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, 30 June 2016

World's End and Cyrn-y-Brain from the Ponderosa 30th June 2016

Setting off from the top of the Horseshoe Pass.
The first climb of the day along the Cirn-y Brain track.
Heading towards World's End
"How does this camera work?"
Our first views of the Eglwyseg Rocks.
"Are you expecting me to cross those?"
"Why are we waiting?"
Offa's Dyke Footpath here we come.
"Is it really raining?"
"This is not a silly walk!"
The last stretch along the Cyrn-y-Brain track back to the Ponderosa.
Walk stats: Distance: .4 miles. Climb: 1460'.
Time: 4 hours 43 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, David S., Wendy, Phil and Paul.
Surprisingly everyone had arrived quite early and we set before before 10-00 on the gentle climb up the Cyrn-y-Brain track that led us to the moorland track heading for the Eglwyseg Valley.
 The temperature was pleasant for walking at around 12 Celsius and at least it was still dry. 
After passing Cae'r-hafod, we decided to take the first track that led East to the Ty Canol main track, a decision that everyone agreed was much better than the path that we usually took.
 We arrived at the ford at World's End, and before saying anything everyone had crossed the stepping stones, rather than take the path that climbed through World's End between Craig y Forwyn and Craig y Cythraul. I was just testing the ford road with my Leki and as I declared that it was lethal, a cyclist skidded and came off his bike, thankfully not hurt too much, but rather wet.
 We arrived at the Offa's Dyke path marker stones an decided that this was the best place to have lunch, even though it was on the roadside near a place where someone had dumped what looked like corrugated  asbestos sheets.
 At lunch, Tim received a text from Carol telling us that Boris was no longer a threat, the campaign should be changed from ABB to ABG. Sue P sent me a text that confirmed the current situation re-our prospective new Prime Minister.
 Just before we left a German couple stopped at the same point. They were walking the Offa's Dyke Footpath, camping on route, but were heading for Llangollen today.
 This section of Offa's Dyke Footpath isn't the best as it winds its way up to Llandegla Forest using duck boards, but at least it meant we kept our feet dry.
 It was just after leaving the Llandegla Forest track that it started to rain, not a lot, but enough for some to decide that waterproof tops were needed, but in reality it soon stopped and the cool breeze meant that we were all dry by the time we back at the car.
 Birds seen and heard today included: Skylark, Meadow pipit, Carrion crow, Stonechat, Barn swallow, Common blackbird, Willow warbler, Red grouse and what we thought was a Buzzard was probably a female Hen harrier.
 We were going to have a drinks at the Abbey Grange Hotel, but alas they said that they had run out of beer, quite surprising as there is brewery on site.
 Instead we enjoyed at the Pant-yr-Ochain at Gresford where Purple Moose's Snowdonia Ale went down well.
 Overall a very enjoyable walk, all the better having had Tim join us for the walk.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Walks and Dates June 2016

