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

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Walk stats 2010.

Once again walks on Thursdays and Saturdays and the occasional Bank Holiday have enable the group to clock up over a thousand miles, involving over 100,000 ' of climb.
Some of the group have clocked up considerably more by adding miles on holidays as well as additional mid-week walks.

Number of walks involved: 102.
Distance covered on walks: 1052.8 miles.
Climb:129, 710'.

Friends that have joined us on walks during 2010 are (apologies for anyone that I've missed out):
Martyn Harris, Dave and Sylvia Jenkins, Fran and Tito Ravazzolo, Richard Green, Sue and Michel Pelissier, Roger Smith, Tim and Carol Dwyer, Annie Hammond, Gordon McNee, Celia de Mengel, Catherine Murphy, Mike Dodd, Sue and Dave Pearson, Annie Ravazzolo and Mat Jones, Paul Collinson, Sue Powell and Georgie the Jack Russell, Phil Marsland, Nigel Taylor, Carol Herbstritt and Paul and Pippa de Mengel , Paul and Elaine Greenhalgh.

Knutsford and the Peovers 30th December 2010

Paul pointing out Elizabeth Gaskell's grave the grounds of Brook Street Chapel, Knutsford.
On one of the access tracks from Blease Farm.
Is it a Teddy bears' picnic in the woods by Peover Hall?
"I'm not sure I want to be your friend!"

Walk stats: Distance:11.7 miles. Climb:85'.
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, Roger, Sue and Michel, Paul C., Sylvia and Dave J. and Annie H.
Damp and murky it certainly was, but at least it wasn't cold, a polo shirt and shorts would probably more appropriate than overheating in Winter Paramo walking gear!
I thought that visiting two churches / cemetries would have been enough for Paul, but he insisted on visiting a third and taking us on a detour to visit Elizabeth Gaskell's grave in the grounds of the Brook Street Chapel!
Despite the guide book being more than 30 years old, route finding was relatively easy until we had to negotiate the path through buildings at Hillcrest Farm. Thankfully the residents of of the houses put us straight.
The houses and the number of horses pointed to this being a very prosperous area to say nothing of the magnificent Peover Hall.
Getting a little desperate we had lunch, sitting on two sets of tyres set out as part of an eventing circuit, but spirits were raised when Roger produced some of Margaret's homemade mince pies, just enough after Rhodri had raided the stock the night before!
As we approached Lower Peover the church bells rang out joyfully and about an hour later rang out again indicating the start and end of the Wedding service that was taking place. It's a good job that we didn't attempt to look in the church as we went through its grounds.
Birds seen or heard today included:Great tit, Blue tit, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, House sparrow, Mallard, Winter wren, Chaffinch, Pheasant and Blackbird.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Lord Elgan in Knutsford, where the beer of choice was Copper Dragon, Golden Pippin, but it ran out and some had to be satisfied with their second choice.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Dates and Walks December 2010.

