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, 31 October 2013

Mynydd-y-Gaer and Moelfre Isaf 31st October 2013

Our first view of Mynydd-y-Gaer.
Walking alongside the hillfort ramparts on Mynydd-y-Gaer.
All change in Coed Bron-haul!
Man's best friend - this one doesn't even leave nasty messages behind!
Spotted near the stile at the Western end of Coed Bron-haul.
Stepping out to get back on track!
At thr trig point on Moelfre Isaf.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.6 miles. Climb: 2169' (Wind assisted in places!).
Time: 5 hours 36 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S., Phil, Annie, Roger, Sue and Michel.
Overall this turned out to be a good day for walking, and only once did we all put on waterproofs, only for the shower to stop by the time that we were all kitted out! In the main we had plenty of warm sunshine, but on higher ground the wind was quite blustery.
 This was a good varied walk, although we did have difficulty locating one path East of Moelfre Isaf, so we won't attempt that short cut in the future. Although this was a relatively low level walk, we did get some superb views, both inland and towards the coast. At one point both the Little and Great Orme could be seen.
  Although this walk involved quite a bit more steady climbing than usual for a Thursday walk, exploring the beautiful countryside in this area always makes this a walk worth repeating.
 Perhaps our most unexpected sighting was three Fallow deer (a stag and 2 hinds) as we approached Coed Bron-haul.
Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow (at least 50 - Llannefydd must be a hot spot!), carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Meadow pipit, Black-billed magpie, Woodpigeon,  Common buzzard, Mute swan and Mallard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the Lees bitter as usual was in great nick!.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Walks and Dates October 2013

Thursday 3rd October 2013.
Holywell Common, Racecourse, Pantasaph and Pen-y-Ball.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:950'.
Start: Crooked Horn Inn, Brynford (Park near to sign) Grid ref:SJ186741.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Another two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". This walk was last done in  2011. Always a good walk, if you try to forget that climb up the road to the Pen-y-Ball Monument!
Saturday 5th October 2013. 
Old Highways South of Druid. 
Distance: 8 - 10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Layby on A549, 1 mile West of its junction with A5 and East of Glas-yr-Afon, Glass Bloberry. Grid ref: SJ02974261.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m. (8-30 a.m. by negotiation)
This walk is taken from R.J.A. Dutton's book "Hidden Highways of North Wales". It explores a  Roman road, a hill fort, a Medieval road and an old coach road. The extension explores roads and byways North of Glan-yr-Afon. Includes Ty-tan-y-dderwyn, Cefn-eithin and Llwyn-ithel.
Thursday 10th October 2013.
St. Cwyfan's Trail and More.
Distance: 9-10 miles. The main part of the walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Clwydian Hills
Start: Roadside parking in Llandyrnog on the Llangynhafal road (Gladstone Terrace) . Park on the wider part of the road after Nant Glyd. Grid ref: SJ109650.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
The main part of the walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Clwydian Hills" and the extension is around the lower slopes of  Penycoddiau along the Clwydian Way.
It is described as a delightful walk in the countryside North of Llandyrnog and visits the smallest church in the Vale of Clwyd.
Saturday 12th October 2013.
Gawsworth Hall, North Rode and More.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 800'.
Start: Lay-by on the A523, South of its junction with the A54. Grid ref: SJ917657.
Leave Chester at 08-30.
The main part of the walk is taken from the Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire. It is described as a walk exploring the Cheshire Landscape at its most typical. The walk starts at Gawthorpe, but we will start just outside Bosley.  We will link up with the walk on the way to North Rode, using mainly field paths and a short section along the A54.
Thursday 17th October 2013.
Gop Hill, Golden Grove and Sea Views.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 1300'.
Start: High Street Car Park in Trelawnyd. Turn right off the A5151 in the centre of the village. Grid ref: SJ090798.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines one walks from Dave Berry's book "More Walks in the Clwydian Hills" with a walk from Bob Harris's book "Walks in Ancient Wales". One walk is described as an exhilarating walk with breathtaking contrasting views and the other visits the ancient sites, including the cairn on Gop Hill. This is another walk that we last did in October 2011.
Saturday 19th October 2013. 
Cwm Penanner.
Distance: 10 - 11 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Off road parking at the crossroads above Cwm Penanner Grid ref: SH918480. To get to the start, From Glasfryn on the A5, take the road South opposite a pottery. Follow the road steadily uphill until you reach a crossroads signposted Bala, Cerrigydrudion, Baen Cwm and Glasfryn. There is off road parking at this crossroads.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m. (8-30 a.m. by negotiation).
The main walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Hidden Heart Of North Wales". It is described as a walk exploring the little known area of upland pastures and the hidden attractive valley of Cwm Penanner. It includes excellent ever changing views. The extension explores more of small hills South of the valley.
Thursday 24th October 2013.
Cwm Conwy, Moel Y Gaer and Moel y Crio.
Distance:10 miles. Climb: 1200'.
Start: Rhosesmor. Parking area next to the children's play area. Grid ref:SJ214684.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain".  The Cwm Conwy walk is one of my favourite walks in the Halkyn area at any time of the year. The Moel-y-Crio will use only part of second walk, so we will have to take care that we are vigilant after going through Moel-y-Crio, otherwise we will be extending the walk more than we want to!
Saturday 26th October 2013. 
Gwydir Forest From Llanwrst. - Postponed.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 1200'.
Start: Llanrwst car park, behind library and PC. Grid ref: SH796616.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m. (8-30 a.m. by negotiation).
This walk is taken from Carl Roger's book "Walking in the Conwy Valley. It is described as a moderately strenuous walk with some sustained ascents, mainly on good forest tracks. it explores the Eastern section of Gwydir Forest with its numerous lakes.
Thursday 31st October 2013.
Llanefydd, Moel y Gaer and Moelfre Isaf.
Distance: 9-10 miles;Climb: 1700'.
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 the first time that 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.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Cwm Conwy, Moel Y gaer and Moel Y Crio 24th October 2013

