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, 26 February 2011

Pudsay's Leap 26th February 2011

At the foot of the cross - where we should be!
Sawley Abbey
A stone circle made in the 21st century!
Pendle Hill from the path to Fooden hall Farm.

Walk stats: Distance:10.0 miles. Climb:884'.
Time: 5 hours 7 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger and Mike D.
The weather forecast at 06-30 suggested that we might get showers/rain around 11-00, but even that didn't materialise, a few spots was all that we got all day. I fact were were bathed in sunshine for most of the day and I regretted not wearing shorts and Roger wished he'd brought his Tilley hat!
This was a delightful walk following the River Ribble and a few of its tributaries, unfortunately they were all in spate, most of the fields seemed like that too!
The route description was in the main useless and we reverted back to first principles and followed the paths on the O.S. map.
On route we visited Sawley Abbey which must have been quite impressive in its day.
We arrive back at Bolton by Bowland to find that it was centre of  bicycle time trial, but they didn't seem to visit the local inn after completing the trial.  The beers enjoyed at the Coach and Horses in Bolton by Bowland were from the loacal Bowland Brewery. The Coach and Horses was more of a hotel than  local, but the staff were all very welcoming.
Bolton by Bowland is a lovely picturesque village on the Lancashire/Yorkshire border and like many villages in Lancashire has small car park and well a maintained toilet block.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Black-headed gull, Oystercatcher, Mallard, Blackbird, Curlew, Lapwing, Common buzzard, Greenfinch, Nuthatch, Jackdaw, House sparrow and Canada goose.
This was a walk that we all agreed would have been a very pleasant stroll in the Summer after a long spell of hot dry weather!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Around Puddington and Shotwick 24th February 2011

Approaching Shotwick for the first time.
Lunch in Dingle Wood.
Lunch in Dingle Wood.
Approaching the site of Shotwick Castle.
I wouldn't like to pass comment about any of these photos, but anyone in the group can make suggestions that they is appropriate!
Walk stats: Distance:10.9 miles. Climb:378'.
Time:4 hours 49 minutes. On th move walking average:2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.3 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Gordon, Annie H., Phil, Tim and Carol, Sylvia and Dave J., Paul C., Mike D., Dave P., Tito and Chatherine.
What a perfect day for walking this turned out to be, bright and sunny all day, no wind and temperatures around 15 Celsius, quite barmy for this time of the year to say the least!
Despite walking through many farm fields this turned out to be a very enjoyable and varied walk. Even anticipated obstacles were easy to negotiate and a new bridge crossing the main Queensferry to Ellesmere Port road made our return journey easier. Although this detour extended the walk slightly, we manged to get back on track by the traffic likes near to The "infamous" Bungalow!
The most pleasant surprise was the lovely path that went through Dingle Wood to the site of Shotwick Castle. We even had lunch in Dingle Wood, taking advantage of fallen trees to provide seating as we ate and basked in the sunshine!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Frog at the Bache, where Weetwood Cheshire Cat was the only real ale available.  We won't be using this hostelry again as I noticed the beer from the overspill tray being poured into a glass and used in the next pint to be pulled.  Thankfully my pint was the first pint pulled and didn't have anything from the drip tray added!
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Black-billed magpie. Common buzzard, Common starling, Peregrine falcon, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Little egret, Mallard, Ring-necked parakeet, Collared dove, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, European robin, Greenfinch, Canada goose and Lapwing. we did see swans feeding on Shotwick fields towards the Industrial Estate, but they were too far away to determine whether they were Mute swans or Winter visitors.
An excellent low level Winter walk, although the wooded sections would be lovely in Spring with the flowers out and leaves on the trees.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Dates and Walks February 2011

Michel's Father.
I thought that it was important to let everyone in the walking group know that Michel's father died yesterday (16th February).
The funeral is on Saturday 19th February 2011. 
I'm sure that all of the group's thoughts are with Michel and his brother and their mother as well as the rest of the Pelissier family at this sad time.

