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

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Frodsham, the Weaver and Kingsley 21st August 2016

Walking alongside the Weaver approaching the Frodsham Cut.
Mute swan on the Weaver Navigation.
Looking back down the delightful riverside path through Hunter's Nature Reserve.
The delightful riverside path through Hunter's Nature Reserve, heading towards Kingsley.
One of the few boats seen on the Weaver Navigation as we approached the Kingsley road.
Walk stats: Distance: 11.2 miles. Climb: 565'.
Time: 5 hours 51 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S., Phil and Paul.
Overall this turned out to be a pleasant day for walking, much cooler and less humid than last week. In fact we had a five minute spell of rain, just enough time to put waterproof before it stopped. In fact I took my waterproof jacket of straight away.
 Much of the time after that required the use of a sun hat and sunglasses if you had them with you..
 At one point we saw huge flocks of Canada geese feeding in stubble fields, then taking to the air in groups of about fifty heading along the river towards Frodsham. At the same time about 200 Lapwing were in the air with their easily distinguished flickering of the wings in flight.
 Considering we walked along the banks of the Weaver Navigation, we didn't see many boats actually moving, just one narrow boat and one motor launch.
 The section of the path through Hunter's Nature Reserve was a delightful wooded path adjacent to the river, but alas a little too long for my GPS, it lost contact with the satellite signals.
 Once leaving the river and heading for Kingsley, claims of being hungry started to be aired, so a suitable lunch spot was needed.
 Thankfully we came across a cross country hunt fence that provided a suitable perch for most of us, the nearby grass being favoured by one of the group.
 After lunch we were largely on field paths, and at one point came across some children with a couple of dogs that had tried chasing a hare, but decided that investigating us would be an easier option.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Lapwing, House sparrow, Canada goose, Eurasian curlew, Carrion crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Great cormorant, Common blackbird, Woodpigeon, Barn swallow, Grey heron and Mallard.
 We arrived back at the car having had a good walk and legs knowing that they had covered a greater distance than usual.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Helter Skelter in Frodsham, where Red Willow's Headless and Oakham's Bishop's Finger went down well.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Walks and Dates August 2016

Updated 4th August 2016.
I can't walk on Thursday 1st September, so I am hoping that everyone can walk on Wednesday 31st of August instead.
Thursday 4th August 2016.
The Afon Maes Valley.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: 800'.
Start: Llanelidan. Grid ref: SJ108503. To get to the parking area, take the A494 Ruthin to Bala road, 2 miles after Pwllglas, turn left towards Llanelidan. Keep ahead at the crossroads as you enter the village, then go down a "No through road" past houses, telephone and a chapel to the end of the road where there is a parking area.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's booklet "Walks in the vale of Clwyd." In the past we have always done this walk after having completed the Craig Adwy-wynt walk and have only completed it once before. On the last two occasions, it was on very warm days and we opted to head to a local hostelry for refreshments instead.
 I decided that the only way to complete this walk was to to actually make this the walk.
Dave Berry describes this walk as a splendid figure of eight walk exploring the beautiful unspoiled undulating countryside around Llanelidan.
Saturday 6th August 2016.
See notes below concerning Saturday Walks.
Thursday 11th August 2016.
Coed Ceunant and the River Clwyd with and extension to Rhewl.
If all goes to plan this could be the last walk that Annie can make with the group before she moves.
Distance: 8-10 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Ruthin riverside car park (Pay and display). Grid ref:SJ121582.
Leave Chester 9-0 a.m.
This walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks In the Vale of Clwyd" that we have done several times before, but not since 2009. In the past we have linked them with other walks that take the mileage to about 13 miles, more than most of us want these days. He describes the walk as  one exploring varied countryside, with excellent views and visits the charming ruins of a Medieval church using field paths and some delightful bridleways between Ruthin and Llanbeddr Dyffryn-Clwyd. It explores the attractive lower slopes of the Claudian's, including a lovely wooded area.
 The extension to Rhwl  follows the riverside path Northwards before heading towards Rhewl on quiet country lanes to Rhewl and back to the river where we again follow the riverside path, South to Ruthin.
Saturday 8th August 2016.
See notes below concerning Saturday Walks.
Thursday 18th August 2016.
Graig Fawr, and Coed yr Esgob from Prestayn.
Distance:9-10 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Prestatyn beach car park. Grid ref: SJ068840. There is a large car park by the toilet block, just before the beach car park. The last time we started at Barkby Beach, we used the Beach Hotel Car Park, tickets obtained from rececption. (cheaper than the Pay and Display car park by the toilet block.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This is a walk that I have done many times before and always enjoy. The route uses the North Wales Path and Offa's Dyke path to link up with the walk from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Clwydian Hills".
Saturday 20th August 2016.
See notes below concerning Saturday Walks.
Thursday 25th August 2016.
Owain Glyndwr's Mount, Nant Friddisel and the Pen y Grog Mines,
Distance: 6-7 miles. Climb: 1400'.
Start: Grid ref: SJ115437. Road side parking on B5437 on the South side of Pont Carrog.
This walk is a little shorter than usual, but takes in to account that route finding might be more difficult than usual. The main objective is to visit the Pen y Grog disused mines using a footpath that would be an extension to our normal walk which we last did in July, but having climbed Moel Fferna no-one has been very keen to extend the walk further. The call of the Grouse Inn might have had something to do with it!
 This route starts by heading alongside the river, before taking the paths that climb up to the mine. After retracing our steps the walk uses a path through the Carrog Plantation that we have used before and may take some finding. Having successfully negotiated our way through the forest and on to open moorland we then follow familiar paths towards Carrog-uchaf, but just before the farm we head back South in to the Carrog Plantation to contour on forest paths around Owain Glyndwr's Mount and finally descend to Llidiart y Park and along the B5437 back to Pont Carrog. 

