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, 29 November 2014

Conwy Mountain and More 29th November 2014

Conwy Castle from the Northern slopes of Conwy Mountain.
"Celia explains it all!"
At Castell Caer Seion - just to prove that it was shorst weather on the last Saturday in November!
Two of the many wild ponies seen around Waen Gyrach.
Reflections in Swern Engen.
Autumnal colours on the South side of Conwy Mountain.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.6 miles (not even 10 if you went to the Visitor Centre to spend 20p!)
Time: 6 hours 17 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Celia.
The weather forecast was good, but what we had was much better!
After about 10-30, any clouds lifted and we had blue skies and glorious warm Sunshine all day. my only regret was not bringing my sun hat and sunglasses!
 This was in every sense of the word a delightful walk despite the angle of of the Sun meant that we spent a fair amount of time trying to avoid its glare! However we just had to turn our gaze in any other direction to be rewarded with superb views.
 I must be getting old, I allowed the group to have more that 40 minutes for lunch, but it was a good lunch spot and it was warm and Sunny and had good views!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, European robin, Herring gull, Rook, Carrion crow, Raven, Stonechat, Common blackbird, Meadow pipit, Black-billed magpie and Red-billed chough.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell in Halkyn.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Walks and Dates November 2014

Updated 18th Novemebr 2014.
Saturday 1st November 2014.
Mynydd Eilian and Point Lynas and More.
Distance: 7-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Llaneilian Car Park. Grid ref: SH474929.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Best Walks in North Wales". The walk visits one of Anglesey's high points, and follows a section of the Coastal Path. A good section of the coastal path is on concesssionary paths that are closed on some days, but having checked with Anglesey Council this date isn't one of them. Walking along the coast is always good at any time of the year, especially if you get good weather'. Let's hope we will get good weather on this occasion.
The difference in mileage depends on how much of an extension we add on to the planned walk.
Thursday 6th November 2014.
Pencloddiau and Moel y Parc.
Distance: 10-12 miles. Climb:1800'.
Start: Llangwyfan Forestry Car Park between Pencloddiau and Moel Arthur.Grid ref: SJ139668.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
These two walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "More Walks on the Clwydian Hills. New and extended edition". The walk normally starts from Aberwheeler, but parking is somewhat limited there. This a good walk that explores both sides of Moel y Parc and Pencloddiau.  Expect superb views on a clear and frosty day.
Saturday 8th November 2014.
Garreg Fawr and Coedydd Aber.
Postponed - I need to sort my rooms out before the decorators arrive!
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1800 - 2000'.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
Start: Forestry Commission car park (pay and display)at Bont Newydd. Grid ref: SH62720.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks On the North Wales Coast" , well all of one walk and part of another!
The Garreg Fawr walk explores the foothills of the Carneddau between Llanfairfechan and Abergwyngeryn, giving us contrasting views of coast and mountains. The second walk visits Aber Falls using paths on each side of the valley. All the recent rain could make the falls spectacularly at their best.
Thursday 13th November 2014.
Bersham, Erddig and King's Mill. 
Distance: Up to 10 miles. Climb:500'.
Start: Felin Puleston Car Park. Grid ref:SJ325492.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk is a low level walk, exploring the Clywedog valley around Bersham and  Erddig.  When we did this walk in December 2012, the weather wasn't very nice and it was very waterlogged underfoot. There was so much water in the river,  we couldn't get under the bridge at King's Mill. Hopefully we will have better conditions this time round.  If you ae a member of the National Trust please bring your membership card.
Saturday 15th November 2014.
The Roaches and Lud's Church.
Distance: 9 -10 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start: Roadside parking below the Roaches North of Upper Hulme. Grid ref: SK004621.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m. 
This walk is taken from the Pathfinder Guide to the Peak District.  The Roaches has become one of our annual favourite walks, but this route is one that we have only done once before.  It includes the main Roaches ridge, and possibly Hen Cloud. The planned return route will be back along Black Brook. Can be boggy, especially on the lower route back from Lud's Church.
Thursday 20th November 2014.
Newton Mountain Forest, Cae-Llwyd and Ty Mawr Reservoirs.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Lay-by near Bethlehem Chapel, Rhosllanerchrugog. Grid ref: SJ289468.
To get to the lay-by enter Rhos on the B5097 from the North.go past Ysgol y Grango, and just past the Coach and Horses pub turn right along Mountain Street. At the junction by the Sun Inn, turn left along Hall Street to find a lay-by by Llys-y-Mynydd and opposite Bethlehem Chapel.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Ruabon Mountain, the Clywedog Valley and Hope Mountain". The walks explore the edges of Rhuabon Mountain and visits two of Rhosllanerchrugog's upland reservoirs.
We last did this walk in November 2012.
Saturday 22nd November 2014.
Around Lyme Park.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Nelson Pit Visitor Centre, Higher Poynton. Grid ref: SJ945833.
Leave Chester at 08-30.
This walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "Best Pub Walks in Cheshire", although we will start at the Neslon Pit Visitor Centre car park, and probably won't visit the hostelry that she suggests. The walk includes, a section of the Macclesfield Canal, open moorland, the Bow Stones and passes two reservoirs before going through Lyme Park. On reaching Lyme Park, we will decide whether to continue on the described route or take a more direct route to the car park. The open moor section has been known to be quite boggy on previous visits.
Thursday 27th November 2014.
The Alun Valley, Moel y Waun, Llyn Gweryd and Limestone Pastures.
Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Start: Llandegla Village car park, adjacent to the bus shelter and opposite the Post Office. Grid ref: SJ196523.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills". He describes one walk as being delightful and the other as being an easy walk with scenic delights. What more could we want from a walk, and as we know Dave Berry is frequently delighted on his walks! From past experience parts of the route can be muddy underfoot.
Saturday 29th November 2014.
Mynydd Mynyllod, Llyn Maes y Clawdd and Earl's Wood. Postponed - Conw Mountain and Foel Lus Instead.
Distance: 11-12 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Llanderfel. Park next to the stream. Grid ref: SH982371.
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry;s book "Y Bala and Penllyn".  One walk explores the delightful hidden pastures and rocky outcrops, reaching moorland North of Llanderfel. The second walk features two attractive lakes and includes a section of the "Queens Walk" named after Queen Victoria'a visit in 1828.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Alun Valley,Llyn Gweryd and Limestone Pastures 27th November 2014

