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, 27 February 2014

Garth and Felin Blwm Woods and maen Achwyfan 27th February 2014

A former wood, with trees now harvested, just after setting off North of from Whitford.
Surprisingly we are on the Coastal Path through small wood heading for Garth and Ffynnongroyw.
Roger's just checking!
A good display of Snowdrops in Coed felin Blwm, the best yet in 2014.
A restaurant that doesn't mind hoodies!
"I can still see you. Don't come any nearer to my babies!"
Walk stats: Distance: 8.7 miles. Climb: 1132'.
Time: 5 hours 5 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie, Celia, Tim and David S.
Another superb day for walking, it's a good job we didn't listen to any of the weather forecasts that all suggested rain between 11-00 and 15-00! In fact we had mainly blue skies and sunshine, although it did briefly cloud over at times.
 Considering the amount of rain and stormy weather we have had this month, challenges of muddy sections and fallen trees didn't disappoint, especially if you hadn't experienced such delights for some time!
 The highlights today were huge display of Snowdrops in Coed Felin Blwm and many lambs seen in the fields West of Garreg Farm. These were the first lambs seen on a walk this year. Celia also saw Celandine in flower too.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Mallard, Greylag goose, Common blackbird, Collared dove, woodpigeon, Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Common pheasant, Common buzzard, Pied wagtail, Common starling, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Redwing, Fieldfare and Sparrowhawk.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed as ever at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. The Lees bitter was superb, some of had more than one pint!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Walks and Dates February 2014

Updated on 21st February 2014.
News from Dave and Sylvia.
Dave and Sylvia back in Chester. Recovery going well. Regular visits from the District Nurse.
Saturday 1st February 2014.
The Llugwy and Lledre Valley. Postponed
Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Start: Railway station car park in the centre of Betws-y Coed. Grid ref: SH795565. 
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Dave Berry's new book "Walks Around Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley". This walk links the beautiful wooded Llugwy and Lledre Valleys. It takes in Sarn Helen, the former Roman Road, and reaches over 800' before descending in to the Lledre Valley. It involves a steep climb to Llyn Elsi or at least that is what Dave Berry says!
Thursday 6th February 2013.
Leasowe Lighthouse to New Brighton.
Distance: 9-11 miles. Climb: 200'.
Start: North Wirral Coastal Park car park. Grid ref: SJ257915.(New start point)
To get to this car park, instead of turning left towards the lighthouse, as the A551 turns right onto Leasowe Road, go straight on (past PC block on right and cafe/snack hut on left). This car park has a good tarmac surface.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is a walk along the beach to Perch Rock Fort, assuming that the water on the incoming tide is low enough. High tide at 15-40 (27.8' /8.5 m). From there, we will continue onto Vale Royal Park (where we in the past we have had lunch) and onto Wallasey Gardens. Hopefully the weather will be kind as it was last year.
On the return there will be plenty of birds to see as the tide comes in, so bring binoculars with if you have any.
 I wonder if the drift wood ship survived the Winter storms, or perhaps a new one is in the process if being built!
Saturday 8th February 2013.
Mow Cop, Congleton Edge and the Cheshire Ring Canal. 
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Mow Cop Nation Trust Car Park (Members only, bring your membership card or car park badge). Grid ref: SJ856573.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines a walk from Carl Rogers's book "Circular Walks Along The Gritstone Trail" and part of a walk taken from the "Pathfinder Guide to Cheshire". This walk is a little shorter than the one that w did in 2008. Good views from the ridges.
Hopefully the weather will be better than the ice/snow and mist that we experienced last year!
If it has snowed  in this area, then I will probably change the walk to one at a lower level.
 Thursday 13th February 2014.
Bunbury and More.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 350'.
Start: The Green by St. Boniface's Church, Bunbury. Grid ref: SJ570581.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
The described part of the walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "Walks in West Cheshire and the Wirral". The walk explores the area around Bunbury between Beeston and Wardle Hall Lock, and South as far as Haughton Hall. The walk includes a fairly lengthy section of the Shropshire Union Canal. Field paths at this time of the year can be on the muddy side!
Saturday 15th February 2014.
Llyn Elsi and Sarn Helen probably with a Riverside extension.
Distance: 6-9 miles;Climb:1000'.
Start: Betws-y-coed main car park opposite the station. Grid ref:SH795565.
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley" The main walk visits Llyn Elsi and with a little added extra we could complete a circuit of the lake. The second walk descend from the high point along Sarn Helen, the Roman road from Caerhun in the Conwy Valley to Carmarthen. The final section back to Betws-y-coed is along the riverside path, always a treat and good for spotting our feathered friends too.
Thursday 20th February 2014.
Delamere Forest
Distance: 10 miles:
Start: Barnbridge Gates car park. Grid ref: SJ542716.
This walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "More Pub Walks in Cheshire and Wirral".
Leave Chester at 9-00 am.
To get to the start point take the A51 from Chester to Tarvin. Then take the B5393 (Ashton Lane) left through Ashton towards Mouldsworth. Take the second turn on the right, just before entering Mouldsworth, to Delamere and Hatchmere. The car park is on the right after about 2 miles.
Most of us will have walked these paths several times in the past, but not often when there likely to free from running children. Again the whole route should give good bird spotting opportunities, especially as we go close to Linmere, Flaxmere and Hatchmere. Don't forget to bring your binoculars with you.
Saturday 22nd February 2014.
Around the Little Orme to Rhos On Sea.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 700'.
Start: Roadside parking next to Paddling Pool and PC on Coast Road at Craig y Don, East side of Llandudno.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This has become a regular walk at any time of the year, but it will be the first time that we have done it February. The views from the top of the Little Orme are always superb, but the main reason for doing the walk so early in the year is to see if there are any Seals around Porth Dyniewaid.
Thursday 28th February 2014.
Garth Wood, Felin Blwm Wood and Maen Achwyfan.
Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb: 1264'.
Start: Whitford village. Roadside parking opposite the church. Grid ref: SJ147782.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m. 
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". It is quite some time since I have done the first walk. Unfortunately it is only 4.5 miles and the only other walk that links in well with it is Maen Achwyfan, a walk that we have done many times before, but this will be the first time in 2014.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