Updated 27th December 2010.
Thursday 23rd December 2010.
Weather conditions and the road conditions in Flintshire are very dodgy to say the least, even the snow ploughs haven't had much success on the Broughton to Saltney A5104. I have decided to cancel the proposed walk from the Britannia Inn originally planned for Thursday.
However as an alternative I suggest that we do one of walks that we did last year in similar conditions. The walk proposed is the Chester to Eccleston walk (about 9 miles), along the river and back through the Duke's Drive. I suggest that we meet at the Band Stand near the Suspension Bridge at 09-30. Please let me know if you want to join me on this walk.
Wednesday 29th December 2010.
Roger and Margaret Smith have kindly invited members of the walking group to their "at home" between 15-00 and 18-00.
Thursday 2nd December 2010.
Wilmslow to Castle Hill and More.
Distance: 10 miles; Climb:800' at a guess.
Start: Twinnies Bridge car park, Wilmslow. Grid ref: SJ839822.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". he walk starts on Racecourse Road, but we will start at Twinnies Bridge. This walk may not be everyone's cup of tea unless you are into aircraft spotting! The walk goes very close to Manchester Airport and its runways. He describes the walk as "can be muddy after rain", not that that should deter plane spotters and stile connoisers!
Saturday 4th December 2010.
Chester to Queensferry along the River Dee.
Outward journey along the Southern banks and return along the Northern bank.
The walk is 14-15 miles.
Meet at the Suspension Bridge in Chester at 9-00 a.m.
The walk below has been postponed as road conditions to the start point are impassible due to snow/ice. This walk will now be added to the January list.
Errwood and Burbage Edge.
Distance:9-12 miles. Climb:2000'.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
Start: The Street car park at the Eastern end of Errwood Reservoir. Grid ref:SK013757.
This is another walk taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". This is another walk from the Goyt Valley and involves sections in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, if we take the longer route. He describes the views on the walk as being outstanding. We have walked in this area several times, but I don't think we have walked on both sides of Errwood Reservoir on the same walk.
Thursday 9th December 2010.
Greenfield Valley, Moor and Estuary as well as Pen-y-Ball.
Distance: 9-10 miles miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Greenfield Valley Country Park on the A548. Grid ref: SJ197775.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". The first part of the walk goes through the Greenfield Heritage Park with its historic buildings and the remains of Basingwerk Abbey and on past St Winefride's Well before ascending Pen-y-ball Hill, not one of my favourite approaches to the Monument. On this occasion we will miss out the part of the second walk, leaving out the section around Pantasaph.
Saturday 11th December 2010.
Clip-y-Orsedd and Foel Lus.
Distance:11 miles. Climb:2400'.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
Start: Car park behind the bank in Llanfairfechan. Turn right of Village Road. Grid ref:SH682747.
his walk uses two walks Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast." These two walks combine to make one of my favourite walks in this area as they explore the hills behind Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr. Hopefully we will visit the impressive Druids' Stone Circle and contour around the superb high level Panoramic Walk round Foel Lus.
Thursday 16th December 2010.
Graig Fawr and Coed yr Esgob.
Distance:9-10 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Prestatyn beach car park. Grid ref: SJ068840. There is a large car park by the toilet block, just before the beach car park, but we usually park on the one that overlooks the beach.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This is a walk that I have done many times before and always enjoy. The route uses the North Wales Path and Offa's Dyke path to link the start point with a walk from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Clwydian Hills".
Saturday 18th December 2010.
Bodlondeb Wood, Conwy Mountain, Alltwen and Cwm Gyrach.
Distance:9 - 10 miles. Climb:1600'.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.

Start:Park on Mount Pleasant (2nd turning on the left after going through the arch in the town's West wall. Turn left over the railway bridge, then bear right and park on the right adjacent to the wall. Grid ref:SH779776.
This walk uses two walks Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast." We have done our own version of the Conwy Mountain walk, but as yet we haven't included Bonlondeb Wood and Cwm Gyrach before. The first walk starts by exploring part of the magnificent walled town of Conwy and offers superb views throughout. The second walk explores the scenic hills and valleys around the Sychnant Pass with its ever changing views.
Thursday 23rd December 2010.
Halkyn, Limestone, Lead and Moel Ffagnalt.
This walk has been cancelled. See above for alternative walk.
Distance: 10 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Car Park at the Britannia Inn Pentre Halkyn (with the Landldy's permission). Grid ref: SJ211711.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". It has almost become traditional that the last Thursday walk before Christmas starts and finishes at the Britannia Inn. As everyone knows, this is one of my favourite walks in the Halkyn Mountain area. On a clear day we can expect superb views across the Dee Estuary and inland towards the Clwydian Hills. I never tire of exploring the mine ravaged limestone countryside around Halkyn Mountain or celebrating the walk afterwards at the Britannia Inn.
Saturday 25th December 2010.
No walk - celebrating the real meaning of Christmas at WEF church.

Wednesday 29th December 2010.

Roger and Margaret Smith's "At Home".
15-00 - 18-00.