"It's amazing what you can see through a lens!"
View across the estuary.
Friendly Water buffalo at Midlist Farm - Home of North Wales Buffalo.
The view from our Moel y Gaer lunch spot - pity that the Sun was too bright in one sot.
Heading for the woods (Coed Trellyniau).
Lime kiln on the South side of Moel y Gaer.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.2 miles. Climb: 996'.
Time: 5 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S., Annie and Tim.
This was just about a perfect day for walking, mainly blue skies, sunshine all day and only the occasional slight breeze around Moel y Gaer.
 The main hazard of the day was getting around several fallen trees across the path in Cwm Conwy, although earlier we had to use secateurs to remove hawthorn that had grown across the stile.
 Although it was good to see that some of the stiles had been replaced by kissing gates, we came across a few that needed similar treatment or at least repairing.
 On this occasion we took the path that went through Midlist Farm, a first time that we had done so.  Sections in the field here were a little on the boggy side, so perhaps we should only repeat this route after a period of dry weather.
 Lunch was taken on the top of Moel y Gaer, sitting on top of the reservoir and enjoying the superb views in every direction, across the estuary with Liverpool cathedrals in the distance in one direction and Moel Famau and the Clwydian Hills in another. From Moel y Gaer we could see all of our afternoon walk.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common pheasant, Common buzzard, House sparrow, Grey heron, Eurasian curlew, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon, Common blackbird, Linnet, Meadow pipit and Jackdaw.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the Lees bitter provided the perfect way to celebrate a perfect walk.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Cwm Penanner and More 19th October 2013

