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

Monday, 30 January 2012

Nelson Pit, Bow Stones and Lyme Park 30th January 2012

Shining Tor from the Bow Stones.
Walking in the snow for the first time in 2012.
Deer in Lyme Park.
The canal near Nelson Pit.
Walk stats: Distance: 6.3 miles. Climb: 881'.
Time: 3 hours 24 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Sue Powell.
This turned out to be a superb day for walking, blue skies, plenty of sunshine and a pleasantly cooling breeze that meant that my glasses didn't steam up so often!
With temperatures near to zero, the highest points on the walk were still frozen and there was still a few inches of snow on the ground.
Distant views, especially towards Shining Tor were superb, they seemed to have had quite a bit more snow in that area.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blackbird, House sparrow, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Greenfinch, Mallard, Canada goose, Moorhen, Nuthatch, Green woodpecker, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Black-headed gull, European robin, Black-billed magpie and Woodpigeon.
Overall a very pleasant walk on a day made for walking.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Ilam, Thorpe and Musden 28th January 2012

The first lambs of the year seen on our walks.
In the fields on the way from Blore to Thorpe.
Thorpe Cloud from the village of Thorpe.
On the bridge at Ilam.
Ilam Church with Thorpe Cloud in the background.
Thorpe Cloud from the slopes below Hazelton Clump.
Walk stats: Distance:11.6 miles. Climb:1609'.
Time: 6 hours 28 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J. Mike  and Celia.
This was a good day for walking, bright and sunny all day. Personally I would have liked a gentle breeze to aid the cooling process!
We set off on the extension first, heading from Blore to the village of Thorpe, and it was on this section that we encountered our first lambs of the year.
It was on the section along the river towards Ilam that we encountered our first mud challenge of the day, but many more to were still to come.
The route around Ilam Hall was delightful.
Lunch was taken at on Upper Musden before heading off towards Calton and Musden Woods. Musden Woods would probably be delightful in Summer conditions, nut not today when the muddy conditions made the 1.5 miles seem to go on for ever.
Once on the path from Upper Musden on the return journey, the section below Hazelton Clump was very pleasant, especially as we could see the car park below.
We arrived back at the car, with tired legs, having had a good day in the outdoors.
Birds seen or heard today included: Chaffinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch. Redwing, Fieldfare, Mistle thrush, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Nuthatch, Mallard, Moorhen, Winter wren, Blackbird and Woodpigeon.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where the Hartington Bitter was at its best and Celia bought he first round! What a pity I was driving!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Walks and Dates January 2012

Bill Robert - funeral.

 Bill's funeral will be
Tuesday 31st January 2012
Blacon Crematorium

(Bill passed away  16th January 2012.)

Saturday 7th January 2012.

Congratulations to the Smith family on the marriage
Rhodri and Dot.

