About Me

When? Started: 1993 Who? Started with staff and friends from U H S, Chester. Organiser: Martyn Harris We walk every Wednesday and Saturdays, New Years day and May Day. How many walk? Walks take place as long as there are at least 2 wanting to walk on that day. More walk on a Wednesday than on a Saturday. Most ever: 29. Numbers walking: 2-12 in mid-week and 2-4 on Saturday. Where do we walk? Saturday: Anywhere in North and Mid-Wales, Peak District, Shropshire and the Long Mynd and as far North as the Trough of Bowland. Thursday: Anywhere within about 40 miles of Chester. Type of walk: Distance: 6 – 14 miles. Climb: up to 4000’ (but usually very much less!). Those involved in 2017:- Martyn Harris, Fran Murphy, Sue and Michel Pelissier, Annie Hammond, Sue and Dave Pearson, Mike Dodd, David and Anne Savage, Wend and Ian Peers, Celia de Mengle, Wendy and Ian Peers, Roger and Margaret Smith, Tim and Carol Dwyer, Paul Collinson, Phil Marsland, Sylvia and Dave Jenkins, Sheila McNee, Ed Meads, Elaine and John Greenhalgh, Jim McCabe, Mal Pulford, Nigel Taylor, Naomi Deynem

Thursday, 29 October 2015

St Cwyfan's Trail 29th October 2015

Our first glimpse of the Clwydian Hills - not an objective today.
Four young calves looking lost and wondering where there mums are!
Looking down towards Denbigh and the Vale of Clwyd.
Inside St. Cwyfan's Church.
The grave of the man that saw three centuries.
Emerging from St. Cwyfan's Church.
Our last view of the Clwydian Hills.
Once a teacher, always a teacher!
Trying to identify all of the sacraments in "Seven Sacraments" window in St. Tyrnog's Church, Llandyrnog.
Another stained glass window in St. Tyrnog's Church, Llandyrnog.
Scarecrow outside, St. Tyrnog's Church, Llandyrnog - two notices - "Messy Church" (always good to see) and "Thank the Lord for the Harvest"(Also good to acknowledge).
Walk stats: Distance: 7.1 miles. Climb: 526'.
Time: 4 hours 24 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, David S and Paul.
Thankfully today the BBC and the Met Office got it right, the rain stopped as we arrived at Llandyrnog and within half an hour of walking the Sun was shining and with a fleece on I soon felt overdressed, but not for long!
 This is a walk that isn't particularly special, especially if you are trying to think of what would make a good photograph, but still is it is a delightful walk when the Sun was shining brightly and there was hardly any breeze to to call.  Days like this are special and we should be thankful for this as well as the scarecrow outside St. Tyrnog's Church, Llandyrnog notice "Thank the Lord for the Harvest".
 It was good today to see that two historically significant churches, St. Cwyfan's, Llangwyfan and St. Tyrnog's Church, Llandyrnog were both open  and we were able to see inside both.
 Lunch was taken just after heading South east off the road after passing Fron Baanadl. We sat on the field edge/fence boundary, it was so warm it could have been been a mid-Summer day, not the end of October!
Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Herring gull, Sparrowhawk, Blue tit, Great tit, Common buzzard, Pied wagtail, House sparrow, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay and Fieldfare (the first returning birds seen on a walk this Autumn/Winter).
 Thanks to Paul's inquisitiveness concerning "Seven Sacraments" window in  the St. Tyrnog's Church, Llandyrnog, we were able to enjoy after walk refreshments at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, we arrived at at 15-03!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Walks and Dates October 2015