Saturday 27th August 2016.
Llyn Caer Euni from Llanderfel.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb:1600’
Start: Roadside parking by the stream in the village of Llanderfel. Grid ref:SH982371.
Leave Chester 8-15 a.m.
The described part of the walk is taken from Dave Berry’s book “Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn”. This is only a 5 mile walk, but the extra miles is linking the start of the walk in Sarnau with Llanderfel, using different paths on the outward and return journeys.
The outward route will include using a path through the Nature Reserve Cors y Sarnau. There is a good chance of seeing Red kites in this area.
 This walk involves crossing boggy terrain and at some times of the year head high bracken can hinder the way forward.
Wednesday 31st August 2016.
Along the River Weaver, Kingsley and Around Frodsham.
Distance: 12 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Centre car park on the south side of the railway station.
Grid ref: SJ519779.
To get to the car park from Chester. Turn right at the traffic lights in the centre of Frodsham (traffic lights with the Bears Paw Pub on the left and the Golden Lion on the right). After a short distance turn left by the Helter Skelter Wine Bar. Follow the road round past a recycling centre to a large car park.
The distance given relates to the last time that we did the walk. I will probably look to see if the walk can easily be shortened by a couple of miles.

This walk is not taken from any book, so we will just following footpaths on the OS map. The initial part of the walk takes us through the north side of Frodsham, partly on the Eddisbury Way to the Weaver Navigation System. Here we will follow the riverside footpath for 3-4 miles. The Weaver is a good place to see water birds, so don't forget to bring your binoculars with you. After leaving the river we will take field paths to reach the village of Kingsley where we will follow the Eddisbury Way back to Frodsham.

Saturday Walks August 2016.
On most dates in August 2014 and 2015 there have been not takers for Saturday walks. Consequently rather than planning walks for every Saturday and then cancelling them on most occasions, I have decided not to post any walks at the same time as posting Thursday Walks for the month.
 However, if you decide that you want to walk on a particular Saturday, let me know by the Thursday before and it may be possible to arrange one.

