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 October 2009

Marsden, Standedge and More 31st October 2009

Our lunch spot.
The early trek across the black Moss Moor on part of the Pennine Way. A view from the unpleasant descent towards Blakeley Reservoir.

Close Gate Bridge - our lunch spot for the day. At the trig point on Higher Standege (Marsden Moor).

Walk stats: Distance: 10.2 miles; Climb: 1355'.

time: 5 hours 8 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.

This was a good day for walking, a little cool and misty at the start, but within twenty minutes or so, clear and in sunshine. This walk had the feel of an afternoon stroll, but at the end you felt it was a little more than that! The views weren't extensive, and at times the paths across the moors weren't exactly encouraging, but it is still a walk that I would do again. he last stretch around Standedge to the trig point was a delightful end to the walk, despite the fact that you had to constantly watch where you were putting your feet!

birds seen or heard today were few, but included: Canada goose, Mallard, Starling, Carrion crow, Raven, Black-headed gull, Common gull, Reed bunting, Mistle thrush, Fieldfare and Meadow pipit. After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Carriage House Inn, where the best beer on offer was Blacksheep Ale. This perhaps wasn't our normal preferred choice/style of hostelry, a little bit too modern and on the restaurant geared side, but even the tea didn't come up to scratch as far as Sylvia was concerned!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Clywedog Reservoir and Foel Uchaf 29th October 2009

On the lovely woodland path alongside Afon Clywedog.
Do we go up there? No Tim, it just a Buzzard!

Yet more "Star Jelly - on a bench on the path down to the Clywedog Reservoir.
On the summit of Bryn Ocyn - photo taken by Richard.
Walk stats: Distance:11.4 miles; Climb:1532'.
Time:5 hours 19 minutes; On the move walking average:2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Tito, Annie H, Mike D., Sue and Michel, Sylvia and Dave J., Tim and Carol.
Another good day for walking, a little too warm at times, but no more than a few spots of rain that last for about a couple of minutes as we waited for the "naughty boys" to get back on track. The woodland path along the Afon Clywedog is delightful in every sense of the walk, in contrast to the forestry tracks that are flanked on both sides by a desolate waste left by the remains of the felled trees. Lunch as usual was taken at the Reservoir where we saw a fisherman leaving with a couple of good sized Trout. It was at the Reservoir where we spotted yet more "Star jelly", for the first time found on a bench rather than on the ground. birds seen or heard today included:Dipper, Raven ( the birds of the day with so many birds showing off their aerial display), Fieldfare, Chaffinch, Wren, Carrion crow, Buzzard, Robin, Blackbird, Black-billed magpie and Pheasant.
After walk drinks, despite the high prices, were enjoyed at the Glasfryn where Cwrw Eryri was the beer of the day.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Dates and Walks October 2009

Thursday 1st October 2009.
A Tale of Two Quarries and the Foothills of Moel Morfydd.
Distance:10-11 miles; Climb:3100'.
Start: Opposite Capel Hebron, Rhewl. Grid ref:SJ182449.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book ""Walking Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley. The two quarries walk is described as an exhilating walk exoploring the foothills and attractive South facing side valleys of the Llantysilio mountain range.
The second walk is described as a walk that explores the beautiful Dee Valley and includes passing around the head of an attractive side valley beneath Moel Morfydd, offering superb views of the Dee Valley and beyond.
Saturday 3rd October 2009.
Conwy Mountain and Around Foel Lus.

Start: Main car park in Conwy on the B5106. Grid ref:SH784774.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.

This walk is a variation on our usual trek over Conwy Mountain to the Druids Circle, although we may not get that far on this walk. We can decide on the day once we have completed circumnavigation of Foel Lus. Always a good walk with good views all day weather permitting!
Thursday 8th October 2009.
Around Llandyrnog on St. Cwyfan's Trail and In Search of St. Cynhafal.
Start: Llandyrnog is on the B5429. Roadside parking in Nant Glyn. In the centre of the village turn on to the road for Llangynhafal (Gladstone Terrace). Nant Glyn is the first road on the right. Grid ref:SJ108651.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd. Both walks
we have done before, but last time I sensibly didn't do the St Cynhafal walk and avoiding returning like drowned rats! These walks are described as being delightful walks that meander through open countryside and one rises to skirt the edge of the Clwydian Hills.
Saturday 10th October 2009.
Another Variation on the Roaches.