The Little Orme to Rhos-on-Sea 22nd February 2014

The view from the trig point on the Little Orme.
At the trig point on the Little Orme.
Grey seals on the beach of Porth Dyniewaid.
Fulmars at a nesting site at the Little Orme Quarry.
Grey seals on the beach of Porth Dyniewaid.
Fulmars at a nesting site at the Little Orme Quarry.
Penrhyn Bay, heading for Rhos-on-Sea.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.4 miles. Climb: 987'.
Time: 4 hours 43 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Fran.
Today was another superb day for walking, largely bright sunshine all day and occasionally a strongish wind to make sure we didn't overheat too much!
 The views from the trig point on Little Orme Head, showed that the higher peaks of Snowdonia were capped in snow.  However the highlight of the day was when we dropped down in to the quarry and looked down on to the beach at Porth Dyniewaid to see eighteen Grey seals, the most that I have ever seen in this location.
 Another bonus today was the tide was such that we could walk a good distance along the stony beach at Penrhyn Bay as we headed towards Rhos-on-Sea. There is always something special about walking by the sea with the sound of the waves as they gently crash and roll up the beach. 
 Despite seeing about 20 birders on a sea watch, we were unable to see the Guillemots, Shag and Scoter that they were hoping to see, although we did manage to pick out the Great Cormorants.
 we were still happy this was and 18 seal day after all!
 Lunch was taken at Rhos-on-Sea, where we took advantage of one of the many seats provided along the lower promenade near St Trillo's Chapel.
 Always a bonus on a walk, public toilets still open, both at the start at Craig-y-Don paddling pool and at Rhos-on-Sea.
 Birds seen or head today included: Oystercatcher, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Eurasian curlew, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Rook, Great cormorant, Great black-backed gull, Meadow pipit, House sparrow, Pied wagtail, Feral pigeon, Greenfinch, Great tit, Chaffinch, Collared dove, Common redshank, Ringed plover, Wigeon, Common blackbird, Fulmar and Peregrine falcon.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where the Lees bitter went down well, but there again it usually does!
 In all a perfect walk, and even Fran was home early enough to make sure her bread buns would be OK for her choir fund raising event this evening!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Delamere Forest, Primrose Hiil and Boothsdale 20th February 2014