Thursday 3rd February 2011.
Halkyn, Limestone, Lead and Moel Ffagnalt.
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 5th February 2011. 
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 10th February 2011. 
Leasowe and NewBrighton
Distance: 10 miles.Climb:Vitually None'
Start: North Wirral Coastal Park Next to Leasowe Light house.. Grid ref:: SJ251913.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Anthony Annakin-Smith's book "Wirral Walks". This will not be everyones cup of tea, as it is essentially a there and back walk from Leesowe to New Brighton with a few lops to explore parks and the Ditton lane Nature Reserve. Hopefully this will be a good walk to see coastal birds, so bring your binoculars with you if you have any.
Saturday 12th February 2011. 
The Llugwy and Lledre Valleys.
Distance: 9 miles.Climb:1960''
Start: Station Car Park Betws-y-coed. Pay and display if we don't get in the section by the PC block. N.B. PC  are pay (20p for everyone). Grid ref:: SH:795565..
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley".  This is a walk that links the beautifully wooded Llugwy and Lledre Valleys following riverside paths and using Sarn Helen the former Roman road to Mid-Wales.  On this walk we usually include a complete circuit of Llyn Elsi, although it will involve completing a short section twice.
Thursday 17th February 2011. 
Irby, Royden Park, Thurstaston Common, The Dungeon and Heswall Dales.
Distance: 9-10 miles.Climb:500'
Start: Thurstaston Country Park Visitor Centre. Grid ref:: SJ239835.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Raymond Roberts' booklet "Wirral Walks - The West Wirral Six".  This walk explores the area between Thurstaston, Royden and Heswall and uses quite a lot of paths across farm land which after rain can be quite muddy.  These two walks don't overlap exactly, so the path that links them will be used in both directions. Another walk that binoculars may add to the enjoyment of the walk.
Saturday 19th February 2011. 
Lamaload, Forest Chapel, Shutlingsloe and Shining Tor.
Distance: 11 miles.Climb:2000'
Start: Car Park East of Lamaload Reservoir. Grid ref:: SJ976753.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks".  This is a good and varied walk taking in two of Cheshire's highest peaks, with trig points on both!  This is a superb walk on a good day, but in Wintry conditions can be quite challenging.
Thursday 24th February 2011. 
Puddington and Shotwick
Distance: 9-10 miles.Climb:500'
Start: Lay-by on Parkgate Road (A540) just North West of the Yacht Inn. Grid ref:: SJ354733.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
his walk combines two walks from Anthony Annakin-Smith's book "Wirral Walks".  I've been hoping to include the Shotwick walk on the list for some time, but the need to find a suitable start point and the need to negotiate busy roads have put me off in the past.  We may still encounter problems that will require diversions, especially around the main Queensferry to Ellesmere Port road near the Sealand RAF base.  These walks allow us to explore the villages of Shotwick and Puddngton, both recorded in the Doomsday Book.  Hopefully we will also visit the site of Shotwick Castle too, although I don't think there is much evidence to  see!
Saturday 26th February 2011. 
Pudsay's Leap.
Distance: 10 miles.Climb:1500+ at a guess'
Start: Bolton by Bowland Car park. Grid ref:: SD784493.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from a book called "Walkers Britain" and is described as a moderate walk exploring a refreshingly lonely stretch of the popular Ribble Valley. The book was published in 1982, so things may have changed since then.  The walk starts from Sawley, but as usual we will be starting in a different place.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Shining Tor and One Lost Dog on Shutlingsloe 19th February 2011

Could we all start new careers as shepherds?
Being led down the hill by our new friend!
At the trig point on Shining Tor, new friend still with us!

Walk stats: Distance:11.7 miles. Climb:2418'.
Time: 6 hours 31 minutes. On the move walking average:2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Dave J and Mike D.
At worst we were expecting showers, and for the first couple of hours it didn't disappoint!  However we didn't expect to see so much snow on the ground and having to walk in cloud for most of the day!  Thankfully it wasn't too cold!  we decided to miss out the summit of Shutlingsloe having been warned by a couple of walkers that our intended descent looked pretty awful to say the least.  It was as we skirted round Shutlingsloe on the Wildboarclough path that we first encountered the dog that rushed past us and looked as though it was leading us down to safety.  Little did we realise that this very friendly dog was to follow us all the way back to the car, despite several attempts to discourage it.  The dog had stayed with us for about 7 miles, all the way from Shutlingsloe to the Lamaload Reservoir car park. Back at the car, the temperature had fallen to about 1 Celsius, and we felt we coudn't leave the dog in these conditions and consequently had no alternative but to take the dog to Macclesfield Police Station who then directed us to Field Farm Dog Kennels at Eaton on the way to Congleton.
As we were now close to Congleton, we headed home via Nantwich and decided to call in at the Travellers Rest at Alpraham.  Weetwood Eastgate was the beer of choice served at the just the right temperature.  This was the first time that any of us had visited this wonderful welcoming little hostelry. Hopefully it won't be the last time that we visit this little gem!
An excellent walk, but we must repeat it again, but next time in the Summer months.
Much to our surprise a a former colleague, Brenda Wynne and her husband came in just before we left.
Birds seen or heard today included: Canada goose, Fieldfare, Black-headed gull, Great spotted woodpecker, Red grouse, Common buzzard and Carrion crow.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The Thurstaston, Irby and Heswall Dales Round 17th February 2011

Does anyone know where the path is?
In the Dungeon (wooded valley).
I like horses to be friendly but not this friendly!
Heading back along the beach back to Thurstaston Visitor Centre.

