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 July 2010

Dunsop Head and Whitendale 31st July 2010

The River Hodder.
An impressive bridge across the River Hodder.Looking towards Dunsop Fell.
Whitendale Farm and the notice instructing walkers that the footpath is closed to prevent them being attacked by nesting Eagle owls.
The Brennand Valley and River.
Walk stats:Distance:12.4 miles; Climb:1684'.
Time:6 hours 17 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.
A day that was better than expected in terms of the weather. Not too much rain and generally quite warm. The incident of the day was when Sylvia sank in the boggy peat on top of Dunsop Fell and had to be pulled free. Lunch was taken in the shelter of the wall at Dunsop Head, whre we were blessed by a 10 minute spell of sunshine. An unexpected treat was a piece of Sylvia's fruit cake, enough to sustain us for the rest of the day.
At Brennand Farm, we met up with a farmer washing some of his cows, ready for some visitors arriving at the farm on the next day. He also pointed out that one of his cows, a British blue had one best in show recently and that one of his British blue bulls was being entered in the Garstang show next week. We'll have to see if he lives up to his name of "Champion".
We didn't see an Eagle owl, but at least we did see a pair of Peregrine falcons and a Kingfisher.
Overall a good and varied walk.
Birds seen or heard today included:Grey wagtail, Kingfisher, Oystercatcher, Mallard, Curlew, Lapwing, Bullfinch, Barn swallow, Carrion crow, Blue tit, Buzzard, House sparrow, House martin, Peregrine falcon, Mallard, Dipper, Stonechat, Jackdaw , Pied wagtail, Grey heron, Woodpigeon and Kestrel.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Higher Buck in the picturesque village of Waddington, where Thwaites Wainwright went down well.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Coed y Felin, Moel y Gaer and Gwystaney 29th July 2010

Are they still with us?
Do we really have to go that way? Some don't seem so sure!
Walk stats: Distance: 13.0 miles; Climb:1216'.
Time: % hours 58 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Gordon, Annie H, Phil, Dave J., Celia, Fran and Tito.
Not the best of weather forecasts, but at least there wasn't too much rain to be expected. On this occasion they seemed to get it right and we only experienced a few spots of rain just after lunch. This was supposed to be a butterfly spotting day, but it wasn't sunny enough for most to make to the air, but at least we spotted a dozen or so!
This walk can be quite muddy and boggy in places, but today we can be thankful that at the end of the day, our boots don't have to be cleaned unless it is a ritual that you do so!
A good walk, but there again I am a little biased, I just like walking in the Halkyn Mountain area!
Birds seen or heard today included: Yellowhammer, European robin, Black-keaded gull. Black-billed magpie, Barn swallow, Swift, House sparrow, Raven, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Blue tit, Great tit, Woodpogeon, Chiffchaff, Collared dove, Winter wren, Common whitethroat, Stonechat, Skylark, Common starling and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where there was some debate as to whether the the first pint or the second pint of Lees was the best! In reality they were both good!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Walks and Dates July 2010.

