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, 31 August 2013

Cwm Dulas, Cefn yr Ogof and Gopa wood 31st August 2013

Looking towards the Little Orme from the slopes of Cefn yr Ogof.
Craig y Forwyn (Maiden's Leap)
At the trig point on Cefn yr Ogof.
Looking across Craig y Forwyn towards Snowdonia fro Pen-y-corddyn mawr.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.7 miles. Climb: 1300'. 
Time: 5 hours 40 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger and Celia.
This turned out to be a superb day for walking, even though the breeze on the coast made it a little cool  ast we set off.  Intermittent sunshine accompanied us all the way round.
  This is a delightful varied walk, especially when as today we also visited the summit of Cefn yr Ogof, and this time we did so without upsetting any of the locals as we retraced our steps from the trig point and took a new (to us) path down to the road at Rhyd-y-foel.
 Lunch as usual was taken on the North side of Pen-y-corddyn mawr, where I sat in the shade of a tree by a small ruin, the others preferred to sit in the Sun!
 On entering Gopa Wood, we decided to explore a little and took the forest track Southward, rather than our usual way that headed towards the coast. This proved to be a lovely route through fairly open deciduous woodland and eventually dropped down to our usual path.
 Birds seen today were few, but included: Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Common gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Great black-backed gull, Carrion crow, Great cormorant, Oystercatcher, House martin, Barn swallow and Mute swan.
  Butterflies seen today included: Small white, Meadow brown, Speckled wood, Small tortoiseshell, and Common blue.
 We did a little better for flowers which included: Creeping buttercup. Welsh poppy, Sea campion, Sea mayweed, Traveller's Joy (Old Man's Beard), Red valerian, Common valerian, Great willowherb, Rosebay willowherb, Teasel, White clover, Red clover, Indian balsam, Herb robert, Tormentil, Rock rose, Common mallow, Small scabious, Common knapweed, greater knapweed, Dandelion, Common daisy, Common ragwort, Harebell, Gorse, Common heather (Ling), Bell heather, Hedge bindweed, Common restharrow and Yarrow.
 We arrived back at the car, just in time for me to a a text from Sue Pearson telling me that Chester had just beaten Wrexham - a perfect ending, I just had to go to the Britannia Inn to celebrate with a pint of J.W. Lees! 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Melin y Wig, Derwen and Betws Gerfil Goch 29th August 2013

On the woodland path by the infant Afon Clwyd.
The preaching cross at Derwen Church.
The central stain glass windows in Derwen Church.
The Vale of Clwyd from near Derwen.
A few visitors, waiting to head South!
The stain glass window above the altar in St mary's church at Betws Gwerfil Goch.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.8 miles (although 1 GPS gave it as just over 10 miles! Climb: 947'.
Time: 4 hours 14 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie, Sue and Michel.
Despite the French connection returning, there was still only five of us to enjoy this delightful walk the Vale of Clwyd.  Most of the walk was completed in sunshine, although it did cloud over around lunch time, and the odd shower forecast didn't materialise other than a few spots.
In the past parts have the route have proved to be on the wet side, but today there wasn't any problems and even the worst part on the last leg back to Melin y Wig had been rerouted to avoid the most boggy bits.
Lunch was taken just after visiting Derwen, where we able to find suitable places to sit alongside the Afon Clwyd and watch the small Brown trout in the river as we enjoyed our food, including a piece of 10 month old fruit cake (still some left for the next few walks!).
 As well as being able to enjoy this beautiful countryside, we also met several really lovely people.
 Once again the farmer at Clegir Uchaf, directed us through his fields to avoid fields with a bull, after his daughter dog found it great fun to run around  our feet, trying to be caught by her, but Michel managed to catch him! Talking to the farmer he said that he had seen up to 10 Red kites in the air above his farm, although he hadn't seen Grey partridge for a while.
 arriving at Betws Gwerfil Goch, we decided to see if we could could see inside the church, were we were very fortunate to arrive at a time when the Vicar was there, and she took us inside the church.. She was a delightful lady and explained that church services had recently stopped because the church had been taken over by a colony of bats, and their droppings were everywhere. This was a beautiful church inside, but what can you do to encourage the bats to relocate and the building again used for what it was intended.
 At the end of the walk, our only regret was that our tingling legs, reminded us that too many Nettles had manged to sting us!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common buzzard, Winter wren, Barn swallow, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Blue tit, Raven, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Common pheasant and Red kite.
Flowers seen today included: Common daisy, Red campion, Tormentil, Yarrow, Dandelion, Gorse, Herb robert, Foxglove, White clover and Rosebay willowherb.
After walk drinks were enjoyed the Castle Hotel in Ruthin, where on display they had a poster pointing out that Wetherspoons had been awarded a certificate as one of the top employers for 2013!

