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, 27 March 2010

Carreg Alltrem, Ty'n Y Cwm and Ty Mawr 27th March 2010.

On a "good" path at last! Well at least it's a path!
Richard's view of Moel Siabod looking down the obvious path through the forest!

The cause of our trek through brambles and the many scratches on my legs!
Maesgwm waterfall from Ty'n y Cwm. The cooking facilities around the fire in Ty Mawr.Luxury furniture in Ty Mawr! The spinning wheel and half-moon settle with its high back to keep off the cold draught of the open windows.

The Snowdon Horseshoe above Dolwddelan from the "high" level forest track
above the Lledre valley.

Walk stats:Distance:13.0 miles; Climb:1883'.

Time: 6 Hours 28 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.

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

Weather forecast was good, with little or no rain predicted, and we experienced pretty well what just what they had forecast, except their "feel like temperatures" were thankfully on the low side!

Our first walk in the Aroun Cwm Penamnen was a lovely morning preamble compared with our expected stroll to Ty Mawr.

Lunch was taken early at the picnic site by Dolwyddelan Station car park. It's always a bonus when you can sit on a seat in the sunshine having your lunch.

We set off on our afternoon stroll, first to encounter a few strong willed horses, one of which seemed determined not to let Richard get past! roger distracted the horse while Richard went to the side of the gate obstructed by the horse. Thankfully on the way back the horses were too busy feeding on there hay some distance off the track!

The route across the hill to Ty Mawr was a challenge that at least one of us would have preferred not to have experienced! There seemed to be no path, markers described were not easy to find until we reached the remains of an old building. Even when we had reached the good path it was extremely boggy in places and having reached Ty Mawr we decided (me really) to return to Dolwyddelan using forest tracks that we had used from Pont y Pant on an earlier visit to Ty Mawr.

The highlight of the day was visiting Ty Mawr, and being met by a National Trust member so enthusiastic about Ty Mawr that we will mention this visit to our friends whenever Ty Mawr comes up in the conservation.

How wonderful it was to realise that the influence of Morgan's Welsh Bible was such that even if they don't like it in South Wales, Welsh spoken today is really "Penmachno Welsh"!

An additional bonus for Roger was that he was able to use effectively what he had learned at his Welsh lessons this year. I hope Margaret's proud of him!

We finished the walk, legs tired, but still grateful that the extra miles put in to avoid retracing our steps, was the right decision!

Birds seen or heard today included; Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Muscovy duck, Mallard, Greenfinch, Pied wagtail, Grey wagtail, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Chaffinch, Marsh tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Siskin, Nuthatch, Meadow pipit, Raven, Buzzard, Collard dove, Woodpigeon, Wren, Pheasant and Sparrowhawk.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. The Lees Bitter as always was in excellent nick!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The Wirral Coast to Coast 25th March 2010.

First steps onto the Wirral Way, but how did you come from?
Crossing over the M53 into the other half of the Wirral!
Seeing the light, no just emerging from the tunnel! Is this Job's Ferry?
Distance:12.5 miles; Climb: 473'.
Time:4 hours 54 minutes; On the move walking average: 3.0 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.5 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Dave J., Tim, Sue and Michel, Fran and Tito.
The weather forecast was a bit iffy, rain on the way, but thankfully it was very kind to us and seemed to get better and better on route. Lunch was taken on the two seats overlooking Raby Mere, just right to accommodate the eight of us. We sat in glorious sunshine, despite being on the roadside it was a good place to be!
A linear from Parkgate to Eastham Country park presented transport logistic problems, but in the end eight of us was almost the perfect number (upto ten would have been OK too!).
Joining the Wirral Way we soon set off at an above average pace, that was hardly slowed by the frequent stop to look for the many singing birds that seemed to be on the hedges and trees alongside the path. All birds, well most, have beautiful songs, but to day the best was that of the Chiffichaff, a wonderful indicater that Spring is here at last. Not just one Chiffchaff singing, they seemed to be everywhere along the first section of the Wirral Way as far as the Liverpool Veterinary Farm.
The section around beyond the Mill near and Roger's car in a drive (Reg: 60 ROG) near Willaston was much better than expected, only last month the field paths had been really muddy.
The route went across a golf course, not easy to on the path, and unusually we crossed a fairway and has some very polite conversation with four golfers!
Another delightful section was the path that went through Dibblesdale Nature Reserve.
The roadside section through the industrial park North of Spital was necessary, but it wasn't long before we could get on a path that followed the edge of the Mersey back to car park at the Eastham Country Park.
Birds seen or heard included: Little egret, Mallard, Coot, House sparrow, Dunnock, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff (my bird of the day), Jay, Back-billed magpie, Mandarin (male and female), Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Herring gull, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blackbird, Song thrush, Mistle thrush, Woodpigeon, Wren, Starling, Pied wagtail, Grey wagtail, Great spotted woodpecker and Buzzard (the only bird of prey seen today).
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wheatsheaf at Raby. Fran paid for the round in celebration of selling her Mother's car, I think the round cost more than she got from the car!
The beers enjoyed included Biter and Twisted and the local brew Trappist Monk.
A thoroughly enjoyable walk, and even better it only started to rain after we were safely home!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Dates and Walks March 2010.

