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, 29 December 2016

Mynydd Marian 29 th December 2016

Early views of the Great Orme.
A grey day on the Great Orme!
looking over the Old Colwyn Golf Course towards the improving weather on the Great Orme.
Lunch in the sunshine on Mynydd Marian.
Elegant energy providers off the North Wales coast.
Panorama from Mynydd Marian.
"Everywhere I look, the Sun is in my eyes."
Craig y Forwyn.
Cefn yr Ogof and Rhyd-y-foel from the path East of Ctraig y Forwyn.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.9 miles. 832'.
Time: 4 hours 28 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Paul.
Overall this proved to be a superb day for walking. On the cool side to start with as we walked along the coast towards Colwyn Bay with the Sun shining, but the railway embankment causing a show to be cast over us.
Once we had emerged from the Fairy Glen onto the Old Colwyn Golf Course we in sunshine all day.
As we climbed the views towards the coast were stunning, even in North wales the sea appears blue on days like this!
As w approached Llysfaen, we passed through the industrial site that is now home to the Conwy Brewery, a site that is now pleasant to walk through, in contrast to earlier times when a double glazing operator  was there! 
 Lunch was taken appropriately on Mynydd Marian, where we took advantage of large stones placed on the boundary near the trig point. We had good views towards the coast and Snowdonia on one side and the coast to Abergele and Rhyl in the opposite direction. Had we gone a little further we would have had the choice of two benches on which sit and enjoy views to the West as we had lunch!
 The rest of the walk was along the North Wales Path along delightful paths contouring around the limestone escarpments East of Llysfaen and Craig y Forwyn.
 My only regret was the fact that I removed my jacket for lunch, but failed to put my jacket in my rucksack for the rest of the day!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Herring gull, Great cormorant, Great spotted woodpecker, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Grey wagtail, Common blackbird, Redwing and Winter wren.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue bell Inn at Halkyn where Castle Rock Pale Heights and two of the real ciders on offer went down well. 
Overall this was a really good walk, almost perfect - much appreciated by everyone, especially Celia.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Walks and Dates December 2016