Llyn Caer Euni from Llandderfel 27th August 2016

Garth Wood - where we first saw a Red kite in the sky above.
The first patching up time.
The Arans in the distance.
The location of Caer Euni hill fort.
Tyddyn Tyfod and the Lleidiog Valley- only just visible from the bracken invaded track.
The Lleidiog Valley from the moor North east of Llyn Caer-Euni.
Llyn Caer-Euni from the east.
Llyn Caer-Euni from the South.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.0 miles. Climb: 37'.
Time: 6 hours 22 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.9 m.p.h. Group: Martyn and Celia.
This turned out to be a good place for walking today, no rain, not too much sunshine and in the main not too humid, except when we were battling through head high bracken.
 Our normal parking area by the stream in the centre of Llandderfel was already full, so we ended up parking on the roadside next to an old chapel, in fact a better place to park.
 The walk started with a two mile road walk to Bethel, quite a pleasant walk with intermittent good views on both sides of the road to distract us. Indeed it on one such occasion that we spotted a Red kite in the sky around Garth (wood).
 Much of the hill side above Blaen Cwm had been cleared, but the work had made the path more difficult to negotiate, vegetation had encroached too.
 This was the location when brambles meant that Celia had to stop for road repairs. Soon after we had our first trial by bracken, having to push it aside to keep are position on the path.
 In fact most of the walk today was on paths that in reality couldn't be seen on the ground, but amazingly we only deviated slightly when we saw a very large bull in the field ahead.
 We were stopped by a local farmer, who reluctantly agreed the path we wanted was along the fence in the next field and crossed the fence half way down.
 The next section was a delightful path on the edge of an old woodland as far as Tyddyn Tyfod.
 The next section, on what last time was a very pleasant climb up to the moor, proved to  be a nightmare head high bracken encroaching the path for nearly half a mile. What a relief it was to emerge on to the moor and escape the bracken.
 Lunch was taken immediately, a little later than usual at about 14-00, so we were ready for it.
  After lunch we decided to head for Llyn Caer-Euni, I'd forgotten how boggy the paths in that area were, but we plodded on regardless, eventually descending down to Bethel and the road back to Llandderfel.
 We arrived back at the car with tired legs, having a a good and overall enjoyable walk with more challenges than we had at expected.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Wood nuthatch, House sparrow, Barn swallow, House martin, Blue tit, Common buzzard, Red kite, Raven, Collared dove, Wood pigeon, Common blackbird, Carrion crow, Common pheasant, Meadow pipit, European robin, Herring gull and Lesser black-backed gull.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Crown Hotel at Llandegla, where the locally produced Rosie's Cider went down well.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Pen-y-Grog Mine and More from Carrog 25th August 2016

