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 in mid-week and 2-4 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, Wend and Ian Peers, 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, Nigel Taylor, Naomi Deynem

Monday, 28 March 2011

Dates and Walks March 2011

Thursday 3rd March 2011.
Moel Findeg, Deborah's Well, Bryn Alyn and Nercwys Mountain (A Tale of Two Mountains).
Distance:11 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Lay-by opposite the Loggerheads Boundary Monument on the A494 Mold to Ruthin road. Grid ref: SJ202626.
Leave Chester 9-00a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "More Walks in the Clwydian Hills".  This is another chance to visit the summit of Moel Findeg with its fine views of the Northern Clwydians  and across the Cheshire plain to Pekforton and Beeston.  Hopefully we will make it as far as the ancient Deborah's well this time.

Saturday 5th March 2011.
Port Penryn, Its Railways and Rivers 
and the Grounds of Penryn Castle.
Distance:7-10 miles. Climb: 500+'.
Start: Car park on the right just before the main road bends left to the centre. Grid ref: SH595728.
Leave Chester 8-00a.m.
This walk is taken from a book by Dave Salter and Dave Worrall called £From Mountain Top to Valley Floor". The described walk explores the hinterland behind Penryn Castle. It is hoped to extend the walk by exploring the grounds of Penryn Castle so bring your National Trust Membership Card with you if you are a member.
Thursday 10th March 2011.
Distance:10 miles. Climb: 1300'.
Start: Ysceifiog, park adjacent to the children's play area. Grid ref: SJ152715.
Leave Chester 9-00a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountains".  This is another chance to explore the area around Ysceifiog using field paths, woodland paths and bridleways.  The walk also explores the countryside between the Wheeler Valley and Lixwm.
Saturday 12th March 2011.
Beaumaris and Penmon.
Distance:13 miles. Climb: 1300'.
Start: The car park on the left just past Beaumaris Castle. Grid ref: SH609762.
Leave Chester 8-00a.m.
This walk combines one walk from Carl Roger's book "Coastal Walks Around Anglesey - Volume 1" with a walk from his book "Coastal Walks Around Anglesey - Volume 2" .  We enjoyed these walk when we last did it in March 2007.  High tide is at 14-50, so it should be possible to walk along the beach for the first part of the walk.  This is a good and varied walk, passing Penmon Priory and the site of Castell Aberlleiniog.
Thursday 17th March 2011.
Moel Plas-Yw, the Alyn Valley and Coed Ddu.
Distance:11 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start: Car park at the Southern side of Moel Arthur. Grid ref: SJ148658.
Leave Chester 9-00a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "More Walks from the Clwydian Hills". The first walk that crosses the slopes of Plas-Yw to the Wheeler Valley is one of my favourite walks in this area.  He describes the second walk as a walk that meanders through the attractive and varied countryside between Hendre and Cilcain.
Saturday 19th March 2011.
Wigan Pier and Haigh Country Park.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Wigan Pier Car Park. Grid ref: SD579051.
Leave Chester 8-00a.m.
This walk is taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire", with an extension to explore the Haigh Country Park and beyond. High Country Park was one of the first to named as a Country Park. The return route is along the towpath of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal.  If you're like me and always wondered whether Wigan Pier really existed, then this is a chance to investigate the truth about it.  This should be an easy walk, without too many challenges!
Thursday 24th March 2011.
Lady Bagot's Drive with St Christopher's Blessing.
Distance:10-11 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Ruthin Riverside Car park (Pay and display). Grid ref: SJ121582.
Leave Chester 9-00a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd".  We have completed this walk many times before in all sorts of weather conditions. Conditions underfoot have been particularly challenging after lots of rain and the Afon Clwyd is in spate.  Hopefully we will see Kingfishers and can confirm Richard and Michel's sightings from last year. In the past we have seen Salmon trying to negotiate "Salmon's Leap" by the sewage works on the Afon Clwyd.  Can be muddy.
Saturday 26th March 2011.
Grin Low, Solomon's Tower, The Goyt and Corbar Hill.
Distance:11-12 miles. Climb: 2250'.
Start: Poole's Cavern Car Park, Buxton. Grid ref: SK049725.
Leave Chester 8-00a.m.
This walk combines three walks from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks - The Northern Dales".  The Solomon's Tower walk is linked to the other two by footpaths through the Pavillion Gardens. Hopefully we will get good views from Solomon's Tower and Corbar Hill this time.  The cross on Corbar Hill was destroyed by vandals protesting against the Pope's 2010 visit, but hopefully it will be restored by the time we get there (local people had decided that they wanted to replace the cross as soon as they had raised sufficient funds to do so). A good and varied walk.
Thursday 31st March 2011.
Moel y Gaer, Moel Fammau and the Western Fringes.
Distance:10 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start: Car park at Bwlch Penbarras. Pay and display (£1 the last time we were there). Grid ref: SJ162606.
Leave Chester 9-00a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills". An opportunity to explore the Western slopes of Moel Fammau before climbing its summit.  The return route uses the main path of Offa's Dyke back to Bwlch Penbarras.  As this isn't Gordon's favourite hill or path, I thought I'd include it on the list when I knew Gordon wouldn't be walking.  An easy start, a stiff climb in the middle and a stroll back to the car.  Plenty of opportunity for good views in all directions, if it is clear when we get to the Jubilee Tower.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Grin Low, The Goyt and Corbar Hill 26th March 2011