Happy Christmas Everyone

Thursday 1st December 2016.
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.
Saturday 3rd December 2016.
Ramshaw Rocks and the Roaches.
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 1400’.
Start: Lay-by on West side of Hen Cloud, opposite the track to Windygates. Grid ref: SK006618.
Leave Chester at 08-00.
This walk allows us to explore Ramshaw Rocks seen so many times as we have walked over the Roaches. Ramshaw Rocks from a distance have always looked to be an interesting place in which to walk. This time Ramshaw Rocks will be our main objective with a North to South traverse of the Roaches a bonus towards the end of the walk. If time and legs permit, Hen Cloud may be included as an extension.
The route heads North and then North west leading to Well Farm. From Well Farm field paths are used to reach the Churnet Way near Naychurch. The Churnet Way is followed North over Ramshaw Rocks and then leaves the Churnet Way and heads North to visit Black Brook Nature Reserve, After a complete circuit of the Reserve the route drops down to the road South of Newstone Farm. The road is then followed North for about a mile before heading west across Goldstich Moss in to the Black Brook Valley. After crossing the brook on a footbridge the path then rises to Roach End. At Roaches End the main path over the Roaches is followed past the trig point and Doxy Pool back to the start.
Thursday 8th December 2016.
Cwm Conwy, Moel Y Gaer and Moel y Crio.
Distance:10 miles. Climb: 1200'.
Start: Rhosesmor. Parking area next to the children's play area. Grid ref:SJ214684.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain".  The Cwm Conwy walk is one of my favourite walks in the Halkyn area at any time of the year. The Moel-y-Crio will use only part of second walk, so we will have to take care that we are vigilant after going through Moel-y-Crio, otherwise we will be extending the walk more than we want to!
Saturday 10th December 2016.
Clip-y-Orsedd, The Druid Circle. 
Postponed - troops falling by the wayside, but not believed to be chicken flu!
This walk will appear again on 14th January 2017.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb:2400'.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
Start: Car park behind the bank in Llanfairfechan. Turn right of Village Road. Grid ref:SH682747.
his 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. We will visit the impressive Druids' Stone Circle, but on this occasion we will miss out Foel Lus.  On a good day we should get good views, especially towards the coast and Tal y Fan. As we need to be back in Chester early, we will only extend the walk as far as the Druids Circle.
Thursday 15th December 2016.
Marion Frith, Moel Hiraddug, Cwm and Coed Yr Esgob.
Distance:10.4 miles; Climb:1600'.
Start:Car Park at the Western edge of Dyserth on the A5151. Grid ref: SJ062793.
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 Clwydian 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 17th December 2016,
A Plumley Rail Trail.
Distance: 6-8 miles. Climb: 225' (excluding stiles!)
Start: Plumley Railway Station Moor Road Car Park. Grid ref: SJ721753.
Leave Chester: 09-00.
This is a walk produced by East Cheshire and is one suggested as a suitable Winter walk by David S for our Thursday group. Not knowing the area at all, I thought that I would explore the  area on a Saturday when I know we will only need to consider parking for one car.
The walk is described as exploring the beautiful countryside around Plumley, taking you through magnificent scenery from streams to farmland through woodland and leafy lanes. We will probably explore Plumley Lime Beds Nature Reserve. At this time of the year some sections across farmland are likely to be muddy.
Thursday 22nd December 2016.
Halkyn, Limestone, Lead and Moel Ffagnallt.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Common Land opposite the Blue Bell Inn, Halkyn. Grid ref: SJ209702. 
Leave Chester at 09-00.
We haven't started a walk from this location for quite some time. I thought that as this is the last walk before Christmas that it was a good time to do so. It combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". This walk combines two of my favourite walks in this fascinating area on our local patch and is our annual treat just before Christmas.
Saturday 24th December 2016.
No walk as I anticipate that most of the group will be busy getting things ready for Christmas.
However, if you are already organised and fancy a walk to relieve the boredom give me a call.
Thursday 29th December 2016.
Mynydd Marian.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Llandulas Beach Car Park. Grid ref: SH907786.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
This walk is one that we often usually do on a Thursday. I am assuming that I will have recovered sufficiently from my cough and there are any takers for a walk.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book, "Walks on the North Wales Coast". It combines an interesting section of the coat line with the attractive limestone countryside between, Old Colwyn, Llysfaen and Llandulas.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Halkyn, Limestone, Lead and Four Quarries 22nd December 2016

