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, 30 October 2010

Hen Cloud and the Roaches 30th October 2010

An early view of the Roaches.
On the Hen Cloud.
Looking up Lud's Church.
Can you spot the Red deer?
A superb Oak in Autumnal colours.

Walk stats:Distance:10.9 miles; Climb:2054'.
Time:6 hours 3 minutes. On the move walking average:2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average:1.7 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Dave J., Nigel and Carol.
What a superb day for walking this turned out to be, bright and sunny with a cooling breeze for most of the day. Once on the ridge it was a delightful stroll for the next couple of hours, with views in all directions. Bosley Cloud, Shutlingsloe and Shinning Tor all clearly outlined. Lunch was taken about a mile into the return journey from Danebridge.
Lud's Church as ever always impresses, whether you're seeing it for the first time or it's a return visit.
Thankfully we started the walk early and we had Hen Cloud to ourselves and even the Roaches were relatively quiet.
The highlight of the day was seeing seven Red deer racing across the slopes ahead of us.
Birds seen or heard today included:Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Meadow pipit, Red grouse, Buzzard, Winter wren, Coal tit, Nuthatch, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Coal tit, Fieldfare and Kestrel.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek where the Hartington bitter was once again in fine form.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Moel Fammau and the Leet 28th October 2010

The final approach to Moel Fammau or so I thought!
On the summit of Moel Fammau.

Walk stats: Distance: 12.8 miles. Climb:2158'.
Time:6 hours 23 minutes. On the move walking average:2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Gordon, Annie H., Phil, Mike D., Fran and Tito.
Optimistically we were expecting a couple of showers and temperatures on the warm side due to a warm wind. In fact we did do well and both showers didn't account to much, and most of the walk was completed in pleasant conditions. Lunch was taken in wood just below the summit of Moel Fammau, on the short cut suggested by Phil. On the summit tower on Moel Fammau there was a keen wind to say the least, but one member of the group braved it out in shorts and shirt sleeves!
The walk was slightly longer than expected, both in terms of distance and time (a 30 minute delay at the visitors centre at Loggerheads when we lost Tito for a while.).
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Cola tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Long-tailed tit, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Woodpigeon, Jay, Kestrel, Mistle thrush, Blackbird and Black-billed magpie.
Overall a good walk, even Gordon liked this route to Moel Famma. However I'll probably make the extension a little shorter next time!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn at Mold where the star brew of choice was Cwrw Eryri.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Dates and Walks October 2010.

Saturday 2nd October 2010.
Tre'r Ceiri, Yr Eifl and Vortigern's Ravine.

Distance: 8 miles; Climb:3000'.
Start: Forestry Commission Car Park and Picnic site North of Llithfaen just beyond Mount Pleasant cottages. Grid ref:SH352441.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m. Another chance to explore the wonderful remains of the largest and best hill fort in Wales. The walk is shorter than most, but this is walk to savour and not to be rushed. There is a good bit of climb involved too! Last time we also went round the museum at the Welsh Language Centre and some of the group went for a swim at Porth y Nant. Lets hope for a warm sunny day.

Thursday 7th October 2010.
Llantysilio Mountains and More.

Distance: 8-11 miles; Climb:2000'.
Start: Parking area opposite the Ponderosa Hotel at the top of the Horseshoe Pass . Grid Ref: SJ193481.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Most of the walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley" with a there and back extension to the Sir Watkin Tower and trig point. This is a superb roller coaster of a walk that can be quite challenging if the weather isn't at its best. Hopefully it will be a good Autumn day so that we can enjoy the panoramic views offered.

Saturday 9th October 2010.
Darwen Moor West

Distance: 11 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: The car park and visitor centre at Tockholes next to the Royal Arms . Grid Ref: SD665215.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.

This walk is taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire" with a little extra to start at the Tockholes car park. This could be another walk for the Murphy clan, with this walk following Catherine Edge. Once agin the walk uses the Witton Weavers Way. This time we will visit Belmont Reservoir before returning across the wilderness of Spitlers Edge and Redmonds Edge.

Thursday 14th October 2010.
Caer Drewyn, Pen-y-Pigyn and an on to Cynwyd.
Distance: 9 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Corwen centre car park next to the Public Convenience. Grid Ref: SJ080435.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines to walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley" with a there and back extension to Cynwyd. The visit of Caer Drewyn is described as enchanting and the second walk as being a delightful walk through the wooded hillside above Corwen and concludes with lovely walk alongside the River Dee.