Updated 7th March 2010.

Saturday 27th March 2010.
Ty Mawr, Carreg Alltrem and Ty'n y Cwn.

Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Dolwyddelan Station Car Park. Grid ref:SH738522.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines three walks taken from Michael Burnetts book "Walks East of Snowdon".
The second walk is described as a fascinating walk over the hills above Dolwyddelan to the ancient house Ty Mawr set in the picturesque Wybrnant Valley. The first two walks combine to make a delightful excursion into the Penamnen Valley. Ty mawr should be open from in the afternoon by the time we get there, so bring your National Trust Cards with you if you are a member. If you like horses bring a carrot ot two! Apparently in Ty Mawr there is an impressive collection of Bibles worth looking at. I'll be viewing, even if I'm th only one to do so!
Thursday 11th March 2010.
Barber Hill, Vivod Estate and the Horseshoe Falls.
Distance:11 miles.
Climb: 2000'
Start: Llangollen long stay car park (pay and display). This is the car park that you get to by taking the first road on the right after crossing the bridge towards the centre.
Grid ref: SJ214420.

Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". The most memorable time that we did this combination of walks was in March 2006, when there was snow on the ground. It was a glorious sunny and the sun reflecting on the snow on the trees sparkled like jewels. This was a glorious walk, hopefully to be repeated again this time round.

Saturday 13th March 2010.
Caer Euni from Llanderfel.

Distance:9.2 miles; Climb:1300;.
Start: Roadside parking next to the stream in Llanderfel. Grid ref:SH982371.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Y Bala". He describes the walk as exploring the interesting area of upland pasture, moorland and valley fringes North of Bethel. It visits an Iron Age hill fort and cerermonial/burial circles an d reaches a height of 1181'. We also have the option of visiting Llyn Caer Euni. The hidden valley visited was once a stronhold for the Quakers in this area before they set off for America.

Thursday 18th March 2010.
A Clwydian Trio

Distance:11 miles; Climb:1500' '.
Start: Pentre-celyn car park . Grid ref: SJ150534.
The car parking area is on the left adjacent to the sign for Pentre-celyn, just off the B5429.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This is another walk by Debbie Hamilton and is taken from the "Walking" magazine. This walk includes the section of Offa's Dyke Path goes near Moel y Plas, Moel Gyw, Moel Llanfair and Boncyn y Waen-grogen. Her walk starts from Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, but we will start at Pentre Celyn about half amile beyond Craigfechan.

Saturday 20th March 2010.
Chelmorton and Deep Dale and Chee dale and Blackwell.

Distance:9-10 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Wyedale Car park (Pay and Display). Grid ref:SK104724.
Leave Chester 8-0 a.m.
These two walks are taken from Mark Richards book "White Peak Walks - Norther Dales". He describes Chee Dale as a miniature Grand Canyon claimed from the railway age for the express delight of walkers!. The second walk he describes a walk to savour, indeed a ramble to amble!