After several of the group suggesting that I should should allow adverts on the blog, I have decide to allow adverts to appear. Hopefully it will generate enough income to cover the cost of putting all the photos on the blog. If the ads become annoying, let me know and I will stop them. This is only a trial period to see how it goes.
Thursday 1st October 2015.
Llanfair Talhaiarn, Moel Unben and Mynydd Dir.
Distance 10-11 miles; Climb:2000'.
Start: Riverside car park in Llanfair Talhaiarn. Grid ref:SH927702.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Lorna Jenner's book "Walking in the Vale of Clwyd and the Denbigh Moors". This is a walk that we really enjoyed in the past, hence its inclusion on the list again. It is nominally only a 5 mile walk, but the extension doubles it. However the last time we did the walk, the route to Mynydd Dir was closed at the footbridge over the Afon Elwy, so our walk was shorter than expected. We may of course decide to do the same even if the footbridge is again open.
Saturday 3rd October 2015.
Haigh Country Park and Wigan Pier.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb: 350'.
Start: Haigh Hall and Country Park, School Lane, Haigh,Wigan, Lancashire. WN2 1PE Grid ref: SD559086. Car park is Pay and Display, but not as much as the £6 Mike paid at the Wigan car Park in 2011! On the their web page it said £1-50 all day.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire", with an extension to explore the Haigh Country Park and beyond. Haigh Country Park was one of the first to be named as a Country Park. The walk will probably start along the towpath of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal where we can start the return using the walk description which starts from Wigan Pier.   This should be an easy walk, without too many challenges, but I don't think we will be extending the walk as much as we did last time, 13.7 miles is a little outside my comfort zone these days!
Thursday 8th October 2015.
An Ancient Packhorse Trail Around Caergwrle.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 700'.
Start: Caergwrle Village Car Park on High Street. Grid ref: SJ305574
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from R.J.A. Dutton's book "Hidden Highways of North Wales". This walk heads East via Bryn-y-Gaer, Shordley Hall, Town Ditch, Honkley Farm and eventually reaches the Golden Grove Inn. The return route is is via Burton Lane, Rackery Farm, Rackery Hall and Gwasted Farm. The walk includes drovers roads and a corpse road.
Saturday 10th October 2015.
Around Llangernyw.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Llangernyw, Near PC, down the lane by the church. Grid ref: SH876674.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This is a figure of eight walk around Llangernyw. part of the walk is based on a walk from Lorna Jenner's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd and in the Denbigh Moors". It is described as being a delightful walk centred on the pretty village of Llangernyw. It includes terraced woodland paths besides a cascading stream through former pleasure gardens of Hafodunos Hall. The extension to the walk, explores the countryside North of the village and follows a section of the Afon Elwy, passes the remains of  a motte and then  explores the area North west of the village on the way back to Llanefydd.
The last time we did this walk, the weather was horrendous, with torrential rain for most of the afternoon. Hopefully it will be a little kinder this time.
Thursday 15th October 2015.
Llansannan and Mynydd Tryfan.
Distance: 8-10 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start:Car park behind PC opposite the Post Office in Llansannan. Grid ref:SH933658.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is mainly a walk taken from Lorna Jenner's book "Walking in the Vale of Clwyd". This is a varied walk along the Afon Aled and its tributaries, through rolling pastures edge with thick hedges and pockets of woodland, with a backdrop of mountains. However we will include an extension to include Mynydd Tryfan. The last time we did this walk we had a little difficulty finding some of the paths, must do better this time!
Saturday 17th October 2015.
Moel Plas-yw, the Alyn Valley and Coed Ddu. 
In search of lost property! 
This walk will probably be completed on the first Saturday when there are two members of the Saturday regulars wanting to walk.
Distance:11 miles; Climb:2000+'.
Start: Car park area West of Cilcain. Grid ref: SJ170652. 
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.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
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!
 We last did this walk on 3rd September 2015, but it will only be a repeat for me! The walk originally planned for today was around Llyn Brenig, and we did that last month, so I thought I would use this as an opportunity to se if my flask was still where I left it. If it is, I'm not expecting the soup to still be hot! It's a good job a bought myself a new flask.
 Thursday 22nd October 2015.
Penycloddiau and Moel Arthur.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Llangwyfan Forestry car park: SJ138668
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Clwydian Hills".  This area of the Clwydians has so much to offer, and Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau are particularly good.  On a good day the views from both hill forts are superb, especially if it is a clear frosty day.
Saturday 24th October 2015.
Clywedeg Reservoir and Moel y Fron.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:1600'.
Start: On the road parking in Cyffylliog. Grid ref: SJ060578. But meet at the riverside car park at Ruthin. Grid ref: SJ 121582. Car parking is very limited in Cyffyliog, so I've switched this walk from a Thursday walk to a Saturday walk as I can't remember when we last took more than one car on a Saturday.
Leave Chester.9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Hiraethog Moors and Lakes". This has always proved to be an enjoyable walk in the past and features attractive wooded river valleys, open hills, forests, upland reservoirs and excellent views on a good day.
Thursday 29th October 2015.
St. Cwyfan's Trail and More.
Distance: 9-10 miles. The main part of the walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Clwydian Hills
Start: Roadside parking in Llandyrnog on the Llangynhafal road (Gladstone Terrace) . Park on the wider part of the road after Nant Glyd. Grid ref: SJ109650.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
The main part of the walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd" and the extension explores the area South west pf Llandyrnog.
It main walk is described as a delightful walk in the countryside North of Llandyrnog and visits the smallest church in the Vale of Clwyd.
 The extension follows part of the Clwydian Way alongside the Afon Clwyd South of iys confluence with Afon Clywedog.
Saturday 31st October 2015.
Clip-y-Orsedd, The Druid Circle and Foel Lus.
Postponed - see note on November walks.
Distance:11 miles. Climb:2400'.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
Start: Car park behind the bank in Llanfairfechan. Turn right of Village Road. Grid ref:SH682747.