Saturday 16th October 2010.
Slaidburn, Dunsop Bridge, Newton and the River Hodder.

Distance: 11 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Slaidburn village riverside car park . Grid Ref: SD713524.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.

This walk is based on a walk taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire" with an extension from Beatrix to Dunsop Bridge, returning along the River Hodder as far as Boarden, along the road and then heading South past Knoll Wood to Foulscales and then upto Newton to rejoin the original route that follows the River Hodder back to Slaidburn. He describes his part of the walk as being a delightful rural walk.

Thursday 21st October 2010.
Moel Arthur and Moel Plas-yw.

Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Llangwyfan Forestry car park . Grid Ref: SJ139668.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.

This walk combines one walk from Dave Berry's book "Walking on the Clwydian Hills" and one from his book "More Walks on the Clwydian Hills". It seems quite along time since we last did these two walks together. He describes one walk as following an attractive old enclosed bridleway, traverses the slopes of Plas-yw and give excellent views. The other walk includes a delightful green track that contours around Moel Arthur and culminates in a stiff climb to the summit of Moel Arthur hillfort with its panoramic views across the Vale of Clwyd towards Snowdonia as well as giving fine views towards Moel Fammau and Offa's Dyke footpath.

Saturday 23rd October 2010.
Revidge and Ecton Hill.

Distance: 12 miles; Climb:1600'.
Start: Hulme End Car park (Pay and Display) . Grid Ref: SK103592.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.

This walk combuines two walks from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks -Southern Dales". We have done these walks many times under many different weather conditions and conditions underfoot. In fact the Ecton Hill walk relives in our memory as one of the muddiest walks ever, but we now know how to avoid it! These two varied walks allow us to enjoy good views from the tops of Revidge and Ecton Hills finish with a pleasant stroll along the Manifold Valley.

Thursday 28th October 2010.
Ffrith Mountain and the Alyn Gorge, Moel Fammau and Moel Dywyll.

Distance: 11-12 miles; Climb:2000'.
Start: Off road parking opposite the Loggerheads Memorial . Grid Ref: SJ199627.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.

The main part of the walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "More Walks in the Clwydian Hills" which he describes as an excellent walk exploring the beautiful valleys and foothills of the Clwydians. The extension to Moel Fammau will add about 4 miles to the walk as described. The descent from Moel Fammau follows the Offa's Dyke footpath over Moel Dywyll before descending towards Cilcain and rejoining the described route. Our walk this time is clockwise, the opposite way to our normal ascent of Moel Fammau via the Alyn Gorge and Cilcain.

Saturday 30th October 2010.
The Roaches

Distance: 11 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Roadside parking below the Roaches and Hen Cloud . Grid Ref: SK005621.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.

This walk is taken from Mark Richard's book "High Peak Walks" and has become one of our favourite walks, appearing at least once each year. This walk involves a good section along the ridge that makes you feel as though you're on top of the world. On a clear day you get superb views in all directions. Trying to spot a Wallaby, I feel will be fruitless yet again. We will probably choose a route that takes us through Lud's Church. This is a popular place for walkers and climbers, so it is unlikely that we will have the Roaches to ourselves!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Ecton Hill and Revidge 23rd October 2010

At the trig point on Ecton Hill.
The bridge at Wetton Mill.
A delightful track on the Manifold Way.
At the trig point on Revidge.
Ecton Hill from Revidge.

Walk stats: Distance:12.3 miles; Climb:1597'.
Time:5 hours 39 minutes. On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Dave J and Mike D.
The weather wasn't too kind to us today, we had far too much rain for our liking. In fact just as we were having lunch we had a downpour that hastened our desire to be on the move again. Thankfully this cold driving rain didn't last too long and we were dry for the rest of the afternoon.
This time we decided to complete the Ecton Hill circuit first and we arrived at the trig point in sunshine, but with quite a cool wind. Did we encounter mud? Just a little! The walk down the Manifold Valley back towards Hulme End was completed in bright sunshine, making us feel a little overdressed with our waterproofs still on! One lady cyclist, apparently a physiotherapist, made a comment about some good muscular calfs as she went past!
We had good views from both Ecton Hill and Revidge.
Adjacent to Field Head a Leveret shot out from the long grass just in front of us.
We arrived back at the car, having had a good walk, but only one member of the group still had completely dry feet!
Birds seen or heard today included:Grey heron, Blackbird, Kestrel, Jackdaw, Raven, Carrion crow, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Bullfinch, Winter wren, Fieldfare, Pheasant, Mallard and Willow tit.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek. As ever the Hartington bitter was superb, and for once it felt warm in the bar area!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Moel Arthur and Moel Plas-yw 21st October 2010

