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

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Little Orme and More 27th July 2013

At the trig point on the Little Orme.
A panorama looking South to West from the Little Orme.
A caterpillar looking for  meal. (a Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar?)
A six-spot burnet moth.
A Bumble bee on Rock rose.
Sandwich terns at Rhos-on-Sea.
Inside St. Trillo's Church.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.6 miles. Climb: 667'.
Time: 4 hours 51 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Roger.
As we were expecting the weather to be on the warm side, we decided to head for he coast in the hope that a gentle sea breeze would keep us cool, it did at times! at times the temperature seemed to much higher than the 22 Celsius on the car thermometer when we got back to the car.
 As usual he views from the top of the Little Orme were superb, especially towards the Great Orme and along the West Coast.
 As with Thursday's walk, Butterflies were everywhere on the Eastern slopes of the Little Orme and included: Small white, Large white, Red admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Gatekeeper. A Six-spot burnet moth was also seen.
 As we headed for the small cairn on Creigiau Rhiwledyn, two Red-billed chough called and tumble above our heads, and as we entered the old quarry below we saw and heard a Raven. This was a good start for the birds spotted today, but the stretch from Penrhyn bay to Rhos-on-Sea, also provide a few unexpected birds, especially a few Sandwich terns that entertained us as they dived into the sea as we had lunch.
Birds seen or heard today included: Rook, Carrion crow, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, House sparrow, Common starling, Pied wagtail, Common redshank, Great cormorant, Mallard, Turnstone, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Meadow pipit, Common blackbird, House martin, Barn swallow, Oystercatcher, Sandwich tern and Eurasian curlew.
Lots of flowers were seen too and included: Rock rose, Sea mayweed, Dandelion, Bramble, Ragwort, Bird's foot trefoil, Common mallow, Common knapweed, Greater knapweed, Creeping buttercup, Spear thistle, Hedge bindweed, Red valerian, Yarrow, St. John's wort, Common restharrow Musk mallow, Common mallow and many more yet to be identified.
Arriving back at the car next to the paddling pool, it was good to see it for once filled with water and lots of youngsters enjoying themselves as they played in the water.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the Les Bitter and orange squash went down well.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

St.Dyfnog's well and More 25th July 2013

Inside of St Marcella's Church (Whitchurch, Denbigh Parish Church).
Leaving Denbigh Parish Church.
The site of the famous pink tent - Denbigh 2013.
The church at Llanrhaeadr.
The Medieval Tree of Jesse Window (1533) at St.Dyfnog's Church at Llanrhaeadre.
Lunch at St. Dyfnog's Well.
A panoramic view of the Clwyds from the infamous stile near Llwyn-bach.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.0 miles. Climb: 463'.
Time: 4 hours 22 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil, Tim, Mike and Wendy.
Soon after the start Martyn was on auto-pilot, and knowing that St. Marcella's church would be open, took the footpath that headed directly towards it, unfortunately it shouldn't have been on our route. Anyway it turned out to be a bonus, as we were able to inside the church for the first time, and the unplanned extension to our walk took us past the site of this years National Eisteddfod.
 Along the banks of the Afon Clwyd, butterflies were everywhere and included: Small white, Large white, Peacock, Meadow brown, Red admiral, Small tortoiseshell and a Comma.
 After seeing the famous Tree of Jesse window and Ann Parry's grave, we headed for St. Dyfnog's Well where we were able to take lunch in a pleasantly cool wooded area around the Well.
 At Pont Felin-ganol, we made the decision, almost unanimously, to miss out the Denbigh Castle part of the walk and head to the start point on Brookhouse Road.  Just after setting off across the field, Mike said to me what is that bird above the trees. It turned out to be two Red kites , that we were able to watch for several minutes, and at one point one was almost directly above our heads, and very easy to see even without the aid of binoculars!
Birds seen an heard today included: Red kite, Common buzzard, Carrion crow, Barn swallow, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Mallard, Jackdaw, Grey heron, Grey wagtail, Black-billed magpie, House sparrow  and Chaffinch.
Flowers seen today included: White clover, Lesser stitchwort, Tormentil, Meadow buttercup, Indian balsam, Creeping thistle pear thistle, Marsh thistle, Read deadnettle, Hedge bindweed, Bramble, Ox-eye daisy, Welsh poppy, Meadowsweet, and Common knapweed.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, despite the fact that the Lees bitter wasn't quite up to its normal high standard!
Overall a good walk, just the right length, and finishing before it became too hot!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Walks and Dates July 2013

