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, 29 September 2011

Dunham Massey, Lymm and the Bridgewater Canal 29thSeptember 2011

Dunham Massey hall.
Heading down the drive from the hall.
Tito's first of many drinks!
Dunham Massey Church with tree in Autumnal colours.
Bushes along the Bridgewater canal in Autumnal colours.
Walk stats: Distance: 11.6 miles. Climb: 165'.
Time: 4 hours 53 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.8 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Dave J., Annie H., Wendy, Tito and Paul.
A gloriously sunny day for walking one would think, well it was before lunch when it wasn't too hot and the hedges/trees along the Trans Pennine Trail shielded us from the heat of the Sun. However the walk from Lymm to Little Bollington along the Bridgewater Canal was in sunshine that was a little oppressive, the legs didn't want to go and the tongue longed for that refreshing drink at the "Swan with Two Nicks" an hour or so later!
In the morning the walk along the Tran Pennine Trail was a good pace, and it wasn't until we reached the outskirts of Lymm that mutinous grumbles were heard amongst the ranks. Lunch was taken on a bank that formed the edge of a field adjacent to the track that led to Lymm.  Fed and watered, everyone was happy to set off on the remainder of the walk.
The most interesting sight along the canal was seeing the ship yard with lots of narrow boats being renovated and quite a few new ones in various stages of being built. It's always good to see a British manufcturing industry flourishing.
Some trees displayed good Autumnal colours. Apparently the reds and oranges should be more vivid this year as the current hot spell causes the chlorophyll change more quickly, giving rise to the colours. 
Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, European robin, Long-tailed it, Common coot, Moorhen, Tufted duck, Mallard, Mute swan, Rook, Carrion crow, Blue tit and Great tit.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Swan with Two Nicks, where the local Dunham Massey brew, Big tree bitter went down well. However the bar prices didn't!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Walks and Dates September 2011

