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, 26 April 2014

Pendle Hill 26th April 2014

Our first view of Pendle Hill from just outside Downham.
Looking from Burnt Clough over Clitheroe, but what are the hills that we can see in the distance?
Don't ask, on the warm side of the Scout memorial Cairn.
At the trig point on Pendle Beacon (Big End).
The Three Peaks of Yorkshire!
Always one of the best sights in spring - twin lambs bonding!
Approaching Downham, but whose shadow is in the picture?
Walk stats: Distance: 8.3 miles. Climb: 1910'.
Time: 5 hours 56 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h. (I didn't realise that we had had so much time sunbathing at lunch time!)
Group: Martyn and Mike.
The weather forecast for today wasn't that good, and Mike set off wearing waterproof jacket and overtrousers and even I started off wearing my waterproof jacket! Thankfully all this gear was only needed as the wind was on the cool side, especially as we crossed the moor. Our only mistake in terms of gear was that we both forgot to have Sunglasses that would have been beneficial, particularly after lunch.
 The views today were good, once we had gained height and on the final approach towards Downham, the three peaks of Yorkshire could be clearly seen.
 Plenty of Spring birds were around, but alas not the Dotterel! Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Goldfinch, Jackdaw, Rook, Eurasian curlew, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Blackcap, Winter wren, Carrion crow, Wheatear and Chaffinch.
 Overall a superb day on Pendle Hill, without a drop of rain!
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the White Lion at Alvanley, where several Robinson's brews were on offer, we tried the Hartley's, I didn't have a take away!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Valle Crucis and Coed Hyrddyn 24th April 2014

One of the views as we climbed Coed Hyrddyn.
Dinas Bran from Coed Hyrddyn.
Valle Crucis Abbey from Coed Hyrddyn.
The Eglwyseg Cross.
Stopped to admire the view or making a point that it's time we stopped for lunch!
Bluebells as we descended the slopes towards Llantysilio.
Walk stats: Distance: 5.5 miles. Climb: 1172 ' (Originally written as 5.5 m.p.h).
Time: 3 hours 57 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.9 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S., Phil, Paul, Sue and Dave P.
This turned out to be a superb day for walking. It started off well, when we found the toilet block at Llantysilio Green was open for the Summer, apparently this was the first day that they had been opened after refurbishing.
 On this occasion we decided to climb over the ridge of Coed Hyrddyn as we planned to visit the Eglwyseg Cross, rather than go round the lower path. This gave us superb views in all directions.
 In the end we had superb views from both sides of the valley, continually demanded that you stopped just to take in the vista.
 Lunch was taken on the slopes North of Llidiart Annie, giving us superb views towards the the Eglwyseg Escarpments and Dinas Bran. We must have lingered a little longer than than usual for lunch, as it was Phil and David that that stood up first and packed their rucksacks!
 Spring flowers were out in force, including a fair number of Bluebells. Other flowers included: Lesser stitchwort, Red campion, Dandelion, Herb robert, Speedwell, Primrose and Common violet.
 Willow warblers seemed to be singing well all the way round the walk, definitely the most that I have  seen/heard on a walk this year.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common buzzard, Black-billed magpie, Woodpigeon, Great tit, Wood nuthatch, Barn swallow, Dunnock, Winter wren, Chaffinch, Rook, Raven, Chiffchaff, European robin and Willow warbler.
 Quite a few Bumble bees were seen as well as butterflies. The butterflies included: Orange tips, Peacock and Small tortoiseshell.
 Much to David and my surprise, everyone else decided that they didn't fancy the second part of the walk if it involved any uphill, so we ended the walk early and ended up sitting outside the Abbey Grange Hotel enjoying a pint of Llangollen beer brewed on site.
 A short but very enjoyable walk.
Thanks Mike for the comment, at least someone lets me know when I write nonsense!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Walks and Dates April 2014

