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 December 2013

2013 Walks Summary

Summary for the Year 2013.
Total Number of Walks = 88 (+4 when I was unable to walk)
Location of Walks.
Cheshire and Wirral - 25 (2 when I was unable to walk).
Lancashire - 4.
Peak District - 2.
North Wales - 57 (+2 when I was unable to walk).
Total distance walked: 857 miles (+ 38 miles when I was unable to walk)
Total climb on walks: 75,000'.
Average length of walk - 9.7 miles.
Average time for walk - 4 hours 35 minutes.
Started: 1993
Originally Staff and friends from Upton High School, Chester. Still links with UHS, but more members are friends of retired UHS Staff.
Organiser: Martyn Harris
We walked on most Thursdays, Saturdays and also on New Years day.
How many walk?
Thursday:  Min: 2 Max: 12   Saturday: Min: 2  Max: 5.
Most ever: 29.  Most this year: 14.
Where have we walked?
Anywhere in North Wales, Peak District, Cheshire and Lancashire.
Thursday:  North Wales and Cheshire.
Type of walk: Distance: 6 – 14 miles.  Climb: up to 4000’ (but usually very much less!).
Friends involved during 2013:-
Martyn Harris, Dave and Sylvia Jenkins, Fran and Tito Ravazzolo, Sue and Michel Pelissier, Annie Hammond, Sue and Dave Pearson, Phil Marsland, Paul Collinson, Mike Dodd, David Savage, Carole Herbritt, Celia de Mengle, Tim and Carol Dwyer, Wendy Peers, Margaret and Roger Smith, Sheila and Gordon McNee, Elaine Greenhalph, Vicky Clarke. (Also included in the list, even if they meet up with the group after the walk!).

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Around the Great Orme 28th December 2013

Feral goats on the West side of the Great Orme.
Pipit on a wall on the west Shore.
On the footpath above the Marine Drive toll road - West Shore.
Fulmar on nest sites already!
Panorama of Llandudno pier and the Little Orme.
Heading down the Monks path to the West Shore.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.7 miles. Climb: 1000'.
4 hours 41 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Roger.
Largely blue skies and sunshine all day and strong breeze at times, this turned out to be a good day for walking, especially when you think about the gale force wind and rain we had earlier in the week.
 This proved to be a popular choice everyone, with lots of cyclist and cars  as well as walkers on the Marine Drive. Even on the "more remote" parts of the Great Orme we saw lots of walkers.
 Lunch was taken in a shelter in Happy Valley.
 Mike made a solo ascent to the trig point on the Great Orme and later joined sherpas that had contoured around the summit along the road, before heading off across the limestone plateau.
 Not many birds seen or heard today, but they included: Jackdaw, Common gull, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Pied wagtail, Meadow pipit, Red-billed chough, Raven, Oystercatcher and Carrion crow.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn despite the fact that the ambient temperature was on the cool side.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Walks and Dates December 2013

