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

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Around Garreg Fawr, Nant y Coed and Bwlch y Ddeufaen 27th February 2010.

Trekking across the snow!
Not another stepping stone!

Afon Aber from Bont Newydd.

One of many wild ponies grazing on the moorland around Garreg Fawr.

Passing the largest standing stone next to the oman Road from Bwlch y Ddeufaen.

Walk stats: Distance:11.2 miles; Climb:3084'.

Time:6 hours 31 minutes; On the move walking average:2.1 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.7 m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia and Mike D.

Overall a good day for walking, despite the hint of water vapour in the air, it never materialised into rain sufficient to require fall waterproof gear! There was plenty of snow around, but mainly patches of snow that had drifted in to locations protected from the heat of the sun. The views towards the coast, particularly as we were approaching Llanfairfechan were superb, but the high tops of the Carneddau were masked in low cloud.

Lunch was taken in the ancient Oak wood in Nant y Coed.

At the end of the wood we had to cross the Afon Ddu over some large stepping stones. Having seen Roger slip on one stone, and lucky not to fall in totally, the stepping stones became a no go zone for some of us, and we retraced our steps and by-passed this section by going up the road to the top car park!

The trek across the open boggy moor to Bwlch y Ddeufaen was quite a challenge, with the path seemingly disappearing.

Once on the Roman Road it was gentle 3 mile stroll back to Bont Newydd, despite the upper sections being covered in deep drifted snow.

Birds sen or heard today included: Treecreeper, Mistle thrush, Great tit, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Jay, Blue tit, Black-billed magpie, Carrion crow, Buzzard and Raven.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where the Lees bitter went down very easily!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Moel Fammau from Loggerheads 25th February 2010.

On route.

Our first view of Moel Fammau from the limestone cliffs above Loggerjeads.

The group at a cross roads again - not more debate on which way to go!

Walk stats:Distance:10.0 miles; Climb:1584'.

Time: 5 hours 29 minutes; On the move walking average:2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Annie H., Celia, Fran and Tito.

The group today was quite small, illness and holidays had had its effects. parking at Loggerheads we set off over the limestone cliffs with their superb views of Moel Fammau, before dropping down to the Leet. One Golden Labrador seemed to be checking us out to see if one of us was his owner, and a black dog at the bottom of the steps, despite having an owner, seemed to want to follows us rather than go back to the car! Eventually both dogs seemed to find their senses and we set off alone along the Leet to the Cilcain road.

We arrived at our usual lunch spot, sitting on the wall before heading South up the hill towards Pwll y Rhos and Offa's Dyke Path to the summit of Moel Fammau.

Much debate ensued as to which was the correct way to go for the "Blue route", Roger claimed to be the winner, but I'm sure I gave him a clue earlier on!

The descent from Moel Fammau was interesting in that we encountered quite a lot of lingering snow, on the paths quite slushy, but over untrodden ground still quite lovely.

We arrived back at the cars having a a good walk in beautiful countryside on what is our local patch!

Birds seen or heard today were fewer than normal, since our main bird-spotter was away on holiday. However they included:Robin, Blue tit, Great ti, Carrion crow, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Greenfinch, Meadow pipit and Kestrel.

Most of us enjoyed after walk drinks by the roaring fire in the Glasfryn at Mold. Unfortunately the usual C was not available and seems to have been substituted by a brew from Phoenix that they call Glasfryn Original, not a patch on Cwrw Eryri! At least Celia really enjoyed her lager!
Apparently the Chinese comment below means "Walk toward the established goals, they will not get lost."

