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 June 2011

Delamere Forest and Boothsdale 30th June 2011

At the central plinth on Pale heights.
The central plinth on Pale Heights. There's a;ways one!
View towards Blakemere.
"Piggy" in the middle or "stumped"at lunch!
Phil enjoying a "Magnum" from the Summertrees Cafe.
Walk stats: Distance: 11.9 miles. Climb: 1342'.
Time: 5 hours 24 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group : Martyn, Roger, Sue and Michel, Phil, Sue and Dave P.
Another superb day for walking, the light showers around lunchtime didn't materialise and after lunch it was almost wall to wall blue skies with several of us donning sun hats!
This walk was certainly more of a roller coaster of a walk than I had anticipated, walks in I remember walks in Delamere Forest as being flat. I was wrong!  The highlight for me was reaching the viewpoint on Pale Heights with its plinth and location finders placed on the raised circles. A superb creation put up in 2009.  Councils do get some things right!
Overall this was a very pleasant walk , even if the there were 63 steps up to the car park at the end of the walk!
Birds sen or heard today included: Common buzzard, Carrion crow, Chiffchaff, Barn swallow, Song thrush, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Winter wren, Chaffinch, Willow warbler and House sparrow.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Farmers Arms at Kelsall where the beer of the day was Weetwood Best.
This could be described as a "Tito walk", no stiles and an ice cream shop next to the path about half a mile before the end.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Walks and Dates June 2011

Updated 26th June 2011.
Thursday 2nd June 2011.
Moel Arthur, Penycloddiau and Moel y Parc.
Distance: 11 miles. Climb:2500'.
Start: Llangwyfan Forestry Car Park between Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau. Grid: SJ139668.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "More walks in the Clwydian Hills". It is quite some time since we did this walk starts with the steep ascent of Moel Arthur and eventually contours around the Northern slopes of Penycloddiau.  Sections on this side of Penycloddiau can be on the boggy side, but hopefully not at this time of the year. Quite a challenging roller a coaster type of walk as they often are in the Clwydian Hills.
Saturday 4th June 2011.
The Eastern Arans.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb:2700'.
Start: Bwlch-y-Groes. Off road parking at the summit on the minor road from Llanuwchllyn to Dinas Mawddy. Grid ref:SH913233.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from the Nuttalls' book "The Mountains of England and Wales Volume 1 Wales".  This is quite a challenging walk, especially as much of it is pathless and involves negotiating heather and boggy patches. Last time we did this walk we ended the walk in torrential rain and missed out the there and back climb to Moel y Cerrig Duon.
Thursday 9th June 2011.
Around the Little Orme and More.
Distance:7-8 miles. Climb:1600'.
Start: Roadside parking near the PC on the shore road in Craig y Don at the East end of Llanduno. Grid ref:SH7994082152.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast".  This walk is a little shorter than our usual walks, but has become one of our annual favourites after we found a lot of orchids in flower on a previous walk.  The cliffs around the Little Orme are nesting sites for Great cormorants and Shag, so bring binoculars too.  We have in the past seen seals too.
Saturday 11th June 2011.
Around Holyhead Mountain.
Distance:12-13 miles. Climb:1326'.
Start: Roadside parking opposite PC by the Old Harbour in Holyhead. Just before the turning to South Stack. SH245831.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This is another wak that has become an annual favourite.  Much of the walk is along the Coastal path, but we will probably make a detour to visit the summit of Holyhead Mountain.  A good chance of seeing Choughs, Guillimots, Razorbills and even Puffins.  Bring binoculars if you can.
Thursday 16th June 2011.
Talacre to Prestatyn and Back with an extension to Point of Ayr.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb:100'.
Start: Talacre beach car park. SJ124848.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast". We enjoyed this walk last year, so I thought it was worth repeating. Perhaps it wll become another of our annual favourites. This time we will have to detour around the Little tern colony. Another walk when binoculars would be handy.
No walk today - Saturday 18th June 2011.
Llyn Caer Euni from Llanderfel.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb:1800’
Start: Roadside parking by the stream in the village of Llanderfel. Grid ref:SH982371.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
The described part of the walk is taken from Dave Berry’s book “Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn”. This is only a 5 mile walk, but the extra miles is linking the start of the walk in Sarnau with Llanderfel, using different paths on the outward and return journeys.
The outward route will include using a path through the Nature Reserve Cors y Sarnau. There is a good chance of seeing Red kites in this area.
Thursday 23rd June 2011.
The River Dee from Aldford to Farndon.
Distance:11-12 miles. Climb:200'.
Start: Roadside parking just as you enter the first lane on the left after passing the Grosvenor Arms in Aldford if approaching from the Chester side. Grid ref:SJ42125875.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from the OS Cheshire Walks book with a little added extra! The outward route will follow the river and the return route will follow mainly field paths and quiet lanes.
No walk - Saturday 25th June 2011.
Chnict and the Moelwyns. - Postponed until later in the year.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb:3650'.
Start:Croesor village car park. Grid ref: SH631447.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from the Nuttalls' book "The Mountains of England and Wales Volume 1 Wales". It is a long time since we did Chnict and even longer since we included the Moelwyns in the walk as well.  This is quite a demanding walk, so lets hope for a good day weatherwise which will then give us  good views of the Snowdon  group of mountains and the ridge from Chnict to Moel Siabod.
Thursday 30th June 2011.
Delamere Forest and Boothsdale.
Distance:12 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Gresty's Waste Car Park on the A54. SJ540686.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from the OS Cheshire Walks book. One is described as an attractive  walk on the Southern fringes of Delamere Forest with good views the higher points on the walk. Both walks use parts of the Sandstone Trail