Thursday 25th March 2010.
The Wirral Coast to Coast.

Distance:11 miles
Start: Parkgate Old baths car park:SJ273789.
Finish:Eastham Country Park:Grid ref:SJ363818.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This is a Coast to Coast challenge, but the most demanding spect will be organising the cars to ensure that we have transport at the end to bring us back to Parkgate. Twice as many cars as usual will be required or if we have only one car at the end, some could for a drink while the drivers are taken back to the start: The walk is another walk from Annakin-Smith's book "Wirral Walks", one I've liked the idea of doing for some time.
The route follows the Wirral Way to Willaston, then heads for Raby Mere, goes through Dibbindale Local Nature Reserve, past St. Patrick's Well and Job's Ferry and back to Eastham Country Park.

Saturday 27th March 2010.
See description above for the Ty Mawr walk from Dolwyddelan.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Around Tittesworth Reservoir 20th March 2010.

A view from the Eastern Bird Hide.
Richard crossing the dam at the Southern end of Tittesworth Reservoir.
What a grey day - Hen Cloud I think!
Our first encounter with calling Frogs! Our second encounter with calling Frogs and more!

Walk stats:Distance:4.8 miles; Climb:596'.
Time:2 hours 22 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn and Richard.
The planned walk didn't start with good vibes, first the road to our start point was closed, we then went to the first village on our walk and couldn't find anywhere to park so on to the next village. We did find some roadside parking here, and sat patiently in the car for about an hour to see if the rain would subside just a little, it didn't! we then went to Tittesworth Reservoir and decided to have lunch in the car, just hoping that we might get a walk in later.
The rain relented and we set of on what we thought would be an easy walk around the reservoir. It would have been had we kept to the main route rather that follow the feint path through the woods close to the Eastern edge of the reservoir. This is certainly the hardest, most slippy lakeside path that I have ever had the pleasure of traversing!
The second half of the walk was along well maintained hard surfaced paths, what a pleasure after the our earlier experiences.
The highlight of the day was seeing one stream with masses of Frog spawn and several calling Frogs and later hearing more Frogs calling, we also found a pair mating!
It may not have been the planned walk, but at least it was a a walk that in the end was enjoyable!
Birds seen or heard today included:Reed bunting, Canada goose, Mute swan, Chaffinch, Mallard, Cormorant, Blackbird, Carrion crow, Great tit, Lapwing, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Pied wagtail, Coot,Song thrush, Robin, House sparrow, Tufted duck and a female Mandarin.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where the Hartington bitter was as ever in particularly good condition.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Clwydian Trio from Pentrecelyn 18th March 2010.

Just to prove it really was a shorts day!

Heading off on the path after an encounter with "Piglet"!

A new path to all of us, heading up the North side of Boncyn y Waen-grogen valley.

The first high point of the day, the summit of Moel y Plas or Fran trying to explain how she got to Italy last week with Ryanair!

The last high point of the day, Moel Gyw summit.

Walk stats: Distance:11.8 miles; Climb:1899' (Estimated from elevation profile on tracks on Memory Map).

Time: 5 hours 22 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.2. m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Tim, Celia, Fran and Dave J.
The weather today seemed a race against time today with the prospect of showers an strong wind towards the end of the afternoon. Thankfully we only felt a few rain spots and the strong wind only showed its strength on the more exposed sections of the Clwydians. Nevertheless for some it was definitely a shorts day, all day!

We started the walk at Pentrecelyn and were fortunate to use one or two new two paths in order to link up with the described walk.

However the interesting encounter of the day was to meet up with "Piglet", a very friendly Staffie, and equally friendly blond Alsatian and a Collie, all rescue dogs, now looked after by a man that was running a bird of prey sanctuary, that currently included a Buzzard as well as a Harris Hawk.

Sadly the Pelissiers couldn't be with us, but they weren't forgotten, especially at lunchtime, when we all enjoyed the treat of French biscuits (at least 5 each and Richard several more!) that had been made by the new baker in the village where the Pelissiers have their French home!