Walks and Dates August 2013

Saturday Walks
 No planned walks as such this month, but if you fancy a walk, give me a ring or send me a text.
Thursday 1st August 2013.
The Trent and Mersey Canal, Great Budworth and More.
Start: Marbury Country Park car Park (Pay and Display £2-50 last time). Grid ref: SJ652763.
Distance: 7-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
The main 7 mile walk is taken from the "Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire". This is described as a varied walk with plenty of historic interest, including the Anderton Boat Lift.. The extra mileage will be made by exploring the Anderton Nature Park, Marshall's Wood, Carey Park, Ashton's Flash and Neumann's Flash.  Bring binoculars with you if you can.
Thursday 8th August 2013.
Craig Adwy-Wynt, Nant Clwyd Hall and the Afon y Maes Valley.
Distance: 9-12 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Llanelidan. Grid ref: SJ108503. To get to the parking area, take the A494 Ruthin to Bala road, 2 miles after Pwllglas, turn left towards Llanelidan. Keep ahead at the crossroads as you enter the village, then go down a "No through road" past houses, telephone and a chapel to the end of the road where there is a parking area.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd", and explores the beautiful, unspoilt undulating countryside around the Nant Clwyd Estate.  It will be interesting to see how the work around the hall has changed the landscape.  We assumed that they were creating a lake, but were they?
Thursday 15 August 2013.
Aled Isaf and More.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Off road parking just before the dam on Llyn Aled. Grid ref: SH916579.
Leave Chester at 08-45 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Denbigh Moors" or his slightly newer book "Hidden Heart of North Wales". The walk explores the expansive  tract of moorland and upland pastures around  Llyn Aled and  Aled Isaf. The route in part follows tracks not easily seen and is for experience walkers only.  At one point the walk follows a delightful upland path via Llys Dymper, before returning South over the moorland top of Foel Lwyd. The extension allows us to explore moorland paths over Moel Bengam and Cefn Du along paths that I have wanted to explore for some time. Has been known to be boggy, but hopefully not at this time of the year.
Thursday 22nd August 2013.
The Little Orme and Coed Gaer.
Distance:7-10 miles; Climb:1760'.
Start: Roadside parking close to PC on the beach road at Craig y Don.Grid ref: SH799822.
Leave Chester 8-45 a.m.
Always a good walk. This walk is becoming an annual event, but normally we complete it in May and hope to find orchids in flower.  This is too late for the orchids, but I'm sure that won't detract from this delightful walk. The views across the bay to the Great Orme are stunning. There is always an outside chance of seeing seal, and there should still be plenty of birds about, so bring binoculars with you.
The shorter route is just over 7 miles, so how long the walk eventually ends up depends on what route we take when we get near the college. 
Thursday 29th August 2013.
On the Pilgrims' Trail and Derwen.
Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Melin-y-Wig, by the notice board or up the road on the bend by the footpath sign. Grid ref: SJ039486 / SJ039485.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd". This is a lovely walk that in the past we have done in the Winter months when it has been wet underfoot and pouring with rain too. Perhaps completing the walk in Spring will show the riverside walk in it best light. We should also have time to explore two Medieval churches, part of the Pilgrims Route from St., Winifred's Well, Holywell to St., David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire.
Saturday 31st August 2013.
The Lawley and Caer Caradoc. - Postponed
Distance: 10 miles; Climb:2000'.
Start:Church Stretton centre car park (pay and display). Grid ref:SO454911.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m. (8-30 a.m. by negotiation!)
We often do this walk in May, in the hope of seeing Dotterel time as they migrate North. There is an outside chance that we may see them at this time of the year as they migrate South. The walk combines two walks taken from Ian Jones' booklet "20 Walks From Church Stretton".It is a walk that we first did in 1998 and have done several times since then. This is a superb walk, especially on a good day. It is the nearest that you can get to a ridge walk, particularly along the Lawley!
 Instead of the Shropshire walk a shorter walk nearer Chester will take place.
It will be a walk starting from Abergele and be between 8-10 miles, leaving Chester at 08-30.. 
If you are interested contact me for details.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Little Orme and Coed Gaer 22nd August 2013