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Dates and Walks February 2010

Updated 23rd February 2010.
Thursday 25th February 2010.
Moel Fammau via the Leet, Cilcain and Two Reservoirs.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Lay-by opposite the Loggerheads Memorial on the Mold to Ruthin Road. Grid ref:SJ202626.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk used to be a regular walk on New Years Day, and it is some time since we last did it. The original walk was devised by Michel, but we will probably adapt it slightly, unless anyone is feeling nostalgic. We used to start at the Loggerheads Country park, but if we can we will park in the lay-by to avoid the rather high parking fee charged at the Country Park for leaving a car more than 4 hours. Looks like there will still be snow on the summit of Moel Fammau, so don't expect to linger too long to admire the view! Sections on this walk have in the past been known to be muddy!
Saturday 27th February 2010.
Aber Garreg Fawr, Coed y Nant and Bwlch y Ddeuffaen.
Distance:11.5 miles; Climb:2500'.
Start:Aber Falls Car Park at Pont Newydd. Grid ref:SH662720.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
These two walks explore the foothills of the Carneddau in areas rich with pre-historic settlements and burial sites. Last time we included a slight detour to visit the summit of Garreg Fawr and on the return journey saw a male Hen harrier hunting.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast".

Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Middlewood Way and Macclesfield Canal Walk 20th February 2010.

Canada geese bathing in the canal.
Lunch by the Macclesfield Canal.
The Macclesfield Canal in sunshine!

The snow covered hills above Bollington.On the towpath just outside Bollington.
White Nancy from the Macclesfield Canal as we approached the Clarence Terrace Mill and Bollington.

Walk stats:Distance:10.3 miles; Climb:184'.
Time:4 hours 4 minutes; On the move walking average:2.9 m.p.h.; Overall walking average:2.5 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia and Dave J.
Having been reunited with the glove that he lost on Thursday, thanks to Richard retracing the route on Friday, Martyn proceeded to delay the start by searching fruitlessly for a different glove that he eventually found in his coat chest pocket, rather than the side pocket, its normal home! Alas we're getting to that age when we start having "senior moments"!
We set off along the Middlewood Way at a cracking 3.7 m.p.h. with Celia unexpectedly, even to Celia, leading the way!
Thankfully by the time we reached the Macclesfield Canal, we had slowed to a more sensible pace, and our 3.3 m.p.h. record from two years ago was not in jeopardy!
The Middlewood Way was popular today, especially with horse riders, not a particularly exciting path, but it did provide us with most of the birds that we saw or heard.
The Macclesfield Canal was a little more interesting with plenty of activity on the narrow boats.
Lunch was taken in small canalside memorial garden provided in memory of several of the Hayes family.
Our walk was cut a little shorter than anticipated as the towpath was closed just after bridge 27, preventing us from reaching our planned exit at bridge 29.
Birds sen or heard today included:Robin, Song thrush, Long-tailed tit, Dunnock, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Greenfinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Goldfinch, Mallard, Jay,Great spotted woodpecker, Moorhen, Blackbird and Canada goose.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at The Vale , the brewery tap for the Bollington Brewery. The two beers enjoyed today were Bollington Best bitter and Bollington Happy Valley bitter.
This was a more tiring walk than you would expect from a stroll along an old railway track and a canal towpath. An enjoyable walk and for once home early!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Moel y Parc and Penycloddiau 18th February 2010.