Updated 26th July 2010.
Thursday 1st July 2010.
Grindley Brook and Tushingham.
Distance:12 miles; Climb:Not a lot!
Start:Lay-by on the right (opposite an old mill) on the A41 just East of Grindley Brook. Grid ref:SJ524429.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines one walk from Jen Darling's book "Best Pub Walks in Wirral and Cheshire" and one walk from her more recent book "Walks in West Cheshire and Wirral". The walks include part of the Sandstone Trail and the Bishop Bennet Way.
Saturday 3rd July 2010.
Distance: 11-12 miles; Climb:2050'.
Start:Eastern side of Nant y Moch Reservoir. Grid ref:SN767869.
Leave Chester 7-30 a.m., although some of us may prefer to go down on Friday and stay a little nearer the start.
This walk is taken from John and Ann Nuttall's book "The Mountains of England and Wales Volume 1 Wales". This is a walk that has been on the list several times, but as yet we have for one reason or another we have never completed. It is described as a grassy mountain range with very few paths. Some of the streams can be difficult to cross if there has been lots of rain. Be prepared to get your feet wet! One description that is a couple of miles further, but seems to have a more obvious return route says to allow 9 hours for the walk!
Thursday 8th July 2010.
The Three Lakes Walk.
Distance:11.6 miles; Climb:1523'.
Start: Park on grass verge just before crossing over the dam (Eastern side of the Llyn Aled). Grid ref:SH916579.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's books "Walks in the Hidden Heart of North Wales" and Walks Around Hiraethog Moors and Lakes" whichever you prefer. Same walks, just different covers, and one walk has been extended a little in the former book. Llyn Aled, Llyn Alwen and the Alwen Reservoir are the three "lakes" visited. In the past sections have been quite boggy to say the least, but considering the lack of rain of late, the going should be relatively good.
Saturday 10th July 2010.
Red Wharf Bay and More.
Distance:12 miles; Climb:500' at a guess.
Start:Pay and display car park at Benllech. Grid ref:SH523824.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
I thought that it would be a good time for a walk on the coast, before the official school holidays begin. This walk combines one walk from Carl Roger's book "Walks Around Anglesey Volume 2". and a walk taken from "Countryfile Magazine". Much of the walk is on the coast along the beach. High tide is at 10-13, so by the time we want to walk on the beach it should be O.K. This walk also includes a little hill called Mynydd Llwydiarth as part of the Red Wharf Bay walk. It will probably be worthwhile to bring binoculars with you if you have them.
Thursday 15th July 2010.
Cwm Conwy, Moel y Gaer and Halkyn Mountain.
Distance:10-11 miles; Climb1540'.
Start: Rhosesmor. Park by the play area, on the right of the minor road that goes NOrth from the cross roads. Grid ref:SJ214685.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". A walk that we have done several times before, and one that I never tire of doing. I thought that it was about time that we did the walk again, before the increased demand for the parking area once the schools break up for the Summer holidays.
Saturday 17th July 2010.
Whitendale and Croasdale.
Distance:12 miles; Climb:1590.
start:Slaidburn riverside car park. Grid ref:SD714523.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire". He describes this walk as one of the finest in Lancashire. He describes it as an enchanting, almost forgotten world, a sanctum of peace and quiet, a contrast to the sombre hills all around. The return route uses a Roman road, now called Hornby Road.
Thursday 29th July 2010.
Coed-y-Felin, Moel-y-Gaer and Around Gwysaney.
Distance:12 miles; Climb:1500+'.
Start:Coed y Felin Nature Reserve car park at Hendre on the A541. Grid ref:SJ196678.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". These are two walks that we have done before, but I'm not sure that we have done them together. Walks described as exploring the varied countryside between the Wheeler Valley and Halkyn Mountain as well as the lush wooded Gwysaney Estate.
Saturday 25th July 2010.
The Hills West of Cadair Idris.
This walk has been postponed until September.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:2640'.
Start:Car park opposite the chapel in Llanfihangal-y-pennant. Grid ref:SH672088.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Nuttalls' book "The Mountains of England and Wales Volume 1 Wales". It is a long time ago since we did this walk, so I thought that it was time to revisit this area. We may wish to explore Castell-y-Bere, the largest castle built by the Welsh. Route finding in the past has been challenging at times, but hopefully not this time! The two peaks involved are Tyrrau Mawr and Craig-y-llyn.
Saturday 31st July 2010.
Dunsop Head and Whitendale.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1395'.
Start:Dunsop Bridge Car park. Grid ref:SD661501.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire". He describes it as a long and demanding walk across isolated moorlands, not recommended in poor visibility! Can we meet the challenge? Will we see an Eagle owl?

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Malpas and Shocklach 22nd July 2010

Overton Scar at the only point that we could get near enough to see it through the trees.