Updated 16th July 2013
Best wishes to Carole as she heads to cooler climes North of the border on Thursday 18th July.
Saturday Walks suspended until further notice.
At the moment it looks as though Thursday walks will continue during my enforced absence.  I will still co-ordinate and provide route descriptions.
My hand feels a lot better now that all but one of the sutures have been removed.  Minimal dressings now, just enough to prevent any dirt getting to the still tender wounds. Looking forward to the day all the scabs have dropped off and all the swelling around joints has gone down.
Back to hospital on the 26th July (two appointments, first the therapy department, and then the consultants clinic).

I have hourly exercise on my hand trying to force the fingers to bend a little more / straighten, and have to wear a molded plastic "splint" to keep the hand straight overnight for the next few months.
Walking isn't a problem, but I'm still a little concerned about about damaging my hand using a rucksack or as  I get over stiles, so it may be August or later before I get back to normal walking!
Still not driving as I can't operate the gear stick or operate the hand-break easily.
Thursday 4th July 2013.
Moel Fferna and Nant-y-Pandy.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 2000’.
Start: Lay-by adjacent to the Butterfly Man Craft Centre on the A5 Llangollen to Corwen road near Glyndyfrdwy. Grid ref:SJ11584360.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The described part of the walk is taken from Dave Berry’s book “Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley”. He describes it as a fascinating walk through the wooded Nant-y-Pandy with its old slate works.  The extension takes us to the summit of Moel Ferna, let’s hope for a good day so that we can linger on the top and taken in the excellent views.
Thursday 11th July 2013.
Delamere Forest and Boothsdale.
Distance:12 miles. Climb:1400'.
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. A good walk with no stiles and an ice-cream shop on route near the end!
Thursday 18th July 2013.
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. Can be muddy and in the past, conditions underfoot have been particularly challenging after lots of rain and the Afon Clwyd is in spate, but at this time of the year we should be OK.  A Few years ago Richard and Michel saw Kingfishers, it would be good, if everyone saw them them this time! In the past we have seen Salmon trying to negotiate "Salmon's Leap" by the sewage works on the Afon Clwyd.
Thursday 25th July 2013.
Denbigh Castle, Goblin Fields and St Dyfnog's Well.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 670'
Start: Roadside parking by the weir, West of Brookhouse Mill and Pottery. Take the A525 from Denbigh. Just before the Brookhouse Mill Tavern on the A525, at a signpost for "Pottery", turn right (West), go past the marked parking bays for the pottery   and park on the left side of the road by the weir. Grid ref: SJ069656.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
These two walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd". One walk explores the attractive and varied countryside between Llanrhaeadr and Brookhouse and gives us the opportunity to see again the famous Tree of Jesse medieval stained glass window (1533) and Ann Parry's gravestone with its inscription"God kept His word".  The walk also includes two mile of riverside  alongside the Afon Ystrad and Afon Clwyd
The second walk is described as interesting and takes a "green"approach to a little known castle in Wales.
Hopefully Mike will be able to join us as one of his relatives lives in one of the houses alongside the footpath that is on our route.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Morfa Conwy to Deganwy 20th July 2013

