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

Thursday, 26 November 2015

A Pystyll Gwyn Quarry Adventure 26th November 2015

Looking down into Pystyll Gwyn Quarry soon after starting.
On an ancient stone footbridge just outside Llanarmon-yn-Ial.
On the delightful Offa's Dyke path on the West side of Moel Gyw.
Moel Llanfor and the Vale of Clwyd from path on the West side of Moel Gyw.
Bryn Alyn from the path descending towards the start.
One of the better forest paths.
Our final challenge.
N.B. All photos are B.S.T. - I forgot to change the clock time on my camera again!
Walk stats: Distance: 7.8 miles. Climb: 1003'.
Time: 5 hours 39 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.8 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, Phil, Celia, David S and Tim.
We arrived at the car park to find it full, a walking group from Mid-Cheshire were also starting from the quarry car park. We managed to squeeze in, they set off in one direction and we thankfully went in the opposite direction.
 We set off in what wasn't really rain, more like dampness in the air, but it didn't clear by 10-00 as we had expected. We were a little later setting off and a little problem trying to find a way to cross a wall on our way towards Bryn Alyn, so to make up time we decided to take the shortest route we could to Llanarmon-yn-Ial where we planned to have lunch in the church grounds.
 Our first evidence that this area must have had lots of rain recently as we crossed the little stone footbridge over a stream that was runnibg like a torrent, almost demanding for "Poo sticks" to be played. Time  did manage to release a trapped branch which soon passed under the bridge and rapidly disappeared out of sight, perhaps only to be heard later,  but we will never know!
 We had slightly longer for lunch as I got talking to the local church treasurer who informed me that they were in the process of trying to raise £63,000 to renovate the roof of the church (a Grade 1 listed building), and they had to wait for me to have my lunch! 
 The after lunch the clouds lifted and it became very pleasant for walking, but little did we know of the challenges that lay ahead.
 The best views of the day came as we walked along Offa's Dyke path on the West side of Moel Gyw. This is a delightful section with superb views down into the Vale of Clwyd.
 Our next challenge came as we entered a small forest, storms had brought down many trees, but thanks to Phil and David's map reading skills managed to get us through all of the fallen trees to the stile and path leading to Cwm (they did get a little help from yellow spots marking some of the trees).
 Unusual for Annie she managed to slip on a grassy slope, but was thankful to be wearing over trousers so the mud only went on them. Later on Phil too managed to slip over and managed to end up muddier than he would like. Thankfully there were no more mishaps, although one or two did almost fall over as they tried to negotiate a deeply flooded path just before a footbridge and ford (not usable today) over the Afon Alun ,  hundred yards or so South west of the quarry car park.
 We arrived back at the cars, all feeling we had had a good walk and perhaps it should be repeated in the Summer months, when conditions underfoot would be a little drier!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Common buzzard, Common pheasant, House sparrow, Wood nuthatch, Raven, Carrion crow, Song thrush, Rook and Fieldfare.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Taly-bont Farm Inn just outside Mold. Hobgoblin and Oxford Gold were the brews sampled.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Walks and Dates November 2015.

