9 miles; Climb:1500+' at a guess.
Start: Britannia Inn , Pentre Halkyn. Grid ref:SJ212712.
Leacve Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This is a wal that we normally start from Bagillt, but today we will start from The Britannia Inn. This will allow us to explore one or two new paths that we haven't used before, as well as take a walk over the new bridge over the A55 that we have watched being constructed each time we visited the Brit. some sections of th3 walk can be muddy, although when we visited the worse section earlier in the year alot of work had been done to make them less muddy and easier to use! at the moment I can't see a way of linking the walk with the Brit without using the same way in each direction!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

The West Kirby Round 24th December 2009.

The West Kirby Marine Lake - the start of the walk and the end of the walk!
Waiting at the Margaret's mince pies stop!

Walk stats: Distance:7.4 miles; Climb:264'.
Time:3 hours 7 minutes; On the move walking average:2.7 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.4 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Time, Sylvia, Dave J., and Georgie.
Not the best of weather conditions, but at least it was dry and the wind on the coast was almost none existent! Distant views were another matter with low cloud/mist accompanying us throughout. Hopeful of some good birdwatching, but alas the tide was too far out and the birds near enough to see were only few. The star birds on the Marine Lake were the Goldeneye (male and female) and the Mergansers (also male and female).
Not to be outdone, we decided to make a detour to the Gilroy Nature Reserve where the drama of the day was to take place. Georgie the Jack Russel, no longer a puppy, decided to chase some ducks on the pond by running across thin ice. Unfortunately she went through the ice and had to be rescued by Dave wading knee deep in cold icy water!
At this point Dave, Sylvia and Georgie made a rapid return to the car while he rest of us carried on the planned route, at this point just over a mile away from the start.
We stopped at the War Memorial on the top of Grange Hill, where we had the luxury of park benches to sit on and Margaret's mince pies to savour.
Birds seen or heard today included:Goldenye, Merganser, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Common gull, Redshank, Curlew, Shelduck, Oystercatcher, Meadow pipit, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Blackbird, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Fieldfare and Dunlin.
After walk drinks were taken at the Dee View in Heswall, where the beer sampled was a Cottage brew called "Christmas Cracker", which didn't quite live up to its name.
Both photos were taken by Richard.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Llyn Elsi and Sarn Helen 19th December 2009.

On the edge of Llyn Elsi - the first time the batteries for the camera were warm enough to operate!
Looking South across Llyn Elsi from the Memorial stone.
Looking towards Betws-y-coed from the Miners' Bridge 1 photo by Richard.
Relaxing after lunch at the Miners' Bridge at Betws-y-coed - photo by Richard.
Walk stats:Distance:6.1 miles; Climb:1265'.
Time: 3 hours 50 minutes. On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.6 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Mike, Sylvia and Dave J.
Didn't look carefully enough at the route descriptions and a walk of 6 miles and 4.5 miles only turned out to be 6.1 miles! At least we had the best of the weather and we were back home in daylight, well almost!
This was a cold crisp day with temperatures remaining below freezing throughout, and no sun this time to make us feel warm. Nevertheless this was a lovely walk, all the better for having done it with a little snow underfoot and an absence of people!
The first incidence that occurred was the repeated "fruity smell" that was evident periodically. Martyn was a little concerned that his flask containing fruit tea had started to leak. Investigating further showed that the flask was still intact, and the "fruity smell" was coming from Sylvia chewing gum!
We saw several Robins on route, but none on this occasion chose to follow us around the lake.
Lunch was taken just after crossing the Miners' Bridge otherwise we would have been in danger of completing the walk having carried out packed lunches for nothing!
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Wren, Blue tit, Coal tit, Great tit, Herring gull, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Buzzard, Siskin, Jay, Mallard, Goldeneye, Lesser black-backed gull, Chaffinch and Dipper.
After walk drinks were enjoyed in the warm environs of the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkn. Once again Lees Bitter and Brewers Dark were the favoured drinks, although a pot of tea came into the picture too!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Around Rhuddlan and the Clwyd Estuary 2009.

