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

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Sheen Hill, Pilsbury Castle and Parkhouse Hill 27th June 2015

One of the wils flower meadows as we headed from Longnor towards Sheen Hill.
Chrome hill and Parkhouse Hill above Lower Boothlow farm.
The trig point on Sheen Hill.
The popular Pilsbury Castle.
Abundant flowers on the roadside from Crowdicote to Earl Sterndale.
Chrome hill and Parkhouse Hill from the minor road from Crowdicote to Earl Sterndale.
Chrome Hill from the farm road on the South side of Parkhouse Hill.
Parkhouse Hill from the farm road on its South side.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.5 miles. Climb:1201'.
Time: 5 hours 58 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Celia.
We arrived at Longnor just in time as we were able to take the last car park space on the cobble area in the centre of the village.
 We knew it was going to be on the warm side as it was, but fortunately there were frequent spells where passing clouds shielded us from the full glare of the Sun.
 The start of the walk took us through several meadows that had superb displays of wild flowers, only matched later on by the display along the minor road from Crowdicote to Earl Sterndale.
 The views today down the valleys and the distant Chrome hill and Packhouse Hill were superb.
 Once again we didn't manage to get to the trig point on Sheen Hill, but we did see a fewer walkers get there.
 It would seem that Packhouse Hill is now open access, we started up the steep hill, but I abandoned the idea half way up but Celia climbed a little higher before we both returned to the farm road on the South side of the hill.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Barn swallow, House sparrow, Eurasian curlew, Carrion crow, Rook, Wheatear, House martin, Dunnock, House sparrow and Great tit.
 Drink were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where the Hartington bitter went down well. I had planned to have a drink at the Grapes in Longnor, but alas it has been shut for nearly seven years, so we had no choice but to head for the Wilkes Head!

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Cwm Dulas and Gopa Wood 25th June 2015

Off Abergele shore wind turbines under construction or repair?
On the beach heading for Llandulas.
"I'm nearly with you, but I got chatting to a couple and had to put them right about the closed Coastal Path between Abergele and the Caravan site at Llandulas."
Rock roses on the slopes of Pen-y-corddyn-mawr.
View from our lunch spot on the southern side of Pen-y-corddyn-mawr.
Is it a lunch time power nap?
"I wonder what this is in my sandwich?
The Norther end of the Clwydians from Gopa Wood.
Distance: 8.6 miles. Climb: 810'.
Time: 4 hours 38 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil, David S., Celia, Annie, Tim and Wendy.
This turned out to be a walk of surprises in more ways than one! Weather was no problem, although it was a little too warm and humid at times, but we did get a little respite when the breeze picked up momentarily!
 Our first surprise came at the very start of the walk when sections of the beach had been cordoned off as Ringed plover had started nesting there.
 The next problem occurred when workmen approached us on the Coastal Path, asking us whether or not we had seen the notice about the footpath being closed. He didn't appreciate us politely informing him that the notice had been put in the wrong place! This meant that we had to retrace our steps slightly and go along the beach as far as the Caravan site at Llandulas. This was a pleasant alternative to the tarmac route on the Coastal path, although did test waterproofing of some of the group's chosen footwear or this walk!
 Once at Llandulas, no more enforced extensions and optional extensions were unanimously discounted!
 Lunch was taken at our usual spot at the Southern end of  of Pen-y-corddyn-mawr, where we had good views of the route we would take late as we skirted Betws Lodge Wood.
 Some sections of the route were somewhat overgrown with briers and benefited from a trim with secateurs!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Ringed plover, Pied wagtail, Jackdaw, Common blackbird, Common whitethroat, Barn swallow, House martin, Common buzzard, Grey wagtail and Grey heron (David wouldn't like me to miss this one out!)
 We arrived back at the car a little earlier than expected, but no-one complained, and most of us were looking forward to a refreshing drink at the Blue Bell at Halkyn.
 On route Tim had received a message from Carol, saying that she had gone to Birmingham as her far wasn't too well, and Tim suddenly realised that he hadn't got his house key with him! Hopefully Carol's father will recover from his hospital visit, and Tim will be picked up later from Celia who had kindly volunteered to be a hostess.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Walks and Dates June 2015.