Updated 9th June 2016.
Thursday 2nd June 2016.
Tremeirchion, Y Graig, Sodom and Moel Yr Gaer.
Distance: 9 miles;Climb:1600'.
Start: Off road parking, minor road East of Tremeirchion. Grid ref:SJ095740.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The walk is based on two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills". This is another walk that is one of my favourite walks and one that often appears on the list most years. At this time of the year it should give us the opportunity to look for Spring/Summer flowers, particularly around Y Craig Nature Reserve. We will probably visit St Beuno's chapel on the hill again. In the past it has been quite muddy in places, but hopefully not at this time of the year.
Saturday 5th June 2016.
The Llyn Padarn Circuit and the Powdr Oil Walk.
Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Lakeside car park close to Llanberis (Pay and Display). Grid ref: SH750770 .
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This is a walk that the group attempted in October 2008, when the weather was somewhat too wet for me and I abandoned the second half of the walk. The rest of the group did complete the walk and agreed it would be good to do the walk again when they could see where they were going! The walks are taken from Dave Salter and Dave Worrall's book "New Walks in Gwynedd From Mountain Tops to Valleys". Fine views are anticipated on a fine day. We did complete the walk again in 2009, so I thought that it was time we did it again.
Thursday 9th June 2016.
Around Minera Mountain.
Distance: 9-11 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Minera Lead Mine Centre Car park. grid ref: SJ276509.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Ruabon and Hope Mountain". The walk is described as being quite demanding, especially on the open access moorland. A walk for experienced walkers only - do we count? Can be boggy underfoot as we found out in 2013 when we first did the walk,  Hopefully it won't be too bad at this time, especially as we have had a good dry spell of late.
Saturday 11th June 2016. Postponed
Cadair Bronwen and Cadair Berwen from Lladrillo.
Distance:10-11 miles; Climb: 2500'.
Start: Llandrillo riverside car park. Grid ref:SJ035372.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from John Trentor's book "Walks in and Around the Berwyn Mountains". The last time we did this walk, the weather wasn't very kind to us and we resisted the temptation to explore a little further the main ridge on the Berwyns. Nevertheless this is a really good walk and in good weather the extension to Moel Sych is a very likely option. Can be rather boggy, especially as we descend from the moors towards Llandrillo.
Thursday 16th June 2016.
Cwm Dulas, Cefn yr Ogof and Gop Wood.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1300'.
Start location. Abergele, Pensarn Beach car park by PC. Grid ref:SH942786.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The bulk of the walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast", with an extension to include the small hill Cefn yr Ogof. Always a good walk with several opportunities to have extensive views. Once again we may decide to explore Gop Wood a little more or even be tempted to paddle in the sea at the end of the walk.
Saturday 18th June 2016.
Wylfa, Cemlyn Bay and More.
Distance: 9 miles.
Start: Mynydd Wylfa LNR Car park. Grid ref: SH356937
This walk combines one walk from each of the books by Carl Rogers on walks on the Anglesey coast. This walk explores the coast to the West of the power station. It will also allow us to explore he area around "the lagoon" nature reserve. If time allows it will also allow us to explore again the Mynydd Wylfa LNR. Don't forget to bring binoculars with you.
Thursday 23rd June 2016.
Prestatyn, Talacre and The Point of Ayr.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 200'.
Start at Prestatyn Barkby Beach Car Park. I suggest that you park on the large parking area by the PC, rather than the one that overlooks thee sea. Both are Pay and Display. Grid ref: SJ068839
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is a walk that is always on the list at this time of the year, as it is always a good time to see Little terns, so bring binoculars with you. Hopefully we will see orchids too.
As a change, we will complete the walk in the opposite direction to the one that we will normally take. 
High tide is at about 13-30, and is about 29', so we will walk along the beach to Talacre. We will take lunch using one of the picnic tables along the path leading to the Point Of Air. We will decide on the day whether to extend the walk as far as the RSPB observation point.
Our return route will be through The Warren Nature Reserve, Caravan Park and Golf Course.
Saturday 25th June 2016.
Rowen, Llanbedre-y-cennin and Caerhun.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Roadside parking opposite the post office in Rowen. Grid ref: SH761719.
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines one walk from Carl Rogers's book "Walkng in the Conwy valley with one walk from Dave Berry's book " Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley". One walk is described as a walk exploring the attractive undulating countryside between two attractive villages with a possible extension to the top of Moel y Gaer.  The other walk is described as an easy walk, visiting a Medieval church and a the site of a Roman fort. Both Llanbedr-y-cennin and Caerhun are known locations for Hawfinch.  Will we be lucky this time! Bring binoculars, just in case.
Hopefully the weather will be kind enough to encourage us to complete the Caerhun section of the walk.
Thursday 30th June 2016.
World's End and Cyrn-y-Brain from the Ponderosa.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1600'.
Start: Car parking area opposite the Ponderosa Cafe. Grid ref: SJ192480.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book " Walks Around Ruabon Mountain, the Clywedog Valley  and Hope Mountain."  This is described as an exhilarating walk of great variety, on good upland paths and tracks with panoramic viewscapes.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Rowen, Llanbedr-y-cennin and Caerhun 25th June 2016