Updated 21st September 2011
Thursday 1st September 2011.
Llaneffydd, Moel y Gaer and Moelfre Isaf.
Distance:9-10 miles;Climb:2500'.
Start:Car park by the village hall in Llanefydd, opposite the Buck Inn. Grid ref:SH982706.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Lorna Jenner's book "Walking in the Vale of Clwyd and the Denbigh Moors", and is a walk that we really enjoyed last time we did it. This is a refreshing walk over Moel y Gaer, the site of an Iron Age hill fort. Again we will extend the walk to include Moelfre Isaf.
Saturday 3rd September 2011.
Bodlondeb Wood, Conwy Mountain, Alltwen and Cwm Gyrach.
Distance:9 - 10 miles. Climb:1600'.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
Start: Main car park in Conwy, turn left under castle wall on to B5106. Grid Ref: SH781773.
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.
This walk is a repeat of the walk that some of us did in February this year when the weather was a little on the wet side. I dropped out after the Conwy Castle walls and Bodlondeb Wood circuit, so I'm looking forward to completing all of the circuit this time.
Thursday 8th September 2011.
A Clwydian Trio
Distance:11- 12 miles; Climb:1900' '.
Start: Pentre-celyn car park . Grid ref: SJ150534.
The car parking area is on the left adjacent to the sign for Pentre-celyn, just off the B5429.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This is another walk by Debbie Hamilton and is taken from the "Walking" magazine. This walk includes the section of Offa's Dyke Path goes near Moel y Plas, Moel Gyw, Moel Llanfair and Boncyn y Waen-grogen. Her walk starts from Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, but we will start at Pentre Celyn about half a mile beyond Craigfechan.
Saturday 10th September 2011
Cadair Bronwen, Cadair Berwyn and Moel Sych.
Distance:10-11 miles. Climb:3100''.
Start: Riverside Car Park in Llandrillo.  Grid ref:SJ35372.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from John Tranter's book "Walks in and around the Berwyn Mountains".  This is quite a strenuous walk, and in the past has been quite boggy in sections.  Hopefully that will not be the case this time as last time we did the walk it was during the Winter months.  A superb walk in good visibility and the Sun is shining. Let's hope for a good day.
Thursday 15th September 2011.
Tremeirchion, Y Craig, Sodom and Moel Yr Gaer.
Distance:9-10 miles;Climb:1800'.
Start: Off road parking, minor road East of Tremeirchion. Grid ref:SJ095740.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The walk is based on two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills". This is another walk that is one of my favourite walks and one that appears on the list at least once a year. At this time of the year it should give us the opportunity to appreciate the chaning appearances of the trees as Autumn approaches, and there is also the opportunity of a little foraging! We will probably visit St Bueno's chapel on the hill again and climb to the summit of Moel Maenefna. 
Saturday 17th September 2011. 
Eyam, Bretton Clough and Eyam Moor.
Distance:9 -10 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start: Eyam village car park. Grid ref: SK216766.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from the Pathfinder Guide to the Peak District.  Much of the walk is similar to the Mark Richard route that we have done several times before.  Whilst it misses out Grindlow and Great Hucklow, it allows us to explore new sections of Eyam Moor.
This varied walk includes deep wooded valleys and heather moors and gives magnificent views all the way.
Thursday 22nd September 2011.
All Around Llyn Brenig and In Search of Our Ancestors.
Distance: 11-13 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre car park (Pay and Display). Grid ref: SH968547' .
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is based on two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Hidden Heart Of North Wales" or "Walks Around the Hiraethrog Moors and Lakes". This is a low level walk, and although it it extends the walk a little it is well worth the extra effort to visit the ancient Bronze Age Cairns, they were quite impressive the last time we visited them, definately worth a second look!
Saturday 24th September 2011.
The Roaches and Lud's Church.
Distance: 9 -10 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start: Roadside parking below the Roaches North of Upper Hulme. Grid ref: SK004621.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from the Pathfinder Guide to the Peak District.  The Roaches has become one of our annual favourite walks, but this is a slightly new route for us.  It includes the main Roaches ridge, but misses out Hen Cloud. Instead it includes a new route back along Black Brook, and if we have plenty of energy left and it's not too late, Hen Cloud may be added as an extension.
Thursday 29th September 2011.
Dunham Massey and Lymm.
Distance: 11 - 12 miles. Climb:300'.
Start: Dunham Massey Car Park:  National Trust, so don't forget to bring your Membership Cards with You. Grid ref: SJ735584.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
The described part of this walk is taken from The Pathfinder Guide to Cheshire and includes sections of the Bridgewater canal and the Trans Pennine Trail as does the extension to Lymm. Whilst the walk explores the Deer park at Dunham Massey, it isn't planned to go into the house, but there may be an opportunity to do so at the end of the walk.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Roaches and Hen Cloud 24th September 2011

The Roaches from Hen Cloud.
Bird spotting from the steps upto the ridge on the Roaches.

At the trig point on the Roaches.
Lud's Church
Lunch in the woods.
The path leading into the Black Brook Valley.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.8 mi;es. Climb:1614'.
Time: 5 hours 34 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J, Mike D and Celia.
We arrived at the base of the Roaches and He Cloud to find them clouded in mist, and we set off optimistically hoping that it would clear by the time we reached the ridge.  Thankfully the day got better and better and along the ride we were accompanied by a pleasantly cooling breeze.
Today we discovered a new route to the ridge via set of steps near Rockhall. a new return route enabled us to explore the Black Brook Valley, a location that we hadn't realised existed!
As ever the stroll along the top of the Roaches to the end of the ridge is delightful and the cleft known as Lud's Church nevere ceases to amaze me.
Birds seen or heard today included: Jakdaw, Kestrel, Raven, Red grouse, Meadow pipit, Long-tailed tit, Winter wren, Blackbird and Great tit.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where Hartington Bitter went down with the men in the group.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Around Llyn Brenig and More 22nd September 2011