Updated 19th April 2014
Thursday 3rd April 2014.
Moel Plas-Yw, the Alyn Valley and Coed Ddu.
Distance:11 miles. Climb: 1600'.
Start: Car park at the Southern side of Moel Arthur. Grid ref: SJ148658.
Leave Chester 9-00a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "More Walks from the Clwydian Hills". The first walk that crosses the slopes of Plas-Yw to the Wheeler Valley is one of my favourite walks in this area.  He describes the second walk as a walk that meanders through the attractive and varied countryside between Hendre and Cilcain.
Saturday 5th April 2014
St. Celynnin's Church and Tal y Fan.
Distance:7-8 miles. Climb: 2600'.
Start: Roadside parking in Rowen, on the right by houses just after passing the Post Office. Grid ref:SH761719.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley". This walk is described as exploring the scenic upland pastures, full of antiquity, featuring a remote ancient church, Maen Penddu (standing stone), a burial chamber and Cae Bach (hill fort). Visiting Cae Bach may involve a there and back extension! Although this walk is shorter than our usual walks, Dave Berry does suggest that we should allow at least 5 hours and is for experienced walkers only!
Thursday 10th April 2014.
Cwm Coed Drwg and Moel Morfydd.
Distance: 9 miles; Climb: 2000'.
Start:Lay-by close to the Butterfly Man Craft Centre at Glyndyfrdwy. Grid ref:SJ158436.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This is a walk taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". This is another walk that we have done several times before. Dave Berry describes it as an exhilarating walk exploring the Western hills of the Llantysilio Mountains, giving extensive views throughout. The climb through heather clad moorland to the summit of Moel yr Gaer is an extension that we will do, weather permitting.
Saturday 12th April 2014.
Solomon's Tower, The Goyt and Corber Hill. 
Postponed - see below for new walk.
Distance:10-12 miles; Climb:2250'.
Start:Poole's Cavern Car Park, Buxton. Grid ref:SK0499726.
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.
Last year when we attempted these walks, it was somewhat misty, particularly at the start of the walk and climbing Solomon's Tower left everything to the imagination, but all agreed it would be worth a second visit. Hopefully we will get good views on our second visit. The walks are taken from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks - Northern Dales". A surprisingly good walk considering that three walks are linked along the streets of Buxton.
A Tale of Two Quarries and the Foothills of Moel Morfydd.
Distance:10-11 miles; Climb:2800'.
Start: Opposite Capel Hebron, Rhewl. Grid ref:SJ182449.
Leave Chester 8-45 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book ""Walking Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley. The two quarries walk is described as an exhilarating walk exploring the foothills and attractive South facing side valleys of the Llantysilio mountain range.
The second walk is described as a walk that explores the beautiful Dee Valley and includes passing around the head of an attractive side valley beneath Moel Morfydd, offering superb views of the Dee Valley and beyond.
This is a walk that we usually do on a Thursday, but parking is limited, so I thought it would be better to include it on the Saturday list for a change.
Thursday 17th April 2014.
Y Foel, Biddulph Tower and Around Vivod Mountain.
Distance:10 miles.
Climb: 1500'
Start: Llangollen long stay car park (pay and display). This is the car park that you get to by taking the second road on the right 
 after crossing the bridge towards the centre  (signposted car parks).
Grid ref: SJ214420.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk involves as steady ascent along a by-way called Allt y Badi up to the ridge above the Ceiriog Valley, where there are superb views in all directions. After visiting the Biddulph Tower on Y Foel, the route heads East to the North Berwyn Way which is followed all the way back to Llangollen. Possible extension o the top of Vivod Mountain.

Saturday 19th April 2014.
Llyn Maes y Clawdd and Earl's Wood and Mynydd Mynyllod.
Postponed - Billy no mates again - unless you know better!
Distance:9-12 miles; Climb:2000+' (if we complete all of the second walk).
Start: Riverside parking in Llandderfel village. Grid ref: SH982371.
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.
This walk involves two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn". The first walk is new to us and completes the walks in the book that start from Llandderfel. He describes this walk as a delightful walk in the beautiful Upper Dee Valley, featuring two attractive lakes. The second walk is described as exploring delightful hidden upland pastures. Last time we extended this walk to explore the moorland area a little more, but this time we will keep strictly to the route description and may even use the alternative shorter route.
Thursday 24th April 2014.
Valle Crucis, Coed Hyddyn and the Horseshoe Falls.
New car park
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start: Llantysilio Green Car Park.
Grid ref: SJ198433.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
To get to the car park, take the A542 Llangollen to Ruthen road. After about 1.5 miles turn left on to the B5103 towards Corwen and Rhewl. After half a mile keep straight on to find the car park on the left hand side. PC block also present, but never seems to be open these days.
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". At Llantysilio Green the walk heads for Valle Crucis Abbey across Coed Hyrddyn and heads North before returning to Llantysilio Church The second part of the walk starts with a stroll along the canal to Llangollen before by rising from the River Dee and meanders around a wooded spur above the valley, giving superb views over Llangollen. The walk then drops down to Berwyn Halt, over the river with good views of the Chain Bridge and up the road to the Llantysilio Green Car Park. A scenic walk with excellent views.
Saturday 26th April 2014.
Pendle Hill – the annual search for Dotterel.
Distance:7-8 miles. Climb:1400’.
Start: Downham Village Car park. Grid ref: SD785442.
Leave Chester:8-30 a.m.
This is an extra walk for this week, so is a little shorter than usual.  It revives the May Day walk that we used to take before a certain government decided they didn't want to celebrate a day for the workers! The route today is the one in Terry Marsh’s book “Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire”. He describes it as “undoubtedly the finest ascent of Pendle Hill”. Let’s hope for a good day weather-wise, topped up with good views of Dotterel as we did a couple of years ago.  Don’t forget to bring binoculars. 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Y Foel, Biddulph Tower and Around Vivod Mountain 17th April 2014