Please note change of walk for Thursday 26th November.
Thursday 5th November 2015.
Marion Frith, Moel Hiraddug, Cwm and Coed Yr Esgob.
Distance:10.4 miles; Climb:1600'.
Start:Car Park at the Eastern edge of Dyserth on the A5151. The car park is on the right just after a factory, and as the road climbs into Dyserth. If you get to the traffic lights/crossroads, you have gone too far. Grid ref:SJ062792.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
It's over a year since we last did these two walks together. Both walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydain Hills - New revised edition". He describes the first walk as delightful and the second one as providing a fascinating exploration of the low hills North of Dyserth.
Saturday 7th November 2015.
No walk.
Thursday 12th November 2015.
Gloddaeth Hall and Bryn Pydew.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Marl Hall Wood Car Park on the outskirts of Llandudno. Grid ref: SH 799787.
Directions to get to the car park. Leave the A55 at Junction 19 and follow the A470 towards Llandudno. At a roundabout turn right signposted to Esgryn / Pydew. Go past Esgryn Road to find a small car park on the right.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llandudno".  These walks explore the area around St. David's College that we normally visit on our Little Orme walks.  In addition, we will take a short there and back extension to visit the obelisk that we see clearly as we travel along the A55.
Saturday 14th November 2015.
Around Moel Plas-yw. 
In search of lost property! 
Distance: 9.3 miles; Climb:1250'.
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 19th November 2015.
Sandbach and More.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Car park on Alsager Road, Hasall Green. Grid ref: SJ77555825.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
Although the described walk starts in the centre of Sandbach, this is a figure of eight walk around the village of Hassall Green.
The main part of the walk is taken from the Patherfinder Guide to Cheshire. Whilst part of the walk includes the centre of Sandbach, most of the walk visits more secluded areas just outside the town. It is described as including peaceful sections, including two secluded valleys and a section of the Trent and Mersey Canal.
The extension takes us East along th Trent and Mersey Canal as far as Thurlwood, before heading for Lawton Heath End and returning to the car park along the Salt Line.
 This is a new walk for the Thursday group. As it is only 45 minutes from Chester to Sandbach, I thought it would be within distance for a Thursday.
Saturday 21st November 2015.
Clywedog Reservoir and More.
Distance: 9+ miles; Climb:1700' at a guess.
Start: Roadside parking in Cyffyliog. Grid ref:SJ060579.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book Walks in the Hidden Heart of North Wales". It is one that we have done several times before. The exact length will depend on the route we choose to take on the return route from the reservoir.
Thursday 26th November 2015.
New walk - Llanarmon-yn-Ial, Eryrys and Moel y Gyw.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1800'.
Start:Pistyll Gwyn Quarry car park. 1 mile north of Llanarmon-yn-Ial. Grid ref: SJ189574.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks taken from Carl Roger's book "Walking in the Clwydian Hills". We have completed both walks before, but have never tried to link them together before. The Eryrys walk is described as exploring the lesser-known limestone hills separated from the main Clwydian ridge by the Alyn Valley. Views throughout the walk are superb! The second walk involves the ascent of Moel Gyw which also has superb views of the Clwydian Hills to both the north and the south.
 We last did this walk in January 2009.
Saturday 28th November 2015.
Melin-y-Wig and Derwen.
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 1000' at a guess.
Start: Boncyn Foel-bach Forest Car Park Grid ref: SJ055520. This is on the B5105 Ruthin to Clawdd Newydd road.
Leave Chester at 08-45.
This walk is taken from Lorna Jenner's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd".  I have only done this walk once before starting from this car park and that was more than 10 years ago. It is described as being a varied walk through forest, quiet lanes, including one that was used on a pilgrims' route and an attractive riverside path.
 Part of the route, particularly sections of the riverside path have in the past been rather boggy (Remembered from it being on walks starting from Melin-y-Wig). The section through the forest can be boggy too. The only other thing I remember about this walk is that the final section involves climbing out of the valley upto the car park - not the most ideal way to end a walk.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

The Clywedog Valley and Around Foel Uchaf and Foel Ganol 21st November 2015

St. Mary's Church, Cyffylliog.
On the delightful path on the East bank of the Afon Clywedog.
"Can you tell the temperature is on the cool side?"
One challenging part of the path, but only once the stile had been negotiated!
One of our first views of the Clwydian Hills.
The Clywedog Valley and the Clwydian Hills from the forest track East of the Clywedog Reservoir.
The Clwydian Hills from the track East of Bryn Ocyn.
A eureka moment! A lost glove now found!
Does Gary Lineker here or are they trying to tell us something?
A "friendly" message on the house next to where we parked in Cyffylliog, 
but no notes left on the car!
Walk stats: Distance: 11.0 miles. Climb: 1816'.
Time: 6 hours 16 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overallwalk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Roger.
We arrived in Cyffylliog with the sun shining, but it still felt on the cool side, but at least we couldn't feel the strong winds forecast. After passing the church, we were soon on a delighful path following the Afon Clywedog, but as soon as we had said it we we confronted by the path being blocked by a very large tree. We just about got over it, but decide that we would use an alternatve route on the way back, even if we would have to walk a little further.
 After leaving the Afon Clywedog, we started to follow a path on the East side of the Afon Concwest. This was a little overgrown in places and was blocked by even more fallen trees. After crossing the stile in the photo, we managed to weave our way between and below the branches of the fallen tree. This just confirmed our determination not to use the riverside paths on our return route.
 After escaping from the Afon Concwest we had the long steep climb up the road Boced farm. After passing the farm we had superb views over the Clywedog Valley towards the Clwydian Hills.
 Lunch was taken on the forest track South of Bryn Ocyn. we were well sheltered from the any Northerly wind. This was a pleasant spot overlooking the Clywedog Valley.
 We decided to shorten the walk slightly and decided not to go as far as the reservoir, and instead took a forest track that led to the Clwydian Way that would take us back to the road at Boced Farm.
 After passing the Concwest valley path we had steep climb up the road to the Cyffylliog road that we had decided to take. Unfortunately after climbing the steepest part and taking a few hundred yards along the Cyffylliog road, I realised that one of my gloves was missing. We turned back and you can guess it, I found the glove at the bottom of the steep hill. Having found the glove climbing up again seemed like a breeze, but it did make the walk a little longer than our legs would have liked.
 We even managed to flag down a farmer and tell him that one of the sheep in the adjacent field was caught by a wire in the fence. He seemed quite pleased, although I'm not certain it was one of his sheep!
 As we descended the road into Cyffylliog we could see rain coming, and alas as we got back to the car and started to change it became quite heavy.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird (lots), House sparrow, Blue tit, Common pheasant, Carrion crow, Raven, Common kestrel and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Cholomendy Arms at Cadole, where the Tirril Brewery's Brewsher Bitter was superb - a good drink to revive tired legs. 
 We were even home early enough to watch Liverpool thrash Manchester City!
 Overall a good day walking on a crisp and clear Autumn day, and we only ended up changing in the rain because I managed to drop my glove and insisted on turning back to retrieve it!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Sandbach ansd More 19th November 2015