The way ahead from The Lodge to the transmitter mast.
The view as we headed for Cwm Penanner.
Tai-ucha'n cwm, with its lion and 1720 datestone.
"I'm a ...., get me out of here!"
A panoramic view from Moel y Gydros to Cwm Penanner.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.1 miles. Climb: 903'.
Time: 5 hours 12 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger and Celia.
Optimistically we set off, hoping that the forecast was right and all we would get is is the occasional spotty shower. Well we did get one, but it was a little more than a shower and lasted for most of the last couple of miles back to the car.
 The start of the walk was delightful, giving us superb views in all directions. Although the views towards Snowdonia weren't particularly clear today, I'm sure that this part of the walk will be repeated.
 After we had reached Ty Mawr Cwm, we headed East along Cwem Penanner, once more giving us delightful views along the valley, but alas the very boggy conditions underfoot will probably mean that this section of the walk not be repeated. A similar section East of Moel Cwm-main brought us to a similar conclusion. Having crossed the Norther slopes of Moel Lechwedd-figyn, we dropped onto a track and our spirits lifted, as the way ahead was now clear.
 On reaching the road into Ty Mawr Cwm, the heavens opened, and it was a unanimous decision to return directly back to the car, leaving the Western half of the described walk to be completed next time.
 Arriving back to the car, the rain suddenly became torrential, so much so that we didn't have time to take our boots off, before jumping into the car, leaving some of our gear outside. After a while Roger volunteered to get more wet and put all the gear in the boot, so that we could head for home.
 As getting warm and dry was our main objective, especially for Roger, we missed out our usual after walk drink and headed straight home.
 Washing machine already on the go, I can think about getting my dinner ready, and possibly having a glass of wine!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Common pheasant,Wheatear, House sparrow, Fieldfare, Common buzzard, Chaffinch, Meadow pipit, Jackdaw, Blue tit, Lesser black-backed gull Common blackbird, Common snipe, Raven and Hen harrier.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Gop Hill, Marian Mill and Golden Groves 17th October 2013

At the cairn on Gop Hill.
Some of the caves below Gop Hill.
At the view point, looking towards the coast, a good spot for lunch, but it's too early!

Marian Mill - well what is left.
A final view of Gop Hill.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.4 miles. Climb: 1362'.
Time: 6 hours 17 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, David S., Annie, Wendy, Sue and Dave P.
This turned out to be a glorious day for walking, lots of sunshine, pleasantly warm and the occasional cooling breeze. This turned out to be quite a varied walk and seemed a lot more up and down than I remembered, and we arrived back at the car with legs that felt that they had done more work than the measured mileage!
As we arrived at our usual lunch spot a little early, we ended up having lunch just below St Elmo's Summer house, basking in the Sun and being entertained by a pair of Ravens as they flew overheard.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common buzzard, Greenfinch, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, European robin, Woodpigeon, Common blackbird, Common gull, House sparrow, Mallard and Common pheasant.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the Lees bitter went down as did the tea.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Gawsworth Hall and More 12th October 2013

Heading for Gawsworth Church and lunch.
Inside Gawsworth Church.
Ivy in flower?
Descending Bosley Locks -taken from Lock 10 (2 more to go!)
Walk stats: Distance: 13.6 miles. Climb: 624'.
Time: 6 hours 11 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
We set off around Bosley Reservoir with waterproof jackets on, hoping that the BBC forecast of dry all day would materialise, alas Accuweather got it right and we had 6 hours of drizzle!
 Despite the wet stuff it was a good walk, but needs to done on a warm dry sunny day.
 Lunch was taken in the grounds of Gawsworth Church, where a bench had been placed underneath a tree, so at least at lunch we out of the rain.
 The highlight at lunch time was seeing a Stoat bound across the churchyard, coming within a couple of feet of us, seemingly unaware of our presence.
 A bonus was to find the church open, so we took a look inside to see that the inside of the church well worth seeing. As we left the notice on the door said "Please close the door to keep the heat in, and stray animals out, but any lost sheep would always be welcome".
 Having not seen Bosley Locks before, I was quite surprised how many there were, and didn't envy any narrow boat owner having to ascend or descent all 12 of them!
Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Mallard, Great crested grebe, Pied wagtail, Redwing, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Carrion crow, Winter wren, Rook and Jackdaw.
 As Roger was on Huw duty, we realised that we were only 7 miles from Leek, so headed to the Wilkes Head, where Whim Ales Hartington Bitter lived up to my judgement as being the best bitter that I have ever tasted, and the locals were as friendly as ever.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

