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

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The River Dee from Higher Ferry to Hawarden Bridge 29th November 2012

One of the many Fieldfares seen today.
The bore on the River Dee - not the biggest, but it could still be seen and heard.
Great cormorants on the remains of one of the many former wharfs along the Dee.
Approaching the old bridge at Queensferry.
The River Dee from Hawarden Bridge to Queensferry.
An unusual rainbow type reflection in the water.
(The Sun was to the left and does not appear in this picture!)
Walk stats: Distance: 9.3 miles. Climb: 95'.
Time: 4 hours 21 minutes. On the move walking average: 2. 6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Tim, Sue and Dave P.
What a glorious day for walking this turned out to be.  Sunshine and largely blue skies and very little wind.  We even had the bonus of seeing the bore moving along the river.
We started at Higher Ferry and headed towards Sandycroft on the Southern side of the river.  We arrived at Sandycroft to find that path had been closed and that we shouldn't have used it at all. On arriving back at the start the path had been closed at Higher Ferry as well. I'm sure the notice wasn't there when we set off!
At Hawarden Bridge we decided not to go on to Connah's Quay Docks and crossed the river to the  Northern side of the river ready for the return journey.
We had lunch, taking advantage of a seat near the old JS and S main building, sitting in warm sunshine, watching the ducks going downstream backwards!
Birds seen or heard today included: Fieldfare, Redwing, Common blackbird, Dunnock, Carrion crow, Woodpigeon, Great cormorant, Common buzzard, Canada goose, Great spotted woodpecker, Common redshank, Mallard, Black-headed gull, Common starling, Lapwing, Black-billed magpie and Pied wagtail.
After walk drinks were experienced at the Corner Pin in Saltney - no real ale, say no more!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Walks and Dates November 2012

Updated 28th November 2012 at 18-15.
Thursday 1st November 2012.
Newton Mountain Forest, Cae-Llwyd and Ty Mawr Reservoirs.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Lay-by near Bethlehem Chapel, Rhosllanerchrugog. Grid ref: SJ289468.
To get to the lay-by enter Rhos on the B5097 from the North.go past Ysgol y Grango, and just past the Coach and Horses pub turn right along Mountain Street. At the junction by the Sun Inn, turn left along Hall Street to find a lay-by by Llys-y-Mynydd and opposite Bethlehem Chapel.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Ruabon Mountain, the Clyweog Valley and Hope Mountain". The walks explore the edges of Rhuabon Mountain and visits two of Rhosllanerchrugog's upland reservoirs.
Saturday 3rd November 2012.
A Walk in the "Last of the Summer Wine" Territory.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Crown Bottom Car Park on Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth. Grid ref: SE14250837.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This is a walk taken from "Great Walks In Great Britain - The Peak District". This walk is described as being moderately strenuous exploring the Holmfirth Valley. Talking to a walking group from Holmfirth when they were staying in the Mill in Chester, they described their home patch as being a superb area in which to walk. That couple with the fact that I like the series based there, made me decide to put this walk on, even though it is a little further than we normally travel. It looks as though I'll be driving!
Thursday 8th November 2012.
Bersham Iron Works and Ty Mawr Reservoir.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Strat: Nant Mill Visitor Centre. Grid ref: SJ289501.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Ruabon Mountain and the Clywedog Valley and Hope Mountain".  This walk explores the Clywedog Valley Trail, and includes Offa's Dyke and the area South of the Clywedog. This walk will include repeating some sections twice, unless we decide that a shorter walk is what everyone wants!
Saturday 10th November 2012
Around Alltwen, Cwm Gyrach, Foel Lus and the Druids Circle.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1600'.
Start: Top of the Sychnant Pass. Grid ref: SH750770.
Leave Chester at 08-00a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks On the North Wales Coast."  We have completed these two walks several times before, but as far as I can remember, never together. One walk explores the scenic hills and valleys around the Sychnat Pass, and the second walk visits the Bronze Age Stone Circle.  On a good day we can look foreward to exhilarating panoramic views as we go around Foel Lus on the Jubilee path.
Thursday 15th November 2012.
Around Saughall and Shotwick.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: Not a lot!
Start: Roadside parking in Church Way, Saughall (Between All Saints Church and the Junior School).
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines three walks from Dave Berry's Book "Walks Around Chester and the Dee Estuary".  Much of this walk will be familiar to many of us, and includes visiting the historic Shotwich village and Shotwick Castle. It also explore the countryside around Saughall.
Saturday 17th November 2012.
Weets Hill.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 900'
Start: Saltersforth Wharfe near Barnoldswick. Grid ref: SD887545.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Terry Marsh's book "50 Classic Walks in Lancashire" . He describes it as a fairly easy walk , combining farm paths, moorland paths and canal towpaths. Weet Hill offers some of the best views in the South Pennines.
Thursday 22nd November 2012.
Around the Nant.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb:1000'.
Start: Northern end of Bwlchgwyn on the A525, by the Memorial. Grid ref: SJ263536.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Ruabon Mountain and the Clywedog Valley and Hope Mountain".  This will involve walking along Nant-y-Frith, once in each direction. The walk explores the undulating ccountryside between Bwlchgwyn and Llanfynydd and visits the Roman settlement of Ffrith.
Saturday 24th November 2012.
Garreg Fawr and Coedydd Aber.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1800 -2000'.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
Start: Forestry Commission car park (pay and display)at Bont Newydd. Grid ref: SH62720.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks On the North Wales Coast"  , well all of one walk and part of another!
The Garreg Fawr walk explores the foothills of the Carneddau between Llanfairfechan and Abergwyngeryn, giving us contrasting views of coast and mountains. The second walk visits Aber Falls using paths on each side of the valley.
Thursday 29th November 2012.
Both Sides of the River Dee Between Connah's Quay and Higher Ferry.
Distance: 12 miles. Climb: Minimal!
Start: Off road parking on the B5129 on the bend near to the footbridge over the River Dee at Saltney ferry. Grid ref: SJ368657 or alternatively just West of this bend near a pumping station on left of the road. Grid ref: SJ367657. Ideally contact me if you intend to come on the walk.

Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Chester and the Dee Estuary".  A little longer than usual, but this is essentially a flat walk.Mostly on good paths, but the path between Higher Ferry and Queensferry on the South side of the river isn't as good as the cycle path on the Northern side of the river, which is now part of the Wales Coastal Path.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Nant y Ffrith (2) 22 nd November 2012

About to set off, but is everyone ready?
The first notice board as we entered Nant y Ffrith.
Along the path through Nant y Ffrith to Ffrith.
Do they know more than we do about the amount of rain that we are getting?
One of four boats, some quite large, and totally unexpected in this "upland" area East of Bwlchgwyn!
Any suggestions for this.
Located high on pole carrying power lines.
Walk stats: Distance: 5.7 miles. Climb: 1650' (May have been slightly winded assisted, especially towards the end of the walk).
On the move walking average: 1.9 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Tim, Sue and Michel.
Having listened to the weather forecast, even starting the walk was in doubt, but with Tim insisting that he didn't mind walking in the rain, we arrived at Bwlchgwyn determined to at least complete the first part of the circuit.
Thankfully at this point it was hardly raining and there was little wind, so we set off with much enthusiasm and hopeful that we might reach Llanfynydd.
On the first part of the walk, and especially on the descent through Nant y Ffrith, we were well protected from both wind and rain, making it a very pleasant start to the walk.
The bridleway from Nant y Ffrith was aptly described as delightful and also sheltered us from the gradually increasing blast of the wind.
As we approached Waen (Wern)  Farm, almost the highest point of the walk, the rain and the full force of the wind caught up with us, and the paths across the fields were somewhat boggy, but at least we arrived back at the car with beautifully clean boots, soles and all!
A delightful walk, but weather conditions now, persuaded us that the best option was lunch in the car and then an early visit to the Pant yr Ochain!
Birds seen or heard today included: Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Common blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion crow, Common buzzard and Sue's partridge.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pant yr Ochain, where as ever the Purple Moose, Snowdonia ale went down well, Tim enjoyed his Strathmore Mineral water and J2O, and even Sue's coffee tasted as good as it smelled!
We can now look forward to doing the second part of the walk later in the year or in 2013.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Weets Hill and More 17 th November 2012

