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, 27 September 2015

Meini Hirion and Cemaes 27th September 2015

The first standing stone at Pen yr orsedd.
The first standing stone at Pen yr orsedd.
The second stone at Pen yr orsedd.
The second stone at Pen yr orsedd.
Looking acros Llyn Llygeirian from the causeway near our lunch spot.
The causeway near our lunch spot - preparing to set off after lunch.
Eglwyseg Mechell at Llanfechell.
One of the hazards we had to face on the wal;k today.
Meini Hirion standing stones.
One view of Cemaes Bay.
Cemaes Bay from the coastal path West of the bay.
Looking across Prth Wylfa towards the power station and Wylfa Head.
Walk stats: Distance: 12.4 miles. Climb: 706'.
Time: 6 hours 51 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
The day didn't start off well, the exits on the A55 were closed at Valley and w ended having to go to the Holyhead exit before we could get on the A5 to Valley, so we didn't get walking until about 10-45.
 Much of the walk was along lanes, not one of Mike's favourite walking zones. I hadn't know this, but I do now, Mike didn't stop moaning all morning! 
 The second problem was encountered when we tried a footpath off the power station acccess road to head for Trelege, overgrown hedges/vegetation was at the point where there should have been a a stile. There was no way marker either. This was to be the pattern for the day, everywhere we tied to find a footpath - no way marker and no stile. We encountered locked gates, fields we couldn't get out of except by the way we had entered, even when there should have a right of way and when we did find a way marked path to Meini Hirion standing stones, it led to a stile that was broken and wasn't exactly safe to use.
 Having said all that, it was almost a perfect day for walking, gloriously sunny all day, not too hot, not too cold with a pleasant breeze. 
 Having seen our first set of standing stones we decided lunch was our next object and managed to find a delightful spot on the causeway between Llyn Llygeirian.
 The best section of the walk was along the coast from Cemaes back to Wylfa Head where the views were stunning. There is always something very special about coastal scenery on days like this when the both sea and sky are blue and the water is quite still.
 We arrived back at the car nearly seven hours after setting off, grateful to be able to take our boots off and sit down.
 We have learned from experiences today that it isn't wise to plan to use footpaths that are more than a mile inland from the coast in the Cemaes Wylfa area.
I rather suspect that this is a walk that has been done for the first and last time!
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Barn swallow, Jackdaw, Rook, Common buzzard, Carrion crow, Guillemot, Black-headed gull, Mallard, Tufted duck, Mute swan, Little grebe, Eurasian curlew, Grey heron, Rock dove/Feral pigeon, Great cormorant and Herring gull.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at home as we decided to forgo a visit to the Blue Bell Inn in order to enjoy the England v Wales Rugby match. The best team obviously won!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Poncysyllte, Ty Mawr Country Park and Croes yr Esgob 24th September 2015

Poncysyllte Aqueduct from the banks of the River Dee.
Roger checking the route on the way to Ty Mawr Country Park
Looks like a  major debate - they must be discussing Annie and Wendy's Kingfisher!
Walking back along the canal towards Froncysyllte.
A second view of the aqueduct, this time from the canal on the North east side of  Froncysyllte.
One of our first views of Trevor Rocks.
Looks like being a good year for Holly berries.
Balwen Welsh Mountain Sheep in one of the fields just after our lunch spot.
The Llantysilio Mountain Range, just begging to be visited!
Just a reminder that September is the tall bracken season!
Panorama looking North towards Trevor Rocks.
Another view of the aqueduct from Pen-y-Graig.
Crossing the Proncysyllte aqueduct at the end of the walk.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.4 miles. Climb: 1117'.
Time: 5 hours 28 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Annie, Phil, Roger, Tim, Wendy and David S.
This proved to be a perfect day for walking weatherwise, largely sunny, pleasantly warm in the Sun, but with a cooling breeze at times. The path from the  Trevor Basin car Park to Ty Mawr Country Park has been made up since our last visit, so it made easy walking along the banks of the river and then up to the Ty Mawr Country Park entrance. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be any way round having to walk along the B5605 road from the country park in order to access the canal path on the West side of Pentre. The tow path back to Froncysyllte gave us good views back towards the aqueduct. 
 As Roger needed to head back soon, we decided to complete the Croes yr Esgob walk in an anticlockwise direction for a change. About a mile into the second walk Roger headed back to Froncysyllte and the car at the Trevor Basin, hopefully with plenty of energy to practise his singing for later on!
 Lunch was taken on Pen-yr-allt, just after emerging from the Llwyn-y-Cwm woods. As we had lunch we had good views across the valley towards Trevor Rocks.
 The view from Pen-yr-allt towards Dinas Bran and the Llantysilio Mountains was superb.
  Once we had reached to the high point after passing Croes yr Esgob, it was all down hill, just a stroll back to the car, with the finale being the traverse of the Poncysyllte Aqueduct.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Mallard, Wood nuthatch, Woodpigeon, Blue tit, Great tit, European robin, Common buzzard and Kingfisher.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Walks and Dates September 2015

