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, 31 January 2009

Traeth Lafan and Coedydd Aber 31st January 2009

One of the first good views of Aber Falls. The usual lunch spot, but not today!
Richard on a hanky but no panky mission!
What mountain peaks are these? The Glyders we all think!
Walk stats: Distance:11.4 miles; Climb:1961' (calculated from ther GPS tracking data and Memory map, GPS gave 3725', we assumed that this was wrong because the very strong wind must have created too much pressure variations that the height gained was off the mark.)
Time: 5 hours 23 minutes; On the move walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J. and Celia.
Always a good walk and today was no exception. The weather was dry and much warmer than we had expected, but the wind proved to be quite challenging to say the least! Finding a lunch spot wasn't easy either and lunch was taken later than usual, fortunately everyone understood the reasons why and most were happy with the chosen spot! as last year the cocklers from Poland were just finishing their shift as we arrived at the car park. Snow adorned the higher peaks and gave picturesque distant views. The route was remarkably dry and mud free until we crossed the farm fields and farmyard area near the end. Our boots will need more than a bath yet again!
As usual we called in at the bird hide at the Spinnies Nature Reserve, but this time there was quite a lot of birders there. Unfortunately we just missed a Firecrest!
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Mallard, Wigeon, Redshank, Common gull, Black-headed gull, Lapwing, Fieldfare, Redwing, Starling, Curlew, Coal tit, Great tit, Blue tit, Little egret, Goldeneye, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Housesparrow, Pied wagtail, Grey heron, Buzzard and a Kingfisher (seen only by Richard but heard by the birders in the hide).
As usual there was a warm welcome at the Britannia Inn for us where the Lees bitter went down well. Kelly even gave us some of her Rabbit stew to sample. It met with much approval and hopefully it will be added to the regular house menu (as Rabbit pie I hope!)

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Ysceifiog, Babell, Llixwm and Nannerch 29th January 2009

The best patch of wild Snowdrops that we have seen this year to date.
The last of the muddy patches, well nearly!
Will they or won't they?
Yes they will.

Walk stats: Distance:9.5 mles; Climb:1266'.
Time:4 hours 38 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.;Overall walking average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J., Gordon, Celia, Annie H., Fran and Tito, Sue and Michel.
The weather was overcast but dry and without any sun quite cool. We knew sections of this walk could be a bit on the muddy side, but today it more than lived up to its reputation. Hopefully everyone's boots were given a good wash on getting home and for some gaiters and trousers too! Nevertheless this was a good walk, allowing us all to experience sections of paths never used before. We even encountered a friendly farm dog that just wanted us to show us his ball! The lunch spot wasn't the best in the world, but no-one really grumbled and we all happily celebrated the completion of the walk in the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. The Lees bitter was in particularly good form, but there again it usually is!
No baby calves this week, but there were a few quite young lambs to cause a few ahs!
Birds seen or heard today included:Robin, Wren, Herring gull, Blackbird, Carrion crow, Magpie, Fieldfare, Jackdaw, Rook, Housesparrow, Blue tit, Jay,Grey heron, Kestrel, Starling, Coot and Buzzard.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Around Chatsworth Park 24th January 2009

Looking across the deer park to Chatsworth House. Did we make the right decision to come this way?
Walking along the ridge above Chatworth Park.
Walk stats: Distance:11.9 miles; Climb:1297'.
Time:5 hours 3 minutes; On the move walking average:2.8 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.4 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Celia, Richard and Jenny.
This walk was a little longer than we expected, in fact nearly three miles longer. The weather was good and for most of the time much warmer than any of the forecasts that we had heard. We completed the shorter circuit first that ended up at the Edensor church where Richard found the gravestone of J.F. Kennedy's sister Kathleen. For the second week running we were fortunate to find picnic tables for lunch. This time we could look across the the River Derwent to a herd of deer grazing on the opposite hillside. Today we were fortunate to see both Red deer and Fallow deer, but the animal of the day was a Brown Hare racing across the Deer park and for once getting very close to us before changing direction.
Even though Chatsworth House was closed this was a very popular area with groups of walkers like swarming ants all over the park. Not a place to come for a quiet walk in the country beautiful as it is!
Despite this minor irritation, overall this was an enjoyable ramble around the Duke of Devonshire's deer park.
Birds seen or heard today included:Nuthatch, Mallard, Robin, Coot, Canada goose, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Jackdaw, Tufted duck, Housesparrow, Carrion crow and Raven.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at Wilkes Head in Leek, where the Hartington Bitter tasted wonderful. Thankfully I remembered to bring my carryout container and could enjoy another pint when I got home. It tasted even better, having warmed up a little.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Dates and Walks January 2009