Thursday 30th December 2010.
Knutsford and Several Peovers.
Distance: 10 miles; Climb:Not a lot expected'.
Start: Long stay car park on Tatton Street, Knutsford. This is a pay and display car park, £2-90 for over 6 hours according to the Knutsford web site. Grid ref: SJ750789.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Jack Baker and Jack Hanmer's book "Walking in Cheshire". This book was published in 1974 and updated in 1978, so following the directions may prove challenging. They describe the walk as a walk over fairly level, but pleasantly wooded country, although places can be muddy in Winter. This will give Annie a chance to leave home a little later than usual to meet us for a Thursday walk!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Greetings 2010

Happy Christmas Everyone.
As the Pope said in his historic Radio 4
"Thought of the Day" broadcast
May you experience the Peace and Joy of Christmas.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Chester to Eccleston Round 23rd December 2010

The start of the walk at the bandstand by the Suspension Bridge.
A debate on which way to go?
Not really there wasn't any choice, I think doubts over a possible lunch spot was more of an issue!

The Duke's Drive.
The Chronicle Wheel from our lunch spot by the racecourse.
Chester icebergs, taken from the footbridge over the River Dee by the railway bridge.

Walk stats: Distance:7.6 miles; Climb:449'.
Time:3 hours 10 minutes; On the move walking average:2.8 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.4 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Sylvia and Dave J., Paul and Mike D.
A superb day for walking, cold but sunny and conditions underfoot good with the only slippy bit being on the compacted snow on the road from Eccleston Ferry to the village. Unusually for Chester much of the river had started to freeze over, giving the impression that some of the ducks were walking on water. This is a lovely walk in any weather, but with the ground decked with snow and the trees covered in snow/hoar frost glistening in the bright sunshine made it even more special.
Lunch was taken by the Racecourse with more than half of the group using the two of the many seats provided along this superb new footpath. It seemed quite warm as we had lunch in the sun and without and wind to chill us.
As we approached the weir we had the unusual sight of seeing and hearing one of the moored boats pretending to be an ice breaker as the tide pushed sheets of ice across its bows.
As the walk was shorter than usual and despite Mike trying to slow us down by mysteriously and not knowing how, managed to ring my mobile whilst we were walking down the Duke's Drive, we arrived back at the Bear and Billet just before 2.
Birds seen or heard today included: Pied wagtail, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Blue tit, Great tit, Black-headed gull, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Common starling, Tufted duck, Little grebe, Mallard, Wigeon, Pochard, Moorhen, Common Coot, Long-tailed tit, Blackbird, European robin, Grey heron, Mute swan and Goldfinch.
The beers enjoyed were brews from the Tatton, Saddlers and Wheetwood breweries, although Dave had a Jameson's and Sylvia had a cup of tea.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Point of Ayr to Prestatyn 18th December 2010

Point of Ayr lighthouse surrounded by sea and the snow covered beach.
Teal on the flooded area near Prestatyn gutter.
Looking along the dunes towards Prestatyn.
Looking towards the Great Orme from Prestatyn.

Walk stats:Distance:10.1 miles; Climb:100'.
Time: 4 hours 38 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walking average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn and Dave J.
Heavy snow had fallen in North west Wales, so we decided not to risk the trip to Conwy and instead decided to go a little nearer home. The route chosen was to walk along the beach from Talacre to Prestatyn, returning through the golf course and sand dunes and then visit the site of the former RSPB hide.
The weather was good, although at times the wind was biting and I had to wear a hat for much of the walk. Even some of the sea water puddles had started to freeze over. At one point we could see mountains near to Conwy clearly decked in snow and looking magnificent in the sunshine.
It was a good day for birds, even if result in our hands getting cold if we stopped for any length of time. Birds seen or heard today included:Skylark (including a flock of about 50 near the site of the old RSPB hide), Little egret, Meadow pipit, Blackbird, Redwing, Fieldfare, Mistle thrush, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Common starling, Shelduck, Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Little grebe, Common coot, Chaffinch, Redshank, Common gull, Great black-backed gull, Black-headed gull, Ringed plover, Turnstone, Stonechat, Reed bunting, Snipe, Curlew, Black-tailed godwit, Bar-tailed godwit, Goldfinch, Mute swan, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Black-billed magpie, House sparrow, Blue tit, Great cormorant, Oystercatcher and Linnet.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn where the wood burning stoves helped to warm us up as we downed the excellent Lees bitter.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Graig Fawr and Coed Yr Esgob 16th December 2010.