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Aldford to Farndon 23rd June 2011

Posers or are they just good friends?
Lost again, and I've got a certificate in map reading!
Farndon ahead and an early lunch!
Leader of the pack!
My way!
Walk stats: Distance: 10.7 miles. Climb:363'.
Time: 4 hours 47 minutes.  On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2.m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Gordon, Phil, Celia, Fran and Tito, Sue and Dave P.
Weather prospects weren't good with most sources suggesting many showers, particularly from lunchtime onwards.  However Phil's source was optimistic and suggested that the rain would come in after 4 p.m.  Thankfully Phil's source was the most accurate, and at one point I was regretting leaving my sunhat behind!
It threatened rain once, but those that stopped to don waterproof jackets in reality proved pointless.
The riverside path from Aldford was a little disappointing in that the vegetation was overgrown and we only got glimpses of the river.
However from Churton onwards things got better as the riverside path lived up to its name.
We enjoyed a relatively early lunch at the bridge picnic site at Farndon, with the added bonus that the toilets nearby were open and in good order, an opportunity not to be missed!
Although inland, the return route through fields, bridleways and one or country lanes was quite pleasant and we even went past "The Cottage" on Lower Lane that I visited as a boy!
Birds seen or heard today included: Blackbird, Greenfinch, Collard dove, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Common buzzard, Pheasant, Chaffinch, Winter wren, Black-billed magpie, Common whitethroat, Grey heron, Pied wagtail, House sparrow, Barn swallow, Lapwing, Mallard and Chiffchaff.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Grosvenor Arms at Aldford where Slater's Original, Brunning's Original (brewed bt the Pheonix Brewery) and a brew from Abbeydale all went down well.
An enjoyable walk, especially from Churton onwards.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Talacre, Prestatyn and Point of Ayr 16th June 2011