Setting off from Llandegla along the banks of the Afon Alun.
Lunch time on the Limestone rocks North of Creigog-isaf.
Looking towards Moel y Waun from the track South West of Llyn Gweryd.
A motte and bailey - Castell y Rhodwydd.
"Who said it as a flat walk?"
One of the many challenging stiles on the walk today.
"Smoking trees".
Walk stats: Distance: 10.1 miles. Climb: 880'.
Time 5 hours 24 minutes. On the move walking average; 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S., Annie, Celia, Phil and Paul.
Having crossed Llandegla Moors in fog / low cloud we weren't very optimistic about seeing any views today. I started off in full Winter gear, but within half an hour I had to remove my jacket and walked for the rest of the day in just a short sleeved shirt.
 The Alun Valley is often quite boggy and today was no exception, but for once no-one was complaining.
 We had a rather early lunch, taking advantage of a little outcrop of Limestone that provided us all with good places to see and quite good views too. David managed to spot a Hare, but it had run away to quickly for anyone else to see.
 Too our surprise, after lunch the Sun came out and we managed to get some good views, especially towards the Vale of Clwyd and beyond as we approached Offa's Dyke and Moel Y Waun.
 We used the access track to Accre Hall, a good alternative to the muddy path leads from Moel y Waun to Accre Hall.
 We also had good views of  Castell y Rhodwydd, one of the best motte and baileys in North Wales.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common pheasant, Grey heron, Common blackbird, European robin, Woodpigeon, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Common buzzard, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Pied wagtail and Fieldfare.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Red Lion at Penyfordd, although the Timoth Taylor Landlord wasn't quite at its best.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Around Lyme Park 22nd November 2014