This walk uses two walks Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast." These two walks combine to make one of my favourite walks in this area as they explore the hills behind Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr and usually appears on the list at least once a year. Hopefully we will visit the impressive Druids' Stone Circle and contour around the superb high level Panoramic Walk round Foel Lus. The last time we did this walk it was very windy and we decided not to do the Panoramic Walk round Foel Lus. We may do the same this time, even if the weather is good!

Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau 22nd October 2015

At the top of Moel Arthur.
Dave Evan's dream home almost complete, unfortunately not by him.
The view from our lunch spot - chosen by the advance party!
Heading up the Northern slope of Penycloddiau, but who's that in front?
On top of Penycloddiau.
"It's less than it was on Moel Arthur!"
The second glider of the day - over Penycloddiau.
Moel Arthur from the Southern slopes of Penycloddiau.
Walk stats: Distance:7.9 miles. Climb: 1678' (Probably a little less than this wind assisted GPS reading).
Time: 4 hours 23 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, David S., Nigel and Phil.
This looked like being a good day for walking with no rain in the forecast and temperatures around 11 Celsius but with a wind chill making it feel like 6 Celsius. The first time for months I put my waterproof jacket on and kept it on for all of the walk, I should have removed it for the last mile or so had I been bothered to do so!
 This proved to be the case and our steep ascent up the Northern side of Moel Arthur  was somewhat wind assisted. David measured the wind speed on the top of Moel Arthur it it was about 27 m.p.h., gusting to about 40 m.p.h. The wind was certainly strong enough to make hats difficult to wear and handkerchiefs needed to be firmly gripped!
 We decided or should it be I decided that we would take the path contouring around Moel Arthur, hoping that it would be relatively sheltered and for much of the time it was. 
 Towards the end of this section we came across Dave Evans's unusual designed property, now almost competed by its new owners. It caused much discussion, but we were all intrigued as to what it would look like inside. It certainly had a superb outside patio that looked down the valley towards Vale of Clwyd. 
 However as we continued to contour around Penycloddiau, some of the path became exposed to the strong and cool North westerly winds but at the same time gave us good near distant views. A sort of mist/cloud prevented the high peaks of Snowdonia from being in view.
 Lunch was taken at the last available inlet by the land mark water tank as it gave us much needed shelter from the wind.
 It was decided by the leaders of the pack to take the path on the West side of Offa's Dyke Path and one that included a longer section of the ridge to Penycloddiau It was along this section that we saw a couple of Ravens, a bonus as it was too windy for most birds today.
 Despite it being windy we did see two gliders circling around, one over Moel Arthur in the morning and one over Penycloddiau in the afternoon.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common kestrel, Raven, Meadow pipit and Common buzzard.
 Overall a good walk, to be repeated maybe more than once every year.
 The pace setters didn't realise that they were meant to aim for us to get back to the car at about 14-45, so we went to the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn for our celebratory drink. As usual for the Brit we had a warm welcome from the landlords as well as the roaring fire. As Nigel isn't able to join us very often, it was a good job he enjoys a pint of Lees bitter in perfect condition as it was today and invariably is at this hostelry.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Llansannan and More 15th October 2015