Updated 22nd January 2009. We did the wrong walk on the 22nd so the walk for the 22nd has now been changed to the walk for the 29th!
Happy New Year to everyone.
Thursday 1st January 2009.
Distance:5-7 miles;Climb:1500'.
Start: Llangwyfan Forestry CarPark. Grid ref: SJ139668.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
A walk taken from Dave Berry's book " Walks in the Clwydian Hills". This is a walk that we have done many times before. We will probably extend the walk to include Moel y Parc, hence increasing the walk by about 2 miles or so.
After walk drinks will probably be at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.

Light bites and more!
Dave and Sylvia Jenkins have kindly invited all of the walking group to join them for light bites and more after the New Year's Day walk starting from about 5 p.m. (Must like exciteable puppies!)
Friday 2nd January 2009.
Wine and Nibbles.
Margaret and Roger Smith have kindly invited all the walking group and their partners to their home for some festive cheer from 4-00 p.m. onwards.
Saturday 3rd January 2009.
Llyn Elsi and Sarn Helan.
Distance: 9 miles;Climb:100'.
Start: Betws-y-coed main car park opposite the station. Grid ref:SH795565.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley" The main walk visits Llyn Elsi and with a little added extra we could complete a circuit of the lake. The second walk descend from the high point along Sarn Helen, the Roman road from Caerhun in the Conwy Valley to Carmarthen. The final section back to Betws-y-coed is along the riverside path, always a treat and good for spotting our feathered friends too.
Thursday 8th January 2009.
Cwm Conwy, Moel y Gaer and Around the Gwynsaney Estate.
Distance:12 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Rhosesmor. Parking area next to the children's play area. Grid ref:SJ214684.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". They are both walks that we have done before several times, but perhaps not together. The Cwm Conwy walk is one of my favourite walks in this area and with the prospect of visiting the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn after the walk, what more could you ask for?
Saturday 10th January 2009
Baslow Edge, Curber Edge and Birchen Edge.
Distance: 11 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start. baslow car park. Grid ref: SK258721.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines one walk from Mark Richard's book"White Peak Walks - Northern Dales" and a walk from the "Pathfinder Guide - Peak District". The walks are described as providing exhilarating walking with glorious views.

Thursday 15th January 2009.
Llanarmon-yn-Ial, Eryrys and Moel y Gyw.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1800'.
Start:Pistyll Gwyn Quarry car park. 1 mile north of Llanarmon-yn-Ial. Gridn ref:SJ189574.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks taken from Carl Roger's book "Walking in the Clwydian Hills". We have completed both walks before, but have never tried to link them together before. The Eryrys walk is described as exploring the lesser-known limestone hills separated from the main Clwydian ridge by the Alyn Valley. Views throughout the walk are superb! The second walk involves the ascent of Moel Gyw which also has superb views of the Clwydian Hills to both the north and the south.
Saturday 17th January 2009.
Llyn Parc and the Miners Trail.
Start: Betws-y-coed main car park opposite the station. Grid ref:SH795565.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley". One walk explores the attractrive mature mixed woodland of the Gwydyr Forest Park and visits the upland lake of Llyn Parc. The second wlk allows us to explore the remains of the once thriving lead mining industry that at one time dominated these upland slopes above Betws-y-coed.