Once on the Clwydians the route along the green track is one of the finest on the Offa's dyke path, with superb views across the Vale of Clwyd and in the distance the high peaks of Snowdonia.

A little more route finding allowed us to cut the corner back to the Pentrecelyn, having enjoyed a superb walk with legs and knees wishing that the walk had been a little shorter.

Birds sen or heard today included:Buzzard, Raven, Stonechat, Meadow pipit, Dunnock, Robin, Carrion crow, Common gull, Black-headed gull, Pied wagtail, Jackdaw, Rook, Chaffinch, Song thrush, Greenfinch and Blue tit.

After walk drinks were enjoyed by most of us at the Glasfryn at Mold. The Sowdonia Ale wasn't at its best, but the Roosters brew and Thwaites Mild were much better!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Caer Euni 13th March 2010.

Tyddyn Tyfod taken in November 2006.
The recently restored and more "Tyddyn Tyfod",
once the home of the Quaker Edward ap Rhys.
Heading for the top of the hillfort! Some of the ramparts of Caer Euni.
At the highest point in the centre of Caer Euni.

Walk stats:Distance:10.2 miles; Climb:1779'.

Time:5 hours 41 minutes; On the move walking average:2.2 m.p.h.; Overakk walk average:1.8 m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger and Dave J.

The forecast was for some rain, but thankfully we didn't get any. A good day for walking and towards the end of the walk the warm sunshine must have put the temperaures in to double figures!

The walk started well with at least four Red kites quatering over the hillside.

Another bonus today was that we actually made it to Caer Euni hillfort, well worth the extra uphill effort to get there!

The next surprise of the day was arriving at "Tyddyn Tyfod" to find that it had been totally renovated into an impressive dwelling, hardly recogniseable from the shelter used by sheep a few years ago!

A good walk despite the occasional trek across pathless terrain, and whenever we were on top of the valley ridges, the views were superb, especially towards the Berwyns, Clwydians and the Arans above Bala.

The added bonus at lunch was some superb cake made by Margaret, the only problem being that the size of the pieces of cake made at at least one person in the group make even slower progress up hill after lunch!

Birds seen or heard included:Robin, Blackbird, Song thrush, Wren, Nuthatch, Blue tit, Great tit, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Jay, Raven, Buzzard, Pied wagtail, Skylark, Pheasant, Canada goose, House sparrow, Dunnock and two Woodcock, both seen by Dave and one seen by Richard as well.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Cholomendy Arms at Cadole.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Vivod Mountain and Y Foel 11th March 2010.

Enjoying lunch in the sunshine, but can you believe it?
Are we all smiling, we should be, NO MORE HEATHER BASHING!
Giving us permission to head into the Wilderness!
Heading off into the Wilderness.
A magnificent view of the Eglwyseg Rocks and Ruabon Mountain from Vivod Mountain.
The first to the top as usual. Dave and Richard at Bidduph Tower.
Our last view of the day! A view that has Dinas Bran on the skyline above Llangollen.

Walk stas: Distance:10.3 miles; Climb:1671'.
Time:5 hours 11 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Gordon, Celia, Tim, Sylvia and Dave J.
What a glorious Spring day this turned out to be. Perhaps not quite the walk that wea originally planned, but it was a wlk that will be repeated despite the "heather hopping"! With a little extra mileage we can probably miss out most of the "heather bashing"!
We nearly lost Richard as he headed off towards Y Foel when we wanted to go into the Wilderness! Roger and Gordon did their best to bring him back on track, and eventually Roger was successful in making him realise that everyone else was going in a different direction!
What a surprise it was to meet up with a couple of walkers in this remote part of the Northern Berwyns trying to find the same ancient tumulus on Vivod Mountain. Sadly with all this manpower, we can't really say any one of us was successful!
At lunch most of us (Gordon excepted, he ate his cake at the start!), enjoyed the last of Martyn's cake to enable them to complete the "heather hopping" to the summit of Y Foel.
Throughout the walk we had fantastic views in every direction.
Our last remaining event of the day was when a farmer asked us to go off the path and walk through his fields to avoid "spooking" a couple his neighbours sheep and driving them down to Llangollen!
Birds seen or heard today included:Blue tit, Great tit, Blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Song thrush, Raven, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Barnacle goose, Ganada goose, Greenfinch, Pheasant, Woodpigeon, Kestrel and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed by most of us at the Corn Mill in Llangollen.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Ty Mawr and Sarn Helen 6th March 2010.