Llyn Brenig from the South East.
"Quick march, one two, one two!"
"This cairn/stone circle must be somewhere".
The platform cairn information point.
The platform cairn as it is now.
"I'm behind you!".
"This ancient settlements here somewhere!"
Walk stats: Distance: 10.9 m.p.h. Climb: 977'.
Time: 4 hours 44 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.3 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Dave J., Phil, Gordon, Annie H., Sue and Michel..
A superb day for walking, not too hot and not too cold, a two hankies day for me, almost perfect! We set off at a cracking pace of over 3 m.m.h, but that soon changed as we had to climb uphill in search of our ancestors!
New to us was the various information points near to each spot of interest, whoever is responsible should be congratulated. Thank you.
This section of the walk, in search of our ancestors never fails to impress me, the minimal climb uphill is worth the effort!
Lunch was taken around the hide overlooking Llyn Brenig. Only three decided to eat their lunch surrounded by what everyone else thought were probably droppings from Barn swallows that had nested on the roof space.
The surprise of the day was to see half a dozen cars drive up and down the minor road  at the North end of the reservoir being filmed by the car in front, always with the yellow car last but one! Whatever they were being filmed for we don't know, but that is our challenge to find out!
Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Goldfinch, Pied wagtail, Meadow pipit, Woodpigeon, Great tit, Carrion crow, Raven, Kestrel, Common buzzard, Great cormorant, Herring gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Tufted duck, Red grouse and Mallard..
After walk drinks were enjoyed  as always at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Eyam, Bretton Clough and Eyam Moor 17th September 2011

Looking across the valley towards the Barrel Inn, Bretton.
No comment!
Cricket at lunch time.
On Eyam Moor.
The cricketer's grave in Eyam Church  grounds.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.9 miles. Climb:1500'.
Time: 5 hours 23 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Dave J and Mike D.
After last week we were hoping that the forecast of a couple of showers would be true. Thankfully it was and most of the walk was done in warm sunshine. The showers were short and almost as soon as you got your waterproofs on the rain stopped and it was time to take them off again!
This was a very enjoyable walk despite Dave falling when he slipped as he got over a stone style and later Roger having a close encounter with some overgrown vegetation!
Birds seen or heard today were few and far between but included: Barn swallow, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Pied wagtail, Goldfinch, Kestrel, Red grouse, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Blue tit, Blackbird and Nuthatch.
We decided to visit Leek on the way back, not realising that road works in Buxton were causing horrendous queues and delays. Thankfully we remembered an alternative route that took us first towards Ashbourne and then through Harpur Hay. Buxton is a place we will avoid for the rest of the year.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where as ever the Hartington Bitter was quaffed with relish by most of us and I went home with my usual take-away!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Cefn Du, Sodom, Moel y Gaer and Moel Maenefa 15 September 2011

"You'd think the rest of the group could walk a little quicker, after all Cefn Du's only a little hill!"
Follow the leader.
"No, I went tell you what kind of sheep I am."
" Well OK, I'm a Balwen Welsh Mountain sheep"
"I'm only here for the view!"
Other suggestions?
Snowdonia from the Western slopes of Moel Maenefa.
At the top of Moel Maenefa, now marked by a small pile of stones.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.1 miles. Climb: 1471'.
Time: 4 hours 50 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil, Dave J., Fran and Tito, Celia, Gordon, Annie H., Sue and Michel.
What a superb day for walking, the weather and views were almost perfect (perfection of course can never be attained!).
Foraging today was official, and we started well with a bag full of scrumptious apples and we hadn't moved a foot! (Thanks to the abundance of apples on Fran and Tito's apple tree).
We set off along part of Offa's Dyke footpath and within a short distance came across a few walkers that were on their last stretch of the footpath. You could tell how happy they felt at being on the last stretch of the walk, when they smiled  as they thought we we were on our first!  Thankfully we were only doing part of it!
What a joy it is to meet other walkers and as today we were able to chat and exchange pleasantries.
Birds seen or heard today included: Chiffchaff, Barn swallow, Wheatear, Chaffinch, Blackbird, European robin, Nuthatch, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Woodpigeon, House sparrow and Great tit.
The walk was a little shorter than usual, but suited quite a few members of the group, particularly Fran and Tito who had been invited to entertain their son and daughter on their birthdays.
Happy birthday Mike and Beth.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the Lees bitter went down really well, but only six of us attended!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Cadair Bronwen and Cadair Berwyn 10th September 2011