The weather forecast wasn't good, and by the time we arrived at the Prestatyn Coastal car park, the rain was torrential. We sat in the car watching the waves crashing on the shore with a few waders feeding on the water edge. The offshore wind turbines at this point couldn't even be seen. After about half an hour, the rain eased slightly and the wind turbines came into view. However this wasn't enough to encourage Martyn, Gordon, Celia and Annie to don their waterproofs and set off.
Undeterred Tim, Sylvia and Dave J set off on the planned walk, whilst the rest of us went home. I even got wet walking from the bottom of the steps to the door at the Britannia Inn in the hope that it would be open, but alas it wasn't and Gordon had to miss out on his bowl of chips! This convinced me to conclude that it was the four dry "chickens" that had made the right decision to eat their packed lunches in front of the fire at home!
The birds seen on the shore as we waited included:Black-headed gull, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Herring gull and Carrion crow.
A report from the three (must have got wet) walkers may appear later!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Clip-y-Orsedd, the Druids Circle and Foel Lus 11th December 2010

An early view of Llanfairfechan with Anglesey and Puffin Island in the distance.
Wild ponies on the slopes of Clip-y-Orsedd.
Foel Lus with the Great Orme behind.
The Druids Circle.
Lunchtime on the Jubilee Path around Foel Lus.

Walk stats:Distance:10.9 miles; Climb:2035'.
Time: 5 hours 56 minutes; On the move walking average:2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J and Carol H.
A good day for walking, and temperatures rising to 9 Celsius, it's almost shorts weather again! Overall this was a superb and varied walk, with ever changing views and vistas. Rapidly rising out of Llanfairfechan we soon had fantastic views across the sea towards Anglesey, then came the outline of the Northern Carneddau before we could see our first objective, Clip-y-Orsedd.
The next point of interest was the "Druids Circle", a circle of stones that never fails to impress. Finally we traversed the superb Jubilee Path above Penmaenmawr and were able to enjoy our lunch on one of the benches, just as the wind subsided for 20 minutes or so.
Our return route, almost a stroll, gave us the opportunity to debate the identity of Common gulls and Black-headed gulls and that of a very light coloured raptor.
Birds seen or heard today included:Blue tit, European robin, Jackdaw, Raven, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Kestrel, Buzzard, Treecreeper, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Starling, Lapwing, Common gull, Black-headed gull and Herring gull.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where once again the Lees bitter was superb.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Valley, Pen Y Ball, The Moor and Estuary 9th December 2010 - A boys walk!

What do I do now? Put your best foot forward of course, but carefully!
Part of the Pen-y-Ball inscription - Roger's Welsh homework.
At the Pen-y-Ball trig point.
Lunchtime in the Sun.
The Duke of Lancaster with the A380 wing on the barge just to its stern.

Walk stats: Distance:10.1 mile, Climb:1229'.
Time: 5 hours 27 minutes; On the move walking average:2.2 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group on this boys walk:Martyn, Roger, Michel and Dave J.
The temperatures were set to rise and reach positive figures, but this made conditions underfoot quite treacherous at times, and bringing our walking pace down considerably. In fact the worst conditions were in the car park at the end where ground was like glass and we had to cling to the side of the car to ensure that we didn't slip over!
This is always a good and varied walk, with two CADW sites on route. Michel with his bad ankle thought it might be worthwhile visiting St., Winefrede's Well for a cure or at least borrow one of the many walking sticks left behind!
We were very fortunate to have good view across the estuary with Liverpool bathed in sunshine, and later the mountains of Snowdonia came into view.
We were in bright sunshine for only about half an hour, but thankfully that was while we were having lunch.
As ever at the Granges we were greeted by four barking dogs whose owner assured us that there bark was worse than their bite!
Birds seen or heard today included:Blue tit, Great tit, Common starling, House sparrow, Bullfinch, Mallard, Great cormorant, Tufted duck, Little grebe, Mute swan, Moorhen, Common coot, Snipe, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Common gull, Black-billed magpie, Jay, Buzzard, Redwing, Fieldfare, Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank, Grey wagtail, Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Carrion crow, Goldfinch, Siskin, Blackbird and European robin.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where the Lees bitter was superb. Thankfully the change of management has cellar skills to maintain the quality of the beer.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Both Sides of the River Dee 4th December 2010

The start of the walk, the Bandstand in the Groves.
The Chester Chronicle Big Wheel from the Suspension Bridge.
The blue bridge at Queensferry and the crossing of the River Dee.
Saltney Ferry footbridge - the parting of the ways, Dave and Mike head for Chester and Martyn heads for home!