An early view of Dinas Bran from the Allt y Badi track.
A very young lamb, protected by mum!
Mum making sure the youngsters take their turn!
Panorama from Biddulph Tower.
At the Biddulph Tower.
At the trig point on Y Foel.
The Eglwyseg Escarpment from the North Berwyn Way.
Our final view of Dinas Bran as we descended towards Llangollen on the North Berwyn Way.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.0 Miles. Climb: 1521'.
Time: 4 hours 53 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Nigel and Celia.
At breakfast time on Wednesday, I didn't think that I had any takers for today's walk, but thankfully Nigel and Celia came to my rescue!
 Weather wise the forecast wasn't too helpful in terms of what gear we should be wearing, I opted for full Summer gear, and just about got it right, but on the higher ground Celia thought that I bonkers (my words, not her exact words!).
 This was a largely new route for me, and it was the first time that I had ascended via Allt y Badi and returned around Vivod Mountain along the North Berwyn Way.
 The views all day were superb, once we had gained a little height. This is certainly a walk that I will repeat in the future.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Barn swallow, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Common pheasant, Woodpigeon, House sparrow, Black-billed magpie, European robin and grouse seen by Celia.
 Flowers seen today included: Herb robert, Wood sorrel, Wood anemone, Bluebell, Lesser stitchwort and Common violet.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed by some at the Pant-y-ochain at Gresford, unfortunately I chose the wrong option and my favourite, Snowdonia Ale wasn't quite at its best!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

A Tale of Two Quarries and More 12th April 2014

There is a train there somewhere!
Looking towards the Eglwyseg escarpments from our lunch spot.
Heading for Berwyn Quarry.
Looking down on the River Dee as we descended fro Berwyn Quarry.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 2137'.
Time: 5 hours 19 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
Overall this was a god day for walking, despite the fact that we didn't get much Sun and the wind at times was cool to say the least!
 The walk was quite varied and involved a fair bit of climb, but this meant that we did get some good views down the Dee valley.
 Our only problem occurred around finding the path around Rhiw Goch Quarry, where I encountered far too much contact with Gorse (my knees still show the blood marks and it took the whole of the first half of the FA Cup semi-final for me to remove all the Gorse needles from my socks.
 The best bit on the Rhiw Goch Quarry section of the walk was to encounter a group of teenagers on D of E, one of the group noticed that I had blood spattered knees and she asked me if I wanted a plaster, an unexpected and lovely gesture.
 Birds seen and heard today included: Black-billed magpie, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Carrion crow, Raven, Common buzzard, Meadow pipit, Green woodpecker, Common pheasant, Winter wren, Stonechat, Pied wagtail, Willow warbler and Common blackbird.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Sun Inn at Rhewl, where Llangollen brews were on offer. This seems to be a punb linked with the Llangollen brewery, normally has at least two brews on offer. The new landlords have only been in for about a year, but their warm welcome can be recommended if every sense of the word!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Cwm Coed Drwg and Moel Morfydd 10th April 2014

Looking across the Dee Valley towards Moel Morfydd as a steam train goes by. (Times are GMT) 
Heading towards Bwlch-y-Groes.
At the trig point on Moel Morfydd.
Panorama of the view from our lunch spot on the Eastern slope of Moel Morfydd, showing the rest of the Llantysilio ridge that both Sue and David S are glad that they are not on today's route!
Bluebells starting to flower.
The River Dee from the road bridge South of Glyndyfrdwy. 
Waiting for the next train - no, just waiting for the "leader" to catch up!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.7 miles, Climb: 1881'.
Time: 5 hours 28 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h., Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Tim, Wendy, Mike, Paul, Fran and David S.
Weather prospects good, but perhaps an odd shower around mid-day if you believed some forecasters. Thankfully the Beeb got it right and we had no rain, but did have to make sure we were wearing a had, especially for those that no longer had any natural protection on the top of their heads!
 Much of the walk before lunch was up hill, but I had the frequent excuse, that I had stopped to listen to a bird singing, thinking that it might be a Willow warbler. Thankfully I did hear several Willow warblers in Cwm Coed Drwg (the first that I have heard in 2014).
 Reaching Bwlch y Groes, I decided that we would have a little extension to the most Westerly peak on the Llantyslio Mountains, had I known that David S and Sue liked them so much I would probably have decided on a different extension!
 However the extra height gained that we had some superb views towards the Eglwyseg Escarpments and Dinas Bran.
 We did descend on a new route to us, that turned to be on a walk that we had done many times, but had missed out by linking two walks together!
 Overall a superb walk on near perfect day for walking.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, Black-billed magpie, Carrion crow, Raven, Common buzzard, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Wheatear, Common pheasant and Willow warbler.
 Spring flowers were seen especially as we descended the lane  down to the Dee Valley. The flowers seen included: Primrose, Wood anemone, Violet, Self-heal and Bluebells.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Berwyn Arms just outside Glyndyfrdwy on the way to Corwen. This was the first time that we had been to this hostelry, and it proved to be a good choice. We had a very warm welcome the staff/owner/bar persons and the beer was Bank's Sunbeam bitter a superbly refreshing drink after a walk. The views from the outside area, overlooking the River Dee were superb. I'm sure that we will be using this hostelry again, and it is much easier to get to than the one we usually go to when we are in this area!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