Thursday 4th June 2015.
Craig Adwy-Nant, Nant Clwyd Hall and the Afon y Maes Valley.
Distance: 9-12 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Llanelidan. Grid ref: SJ108503. To get to the parking area, take the A494 Ruthin to Bala road, 2 miles after Pwllglas, turn left towards Llanelidan. Keep ahead at the crossroads as you enter the village, then go down a "No through road" past houses, telephone and a chapel to the end of the road where there is a parking area.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd", and explores the beautiful, unspoilt undulating countryside around the Nant Clwyd Estate.  The last time we did this walk we reduce it to about  10 miles and a climb of just over 1000'. We will probably do the same agin this time.
Saturday 6th June 2015. 
The Big Moor Including Curbar Edge, Froggatt Edge, White Moor and Baslow Edge.
Distance: 9-12 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Curbar Edge National Trust Car Park: SK262747
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
The Big Moor walk is taken from Robert Harris' book "Walks In Ancient Peak District". This walk is a superb walk along mainly gritstone edges and gives plenty of opportunity to search out a few sites of historical interest. These include Stoke Flats Stone Circle, Hurkling Stone, Swine Sty Enclosure and Swine Sty. Some of them aren't easy to recognise even when you know that the grid reference is right! We did find one or two last time we explored this area.
The extension is 2-3 miles and allows us to traverse across Baslow Edge back to the car park.
Last time we did this walk we didn't complete the extension, making the walk around 10 miles.
Thursday 11th June 2015.
Stokyn, The Coastal Path and More.
Distance: 8.0 miles Climb: 1000'.
Start: Holywell Halkyn Street Car Park. Grid ref: SJ18957548.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is the last of the walks taken from Ron Williams and Elfed Jones' booklet "10 Walks Around Holywell".  Much of the walk is familiar to all of us. As this walk is nominally shorter than our usual walk, it will probably give us time to explore the grounds of Basingwork Abbey, or maybe extending the walk after perusing the map at lunch time.
Saturday 13th June 2015.
Meini Hirion and More
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Coastal car park near Wylfa Power Station. Grid ref: SH356938.
Leave Chester 08-00.
This walk involves two walks from Robert Harris's book "Walks in Ancient Wales". Much of the walk is along quiet lanes, but we will uses field paths and part of the Coastal Path to link the two walks. The walk goes South down an access road to Tregele, down a minor road to link with the path to some standing stones to meet up with the second walk. From Llanfechell we will take the path North around Pen y Bryn and on to Cemaes and return along the Coastal Path. Bring binoculars with you.
Thursday 18th June 2015.
Grindley Brook to Marbury.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 200' at a guess.
Start: Layby on the A41, East of Grindley Brook Locks Cafe and about 400 m before the roundabout / junction with the A49. Grid ref: SJ 524428.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
This is a repeat of the walk that we did in December, and the general opinion was that we should try the walk again, but as a Spring or Summer walk.
 I had originally planned for a walk to Moel Fferna today, but the still ongoing A483/A55 Post House  roadworks, have persuaded me to abandon all thoughts of walks towards Llangollen should be put off until at least August! Hence the reason for me putting this Cheshire walk on a little sooner.
The walk starts at the Horse and Jockey, but we will start in the layby a little East of that particular hostelry.
The walk is described as one which goes through a countryside that is a maze of drumlin hills and kettlehole lakelets. I womder if we will be able to identify these two features of the landscape. He describes the walk as being boggy in places, but he did it in February, hopefully it won't be as bad for us! The walk included parts of Bishop Bennett's Way, the Sandstone Trail, South Cheshire Way and parts of the Shropshire Union Canal.
Saturday 20th June 2015. 
No walk - Billy no mates again, unless you know otherwise.
Thursday 25 June 2015.
Cwn Dulas, Cefn yr Ogof and Gop Wood.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1300'.
Start location. Abergele, Pensarn Beach car park by PC. Grid ref:SH942786.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The bulk of the walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast", with an extension to include the small hill Cefn yr Ogof. Always a good walk with several opportunities to have extensive views. We may decide to explore Gop Wood a little more or even be tempted to paddle in the sea at the end of the walk.
Saturday 27th June 2015.
The White Shark. 
A Classic White Peak Walk! 
Distance: 12-13 miles; 2100'.
Start: Longnor car park. Grid ref: SK088649.
Leave Chester at 08-00.
To get to Longnor follow the A51 towards Nantwich. Then the A500 towards Stoke on Trent. Then the A53 to Leek. From Leek take the A523 road to Ashbourne. At the Green Man Pub. turn on to the B5053 to Onecote, Warsow and Longnor. In Longnor turn right and the new car park is on the right. The alternative parking area is on the cobbled square in the centre of Longnor.
This walk is one we did quite a few years ago, on a day that we first experienced the delights of the Wilkes Head in Leek.
The walk is taken from the Trail Magazine. It suggest that the walk takes 6.5 hours, but I expect that we will take a little longer, although I do anticipate taking a few short cuts on the day!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Grindley Brook and Marbury 18th June 2015