Talacre's manned lighthouse?
Gronant Little tern colony.
Little terns, the birds of the day.
Heading for the lunch spot at Prestatyn.
On the rocks.
A posing Linnet.
View across the estuary from the site of the former RSPB hide.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.1 miles. Climb: 500'.
Time: 4 hours 24 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.8 m.p.h. Overall average: 2.3 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Phil, Sylvia and Dave J., Sue and Dave P.
The weather forecast suggested that me might have a couple of heavy showers, thankfully they were wrong and we only had a very short shower that in reality didn't justify the effort to put on waterproofs!  In the main we had bright sunny spells with lots of blue skies.
The outward route followed the beach from Talacre, past the Lighthouse.  It's always a treat to walk beside the sea, especially as the tide was on the way in (high tide at Point ofAyr was 11- 49).  this was the wrong time of the year for waders, but it was delightful to hear and see so many Skylarks around the marshes and dunes. At Presthaven Sands Holiday Camp we were forced off the beach so that we could cross the Prestatyn Gutter and head for the Little tern colony view point.  They didn't disappoint, as we saw over 100 on the beach beyond the protected area and at times they flew up en masse before settling down again. We also saw a few landing in the nest site area and a few over the sea and diving to catch fish.
Lunch was taken early, as we all agreed that overlooking the sea was the best option as the next stage took us through a golf course with no opportunities to picnic!
We arrived back at Talacre, amazed that we had had so little rain, two of us continued to the Point of Ayr RSPB hide site, whilst the others called it a day or went to a "coffee/tea shop".
Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, House martin, Barn swallow, Mallard, Skylark, Meadow pipit, Greenfinch, Moorhen, Common coot, Shellduck, Mute swan, curlew, Linnet, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Greater black-backed gull, Grey heron, Carion crow, Great cormorant, Oystrcatcher, Stonechat, Raven, Winter wren, Chaffinch, Sedge warbler, Reed warbler, Tufted duck, Jackdaw, Grasshopper warbler, Goldfinch, Common starling, Collared dove, Woodpigeon, Black-billed magpie, Blackbird, Dunnock and Pied wagtail.
Quite a few orchids were seen around the Gronant sand dunes, including Marsh orchid and Pyramidal orchid.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where once more the Lees bitter was on form.  As we left "Chelsea", one of the locals, kindly gave us some upto date Flintshire guides that included some walks in the locality.  An interesting read, especially as the cricket test match from the Rose Bowl was rained off.  Not all Chelsea fan are bad!

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Around Holy Head Mountain 11th June 2011

Trying to keep up with Choughs!
Just a poser!

Synchronised walking on the Anglesey Coastal path!

At the trig point on Holyhead Mountain.
Our first contestant for bird odf the day.
A Puffin, one of the contestants for bird of the day.
Choughs, one of the contestants for bird of the day.
Looking across the bay towards Rhoscolyn.
Walk stats: Distance:12.4 miles. Climb:1630'.
Time: 7 hours 5 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J. and Mike.
Yet another wonderful day for walking, not too hot and not too cold and no rain at all.
This walk along the Anglesey Coastal Path is superb, especially the newst section towards North Stack.  The birds were few and far between on this section, although Choughs did put in an appearance.  However Soth Stack was better than expected with good views of Guillemots, Razorbills and Puffins. Further round the coast it was the turn of the Choughs to entertain us.
The walk took us much longer than usual, but we did stop a lot to watch the birds, particularly around  South Stack, and of course there was Mike's "Celia moment" to delay us for a few minutes!
Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Jackdaw, Herring gull, Black-billed magpie, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Pied wagtail, Whitethroat, raven, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Blue tit, Meadow pipit, Rock pipit, Puffin, Razorbill, Guillemot, Gannet, Kestrel, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Great cormorant, Lesser black-backed gull, Mallard, Barn swallow, Carrion crow and Song thrush.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn where the Lees bitter went down well, particularly when the new barrel came on tap!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Little Orme and Coed Gaer 9th June 2011

Nesting Great cormorants on the Little Orme.
"I fancy that one with the hand on the trig point"
At the trig point on the Little Orme.