Thursday 29th January 2009.
The Ysceifiog, Lixwm and Nannerch Round.
Start: Ysceifiog. Roadside parking next to the play area. Grid ref: SJ152715.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
Deprived of our usual parking spot in Lixwm, starting from Ysceifiog allows us to once more to combine these two fine walks around Richard's patch. Both walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". They are described as walks exloring the attractive undulating couintryside between the Wheeler Valley and Lixwm.
Saturday 24th January 2009.
Around Chatworth Park
Distance:9 miles. Climb:1500'.
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.
This walk is mainly in the area behind Chatsworth and effectively compliments the walk that we did from Bakewell last year.
Thursday 22nd January 2009.
Maes-Mynan and Pwll-Gwyn Woods, Bryn Golau and Ysceifiog Lake.
Start: Ysceifiog. Roadside parking next to the play area. Grid ref: SJ152715.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "More Walks On The Clwydian Hills". Again it is quite some time since we did these walks. Hopefully it won't be as wet this time and perhaps we will feel like going round Pwll-Gwyn Woods for the first time. Being on Richard's local patch, we shouldn't get lost!
Saturday 31st January 2009.
Traeth Lefan, The Spinnies and the Foothills West Of Aber.
Start: Beach car park just after the Spinnies Nature Reserve. Grid ref:SH615724.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast". This walk is becoming a regular feature at this time of the year. Don't forget to bring a pair of binoculars with you, this is a good time for bird watching both at the Spinnies nature Reserve and along the coast especially if the tide is in. Perhaps we will get snow as we did a few years back.

Maes-Mynan and Pwll-Gwyn Woods and around Bryn Golau 22nd January 2009

What are they looking at?

It's me! The perfect lunch spot for a mutineer!
One of the stars of the day!
Richard's mast!
Yes, today's weather was really this good!
Walk stats:12.4 miles; Climb:2225'.
Time 5 hours 39 minute; On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Tim, Celia, Fran and Tito, Michel and Sue, Gordon, Annie H.,, Sylvia and Dave J.
The highest number of walkers for the year. Thankfully the weather was so good! This was a wonderful walk, even if I did get it a week early! Lots of ups and downs and very little mud! The sun was wonderful the variety great, the views magnificent. The route finding was good except when our resident member decided had to be called back as he was going down the wrong path!
The lunch spot proved a problem, no suitable spot could be found at the appropriate time. we almost had mutiny amongst the ranks, but all ended well! Sue Pelissier even provided everyone with a piece of homemade short bread (Burns week), not good for the after Christmas diet, but superb to taste, an indulgence not not feel guilty about! Thanks sue.
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Wren, Carrion crow, Rook, Magpie, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Buzzard, Raven, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Mallard, Coot, Little grebe, Woodpigeon, Collard dove, Nuthatch, Magpie and Starling.
After walk drinks were at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn where the Lees bitter was in excellent form.
Don't forget Thursday 5th February we are having a meal there, two courses for £5 before 6 p.m. (An offer we couldn't miss and no need to stop for lunch!)

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Llyn y Parc and the Miners Trail 17th January 2009

A newt encounter, nothing to do with our alcoholic habits!
It is in fact either a Palmate Newt or a Smooth Newt?
Part of the Hafna Mine workings.
A view of the lunchtime view point. A view point with a dining facilties just at the right time. (lunch nearlt over at this time).

Walk stats: Distance: 10.8 miles' Climb:2807''.
Time5 hours 56 minutes; Moving walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger and Dave J.
The weather today was better than expected the morning was bright an sunny and the afternoon became progressively cloudy and windy, but we only experienced a few drops of rain during the last half an hour of the walk, and even then they weren't enough to wet us! Going from the car to the Britannia Inn later was a different matter.
This was a walk of many surprises, pleasant routes through the forest to Richard spotting a newt on the footpath and an interesting ramble around the Miners Trail. Even lunch at a view point overlooking the Conwy valley was a surprise as it provided us with a picnic bench too. However the highlight of the lunch was yet another piece of Margaret's Christmas cake! The afternoon didn't live up to the morning, but the views down the Conwy valley were good and there were some good paths through the forest and along shelves along the edge of the forest.
Birds seen or heard today included:Jackdaw, carrion crow, Collared dove, Goosander, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Wren, Siskin, Blackbird, Herring gull and Buzzard.
Once again after walk refreshments were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, with the J.W. Lees bitter being in particularly good form!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Eryrys and Moel Gyw 15th January 2009

On route to Llanarmon yn Ial from Eryrys.
On Offa' Dyke footpath contouring Moel Gyw.
Most of the group at the trig point on Moel Gyw.
Roger returning to the trig point on Moel Gyw.