The Leeds - Liverpool Canal near the start of the wlk at Saltersforth Wharfe.
Bancroft Steam Mill at Barnoldswick.
The Pendle Way, heading for Weets Hill.
At the trig point on Weets Hill.
Mike by one of the unique Pendle Way signs
Stansfield Tower on Blacko Hill.
Kestrel seen East of Slipper Hill Resrvoir.
Whooper wans on  Slipper Hill Reservoir.
A canal bridge bridge with just about  half a mile to the car, and with light fading rapidly.
Walk stats: distance: 12.5 miles. Climb: 1232'
Time: 6 hours 46 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
When does a 9 mile walk and end up being 12.5 miles and having to finish in the dark? When you don't read the route description and get tempted to visit a tower on Blacko Hill!
This turned out to be a really good walk, well worth repeating, but perhaps we won't be temped to do the same extension!
At times it was a little on the cool side, but when the Sun was out, it made really pleasant walking. The section over moorland on the Pendle Way around Weets Hill was superb, giving good views in all direction, but especially towards Pendle Hill.
The bonus today was on the extension when we had really good views of a Kestrel on a wall and then in a tree only about 50m away and the six Whooper swans on Slipper Hill Reservoir.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Mallard, Black-headed gull, European robin, Whooper swan, Common kestrel and Dunnock.
We arrived back at the car just about in the dark, and I had to use my head torch (for the first time) to get changed and make sure that I had put everything into the boot of the car!
after walk drinks were enjoyed at the Netherton Arms, where the Lees bitter was enjoyed once it had warmed up a little!

Friday, 16 November 2012

New Arrival

Freya and Christof Pelissier
on the safe arrival of their son
 Sebastean Luc
on Monday 12th November 2012.
Congratulations as well to Sue and Michel on becoming Grandparents again.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Around Shotwick and Saughall 15th November 2012

Shotwick Castle.
On the outer ramparts at Shotwick Castle.
On field paths heading for Shotwick.
The entrance to Shotwick church with its famous arrow sharpening markings.
The inside of hotwick Church.
The last few leaving Shotwick church.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.5 miles. Climb: 305'.
Time: 5 hours 13 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Annie H., Phil, David S., Paul, Celia, Carol H, Tim, Sue and Dave P.
Yet another good November day for walking, dry with plenty of sunshine and little wind.
This can definately be described as a low level walk with plenty of interest interspersed with plenty of field paths, a few of which were on the "boggy / muddy" side.
The highlight of the day was Shotwick church which was open, always good to see.  Another bonus was the people that we encountered were all very pleasant and helpful, including a farmer who pointed out to us that we were on the right path through his field, but most walkers didn't use the path, but instead used the embankment adjacent to it. In future we will do that and avoid treking through the muddy fields and avoid being blocked by tapes across the gateway of the last field.
I almost forgot, we did encounter one cyclist that managed to upset at least one member of the group, and wouldn't pass his cycling proficiency test if it include road etiquette!
Lunch was taken along the cycle way adjacent to the busy Queensferry road, and not everyone manged to sit for lunch. However to our surprise a pony and trap with two riders slowly passed us by, and speeded into a trot.
Birds seen or heard today included: Filedfare, Redwing, Common blackbird, Common starling, Collared doeve, Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Moorhen, Common buzzard, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Black-billed magpie and Carrion crow.
Ater walk drinks were enjoyed at the Greyhound Inn at Saughall, where Theakston's Lightfoot went down well.  Another good local, open at times when tired walkers are in need of a quenching drink and a warm by the fire!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Around Alltwen, Foel Lus and the Druids Circle 10 th November 2012

Looking towards Capelulo from the Sychnant Pass.
Our first view of the sea and Puffin Island.
The Afon Gyrach  North of Capelulo.
On the Queen Victoria Jubilee Path.
Puffin Islans from the Jubilee Path.
Two of the five Druid Circles.
A promise of better weather to come!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.0 miles. Climb: 1693'.
Time: 5 hours 45 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.9 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Celia.
We started the walk in glorious sunshine, that persisted thankfully until after lunch. Our first encounter with another person happened just as we started to go round Alltwen. She had a spotting scope on a tripod, and turned out to involved with ringing Red-billed choughs and was out trying to find some and identify the individual bird by looking at the rings on their legs. She had already noted two birds that she had helped to ring on the Great Orme.  We did spot one as we went around Foel Lus, but that was as it flew over our heads.
Lunch was taken on the Western side of Foel Lus, taking advantage of the bench by the impressive direction stone.
It was only about half an hour after lunch that we had our first shower as we headed along the Coastal Path (upland) to the Stone Circles. From then on we had frequent showers interspersed with periods of sunshine and saw several really good rainbows, including one double one.
Thankfully we arrived back at the car at a time when the rain had stopped and the Sun was out again.
Birds seen or heard today included: Stonechat, European robin, House sparrow, Common blackbird, Meadow pipit, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Herring gull and Red-billed chough.
This is always a good walk, but especially so when you get contrasting views as we did today.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn  at Halkyn, where the Lees bitter was in excellent condition.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Bersham Iron Works ans Ty Mawr Reservoir 8 th November 2012