St. Celynin's Church and Tal-Fan 5th April 2014

"We hope you're not use a wide angle lens in that camera!"
St. Celynin's Church.
Inside St. Celynin's Church.
At Maen Penddu standing stone.
Two of the wild ponies on the Northern slopes of Tal-y-Fan.
Panorama looking towards Anglesey from Taly-Fan.
At the trig point on Tal-y-Fan.
The Druid's Stone Circle above Penmaenmawr, seen from our lunch spot on Tal-y-Fan.
"I bet they don't know they're on the blog"
The burial chamber West of Rowen.
Bluebells in flower!
Walk stats: Distance: 7.4 miles. Climb: 2246'.
Time: 5 hours 27 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn. Mike, Roger and Celia.
Today's weather forecast wasn't good and when it started to "spit" as we arrived at Rowen, we thought it was in for the day. We all put on waterproofs, including overtrousers - that was a mistake, we didn't get any rain for the rest of the  day that needed any  waterproof gear!
 In fact the the worst we had to contend with was a strong wind near the trig point on Tal-y-Fan, but even that wasn't a cold wind.
 Overall this was a superb walk, more ups and downs than we might usually do, but the views down the Conwy Valley and towards the North Wales Coast were superb.
 We must have seen about 15 other walkers on Tal-y-Fan today, all very pleased that we had been blessed with such good weather.
 On many walks we come across the remains of sheep, but today for the first time it was the remains of a pony, no flesh left, just the bones and part of the hide.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Chaffinch, European robin, Jackdaw, Rook, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Pied wagtail, Common buzzard, Common blackbird, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Ring ouzel and Red-billed chough.
 It was also a good day for spring flowers including: Primrose, Spurge, Herb robert, Wood anemone, Stitchwort, Red campion and even Bluebells.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where the Lees bitter was in good form.
 My only regret is that I didn't film Mike fishing for his hat with his leki!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Alyn Valley, Coed Ddu and Around Moel Plas-yw 3rd April 2014

"They're not all mine, honest!"
Crossing the Afon Alyn for the first time.
"Well let me think - no I can't remember"
Lunch times over.
Wood anemone in the woods.
Primrose in the woods.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.8 miles. Climb:1338'.
Time; 5 hours 24 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue and Michel, David S., Wendy and Tim.
We arrived at the car park on the West side of Moel Arthur, only just in time to get a parking space, a large group of ramblers from Mid-Cheshire soon filled up the rest of the space available. 
 Thankfully our route took us down towards Cilcain, as any path that went upwards along the Clwydian Hill ridge was in cloud, and seemed to be so all day. 
 We set off in waterproofs, some just in jackets some with over trousers as well, but by the time we reached Cilcain, most had been removed. This proved to be a bit of a roller coaster of  a walk, but most of the muddy sections on this walk experienced on earlier walks were much better today.
 After lunch however it became very humid, and most of were "steaming" a little, and those suffering from shortness of sight were continually stopping to wipe their glasses so that they could see where they were going.
 We arrived back at the car park with legs hoping that the stats would tell us that we had done much more than the  9.8 miles and climb of 1338' that our GPS had recorded. 
 Birds seen or heard today included: Chaffinch, Jackdaw, Goldfinch, House sparrow, Meadow pipit, Common buzzard, Common blackbird, Woodpigeon, Skylark, Common pheasant and Red-legged partridge (seen from the car as we left the car park). 
  Most of us were able to refresh the parts that needed refreshing with a pint of Lees bitter at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, those less fortunate had to manage with with various flavours of fruit juice and two varieties of crisps!