Sunday 1st January 2012
Thurstaston Common, Stapledon Wood, Caldy and More.
Distance:8-10 miles. Climb:750.
Start: Thurstaston Visitor Centre Car Park. Grid ref:SJ239835.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This is a repeat of the walk that we did on 1st January 2010 and combines two walks from Raymond Roberts' booklet "Wirral Walks - the West Wirral Six". This is a relatively easy walk with good views along the way, especially from Thurstaston Hill. We hope to walk back from Caldy to Thursaston along the beach, so bring binoculars with you.
Thursday 5th January 2012.
Moel Fenlli, Cwm Blaenant, Moel Llanfair and Coed Plas Y Nant.
Walk abandoned due to gale force winds at Bwlch Penbarras.
Distance: 12 miles. Climb: 2000' at a guess!
Start: Bwlch Penbarras Car park (Pay and Display). Grid ref: SJ161605.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Deave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills". One walk visits the  Moel Fennlli hillfort and athe secluded Cwm Blaenant and the other walk follows Offa's Dyke along  high level track around Moel Gwy and Moel Llanfaer before returning via Coed Plas-y-Nant.  Good views along most sections of the Offa's Dyke path.
Saturday 7th January 2012.
Another Walk On Conwy Mountain.
Walk postponed.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb:1800' at a guess!
Start: Long stay car park on the B5106 at Conwy. Pay and Display. Grid ref:SH781773.
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Carl Rogers's book "Walking in the Conwy Valley".  Much of the routes as far as Conwy is the same as we have done on the last two occasions,. It goes through the harbour, follows riverside before passing the school and then climbing to Conwy Mountain along he North Wales path.  The return route goes South  towards Henryd. It is similar to a route we used many years ago, but appears to misses out much of the road walking. we shall see!
Thursday 12th January 2012.
The Sandstone Trail. Frodsham to Manley Green.
Distance:12 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Frodsham car park (turn left by the Helter Skelter on B512. Grid ref: SJ518778.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This is the first of a series of walks along the Sandstone Trail, which if we complete them all will mean that all 34 miles of the trail will be covered in seven walks.
This walks use two routes described in Carl Rogers's book "Circular Walks Along the Sandstone Trail".
This is probably one of the best sections of the Sandstone Trail, especially the section across Frodsham Hill. Perhaps we can include the Woodhouse Hill hillfort this time.  Much of the Sandstone Trail route is the same as the route taken last year, but the return route is different.
Saturday 14th January 2012.
A Traeth Levan Round.
10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Llanfaiefechan Promenade/ Beach Car park. Grid ref: SH678754.
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
This walk is based on Dave Berry's book Walks on the North Wales Coast", although we will choose our own route to get to the Spinnies Nature Reserve.  Doing a there and back along the beach will be better than using our usual route through the farm yard!  As usual this walk will involve quite a bit of birdwatching, assuming that the weather isn't too cold!  Bring your binoculars with you if you have them.
Thursday 19th January 2012.
Fron Hen and Bryn Alyn.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Layby on the A494 Mold to Ruthin Road, about 1/2 mile South of Llanferres. Grid ref: SJ187597.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book More Walks in the Clwydian Hill".  We have combined these walks on several occasions before and the section over Bryn Aly is always good. It will also give us another opportunity to test our route finding skills through Nercwys Forest!
Saturday 21st January 2012.
Rowen, Llanbedre-y-cennin and Caerhun.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: roadside parking opposite the post office in Rowen. Grid ref: SH761719.
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines one walk from Carl Rogers's book "Walkng in the Conwy valley with one walk from Dave Berry's book " Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley". One walk is described as a walk exploring the attractive undulating countryside between two attractive villages with a possible extension to the top of Moel y Gaer.  The other walk is described as an easy walk, visiting a Medieval church and a the site of a Roman fort. Both Llanbedr-y-cennin and Caerhun are known locations for Hawfinch.  Will be luck this time! Bring binoculars, just in case.
Thursday 26th January 2012.
The Sandstone Trail. Manley Green and Primrose Hill.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:1000' at a guess.
Start: Gresty's  Waste car park on the A54. SJ540686.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This is the second walk in our Sandstone Trail series.
This walks use two routes described in Carl Rogers's book "Circular Walks Along the Sandstone Trail", although we will only use half of one of the described routes. This is another good section of the trail, with possible a short extensions to visit the viewpoint on Pale Heights.

Saturday 28th January 2011.
All Around Ilam.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:500' at a guess!
Start: Blore Pastures car park. Grid ref: SK135498.

Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
Two walks are taken from Mark Richards' book "White Peak Walks - Southern Dales". These were the first two walks that I did after recovering from my knee ligament squash accident more than 10 years ago. One walk is described as revealing a beautiful and seldom seen aspect of the Manifold valley with its traverse of Musden Low and return within the sinuous wooded valley of Musden. The second walk explores the country park around Ilam Hall and Ilam village itself. The extension to the walk is somewhat contrived and explores both sides of the Manifold between Ilam and Thorpe. Just to be awkward, we will probably do the extension first!

Delamere and Primrose Hill and More 26th January 2012

No photos this week .
Managed to lose my camera (and my monocular) between Gresty Waste Car Park and Home!
Distance: 10.9 miles. Climb: 1239'.
Time: 5 hours 21 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Gordon, Celia, Paul, Sylvia and Dave J, Time and Carol, Fran and Catherine Murphy.
This turned out to be a good day for walking, with only a couple of short showers in the morning to make some of the group dive for their waterproofs. Thankfully the Sun was shining for much of the day and only occasionally a cool breeze remined us that it was still officially Winter!
The Eddisbury Way was the main path used to link up with this part of the Sandstone Trail, and for me quite a bit of the Eddisbury Way was new. It's always good to encounter new paths.
As might be expected sections of the paths were rather muddy, but not enough to stop us enjoying the walk.
Lunch was conveniently taken at the Brines Brow Picnic Site and some of us managed to find a table in the Sun.
The final part of the Sandstone Trail was  through Delamere Forest, mainly along forest tracks, not exactly the most exciting section, but nevertheless still very pleasant walking
Birds seen or heard: Black-billed magpie, Raven, Jackdaw, European robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Nuthatch, Blackbird, House sparrow, Long-tailed tit, Common buzzard and Eurasian jay.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Farmers Arms at Kelsall where Weetwood Bitter and Weetwood Old Dog were the brew sampled.  This hostelry must have changed landlords, it was pleasantly warm when we went in!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Rowen, Llanbedr-y-cennin and Caerhun for Some 21st January 2012