Thursday 5th December 2013.
Around Helsby Hill and Frodsham Marshes.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb:800'.
Start: Frodsham Main Car park (Turn right at traffic lights off Helsby Road and then left immediately after the Helter Skelter pub. Grid ref: SJ517778.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
The Helsby part of the walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "More Pub Walks in Cheshire and the Wirral". Her walk starts at the Netherton Hall, but we will start in Frodsham and use the Sandstone Trail to link with the walk by the golf course. After completing the circuit at Netherton Hall, we will return to Frodsham using some of the many tracks/footpaths that wind their way around Frodham Marshes. Frodsham Marshes can be good bird watching area, so bring your binoculars with you.
Saturday 7th December 2013.
Wybunbury, Weston and Hough.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Roadside parking in Wybunbury. SJ699498.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This is another walk taken from the OS Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire, with an extension to include Weston and Hough.  The main walk is described as exploring the undulating countryside of South Chechire. Hopefully we will be able to explore Wybunbury Moss Nature Reserve.
Thursday 12th December 2013.
Burton and Parkgate.
Distance:10 miles. Climb:500'.
Start: Roadside parking on Denhall Lane next to benches overlooking the marshes. Grid ref: SJ301747.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The Burton circuit is taken from Jen Darling's book "Walks in West Cheshire and the Wirral". The extension will involve some road walking through Neston to link up with the Wirral Way and onto Parkgate. The return route will use coastal paths as much as possible and pass Neston Old Quay and Denhall Quay on the way back to Denhall Lane.
Saturday 14th December 2013.
No walk.
Thursday 19th December 2013.
Barbridge and Acton Round.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: Not a lot!
Start: Roadside parking near the Barbridge Inn. Grid ref: SJ614568.
This walk allows us to explore the countryside between Barbridge and Acton. This is a new area to us a far as walking is concerned.. The walk includes sections of the Shropshire Union Canal and the Llangollen Canal, but hopefully we will remain on the towpath!  As we walk very close to a specialist Horse Veterinary Centre, I expect we will see a few horses in the fields around. We also go past Reaseheath College, so any animal husbandry might been seen there as we go past.
Saturday 21st December 2013.
Hartington Old Station, Aleck Low and Minninglow.
Distance: 12 miles. Climb: 800'.
Start: Hartington Old Station Car Park. Pay and Display. Grid ref: SK149612.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Mark Richards's book "White Peak Walks - Southern Dales". Slightly longer than usual, but much of the walk will be easy going as it uses the High Peak Trail and the Tissington Trails along disused railway tracks.  If I remember correctly this walk proved delightful, with plenty of things of interest on route and good view, particularly from the High Peak Trail.
Thursday 26th December 2013.
No walk.
Saturday 28th December 2013.
Deganwy Castle and Around the Great Orme.
10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
These main walks is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast.  We have done the Great Orme many times, but Deganwy Castle hasn't been done quite so often. The extension will probably be a stroll along the invalids terrace and back along the toll road.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

A Hartington Old Station Round 2st December 2013

Setting off from Hartington Old Station along the Tissington Trail.
All that info about a hole in the ground - Ballidon Quarry!
Could some of these Peak District sheep be the source of the golden fleece?
At last back at Hartington Old Station!
Walk stats: Distance: 14.2 miles. Climb: 1320'.
6 Hours 5 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.3 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Vicky and birthday boy Mike.
Overall this was a superb day for walking, mainly sunny with a cool breeze at times, but not even a drop of rain until we were well on the way home after dropping in at the Wilkes Head in Leek.
 This a pleasant easy walk, except for the occasional stone stiles across the limestone walls, but all were negotiated without mishap. In addition Derbyshire lived up to its reputation with few patches of mud.
 The distant views were quite good despite not being crystal clear.
 Lunch was taken just after covering 6.4 miles, over half way as we thought, in a sheltered delightful valley. South of Royston Grange.
 After lunch we soon realised that e had set off the wrong way down the valley, but thankfully we did as this was a delightful limestone valley typical of the Peak District, and we would have missed it had we gone the right way.
 Once on Parwich Lane, the Sun gave a brilliant golden coloured light, that made some of the sheep seem to have a golden fleece.
 We arrived back at the car to find that we had walked over 14 miles, no wonder some of us felt tired!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, House sparrow, Collared dove, European robin, Common kestrel, Rook, Jackdaw, Raven, Redwing and Fieldfare.
 As usual a good pint of Hartington Bitter was enjoyed in the friendly surrounding of the Wilkes Head in Leek.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Barbridge and Around Hurleston Reservoir 19th December 2013

Heading West along the Shropshire Union Canal at Barbridge.
On the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.
Reaseheath Long horn cattle looking down on us!
Back on the canal, this time the Llangollen branch of the Shropshire Union Canal.
Show me the way home, back on the Shropshire Union Canal heading for Barbridge.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.8 miles. Climb: 293'.
Time: 4 hours 56 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Phil, Annie, Celia, Wendy and David S.
We set off along the canal in bright sunshine, optimistic that the weather was OK up to about lunch time. In fact the weather was superb, and I even had to take off my jacket for most of walk before lunch. The walk along the canals was very pleasant, and we were amazed to see so many narrow boats moored up along the canal and in the several marinas that we passed.  We passed Reaseheath Agricultural College, and that too had expanded considerably and couldn't be recognised as the one I saw in the 1970s!
 Lunch was take as we met the Shropshire Union Canal for the second time, where we could take advantage of two bench seats, just right for the number on the walk, four per bench.
 It was while we were sitting on this bench that Michel spotted a Kingfisher and shouted in enough time for the rest of us to have a chance of seeing it as it flew past.
 Wendy kindly provided us all  with  a piece of "English" bara brith, as it was 21st birthday again only yesterday. As it was the last walk before Christmas, Martyn provided fruit cake for those that were able to cope with the extra few calories after their bara brith..
 One or two of the fields we had to negotiate, suffered from the downpour last night and much effort was in to put in to trying to avoid either the mud or the  lying water.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Woodpigeon, House sparrow, Black-headed gull, Common pheasant, Common blackbird, Pied wagtail, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Common buzzard, Blue tit, Mallard, Canada goose, Farm yard goose (Greylag), Black-billed magpie, Canada goose, Redwing, Fieldfare, Mute swan, Moorhen and Kingfisher.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed in the very pleasant surroundings at the Old Barbridge Inn, where several Woodland brews went down well, and there was no complaints about the tea either!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