Walk stats:Distance:11.1 miles, Climb:386'.
Time:5 hours 20 minutes; On the move walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger and Annie H.
This wasn't a day for taking photographs, the weather was warm and humid whenever it stopped raining, and that wasn't often. Thankfully the weather behaved itself for the last hour or so of the walk, always a good way to end the day. In fact by the time we were back at the Black Dog at Waverton, it was so sunny we could have sat outside with our drinks, we didn't!
These were a couple of walks that would benefit from being completed in dry weather when you're more inclined to search out and find the many historical features along the route.
Birds seen or heard included:House sparrow, Buzzard, Blackbird, Nuthatch, Black-billed magpie, Woodpigeon, Grey partridge, Great tit, Chiffchaff, Carrion crow and Yellowhammer.
Several Rabbits were seen on route and Richard saw a Brown hare and Annie a Fox.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Black Dog at Waverton, where the best beer on offer was Everards Tiger.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Whitendale and Croasdale 17th July 2010

Martyn on the Salters Fell track - photo by Richard.
Looking back along the Holby Road in Croasdale - photo by Richard.
Looking down Whitendale, spot the Eagle owl if you can!
Richard after lunch on the Salters Fell track, heading for the Holby Road (Roman road).
The way ahead, following the yellow top markers!
Richard on the Holby Road.

Distance:13.3 miles; Climb:2000'.
Time:6 hours 39 minutes; On the move walking average:2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn and Richard.
Unless you like rain today's weather wasn't good. It rained on and off all day with the odd five minute break when it wasn't raining. The only exception was 20 minutes while we had lunch and the last mile of the day! At least it wasn't cold and although much of the terrain was quite boggy we both kept our feet dry.
Slaidburn is a lovely village with superb public conveniences (even hot water) and a special set of taps with hoses inviting you to clean your boots, hopefully before going in the loos!
This superb walk would be even better on a warm sunny day after a long dry period!
The views along Whitendale and Croasdale, two quite remote valleys were quite stunning. We noticed that one path down Whitendale had been closed for safety reasons, apparently Eagle Owls were nest in the area! We didn't see any!
The trek up the Salters Fell track was quite tedious, forever following yellow topped posts along narrow indistinct paths until we reached Holby Road. We followed this Roman road for nearly 3 miles before arriving back on the road to Slaidburn.
Birds seen or heard today included: Barn swallow, House martin, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Stonechat, Kestrel, Buzzard, Black-headed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Oystercatcher, Grey wagtail, Meadow pipit, Lapwing, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Song thrush, Red grouse, Redshank and Curlew.
In addition we had the delight of seeing a Brown hare lolloping down the road in front of us for quite some time, totally oblivious to our presence.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at Hark and Bounty in Slaidburn where Tirrel Old faithful was the beer sampled.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Cwm Conwy and Halkyn Mountain 15th July 2010

What's the attraction? Free food of course! In this case ripe Goosegogs.
On the path to the across Halkyn Mountain.
Not the best view of Halkyn Mountain!
At the trig point on Halkyn Mountain.
Tito taking the chance for a rest in the centre of Moel y Gaer.
Distance:9.1 miles; Climb:1551'.
Time: 4 hours 27 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h'; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Annie H., Fran and Tito.
Weather forecast for the day not too good, with the best being showers maybe heavy at times. Thankfully it turned out better than that, and least one of us didn't even give in and don waterproofs. We had a good amount of sunshine at even the wind, strong at times, wasn't cold and was a bonus most of the time, although we did have to take shelter in some old mine workings for lunch!
Overall this was a lovely walk, combining the lovely Cwm Conwy with a delightful amble across Halkyn Mountain. I'm sure that this route will be repeated in the future, possibly with the ascent of Moel Ffagnallt as a variation.
Birds seen or heard today included:Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Jackdaw, House sparrow, Greenfinch, Barn swallow, Stonechat, Mistle thrush, Chaffinch, Meadow pipit, Skylark and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed by some at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where the Lees bitter was good after the barrel had been changed!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Red Wharf Bay and More 10th July 2010

Red Wharf Bay i the morning, looking Eastward - photo by Richard
On the footpath leading to Breeze Hill.
Looking across Red Wharf bay towards the Ship Inn.
A red jelly fish stranded at the Western end of Red Wharf Bay.