Our first views of Tal-y-Fan.
Looking down the Tafolog Valley towards Rowen and the Conwy Valley.
Anothe view of the lower Carneddau Foel Lwyd and  Tal-y-Fan.
Navelwort / Wall pennywort - identified by Celia.
A close up of Foxglove.
Celia entering the "tree tunnel" near Waun Fechan.
The Conwy Valley from the slopes of Pen-y-Gaer.
Unusual figures in a garden just outside Llnbedr-y-Cennin.
In fact it is in bronze resin depicting The Last Supper  by Peter Barnes (Figurative Sculptor).
If you want to view it as it should be seen go to www.pete-sculptor.co.uk and view his gallery.
Caerhun Church
Walk stats: Distance: 10.5 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Time: 7 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Celia.
A warm sunny day on the cards, but with the prospect of rain at times. Thankfully it mid afternoon when it started to rain, but had stopped before I had time to put on my waterproofs.
 Overall this was a varied walk with delightful views towards the Conwy valley and lower hill tops.
 The challenge today was the vibrant bracken, stinging nettles and long grass going to seed, many of which attached themselves to our socks.
  Lunch was taken along side the Afon Roe whee we took advantage of  some convenient stones to take the weight off our feet.
 After passing the ancient church of at Caerhun, we decided to take the most direct route back to the car and used the minor roads back to Rowen. Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, House sparrow, Raven, Common buzzard, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Rook, European robin, Goldfinch, Winter wren, Meadow pipit, Stonechat and Little egret.
 We arrived back at the car, thankful to be able to sit down and take the weight off our feet at the end of an enjoyable seven hour walk, but still feeling the reminder of our failure to avoid contact with the stinging nettles.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where Cheddar Valley cider was the order of the day.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Prestatyn to Talacre and Back 23rd June 2016

Looking West towards the Great Orme at the start of the walk on Barkby Beach.
Wind turbines in line, but not moving!
The whole of our beach walk.
Not a Broad billed sandpiper, just a Dunlin!
Waiting for the leader while he chatted to two birders who had seen the Broad billed sandpiper.
Sea Holly in Gronant sand dunes - just for Celia.
Talacre lighthouse just about to be surrounded by the incoming tide.
Lunch over and all set to go.
A Mullein moth caterpillar on Great mullein.
A Mullein moth caterpillar on Great mullein.
A Pyramidal orchid, one of many seen today.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.6 miles. Climb: 209'.
Time: 4 hours 39 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, Phil, David S., Wendy, Celia, Sue and Dave P.
We arrived at the car park to find that it was full of Irish travellers, so we ended up parking in the Beach Hotel car park, (£2-50 less than the pay and display car park!)
 Flowers were in abundance, especially the Pyramidal orchid.
Overall this was a delightful walk along the beach in the morning, bright sunshine and blue skies. Lunch taken at Talacre using two of the pic-nic tables on the path towards Point of Air.
Sue and Dave P left us after lunch and missed out on the exciting path through the caravan park and golf course!
 We arrived back at the car with legs feeling quite tired considering we had had a flat walk!
Birds seen or heard today included: Skylark, Meadow pipit, Barn swallow, House martin, Mallard, Oystercatcher, Reed bunting, Sedge warbler, Little egret, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Great cormorant, Woodpigeon, Great black-backed gull, Common whitethroat, Moorhen, Black-billed magpie. Little tern and House sparrow.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue bell Inn at Halkyn, where two of the group enjoyed their iced alcohol free ginger beer with lime.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Wylfa, Cemlyn Bay and Carmel Head 18th June 2016