N.B.Thursday 10th September 2015.
I can't walk this Thursday, so I have switched it to Wednesday. 
I hope a few of the group can still make it.

Thursday 3rd September 2015.
Moel Plas-yw, the Alyn Valley and Coed Ddu.
Distance:11 miles; Climb:2000+'.
Start: Car park area West of Cilcain. Grid ref: SJ170652. 
The start location for this walk has been moved from the foot of Moel Arthur to this layby just outside Cilcain.
To get to the car park take A541Mold - Denbigh Road. After Hendre take the road signposted Cilcain. In the centre of Cilcain, at a crossroads turn right (West) and continue West past the church. After about 400 yards take the minor road left. The parking area is about 300 yards along this road, on the right after a few houses. In all about 700 yards from the crossroads in Cilcain.
I have changed the start of the walk to avoid having to use the very narrow road that goes on the South side of Moel Arthur, a road that I don't like!
Another two walks from Dave Berry's book ""More Walks on the Clwydian Hills". The Moel Plas-yw walk impressed us last time with its excellent views and delightful woodland valley paths. A visit to the summit of Moel Arthur could be an extension at the end of the walk for some! It is more likely that we will take a few short cuts to reduce the overall mileage a little and climb too!
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
Saturday 5th September 2015.
The Three Lakes Walk.
Distance:11.6 miles; Climb:1523'.
Start: Park on grass verge just before crossing over the dam (Eastern side of the Llyn Aled). Grid ref:SH916579.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's books "Walks in the Hidden Heart of North Wales" and Walks Around Hiraethog Moors and Lakes" whichever you prefer. Same walks, just different covers, and one walk has been extended a little in the former book. Llyn Aled, Llyn Alwen and the Alwen Reservoir are the three "lakes" visited. In the past sections have been quite boggy to say the least, but hopefully it won't be too bad at this time of the year.  This walk is not everyone's cup of tea, but over the years, it has become one of my favourite walks on the Denbigh Moors.
Wednesday 9th September 2015.
The Trent and Mersey Canal, Great Budworth and More.
Start: Marbury Country Park car Park (Pay and Display £2-50 last time). Grid ref: SJ652763.
Distance: 7-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
The main 7 mile walk is taken from the "Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire". This is described as a varied walk with plenty of historic interest, including the Anderton Boat Lift.. The extra mileage will be made by exploring the Anderton Nature Park, Marshall's Wood, Carey Park, Ashton's Flash and Neumann's Flash.  Bring binoculars with you if you can.
Thursday 10th September 2015.
No walk - see above.
Saturday 12 September 2015.
Winter Hill, Rivington Pike and Lever Park.
Postponed until Summer 2016.
Local souces informed me that Winter Hill had received a lot of rain over the last week or so, and that very boggy conditions would be a certainty, so with that in mind I have decided to postpone it until next Summer when there may be a chance that we won't get wet feet!
Distance: 9 miles. Climb:1035',
Start: Lever Park, Rivington Lane Car Park (Near Go Ape) : Grid ref: SD628138
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire". He describes the walk as a generally easy walk on good tracks throughout, and is a trek through history. My experience of this area reminds me it can be boggy, but at least at this time of the year we have a chance that it won't be! I was obviously too optimistic!
New Walk.
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 8-10 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book ""Walks 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. In all probability a few short cuts will be made to ensure that our legs don't get too tired!
Thursday 17th September 2015.
Great Warford, Lindow Common and the Carrs.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:500'.
Start: Twinnies Bridge, Wilmslow. Grid ref:SJ839823.
This walk is based on a walk from Graham Beech'e book "Walks in east Cheshire", but as is often the case we are starting at a different place than that in the walk description. The link parts of the walk we have done many times on our walks in the Wilmslow area. He claims that the Great Warford walk involves little used paths, hopefully they won't be too overgrown.
Saturday 19th September 2015.
Long Mynd, Wild Moor and Pole Bank.
Distance:10-11 miles. Climb:2100’.
Start: Centre of Church Stretton car park (Pay and display). Grid ref: SO454930.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Ian R. Jones’s booklet “20 Church Stretton Walks”.  All of the walks around Church Stretton are popular, although this walk does include a few sections that are a little less visited by the throngs.  Another possible Dotterel day, but if we do see any, it will be our first on the Long Mynd.  Even without Dotterels this is a superb area of the country to walk in, especially as you explore the moors around Pole Bank.
Thursday 24th September 2015.
Ty Mawr Country Park and Croes yr Esgob.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start:Trevor basin Car Park. Grid ref: SJ27224228
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk includes a walk from Jim Grindles's book "Circular Walks in North East Wales". This is the first time that we have included this walk and takes us along the river valley. The second part of the walk is one from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley".  We have already completed this walk once this year, but it is the obvious walk to link with the Ty Mawr walk.  The walk could involve crossing the aqueduct once, twice or not all!
Saturday 26th September 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.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Long Mynd From Church Stretton 19th September 2015