Walk stats: Distance:Martyn, 13 miles; Dave J. 17 miles; Mike D. 21 miles (unless he cheated and go the bus home!). Climb:160'.
On the move walking average: Martyn (2.9 m.p.h.), Dave J. and Mike D. 3.1 m.p.h.
Overall walk average: Martyn (2.8 m.p.h.), Dave J. and Mike D. (2.9 m.p.h.).
Group:Martyn, Dave J. and Mike D.
The severe weather conditions forced us to change our plans and complete a walk on our local patch using only public transport or shank's pony to get to the start. Consequently each one of us clocked up a different mileage, with Mike taking the prize at over 20 miles for the day!
The walk along the Southern side of the Dee was the most treacherous underfoot where all three of us slipped on the compacted snow as we went through Curzon Park Golf Club. Nevertheless progress was good and without too many stops to look at the wildlife, we reached the blue bridge at Queensferry avergeing 2.8 m.p.h.
However as we set off back towards Chester on the Northern side of the Dee the rain had set in and unfortunately didn't stop throughout the rest of the walk. We enjoyed lunch on the banks of Dee, sitting on a bench in the rain. Lunchtime was pretty short!
After lunch the pace was upped slightly and at times we were walking at 3.6 m.p.h., no wonder I wanted to go home when we reached Saltney Ferry footbridge! Dave and Mike continued Chester and I went over the bridge back to home.
Birds seen or heard today included: Mute swan, Mallard, Grey heron, Black-headed gull, Great cormorant, Teal, Long-tailed tit, Blue tit, Great tit, Kestrel, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Long-tailed tit, Moorhen, Redshank, Lesser black-backed gull, Herring gull, Common gull, Redwing, Fieldfare, Robin, Winter wren, Meadow pipit, Peregrine falcon, Sparrowhawk, Stonechat and Chiffchaff. The bird of the day was probably the Peregrine falcon, but at this time of the year the Chiffchaff takes some beating!
Despite my best efforts and catching a bus pretty quickly, they got to the Bear and Billet in Chester before me! The beers enjoyed today included brews from Cwrw Conwy and cider fro Cheddar valley.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Twinnies Bridge to Castle Hill via Runway 2 2nd December 2010

There's a time for everything!
Who hasn't got a Leki then?
Heading under Runway 2.
Manchester Airport open for business!
One step forward, here we go!

Walk stats: distance:11.0 miles; Climb:358'
Time: 5 hours 31 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.o m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue and Michel, Annie H., and Dave J.
This was a good day for a Winter walk, but we didn't anticipate the amount of snow that we would encounter. Nevertheless this didn't spoil the walk, although at the end of the walk our legs were a little more tired than usual.
Throughout the walk we had plenty of sunny spells and the strong cold North-easterly winds didn't really bare their teeth.
This was a far more interesting and enjoyable walk than we could have expected, especially around the runways of Manchester Airport. We did see several planes landing and taking off, but if the daily A380 landed at all, it did so when we weren't looking!
Our lunch spot was OK, but sitting on snow covered grass without wearing "hot pants" isn't the best position to be to enjoy Welsh cakes, even when they are provided by Margaret S, and today's batch were superb, possibly the best ever!
Birds see or heard today included:Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Winter wren, Black-headed gull, Blackbird, Redwing, Mistle thrush, Nuthatch, Mallard, Great cormorant, Woodpigeon, Pheasant, Lapwing, Snipe, Black-billed magpie, Jay, Common starling and European robin.
After walk drinks were taken at the Lord Eldon at Knutsford, where the Tetley bitter just about quenched the thirst of some, but the Bass bitter went down well with one member of the group!