Walk stats: Distance: 12.7 miles. Climb:681'.
Time: 5 hours 37 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.3 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Annie H., Phil, Sylvia and Dave J., Tim and Carol, Sue and Dave P.
Another good day for walking dry, sunny at times but occasionally accompanied by a gentle cooling wind!
The walk was a little longer than expected, but I put that down to the fact that a "gentleman" on horseback reminded us that we were walking on private land!
We were diverted back to the beach, thankfully just enough of it left as the incoming tide advanced, but this extended our walk just a little!
Conditions underfoot through the Dungeon and along the fields to Thurstaston church were less muddy that usual, but the beach made up for it later on!
Lunch was taken in Royden Park where we took advantage of the  picnic benches, and more important the loos nearby.  There was just a hint of a blue sky as we enjoyed our lunch.
The  walk through Heswall Dales was much longer than I remembered, but a definite bonus on the walk.
The route from the Slelldrake Restaurant along the beach for half a mile or so was somewhat boggier than we would have liked, but at least the sun came out and we were able to add few more birds to our list.
Birds seen or head today included: Common coot, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, House sparoe, Canada goose, Raven, Great cormorant, Common starling, Chaffinch, Kestrel, Common buzzard, Black-billed magpie, Jay, Carrion crow, Pintail, Mallard, Teal, Redshank, Curlew, Dunlin, Lapwing, Shelduck, Eoropean robin, Lesser black-backed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Great tit and Bullfinch.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wheatsheaf at Raby where there is always a very warm welcome!
Brimstage Trapper Hat bitter went down particularly well, I think a Guinness did too!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Llugwy and Lledre Valleys and Llyn Elsi 12th February 2011

The Afon Llugwy at Betws-y-coed.
Mike on Sarb Helen.
Our first view of Llyn Elsi.
Crossing the Afon Lledre.
Martyn at the Monument above Llyn Elsi.

Walk stats: Distance:10.3 mile. Climb:1857'.
Time:5 hours 40 minutes. On the move walking average:2.6 m.p.h. Overall average:1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J and Mike D.
This turned out to be another great day for walking. Short sleeved shirt all day, I should have warn my shorts!  In the main bright and sunny and hardly any wind.  The path from Betws-y-coed showed that it had recently been flooded, but thankfully today it was quite firm underfoot. Sarn Helen from the Llugwy Valley to the Lledre Valley was pretty good too.  The rack from Pont-y-pant along the Lledre Valey was a bit boggy in places, but we cut up to the forest edge to avoid most of it.  Lunch was enjoyed, basking in sunshine by the Afon Lledre our only entertainment being a calling Raven!
The trek through the forest back to Llyn Elsi was a bit of a slog 'till the lake came into view.  Here the nearest island was occupied by a large number of noisy Herring gulls that had disappeared by the time we revisited it an hour later. This time a pair of Goldeneye and a Tufted duck were in view.
The views from the Monument were superb on both visits with Moel Siabod and the Carneddau being bathed in sunshine.
Once again we found some of the mysterious "Star jelly" alongside Llyn Elsi, but this time was actually in water on the edge of the path.
Birds seen or heard today included: Woodpigeon, Collard dove, Mallard, Herring gull, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Common buzzard, Raven, Jay, Black-billed magpie, Canada goose, European robin, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Lesser black-backed gull and Greenfinch.
A delightful walk ending with a really good second pint of Lees bitter at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Leasowe and New Brighton 10th February 2011

No comment!
Walking along the beach from Leasowe to New Brighton
Fort Perch Rock and its Lighthouse.
Emerging from Ditton Lane Nature Reserve.

Walk stats: Distance: 11.5 miles. Climb:216'.
Time: 4 hours 56 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.8 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.3 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil, Sylvia and Dave J., Celia, Carol, Sue and Michel, Gordon and Annie H.
Yet another great day for a walk along the coast, not quite shorts weather, but getting close! We even had warm sunshine during the middle part of the walk, including lunchtime, taken in Vale Park.
On the outward route we took advantage of the low position of the tide, and had a very pleasant and delightful walk along the beach from Leasowe to Fort Perch Rock.  The return route involved walking along the promenade as the tide rapidly came in after lunch.  We finished the walk with  a little  detour to Ditton Nature Reserve, not the best of reserves path wise, but at least we added a few more birds to our list. What a joy it was at the start when two Skylarks greeted us as we arrived at the car park at Leasowe Lighthouse. This was the first time that we have heard a Skylark on a walk this year and they were still singing when we arrive back at the car at the end of the walk.
Birds seen or heard today included: Shelduck, Mute swan, Mallard, Little egret, Lapwing, Purple sandpiper, Dunlin, Curlew, Redshank, Littlel gul, Black-headed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Woodpigeon, Skylark, Pied wagtail, Stonechat, Blackbird, Song thrush, Redwing, Mistle thrush, Blue tit, Great tit, Black-billed magpie, Great cormorant, Carrion crow, Starling, House sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Winter wren, Dunnock and Long-tailed tit..
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wheatsheaf at Raby where Brimstage Trappers Hat Bitter quenched our thirst nicely (for some of us at least)!