Moel Plas-yw from the bridleway leading to Moel Arthur.
Setting off just after lunch.
On the bridleway just below Moel Arthur on the South side.

Fly Agaric by the dozen in the Llangwyfan Forest!
Moel Arthur from the high level path back to the Llangwyfan Forest Car Park.

Walk stats: Distance:9.7 miles; Climb:1593'.
Time: 5 hours 0 minutes; On the move walking average:2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Dave J., Fran and Tito.
What a lovely Autumnal day for walking this turned out to be, although by the end of the walk, I did regret not wearing shorts! Throughout the day we enjoyed sunshine and mainly blue skies, and at times a somewhat cooling wind.
Today for the first time on this walk we made the ascent of Moel Arthur right at the start, but unfortunately my camera was playing up, and I was unable to capture any of the wonderful views that we could see whilst at the summit. Countless Ravens entertained us as they tumbled in the air above us. At one time there must have been close on 50 birds around Moel Plas-yw!
Again for the first time we were following the bridleway that contours round the West side of Moel Arthur, and were surprised to see a workman in the process of putting a roof on unique house that Dave Evans had designed and started to build.
Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Blackbird, Pied wagtail, Coal tit, Blue tit, Winter wren, Buzzard, Kestrel, Black-billed magpie, Jay, Fieldfare (our first for this season's migration), Long-tailed tit and Raven( undoubtedly our bird of the day).
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn. It's always good when you find out that the new management still keeps the Lees bitter in excellent condition.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Slaidburn, Dunsop Bridge and the River Hodder 16th October 2010

Can anyone identify this fungus? Probably Larch bolete.
One of the best views of the day, looking towards the Forest of Bowland beyond Dunsop Bridge.
On the way to Beatrix.
The suspension bridge across the on the way to Foulscales and Newton.
Heading down to the River Hodder.

Walk stats:Distance:10.1 miles. Climb:721'.
Time:4 hours 34 minutes. On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Dave J. and Mike D.
We arrived at Slaidburn with bright blue skies and hardly any wind. Wearing shorts was certainly the right decision, but not all of the group agreed! Anyway we were all agreed it fely good to walking in this beautiful part of Lancashire, and that was before we went to the Hark to Bounty!
The morning part of the walk from Slaidburn to Beatrix and on to Dunsop Bridge gave superb views of the moors to the North, with the bracken turning orange, and later on the hills/moorland in the Trough of Bowland.
Lunch was taken at Dunsop Bridge, where we took advantage one of the many benches near the river.
The afternoon walk was where we were able to follow the banks of the River Hodder with the occasional detour when the public footpaths deviated.
Much of the afternoon walk made you feel as though you were walking through a large estate, but we never quite found the stately home to match.
The surprise of the day was the little suspension bridge that we had to cross, it a little too much movement for my liking, but I think Mike was trying to make it worse!
Birds seen today were few, but at least it was a two Dipper day!
Other birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Kestrel, Nuthatch, House sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Blue tit, Partridge, Pheasant, Mallard, Collared dove, Woodpigeon, European robin, Grey heron, Blackbird and possibly a Redstart.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Hark to Bounty in Slaidburn where Tirril's Brougham Ale went down well.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Pen-y-Pigyn, Llangar Church and Caer Drewyn 14th October 2010

The new statue of Owain Glyndwr in the centre of Corwen.
Llangar Church, Church of the White Deer (Eglwysig Carw Gwyn), our lunch spot.
The wall painting that you see as you enter Llangar Church.
Human life on Earth in a picture.
The painting of a white deer in Llangar Church originally called Eglwysig Carw Gwyn.
At the summit cairn in Caer Drewyn.
A view from the summit cairn in Caer Drewyn.