The start of the walk along the beach at Morfa Conwy.
Looking across the estuary towards Deganwy Castle.
A family of Mute swans i Conwy marina.
Looking back towards Conwy from the Deganwy side of the river.
A sheltered spot to enjoy a longer than usual lunch stop.
Muscle man (not quite!) on Conwy harbour.
The final break of a the day, enjoying an ice-cream at the Mulberry store.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.4 miles. Climb: 400'.
Time: 5 hours 29 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
With a hot dry day forecast, we would have been travelling light, except for the fact that we were both carry extra water to ensure that there was no chance of us dehydrating.
This was essentially a new walk for both of us, and we set off with the tide well in, but still able to walk along the beach all the way to the marina.  We had a very pleasant exploration of the area from Mulberry Inn along the coastal defences, past the school playing field and onto the path heading to Bodlondeb Wood. The harbour at Conwy was very busy, so we quickly crossed the bridge and headed to Deganwy, eventually arriving at our sheltered lunch spot just on the North side of Deganwy. 
On the way back we had another break on a bench adjacent to Bodlendeb and overlooking the estuary. Thankfully it was in the shade, as we rested for about ten minutes to catch up with the latest England v Australia cricket score.
Back at the marina we decided to have another ten minute break as we sat out side the Mulberry Store enjoying a Magnum Ice-cream.
We arrived back at the car, having had a good ten mile walk, looking forward to a refreshing pint of Lees at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn.
Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Pied wagtail, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Common sandpiper, Shelduck, Lesser black-backed gull, Great cormorant, Black-headed gull, Little egret, grey heron, Oystercatcher and Mute swan.
Flowers seen today included: Rosebay willowherb, Common mallow, Bramble, Dog rose, Butterfly  bush, Sea mayweed, Pyramidal orchid, Vommon vetch, Red clover, Viper's bugloss,Field scorboius,  Thrift, Creeping thistle, Spear thistle, Brassica?  and several more yet to be identified.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Lady Bagot's Drive with St., Christopher's Blessing 18th July 2013

"You don't really expect me to climb that tree just to look for the Tyddyn-Isaf trig point, so you?"
A pleasant lunch spot, in the shade!
The Clwydian Hills from the banks of the Afon Clwyd.
On our last legs but nearly home!
Who'd be out in the midday sun, English "men" and a couple of Welshmen too!
Walk stats: 9.3 miles (7.6 miles) Climb: 500' (100').
Time: 5 hours 30 minutes (4 hours 5 minutes). Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Phil, David S., Tim and Celia ((+ Roger and Martyn).
The main group set off just before 10 a.m. on their way to Lady Bagot's Drive and the pleasant walk through the woods towards Bontuchal. They had lunch by a small pond (a small nature reserve)South of Llanynys.
  Martyn and Roger set off a little later at about 11-20 a.m., walking along the Afon Clwyd to eventually meet the main group as they reached the banks of the Afon Clwyd South east of Llanynys.  Martyn and Roger made a small detour in the attempt to find Tyddyn Isaf Trig point marked on the OS map, alas they failed!
 As this was a trial for Martyn to see if he could negotiate stiles without harming his hand,. This was successfully achieved, but a protective splint and a glove was needed at times.
  Birds seen and heard included: Common swift, Barn swallow, Grey wagtail, European robin, Long-tailed tit, Carrion crow, Rook, Woodpigeon, Collared dove and Jackdaw.
 Flowers seen today included: White clover Common ragwort, Meadow buttercup, Hedge bindwood, ramble, Red campion and Common mallow.
 A few butterflies were seen including Meadow brown, Small white, Large white and a Peacock. A few dragonflies were seen along the river too.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Castle Hotel in Ruthin, where we replenished lost fluid as we "quietly" sat in cool spot inside. Hafod classic, brewed in Mold was the first choice, but Purple Mws, Glaslyn was more refreshing. Abbot's Ale went down well for one member of the group, and even cold orange squash and cold lager disappeared quickly too.
 It was good to be back walking with the group, even of it a little too warm ( high twenties Celsius) for the last couple of miles along the West side of the river without any prospect of any shade.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Delamere Forest and Boothsdale 11th July 2013