"Are you sure this is the path?"
Carved 9th century Anglo-Saxon Crosses in the centre of Sandbach.
St Mary's Church, Sandbach.
Our lunch spot, unexpected to find a suitable perch in the middle of no-where.
Room for two on the higher level with views over a delightful stream - I sat on the lower level with views of a grassy bank!
Views of Mowcop from the Trent and Mersey Canal East of Hassall Green.
The Salt Line - our route back to the car.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.4 miles. Climb: 341'.
Time: 5 hours 29 minuyres. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Phil.
This was the first time that we had used this car park at the start of Salt Line, West of Hassall Green. This made our walk a figure of eight, rather than the circular walk we did last time starting in Sandbach.
 We set off anticipating mid-day showers, afternoon Sun and fairly strong wind. We did get very light rain as we approached Sandbach which stopped totally by lunch. We had no Sun and no wind, but it was pleasant warm, good conditions for walking.
 This was a surprisingly varied walk and included the delightful centre square of Sandbach with its Anglo-Saxon crosses surrounded by thatched properties. 
 The surprise of the day, just as we wondering whether we would find a suitable spot to sit for lunch, when we came across what seemed to be like a two step stile facing a stream or was it meant to be a pic-nic table. We used it as a place to sit while we had lunch, at least it provided a dry place to sit at the right time and very welcome it was too. Who would expect to find this in the middle of no-where?
After lunch we soon encountered the steady drone of fast moving traffic along the M6, something that we didn't get away from until we were well past Hassall Green on the canal towards Thurlwood.
 It was along this section that we had good views Mowcop Castle.
 The last section of the route was along the old railway track known as the Salt Line. This is a delightful path lined with trees and would even be suitable for people with wheelchairs.
 We arrived back at the car, having had a good walk with our legs telling us this walk was longer than any other walk this month!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Wood nuthatch, Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Black-billed magpie, Grey heron, Mallard, Black-headed gull, Great tit, Carrion crow, Rook and Woodpigeon.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Stamford Bridge, just off the Tarvin Road, East of Chester.
 Purple Moose's Elderflower Ale went down well, I was almost tempted to have a take-away!

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Around Moel Plas-yw from Cilcain 14th November 2015

Looking across the valley towards the Cheshire plain from the bridleway 
leading to Moel Arthur car park.
Looking across the valley towards the Cheshire plain from the bridleway 
leading to Moel Arthur car park.
The valley on the South of Moel Plas-yw.
Birds in silhouette, but what are they?
Penycloddiau from the path the West side of Mole Plas-yw.
Walk stats: 7.6 miles. Climb: 998'.
Time: 4 hours 28 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Roger.
Looking at the forecast up to Friday morning, most people would have abandoned any idea of walking today. However the forecast on Friday afternoon gave a window of opportunity with a cold but dry forecast at least up to lunch. With this in mind we decided to set off a little earlier in than usual for what is a local walk, in the hope that we would miss the worst of any rain.
 In fact the morning was better than expected, still on the cool side (probably about 7 Celsius or lower), but at least there was no rain and very little wind.
 The views from the bridle path towards the Cheshire plain and across the Mersey were pretty good.
 As we walked along the path on the Western side of Moel Plas-yw we coul see lots of people on the slopes waving white "flags", apparently beaters for a shoot that was going on in the valley below. After passing them, I think we saw more pheasants than the beaters were able to drive towards the guns, perhaps Common pheasants aren't as daft as we think they are!
 we soon arrived at the tree, where a few months ago I left my flask, alas the wasn't to be a celebration for a lost but now found flask. Hopefully the new owner will put it to good use, without sampling the remains of my soup!
 Lunch was taken early today, in fact we had finished lunch and were walking again before the normally accepted lunch time, and Fran wasn't even with us!
 As we set of after lunch, it just started to rain a little and by the time we were on the bridle way South of Tardd-y-dwr, Roger was glad that he had put his over trousers on at lunch time.
 During the last half an hour of the walk, the rain steadily got heavier, but thankfully eased of as we arrived back at the car.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, House sparrow, Black-billed magpie, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Rook, Common pheasant, Common blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle thrush, Dunnock and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue bell Inn at Halkyn, where the real fires were really welcome (outside temperature still only 7 Celsius) and the Liverpool Organic brewery brew went down well.
 Overall a good walk, making the most of the good part of the day and still home early, despite the traffic congestion aroud the road works near Airbus at Broughton.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Around Bryn Pydew and Gloddaeth Hall 12th Novemner 2015