The start of the walk in Rowen.
Moel y Gaer.
Walk stats: Distance: 6.4 miles, (7.6 miles) and [11.6 miles] .Climb: 1000', (1800')
Time: 4 hours 16 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall average: 1.5 m.p.h. (1.9), [2.3].
Group: Martyn, Roger, Dave J and Mike.
This wasn't the best of days for waking, strong at time gale force winds and far too much rain, so much that two of us decided to miss out the Caerhun part of the walk and head back to the shelter of the car at Rowen.  However Martyn and Roger did see the bird of the day whilst they sheltered in the car, two Red kites came over the woods  very close to the car, giving us superb views even without binoculars.
This isn't a walk that I will wish to remember too often, poor weather, lost the path, ripped my trousers, didn't see any Hawfinches (except on notice boards) and didn't complete the walk as planned.
Lunch was taken in the entrance of Llanbedr-y-cennin church, where we managed to sit down as we sheltered from the rain.  The church itself was open, but we were too lazy to go and collect the key.
Birds seen or heard today included: Red kite, Blue tit, Great tit, Herring gull, Common crow, Jackdaw,  Chaffinch, Mistle thrush, Common blackbird, Bullfinch, European robin and Woodpigeon.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn, the Lees Biter was good, but unfortunately we were at the cold end of the room without the fire, so we didn't stay for long!
The return journey between Colwyn Bay and Llanduklas was delayed as a pot-hle had appeared in the middle of the carriageway and two Police vehicles blocked the way until it had been repaired.  Thankfully we only had to wait about half an hour before we were allowed to continue.
The day didn't end well either, Everton drew, Liverpool were beaten by Bolton and Chester were beaten by Hednesford. At least we know one Bolton family that will be happy withe the Liverpool result!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Fron Hen and Bryn Alyn 19th January 2012

Heading for the hills, not really, but at least good weather is on our side of the hills.
The view across Llanferris from the slopes of Fron Hen.
Lunch-time, just outside Maeshafn.
God's promise of better things to come.
Yes, but it has nothing to do with a rainbow!
Walk stats: Distance: 10.7 miles. Climb:1920'.
Time: 6 hour 12 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Gordon, Annie H., Sue and Michel, Phil, Tim, Sylvia and Dave J., Paul and Celia.
The weather forecast fro "Accuweather" today was spot on in terms of the timing of five minute showers, although it didn't ever feel quite as cold as their predicted -2 degrees Celsius. Thankfully we had more sunshine too!
This walk is always a bit of an up and down walk with plenty of opportunities to get boots and trouser legs in need of of  some TLC, today was no exception, but today the worst bits usually encountered didn't live up to their reputation!
We had good views for most of the day, including the opportunity to debate the location of some cooling towers somewhere between Liverpool Cathedrall and Fiddlers Ferry!
Lunch was taken, rather unexpectedly, just outside Maeshafn (Fran and Tito could have joined us had then known!).
Thankfully today we got it right through Nercwys Forest, better than last time.  However we didn't quite complete the walk as described as we  approached  Eryrys along the wrong road. This was in reality a shorty cut, but no-one seemed to object!
Birds seen or heard today included: Mistle thrush, Blue tit, Great , Blackbird, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Carrion crow, European robin, Jackdaw, Nuthatch, Raven, Kestrel, Common buzzard and Black-billed magpie.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn where Cwrw Eryry (Snowdonia Ale  by Bragdy Mws Plwsw Cyf (as it always does) , went down particularly well, however  the prices at the Galsfryn didn't, but they never do!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Traeth Lefan and More 14th January 2012