Distance:9 miles; Climb:1000+'
Start: Roadside parking below the Roaches, just North of Upper Hume. Grid ref:SK004621.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
Tis version of an old favourite is taken from the Pathfinder Guide to the Peak District and explores the Eastern side of the Roaches, including a section that follows Black Brook. The walk includes 3 miles of magnificent ridge walking. The walk can be muddy, particularly on the sections that are new to most of us.
Thursday 15th October 2009.
Whitford Wood, Downing and Maen Achwyfan.

Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb:840'.
Start: Whitford, roadside parking opposite the church. Grid ref:SJ147782.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain. Both we have done many times before. The walk includes attractive woodland patures and visits part of the Downing and Mostyn Estates. It also visits the Celtic cross, Maen Achwyfan and the Beacon tower. It will be interesting to see how much more restoration work has been done since our last visit.
Saturday 17th October 2009.
Beddgelert's Eastern Parish Boundary, Its Lakes and Wetland.

Distance:9 miles; Climb:1000+'
Start: Alongside Llyn Gwynant (Lay-by on left). Grid ref:SH649520.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Aalter and Dave Worrall's book " From Mountain Top to Valley Floor". This is a new walk for me and visits Llyn Yr Adar and the summits of Ysgafell Wen (2132') and Moel Meirch (1990'). Past visits to this area have shown the need to be prepared for boggy terrain!
Thursday 22nd October 2009.
Cwm Dulas, Gopa Wood and More.
Distance:7-10 miles; Climb:1500+'.
Start: Abergele, Pensarn Car Park. Grid ref:SH942786.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is based on a walk from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast". Again we will extend it to include the summit of Rhyd-y-Foel and possible explore Gopa Wood a little more. I missed out on the traverse of Rhyd-y-Foel last time, so I'm looking forward to doing it this time. Mynydd Marian will not be offered as an optional extra on this occasion!
Saturday 24th October 2009.
Pont y Pant and Pen y Benar.

Distance:9 miles; Climb:1500+'.
Start: Dolwyddelan Station Car Park.. Grid ref:SH738522.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This involves two walks taken from Mike Burnett's book " Walks East of Snowdon. The "Pont y Pant walk takes us on to the low hills bordering the river valley North of the Ledre Valley before dscending to the Rhiwgoch Quarry and returns on paths South of the Afon Lledre. The Pen y Benar walk follows Sarn Helen in to the steep sided Penamnen Valley befpre climbing through the forest to reach the summit of Pen y Benar, an excelent vantage point to enjy the panoramic views. The final part of the walk descends to the Lledre Valley close to Roman Bridges and finishes with a delightful stroll along the valley floor back to Dolwyddelan.
Thursday 29th October 2009.
Clywedog Reservoir and Foel Uchaf.
Distance: 9+ miles; Climb:1700' at a guess.
Start: Roadside parking in Cyffyliog. Grid ref:SJ060579.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book Walks in the Hidden Heart of North Wales". It is one that we have done several times before, but this time we will climb to the summit of Bryn Ocyn, hopefully still allowed via Tir Gofal access land.
Parking in Cyffyliog is very limited, so I suggest that we meet at the Riverside Car Park in Ruthin and take s few cars as possible to Cyffyliog.
Saturday 31st October 2009.
Marsden and Standege.