Our first view of Solomon's Tower.
Grin Low plateau from the top of Solomon's Tower.
A Coal tit at the feeding station.
At the trig point on Corbar Hill.
Walk stats: Distance:11.8 miles. Climb:2304'.
Time: 5 hours 35 minutes. On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Dave J., Celia and Mike D.
The walk started with mist still around and we were fearful of not having any views from Solomon's Tower.  Thankfully the mist lifted just enough for us to get the views, but distant hills weren't crystal clear to say the least.  Temperatures wee on the cool side, although we did get some weak sunshine around lunch time. One member of the group did manage to wear shorts all day, but did have a fleece on before lunch.  This varied walk is always good, and today had the advantage that it was pretty dry underfoot.
Lunch was planned to take advantage of the seat by the bird feeding station above Errwood Reservoir, but alas it was already occupied, so we had to take advantage of a broken wall a little further on.
On arriving at the top of Corbar Hill, we found that the cross hasn't yet been replaced. The views were a little clearer by now, but we didn't linger too long as quite a chilling wind was blowing across the top.
Birds seen or heard today included: Nuthatch, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Chaffinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Collared dove, Woodpigeon, Coal tit, Blue tit, Great tit, European robin, Curlew, Red grouse, Pheasant, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Mallard, Canada goose, Tufted duck,  Muscovy duck, Feral pigeon, Moorhen, Common coot, Greenfinch, Raven, Greylag goose and Grey heron.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek. Thankfully nothing has changed at this wonderful hostelry. The Hartington bitter was excellent and Dolly was back on patrol!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Lady Bagot's Drive with St Christopher's Blessing 24th March 2011

Standing on the corner watching ............!
Wood anemone.
Lady Bagot's Drive.
Lunch time by the Afon Clywedog.
Is everyone getting ready to go? No there's more important things first.
Common buzzards in the sky above the fields between the Clywedog and Rhewl.
Walk stats: Distance: 11.2 miles. Climb:527'.
Time: 5 hours 22 minutes. On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h. Overall average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Gordon, Michel, Phil, Fran and Tito, Sylvia and Dave J., Celia, Carol and Tim, Sue and Dave P.
What a glorious day for walking this turned out to be.  Wall to wall blue skies, sunshine all day and hardly any wind.  This was definitely a day to get some colour into white old legs and for once several of the group were brave enough to give it a go!  This was probably the best days weather wise and underfoot that we have ever had to complete this circuit.  No-one arrived back with muddy boots to clean.  Almost all the way round we encountered very new stiles and in some cases new gates under construction and in one point we saw a worker taking away the rickety old stile with a fork lift vehicle.
Spring was in the air with Wood anemone, Lesser celandine, Violets and Primrose  all in flower. A few butterflies, including a Peacock were dancing in the warm sunshine.  As well as that we had all the bird singing, including Chiffchaff that seemed to be everywhere.  There were quite a lot of Common buzzards around too, soaring in the sky on thermals as though they were doing it for fun!
What a privilege it is to be able to walk on days like this.  As near to a  perfect walk as you are likely to get!
Birds seen or heard today included. Rook, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch, Black-billed magpie, European robin,  Grey heron, Song thrush, Pied wagtail, Common buzzard, Winter wren, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Pheasant, Goosander and Dipper.
After walk drinks were enjoyed for the first time at the Rainbow Inn at Gwernymynydd where the beer of the day was Blacksheep bitter. I'm sure we will make a return visit.