Cardingmill Valley - blue skies ahead.
The first of many encounters with fell ponies today.
"Where's Mott's Road?"
A few more ponies  near the Shooting Box on the Long Mynd.
At Pole bank trig point.
At Pole Bank toposcope.
Glider overhead.
The Long Mynd Glider Club - getting ready for take off.
Pole Bank Cottage and Pole Bank from Minton Hill
Our last encounter with ponies on Minton Hill.
The hills to South of the Long Mynd, including Caer Caradoc and Ragleth Hill.
The picturesque church at Little Stretton.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.7 miles. Climb: 960'.
Time: 5 hours 6 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger and Mike.
We set off from Chester with lots of early morning mist, but thankfully by the time we arrived at Church Stretton it had cleared. The rest of the day was largely sunny, hardly any wind and pleasantly warm. The views were pretty good, although it was still a little misty towards the Stipperstones.
 Our firs surprise was to see fell ponies in Cardingmill Valley and even more on the top of Long Mynd itself. This was the first time that we had seen fell ponies on the Long Mynd, and we must have seen nearly twenty in all.
 Once on the Long Mynd we soon came to realise how popular it was for walkers and cyclist and happy bushes were very scarce! 
 The paths on the Long Mynd across Pole Bank had been made up since our last visit, making this stretch of the walk very easy.
 Lunch was taken just before taking the path over Minton Hill to Minton, We only sat on the grassy bank looking back towards Pole Bank and the route we had covered in the morning. 
 The path over Minton Hill was a very pleasant grassy track and the route gave us good views of the gliders as the flew over our heads.
 The last stretch of the walk was along the road, a rather tedious, seemingly never ending trek, even though it was only about 3 miles. The temperature must have reached mid twenties by now, so the heat didn't help.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Rook, Common crow, Winter wren, Pied wagtail, Common kestrel, Goldfinch and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pant-yr-Ochain at where  Purple Moose, Snowdonia Ale slaked our thirst admirably.
 Overall an excellent day out in the Shropshire Hills and still home before six.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Wilmslow, Great Warford and Lindow Common 17th September 2015

Getting ready after lunch - take 1.
Getting ready after lunch - take 4.
Getting ready after lunch - take 5.
Still getting ready after lunch - take 6,
On the move after lunch - at last!
A plane that got away.