A Burton to Parkgate Round 12th December 2013

Approaching Neston Old Quay.
Approaching the Harp.
Denhall Quay and Burton Marshes.
A few birds that took to the air after being disturbed by a birdwatcher on the marshes.
Looking across the Dee estuary towards Wales.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.9 miles. Climb: 219'.
 Time: 4 hours 38 minutes. On the move walking average: Overall walking average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Annie, Roger, Phil, Wendy David and Celia.
An overcast day with the prospect of showers after lunch, was the best we could expect. At the start on Station Road/Denhall road, Burton there was a cool breeze and we all set off well wrapped up.and some admitting to wearing thermals! However by the time we arrive at Burton Woods, it became warm enough to walk in short sleeves, and remained so for the rest of the day. In fact when we arrived back at the car, the temperature on Wendy's car thermometer registered 13 Celsius, not what you expect for mid- December.
  Once again we didn't find it easy to follow the walk directions, but at least this time we eventually managed to walk the right way down Wood Lane on to Neston Road.
  Once on the Wirral Way, progress was unhindered and we soon arrived at Stanney Fields Park, where were able to perch undercover near the roller skates park - some just sat on the grass.
 After lunch we arrived at Parkgate Promenade, eagerly anticipating using the local PC, alas they were closed!
 On the coastal route back, we encountered a fair bit of claggy mud, possibly made worse by the recent high tide. In fact on Denhall Lane we saw one home owner still clearing up after last Thursday's flood, and he informed us that the water had reached about a foot inside even though it had been three feet up the wall on the outside. He seemed quite cheerful and said very little damage had been done!
 We arrived back at the car, quite surprised that we had done  nearly 10 miles in such a short time! It is quite surprising how quick the group walks when the leader only takes five photos on the walk and doesn't stop every five minutes to look at flowers and birds!
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Common teal, Mallard, Wigeon, Canada goose, Great white egret, Blue tit, Great tit, Pied wagtail, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Collared dove, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Rook, Black-headed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Eurasian curlew and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Boathouse Inn at Parkgate, where the several real ales were sampled, but Brimstage Trappers Hat seemed to go down well.
  Advanced notice for those that need to plan ahead.
 The Boathouse Inn, Parkgate will be the venue for our annual  walk and meal. This will take place on the last Thursday, 30th January 2014.  Anyone that has ever walked with us, or just knows any of us and wants to join us on the walk and meal or just for the meal are welcome.
 More details will appear once I have sorted out the January 2014 walks list.
 You can get an idea of their menu by going on their web sit at http://www.theboathouseparkgate.co.uk
  Apparently they change their menu in January, but it probably only be minor changes.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Wybunbury and More 7th December 2013

Is it a Redwing or Fieldfare? Redwing I think!
Who are those funny people?
Passing one of the many pretentious houses - this one had a full size snooker room!
Wybunbury Church tower.
Walk stats: Distance: 12.1 miles. Climb: 509'.
Time: 6 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia, Mike and Vicky Clarke.
This was another great day for walking, largely sunny, little wind and pleasantly warm for December.
 It couldn't really be described as being an inspirational walk, but it was mainly a pleasant walk through this part of agricultural Cheshire with the occasional mud challenge!
  The surprise of the day was suddenly to find ourselves going across a golf course, with not much guidance to exactly where the path went, except for a warning bell when we got half-way across.
  We had lunch just before heading to Whittaker's Green Farm, and were able to sit in shirt sleeves or at least without being wrapped up in several layer!
 At Wrinehill Road / Cobb's Lane junction, Celia decided that sh would take the shorter more direct route to he car (Red Lion), whilst the rest of us headed up Cobb's Lane.  
 After skillfully negotiating a particularly muddy section, only to find that we needn't have done so, we decided to take a different route back to Wybunbury and headed directly for the church tower.
 We arrived back at th car to find Celia sitting on a bench, having had a warming cup of tea in the Red Lion.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, European robin, Common blackbird, Grey heron, Redwing, Fieldfare, Mallard, Tufted duck, Dunnock, Black-headed gull, Common buzzard, Carrion crow, Canada goose, Jackdaw and Goldfinch (Celia's spot!).
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Tollmarche Arms, Alpraham. Alas it wa another Robbies pub, so one drink of Blonde was sufficient and I didn't have a carry out!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Around Frodsham Marshes 5th December 2013