A view we weren't expecting to see - Porth Wnal and Wylfa Head.
The gateway to Cemlyn Bay.
Cemlyn Bay.
Sandwich tern taking a dislike to the Black-headed gull and this chick.
Sounds from the tern colony.
Inside Llanbadrig church near Tyn Llan.
Emerging from Llanbadrig church.
One of the seals seen today.
One of the Red breasted mergansers on the sea near Hen borth.
Two White ladies and a one man at Carmel Head.
A pair of Shelduck and seven of their ten ducklings.
A Brown hare, South of Neuardd.
Catch me if you can.
Walk stats: Distance: 11.0 miles. Climb: 903'.
Time: 7 hours 15 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
This was almost the perfect day for walking, pleasantly warm and occasionally a gentle breeze to ensure that it didn't feel too warm.
 We start off by heading through the Nature Reserve, expecting to pick up a path that took you through the grounds of the power station, and initially arrived at a view point overlooking Porth Wnal and Wylfa Head. We couldn't find the path we had used last time and ended up walking along the access road of the power station where we shouldn't have been. It was only later that we found that the footpath had been closed while work was being done. In order to accommodate this work the path from the power station to Simdda-wen was fenced off so there was no doubt as to where you should walk,
 Walking along  the coast are always enjoyable, especially on days like this when sea seems blue and the rocky coastline is intermingled with pebbled beaches. There is almost something special seeing yachts sailing gently across the blue water when messing about in boats must be good fun.  A bonus today was seeing Grey seals off shore as we had lunch in the bay off Hen Borth. At first we thought it was only one, but on closer look to one of the rocky islands there were several basking in the Sun. 
 Today watching the activity around the tern colony at Cemlyn Nature Reserve was a special treat, admiring the many Sandwich terns returning with fish in their beaks.
 Another special treat was tow see Sand martins nesting in the cliffs near where we had lunch, a sight that we don't see very often on our walks.
 Flowers as well as birds were the order of the day, everywhere we went Foxgloves were in flower with lots of bees visiting them.
 We even visited a delightful Llanbadrig church near Tyn Llan farm.
 The furthest-most point of our walk today was the two White Ladies, warning of the dangers of Carmel Head. Although our return route involved a fair bit of road, they were only narrow country lanes and it was along one of these lanes that we spent ten minutes or so watching two Brown hares chasing each other.
 We arrived back at the car over seven hours later, having had a leisurely walk enjoying the scenery, flora and forna of this beautiful area of Anglesey.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Raven, Common blackbird, House sparrow, Chaffinch, Common whitethroat, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Black-headed gull, Common tern, Arctic tern, Sandwich tern, Winter wren, Carrion crow, Red-billed chough, Common buzzard, Sand martin, Shelduck, Red-breasted merganser, Grey heron, Common coot, Willow warbler, Oystercatcher, Rook.Great cormorant and Jackdaw,
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where Weetwood's Oregon Pale went down well as did the Gwynt-y Draig, Haymaker cider.
 Overall a great day out, even if the chippy was closed by the time a got home after 20-30!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Cwm Dulas and Gopa Wood 16th June 2016

The way ahead with the Great Orme in the Distance.
Looking back towards Rhyl.
There's always one that wants to give everyone else ear ache!
A flower that I haven't as yet identified.
Common mallow - one flower that I could identify!
A Red poppy.
Looks like a Welsh poppy, but isn't!
A Common blue - I think!
A pair of Stonechats.
Strolling through Gopa Wood.
One man and his dog admiring the view over the golf course towards Pensarn Beach.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.3 miles. Climb: 810'.
Time: 4 hours 51 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h. 
Group: Martyn, Annie, Phil, Wendy and David S.
We arrived at the start to warm sunshine, hoping that the rain forecast for North Wales wouldn't quite reach us. Thankfully it didn't and the only rain we experienced was after leaving the Blue Bell in Halkyn and we had to drive through torrential rain for a few miles.
 At the start of the walk, part of the beach was fenced off to protect a Ringed plover nesting site, but alas we did't spot any today.
 As we headed towards Llandulas, the area adjacent to the path was adorned with flowers, so much so that at one point the rest of the group had to wait about 10 minutes for me to catch up. When I caught up they seemed to have enjoyed the opportunity to sit on the rocks for a rest.
  As a change we decided to follow the walk entirely as described, but failed as we attempted to give a friendly Sheep dog the slip as it lead us around Gopa Wood. It was always about fifty yards ahead of us, stopping every now and then to check that we were still following. It even walked up to the view point and lead us towards a seat, and only left as we took the path away from it. By this time we were a little worried that it would follow us to the road, but thankfully it carried straight on as we headed down the steps.
 Lunch was take below the South limestone cliffs on Pen-y-corddyn-mawr where we were all able to find a suitable stone on which to perch. We enjoyed lunch basking in the sun with fine views across the valley towards Craig y Forwyn and watching the bees and butterflies foraging on the Rock roses around us. I don't think I have seen so many Rock roses in one place as we did today. The other delight was the number of Blue butterflies that we saw flying around the flowers on this slope.
 We encountered one problem on the walk as we approached Garth Gogof, a tree had fallen across the path, but between David's brute force and Phil's assistance we eventually managed to get past it.
 We arrived back at the car, with the Sun still shining, have had an enjoyable walk, still dry and mud free and having been led by a very friendly Sheep dog on paths on his path.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Greenfinch, House sparrow, Herring gull, Great cormorant, Lesser black-backed gull, Pied wagtail, Grey wagtail, Barn swallow, House martin, Dunnock, Mallard, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Raven, Common buzzard, Black-billed magpie, Stonechat, Meadow pipit and Common blackbird.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn, where at last David S was able to sample his first pint of Dark Blue.