Early morning drinks- setting a precedence!
The author and photographer.
At Pa;e Heights.
Black Lake, Delamere Forest.
Afternoon tea - a popular event.
11.1 miles with a total climb of about 1400 feet. Walking today were Carole. David and Phil. It was Carole’s last walk before moving to Scotland next week. We were out for 6 1/4 hours but that did include  refreshment stops, sight seeing and lunch, all of which accounted for about 80 minutes.
Given the warm/hot weather we made the decision to walk down to Willington and then come back along the Sandstone Trail first so that we would have the shade of the forest after lunch. We also went directly  along the A54 to the lane at the side of the Farmers Arms pub in Kelsall, thus missing out the loop up to Yeld Lane. We had a pleasant walk  and made a slight detour to look at the Urchins Kitchen before returning to the start. Crossing the A54 we walked up onto the Pale Heights where we spent some  time admiring the features and the views before having lunch. Descending  into the forest, we enjoyed woodland walks in the shade with occasional exposure to much higher temperatures when we crossed clearings. We walked  around one side of Black Lake – a schwingmoor ( A lake which has become covered over with a floating mass of vegetation to form a quaking bog). On the way back along the Sandstone Trail we made another detour to the cafe at the forest visitors’ centre for a refreshing cup of tea. A good walk which benefited from being in the shade of the forest.
Photographs and report thanks to Phil.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Prestatyn to Talacre Lighthouse 6th July 2013

Talacre Lighthouse.
Talacre Lighthouse from Gronant Sand Dunes.
Walk Stats: Distance: 7.8 miles. Climb:Not a lot!
Time: 3 hours 16 minutes. Overall Walk Average: 2.3 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
The original plan was to walk from Talacre through the Warren Nature Reserve and to return along the beach, las we didn't take into account that on hot Summer days like this other people would think so too, and they got there before us. Nowhere to park, not even on the beach / sand dunes car park either. After testing Mike's driving skills and patience, we eventually managed to get out of the car park and headed to Prestatyn's Barkby Beach car park.
We set off from Prestayn with pleasant gentle stroll through the golf course to Presthaven Sands Holiday Park, where we joined the beach and walked along the sand as far as the Lighthouse. I don't think I have ever seen so many people on the sands here, but the sea was still quite a way out, so not many people had ventured for a paddle or more, and we weren't tempted.
After visiting the Gronant Little tern colony we had a pleasant stroll on the beach all the way back to Barkby Beach.
Birds seen or heard today included: Barn swallow, House martin, Woodpigeon, Common  Blackbird, Mallard, Goldfinch, House sparrow, Little tern, Skylark, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Great black-backed gull, Carrion crow, Oystercatcher, Sedge warbler, European robin, House sparrow and Great cormorant.
There were plenty of Pyramidal orchids still out near Presthaven Sands Other flowers included: Sea campion, Daisy, Wild thyme, Yellow iris, White clover, Bird's foot trefoil, Large bindweed and Common mallow.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where thankfully between us managed to scrape enough money for a couple of refreshing Lees bitter.
A superb walk without any stiles, on a glorious sunny day, but not too hot and a pint of Lees bitter at the end - just what I needed!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Nant-y-Pandy and Moel Fferna 4th July 2013

One of the waterfalls in Nant-y-Pandy.
"Guess what I'm doing?"
At the cairn on Moel Fferna.
The view just beginning to open up.
It's much brighter and not so windy down here.
A walk that covered 8.71 miles horizontally but had over 2000 feet of climb making it nearer to 10 miles. It lasted 4 hours 55 minutes including a lunch break. Walking were Celia, David, Phil, Tim and Wendy.
Near the start of the walk we left the busy A5 behind and walked up the beautiful Nant Y Pandy valley past the long abandoned slate works with the sound of soft flowing water in our ears. We soon left this and climbed up to a road above the valley on the NW side. At the end of the road we climbed up onto more exposed open access land where the wind was between 15 – 28 mph compared with only 8-15 mph on the road. We left the described route at point 3 and followed a “track” to the SW.  The track shown clearly on the OS map had not been used for many years and the going was heavy. For the grouse this was clearly a good thing, since it meant people had not been able to reach the many broken down shooting butts. We made our way via patches of cleared moorland and a rather boggy pathway to the ridge which kept drifting in and out of the mist. Following the ridge we reached the welcome shelter of the cairn at the summit of Moel Fferna (630 m or 2066 feet) where we enjoyed our lunch sheltering from the winds that gusted up to 35 mph. After lunch, with clear skies and extensive views, we followed a wide path down to join the original route at point 4 before having a gentle stroll along the hillside above the Dee valley back to the start.
A lovely day for walking.
Meteorological data supplied by David’s Meteorological Services PLC.
Photos and report thanks to Phil.