"I was here first!"
The Afon Aled Valey from Berllan.
The view from our lunch spot.
Looking across Tan-y-fron towards Mynydd Tryfan.
The small waterfall near Pont Melin-gadeg.
The final descent to the path along the Afon Aled and Llansannan.
Walk stats: 8.8 miles . Climb: 1002'.
Time: 5 hours 4 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, Celia, Tim and Phil.
Overall this was just about perfect weather for walking, cool to start with, but pleasantly warm as the day progressed.
 On this occasion we decided or should I be honest and say I decided that we would complete the walk as described. except for one point it was a good and enjoyable walk and at least we all agreed that one difficult bit should be avoided in the future!
 The first section along the Clwydian Way, North east of Llansannan was a delightful way to start the walk.
 Lunch was taken along the access track from Penlogor, where we took advantage of supporting wall next to a small wood. We had somewhere dry to sit and were bathed in warm sunshine as we had our lunch and enjoyed good views across the valley towards Mynydd Tryfan,
 A fair amount of the walk after lunch was along quiet country lanes before rejoining pleasant paths near the Afon Aled back to Llansannan.
 Always good to note that the PC in Llansannan are looked after by the villagers, well maintained and gratefully used by some of the group.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Common starling, Woodpigeon, Black-billed magpie, Common pheasant, Common buzzard, Dunnock, Grey wagtail and Dipper.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where a Castle Rock brew went down well.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Llangernyw and More 10th Ocrtober 2015

Inside the church at Llangernyw.
The 4000 year old Yew next to Llangernyw church.
It would have been good spot for lunch in the grounds of Hafodnos Hall, but it 10-08 is a little on the early side.
Looking North east across the fields towards Llangernyw
A Dipper on the Afon Elwy.
A Dipper on the Afon Elwy.
Autumnal colours showing in the trees.
"I know where I am now".
Snowdonia in the distance.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.2 miles. Climb: 1036'.
Time: 5 hours 52 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Roger.
Most of the day was rather overcast and although we could see the Sun it rarely managed to break through entirely. Overall it was good for walking and the cold Easterly wind didn't materialise.
 Although there hadn't been any rain, the grassy fields encountered in the morning were wet with dew and with temperatures still in single figures it hadn't had time to dry.
 The path through the grounds of Hafodnos Hall was delightful, but would have been much better had a few of the Rhododenrons been cut back.
 There seemed to be very few birds around in the morning, but we did manage to see a Dipper as we followed the Afon Elwy back towards Llangernyw.
 Lunch was taken East of Tyn-y-caeau, in roughly the same place we stopped last time we did the walk. However this time we weren't attacked by falling acorns.
 Our afternoon walk included exploring two new paths from Ynys Rhys and the one on the North side Crel. It's a;ways good to explore new paths, especially when they are ones we missed last time we were in the area!
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Chaffinch, Pied wagtail European robin Common blackbird, Common buzzard, Carrion crow, Rook, Common Raven, Black-billed magpie, Jackdaw, Common pheasant and Dipper.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn where a locally brewed Deva bitter was sampled. It was a pity I was driving as they had 12 different ciders on offer!
 We were even home early enough t watch the Wales teams play both the rugby and football  qualifiers.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Caergwrle - An Ancient Packhorse Trail 8th October 2015