The summit cairn on Cadair Bronwen, still in the rain cloud!
Heading for Bwlch Maen Gwynedd and Cadair Berwyn.
Cadair Berwyn New Top from the Cadair Berwyn trig point.
Crossing Nant Cwm Tywyll, the easiest  stream we had to cross!
Walk stats: Distance: 10.3 miles. Climb: (3692' wind assisted!) estimated climb 2500'.
Time: 6 hours 25 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.9 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J and Mike D.
We set off with high hopes that the weather today would be better than on our last visit to Cadair Bronwen and Cadair Berwyn. Unfortunately the weather forecast of a couple of showers proved wrong and from 10-00 to 13-00 we experienced rain, very strong winds and near the top we were walking in cloud.  During this time we did get fleeting views with the sun appearing for a few seconds, giving us hope for better weather to come!
Thankfully as we approached the trig point on Cadair Berwyn, the clouds did lift and we had good views for the rest of the walk. I couldn't take our usual trig point photo as another walking group got there first and seemed to be glued to the trig point.  We missed out Moel Sych and headed down the ridge of Foel Fawr, hoping to find a sheltered spot for lunch. This turned out to be a cairn/ wind shelter on Pennant just before turning right to cross Nant Cwm Tywyll.
After lunch conditions underfoot seemed to get wetter and wetter and the streams bigger and more difficult to cross, but we eventually made it to the stony track that led to Llandrillo. We finished the walk in sunshine, long enough for Mike and Martyn's trousers to have dried out. Only Dave with his new Brasher boots arrived back at the car with dry feet!
Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Barn swallow, House sparrow, Meadow pipit, Black-billed magpie, Wheatear, Common pheasant, Kestrel, Skylark and Red grouse.
An enjoyable walk that should really only be attempted after  considerable period no rain!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the New Inn at Pontybodkin, where Brains' Reverend James was the cask ale on offer.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Clwydian Trio 8th September 2011

Heading into the mist!
Who's telling a story?
On Offa's Dyke Footpath heading for Moel Gyw.
Young calves acting a bit like us when we're trying to decide which way to go!
The Clwydian Trio, Moel, Gyw, Moel  Llanfair and Moel y Plas.
The shaded path through the woods.
Walk stats: distance: 11.5 miles. Climb:1657'.
Time: 5 hours 11 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J., Sue and Michel, Annie H and Phil.
We set off with dampness in the air and no views of the Vale of Clwyd below, but this wasn't enough to make me don waterproofs, others however did! As we approached Offas Dyke Path below Moel Llanfair the mist lifted and encouraged Dave J to head for the summit of Moel Gyw. The rest of us remained on the Offa's Dyke Path and decided to take lunch at 12-07 below Moel Gyw with views across the Vale of Clwyd and beyond. 
The afternoon got better and better and we ended the walk in bright sunshine with temperatures a little too warm for ideal walking. In fact as we approached Graig-fechan we were grateful for the shaded path through the woods.
Birds seen or heard today included: Barn swallow, Wheatear, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Kestrel, Common buzzard, Woodpigeon, Meadow pipit, Stonechat, Black-billed magpie, Blackbird and great tit.
Overall this was a delightful walk, especially with the Sun shining in the afternoon and including one or two new paths for us to explore.
After finding the Rainbow Inn closed, we ended up at the Glasfryn where Weetwood's Cheshire Cat went down well and the Conwy Brewery's Celebration Ale wasn't bad either.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Conwy Mountain, Around Alltwen and Cwm Gyrach 3rd September 2011