Looking East from the Little Orme towards Rhos-on-Sea.
 On the West side of the Little Orme.
At the trig point on the Little Orme.
Looking down towards the disused quarries on the North east side of the Little Orme.
Lunch time on Mynydd Pant.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.6 miles. Climb: 1136'.
Time: 4 hours 41 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Paul, Celia, Wendy and David S.
This turned out to be a much warmer day than the we were expecting, and much more sunshine too, so we ended up frequently stopping to look at flowers, butterflies and even the view! As ever this was a delightful and varied walk.
Lunch was taken as usual on the limestone outcrop on Mynydd Pant, giving us fine views towards Moel Siabod and Snowdonia and also across the bay to the Great Orme.
Birds seen or heard today include: Herring gull, Great cormorant, Carrion crow, Rook, Common kestrel, Raven, Meadow pipit, Barn swallow, Blue tit and Common blackbird.
Butterflies seen today included: Small white, Large white and Gatekeeper.
Flowers seen today included: Harebell, Gorse, Rock rose, Herb robert, Common daisy, Meadow buttercup, Red valerian, Common mallow, Field bindweed, Yarrow, Self-heal, Common ragwort and Bird's foot trefoil.
After walk drinks were enjoyed (except for Paul who had to dash off to get back for a family birthday party) at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Around Llyn Aled Isaf 15th August 2013

Setting off across the moors from Llyn Aled.
Lunchtime, Roger nearly smiling!
On the road back to the car.
If you could see Roger's face now, I bet he'd be smiling!
The unexpected valley and waterfall at the Northern end of Llyn Aled Isaf.
Walk stats: distance: 8.7 miles. Climb: 1100' (probably a little on the high side).
Time: 4 hours 13 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
On a good day this is a superb walk, but weather wise, this wasn't one of them! Heading across the moors, we didn't know whether we were in light rain or just in the cloud, but not enough to really wet you, in fact I didn't put my waterproof jacket on until after lunch!
 The trek across the moors could be described a bit of bog trotting, and after Roger had introduced one of his feet to peaty water, he mentioned that this was one of those days when you you shouldn't have got out of the car and he didn't have any of Margaret's cake to make him feel better!
 Things did get better, it wasn't raining when we had lunch on the roadside near some sheepfolds and protected from the cool wind by a derelict building.
 However on reaching the road that led back to the car, I didn't even bother asking does anyone want to take the extension paths across the moors!
 Birds seen or heard today were very few, but included: Common buzzard, Barn swallow, Meadow pipit, Pied wagtail, Goldfinch, Skylark, Lapwing and Eurasian curlew.
 Flowers seen today included: Tormentil, Bell heather, Common heather, Foxglove, Marsh thistle, Spear thistle, White clover, Creeping thistle, Cotton grass and Gorse.
 A few Small white butterflies and a few dead Common frogs on the road!
  After walk drinks were enjoyed, as usual,  at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Llanfairfechan to Aber Ogwen 10th August 2013

A family of Mute swans on the boating lake at Llanfairfechan.
Panorama of coast soon after setting off.
Just a few of the hundreds of House sparrows seen here.
A Gatekeeper.
A speckled wood.
A ringed plover.
A few Oystercatchers roosting at high tide.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.1 miles. Climb: 100' at a guess (a wind assisted 385' on the GPS is a little in the high side.)
Time: 5 hours 28 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Roger.
The weather today was good, warm with a pleasantly cooling breeze that also assisted us on the the return journey.
This delightful coastal walk, was today a butterfly and birds day.
Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Barn swallow, House martin, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Raven, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Great black-backed gull, Black-billed magpie, Goldfinch, Lapwing, Shelduck, Mallard, Pied wagtail, Mute swan, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Eider duck, Little egret, Common tern, Grey heron, Great cormorant, Oystercatcher, Eurasian curlew and Ringed plover.
Lunch was again taken using the picnic tables at the Aber Ogwen car park area, and once again we saw over 60 mute swans on the water as high tide approached, as well as a group of about 6 Eider ducks (no males). A bonus too, was sampling Margaret's Lemon Drizzle cake, thanks Margaret.
Butterflies seen today included: Small white, Large white, Green veined white, Speckled wood, Gatekeeper, Peacock,  Red admiral and Tortoiseshell.
Flowers seen today included: Ragwort, Red clover, White clover, Butterfly bush, Red deadnettle, Creeping buttercup, Creeping thistle, Spear thistle, Bird's-foot trefoil, Common chickweedDandelion and Lesser burdock.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, as we listened to Mo moment of winning the World championship 10000m race.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Craig Adwy-wynant, Nantclwyd Hall and More 8th august 2013