Macclesfield Canal looking towards the Addlington Basin.
Panorama from the access road to Lockgate farm, looking towards Park Moor.
Looking over Park Moor towards Lyme Park and the Cage.
At the memorial toposcope on on Park Moor / Lyme Park.
Looking towards the cage from the track leading to Middlescale farm.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.4 miles. Climb: 997'.
Time: 5 hours 20 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Mike.
The forecast for today suggested that the temperature would be in double figures, so I decided that Summer walking gear was the best option and short sleeved shirt and shorts were brought out of their hibernation!  In fact it was almost perfect conditions for walking and when the Sun was shining towards the end of the walk it must have been well above the 11 Celsius forecast.
 The views were quite good, although distant views weren't that clear, particularly looking towards Shining Tor.  Part of the walk can be quite boggy, but the section over Park Moor wasn't too bad and the muddiest section was the footpath Ryles Wood towards Middlescale Farm.
 Lunch was taken in a small disused quarry  West of Lantern Wood, where a few stones provided suitable seating.
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Mallard, Moorhen, Canada goose, Great tit, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion crow, European robin, Common blackbird, Common starling, Goldfinch and Wood nuthatch.
 Overall an enjoyable walk, and one well worth repeating.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Nertherton Hall in Frodsham, where the Lees bitter went down well.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Newtown Mountain Forest, Cae-Llwyd and ty Mawr Reservoirs 20th November 2014

Newtown Mountain Forest Larches showing Autumnal colours.
Looking at the various family memorials to a local farming community.
The view of Pant-glas Reservoir from our lunch spot.
Our lunch spot - two very welcome benches.
The gorse bush between Phil and Michel has since been cut down to size!
Cae-llwyd Reservoir.
Ty Mawr Reservoir.
Heading through Llwyneinion Wood
Walk stats: Distance: 6.9 miles. Climb: 471'.
Time: 4 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overallwalk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia, Sue and Michel, Annie an Phil.
The weather today was somewhat overcast and although it never rained there was always a sort of dampness in the air. However it wasn't cold and I found it more comfortable when I wasn't wearing my fleece, the rest of the group declined testing my observations. As expected with low lying cloud clinging to the higher ground our views were somewhat limited until after lunch we had good views across the two main reservoirs.
 Lunch was taken at 12-00 as we came across, not one but two benches on the roadside overlooking Pant-glas Reservoir. As Annie was one year younger earlier in the week, she kindly presented us with chocolate biscuits.
 As the prospect of good views from the moors was very unlikely, we decided to miss out the Fron-deg loop  and headed back to Rhosllanerchrugog via Llwyneinion Wood. This meant we arrived back at the car a little earlie than expected.
 Birds seen or hard today included: House sparrow, Common blackbird, Common starling, Great tit, Goldfinch, Jackdaw, Common pheasant, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Red-legged partridge, Carrion crow and Redwing.
  Overall an enjoyable walk, and perhaps one we should attempt again in Summer conditions!
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Trevor Arms, Marford, where Theakston's Bitter and Hogoblin were on offer. The latter was better.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

The Roaches and Lud's Church 15th November 2014

Setting off down the road, hoping the weather would improve!
"Is this all you left me?  The core!
The best view from the Roaches.
Yes you can you see Tittesworth Reservoir.
One of the many outcrops of rocks that seemed to take on a different air in the mist.
This one we thought looked like a dog pointing its nose in the air.
At the trig point on the Roaches.
Mike and Celia on the way up the Hen Cloud path.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.0 miles, (8.4 miles). Climb: 1150' (1400').
Time: 5 hours 16 minutes. (5 hours 36 minutes). On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h. (1.5 m.p.h.).
Group: Martyn, Mike and Celia.
We arrived at the car parking area below Hen Cloud with mist/cloud covering both Hen Cloud and the Roaches. We decided to start the walk by taking the road all the way to Roaches End and then follow the path along the ridge and eventually approach Lud's Church from the West.  This would give the Sun chance to work on the mist and give us the best chance of having views from the Roaches. Alas the mist didn't clear from the Roaches all day, so any views were somewhat fleeting!
 The the best conditions for walking as far as I was concerned, my glasses kept on steaming up and 9 hankies was only just enough to cope with the continuous need to wipe them clear!
  We decided to have lunch on a small outcrop of rocks before heading for Lud's Church. At least the rocks  were dry, so we had a relatively comfortable place to sit for lunch. a Grey squirrel took a great deal of interest in us while we ate our lunch, and was "rewarded" with Mike's apple core.
 We managed to get through Lud's Church and the muddy sections of Forest Wood without too much trouble, but as soon as we could be headed back up to the ridge above Back Forest.
 It seemed like along way up the paved section of the Roaches before we finally arrived at the trig point.
 Having spent enough time in mist and rapidly running out of hankies, I decided I didn't want go over Hen Cloud and decided to head for the car by the easier route. Celia and Mike obviously wanted this "misticle" experience to continue and over Hen Cloud.
 I'm sure I made the right decision as I had plenty of time to finish of my soup and fruit tea before they arrived back at the car twenty minutes later.
 Today we didn't see the Roaches at their best, but at least we did manage to stretch our legs  and id didn't rain on us!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Dunnock, European robin, Common blackbirs, Raven, Meadow pipit and Red grouse.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where the Hartington Bitter was excellent. I even enjoyed the mug of coffee. It's always good to visit this hostelry that has plenty of character and characters too. A delightful bar maid filled by carry keg and then made me a cup of coffee!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Felin Puleston, Bersham and King's Mill 13th November 2014