I couldn't resist putting a couple of photos of this Sparrowhawk hoping to catch breakfast as birds visited the feeders in my garden. 
As far as I now it went away hungry!
Crossing a former packhorse bridge - slightly modified.
We did a lot of this - trekking across fields.
Another field to cross, but on this occasion no inquisitive young cows in tow.
One of the better stiles encountered - well we did managed to cross it.
Another stile, but we didn't even attempt to cross this one!
Don't argue with the Caergwrle mafia!
You shouldn't have gone on that fat-free diet!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles. Climb: 476'.
Time: 5 hours 26 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, Celia, David S., Tim, Phil and Paul.
We set off from Caergwrle Public Car Park with the prospect of good weather all day. In fact it was largely bright and sunny, but at times a little on the humid side. The morning part of the walk went without any problems except for a few fields that were a little on the claggy muddy side.
 A suitable lunch spot wasn't easy to find, so we had to put up with a verge on the roadside at Burton Green or around a tree just inside a field with an open gate.
 After lunch Paul left us and headed along the road directly for Caergwrle as he needed to get back in time for his Thursday grandparent duties. 
 We decided take a more circuitous route back, in the end not a particularly beneficial decision, but we did get to chat with a friendly local mole catcher before we started to encounter stile after stile that were in great need of a  little TLC.
 After missing one path we did a little quick re-routing to get back on track and arrived back at the car to find that Annie can no longer lay claim to being the only one to have found notes left on her windows screen.  We had notes written by a local resident we had met earlier and who had suggested that ramblers shouldn't park in this car park as it would prevent locals using it. The note however suggested we should use a mini-bus so that we didn't take up more than one space!
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Common pheasant, Common buzzard, Jackdaw, Rook, Woodpigeon and Pied wagtail.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Red Lion at Penyfordd, where Timothy Taylor's Landlord and a Young's brew were sampled by some of the group.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Haigh Country Park and More 3rd October 2015

At last we have reached the Leeds - Liverpool Canal, a little further east than we had originally planned.
One of the bridges across the Leeds - Liverpool Canal close to Haigh Country Park.
Helen arriving at our lunch spot.
Celia enjoying herself reminiscing!
Helen and Celia on their way round the Haigh circuit.
The journey's over.
Approaching Haigh Hall just after lunch.
Haigh windmill.
Two friendly donkeys coming to say hello.
A goat up a tree.
Mute swans and Mallards on the Leeds Liverpool Canal.
Having a rest.
Walk stats: Distance: 12.5 miles. Climb: 400'.
Time: 5 hours43 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Mike.
We set off with low cloud giving a feeling of dampness in the air, and no sign of the Sun breaking through. In fact it didn't appear until we were nearly at the Frodsham junction on the M56!
 We set off initially planning to go through the streets as far as Wigan Pier. Unfortunately I made a mistake and took the wrong road and we joined the Leed - Liverpool Canal near the start of the Ince in Makerfield Locks.  Having had a longer than expected road walk, we were grateful just to see the canal! 
 We were hoping to find a suitable spot for lunch by the canal, but ended up having lunch back at Haigh Country Park on seats near one of the pick up points for the Haigh Miniature Railway. As you can see Celia decided to go for a ride while Mike finished off his apple after lunch and we planned our afternoon stroll.
 We decided to head off down Copperas Lane to the Windmill and then via Holly Nook and Higher Lane back to the canal and returned to Haigh Country park via Sennicar Lane.
 Overall we had a good walk, despite the long road section in the morning.
 Birds seen or heard today: Common starling, Greenfinch, Black-headed gull, House sparrow, European robin, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute swan, Rook, Jackdaw, Black-billed magpie, Woodpigeon and Common blackbird.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Netherton Hall, Frodsham, where Mike was able to enjoy a pint of Lees bitter as a new barrel had been put on whilst we all had our first drinks. There was no problem with Celia's San Miguel. Coffee was the best drink that I had!