Walk stats: Distance:9.5 miles; Climb:1044'.
Time: 4 hours 22 minutes. On the move walking average:2.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Gordon and Dave J.
Starting time was delayed a little by getting stuck behind a convoy of wide vehicles for nearly an hour and only by a matter of minutes did we make it to the car park before them by re-routing through Carrog.
Rather a gloomy overcast day with the Llantysilio Mountains being in cloud all day. At least it wasn't cold. We started with a lovely walk up to Pen-y-Pygin, but today the views were very limited. The highlight of the day was during our lunch break at Llangar Church a CADW volunteer came to open the church and I was fortunate to be able to see the impressive wall paintings inside. Even better I was given a potted history of the church and given an application form to get a free Pensioners Pass for CADW, Gordon was happy about that too!
I'm almost sure that I saw a Salmon jumping in the Dee just below the point where the Alwen joins it.
Walking along the river was a pleasant, but today we didn't see any avian life on it at all.
However birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Carrion crow, European robin, Grey Heron, Pheasant, Nuthatch, Meadow pipit, Great cormorant, Mallard, Mistle thrush, Redwing and Black-billed magpie.
After walk drinks were enjoyed in front of an open fire at the Pant-yr-Ochain. Hobson's Twisted Spire was the beer of choice. It was good to see that at least three good real ales on offer below 4% alcohol.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Shining Tor and the Goyt Valley 11th October 2010

Shining Tor and Shutlingsloe from the Tors ridge - One I prepared earlier.

Distance:6.8 miles; Climb:1198'.
Time:3 hours 24 minutes; On the move walking average:2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn and Sue Powell.
What a superb day for walking, sunshine and wall to wall blue skies only disturbed occasionally by jet vapour trails. However once on the Tors ridge the cooling wind was a little stronger than expected 12 m.p.h. The views super throughout, a pity I had forgotten to charge the batteries for my camera! Considering that it was a Monday, it was surprising the number of people that we encountered on route, and they weren't all in the wrinklies class!
Lunch was taken in the shelter of the wall by the trig point on Shining Tor. The route along the Tors ridge is almost entirely paved now, including large stones bridging the most boggy ditches/channels, making this section a pleasant upward stroll. Even the stile on the summit of Shining Tor has been replaced by a gate, it's no wonder that this is a popular place for walkers.
Birds seen or heard today included:Red grouse, Pheasant, Raven, Meadow pipit and Kestrel.
After walk celebrations were enjoyed at the Forts of Bengal restaurant in Sale where Martyn tried Paneer Jalfrezie for the first time. I can certainly recommend this restaurant, one review I read claimed it to be the best Indian restaurant in Sale.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Darwen Moor West 9th October 2010

An early view of the Darwen Moors West from the Witton Weaver Way.
Why can't all waymarks be as good as this one pointing the way to Darwen Tower
(the Darwen Rocket).
Striding out along Catherine Edge after passing the no longer a ruin Lower Pasture Barn Farm.
An unexpected view across Belmont towards Winter Hill.
At the shelter on Great Hill.
Autumnal colours.

Walk stats: Distance:11.6 miles. Climb: 2192' .Very little according to Terry Marsh!
Time: 5 hours 12 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger and Dave J.
An unusual weather forecast for this time of the year, mainly cloudy in the morning with the prospect of sunny spells in the afternoon with temperatures in the high teens. The forecast was pretty accurate, but listening to the forecast, I didn't take in the fact the wind would be quite so strong. However we can't complain this was a really good day for on these Lancashire moors.
We started the walk at the Tockholes car park and had to use an excellent footpath to link up with the Witton Weaver Way near the Crookfield Road Car Park.
Striding onwards past Lower Pasture Barn Farm and along Catherine Edge with our first views of Belmont Reservoir and the Winter Hill TV/radio masts on the skyline, we soon encountered an unexpected extension, the path across the dam at the Southern end of the Belmont Reservoir was closed.
However with this slight detour we were able to rejoin our original route by a linking footpath from the Rivington Road from Belmont village.
Lunch was taken in the shelter of a stone wall half way across Sharpes Higher End. It;s a good job we had some of Margaret's fruit cake to sustain us for the afternoon trek across the peaty moorland of Spitlers edge and Redmonds Edge. Surprisingly we met quite a few other walkers on this somewhat boggy moorland, one was even walking in open-toed sandles. Amazingly his toes were still clean! We wisely chose to extend the walk over Great Hill before descending back down to Calf Hey Bridge and on through the plantaion back to Tockholes.
Birds seen or heard today included: Greenfinch, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Great tit, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Mistle thrush, Kestrel, Raven, Eurapean robin, Blackbird, Barn swallow, Wheatear, Meadow pipit, Black-headed gull and Nuthatch.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Royal Arms at Tockholes. The refreshing beer of choice today was a Hopstar brew called Dizzy Danny. The Hopstar Brewery is in Darwen.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Llantysilio Mountains 7th October 2010