On the top of Moel y Parc, but I wasn't ready, neither was Dave! Photo taken by Fran.
A beautiful tree decked in snow, but was it worth of a lost glove!
Catkins in the snow.
Heading for the lunch spot. How can you you can tell their hungry?
Walk stats: Distance:9.3 miles; Climb:1754'.
Time:5 hours 6 minutes. On the move walking average:2.2 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Gordon, Annie H., Sue Pelissier, Sylvia and Dave J., Sue and Dave P., Fran and Tito.
After Richard's local weather report we decided to start the walk from Aberwheeeler, rather than the original start point at the Llangwyfan forest car park. This proved to be a good choice despite meeting anther group or wrinkly walkers who had started at the Llangwyfan start, some said the road up the car park was OK, but others in the group said it wasn't very good!
We were joined today by a few of our "worker" friends, lowering the average age of the group at the same time too!
We set off on the snow-free western side of Moel y Parc, but as soon as we had gone above the last house we were soon trekking through snow with visibility less than 50 yards.
Views today left much to the imagination! We'll have to repeat the walk on a lovely Summer day to appreciate the views from the Northern flanks of Moel y Parc and Penycloddiau!
Richard on home ground kept us on track, partiularly on the section on the snow covered slopes on the Northern approach to Pencloddiau and back to Aberwheeler.
The final insult of the day was that of a local who greeted us with the comment "Are you the last?" Apparently her dog didn't like people with walking sticks! Thankfully other dogs that met us on route greeted us like long lost friends!
A good walk despite the somewhat unfriendly conditions, at least it wasn't windy and didn't rain.
Birds seen or heard today were few and far between, but included:Great tit, Blue tit, Carrion crow, Robin, Wren, Raven and Treecreeper.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn in Pentre Halkyn. The Lees bitter went down well and we had to move away from the fire which after being near for a few minutes soon became too hot for some of us!
For the second walk running Michel's injured knee prevented him from joining the group, but we trust it didn't prevent him from getting the dinner ready for Sue's return.
Have a good trip to France Michel, hopefully the knee will be OK for you do a bit of snowshoe walks in your homeland!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Wolfscote Dale and Pilsbury Castle 13th February 2010

Grey wagtail in Biggin Dale photo taken by Richard.
Richard's Dipper on the Dove.The lone ranger in Wolfscote Dale!

Pilsbury Castle - easily missed, but not today!

Our first real show of Snowdrops at Pilsbury.

Walk stats:Distance:11.5 miles, Climb:1137'.

Time: 5 hours 41 minutes. On the Move walking average:2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0.m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard and Dave J.

The weather turned out to be better than expected, the forecast rain didn't materialise, except for about ten minutes when we felt a few spots and similarly the cold East wind only chilled us slightly as we entered the upper sections of Biggin Dale. In the main it was sunny and for at least one person it was a little on the warm side!

As ever the beautiful Wolfscote Dale also provided us with the bird of the day, a Dipper singing and dancing within just a few feet of us. Biggin Dale however provided us with the surprise of the day, running water in its lower section and flying overhead a skein of geese, probably Pink-foot.

Lunch was enjoyed in the centre of Hartington village, by the village pump, taking advantage of a well positioned seat.

The afternoon walk to Pilsbury Castle, unusual in that most of it follows paths looking down on the valley, first from the Southern side and later from the Northern side. Pilsbury Castle whilst being visited, on this occasion wasn't explored.

Today was the first time this year that we had seen a real display of Snowdrops, around the wooded slopes around the settlement of Pilsbury.

Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Robin, Wren, House sparrow, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Jackdaw, Mallard, Chaffinch, Pied wagtail, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Grey wagtail and Buzzard.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where our tipple was Hartington Bitter, the best bitter in the world!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Around the Ro and Moel Fferna 11th February 2010.

Looking towards Cwm Ro.
Tim what a poser! On the frozen snow heading for the summit of Moel Fferna. Yr Wyddfa capped in snow.
Lunch at the summit shelter on Moel Fferna with Michel just about respectable after knee repairs, but Sue's not too sure!
Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles; Climb:1524'.
Time: 4 hours 57 minutes; On the move walking average:2.1 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Paul C., Tim, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J., Gordon, Annie H., Sylvia and Dave J.
What a glorious day this turned out to be, blue skies and bright sunshine throughout, even the cold North-easterly wind didn't materialise during the walk. On this walk several area can be particularly muddy and difficult to get around, but today the frozen terrain made life a little easier for most of the walk. However the shock of frozen ice/snow collapsing below us made several of our knees acknowledge they're not getting any younger!
On the good side this walk was one to make you realise what a joy it is to be out in the hills with such superb views of the snow covered Berwyns, the Arans, Snowdon and the Carneddau and even good views of the Eglywseg escarpments, the Llantysilio range and the Clwydians.
The birds seen or heard today were few and far between but included: Great tit, Blue tit, House sparrow, Carrion crow, Kestrel, Nuthatch, Buzzard and Raven.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Grouse Inn at Carrog where the Lees bitter was in good nick! The view down to the river is really lovely and today was no exception, for the first time we saw three fishermen ( actually catching and banking a fish before the close season in the middle of the month).
Some people say "why do go walking in the hills?" if they walked on days like this they would know why! It's not just for the beer!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Grit Hill, Stipperstones and Linley Hill 6th February 2010.