Follow the leader, who in this case is Richard.
Rhuddlan Castle in bright sunshine.What are you looking at, they went the other way! It wasn't me honest!
Walk stats: Distance: 11.0 miles; Climb:412'.
Time:4 hours 31 minutes; On the move walking average:2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.4 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Sue and Michel, Sylvia and Dave J., Tim, Tito, Celia and Paul.
A good day for walking and bird watching too, especially in the morning. Cold at times, but on the move kept most of us warm. Once past the castle, an appropriate lunch spot could not be found and it wasn't 'till we were on the riverside at 13-30 that we managed to sit down for lunch. Even then there was much grumblings, but at least we could sit down on dry concrete and under cover had it rained! Tim provided Christmas cake (not of his own making) for everyone and Sylvia provided some very moreish home made damson chocolates which seemed to kick start the group for the final stretch back to the car.
The path had recently been tarmacked and a pleasant new section allowed us to follow the river a little more before crossing the railway footbridge, leaving us only a few hundred yards back to the car.
Birds seen or heard today included: Red-breasted mergansers, Shelduck, Dunlin, Lapwing, Mallard, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Greater black-backed gull, Wigeon, Little egret, Mute swan, Blackbird, House sparrow, Blue tit, Great tit, Curlew, Black-billed magpie, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Buzzard, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Cormorant, Starling, Rook, Pheasant, Grey wagtail and Sparrowhawk.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn where the bitter and Brewers Dark were the beers of choice.
Only Tito and Celia are able to tell the story as to why they arrived at the Britannia Inn half an hour after the rest of us. At least they told the same story!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Mynydd Garthmym, Capel Garmon Burial Chamber, Dinas Mawr and the Machno Falls 12th December 2009.

The view from the footbridge over the Afon Conwy looking towards the coast.Where are those slow coaches?
Snowdonia - one of the best views of the day fro the summit of Mynydd Garthmyn.

The Capel Garmon Burial Chamber or "David don't you know I'm always right!".
A view of Snowdonia just before lunch.

A Roman Bridge over Afon Machno.
Walk stats: Ditsatnce: 9.7 miles; Climb:1828'.
Time: 5 hours 6 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn; Roger, Celia and Dave J.
Yet another glorious day for walking, bright and sunny and warm in the morning, another day to regret leaving the shorts at home!
The views towards the Glyders and the Carneddau were superb. This is why we love to walk in this beautiful part of Wales!
The rivers tumbling over the rocks, as well as the parts of the Machno falls that we were able to see, made us think why did the notice say "No canoeing"!
The final route up through the pine trees from the A5 was a lovely zig-zag path, wel worthy of the occasional stop to look back towards the valley (which few appreciated!) was worthwhile.
Although not usually liked we did deliberately return to Betws-y-coed via the lovely suspension bridge over the Afon Conwy.
Birds seen or heard today included:Robin, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Herring gull, Blue tit, Great tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Bullfinch, House sparrow, Coal tit, Buzzard, Black-billed magpie, Chaffinch and Wren.
After walk drinks (Lees bitter as usual in excellent nick if a little on the cool side) were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. It was good to see the pub full, even if it was with members of the shoot!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The Alun Valley, Moel y Waun , Llyn Gweryd and Limestone Pasture 10th December 2009.

Heading towards the limestone kiln.
The kiln, missed by some!
Limestone pastures, with Moel Gyw in the distance.

The view of Clwyd Valley and the Snowdonia mountains from or lunch spot in the Sun.
Walk stats:Distance: 11.4 miles; Climb:1198'.
Time 5 hours 11 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Sylivia and Dave J., Sue and Michel, Gordon, Celia, Paul and Georgie the Jack Russel grey squirrel chaser.
What a superb day for walking this walking this turned out to be.my only regret was that I should have been wearing my shorts, at least I could complete the walk just in a polo shirt!
Glorious blue skies and sunshine accompanied us throughout the walk and even the expected muddy patches weren't too challenging! One or two of us rang the warning bell as we crossed the golf course, but we didn't see any golfers that needed to be aware of our presence!
This was another day for "Star Jelly", quite a large sample on the footpath skirting the Northern slopes of Moel y Waun. This is the first time that I have walked around Moel y Waun without most of the group clamouring to head for its trig point!
Birds seen or heard today were less than expected, but included:Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Robin, House sparrow, Raven, Buzzard and Pheasant.
Even Georgie behaved better than usual after chasing off after a Grey squirrel and ignoring any calling to bring her back in line (Dave J., did do a little more mileage in attempts to bring her back in line and back on the lead!).
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the New Inn at Pontybodkin, where two of the Hobsons' brews went down well. Only two of the group didn't experience the hospitality of this hostelry!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Bosley Cloud and Around Timbersbrook 5th December 2009