Heading South on the Sandstone Trail as planned, but where next?
At the Pale Heights Cairn - not originally on the planned walk.
View from Pale Heights.
Boothsdale, from a little higher than our lunch spot.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles. Climb: 1080'.
Time: 4 hours 19 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Phil, Annie, Tim and David S.
We approached Delamere Forest to see signs that indicated most of the forest North of the Barnsgate car park was closed either due to forestry work or storm damage!
Thankfully Phil was aware that there may be problems and brought the map for the walk from Primrose Hill that I had planned to do in a few weeks time, and after consulting staff at the Forestry Works office, we decided that heading South was the best option.
 Most of the walk was completed in warm sunshine, and I was regretting the decision not to have walked in shorts! We had short period of rain, that encouraged some of the group to don overtrousers for about 20 minutes just before lunch, and a five minute shower as we went up Yeld Lane  was all we got. On this occasion Accuweather and the Beeb got it right!
 The views north from Pale heights were superb, out towards Shropshire and Wales it wasn't quite so clear, perhaps a sign of the shower we would get later.
 The only sign of any storm damage was in Primrose Hill, where there was still a fallen tree across the path, but this was easy to negotiate.
 Overall a good improvised walk, thanks to Phil, with a bonus that that my boots were so clean that all I had to do was give then a quick wipe as there was no mud at all on the soles!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Common buzzard, Wood nuthatch, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Common blackbird, Dunnock, Raven, Great spotted woodpecker, Woodpigeon, Collared dove and European robin.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Goshawk at Mouldsworth, where the only seats available were a settee and poufs near the fire, too many of the grey voters out for lunch!  In theory six real ales on offer, but the best, Trapper's Hat wasn't available, one other requested went off and one other tried wasn't at its best, thankfully Weetwood Best OK.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Bunbury and More 13th February 2014

St Boniface's Church, Bunbury, the start of our walk.
Not the best photo, but a singing Song thrush is always delightful to hear and see.
xA superb panorama as we approached Beeston and the Beeston  cattle market.
On the canal heading towards Bunbury, all of us, but I'm only a shadow of my former self, I wish!
Evidence of the strong winds yesterday!
Roger striding across one of his favourite types of terrain.
It's alway good to capture a photo of someone enjoying the experience!
Spot the "hanging" tree.
Walking stats: Distance: 9.6 miles. Climb: 564'.
Time: 5 hours 3 minutes. On the move walking average 2,3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, David S., Phil, Annie, Sue and Dave P.
Another great day for walking, the Beeb got it right again! After the storms of yesterday, some of the group were complaining that they were too warm (having decided to wear their thermals), but at least I decided to walk without a jacket, just regretting not wearing shirts! 
 We were expecting many of the field paths to be on the boggy side, but as far as Beeston market they were better than expected, however the section from Wardle onwards made up for it!
 This walk provided some superb views of Beeston Castle and at time Peckforton Castle.
  I didn't expect the birds seen or heard today to offer any new additions to our 2014 bird list, but we in fact had two. First we saw a flock of about 10 Yellowhammers and as we walked along the canal towards Bunbury, David S shouted "Kingfisher", and some of us were fortunate enough to see it twice!
 Lunch was take just after passing Bunbury Locks, 4 had the comfort of a bench, and 3 of us had to rough it by sitting on a fallen tree a little further down the canal towards Calverley.
 I won't mention much about the sections after lunch, except that one or two don't want to experience the delights of boggy, muddy fields again.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Greenfinch, European robin, Common blackbird, Chaffinch, Mallard, Song thrush, Redwing, Great cormorant, Winter wren, Eurasian jay, Jackdaw, Common crow, Common buzzard, Collared dove, Great tit, Skylark, Black-headed gull, Common starling, Blue tit and Kingfisher.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Dysart Arms, Bunbury, but I wasn't tempted to have a takeaway!
The Pearsons missed out as they had to dash off to Telford to pick up their grandchildren to take them to todays match of the day - Chester v Halifax1

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Leasowe Lighthouse to New Brighton and Back 6th February 2014