Heading for Marbury Big Mere.
Marbury church on the far side of Big Mere.
Two pairs of Canada geeese with their goslings on Big Mere.
Marbury Church as we approached from the East.
Inside Marbury Church.
The of Marbury Little Mere from our lunch spot around the old oak tree.
Our lunch spot opposite the Swan at Marbury - spurned by Celia and Paul!
Walk stats: distance: 10.2 miles. Climb: 565'.
Time: 4 hours 45 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil, Annie, Paul, Sue Pearson, Tim, Celia, Wendy and David S.
The weather today was almost perfect for walking, plenty of sunshine and a pleasantly cooling breeze, which at times made wearing a sun hat difficult to keep on, and at times fears that it may get blown in to the canal.
 At the start we tried to investigate a path that took us through Grindley Brook Farm, but couldn't find the way through and a friendly farmer directed us through his fields to rejoin the route that we did last year.
 As we had had a lot of dry weather, we optimistic that our approach to Big Mere East of The Knowles would be dry underfoot, it wasn't and some of ended up with the backs of our legs  being splashed with muddy water!
 On this occasion we were able to see inside Marbury church, it's always good to see places of worship open everyday for the general public.
 Lunch was taken by most of us taking advantage of the seating around the old oak tree opposite the Swan,  a few sat on the grass in the sunshine as the seats around the oak tree were in the shade.
 Two of the group headed back to Marbury Church to take advantage of the seats in cemetery that overlooked Big Mere.
 After lunch we headed around Little Mere before having a brisk stroll along the towpath of the Llangollen canal back to Grindley Brook.
 Birds seen or heard included: House sparrow, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Canada goose, Common coot, Great crested grebe, Common blackbird, Mallard, Barn swallow and House martin.
 We arrived back at the car quicker than expected, even earlier enough for Paul to get back home in time to assist in the taxi service for his grandchildren!
 After walk drinks were enjoyed the Horse and Jockey at Grindley Brook, where most beers were from the Cheshire based Woodlands Brewery and the Shropshire based Joules Brewery. The one I tried was Ale Fresco brewed by Green King, had I known that, I wouldn't have tried it!
 Overall a pleasant walk and with ten of us, one of the best turn outs for some time, with holidays depleting our group over the last few weeks.
 It was suggested that next time we do this walk, we should complete the walk by doing the canal section first and route using the South Cheshire Way and Bishop Bennet's Way on the way back from Marbury.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