Alpacas for sale.
Another plane trying to get away.
They'd make a good Christmas roast, but what are they?
Walk stats: Distance: 12.3 miles. Climb: 234'.
Time: 5 hours 56 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, David S., Annie and Tim.
This turned out to be a walk that tested us on route finding, and if we are honest we failed on a couple of times. We put it down to talking to each other at crucial path junctions!
 At least the weather stayed dry as we had our doubts as we arrived at Twinnies Bridge car park there was rain in the air.
 Our first problem occurred as the path on our map was diverted as the new Alderley Edge by-pass had been cut across the path. After passing through Alan Pearson's tomato green houses we had to cross the new by-pass again and a new diverted path made us follow the side of the by-pass to a point where we had to cross it!
 Lunch was taken soon after crossing the road, the main group seemed to be hiding behind silage bales whereas I used the next stile as a convenient perching spot!
 After being diverted for the second time and having covered nearly seven miles by lunch, we decided to take a short cut to get back on track with the planned route. It was a good job we did if the way we got out of the car at the Bird in Hand at Mobberley was anything to go by!
 We arrived back at the car having had a longer than usual walk, glad to have made it and looking forward to some liquid refreshment.
 Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Winter wren, Mallard, Canada goose, Black-headed gull and House sparrow,
 The Bird in Hand at Mobberley proved a good place to slake our thirst where the Sam Smiths Old Brewery bitter tasted particularly good and the prices even better!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Nearly a Tale of Two Quarries 12th September 2015

The gate to Bwlch-y-garnedd - a new path for us.
Looking North to the Llantysilio Mountains (Moel y Gaer and Moel y Gamelin).
Spoil heaps for Rhiw Goch Quarry.
Who's a happy bunny then?
The path to be remembered, but only to avoid in the future!
Lunch on the spoil heaps of the Berwyn Quarry.
Looking West towards the Llantysilio Mountains.
The Chain bridge - now open for use.
A steam train at Berwyn Station - taken from the Chain Bridge Hotel.
The River Dee, looking East towards the limestone escarpments.
Taken from the middle of the Chain Bridge.
Walk stats: Distance: 5.1 miles. Climb: 1250'.
Time: 4 hours 17 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Roger.
We arrived at Capel Hebron, Rhewl just before 09-30, just as it started to rain quite heavily, so we were happy to stay in the car for half and hour until it eased off.
 We set off with our waterproof jackets on, but it was questionable whether the rain on the outside was worse than the condensation on the inside.
 The first challenge came as we reached open ground above Bwlch-y-garnedd, where the bracken was overgrown and failed in our attempts to keep our trousers dry - but worse was to come!
 After leaving the Clwydian Way along the path heading for Berwyn Quarry we had about half a mile of very overgrown and wet bracken to negotiate and the we were attacked by Gorse that encroached onto the path, resulting in two of us regretting wearing shorts.
 We had lunch at Berwyn Quarry, where the slate provided dry places to sit, the Sun came out and the wind dropped. We even had good views of the Llantysilio Mountains and the Berwyns beyond.
 After lunch we had a very pleasant stroll downhill past Fron Haul and Llandynan and then Westward back to the car.
Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, European robin, Barn swallow, Common buzzard, Common pheasant, Black-billed magpie, Carrion crow, Raven, Sparrowhawk and Black grouse.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Chain Bridge Hotel, where Stonehouse's Sunlander went down well. We even had a walk on the recently restored Chain Bridge!