A different view of Bosley Cloud.
A view of Croker Hill and the Sutton Common transmitter, but whose the poser?The group on the summit of Bosley Cloud.

On the top of Bosley Cloud, but does he have any mates?
Walk stats: Distance: 12.6 miles; Climb:1539'.
Time: 6 hours 5 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J., Mike D., and Celia.
Weather forecast for the day was quite optimistic, in fact it was really good. Until lunch time we were in bright sunshine all the way round and the views from the summit of Bosley cloud were superb in all directions. Lunch was very civilised as we used the picnic tables available at Timbersbrook. An added bonus at lunch today were the mince pies created by Margaret, but supervised by Roger we understand! Celia said you have to make a wish when you have the first mince pie, Dave J. merely said "I wish I had Two!".
The afternoon walk undertaken in less sunny conditions, but still dry was a little less challenging, except for the muddy/watery sections and the fact that at one point the walk description said turn right when the left was the right answer!
Nevertheless we all arrived back at the car, having enjoyed a really lovely winter whimps walk!
Birs seen or hrad today included: Bullfinch) as far as I am concerned always the bird of the day!), Carrion crow, Rook, Black-billed magpie, Jay, Robin, House sparrow, Mallard, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Pied wagtail, Nuthatch, Fieldfare, Redwing, Kestrel, and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Farmers Arms at Kelsall. The beers enjoyed were Cains Bitter (a little on the cold side as is the pub!) and Weetwood Old Dog.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Moel Arthur and Moel lLlys-y-Coed and Cwm Gain 3rd December 2009

At the top of Cwm Gain. just about to set foot along Offa's Dyke Footpath back to the car.
Moel Arthur, a real hill fort.
On the summit of Moel Arthur, the last peak of the day, but still someone is missing!
Walk stats:Distance:10.1 miles; Climb:2034'.
Time: 40 hours 40 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.5 .p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J., Annie H., Fran and Nigel (today's bonus walker!).
If you listened to the weather forecast you well have stayed at home. However those that brave the initial rain, hail, sleet and wind were blessed by a lovely sunny afternoon as we traversed Moel Llys-y-Coed and Moel Arthur.
Fran, making what is likem a guest appearance, provided the group with their first mince pies of the season, all gratefully devoured!
Birds seen or heard today included : Black-billed magpie, Carrion crow, Raven, Jackdaw, Robin, Fieldfare, Blackbird, Redwing, Nuthatch, Kestrel, Buzzard and Bulfinch (bird of the day).
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre halkyn. Lees Bitter was good, but the Brewers Dark was even better!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

An Unexpected Walk From Pont Rufeinog Station 28th November 2009

Heading of towards the snow and into the unexpected!
Snowdonia capped in snow, a delightful but unexpected view.
walk stats: Distance:6.3 miles;Climb:892'.
Time:3 hours 55 minutes, On the move walking average:2.2 m.p.h.; Overall walk 1.6 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard and Dave J.
Weather was better than expected, dry and sunny, but throughout close to zero, icy snow on the puddles on the paths when we found one!
Our first problem arrive very early on in the walk when our planned footpath was closed, but another footpath, probably better than the first, which took us as far as our link to the next walk. It started well, but we were soon trying to follow a footpath that on the ground did not exist. Thankfully GPS lead us to a quarry path and the road!
Gratefully we enjoyed lunch, sitting on the wall in the car park at the top of the Crimea Pass.
The unexpected bonus for the day was the fact that the high peaks were decked in snow, most spectacularly displayed from the Denbigh Moors on our way home.
Birds seen or heard today included:Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Jay, Dunnock, Mallard, Black-billed magpie, Chaffinch and Raven.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia at Pentre Halkyn, where Brewers Dark as well as the normal Lees bitter were quaffed.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Maen Achwyfan, Garth and Felin Blwm Woods 26th November 2009

The Watchtower from near Plas Uchaf.
Too much Sun!
Lunch in the sunshine - Richard not at his best!
The view from the watch tower.
At the Watchtower in Coed y Garreg.