The Breakwater Country Park and South Stack 13th June 2015

Penrhos Feilw Standing Stones.
Heading for  the Coastal path near Clybyddiad.
One of the Choughs on The Range, South Stack Country Park.
Lunchtime East of Porth y Gwin.
A singing Skylark.
A Skylark near our lunch spot.
Guillemots and razorbills at South Stack.
Heading back to the Breakwater Country Park.
Walk Stats: Distance: 10.4 miles. Climb:1137'.
Time: 5hours 29 minutes. On the move walking average: Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Celia.
The forecast today suggested that it would be cloudy all day, pleasant temperatures with a cooling North westerly wind. It was like that until we reached South Stack, when the Sun put in an appearance and the Sun hat came out for the last couple of miles!
 Once again we did a bit of exploring in terms of paths heading from the Country Park towards Gorlan and Castel. All went well we couldn't find the right of way heading West of Gorlan above Castell and the radio mast and the other path on the South side of the mast was blocked.
 We retraced our steps to Gorlan and then went South to pick up the road leading to Twr and the next path that we wanted.
 The rest of the route was fairly straight forward, even the path from South Stack heading East below Holyhead Mountain.
 The walk today was a good one for flowers, especially along the hedgerows near Bryn Awel and along the coast across The Range and heading Northwards.
 Skylarks entertained us for most of the section across The Range, being interupted occasionally by Meadow pipits and at one point a pair of Red-billed choughs.
 We didn't see any Puffins at South Stack, although apparently about 20 individual birds were around.
 Birds sen or heard today included: Willow warbler, Jackdaw, Mallard, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Herring gull, Common whiteththroat, Meadow pipit, Barn swallow, Skylark, Red-billed chough, Stonechat, Common blackbird, Winter wren, Greenfinch, Oystercatcher, House sparrow, Black-billed magpie and Great cormorant.
 One or two butterflies were seen, including a Red admiral and Common blue.
 We arrived back at Breakwater Country Park just after 15-00, in plenty of time for Celia to go to the Visitor Centre and retrieve her Rowan jacket lost on our last visit to this area.
 Will at the Visitor Centre was very helpful and was going to investigate our problem paths West of Gorlan.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where the Dee Sweet Cider went down well.
 Using the MP4 setting makes tthe videos better, but wind noise is still a problem.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Holywell, Stokyn and the Coastal Path from Mostyn to Greenfield 11th June 2015

How do we get over this one?
Cross with care and one at a time!
Our first distant view of the Dee Estuary.
The church at Glan-y-Don.
A Mullein Moth lava (catterpillar), so I assume the plant it is on is the Greater Mullein!
Heading East towards the Duke of Lancaster.
Some of the art work on the side of the Duke of Lancaster.
If they represented the walking group today, who would they be?
Would I be the one in the middle, wondering which way should we go!
The panorama across the Dee Estuary towards Hilbre and the Wirral.
Walk stas: Distance: 10,3 miles. Climb:745'.
Time: 5 hours 28 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Phil, Celia and Annie.
The weather today ws forecast to be very warm and sunny, with the only relief a gentle cooling wind. In fact it was prety well what we did get, but the occasional walking in shade was a welcome.
Most of the described route we had covered before, but not exactly the same as on the descripion, so the extension was to give us the chance to explore new territory. It certainly did that and challenged us in more ways than one! , We had stiles that were missing, gates that could not be opened or were difficult to climb over, overgrown paths, broken footbridge and bullocks that at best could be describes as behaving like errant teenagers!
  At one point I was feeling very guilty, having created an extension that went through some very overgrown terrain with lots of briers and Celia emerged with a nasty looking section of split skin on her shin. Phil assisted with the first aid and plaster dressing, under Celia's direction of course! My conscience was cleared a little later when Celia's wound was self inflicted, having caught her shin with the heel of her other foot! (Thankfully she had it checked and a friendly nurse sorted it out - as she said "I live to fight another day!")
 It was the first time that we had walked along the Coastal Path from Mostyn Sewage Works towards the Duke of Lancaster, fun ship. Although it looks rather sad from this side, the art work on it was quite impressive.
 Despite the problems uncounted, this was a good walk, even having lunch on the pic-nic table at Aberkhan was a good suggestion by Phil. Shade and toilets, what more could you ask for on a day like this.
 As ever at this time of the year, the number of flowers seen (although I didn't appreciate the Stinging nettles and still don't as I write this blog!) were much more impressive than the birds seen or heard.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Chaffinch, Common starling, House sparrow, Pied wagtail, Barn swallow, House martin, Wood nuthatch, Greenfinch, Chiffchaff, Winter wren , Dunnock, Mallard, Common coot, Black-billed magpie, Grey wagtail, Dipper, Common buzzard, Grey heron and Grey heron.
 A good walk, ending in a pleasant stroll in the shade along Wat's Dyke in the Greenfield Valley, and we were back in time for Phil to pick up some strawberries from the greengrocer on Holywell High Street.
 After walk drinks, as ever, were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Curbar Edge, Froggatt Edge, White Edge, Big Moor and Baslow Edge 6th May 2015