St. Cwyfan's Trail and More 10th October 2013

Blue skies not long after we set off.
Marching out of the wood, but where's Roger?
"Well it was like this ......"
Inside St. Cwyfan's Church.
Our final view of the Clwydian Hills.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.2 miles. Climb: 920'.
Time: 5 hours 23 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie, sue Pelissier, Celia, Wendy, David S., Tim and Paul.
A perfect day for walking, not too hot or too cold, dry and plenty of sunshine. If it wasn't for the fact that I always change my shirt for lunch, it would have been a one shirt, one hanky walk!
  It was the first time that we have been able to see inside St. Cwyfan's Church and what a lovely little church it was, and the outside had been beautifully renovated. It's so good to see churches like this being cared for and still having regular services.
Overall this was a delightful walk in the beautiful Vale of Clwyd, with varying views of the Clwydians, the Vale of Clwyd towards Denbigh and Snowdonia in the distance.
  No real problems today, except for the occasional dodgy stile, but they were much better than some we have experienced recently!
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion crow, Common gull, European robin, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Yellowhammer, Common buzzard, Woodpigeon, Collared dove and Fieldfare.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed by just four of us today, a pity as the Lees bitter at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn tasted particularly good!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Upton High School News

Danny Bancroft.
 Danny died yesterday 1st October 2013, after losing his battle with cancer.
The funeral is on 
Wednesday 9th October 2013
11-00 a.m.
St. Peter's Church
No flowers - donation to the local hospice.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

In Search of Ancient Roads South Of Druid 5th october 2013

Part of the diverted section of the Afon Alwen at Pen-y-bont, North east of Druid.
Looking towards Druid from South of Hengaer-uchaf.
Alongside the Roman road, near Penlan bach Farm.
Gaerwen hillfort from the Ridgeway.
On the path heading for Hengaer-uchaf.
Part of the Medieval road that let to a fence with barbed wire!
Walk stats: Distance: 10.5 m.p.h. Climb: 982'.
Time: 6 Hours 25 minutes.
On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Celia.
With the weather forecast good, we set off expecting the walk to be a bit of a doddle! How wrong we were when on two occasions we had to retrace our steps because our way was blocked, first from overgrown vegetation and the second time because a barbed wire fence blocked our way!
 If you forget about those two events then this was a pleasant walk in little visited countryside, and with good views as we walked along the Ridgeway.
 Lunch was taken a little North of Coed Gaerwen, where we had good views towards Corwen, and the remains of Martyn's first ever Nectar Cake went down without any adverse comments!
 In theory we were trying to see various ancient pathways, and honestly we can say  we didn't see them all, even with the description given!
 Despite the reputation of attributed to local people in this area, everyone we met were very pleasant and friendly,  a true refection of the Welsh character.
 At one point we went through a field of over friendly bullocks, one of which did its best to lick us, on our backs or legs!
 Birds seen or heard today were few, but include: House sparrow, Rook, Raven, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Woodpigeon, Mistle thrush, Meadow pipit, European robin, Coal tit, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Common buzzard and Common pheasant.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Red Lion at Penyfford, where Jennings Snecklifter went down well, but Celia preferred her Peroni.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Holywell Common, racecourse and More 3rd October 2013

"I'm the engineer not you!
Horse's Leap.
David at Pen-y-Ball Monument.
Anyone would think it was raining!
At the Pen-y-Ball Trig Point.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.3 miles. Climb: 752'.
Time: 5 hours 18 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie H., Sue and Michel, David S., Celia and Tim.
The weather forecast today was a little iffy to say the least, but in reality the only rain we really had was as we approached the Pen-y-Ball Monument for the second time, so as we approached Brynford, we decided the shortest route back to the car was  along the road. At least the rain was warm!
  The walk up to this point had been a pleasant stroll through verdant countryside, with longish grass ever cleaning our boots! The temperature was on the warm side and times  quite humid, so every opportunity to leave the waterproofs in the the rucksack was very welcome.
 The stiles today started off well, but the standard rapidly declined after lunch, but thankfully they were all negotiated without mishap.
  It is always interesting to follow the line of the old racecourse and imagine being a jockey racing round the circuit, but alas the remains of the old "grandstand" gets less and less each year.
 Lunch was taken at the Pen-y-Ball monument on Pen-y-Ball, where everyone said they enjoyed Martyn's mystery cake and Michel was the first to identify that the mystery ingredient was honey. So perhaps in future I'll have to start bringing the occasion "Nectar cake" as well as the usual fruit cake!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Chiffchaff, Blue tit, Common buzzard, Woodpigeon, Black-headed gull, Common gull, Common blackbird, Mistle thrush and Goldfinch.
  After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the Lees bitter went down well and we all thought about taking in turns to stand with our backs to the fire and gently steam!