Walk stats: Distance:8.9 miles; Climb:1454'.
Time:4 hours 33 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Dave J., Tim, Tito and Annie H.
What a glorious day this turned out to be for walking. Sunshine throughout, excellent distant views and in the main shielded from the wind. However at times the wind was quite brisk and kept the temperature in to single figures, almost shorts weather at times!
This was a walk where the paths through the woods, particularly Coed Felin Blwm and Coed Garth were delightful.
The viewpoint of the day was at the Watchtower in Coed y Garreg, now cleared from trees making the view across the Dee Estuary towards Liverpool superb.
Birds seen or heard today included:Kestrel, Starlings (a flock of at least 200), Buzzard, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit (even Tim said he could identify them!), Pheasant, Black-billed magpie, Great tit, Carrion crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Nuthatch, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Meadow pipit, Redwing and Fieldfare.
After walk drinks were enjoyed in the warmth of the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where once again the Lees bitter was excellent.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Dates and Walks November 2009

Updated 19th November 2009.
Happy birthday Fran - 21 today again!
Congratulation to Annie on becoming a Grandmother and to Philip and Sam on the safe arrival of their daughter Eva.
"Eva was born Friday 29 October to Philip and Sam' s delight and mine of course. She weighed 8lb7. Mother and baby went home on Sunday and all is well! See you on Thursday." -Annie H.
Advanced notice: Tim and Carol have kindly invited us to join them for a meal together on the evening after our New Years Day walk.
Thursday 5th November 2009.
Lindow, Saltersley and Mobberley.
Distance: 10.6 miles ;Climb:885'.
Start: Twinnies Bridge Car park, Wilmslow Grid ref:SJ840823.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks", and is one we last did January 2008. A good varied walk, but not too much climb involved!
Saturday 7th November 2009.
Shining Tor, Errwood Reservoir, Pym Chair, Todd Brook and Dunge Valley.
Distance: 11 miles;Climb: 230' .
Start: Pym Chair Car Park. Grid ref:SJ995767.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines one walk from the "Pathfinder Guide to the Peak District" and one walk from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks", although we probably won't do either in their entirety. The Shining Tor walk is superb and the second one involves some interesting route finding, hopefully successful this time!
Wednesday 11th November 2009
Holywell Common, Pen-y-Ball and Pantasaph.
Distance: 10-11 miles ;Climb: 1167.
Start: Crooked Horn Inn, Brynford (Park near to sign) Grid ref:SJ186741.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Another two walks from Dave Bery's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". It;s nearly two years since w last did these two walks together! Always a good walk, if you try to forget that climb up the road to the Pen-y-Ball Monument!
Saturday 14th November 2009.
Under Moel Siabod.
Distance: 8 miles ;Climb: 1000+ .
Start: On the railway bridge, just North of Pont y Pant Station. Grid ref: SH754537.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Mike Burnett's book "Walks East of Snowdon". He describes it as a wild walk which crosses the high moorland to the East of Moel Siabod. Does that mean we can expect wet feet too! The walk apparently gives spectacular views of Moel Siabod and the Carneddau.
Thursday 19th November 2009.
Around Styal.
Distance: 9.5 miles;Climb: 621' .
Start: Twinnies Bridge Car park, Wilmslow Grid ref:SJ840823.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "Best Pub Walks in Cheshire" which we last completed in December 2007. Another chance for Annie to have a longer than usual lay in!
Saturday 21st November 2009.
Another Variation on the Lathkilldale.
Distance: 10 miles;Climb: 1000+'.
Start: Monyash Car park. Grid ref:SK149666.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This variatiion is taken fromthe "Pathfinders Guide to the Peak District", but in the main is very similar to the Mark Richard's walk that we have done before. Lathkill dale is one of the most beautiful dales in the Peak District and is good to visit in all seasons.
Thursday 26th November 2009
Maen Achwyfan, Garth Woods and Felin Blwm Woods.
Distance: 9-10 miles;Climb:1264'.
Start: Opposite the church in Whitford. Grid ref:SJ147782.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". Although we have already completed the "Maen Achwyfan" walk quite recently, it is the only walk that fits in with the "Garth Woods and Felin Blwm Woods" walk. This latter walk features attractive ancient woodlands following a way-marked Flintshire countryside circuit. O the way back we will try to avoid the gate and the wasps nest encountered last time!
Saturday 28th November 2009.
Dolwyddelan Castle, Blaenau Dolwyddelan and Coed Mawr and Maybe Moel Dyrnogydd.
Distance: 8-12 miles ;Climb: 2000+' .
Start: Pont Rufeinig (Roman Bridges Station). Grid ref:SH713514.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk could combine upto three walks from Mike Burnett's book Walks East of Snowdon". He describes one walk as a fascinating walk with dramatic views of Dolwyddelan Castle and superb views of the Lledre Valley. The second walk as a walk exploring the settlements above Dolwyddelan, once focused on quarry workings. The third as a fascinating walk visiting four sites - two quarries and two farms and crosses the Afon Lledr twice, once by a footbridge and once by strategically placed stepping stones. Moel Dyrnogydd will only be attempted if the weather demands an extension!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Monyash and Lathkilldale 21st November 2009