David in front of a a former place of employment (30+ years ago!)
At lest today he didn't have to go any closer!
Here comes the rain, time to put the ? on!
Frodsham Hill from Godscroft Lane.
Spot the bird - 2.
Spot the bird -3.
Spot the bird- 3.
3 chances of identifying the bird.
Only prize, an extra piece of fruit cake on the last walk before Christmas!
Walk start: Distance: 7.9 miles. Climb: 1750' (GPS wind assisted reading - more like 100' in reality!.
Time: 3 hours 37 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, David and Phil.
Yet another perfect day for walking, well not quite, we were originally going to walk through the wooded Frodsham  and Helsby Hills, but decided that it would be better head or lower ground and walk around Frodsham Marshes, well away from trees!
 At the start of the walk, David's anemometer registered around 20 m.p.h. and on one occasion it gusted up to 30 m.p.h., hence whenever we headed in to the wind it was quite challenging to say the least.
 Whilst this wasn't the most picturesque of walks, at least it allowed us to stretch our legs and get the cobwebs out of our hair (for those that had enough hair left!.
  Lunch was taken in the bus shelter near  Helsby church, thankfully the lady waiting for the b us didn't object!
  Not many birds were seen today, but Fieldfare seemed to be everywhere.
 Birds seen or heard  today included: Fieldfare, Redwing, Common blackbird, Blue tit, House sparrow, Black-headed gull, Great cormorant, Common blackbird, Tufted duck, Grey heron, Carrion crow and Common buzzard.
 I my opinion, overall it was an enjoyable walk, even though a scouser stall holder said we'd only be out 10 minutes and we  should have been in Snowdonia,  David had his work past experiences and  Phil managed to pick up a Christmas present in Frodsham thanks to Roger who had to go back to the car just after setting off.
 Alas the street market in Frodsham had closed early, so we all al missed out on the large deep  plate sized custard tarts.
After walk drinks were enjoy, at at the Netherton Arms,where both beers sampled were good, but the usual Lees bitter, usually the best, wasn't on offer!. I assume the coffee and orange squash were OK, although the latter did seem somewhat week! Without doubt, those on duty today  were pleasant and  delightful!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Around Lyme Park 30th November 2013

Red deer in Lyme Park.
Lyme Hall as we approached from the West.
A head to head, but did they agree?
A very low Bollinhurst Reservoir.
Autumn scenes from the Macclesfield Canal East of Adlington Basin.
Walk stats: Distance: 11.5 miles. Climb: 1070'.
Time: 6 hours 1 minute. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Mike.
This was a perfect day for walking, cool with plenty of warm Autumnal sunshine. We ended up doing the described walk, but in the opposite direction as the one described, and spent most of the walk facing into the Sun.  The views today were superb, although a smog-like haze seemed to linger the towns and building to the North and east.
  In Lyme Park we saw a herd of Red deer relaxing a South ewest section of the park.
 As expected we found sections of the walk boggy, particularly on the section to Stag House and in the fields approaching Lockgate Farm.
  As we headed down the  bridleway towards Birchencliff, we had superb views of a Common kestrel that came within about six feet as it was being mobbed by a Carrion crow.
 We arrived back at the car, having had a superb walk, but with legs feeling that they had climbed a little more than just over 1000'.
 Birds sen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Canada goose, Mallard, Moorhen, Grey heron, European robin, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Common buzzard, Common kestrel, Lesser black-backed gull, Fieldfare, Common starling, Blue tit, Black-billed magpie and Great tit.
  After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Netherton Hall, Frodsham.  The Lees bitter wasn't at its best, but they quickly replaced it with the other brew on offer, Cora, that went down well.