The New Mussel monument at Conwy Harbour.
Conwy harbour.
A Curlew in Conwy Harbour at low tide.
Ponies on Conwy Mountain.
The hill fort on Conwy Mountain.
A Red-billed chough, our bird of the day.
Still playing cricket in Conwy, b ut not in Durham!
Walk stats: Distance: 11.3 miles. Climb: 2055'.
Time: 6 hours 22 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 18 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Dave J.
The weather forecast wasn't good and we were expecting to get wet. Thankfully we had no rain at all until after lunch and even then it was very light and lasted for just over an hour. In the morning we had a lovely cooling breeze, but in the afternoon it became rather humid, so being able to remove waterproofs after an hour was blissful!
We were disappointed that the tide was so far out as we went along the harbour at Conwy, but it was the first time that we had seen the Mussel monument, an unusual addition to the harbour side in recognition of the Conwy Mussel trade.
One on Conwy Mountain, the views towards the castle and across the estuary to the Deganwy and the Great Orme were still good.  The wild ponies obviously liked this side of their territory today and we must have seen more than twenty by the time we reached the Sychnant Pass.
The path round Alltwen usually passes a small lake/pond, but on this occasion it had totally dried up. The path down the Western slope wasn't easy to find with the high bracken and Gorse.
Lunch was taken about a mile after passing Y Dwygyfylchi (pubic house at Capelulo) at a spot overlooking the Fairy Glen.
As we approached Ty'n y ffrith two Red-billed chough called out to tell us they were around.
The return route was along the North Wales path to the Sychnant Pass and on to Conwy. As we approached the castle walls we notice that there was an archway and path to the South(to the right) of road the archway into the town. This is a much safer way for walkers to use and avoid crossing two roads that are quite busy at this junction.
Birds seen or heard today included: Herring gull, Lesser black-back gull, Black-headed gull, Great black-backed gull, Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Great cormorant, Mallard, Chaffinch, Great tit, Blue tit, Nuthatch, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Wheatear, Carrion crow, Raven, Red-billed chough, Kestrel, Common buzzard, Meadow pipit, Great spotted woodpecker, Common blackbird, European robin, House martin, Barn swallow and Stonechat.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn where the Lees bitter was back on form.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Mynydd-y-Gaer and Moelfre Isaf from Llannefydd 1st September 2011

Mynydd-y-Gaer from Llannefydd.
Captive bird of the day. A falcon of some sort (not included in the birds seen or heard).
On the path leading to the top of Mynydd-y-Gaer.
At the summit cairn on Mynydd-y-Gaer.
Looking towards the coast from the road below Mynydd-y-Gaer.
At the trig point on Moefre Isaf.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.3 miles. Climb:1604'.
Time: 5 hours 29 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J., Annie H., Paul and Phil.
What a glorious day this turned out to be, wall to wall blue sky for most of the walk and sunshine throughout. A cooling breeze would have been very welcome, and thankfully we did have one as we had lunch by the trig point on Moelfre Isaf.
The distant views were good despite being somewhat hazy, the shapes of Moel Fammau and the Little Orme could easily be identified as could the coast towards Rhyl and the offshore wind farms..
This seemed like  an up and down roller coaster of a walk and we arrived back at the car more tired than the meagre 1604' should have made us! Overall a very enjoyable walk.
Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Chaffinch, Lesser black-backed gull, Common buzzard, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Nuthatch, Raven, Goldfinch, Chough, European robin, Common blackbird, Chiffchaff, Stonechat, Skylark, Meadow pipit, Wheatear, House martin, Barn swallow and Kestrel.
A slow walk today because it is the time of the year when Blackberries and plums are ready to eat and on this  occasion Parasol mushrooms were in abundance!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn with the Lees bitter once more in the cellar and tasting good.