The crystal clear River Lathkill.
The bird of the day, but can you see it?
Walk stats: Distance10.1 miles (11 miles):Climb:1223' (1400').
Time:4 hours 51 minutes; On the move walking average:2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h..
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J., and Mike D.
Not the best of weather to start with, as we arrived at Monyash in mist, but at least it wasn't raining much and the wind was light and the temperature still warm enough for wearing shorts. Distant views were a little foggy to say the least, but the lovely Lathkill Dale gave us plenty to cheer about. Coots were seen swimming below the water, a Mute swan impressed Roger with its flypast and we were entertained by several Dippers bobbing up and calling from their mid-steam branch or rock. The nature spot of the day was watching a fish trying to jump up one of the weirs on the River Lathkill. In the upper reaches of Lathkill Dale, the river had flooded across the path, but others before us had created a new path higher up the slope. The last half an hour or so produced the most rain, and we arrived back at the car it little wetter than e would have liked, but bone dry in comparison to lst Saturday's walk and we all still had dry feet!
Birds seen or heard today included:Robin, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Raven, Raven, Magpie, Blue tit, Wren, Mute swan, Mallard, Pheasant, Dipper, Coot, Goldfinch, Moorhen and Fieldfare.
After walk drinks were enjoyed, especially by Richard, at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where once again the Hartington Bitter confirmed to each one of us that it is the best bitter in the world, worthy of a detour to Leek to sample!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Around Styal 19th November 2009

Leaving Styal Village heading for the cross. Styal Cross.
Giant's Castle Bridge over the Bollin.
On the Bollin Valley Way.
Distance:8.1 miles;Climb:1329' , although when we last did this walk it was only 956'. I think today's reading must have been too high due to the strong winds.
Time:3 hours 35 minutes; On the move walking average:2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Dave J. and Sylvia, Annie H., Celia and Paul.
What a good day for walking this turned out to be. 15 Celsius on the car at the start and at the end, this was definitely a shorts day! The wind at times was quite brisk, but at least it was relatively warm. The Bollin was very pretty high and muddy coloured, no chance of spotting any fish! Surprisingly we had very little disturbance from low flying aircraft, despite being less than a mile away from the runway at Manchester Airport.
Lunch was taken alongside Rossmere, where a convenient fallen tree provided dry seating for most of us. Annie provided us with shortbread biscuits as a celebration of her birthday that had been two days before.
Birds seen or heard today included:Carrion crow, Jay, Long-tailed tit, Blue tit, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Black-headed gull, Wren, Great-crested grebe and Black-billed magpie.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Lord Ebdon in Knutsford where Norther Carnival bitter proved to be very tasty.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Beneath Moel Siabod 14th November 2009

A good path to start with, little did we know what came next!
At last we're back on a proper track!
Our lunch spot with a good view of Moel Siabod (photo below). Is everyone happy?
Moel Siabod in sunshine!