Walk stats: Distance:11.8 miles;Climb:2727'.
Time:5 hours 43 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Gordon, Celia, Dave J, Sue and Michel.
Fortunately Metcheck got it wrong and BBC Wales got it right! Our patch missed out on the rain and we were able to walk all day without getting wet, in fact at lunch time we we even managed to enjoy some sunshine. Views today towards Moel Famau and the Clwydians were good, but looking over Ruthin and beyond towards Snowdonia they were absent with the hills masked by cloud. Lunch was enjoyed by most of us, back at the car parking area at the Pistyll Gwyn Quarry where large blocks of limestone provided ample seats for all. These two walks are always good to do, and today was better than usual with conditions underfoot being in the main good, even the usual muddy sections weren't as bad!
Today there was little bit of wandering off the prescribed route by several members of the group wanting to seek the high tops! at one pint Celia had to be encouraged by Roger to return to the rest of the group who were waiting a few hundred yards in the opposite direction to the one in which she was heading!
Birds seen or heard today included:Wren, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Dunnock, Blackbird, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Buzzard, Great spotted woodpecker, Nuthatch, Fieldfare and Kingfisher.
After walk drinks, enjoyed by all but Richard, were taken at the Glasfryn where the real fire was welcome, especially by Michel. The beer of the day was Cwrw Eryri, a light and refreshing pint, excellent after a walk, but had to be allowed to warm up a little on this occasion to bring out its true flavours!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Birchen, Baslow and Curber Edges 10th January 2009

Looking along Birchen Edge towards Nelson's Monument and Three Ships Stones (Only two in the picture!).
Heading across Baslow Edge.

The quiet waters of the River Derwent under New Bridge.
Our last views of Baslow Edge.
Walk stats:Distance: 12.9 miles; Climb:2087'.
Time:6 hours 2 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia and Dave J.
This walk proved to be more challenging than we expected! the weather forecast predicted that it would be cold, temperatures feeling like - 6 Celsius(yes minus 6), it felt that and I'm convinced it as even colder! Nevertheless this was a superb walk along these edges coated in hoar frost, giving a beautiful picturesque appearance that you are glad not to have missed.
These edges will be revisited, hopefully when the distant views are a little clearer.
Our lunch, sheltering in the lee of stone wall, was enhanced by a some wonderful Christmas cake made Roger's wife, Maragret, it made the cold a little more bearable!
Bird seen or heard today inncluded: Robin, Wren, Collarded dove, Magpie, Great-spotted woodpecker, Mallard, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Carrion crow, Chaffinch and Moorhen.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek. A fine pint of Hartington bitter was quaffed by most, but like the day, it was a little on the cold side!
A longer than usual walk and colder than we would like, but still a good day out.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Cwm Conwy, Moel y Gaer and Around Gwysaney 7th January 2009

On the reservoir at Moel Y Gaer
Two friends on Moel Y Gaer Walking through Big Wood
Walk stats: Distance: 12.4 miles; Climb:1375'.
Time: 5 hours 33 minutes; On the move average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Annie H., Gordon, Tim and Dave J.
What a glorious day this turned out to be, sunshine and blue skies all day and hardly any wind. Perfect for walking! It was even warm enough to sit in a short sleeved shirt without a coat to have lunch.
This is always a good walk to complete at any time of the year and the fact that the ground was frozen helped us to negotiate those muddy and wet areas that we have encountered on warmer days made it even better today. The views across the estuary, the Cheshire plain and towards the Clwydians were excellent. Even though it was icy on some of the minor roads none of us actually slipped over, although there were a few near misses.
Birds seen or heard today included:Carrion crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Buzzard, Blue tit, Great tit, Lapwing, Black-headed gull, Nuthatch, Long-tailed tit, Woodpigeon, Fieldfare, Dunnock, Robin and Great-spotted woodpecker (bird of the day).
As usual refreshments were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn where J.W.Lees bitter went down particularly well. Some of the group even had crisps!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Around Llyn Elsi 3rd January 2009