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Conwy, Bodlendeb Wood, Conwy Mountain and More 5th February 2011

On the walls around Conwy.
Part of the walls around Conwy.
"We're the kings of the castle."
At Conwy Quay.

Walk stats: Distance:2.5 miles, Climb:336'.
Time:1 hour 5 minutes. On the move walking average:2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Dave J and Mike D.
The weather forecast was for rain and yet more rain, and it wasn't wrong.  At least it wasn't too windy or cold.  Nevertheless we set off towards the centre of Conwy to pick up the route that went along part of the walls. We found the right start point, but once on the walls we turned left, but the walk description went right! Next time we we will do the right section of the walls. Thankfully this was a good section of the wall,and the need to re-route meant we had to go along the quayside to rejoin the walk at the Western end of the quay.  The quayside at Conwy has been renovated and now makes a very pleasant walk.  The next part of the walk took on the North Wales footpath around Bodlendeb Wood, but still close to the estuary. The estuary provided most of the birds on our list today.
This walk around Conwy and Bodlendeb Wood was well worth doing and could easily be added to the start of other walks that we start at Conwy.
Having completed the first part of the walk and before setting off for Conwy Mountain, the photographer decided to retire to his car -  wet enough for one day! Consequently there won't be any photographs of the second part of the walk.
Birds seen or heard on the first part of the walk included: Carrion crow, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Herring gull, Dunnock, Redshank, Mallard, Blue tit and Dunlin.  We thought we had spotted an unusual wader-like bird swimming, but when it came out of the water it turned out to be just a Redshank. This was the first time that any of us had seen a Redshank swimming, but searching on the Internet revealed that they do in fact swim.
Report on the second part of the walk by Roger.
Length - 11.4 miles. Climb - 2375 feet
Time - exactly 5 hours. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walking average :2.3 m.p.h.
Group:Roger, Dave J and Mike D.
The walk was good if a little wet.  However for much of the walk the rain was no more than a light drizzle. Low mist meant that there were no views and I lost my sense of direction completely. Lunch was taken huddled against a wall (all 10 minutes of it), and afterwards Mike set a cracking pace such that on the long descent into Conwy I found myself virtually jogging to keep up with him. Dave spotted a Chaffinch, Great tit and a Chough! ( and some more which I can't remember).
I assume that they they enjoyed after walk drinks at the Britannia Inn.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Halkyn.Limestone and Lead and Moel Ffagnallt 3rd February 2011

The first Snowdrops of the year.
At the trig point on Halkyn Mountain.
Heading for Rhes-y-cae.
At the highest point on Moel fagnalt.
Halkyn Mountain from Moel Ffagnallt.

Walk stats: Distance:8.0 miles. Climb: 1416'.
Time:3 hours 46 minutes. On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Phil, Gordon, Annie H., Sue and Dave P., Sue and Michel P., Carol and Tim D., Sylvia and Dave J. and Georgie the Jack Russell.
What a beautiful day for walking this turned out to be, bright and sunny, blue skies, no rail and even the cool wind didn't daunt our spirits!
This varied walk gave plenty of opportunity to linger and enjoy the magnificent views first from Halkyn Mountain where there were excellent views across the Dee Estuary and Southward the Clwydian Hills with Moel Fammau and Moel y Parc standing out.
Lunch was taken on the slopes of Moel Ffagnallt, taking what shelter we could.  It wasn't even mid-day, but no-one objected to an early lunch.
Our return route across the old mined area towards the radio masts was a new path to us.  It's always good to add new paths to our knowledge of the area.
Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Carrion crow, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Blue tit, Great tit, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Mistle thrush, Jackdaw, Black-billed magpie and Buzzard.
I obviously cut a few too many corners and the walk was somewhat shorter than usual and we arrived back at the Britannia Inn before 2.  This didn't stop most of us enjoying a pint of Lees bitter and even the tea tasted good!
It was good that Carol D was able to join us this year for the first time, so I hope that the shorter than usual walk didn't disappoint her.