Distance:9 miles; Climb:1000+'
Start: Brun Moor/Brun Clough Reservoir Car Park on A62 (Manchester/Oldham to Marsden Road). Grid ref:SE017094.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from "Pathfider Guide - Peak District". It is right on the edge of the Peak District and isn't totally covered on the OS Peak District maps . Most is on the OL 21 South Pennines Map. Most of the walk is across bare and open Gritstone moors, giving a full flavour of the landscape of the Dark Peak and South Pennines. It uses several trails: the Pennine Way, Oldham Way, Station to Station way and the Standege Trail. The last three are all new to me, so it should be quite interesting area for us to explore.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Pen y Benar and Pont y pant 24th October 2009

On one of the walks, still unsure on which way to go, but let's think about it any way!
Richard's view of the day!
Mother and daughter?

Heading for Dolwyddelan - the last stretch!

Walk stats: Distance: 9.3 miles; Climb: !500' (at an estimate).
Time: 4 hours 42 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J., and Mike D.
This wasn't the wettest walk that we have had this year, but it came very close! At least it wasn't cold , although the very strong wind made the drive rain very unpleasant as we were on the summit of Pen y Benar, needless to say we didn't linger long as the views were non existent! Only in the Lledre valley did we get some sort of view, with Dolwyddelan Castle prominent on the hillside. This was a walk with potential and needs to be repeated on a good clear day!
This was another day for coming across "Star jelly", found by Richard on the road just a little further down the valley beyond the ruins of Ty Penamnen.
The second walk from Dolwyddelan to Pont y pant didn't have a lot going for it, although we did manage to check out possibilities for parking places near Pont y Pant, needed for walks in November.
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Chaffinch, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Redwing, Fieldfare, Housesparrow, Meadow pipit, and Blackbird.
after walk drinks were enjoyed, as is often the case, at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Cwm Dulas, Cefn yr Ogof and Gop Wood 21st October 2009

The first view of the day, looking down he coast towards the Great Orme.
At the trig point on Cefn yr Ogof - photo take by Robert.
The Murphys and more!
The last view of the day - Gwrych Castle.

Walk stats: Distance: 9.8 miles; Climb:1287'.
Time: 5 hours 01 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger, Gordon, Celia, Annie H., Sue and Michel, Fran and Tito and Robert Murphy.
This was another lovely day for walking from beginning to end. It's always good to walk along the coast at this time of the year, especially when there are blue skies and the Great Orme is bathed in sunlight as it was today. Despite few protests and a little reluctance we set of on a new approach to the summit of Cefn yr Ogof, and all agreed that this path was a better approach than the one attempted in March by some of the group. We lunched as usual on the flanks of Rhyd-y-foel before setting off across fields to Gop Wood. We arrived back at the car with the Sun shining brightly and temperature the warmest of the day.
Birds seen or heard today included: Pied wagtail, Stonechat, Linnet, Meadow pipit, Carrion crow, raven, Black-billed magpie, Jackdaw, Robin, Wren, Black-headed gull, Common gull, Herring gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Oystercatcher, Mallard, Mute swan, Redshank and Curlew.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britaaniai Inn at Pentre Halkyn where the Lees bitter was at its best and quaffed with relish.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Beddgelert's Eastern Parish Boundary, It's Lakes and Wetlands 17/10/2009

Martyn on Ysgafell Wen, with Celia just in the picture!.
Martyn, dave and Georgie.
Nant Gwynant at the start of the day.

The view from our lunch spot.
A view towards Snowdon.
Nant Gwynant at the end of the day.

Walk stats: Distance:9.2 miles; Climb:2284'.
Time:6 hours 7 minutes; On the move walking average:1.9 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.5 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn; Richard, Dave J., and Celia and Georgie the Jack Russell.
What glorious day this turned out to be. Very warm and sunny with hardly any breeze. This was new route for all of us and the ascent was good once we had escaped from the Rhododrendon bushes! The views all day were superb and included Snowdon, the Nantlle Ridge, the Hebog range and Moel Siabod. Lunch was enjoyed at the Eastern most lake of Llynnau'r Cwn with a view of the Nantlle Ridge as a back drop. The high point of the walk was the summit of Ysgafell Wen at just over 2000'. Once we had started the descent, the route wasn't always easy and much boggier than we had anticipated (or hoped!).
Nevertheless we arrived back at the car, thankful that we had been out on this wild part of the Snowdonia National Park on such a glorious day.
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Long-tailed tit, Goldfinch, carrion crow, Mallard, Raven, Fieldfare and Redwing.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn where the Lees bitter was in fine fettle.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Whitford Wood, Downing and Maen Achwyfan 15th October 2009

Emerging from Whitford Wood.
Autumnal colours are here!
Are these all together or are they just having a group senior moment?
Is this a ritual that you perform at the watch tower?

Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles; Climb:970'.
Time: 4 hours 18 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Dave J., Gordon, Annie H., Tim and Carol (Whitford Wood and Downing walk only) , Fran and Tito (Maen Achwyfan walk only).
We set off in somewhat muggy conditions, but it wasn't that bad and in the main it was quite pleasant for walking. the first walk was a very pleasant walk across farm land and through mixed woodland, good habitat for birds, bird we didn't see or hear many on this section. We arrived back at Whitford where we did a swap for Tim and Carol (making her debut walk for the year) for Fran and Tito. Was is a good deal? No, we would want them all to be with us.
The lunch spot today proved a bit of a problem! When asked when we will have lunch, I glibly commented "when Fran starts to grumble", little did I know that Fran had had a mince pie at the end of her M & S shift!, and then our "king of the mountains" stormed ahead and missed our usual lunch spot in the woods! However no-one complained when we all sat down around the Maen Achwyfaen cross/monument to enjoy our "butties"!
Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Raven, Buzzard, Kestrel, Starling, Long-tailed tit, Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Goldfinch, Mallard, Nuthatch, Robin, Blackbird, Jackaw and Rook.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Roaches There and Back 10th October 2009

Martyn at the trig point on the Roaches - first visit.
Which way are we going? At the trig point on the Roaches - first time round.

Is this a Seal on the Roaches, I thought that there was only Wallabies!
Tittesworth Reservoir and the Five Clouds or is it Seven?
Hen Cloud at the end of the day.

Walk stats: distance:8.4 miles; Climb: 1401'.

Time:4 hours 50 minutes; On the move walking average:2.2 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.7 m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard, Celia and Mike D.

We arrived at the parking spot before 9-30 a.m., but the weather wasn't at all encouraging, you could hardly see more than a hundred yards or so. At least it wasn't raining at this point and we set off in the hope that the cloud/mist would soon clear.
Walking across the ridge in cloud with no views possible, forced us to entertain ourselves the rock shapes mysteriously appearing out of the mist and trying to decide what animal the shape represented.

After passing through Lud's Church we decided to head back to the ridge before having lunch. The ridge at this point provided us with our first views of the day, and after a slight shower most of the afternoon was in sunshine, so much so that we abandoned the walk description and decided to retrace our steps across the main Roaches Ridge. At least now we were to get our views. We were also treated to some dynamic aerial displays by a pair of Ravens.

Birds seen or heard:Golden plover, Meadow pipit, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Stonechat, Red grouse and Raven.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at our favourite Leek hostelry, the Wilkes Head, where the Hartington Bitter was, as ever, in excellent condition.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

In Search of St Cynhafal and More 8th October 2009

One I shouldn't include - taken by Richard.
Another view of the 6 towards the end of the lunch - by Richard.
The Clwydians on a good day!

Lunch, just enough distance to keep an eye on them all!

Just one more stile, at least this was quite a good one!

Is there anyone there? Why did I take this photo, any guesses?
Walk stats: distance:10.7 miles; Climb:637'.
Time:5 hours 37 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Gordon, Annie H., Celia, Tito, Sylvia and Dave J.
What a glorious day for walking this turned out to be. Loads of sunshine, hardly any wind and out of the Sun a little on the cool side, perfect for me, still shorts weather!
Till lunch time, walking was superb, although we did have a short delay when Richard was sent to retrace our steps in a vain attempt to find Tito's glasses. Richard's renowned vision on this occasion didn't produce the goods!
Lunch was taken basking in glorious Sunshine with superb views to the Vale of Clwyd and beyond. This was the highest point of the day a great spot to en joy lunch and take in the vista!
Our return to Llandyrnog was marred by Maize fields that forced us, with difficulty to divert down to the road to avoid the alternative of following the desired path right through crop (no provision having been made to clear the route by the farmer!).