Distance:10.6 miles; Climb:1050'.

Time:5 hours 31 minutes; On the move walking average;2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.

Group:Martyn, Richard and Mike D.
The weather wasn't at its best today! All morning fine rain was in the air, just enough to wet you and with waterproofs on it was so warm that you got wet through sweating. The afternoon was better and I manage to complete the walk without putting my waterproof on again.

Walking along a beach is always good and in all these two walks provided a fair amount.

Part of the walk went through a mature Pine woodland, but alas we didn't see one Red squirrel, but we did see a small Common frog.

Birds seen or heard today included:Collard dove, Woodpigeon, Chiffchaff, Buzzard, Herring gull, Fulmar, Lesser black-backed gull, Black-headed gull, Oystercatcher, Coal tit, Goldfinch, Barn swallow, Curlew, Mallard, Coot, Shelduck, Carrion crow, Linnet, Greenfinch, European robin, Sedge warbler, Greylag goose and Brent goose.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Btitannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. We stayed for a meal as well, Richard enjoying Rabbit pie and Mike and Martyn enjoying the Steak and Ale pie, washed down of course with a good pint of Lees bitter.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

The Three Lakes Walk 8th July 2010

Looking across Llyn Aled from the road across the dam. Arriving at our first stile, the questions seems to be "What do we do?"
Looking down the access track to Ty'n-llyn on the Northern shore of Llyn Alwen.Heading for the bridge across the Alwen Reservoir.
Sundews galore on Hiraethog Moor!
Distance:11.5 m.p.h.; Climb:1508'.
Time:5 hours 31 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Celia and Gordon.
The weather turned out to be much better than the forecast, it was much sunnier than expected and we only experienced the odd spot or two of rain, and most of those were in the last half a mile or so. In addition for most of the walk we were accompanied by a very pleasant cooling breeze. As we approached Llyn Aled, a Red kite flew across the road in front of us, and then we passed a local farmer having his sheep sheared on the roadside. We set off across the dam and noticed that the former club house of the sailing club had been totally removed. As usual the first trek across open moorland was pathless and it is always reassuring to arrive at the fence and slate boundary marker.
On arriving at Ty'n-llyn, Richard informed us that a young Barn swallow had momentarily landed on his hand as he opened the gate for us. Ty'n-llyn was in fact the residence of several Barn swallows as the zoomed out of the windows and doors of the derelict buildings as we passed.
The other main disturbance of the day was a couple of RAF jets obviously on training flights and flying quite low.
On the final section of moorland we encountered a herd of Highland cattle, but thankfully the bull wasn't interested in us, and just followed his female friends as they ran away from us, standing still didn't seem an option for them.
At the bridge across the Alwen Reservoir, we met a couple of cyclist who were surprised to find that the track around the reservoir was one way for cyclist and one way for walkers. They were relieved to find they were in fact going the right way round!
Birds seen or heard included:Red kite, Herring gull, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Carrion crow, Raven, Barn swallow, Pied wagtail, House sparrow, Wheatear and Buzzard.
It was an enjoyable walk, all the better for the better than usual dry conditions underfoot, and the fact that Skylarks singing seemed to be everywhere. On the moorland near to the slate boundary mark, there seemed to be lots of Sundew flowers. Nevertheless legs were still tired and that pint of Lees bitter at the Britannia Inn went down well.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Pumlumon Fawr and More 3rd July 2010.