Lunch time by the Lledre. Only Celia smiling! "We put the wind up those silly walkers didn't we? I bet they thought we'd chase them on the way back too!"
Ty Mawr - not quite ready for visitors!

Roger in deep thought - what does that Welsh inscription mean?

Roger's Welsh homework, but he may need a little help from a friend!

One of the many wonderful views as we walked beside the Afon Lledre.

Roger having a senior moment - he claimed he was just appreciating the view!

Walk stats: Distance:10.0.miles; Climb:1547'.

Time:5 hours 35 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.

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

This was another glorious day for walking, much sunshine, virtually no wind and with a really warm Spring feel! Considering that much of the walk was along forest tracks, the views at times were superb. The high peaks of Snowdonia capped in snow frequently came into view to delight us.

Ty Mawr at the head of Nant Wybrnant is a place that when we visit on the 27th March will open and we can visit the exebition on Bishop Morgan's work and the Bibles on display.

Lunch was taken alongside the Afon Lledre, no Dippers at this point, although Roger spotted a Grey wagtail.

The second half of the walk along Sarn Helen, wasn't the most enthralling of routes, being along a road and largely on forest tracks, but it did provide us with the best views of the day, especially of the sow capped Moel Siabod.

Birds seen or heard today included: Great spotted woodpecker, Robin, Blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Wren, Chaffinch, Black-billed magpie, Jay, Grey wagtail, Dipper and Buzzard.

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

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Moelfre Isaf from Abergele 4th March 2010.

At the watchtower on Tower Hill.
Celia "running" away from friends?
Our first glimpse of the magnicent snow capped peaks of the Carneddau - a treat that was with us for much of the walk.Snowdonia from the summit of Moelfre Isaf.

Wind turbines on the horizon beyond Abergele.

Walk stats:Distance:10.4 miles; Climb:1349'.

Time:5 hours 4 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.;Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Tim and Celia.

What a glorious sunny day for walking this turned out to be. Sun out all day, it was really shorts weather, well at least it was for one member of the group!

A perfect start to the day when Martyn was allowed to look through the Svaroski telescope of a birder to look at a pair of Common Scoter off shore on the relatively calm sea. Alas they couldn't find a Velvet Scoter to make it a new first!

This was our first walk following Debbied Hamilton's route description, and at one or two points on the outward route we stopped and and had much debate as to the correct way to go. However looking back afterwards we could always see what she was saying, so a few clearer points at crucial points would have been helpful.

Nevertheless this was a superb walk, definitely to be repeated. We even met the same local who on the outward journey commented "Have a good walk, hope you don't get lost" and on the return journey "I see you didn't get lost".

Our first view point was as we entered the clearing by the well preserved watchtower on would you believe it "Tower Hill".

Lunch was taken on the summit of Moelfre Isaf, a vantage point that gave us superb views of Snowdonia from Moel Siabod on the left across Yr Wyddfa, the Glyders and the Carneddau, all capped in snow.

The descent was good too, we were even put right by a local, who pointed out that we could continue along her private road, but the actual path went through the would despite the fact that the gate across the path was padlocked.
Another surprise sighting was the five Red deer near Pen yr allt.

Birds seen or heard today included:Common scoter, Black-billed magpie, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Rook, Carrion crow, Raven, Buzzard, Kestrel, Blue tit, Great tit, Nuthatch, Bullfinch, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Coot, Mallard, Mute swan and maybe a Redstart (going from Richard's description).

After walk drinks were enjoyed as always at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where as usual the hospitality was second to none.