Baslow Edge from Curbar Edge.
Heading for Froggatt Edge along the main Curbar Edge path.
Bluebells in Hay Wood.
Looking North East past White Edge Lodge.
The first of the art in the countryside stones on Whide Edge.
At the trig point on Big Moor.
Deer on Bog Moor.
Listen to the Skylark singing - a pity about the wind noise!
The second art in the countryside stone on ther approach to Wellington's Monument on Baslow Edge.
The Wellington Monument on Baslow Edge / Eaglestone Flat.
The Eagle Stone.
Curbar Edge from Baslow Edge.
Walk stats: 8.9 miles. Climb: 700' at a guess (wind assisted 2467' on the GPS!)
Time: 4 hours 50 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overll walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Mike.
A good dry day with lots of sunshine was on the forecast and so too was the prospect of strong winds. How true that turned out to be, so strong as we walked along the Curbar Edge that we were unable to stay steady on our feet and we decided to retreat to the main path.
 Good views all day, both from Curbar Edge, White Edge and Baslow Edge.
 Singing Skylarks accompanied us along Curbar Edge, White Edge and Big Moor, but the highlight was seeing a small herd of Red deer on Big Moor, grazing to the East of the trig point.
 Lunch was taken, sheltering from the wind behind some large rock a little East of the Big Moor trig point.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Willow warbler, Meadow pipit, Woodpigeon, Blackcap and Skylark.
 Overall a good walk spoiled a little by the challenging windy conditions, but at least we arrived back at the car with clean boots!
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at thwe Wilkes Head in Leek, where we could enjoy our annual Harttington Bitter fix!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Craig Adwy-wynt and nant Clwyd hall from Llanelidan 4th June 2015

Heading towards Coed y Parc, but thankfully today we avoided its challenges!
The extreme North west part of Coed y Park with its magnificent display of flowering Ramsons.
Our first magnificent view of the Clwydians from just North of Plas Uchaf.
Our second magnificent view of the Clwydians from  little further North of Plas Uchaf.
The Clwydians from heading North past Eyarth Hall.
Early purple orchids on the East side of Craig Adwy-wynt.
The Clwydian from a point near our lunch spot on Craig Adwy-wynt.
Crossing the ornamental bridge over the Nant Clwyd.
Our final approach to Llanelidan via the delightful cricket ground.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.2 miles. Climb: 700'.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Phil, Nigel, Celia, Annie and David S.
This was quite a varied walk, especially when you take into account the wild flowers along the hedgerows as we walked along some of the country lanes.
  Our normal route would take us through a long section of Coed y Parc, which is often overgrown and unpleasant underfoot , making stumbling a frequent and unpleasant experience. This time instead of entering the would at the Southern end, we decided to take a path leading Westward, but expecting to rejoin the original path after it had emerged from Coed y Parc. Unfortunately the final section of the new path went through an area of tall nettles, which meant it was a no go area for the four that dared to show their legs in celebration of the forecast warm sunny day - the first real Summer day!
 The area around Craig Adwy-wynt Nature Reserve had a good display of Early purple orchids, but the star of the day must have been the Pearl bordered fritillary, but we only identified it as there a few people specifically there just trying to find them.
 We had lunch, perched on the rocks on the Southern side of Craig Adwy-wynt, with good views to the Vale of Clwyd in front of us and even better views of the Clwydian Hills behind us.
 The views of the Clwydian Hills and the Llandegla Moors were superb during much of the walk in the morning, and especially so from near our lunch spot on Craig Adwy-wynt.
 After lunch we dropped down in to the flat valley (with its grass runway) North of Nant Clwyd Hall.
 We crossed the Nant Clwyd as usual over the ornamental wooden footbridge, which we found out later had been condemned as being unsafe! Next time we will have to hope the river is low and cross via the ford!
 Just as we arrived at the road to Llanelidan, a vehicle stopped to ask the three ladies in the group where they were going. The driver was in fact the head gardener at Nant Clwyd Hall, and was surprised when Sue reminded him that we had spoken to him last year as he was preparing the wicket at the Llanelidan cricket ground.
 We arrived back at the car, with at least one member of the group reluctant to extend the walk any further, for him it had been a little too warm for too long! It wasn't long before everyone had decided that it wasn't a bad idea to head for some liquid refreshment.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Carrion crow, House martin, Barn swallow, Common swift, Common chaffinch, House sparrow, Woodpigeon, Common pheasant and Common buzzard.
 After wak drinks were enjoyed at the Ruthin Castle Hotel (A Wetherspoons) where we tried a couple of brews fromthe Erddig brewery. They were OK, but really my taste. David probably did better with his pint of Abbot's Ale.