There are pair of Red kites here somewhere!
Using "Ctrl+" several times may allow you to find them.
Waiting for the return of the "sheep busters"!
The slopes of the Rock with resident Hebredian sheep.
The Stipperstones that we will do next time!
Standing firm on Linley Hill!
Walk stats:Distance:10.6 miles; Climb:1457'.
Time 5 hours 20 minutes; On the move walking average:2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J., Celia, Mike D and Catherine.
The weather forecast wasn't brilliant, but at least rain wasn't predicted and it would be warmer than earlier in the week. In fact after lunch the weather was glorious, bright sunshine, very warm and hardly ant wind, almost shorts weather! Most of us did end up in shirt sleeves, some even short sleeves!
This was the second walk that Catherine had had kindly agreed to lead. Catching the bus from Bishop's Castle to the start of the walk at Oldgrit and walking back via Shelve Pool, Grit Hill, The Bog, Nipstone Rock on the Stipperstone and over Linley Hill and down the Shropshire Way back to Bishop's Castle.
Heading up from The Bog to Stipperstone, Richard, with the aid of Martyn, progressed from being a "lamb buster" to a "sheep buster" as a large sheep was rescued from being trapped inside a hay feeder.
The highlight of the day, was having lunch on the slopes of Linley Hill when we were entertained by Red kites, some of which seemed to be displaying.
On occasions, our route was a little muddier than desirable, and at one point a large horse was a little too friendly, particularly for Celia!
Birds seen or heard today included:Blue tit, Great tit, Goldcest, Carrion crow, Rook, Raven, Kestrel, Jay, Starling, Collared dove, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Robin, Blackbird, Red kite and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed yet again at the Six Bells in Bishop's Castle, Catherine's local. Big Nev's bitter was the beer of choice, a superb refreshing pint, just what you want after a ten mile walk.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Hadlow Old Village and Willaston 4th February 2010.

Oh you of little faith, the group refusing to follow the leader across the water!Lunch at Hadlow Road Station, with Georgie weighing up Roger's pork pie!.

I could do with one of these for my train set!

Is this what Celia is about to drink? I very much doubt it, it was only second best at Anfield!

Willaston church, the highlight of the afternoon's walk!

Walk stats: distance:10.1 miles; Climb:287'.
Time: 4 hours 16 minutes; On the move walking average:2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.4 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Gordon, Annie H., Sue Pelissier, Dave J., Sylvia, Celia and Georgie the Jack Russell.
The weather forecast for icy roads early on, forced us to head for lower ground, rather than attempt the narrow steep road up to Llangwyfan Forestry Car Park!
Weather-wise we were lucky, relatively warm, 7 Celsius by the time we arrived finally back at the car! However it was overcast and there was a feeling of dampness all the time, but thankfully no rain, only a few drops as removed our walking gear at the end of the walk.
This isn't exactly the most memorable of walks, perhaps that's why we finished it a little quicker than usual!
The true highlight of the day was lunch at Hadlow Road Station, at least it is one thing that Cheshire West and Chester can be proud to support!
Birds seen or heard today included;Robin, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Redwing, Starling, Goldfinch, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Nuthatch, Blue tit, Great tit, Moorhen, Collared dove, Woodpigeon, Carrion crow, Raven and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wheatcheaf at Raby, where the friendly bar staff and warm cosy environment just added to the enjoyment of theexcellent Brimstage Trappers Hat bitter that some of us were drinking!