Anglesey and Puffin Island from Llanfairfechan.
Common teal sheltering in one of the channels.
Brent geese on the sea.
Oystercatchers roosting on the shingle bank.
Walk stats: Distance: 13.0 miles. Climb:939'.
Time: 7 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J and Mike.
The weather today was forecast to give us bright and sunny spells, a gentle wind but on the cool side.  In  reality we had better than that, we seemed to be in bright sunshine all day, but it didn't stop us getting cold fingers when we stopped to use are binoculars. Light conditions were superb and the colours of many of the birds stood out.
Walking on days like this is a rich blessing, a joy and privilage to able to be out and about, taking in all of these fantastic vistas.  This was a day when a slow speed was essential, so that we didn't miss anything.  A good thing really, as I for one am finding strolling along more to my liking than setting a brisk pace.
Lunch was taken quite early, sitting by a stone wall on the lower slopes near Yr Ogaf, basking in the warm sunshine as we enjoyed the last of this year's fruit cake.
Bird sightings started well with a Goldcrest showing well in a bush on the edge of a wood less than 200 yards from the car park in Llanfairfechan. Passing the marshes, the Sun was shining brightly, making the colours on the Teal and Wigeon stand out. Later on in Abergwyngregyn Tree sparrows were added to the list. On the return journey about 80 Pale-bellied Brent geese were the highlight, although flocks of swirling Dunlin is always delightful, especially as the Sun caches their underside making them appear to sparkle.  Impressive numbers of Common curlew and Oystercatcher roosting at high tide were a wonder to see.
Birdse seen or heard today included:Goldcrest, European robin, Mallard, Canada goose, Mute swan, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Common redshank, Oystercatcher, Common teal, Wigeon, Chaffinch, Dunnock, House sparrow, Tree sparrow, Pied wagtail, Dinlin, Shelduck, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Common buzzard, Nuthatch, Song thrush, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Greenshank, Pintail, Lapwing, Common curlew, Brent goose, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Common starling and Rook.
We arrived back at the car, tired, but knowing we had superb day.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn, where a couple of pints of Lees Bitter was enough to revive tired limbs and complaining knees.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Sandstone Trail Frodsham - Manley 12th January 2012

At  the Memorial on Frodsham Hill.
Walking along the Sandstone Trail towards Helsby.
The ramparts of Woodhouse Hillfort.
Walk stats: Distance: 12.0 miles. Climb: 1641'.
Time: 5 hours 49 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie H., Paul, Phil, Tim, Sylvia and Dave J.
After week without a walk, it was good to put on our walking boots again, especially when the weather was so good. Admittedly it was a little on the breezy side to start with, but the Sun was shining all day, and in places where we were shielded from the wind, it was almost too warm to be wearing Winter gear!
The first section of the walk along the sandstone edge from Frodsham Hill to the Woodhouse Hillfort gave us the best views of the day, especially across the Mersey towards Liverpool Cathedral, clearly seen in the distance.
Today we made the slight detour to visit Woodhouse Hillfort, although Phil had to persuade us that where we were walking was part of the ramparts!
Heading out of Manley with lunch very much in our thoughts, Roger managed to fall off a curb, twist his ankle and draw blood on his elbow!
Lunch was taken, just as we entered Delamere Forest. Roger revived with food and some of Martyn's fruit cake and with his elbow plastered up, hobbled on to complete the walk, whether he was able to stand up for an hour singing in the choir this evening is another matter.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Helter Skelter in Frodsham, where Red Willow Headless bitter went down well..
Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Woodpigeon, European robin, Blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Kestrel, Winter wren, Grey wagtail, Common buzzard, Chaffinch, Great tit, House sparrow, Coal tit, Common crossbill, and Siskin (probably the bird of the day as we didn't see one on last year's walks).

Monday, 2 January 2012

Thurstaston Common, Royden and Caldy 1st January 2012

Walking through the Dungeon.
At the toposcope on Thurstaston Hil.
Passing Thor's Stone on Thurstaston Common.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.6 miles. Climb:695'.
Time:4 hours 30 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie H., Sue and Michel, Sylvia and Dave J., Carol and Tim, Sue and Dave, Fran and Tito.
A little on the warm side for this time of the year and  three members of the group were tempted to wear shorts. Only one completed the walk with legs exposed to the sun throughout the walk!
The weather was kind until we had crossed Thurstaston Hill and were heading for Royden Country Park. As we approached the rain started and was torrential by the time we reached the Visitor Centre and Car Park.  Thankfully the cafe was closed and we were able to take advantage of the canopy while we had lunch.  Martyn provided everyone with a piece of rum preserved fruit cake to fortify them for the rest of the trek.
After lunch the master chef and his helper decided to take the shortest route back to the car, on the pretext that he needed to check the meat was OK, have put it in the oven before joining the walk.
The rest of us headed for  Stapleton Wood. Half way through Stapleton Wood, three of the group decided to find their own way back to the car, but thankfully were reunited withe the rest of the party at Caldy Church.
The last part was either completed along the Wirral Way or along the beach.  The latter was the best choice for those with binoculars as the incoming tide pushed the feeding waders closer and closer towards us.
Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Winter wren, Chaffinch, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Black-billed magpie, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Moorhen, Common coot, House sparrow, Common buzzard, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Oystercatcher, Knot, Curlew, Bar-tailed godwit, Dunlin, Great cormorant and Common redshank.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wheatsheaf at Raby, where  Brinstage Trappers Hat Bitter went down well.
A good walk, which would have been even better had we not had to test out the waterproof properties of our gear!

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Happy New Year
Everyone Associated
Harris Hikers.