Walk stats: Distance:8.4 miles; Climb:994'.
Time:3 hours 51` minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J. and Mike D.
Weather today was not exactly the weather we would have chosen, but at least it wasn't cold and in the main the rain was quite gentle even if it was persistent! This was a walk for good views, but we didn't get any 'till after mid-day! This would have been a lovely walk, had I not fallen in a stream and then had to wade across a marsh, knee deep in water, for more than a mile. At least I knew that i wasn't the only one with squelching boots reminiscent of childhood days when the water went over the top of your wellies! At least we managed to have lunch when the rain had stopped, Moel Siabod was in view and the Sun came out!
Some of us enjoyed the walk, but I'm not sure it will be on many of the group's favourites list! The walk may be repeated again, but only after a severe period of drought!
Birds seen or heard today were very few, but included:Blackbird, Dunnock, Jay, Meadow pipit, Carrion crow, Raven, Robin and Grey heron.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn where Lees Bitter and Brewers dark were on good form. On this wet and miserable day the real fire at the TV end of the room was a very welcome bonus!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Holywell Common, Racecourse, Pantasaph and Pen-y-Ball 11th November 2009.

At the trig point on Pen-y-Ball.

Walk stats: Distance:10.7 miles; Climb:950'.
Time:4 hours 54 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Tim and Dave J.
The necessary switch to Wednesday this week meant that only three of the regulars could make it. The weather was kind to us in that it was dry and cool for most of the walk, but we did get a little sunshine with blue skies. Views weren't that clear, but we did get glimpses of the Clwydians and fairly good views across the Dee estuary.
This was a good day for birds, they seemed to be everywhere. Birds seen or heard today included: Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Pied wagtail, Yellowhammer, Black-billed magpie, Raven, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Common gull, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Buzzard, Kestrel, Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle thrush, Song thrush, Collared dove, Woodpigeon, Starling, Greater spotted woodpecker and House sparrow.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the warm and welcoming Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Shining Tor, the Goyt Valley and the Toddbrook Circular 7th November 2009

Heading for Shining Tor. On the path from Pym Chair to Shining Tor.
At the trig point on Shining Tor, not quite living up to its name. The approach to Errwood Reservoir.
One of the views from the path above Summer Close, looking across the valley towards
Pym Chair.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.6 miles; Climb:2495'.
Time 5 hours 19 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h. Dave J., Richard, Roger and Mike Dodd walked a little further!
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia, Dave J., and Mike D.
This turned out to be a better day than we expected, although at times it was a little on the cold side (3 Celsius when we arrived at Pym Chair). However we did have good warm sunny
spells too, particularly in the morning, but after we had reached the summit of Shining Tor! This walk, down to Errwood Reservoir past Errwood Hall and the shrine back to Pym Chair is a a delightful! Lunch was taken back at the cars, although some decided to dine a little further away.
The afternoon walk, not as delightful as that of the morning, did present as expected challenges to both route finding and the waterproofing on our boots. Thankfully we did find the correct way to approach Summer Close from Tunstead Farm, but it was hardly any better than earlier attempts in terms of the underfoot conditions and the need to cross streams by paddling!
Once again I decided that I had had enough and diverted from the described route along the road past Jenkin Chapel back to Pym Chair, along with Celia. The rest of the group decided to continue the walk via Saltersfoot. I know who made the best choice when they arrived back at the car looking like drowned rats and we were safely in the car before any substantial rain started!
Birds seen and heard today included:Robin, Red grouse, Meadow pipit, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Grey heron, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Carrion crow, Jackdaw and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed by most of us at the Cross Keys at Knutsford where several good beers were on offer, but Deuchars IPA was the chosen one today. Dave and Roger missed out, having headed straight home due to evening engagements.