The delightful path through Castle Wood.
Looking over the Dee Estuary towards Liverpool.
Halkyn Church.
Ed at the trig point on Halkyn Mountain.
At the trig point on Halkyn Mountain.
Pen t Henblas Quarry.
Pant y Pydew Lime Kilns on the East side of Bryn Mawr Quarry.
"Don't they realise that they can't come this way?"
"I'll try and look aggressive, it might stop them coming over the stile."
Pant-y-pwll-dwr Quarry and the new bank that is in the process of being built.
The unusual looking mine shaft caps that appear on Halkyn Mountain, especially East of Rhes-y-cae.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.7 miles. Climb: 926'.
Time: 5 hours 5 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Ed.
This was a superb day for walking, but if Ed hadn't been able to make the trip from Llangernyw to join me, I'd have been "Billy no mates again!"
 It turned out to be a superb day for walking, bright sunshine all day, accompanied by stiffish breeze that started quite cool, but after lunch was pleasantly warm.
 The worst of the mud was through the North west section of Castle Wood a we approached Halkyn old cemetry.
 As a change, I decided that after leaving the trig point on Halkyn Mountain, we would explore paths on the East side of Pen yr Henblas and then around the Northern edge of Bryn Mawr Quarry.
 The Pant y Pydew Lime Kilns would have been a good place to stop for lunch, but the wind was in the wrong direction and there was a strong smell coming from the chicken farm nearby that encouraged us to keep on going.
 I had a a section of the limestone outcrops on the South East side of Pant-y-pwll-dwr as the next best place to stop for lunch. Alas my plans were thwarted as the track running on the West side of the quarry had been closed since 16th October 2016 while the quarry owners built up the safety embankment so that they could extend the quarry workings.
 This meant we had an unplanned detour involving paths that had not seen much use for some time and finding the right stile proved tricky. We eventually arrived at the track that lead towards Pwll-melyn where we met the owner of the farm. He suggested that we took the track that lead directly back towards Halkyn Mountain, rather than take the official path round the back of his property. He was a little concerned over some unprotected mine shafts near the path.
 This was much better for us as it took us back to where we should have been an hour or so earlier!
 Lunch was taken as soon as we found a suitable spot as we crossed Halkyn Mountain just short of Rhes-y-cae. As the grass was dry we sat on the side of the path as it wound its way through the old mine workings.
 As we had already done over six miles at lunch, we decided to miss out Moel Ffagnalt and head from Rhes-y-cae towards the radio mast at Catch.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Jackdaw, European robin, Winter wren, Meadow pipit, Black-billed magpie, House sparrow, Redwing, Fieldfare and Raven.
 We arrived back at the start a little on the early side and had to wait about 10 minutes for the Blue Bell to open, Blacksheep's Blitzen went down well and I'm enjoying Sheppy's Orchard Dew Cloudy Cider as I complete this post.
 Overall a very enjoyable walk, but it is sad to see that the Blue Bell is up for sale and I'm sure that many of our walking group will be disappointed to hear that I might have to leave of our annual "Halkyn, Limestone and Lead walk for some time"!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

A Plumley Rail Trail

Walking along edge of Royd Wood.
The Peover Eye South east of Holford Farm.
Holford Hall through the mist.
An unusual lunch spot by a road and a railway, but still very welcome.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 220'.
Time: 4 hours 33 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and LeRoi.
The forecast was for early morning mist, unfortunately they were right when they said it may be slow to lift in places. In fact it never totally cleared until we were back at the car. At least it didn't rain and although the temperature was about 7 Celsius, it didn't feel cold and after lunch I put my jacket it the rucksack as in the morning with my Paramo jacket on I felt that was was overheating!
 As most of the walk was completed in mist, view were none existent, and the best we got was Holford Hall appearing through the mist. 
 Much of the morning walk followed field paths through very boggy fields and the only thing of any  note was when we towards White House Farm from the East. On one side we were trapped by Royd Wood fence and the on the other side by a live electric wire fence. I know from personal experience that it was live! More to the point in the field a few yards away from us gunmen at regular intervals enjoying a day pheasant shooting. I don't think they were having much luck, the beaters had only sent up 4 pheasants on two drives and a doubt if they could have seen them clear enough through the mist to shoot them.
 Apart from the weather, our next disappointment was on arriving at Plumley Lime Beds Nature Reserve to find that it was on private land and didn't appear to allow any public access.
 Opportunities for suitable lunch spots had not presented themselves and we were getting a little desperate when we came across what appeared to be a grave for all sorts of pipes, but more important there were sections of concrete supports that made very convenient seats.
 After lunch we were optimistic that the Sun would soon break through, alas it didn't, but overall it was much clearer.
 On this walk we had crossed the Chester - Plumley - Manchester railway line six times, over it three times, on it twice and under it once, so I suppose yoy can call the walk a "Rail Trail".
  Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Wood nuthatch, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Wood pigeon. Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Grey heron, European robin, Common pheasant and European robin.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Farmers Arms at Kelsall, where locally brewed Weetwood beers were on offer, Cheshire cat being the chosen one.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Sad News from Carol and Tim Dwyer

On Wednesday 14th December 2016, Tim phoned the Pelissiers to tell them that Carol's father had past away.
 Carol, Tim and all of the family are in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time.