At the summit cairn on Y Garn (is this Y Garn the third?) and no we aren't lost!
The ridge heading for Pumlumon Fawr.
At the summit of Pumlumon Fawr - photo taken by Dave J.
Dave at the cairn on Pen Pumluman Llygad-bychan.
The waterfalls and the "secret valley", branching South off Cwm Hengwm.
Distance:13.4 miles (14.4 miles); Climb:2886' (3486').
Time: 7 hours 16 minutes; On the move walking average:2.2 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Celia, Dave J. and Mike D.
After many years, more than I care to remember, of having this walk on the list, but until day never even attempted, at last the challenge has been completed! This was a first for all of us, and a long time has past since we last bagged 4 (5 for some) new Nuttall peaks in one day!
This was a good day for attempting this walk, warm, mainly sunny weather, a nice cooling breeze/wind for most of the day, and a Spring that had been the driest for 79 years!
The initial ascent of Y Garn was not as easy as most of us would have liked, the tussocky grass made the going somewhat unpleasant to say the least! The picture of the group isn't a true reflection of what we felt, most of us were elated just to be there with a relatively easy path ahead to the summit of Pumlumon Fawr and the biting horseflies had been left behind. Three of the group decided to visit Pumlumon Fach, requiring over 300' of descent and an extra 300-400' of climb, I for one didn't think it was worth it!
The rest of us waited patiently at the summit cairn at Pen Pumlumon Llygad-bychan, where we heard the plaintive call of the Golden Plover, but hadn't been able to spot it. Fortunately later we did.
We had lunch at the cairns/shelter on Pen Pumlumon Arwysti, the shelter at this point was quite welcome as the wind had become quite blustery at this point.
The descent from here to the path on the Northern side of the Hengwm Valley wasn't one that will linger long my memory, if only things that you enjoy last! In fact crossing the footbridge over Afon Hengwm one mile short of the road back to the car was the most memorable point on this final section of the walk.
Rather surprisingly for this remote area, we saw quite a few other walker, several of which we happy to pass the time of day with us, and even give us good advice in terms of the final stages of our descent along the Hengwm Valley.
At least, all but one of us, arrived back at the car without getting wet feet.
Birds seen or heard today included: Meadow pipit, Skylark, Buzzard, Red kite, Wheatear, Raven, Stonechat, Swift and Golden plover (bird of the day).
After walk drinks were enjoyed by most of us at the Cholomendy Arms at Cadole and Celia bought the crisps again!
A fantastic walk, but what else could I say, when you have been wanting to do this walk for over 25 years!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Grindley Brook and Tushingham 1st July 2010

Birthday girl leading the rest of the group.
You're not my friends!
St Chad's, a lovely church in the middle of fields, but still used once a month.
Distance:11.5 miles; Climb:797'.
Time:4 hours 59 minutes; On the move walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.3 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Gordon, Annie H.,Tim, Celia , Sylvia and Dave J.
The weather forecast was for rain around mid-day, but at least it wouldn't be cold. We thought that the forecast was going to be right as it started to rain, just as we were starting lunch at Jackson's Bridge. Thankfully it didn't last for more than a few minutes and our waterproofs were redundant for the rest of the day.
Much of the terrain was across farmland, but underfoot was invariably good to firm, and the worst that we encountered was a few nettle stings!
On route we passed St Chad's church, situated in the middle of fields and still used once a month. It was well maintained, and had some lovely stained glass windows that you could appreciate by looking through the side windows.
The final mile and a half was along the Llangollen canal from the Willey Moor Lock Tavern(sadly closes at 2-00 p.m. according to the notice at the end of their drive to their car park). This was a very pleasant canal side path on which to return to our cars at Grindley Brook.
Birds seen or heard today included:Chiffchaff, Barn swallow, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Black-headed gull, House sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Winter wren, Pied wagtail Jay, Blackbird, European robin, Woodpigeon, Buzzard, Kestrel and Hobby (the bird of the day).
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Horse and Jockey at Grindley Brook, where Celia (birthday girl today) celebrated by buying the first round and and large bowl of chips to be shared by all of us. A bitter from the Three Tuns in Bishop's Castle went down particularly well. Dave J., whose birthday is on the 4th July, got into the act by buying the second round.
Overall a good walk that left are legs feeling as though we had completed a much more demanding walk that what was essentially a walk across the Cheshire plain.