The exciting start along the "rat run"!
A rather long train with a cargo from Germany that kept us waiting for more than 10 minutes.
Running away from the leader who ha stopped to do a bit of birdwatching!
A ghostly appearance under King's Mill Bridge.
Waiting for the front runners to get back on track!
Heading along the delightful avenue of trees back to Erddig (avoiding the muddy section near the river).
Walk stats: Distance: 8.0 miles. Climb: 680'.
Time: 4 hours 26 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie, Sue and Michel, Wendy, David S., Tim, Celia, Phil, Sue and Dave P.
Weather forecast not good, we set of hoping that we would get past lunch time without too much rain. Most of us had Winter walking gear, expecting it to feel around 5 Celsius! Alas only one of the group got it right and appropriately wore shorts. In reality we didn't need waterproofs, but donning gaiters was definately a wise choice.
  A memorable walk in more ways than one! we started on the way to Bersham by taking the "rat run" (path on the East side of the factory), that led to an overgrown path that probably has been used since we last used two years ago, and if we remember we won't use it ever again! Our problems didn't stop there, after climbing up to the railway line, our crossing point was blocked by a train so long that it seemed to stretch as far as you could see in both directions, stopped as Wendy said by a distant red light!  The goods waggons were of an unusual design, with an unknown cargo, all we could tell they were from Germany.  I thought the E.U. countries weren't as secretive as this! After it eventually moved off, some of us crossed the line, only to be tooted by a passenger train coming from the other direction!
 Arriving in Bersham, we eventually got back on  to the Clwyedog Trail, but were soon diverted because Rail Track were working on a railway bridge over the path. At least it took us to an alternative path that took us West of the factory back to Felin Puleston. This is the way we will use in future to avoid the scenic "rat run" experienced earlier!
 Having had enough excitement for one day, the route from Felin Puleston to King's Mill started on a delightful path through the woods (note two "delightfuls", I'm learning from Dave Berry!).  It changed once we were forced to leave the woods and head down to the banks of the Clywedog.  David S and Phil ignored our plaintive calls forced us all to endure the "mud challenge" as well, after all we couldn't abandon them, ebven though that did seem the best option!
 We eventually arrived at King's Mill, going under the road bridge over the Afon Clywedog, this time with the path only flooded by a few inches of water, giving us the opportunity to clean our boots a little.
 Lunch was taken at King's Mill, where we took advantage of steps and a wall to act as convenient places on which to perch. I understand a couple of the group wanted to have some toast for lunch, but were disappointed to find it didn't even have a plug let alone a socket in which to plug it!
 After pointing out that the route description involved us retracing our steps through the "mud challenge", I almost had a mutiny on my hands!  Michel approached me as the "leader", but thankfully Phil had already spotted an alternative path that would enable us to return to the banks of the Afon Clywedog via a footbridge North of the muddy section!
 Our final section was along a good path through an avenue of trees straight to Erddig, alas we couldn't do the section that would take us to the hill fort as this was on the Wat's Dyke Way that had been closed due to erosion.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Wood nuthatch, Common crow, Common buzzard, Grey Heron, Jackdaw, Black-headed gull, Mute swan, Pied wagtail and Goldfinch.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Alyn in Rosset, where Jennings Cumberland or Hobgoblin were the beers of choice. The former a little pricey at £3-60 a pint!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Penycloddiau and Moel y Parc 6th November 2014