Marian Ffrith and Around Moel Hiraddug and Graig Fawr 15th December 2016

"I didn't like that stile" or "I don't like this stile."
Y Foel and Moel Hiraddug.
"They look like a dodgy lot!"
Y Foel and Moel Hiraddug from Marian Ffrith,
Snowdonia from the road into Cwm.
The Great Orme from the path quite close to our lunch spot.
"I really am enjoying this!!
At the end of the steps on the Dyserth Circular Walk leading to the Prestatyn to Dyserth Walkway.
Looking over Meliden towards the Great Orme from the Prestatyn to Dyserth Walkway.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.0 miles. Climb: 810'.
Time: 4 hours 30 minutes, On the move walking average: 3,1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h. (Too much talking to walkers, well just one, encountered on route!).
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue Pelissier, Celia and David S.
The forecast suggested that it should be a shorts day, so I heeded the advice. It was probably just about right, but at times I was still grateful for having my fleece. Thankfully we didn't experience any of the wet stuff.
 As ever the start of the walk along an old railway track lived up to its reputation as was the muddiest section on the whole walk. Looking at the OS Map, Davis S pointed out an alternative route using a section of the Offa's Dyke path that would by-pass the muddy section.  I only hope that at least one of us remembers the next time we do this walk!
 This is always a good and varied walk, giving us good views of Snowdonia, but today, they didn't seem to be experiencing weather as good as we were.
 Unusual today we met one man and his dog, unusual as it is the first time that I have met anyone on a walk that is a "Memory Map" enthusiast, and what's more he had even had the same make of Garmin GPS that I still use for the stats on the walk.
 On this occasion, at Marian Cwm I decided to head straight for Cwm, where we had lunch before heading around Moel Hiraddug.
 The group today acted as Guinea pigs for my first ever attempt at making  a gluten free fruit cake. Th verdict was a polite good, rather crumbly, but the original recipe was better!
 This was a figure of eight walk, and as we approached the car park, David and Celia decide that they had enough and headed home. 
  The rest of us set off on the second part of the walk, but instead of climbing to the trig point on Craig Fawr, we decided to follow the way markers on the Dyserth Circular Walk. This proved to be delightful route until it led to a long descent down steps to the  the Prestatyn to Dyserth Walkway.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Common starling, Common buzzard, Common pheasant, House sparrow, Blue tit, Great tit, Collard dove, Wood pigeon, Mute swan, European robin, winter wren, Black-billed magpie, Great spotted woodpecker, Eurasian jay, Jackdaw, Fieldfare, Redwing and Carrion crow.
Thankfully we arrived at the Blue Bell in Halkyn at 15-03, minutes after they had opened, withe the real log fire to welcome us. The Pyder went down well too.
 Overall an enjoyable day and it only started to rain significantly after we had arrived home.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Cwm Conwy, Rhes-y-cae, Moel-y-crio from Rhosesmor 8th December 2016