Even the second half of the walk proved problematic, but at least we can be thankful that by retracing our routes, Sylvia was able to find and re-unite Tito with his distinctive spotted hanky!
Birds seen or heard today included:Black-billed magpie, Nuthatch, Raven, Rook, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Jay, House sparrow, Long-tailed tit, Buzzard, Robin, Blackbird, Collard dove, Woodpigeon and Great tit.

We were expecting to enjoy drinks at the Golden Lion in Llandyrnog, but unfortunately they were closed (15-45), but we had to return to our old favourite, the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where as ever the Lees Bitter was superb. What a bonus to end the day!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Conwy Mountain, the Druids Circle and More 3rd October 2009

Richard's view of the day.
Group photo with the Conwy Estuary and Great Orme behind.

Is it really that windy?

The first sighting of the "wild" ponies.

There's no problem really, we always look like this!
Forget what people say about sheep. just follow me I know the way!

Walk stats:Distance:13 miles; Climb:2480' (Estimated from Memory map elevation profile of the walk).

Time: 6 hours 11 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., and Mike D.

We set off from Conwy, not knowing what the weather had in store for us. We expected some sunshine, a little rain and the accompaniment of a stiffish breeze. We got that and much more. The morning weather was good, but the wind was so strong at times that we had difficulty just standing still let alone making any forward progress. Despite the wind we made the Druids Circle in fairly good time, but it was just afterwards that the trek across open moorland to the Tal-y-Fan path was considerably more challenging than we had initially anticipated. However after taking lunch and Dave's reckying we contoured round the hillside to reach the main path. It was just after reaching the main path that torrential driving rain forced us to take shelter in what we assume some shepherd must have built for such occasions. A little cramped, but at least five of us could get in and although not perfect the roof did keep most of the rain and wind at bay. after sheltering for about 10 minutes we braved the weather and set off again, following a good track all the way back to the Sychnant Pass. The final section of track on the South side of Conwy Mountain was equally as good, and as a bonus we were in warm sunshine all the way back to the car.

Birds seen or heard today included: Wren, Meadow pipit, Wheatear, Carrion crow, Raven, Stonechat and Kestrel.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

A Tale of Two Quarries and Around the Foothills of Moel Morfydd 1st October 2009.

Lunch time at the slate tips by Richard.
Is this really an exhilarating route? Yes if you like Bracken!

Can you spot Richard, or is the Bracken too tall? One of the good views of the Dee Valley.
Nearly the last of the Bracken!

Walk stats:Distance:10.7 miles; Climb:2781'.

Time: 5 hours 48 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Annie H., Tito and Dave J.

This is always a good walk, and with the weather almost perfect for walking, this was no exception. Dry, plenty of sunshine and with the occasional cool breeze, but still definitely shorts weather! Although these walks never reach the top of any hill, the views throughout are superb. The Berwyns. the Llantysilio Mountains and the Clwydians all seen clearly and there were also good views of the Eglywseg Escarpments and Dinas Bran above Llangollen.

Lunch was taken, a little early for us, on the slate spoil tips above the Berwyn Quarry. A bonus for us today was some superb fruit and walnut cake provided by Sue Pelissier, especially for those that had contributed towards her McMillan Coffee Morning, but had been unable to attend the event last Friday.

Birds seen or heard today included; Robin, Blue tit, Pied wagtail, Chaffinch, Blackbird, House sparrow, Kestrel, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Buzzard, Jay(according to the two Rs), Raven and Chough.

After walk drinks were taken at the New Inn at Pont-y-bodkin, where unfortunately the one real available had gone past its best, leaving only Hydes Smooth. It's even hard just to admit that we drank Smooth, but was only one!