Monday, 21 March 2011

The Edge to Nether Alderley 21st March 2011

Not easy to see, but it's a Common buzzard!
The superb new footbridge over the new Alderley Edge by-pass, a better way than the way that we last had to cross the new by-pass!
Nether Alderley church, a pleasant spot to rest in the sunshine.
Walk stats: Distance:6.1 miles. Climb:344'.
Time: 3 hours 16 minutes. On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Sue Powell.
Almost a perfect day for walking with mainly blue skies and pleasantly warm sunshine.  Good dry conditions underfoot until we had to go through fields beyond Fern Hill with very potent smelling muck spreading still going on, and even careful walking around the edge of the field left us with somewhat smelly boots!   New Alderley Edge by-pass had been built since the last time that we did this walk, but thankfully there is superb new footbridge to cross once it is open to public use.
A very pleasant 10 minutes or so was enjoyed having afternoon fruit tea, sitting in the grounds of Nether Alderley church basking in the sunshine. Alas the mill is no longer open to view except for groups, so we just had to continue up the road to Bradford Lane and back to the car.
Birds seen or heard included:Chaffinch, Blackbird, Eurasian jay, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Kestrel, Common buzzard, Nuthatch, Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch, Lapwing, Woodpigeon, Feral pigeon, Pheasant, Black-billed magpie and Mallard.
Overall a very pleasant walk, especially so as walking in mid-week meant that the crowds of visitors always seen at weekends were not there.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Wigan Pier and More 19th March 2011

Crossing the Leeds-Liverpool canal to link up with the walk description.
The Leeds-Liverpool Canal by the Orwell public house.
We all feel like that sometimes, but not when you go walking with Harris Hikers!
Martyn glad to be back on the towpath on the way back to Wigan Pier, 8 miles into the walk and only a few minutes after lunch!
Walk stats: Distance:13.7 miles (more than 14 if you count the walk the the Anvil public house on Downing Street in the city centre!). Climb:434'.
Time: 5 hours 23 minutes. On the move walking average:3.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.5 m.p.h
Group:Martyn, Dave  and Mike D.
Things didn't start too well when we couldn't find the Trenchfield Mill Car Park and ended parking in the Mona Street car park in the city centre and to the cost of Mike's pocket to the tune of £6-50! 
However there was a bonus, it was just round the corner from the Anvil.
What another glorious day this turned out to be for walking, definitely a shorts day and the Sun shining for most of the day.
After crossing the Leeds-Liverpool canal by the Orwell public house, we didn't look at the route description or the map and we turned left along the towpath instead of right! this meant that we did the first part of the walk as far as Haigh Hall in the opposite direction to that described. However id did have the advantage that we went past the DW stadium before any of the football fans arriving to see Wigan beat Birmingham!
We were all impressed with the length of the miniature railway that went through the grounds of Haigh Hall, it's a pity that it wasn't running!
The return route back to Wigan Pier was all the way along the towpath, not too challenging in terms of route finding. In terms of seeing other people, tis was one of the most popular walks that we have been on for some time. Overall a good walk and we were back a the car before 3 p.m.!
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Rook, Great spotted woodpecker, Mute swan, Nuthatch, Common coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Tufted duck, Black-headed gull, Canada goose, Winter wren, European robin, Eurasian jay, House sparrow, Blackbird, Goldfinch and Pied wagtail.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Anvil in the centre of Wigan where Extra Pale Ale by the Arms, Nottingham Brewery and Hydes Original and a new brew were enjoyed.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