Walking through Plas Power Woods on the way to Bersham Ironworks.
Investigating wood sculpors in Plas Power Woods.
Piggy in the middle.
Autumnal Colours are here at last.
Walk stats: distance: 8.7 miles. Climb: 812'.
Time: 4 hours 53 minutes, On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil, Celia, Tim, David S., Annie H., Sue and Michel..
The weather today wasn't quite as good a we had expected, but at least the rain was more like dampness in the air and the wind was a little on the cool side.  However we did finish the walk in glorious sunshine, always a bonus.
The best part of the walk today was at the start as we headed towards Bersham Ironworks on a delightful path through Plas Power Wood.
Route finding wasn't easy at times, but Phil did us proud, particularly when we were diverted from the described route by a section of deep muddy ?, that David S decided was a no go area!
Lunch was taken on the hillside  above Plas-yn-fron, North of Ty mawr Reservoir, and thankfully the sun had just started to shine!
Just before getting back to Nant Mill car park, we had to go through another area of unpleasant claggy mud, but were able to remove most of it in the ford across the Afon Clywedog near the car park.
Birds seen or heard today included: European nuthatch, House sparrow, Common blackbird, carrion crow, Common buzzard, Raven, Black-billed magpie, Jackdaw and Sparrowhawk.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pan-yr-ochain at Gresford, where Purple moose Snowdonia Ale, Three Tuns bitter and Titanic Stout were all enjoyed by different members of the group:

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Around Holmfirth and Last of the Summer Wine 3rd November 2012

Looking down on Holmfirth from near the mast by Holt farm.
Autumnal colours in a wood North of Holmfirth.
The Royal Oak at Upperthong.
Digley Reservoir from our lunch spot.
The Fleece Inn at Holme.
Sid's Cafe - pity about the message on the window!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.9 miles. Climb: 1987'.
Time: 6 hours 28 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.9 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike D.
This turned out to be a very pleasant walk on both sides of the Holm Valley, and involved rather more climb than perhaps we had initially anticipated. The weather was good for most of the day after a light shower not long after we had reached Back Lane on the way to Upperthong.
The Royal Oak was the first of the locations we think had appeared in Last of the Summer Wine.
Our only problem with the weather was the Sun was frequently in our eyes until we had crossed the last of the reservoirs and was heading in a North easterly direction back to Holmfirth.
Lunch was taken near Digley Reservoir car park. A convenient bench gave us good views across the reservoir towards Holme Moss.
Arriving at Holm, we noted the second of the Last of the Summer Wine locations, the Fleece Inn, and despite the invitation on the board outside, we resisted the temptation to sample their beers and sit by their real fires!
The final Last of the Summer Wine Location  was Sid's Cafe in Holmfirth.
Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Mallard, Lesser black-backed gull, Common blackbird, Mistle thrush, Eurasi jay and Coal tit.
A good walk that will probably be repeated on a day when we could spend a little more time searching out a few more Last of the Summer Wine locations.
After walk drinks and a meal were enjoyed at the Hinderton Hall in Frodsham, where the Lees brew "Top Brass" went down well.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Newtown Mountain Forest and Three Reservoirs 1st November 2012

On the first green track just after leaving Rhosllanerchrugog.
The first reservoir - Top Reservoir near Trefechan.
Confusion as usual!
The secoond reservoir - Cae-llwyd Reservoir.

The third reservoir - Ty-mawr Reservoir, taken from our lunch spot.
Roger's favourite section!
"I thought they said they liked horses!"
Walk stats: distance: 10.0 miles. Climb: 978'.
5 hours 36 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie H., Phil, Tim, Carol H and David S.
After a week of enforced quarantine, it was good to be back out walking, particularly on days like this when the weather was largely sunny, little rain (only about 3 minutes worth), on the cool side, but with good distant views.
The whole of this area, well about 95% of it, was totally new to all of us. Walking along new paths in a new area is always good, and can present unexpected challenges! Today was no exception, when locating a moorland path initially proved not so easy, and then fording a stream made some us think we might get wet feet! All crossed, Leki -aided, except for Tim who with his long legs managed to step across stones too far apart for the rest of us.
Lunch was taken with a view across Ty-mawr Reservoir towards Cheshire and beyond.  An added bonus was a piece of cherry fruit cake provided by Tim as a means of celebrating his "coming of age".
Overall a good and varied walk.
Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Mute swan, Mallard,Common blackbird, Red-legged grouse, Meadow pipit, Black-headed gull, House sparrow and Grey heron.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pant-yr--Ochain at Gresford, where Snowdonia Ale was enjoyed, despite the fact that it didn't quite have its usaul refreshing flavour.