An interesting walk to the Bryn Pydew Obelisk.
Coastal view from the Bryn Pydew Obelisk.
Llandudno and the Great Orme from the Bryn Pydew Obelisk.
"They did it this way."
Gloddaeth Hall from Bryn Pydew Quarry Nature Reserve.
Gloddaeth Hall in the distance - our after lunch uphill challenge.
Lunch is over, time to go before it starts to rain.
Penrhyn and the Little Orme on the horizon.
Walk stats: Distance: 6.7 miles. Climb: 1486' (GPS wind assisted reading), probably nearer to half of that!
Time: 3 hours 51  minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S., Tim and Phil.
A good morning forecast with wet and windy weather heading our way in the afternoon. We arrived at the car park with the car indicating the outside temperature was 13.5 Celsius, at times in the morning it felt warmer than that! It was definitely a shorts day!
 The views from the Bryn Pydew Obelisk were superb, especially towards Conwy Mountain and the Northern Carneddau. The coastal views towards the Great Orme and the Little Orme were good too. The wind farm off Abergele was clearly in view to the North west.
 After leaving the oblesik we passed the home of Llandudno's Punch and Judy, at least that is what was implied by the van parked outside.
 Lunch was taken at the Bryn Pydew Quarry nature Reserve, just South of Glanwydden. Convenient limestone rocks on the edge of the quarry gave reasonable, but perhaps not the best of angled perches, but at least we could sit down in a relatively sheltered spot. I even had reasonable views towards Gloddaeth Hall, our afternoon highest point and the Little Orme, often on our itinerary, but not today.
 Towards the end of lunch we started to feel a few spots of rain, and one by one, most of the group started to put on waterproof jackets. 
  Even after going through the grounds of Gloddaeth Hall and heading towards Bodysgallen Hall, when the rain was at its worst, the strong breeze did its best to make sure you didn't get too wet.
 We arrived back at the car a little sooner than was ideal, on this occasion my short cuts shortened the walk a little too much!
 Nevertheless we had a had a  good walk, mainly in warm unseasonal like conditions, happy that we had missed the wind and horrendous rain forecast for later in the day.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Jackdaw and Wood nuthatch.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where the Lees bitter was in fine fettle (but that isn't unusual for this hostelry).

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Marian Ffrith and Around Moel Hiraddug 5th November 2015

The remains of Grove Mill.
The remains of Marian Mill.
A very small calf looking for its mum?
Moel Hiraddug from Offa's Dyke, South of Bryn Cnewyllyn.
Looking towards Dyserth and Graig Fawr and the coast beyond from Offa's Dyke, South of Bryn Cnewyllyn.
Two unconcerned Alpacas Tyddyn-y-cyll.
The delightful stream alongside the woodland path on the Dyserth to Prestatyn Walkway.
Walk stats: 5.5 miles. Climb: 1009'.
Time: 3 hours 8 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S and Phil.
The weather forecast for today wasn't good, but at least it wouldn't be cold and the morning should be mainly dry. In fact it was very pleasant upto lunch. Some of the paths were on the muddy side, making gaiters an asset. The information board at Marian Mill (Felin Mawr, a flour mill) was one of seven mills between Marian Mill and Dyserth. We only noticed Grove Mill, so where were the other five?
 Some of the views today were good, first of Moel Hiraddug and Graig Fawr and then as approach from the path North of Cwm we had good vies towards the Little Orme. It was along this section that we decide to have lunch wher convenient stones provided dry perches for all of us. 
 We could see the rain clouds approachingas we had lunch, encouraging us to put on waterproofs just in case, one of us in fact put on overtrousers too!
 Arriving back at the we decide we should quit while we were still dry and head for early refreshments at the Britannia Inn.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Common blackbird, Goldfinch, Black-headed gull, Common pheasant and Fieldfare.
 Overall a very pleasant varied walk, making us quite smug that we had definately had the best of the day.
 In fact by the time we had arrived in Pentre Halkyn it was raining quite heavily. The Britannia Inn had a roaring fire on making us retreat to the opposite end of the bar. The landlady was surprised when we said that today the two of us were "it", she retorted "Didn't the others want to get their hair wet?"  As both David and myself are follically challenged, we couldn't possibly comment!
 As we arrived at the car park (designated for walkers using the Dyserth-Prestatyn Walkway) we met a local man who pointed out that th area next to the car park is earmarked for industrial develop and asking us to sign a petition against the proposals. More information can be opbtained on https;//www.facebook.com/dontdestroydyserth/