Tim (looking normal!) at the cairn on Penycloddiau.
Heading for Moel Y Parc, but where are they? I only stopped to take a photograph!
At the cairn on Moel y Parc.
Striding out along the Clwydian Way, West of Penycloddiau, but where's Roger?
Distance: 7.6 miles. Climb: 1100' at a guess as it was 2093' (Wind assisted on the GPS).
Time: 4 hours 16 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue and Michel, David S and Tim.
Numbers less than expected today, one dropped out as the weather forecast wasn't good enough and another manged to strain a muscle in bed!
We arrived at the car park at the Llangwyfan Forestry Car Park just as it started to rain, it was a little on the blustery side too. Encouraged by David S and Tim who started to put on the walking boots before the rest of could suggest waiting a while, we all donned our gear and set off. Thankfully this was the worse rain we had all day, and that wasn't really enough to wet us! The rain had stopped totally by the time we were crossing the top of Penycloddiau and its hill fort. It was only the wind that we had to contest with at this point, but as it was assisting our ascent we decided carry on up to the top of Moel y Parc. David's anemometer measured the wind speed at 20 m.p.h at the cairn on Moel y Parc. 
 Although strong, the wind wasn't cold, and most of us in our Winter gear fund that we were overheating!  I should have been wearing shorts!
The views weren't brilliant, but we could see the coast and the Little Orme, but Snowdonia wasn't in the picture. 
 We descended South west from the summit of Moel y Parc on a path that I hadn't been on before, heading towards Aberwheeler. It eventually brought us to the offa's Dyke Path near Aifft. This was a good route, although on this occasion it did cut the walk a little, resulting in us arriving at the Blue Bell before its opening time at 15-00. Not wanting it to be known that we were waiting outside a pub til it opened w headed for the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where we were welcomed by a roaring fire and the Lees Bitter was at its best!
 Birds seen or heard today were very few, but included: Meadow pipit, Carrion crow, Raven, Wood nuthatch and European robin.
 Overall a very enjoyable walk, made all the better as any mud was easily avoided! I'm sure this walk will be repeated in the future.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Morfa Conwy to Deganwy and Back 1st November 2014

Panorama from Morfa Conwy Beach at the start of the walk.
Loking across Conwy Marina towards Conwy Mountain.
Looking North from the bridge over the Afon Conwy.
Pipit yes, but is it a Rock pipit?
Our usual lunch spot after the storms earlier in the year, not available this time!
Just to prove that at least one of us was still wearing shorts on the 1st of November!
Wigeon at Conwy.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.0 miles. Climb: 210' (645' wind assisted on the GPS).
Time: 4 hours 29 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
We set of optimistically hoping that we wouldn't need our waterproofs and that shorts and sunglasses were the order of the day. In reality we didn't really need much of either!
 The start of the walk was a very pleasant stroll along the beach, with good views in all directions. Our first experience of the erosion was as we approached the Marina, where parts of the path had been washed away, but this was minimal. The major evidence of storm damage was as we approached the wind shelter that we had used last year as our lunch spot. This was still a no go area and we had to take lunch in brick built wind shelter a few hundred yards further on towards Llandudno West Shore.
 Our final stretch of the Coastal Path was parallel with the golf course, but still close to the shore, it merely wound its way through the sand dunes, not really the best way to finish the walk with tired legs.
 Despite being a there and back walk, it is a very enjoyable walk, with lots to draw your gaze, even if you aren't a twitcher!
Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Common blackbird, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Oystercatcher, Common  redshank, Eurasian curlew, Little egret, Mallard, Grey heron, Northern wigeon, House sparrow, Common starling, Rock pipit and Mute swan.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell in Halkyn, where the Dabinett cider went down well.