"I wish I was walking on one of those bigger mountains!"
Seal of approval. One of two seals watched for several minutes.
Red valerian, the flower of the day.
The Little Orme from our lunch spot on Mynydd Pant.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.5 miles. Climb:1457'.
Time: 4 hours 37 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie H., Carol and Tim, Sylvia and Dave J.
The weather was pretty well what Accuweather forecast. Showers before lunch with a strong breeze to make sure the rain didn't last for long. In fact there were so few spots that I didn't bother to put on my waterproofs at all, but I did have to chase after my hat once!
This walk is superb, especially if you like watching birds, looking at flowers and butterflies and on a good Common seals.  We weren't disappointed and watched two Common seals for about ten minutes.  As usual there were lots of Great cormorants nesting, quite a few Guillemots and a few Razorbills around too.  We also had good views of Ravens and nesting Fulmars.
Other birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Rook, Herring gull, Winter wren, Barn swallow, House martin, Chifchaff, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Kestrel, Raven, House sparrow, Whitethroat, Blue tit, Great tit, Pied wagtail, Woodpigeon and Common buzzard.
There were lots of flowers on show too, but the Common and Red valerian in Penryn quarry were the stars.
We also watched a couple seals for about 15 minutes, a Grey seal and a Common seal.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pente Halkyn, where the Lees bitter was on form.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The Eastern Arans 4th June 2011.

Views from Llechwedd Ddu.
At the summit of Llechwedd Ddu.
At the summit of Foel Rhudd.
At the summit of Moel y Cerrig Duon.
Llyn Efyrnwy from Moel y Cerrig Duon.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.1 miles (10.2 miles). Climb:2282' (2888').
Time:6 hours 17 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger and Dave J.
Another glorious day for walking. Thankfully it wasn't too hot and at times we had a lovely cooling breeze.  As expected this walk turned out to be quite demanding, first battling through the peat hags to Llechwedd Ddu and the up tussocky slopes to Foel Rhudd, followed by a steep grassy descent from Esgeirion Gwynion to Bwlch Sirddyn. I'd had enough of grassy slopes by this time and sent Roger and Dave up Foel Hafod-fynydd while I enjoyed an extra half an hour over lunch!
The views today were superb in every direction, but particularly towards the main Aran ridge.  All across the moorland Skylarks entertained us with their singing and Meadow pipits with their rapid descents.  However the birds of the day were three Red kites displaying as they moved from Foel Rhudd across the valley towards the main Aran ridge. The repeated cal of a Ring ouzel was good to hear, although we didn't actually spot it.
Birds sen or heard today included: Willow warbler, Meadow pipit, Wheatear, Common buzzard, Red kite, Ring ouzel, Chaffinch, Carrion crow, Pied wagtail and Raven.
Even the 1.5 mile road climb didn't seem as bad as past experiences, although I wasn't any quicker!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Crown Inn at Llandegla where we learned that Sarah has a new partner.  The Lee bitter went down well, it was a pity that I was driving!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau 2nd June 2011

On the summit of Moel Arthur with Moel Fammau in the background!.
Our early lunch spot, god for sitting, but not much of a view!
Look who's in front!
"It's like this Paul ....."
At the cairn on Penycloddiau.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.8 miles. Climb:1979'.
Time: 5 hours 14 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average:1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil, Gordon, Sue Pelissier, Annie H., Paul, Sylvia and Dave J.
The first surprise of the day was on arriving at the Llangwyfan Forestry Car Park. No longer is it just a flattened area of mud, it has been transformed into a superb car park with several parking pays and covered with a limestone chippings surface.  The only thing now is a carefully placed signpost pointing to the track that leads from the Nannerch to Llandyrnog road. 
Good weather  forecast for the day, but for me it was a little on the humid side, particularly before lunch.  Not much sun, but it did put in appearance for our trek over Penycloddiau!
This is a superb roller coaster of a walk with very little walking on the flat.  You're either going up or going down and most of it seems like up!
The bonus today was hearing two Cuckoos and quite a few Yellowhammers.  We even saw some Bluebells still in flower!
Birds seen or heard today included: Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Yellowhammer, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Barn swallow, Common swift, Bullfinch, Wood warbler, Carrion crow, Common buzzard, Jackdaw, Chaffinch, Pheasant, Winter wren and Bullfinch.
Initially we had planned to vist Moel Y Parc too, but when we had to make a decision, eight of us decided that we didn't want to extend the walk at all, if it meant that we had to do a lot more climbing!
Unfortunately Michel couldn't join us today, his painful foot still playing up. Some members of the group thought he might have a train set too!
As always after walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. That pint of Lees bitter really went down well today!