"Do we really have to go in doors? It's much nicer out here".
On the path through the wood in Cwm Conwy.
Sunshine on Flint and the Welsh coast.
Looking East into the stone quarry North of Moel-y-crio.
Capped mine shafts on Halkyn Mountain.
Heading for Rhes-y-cae from Halkyn Mountain.
The Beluga circling before coming into land at Hawarden Airport.
The Sun starting to set over the Clwydian Hills.
The lime kiln on the South east side of Moel y Gaer.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.6 miles. Climb: 1250'.
Time: 5 hours 47 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Roger and David S.
Most forecast suggested that it would be raining for most of the morning, but would be fine in the afternoon and with temperatures in double figures it was definitely shorts weather!
We arrived at the start and the rain had stopped, so we were optimistic that the rain had come through early.
 Although it wasn't raining, many of the stiles were wet and quite slippy and we were all very careful crossing them. Unfortunately we didn't all take as much care on the stones next to the stile, and Roger decided that he wanted a closer encounter with the mud when he slipped over, hurting his shoulder. He soldiered on and completed the walk, despite a mishap with his sausage roll at lunch time!
 The rain started again as we went through the Coed Llys next to the Afon Conwy, so we all stopped to put on waterproofs, only for it to have stopped by the time we had reached the road. We kept our waterproofs on until lunch as the wind was a little on the cool side to say the least.
 Lunch was taken. just short of Berth-ddu, where we took advantage of a few stones along the fence.
 After lunch was much better and only laziness kept me from returning my waterproof top to my rucksack, However at Rhes-y-cae, the wind had eased, the Sun was shining and blue skies were all around.
  We had explored a few footpaths that none of us had used before, giving us different views into the stone quarry. This wasn't good enough for us and as we arrived at the quarry entrance we decided to follow signs say "Pedestrian Route". Unfortunately this was meant for quarry workers not us, and we had to be put right by one of the quarry men.
 One more path that we had hoped to explore wasn't possible as it had been consumed by the quarry, so another diversion was needed, but it didn't extend the walk at all.
 As the Sun was starting to set, and legs were flagging, we missed out the climb up Moel y Gaer and kept to the easy road route back to the car.
 Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Winter wren, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Rook, Wood pigeon, Common pheasant, Fieldfare, Redwing, Goldfinch, Meadow pipit, Blue tit and Common blackbird.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn where Blue Bell Bitter and Green Valley Vintage cider went down well as we listened to Tom explaining a little about his Mudder adventure in the American desert.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Ramshaw Rocks and the Roaches 3rd December 2016

Hen Cloud from the pass between Hen Cloud and The Roaches.
The Roaches from the pass between Hen Cloud and The Roaches.
First views of Ramshaw Rocks.
Ramshaw Rocks ahead.
Hen Cloud and The Roaches from the road on the West side of Ramshaw Rocks.
Ramshaw Rocks.
Ravens and Jackdaws over Ramshaw Rocks.
Preferably viewed without sound as I haven't learned how to edit video!
Taking in the view from a high point on Ramshaw Rocks.
Near the trig point on The Roaches with light fading fast.
Ramshaw Rocks from The Roaches.
Sunset from The Roaches.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.0 miles. Climb: 1419'.
Tie: 6 hours 11 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.9 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
Arriving at the parking area below Hen Cloud, the temperature was just below 4 Celsius and as well as being somewhat overcast.  At least it was dry and we set off optimistically hoping for the Sun to break through at some stage.
 This was the first time that we had attempted to cross the Ramshaw Rocks ridge, but our first challenge was getting there. After making a couple of mistakes, we arrived at the start of the ridge about 40 minutes later than it would have been had we not taken the unplanned extension through Upper Hulme. As we crossed Ramshaw Rocks we were endlessly entertained by Ravens at least six of them displaying despite the attention of other corvids.
  Our second route change came just after descending Ramshaw Rocks, where the we intended to us, whilst on the map was no longer present on the ground so we decided to miss out Black Brook Nature Reserve.
 We had lunch on the roadside North of Harpersend, where I sat on the stile and Mike used the nearby stone wall. Thankfully at this time we had warm sunshine, but we were still glad that we had hot soup and drinks on our menus for lunch.
 We had hoped to avoid the worst of the boggy sections around Goldstich Moss, but even the track past Moss End farm ended being just as bad. 
 It was gone 15-00 as we arrived at Roach End. We reckoned that we had at least another hours of reasonable light left, so started the North - South traverse of the Roaches despite the fact that the light was starting to fade. We both had head touches in our rucksacks, but later admitted we hadn't checked to see if they were working.
 as we crossed the Roaches, the temperature dropped considerably and must have been pretty close to the -2 Celsius the Met Office suggested it would feel like in the cold North easterly wind
 Just as we arrived at the Southern end of The Roaches the Sunset was superb, adding memorable moment to the walk.
 Overall this was a really good walk, and will be repeated, but perhaps not exactly as today.
Birds seen or heard today included: Winter wren, Common blackbird, Red grouse, Common starling, Common buzzard, Carrion crow, Jackdaw and Raven.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where the Hartington Bitter was in excellent form. The main bar was heaving as and the heat coming from the fire gave us a warm welcome. However the facilities could still do with a little updating!