Looking back towards Moel y Gamelin from Moel Morfydd.
Looking towards the Vale of Llangollen just as the mist/cloud started to lift.
Early lunch on the summit of Moel Morfydd, 20 minutes before Celia sent her text from Cornwall.
One for Fran, a magnificent berry laden Hawthorn bush.

Walk stats:Distance:7.7 miles; Climb:2171'.
Time:4 hours 41 minutes; On the move walking average:1.9 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.5 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Gordon, Fran and Tito. A very select group today, the Pelissiers, Celia and Annie on holiday, Sylvia working, Dave and Phil on house improvements, Roger, Richard, Carol and Tim all on family duties.
The four die-hards set off in bracing conditions, a cool wind and no views to encourage them. The mist/cloud only lifted after about an hours walk and just before the ascent of Moel Morfydd.
We still experienced that magic moment as the mist/cloud starts to lift and the views start to appear, first below the clouds and then in glorious sunshine and blue skies.
Lunch was enjoyed on the summit of Moel Morfydd with views down to the Vale of Llangollen and to Gordon's delight we could even see the steam locos on their journey from Carrog to Llangollen.
Birds seen or heard today included:Raven, Carrion crow, Meadow pipit, Buzzard, Kestrel, Red kite, Carrion crow, Pheasant, Coal tit and Blackbird.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pant-yr-ochain as the Crown at Llandegla wasn't open. The brews enjoyed included Deuchers IPA and Weetwood'd Cheshire Cat.
Always a good walk, often more tiring than you expect, but always even better when you finish in warm sunshine as we did today.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Tre'r Ceiri and Port y Nant 2nd October 2010

Tre'r Ceiri Hillfort - hut circles.
Sheltering by the cairn in Tre'r Ceiri hillfort.
A view across Nant Gwrtheyryn towards yrEifl.
On the path from the Welsh Language Centre.
Looking across Porth y Nant towards Penryn Glas Quarry.

Walk stats:Distance:7.5 miles; Climb:2630', but it was windy! Probably nearer to 1700'.
Time:4 hours 57 minutes; On the move walking average:1.9 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike, Celia, Carol Herbstritt and Paul de Mengel.
It was good to have two new face on the walk with Carol joining the group for the first time and Paul putting in a guest appearance whilst staying with his sister (Celia).
Weather not as good as we had hoped, far windier and the clouds were covering the summit of Yr Eifl. However we only had a short ten minute shower and after lunch we had sunshine too!
The views towards the coast at the start of the walk were encouraging, but alas at Tre'r Ceiri they were somewhat misty. We could however just about see the coast on both sides of the Lleyn peninsular.
As ever Tre'r Ceiri hillfort with its many hut circles never fails to impress, but today it was a little on the breezy side to explore for long.
The wind was so strong and with Yr Eifl summit still in cloud, we decided to miss out Yr Eifl and head for a la more sheltered lunch spot nearer the coast.
We had lunch at the picnic site just after exiting the forest on the way to Porth y Nant. The picnic benches were very welcome despite being covered by mosses/lichen.
The coastal path beyond the Welsh Language Centre gave good views across Porth y Nant in both directions and throughout this section we were accompanied by of the sea as it rolled inward across the shore.
Whenever you complete a walk on such a windy day, you always end up back at the start with your face glowing!
Birds seen or heard today were few and far between, but included:Carrion crow, Raven, Stonechat, Herring gull, Meadow pipit, Buzzard and Chough (very definately the bird of the day).
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn where Paul found the Lees bitter to his liking.