The start of the walk St. Elidan Church at Llanelidan.
The main naive in St. Elidan's church.
Lunch time on Craig Adwy-wynant.
The Clwydian Hills from our lunch spot.
Nantclwyd Hall from the grass landing strip.
Back at Llanelidan - the end of the walk!
Walk stast: Distance: 7.8 miles. Climb: 650'.
Time: 4 hours 49 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average:  1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia, Paul and Tim.
Overall this proved to be a very varied walk and just about perfect for the weather  conditions, warm and humid at times, pleasant sunshine at others and a delightful cool breeze at others. It was also varied in terms of terrain too, mainly on good paths, but a few that left their mark on our arms and legs as scratches or Nettle stings!
As usual we had lunch on the limestone crags of Craig Adwy-wynant and the Eyarth Nature Reserve, when the Sun was probably at its strongest!  This was a good area for butterflies too. Butterflies seen today included: Small white, Peacock, Meadow brown and Gatekeeper.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common buzzard, Woodpigeon, Common blackbird, House martin, Barn swallow, Carrion crow, Mute swan, Mallard and Common pheasant.
Flowers seen today included: White clover, Common tormentil, Red campion, Creeping thistle. Spear thistle, Meadow buttercup, Herb robert, Herb bennet, Rosebay willowherb, Red valerian, Dandelion, Common ragwort, Lesser stitchwort, Shepherd's purse, Daisy and Lesser burdock.
One or two Rabbits were seen as well as a dead Field mouse!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Golden Cape in mold, where a a few of the Weetwood brews were enjoyed as well as one from the Purple Moose brewery. However Celia didn't approve as Wetherspoons, apparently has a zero hours employment policy for its employees!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Around the Great Orme 3rd August 2013

A panorama from the Western slopes of the Great Orme.
Feral goats basking in the sunshine on the Great Orme.
A panorama from the Great Orme just above the Happy Valley.
One of the four  Kestrels seen on the Western side of the Great Orme.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.8 miles. Climb: 1000' (Estimated as the wind assisted GPS reading of 1843' seems a little on the high side!).
Time: 5 hours 31 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Roger.
We arrived at the start on Llandudno West Shore, with a strong wind blowing off the sea towards us, and causing us to regret heading towards the beach to look at the para-surfers that were speeding back and forth along the sea, as we suffered a sand blasting before we hastily retreated!
The views all day were superb, there is always something special about walking in this area with so much coast to see, and the hills of Snowdonia to gaze upon too.
Lunch was taken in a shelter in Happy Valley, giving us a little respite from the wind and the Sun.
Bird seen or heard today included: Herring gull, Mute swan, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Raven, Meadow pipit, Common kestrel, Barn swallow, Goldfinch, Fulmar, Great cormorant, Oystercatcher, Guillemot and  Great black-backed gull.
Some of the flowers seen today included: Common mallow, Sea mayweed, Common valerian, White clover, Meadow buttercup, Creeping thistle, Spear thistle, Harebell, Small scabious, Common ragwort (hosting a Cinnabar moth caterpillar), Butterfly bush, Bramble and Viper's bugloss.
There were lots of Small white and Gatekeeper butterflies around, and others that we failed to identify, although most were probably Graylings.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn, where the Lees bitter went down well.
Overall a good walk, always worth repeating, even if as today we were occasionally buzzed by model aeroplanes!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Anderton and Marbury Country Parks and More 1st August 2013

The top of the Anderton Boat Lift.
Name that flower and the wasp!
What are they looking at - a few old pipes!
Lunch by the Trent and Mersey Canal.
Common tern near the Lion Salt Works.
A Gatekeeper in a Barley field.
The parish church at Great Budworth.
Resting close to the shore of Budworth Mere on the Reedbed Trail.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.0 miles. Climb: 435'.
Time: 5 hours 4 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.h.
Group: Martyn, Tim, Celia, Wendy, David S and Phil.
This proved to be the right sort of walk for a day when the weather was predicting high temperatures. Thankfully it didn't reach the high twenties temperature forecast until after we had finished the walk.  The walk had lots of variety, including a few shaded areas on the edge of woodlands and along the canalside (including one where we had lunch). Celia, Wendy and Phil spent a little time watching the Anderton Boat Lift in operation, whilst the rest of us enjoyed a quiet time watching the canal boats on the Trent and Mersey Canal.
We then explored the Anderton Country Park, including Haydn's Pool, which seems to have changed its name from Haydas Pool!
The final section of the walk had a pleasant detour through the picturesque village of Great Budworth, before heading back to Marbury Country Park, where we finally explored the new trail through Reedbed.
Birds seen or heard today included: Wood nuthatch, Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great crested grebe, Canada goose, Common coot, Moorhen, Little grebe, Lapwing, Greylag goose, Black-headed gull, Common buzzard, Grey heron , Mute swan, Tufted duck, Dunnock, Mallard, House sparrow, Common tern, Rook, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Oystercatcher, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Goldfinch and Yellowhammer.
Flowers seen today included: Common daisy, Scentless mayweed, Common ragwort, Creeping thistle, Spear thistle Common knotweed, Hedge bindweed, Foxglove, Teasle, Meadowsweet, Common bistort, Creeping buttercup, Rosebay willowherb, Greater willowherb and many more yet to be identified.
Quite a few very pale blue damselflies and a couple of reddish dragonflies too.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Framer's Arms at Kelsall, where several Weetwood brews were on off, Old Dog went down best!