The Alyn Valley, Coed Ddu and Around Plas-yw 17th March 2011

Setting off at the start of the walk.
Putting our best foot forward, early on in the walk!
The Afon Alyn or at least where it goes when it doesn't disappear underground!
Walk stats: distance: 10.6 miles. Climb: 1534'.
Time:5 hours  15 minutes. On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil, Tim, Carol, Gordon, Sue and Michel, Celia, Tito and Dave J.
We set off from the start below Moel Arthur in bright sunshine and at least one of us in short sleeves and no fleece! Thankfully the forecast rain didn't materialize, although there was a little dampness in the air just after lunch, but waterproofs weren't really the order of the day!
The first suggested lunch spot was rejected as being in a windy spot, the final spot wasn't much better in that we were spread out so much that Roger did quite a bit more mileage than most just giving out Welsh cakes to everyone. I blame Margaret for making the Welsh cakes so good that I forgot to tune into the radio to get the latest cricket score and even gave Gordon more that 20 minutes for lunch! Thank you Margaret, these were the best Welsh cakes ever.
Overall this was a wonderfully varied walk, a little bit up and down, and especially up about a mile before the end, and after the mist had cleared good views were enjoyed.
Dave and Roger (the deviants), did a little extra by diverting to the top of Moel Arthur as well (an extra  200' of climb or so)!
Birds seen or heard today included: Common buzzard, Pheasant, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Rook, Black-headed gull, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Long-tailed tit, Blackbird, Eurasian jay, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, European robin, Skylark and Chiffchaff (heard by Dave J.)
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn.  The Lees bitter was good and tasted even better as the wickets started to fall in the England v West Indies World Cup Competition.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Beaumaris and Penmon 12th March 2011

Roger demonstrating how to us a monocular. 
Mike's wondering what the fuss is all about, over a few Pale-bellied Brent geese!
Penmon lighthouse and Puffin Island.
Castell Aberlleiniog after its restoration in 2007/2008.
Our final view of Beaumaris Castle.
Walk stats: Distance:12.5 miles. Climb:797'.
Time:6 hours 5 minutes. On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Dave J., Celia and Mike D.
Weather not quite as good as forecast, although the rain that we got was never enough to wet us and the wind was quite cool and the Sun had gone AWOL all day!
The tide was out, so we walked along the beach as much as we could on the way to Penmon from Beaumaris. This route wasn't easy going, but at least it kept us off the roads.  Lunch was taken at |Penmon Point, looking out across the bay to Puffin Island. During lunch we were fortunate to see several seals, including both a Common seal and a Grey seal. In addition we had superb views of a Shag diving and catching a fish, Guillemots flying and five Eider ducks flying and settling on the sea.
The highlight of the day was visiting Castell Aberlleiniog after its renovation in 2007/2008.
Birds seen or heard today included:Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Common gull, Great cormorant, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Ringed plover, Shelduck, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Dunnock, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Nuthatch, Song thrush, Great spotted woodpecker, Mallard, Moorhen, Common starling, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Kestrel, Curlew, European robin, Eider duck, Shag and Guillemot.
A good walk overall, especially with the new circular paths from Llangoed Castell Aberlleiniog.
On the way home we had several mobile phone messages, a little surprising since neither Tito or Michel were on the walk!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where once again the Lees bitter revived at two member of the group!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Ysceifiog, Lixwm and Nannerch Round 10th March 2011

Gordon leading the group through the woods, with Phil and Dave J still not in the picture!