Walking along the beach from Leasowe Lighthouse towards New Brighton.
One of the many small boats heading out to sea.
Approaching Fort Perch rock Lighthouse.
A message left by the remains of the "Pirates of New Brighton Galleon sculpture".
All that remains of "Pirates of New Brighton Galleon sculpture".
An old plane flying out along the Wirral Coast.
Walk stats: 10.7 miles. Climb: 195'.
Time: 4 hours 36 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.8 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.3 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie, Sue and Michel, Phil, Time and David S.
If the BBC weather forecast was correct, then we were hopeful that we would get away without rain, if Accuweather was correct then we could could expect to finish in the rain and we could expect to have lunch in the wind shelters at new Brighton Marine Lake.
Thankfully the "Beeb" got it right, and we only experienced a few a few spots or rain during the last half a mile.
 As we started at a different car park this time, we set towards the Lighthouse and then explored a new path that headed towards Hoylake. This proved a bonus as we heard and saw several singing Skylarks high up in the blue sky. Skylarks are always a joy to hear at any time of the year, but especially at this time of the year as they make you think of Spring.
 As it was low tide just as we started, we were able to enjoy walking along the beach almost all the way to Fort Perch Rock, without worrying too much about escaping from the incoming tide. 
 we decided to investigate the "Pirates of New Brighton Galleon sculpture", and how it had survived the many storms of the last few months. Alas only the flag poles seemed to have survived, it was good to see that plans are well advanced for it to be rebuilt when weather permits.
 As it was quite warm, and hardly any wind, we decided to take lunch in Wallasey Gardens Park, using several of the many park benches.
 The surprise of the day was to see an old plane with 4 propellers flying very low over the Mersey and out towards the North Sea.
 Not as many birds were seen today, but they included: Eurasian curlew, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Oystercatcher, Carrion crow, Common starling, Sanderling, Turnstone, Common redshank, Great cormorant, Feral pigeon, Pied wagtail, European robin, Common coot, Winter wren and Skylark.
  Overall a good walk, especially as our boots were still relatively clean, only requiring a little sand to be brushed off providing we had avoided stepping on any messages left by our canine friends!
 after walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wheatsheaf at Raby, where for once it was quite quiet. Brimstage, Trappers Hat was in particularly good nick, I weakened and had to have a takeaway!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Leasowe to New Brighton 1st February 2014

The approach to Leasowe Lighthouse at the start of the walk.
The tide already well in as we head for New Brighton.
An impression of the number of waders swirling around as high tide approached.
A Common scoter, first spotted by Mike.
A Turnstone and a Sanderling.
A Red-breasted merganser, shares the pontoon with Common Redshank, Ringed plover and Great cormorant.
Perch Rock Lighthouse.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.7 miles. Climb: 200'.
Time: 4 hours 23 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.8 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
The weather forecast for Betws-y-coed was for heavy rain and 30 m.p.h. winds all day, so at the last minute we decided to have a walk nearer home, just in case we had to abandon the walk at any point!
In fact the we got the wettest returning to the car after our after walk drinks at the Wheatsheaf at Raby, a mere twenty yards!
 On the walk it threatened to rain a couple of times, but never lasted for more than a minute or too, even the wind wasn't that strong.
 High tide was around mid-day, and even at 10-00,  it was well in and virtually all the beach was covered.
 The number of waders swirling over the sea at times was really impressive, but the bird of the day was undoubtedly the two Common scoter that were seen quite close in near one of the breakwaters.
 The waves did crash over the front wall, but only significantly by New Brighton Marine lake, where the wall has been replaced by railings.
 Lunch was taken, using one of the many wind shelters that overlooked the Marine Lake.
Bird seen or heard today included: Common scoter, Dunlin, Red-breasted merganser, Common starling, Sanderling, Oystercatcher, Eurasian curlew, Turnstone, Common redshank, Ringed plover, Purple sandpiper, Great cormorant, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Stonechat, Carrion crow and Feral pigeon.
 Brimstage's Trapper's Hat went down well as we celebrated how blessed we were to have had a good walk without getting wet and having found three public toilets on the walk that were still open and free! Not to forget that the Wheatsheaf at Raby with its real fires and good beers is always a good place to go, especially after a walk on a cold day.
 No prizes for guessing where we will go for after walk drinks on the 6th!