Icicles on the river - photo by Richard.
A different view across Llyn Elsi - photo by Richard.
Looking west towards the Glyders. Our guide around Llyn Elsi.
Can I walk on water? Someone already has but at least one of our group says no!
Who's hoarding the Welsh cakes then?
Sparkles on the hoar frost.
Icicles on the waterfalls at the Miners' Bridge.

Walk stats: Distance:9.1 miles;Climb:1580'.
Time:5 hours 0 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger and Dave J.
What a glorious day out walking this turned out to be. Very cold, bright sunshine and no wind. The sunlight reflecting and refracting on the crystals of hoar frost created rainbow effects and sparkling that made everyone agree that nature is wonderful. Another joy of the day was a friendly Robin that guided us around Llyn Elsi and whenever we stopped delighted us by pecking around our feet and at times tried to land on our heads. This Robin was the only one to sample Martyn's fruit cake on this walk! Llyn Elsi was frozen over and had its own magical charm about it.
Lunch was enhanced by Margaret Smith providing us with Welsh cakes and Mince Pies, devoured by all with relish, not a crumb was left! Thanks Margaret.
The views towards Moel Siabod were superb all day.
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Grey wagtail, Dunnock, Herring gull, Blackbird, Jay, Nuthatch, Great tit, Goldcrest, Jackdaw, Mallard and Magpie.
Refreshments were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Penycloddiau and Moel y Parc 1st January 2009

The group on Penycloddiau -Photo by Michel
Looking west towards Snowdonia from the slopes of Penycloddiau - Photo by Michel The group on the cairn on Penycloddiau. Snowdonia from the Northern end of Penycloddiau.

The group at the summit cairn on Moel Y Parc.

The trig point on Moel y Parc.
Walk stats: Distance:7.1 miles; Climb:1675'.

Time:3 hours 38 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walking average:1.9.m.p.h.

Group:Martyn. Richard (birthday boy), Roger, Sue and Michel (proud grandparents), Tim and Carol, Sylvia, Fran and Tito, Dave J. and Georgie the Jack Russell pup.

This was a cold and crisp day for walking, cold enough to stop a camera and GPS to stop working if left out in the cold! The low sun gave a yellowy light that transformed the landscape to have a similar tinge, particularly the frost covered slopes. Distant views weren't perfect, but the Snowdonia range was clear enough to make you think you could almost reach out and touch them. At times, out of the wind, we could bask in the sunshine, lunch was one of those times and we lingered longer than usual. Fruit cake was provided in honour of Richard's birthday and the arrival of Amelie Charlotte who was also toasted with bubbly provided by Sue and Michel.

Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Blackbird, Great tit, Carrion crow, Raven, Buzzard, Fieldfare, Jay, Magpie, Chaffinch, Blue tit and Treecreeper.

Georgie the Jack Russell puppy put in her first appearance, but didn't like the cold and seemed to prefer being tucked up inside Dave's coat out of the wind.

Arriving back at the car Tito and Fran thought that they had a big problem, Tito couldn't find the car keys in his pocket. Ideas were passed from one to the other, should they go back and look for them or should they contact their son to bring a spare set of key, but then Richard came to the rescue when he pointed out that just after starting off Tito had given the keys to Fran so that she could go back to the car to get the flask of coffee. Sure enough you know who had the keys and the pint of J.W. Lees bitter tasted even better than usual!

After walk drinks were enjoyed as usual at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. Sarah giving all a warm welcome and wishing everyone happy New Year, even if she did look a little tired from previous days celebrations and acting as a taxi till the early ours of the morning.
Overall this was an excellent start to the new year and enjoyed by all.