Belted Galloway's, very wary of intruders on their patch!
20 minutes up and  ready to set off after lunch!
Two very friendly foals!
Walk stats: Distance:9.1 miles. Climb:1487'.
Time: 4 hours 20 minutes. On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.  Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Gordon, Sue and Michel, Phil, Fran, Sylvia and Dave J. (We had hoped that Richard would have joined us on this walk starting on his doorstep).
This was one of those days, what shall I wear? I don't think anyone really got it right.  Temperatures predicted to feel as low as 2 Celsius with showers too, most of ended up overheating and grateful whenever we were exposed to the cooling wind! Thankfully we only had a five minute shower with less than a mile to go, and most of us didn't even stop to put waterproofs on.
This walk has in the past presented us with very muddy boots to clean at the end of the day, but today even the muddy sections were dry! However one or two awkward stiles remained to challenge us. Just before lunch we had a very interesting chat with a local man trying to sort out a hedge that he had reckoned had been  neglected for more than 70 years. He explained to us how he could layer the hedge in places, but had to cut other sections down to the ground, and with more light available the hedgerow flowers would  be out in force later in the year. Perhaps we need to do the walk again, but not for another year!
During the walk we had been talking about the total number of different birds that we would see during the year, and commented on the fact that we had never heard or seen an owl.  Quite ironically as we were going through the wood,Waen dymarch, both Michel and I clearly heard a female Tawny owl calling.
Birds seen or heard today included:Chaffinch, Carrion crow, European robin, Common buzzard, Blue tit, Great tit, Bullfinch, Long-tailed tit, Jackdaw, Jay, Moorhen, Raven, Rook, House sparrow, Blackbird and Tawny owl.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn. As ever the Lees bitter was excellent and the locals very welcoming.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Port Penryn, Penryn Castle and More 5th March 2011

Boats moored at Port Penryn.
On the old railway track from Port Penryn to Tregarth alongside the Afon Cegin.
Waiting for the leader!
Daffodils at Penryn Castle.

Walk stats: Distance:11.9 miles. Climb:591'.
Time:5 hours 8 minutes. On the move walking average:2.8 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.3 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Dave J., Celia, Mike D., Sue and Dave P.
This turned out to be a really good day for walking, another day that could have been a shorts day, not too hot and not too cold and warm sunshine at times including while we had lunch.  We certainly had better eather than the Carneddau were getting, the clouds/mist on the high tops didn't shift all day.We started the walk from Bangor, but the walk description started at Port Penryn. We tried to take a path through a small park, but we ended up where we started, but it did give Sue and Dave time to catch up with us having spotted us from the car park.  The walk started well with some good bird watching in the bay and around Port Penryn before heading off down the old railway track to Tregarth.  The walk was extended by walking through the grounds of Penryn Castle, giving us the opportunity to see our first splash of Welsh daffodils in bloom.
We arrived back at the car, a few of us with tired legs, after Mike had set a cracking pace for much of the walk!
Birds seen or heard today included:Jackdaw, Herring gull, Greenshank, Redsahnk, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Little grebe, Black-headed gull, Great black-backed gull, Little egret, Mute swan, Goosander, Blackbird, European robin, Greenfinch, Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Nuthatch, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Shelduck, Widgeon, Mallard and Mistle thrush.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where the Lee bitter was on good form.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Moel Findeg, Deborah's Well and More 3rd March 2011

Our first Spring lamb on the hills of Clwyd (Denbighshire).
The group we nearly lost!
The best bit of wall for lunch or was it?
Have we got to go  all the way down there?
On the summit of Moel Findeg.

Walk stats: Distance:10.5 miles. Climb>1377'.
Time: 5 hours 35 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Gordon, Phil, Sylvia and Dave J., Celia, Carol H., Fran and Tito.
This was an unusual day weatherise, there seemed to be a challenge between the Sun shining and the fog descending, thankfully the Sun won!
Although this was an area that we have walked many times, this walk provided several paths that were new to all of us, always a bonus for a walk on what we regard as our local patch.
This walk made us realise how much footpath marker posts and new stiles had been added in this area since the last time we had completed this walk. Well done to Denbighshire C.C. 
This was a good and varied walk that I'm sure will be repeated in the future.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common buzzard, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Blackbird, European robin, Greenfinch, Raven, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, European robin, Black-billed magpie, Nuthatch, Common starling, Song thrush, Woodpigeon, Collared dove and Raven.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, where Roosters Special went down well, even if the cost of soft drinks didn't!