Our main objective for the day from Pont Carrog.
The Penarth or Corwen Mine near Pen-y-Grog in the Berwyns.
 The River Dee looking towards Corwen, where we first saw the Kingfisher.
The River Dee looking towards Carrog and the direction we last saw the Kingfisher.
Carrog from the path to the Penarth Mine.
Made it at last at the start of the Penarth Mine buildings.
Probably used for removing waste slate.
One of the old buildings at the Penarth Mine.
A Rowan well laden with berries.
A better picture of the Rowan berries.
Carrog from our lunch spot.
The Llantysilio Mountains from our lunch spot.
Heather on open moorland.
More Heather on open moorland.
What some of the  shooting fraternity think of our environment!
Even more evidence of a recent shoot.
Not what you would expect to see waiting on the platform at Carrog.
Walk stats: Distance: 6.1 miles. Climb: 1207'.
Time: 4 hours 54 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.8 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Phil.
A very select group today, if it gets ant smaller I'll be going solo!
We arrived at Carrog with a sort of mist hanging over the tops of the hills, a mist that never really cleared all day.
 We set off along the river and just before we crossed the railway track  we saw a Kingfisher, diving to catch a fish and then headed off heading towards Carrog. A good start for the bird count, but that was as good as it was going to get.
  We encountered our first problem where a very sturdy fence had been built across the normal path that we use. Later we came to the conclusion that the path had been diverted to the East of the cottage onto a new track that linked with the original path above the farm.
 The path heading to the Penarth Mine was a at a very pleasant gradient and gave really good views towards the Dee Valley and the Llantysilio Mountains. The views would be even better on a crisp clear day.
 Half way along this path, to our surprise we met a man descending with his dog, a huge Great Dane.  The dog's head came half way up my chest, and I'm sure if it turned it head upwards its nose would have touched my chin! Thankfully both the dog and owner were very friendly.
 We decided to have lunch just before trying to find the path that would lead us into the Carrog Plantation. There were plenty of suitable stones at this point on which we could sit while we had lunch. This must be the first time that we have been able to see our cars from our lunch spot, even though we were at a height of about 1100'.
 After lunch what route to take was going to be a challenge. We found that the path and entry point into the Carrog Plantation did not exist, so we decided to head for open moorland where we hoped to find another track that might lead us to where we wanted to be, but the route along the outer fence of the Carrog Planation became impassable and we ended retracing our steps to a new gate that lead into the plantation. Thankfully they had started to thin out the trees and we could see an obvious way ahed that should lead us to a forest track marked on the OS map. It did and we could relax that once aging we had a good firm wide track under our feet.
 Humidity at this point was again getting rather unpleasant, so we decided to take one of the forest tracks back to Llidiart y Parc.
 It was along this track that we came across lots of spent cartridges left at various points, often near marker posts. It is a pity those members of the shooting fraternity responsible couldn't take their litter with them when they went home. As well as being unsightly, these plastic and metal spent cartridge cases will take an awful long time to break down.
 Crossing the railway bridge at Carrog station, I was surprised to see about ten Barn swallows on the platform, but by the time I had focused  my camera there was only one left!
 We arrived back at the car, quite happy that hadn't been any longer, 6.1 miles and a climb of 1200' was enough on the day.
 Birds seen and heard today included: Kingfisher, Mallard, Barn swallow, House sparrow, Raven, Common buzzard, Mistle thrush, Carrion crow, Pied wagtail, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon and Common pheasant.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed when a got home, a few cups of tea went down well, but the first had a tot of whisky in it too!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Graig Fawr from Prestatyn Barkby Beach 18th August 2016

The start of Offa's Dyke Footpath at Prestatyn.
Looking towards Rhyl from the old railway line (North Wales Path).
Looking Northward down the old railway line (North Wales Path) South east of Meliden.
At the summit of Graig Fawr.
Graig fawr from near our lunch spot on Offa's Dyke Footpath.
A convenient bench and a few suitable stones provided a good lunch spot overlooking the golf course and the coast beyond.
Information board at Pant Fachwen.
Pant Fachwen with suitable perches for a lunch spot. if I remember.
Our final view of the coast from Offa's Dyke Footpath above Prestatyn Nature Reserve.
What can it be?
An unexpected piece of art work on the Hillside on the outskirts of Prestatyn.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 757'.
Time: 4 hours 41 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia, Wendy, Phil and Ed.
The weather was expected to be dry with temperatures just in the twenties, so we anticipated that it would be a pleasant day for walking. Overall it was, although at times it was rather humid. Progress along the old railway line (North Wales Path) was more rapid than our usual pace and we arrived at Graig Fawr a little too early. A little disappointing really as it had good views and a delightfully cooling breeze.
 It was unanimously decided to carry on and look for a suitable spot along the Offa's Dyke Path. after passing the old quarry we came across a bench that had good views towards the coast and decided this would be a good place to have lunch.
 Most of us had forgotten that the steepest part of the walk awaited us after we had passed the Coed y Esgob path.
 At the Northern end of Prestatyn Hillside Nature Reserve, a new car park had been created. possible a start point for walks in the future.
 The final section of Offa's dyke Footpath through Prestatyn town centre isn't the most exciting part of the path, but at least for us it was down hill.
 We arrived back at the car having had a good walk and glad once more to take of our boots allow the gentle sea breeze cool our toes!
 Birds seen ot heard today included: Common starling, Herring gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Black-headed gull, Woodpigeon, Common blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Common kestrel and Dunnock.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, open thanks to them being able to use a generator. The power had been off for a few days.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Little Orme and Coed Gaer 13th August 2016

The Great Orme from the Little Orme.
At the tri point on Little Orme Head.
Llandudn and the Great Orme from Little Orme Head.
Pernrhyn Bay  and beyond from Creigiau Rhiwledyn.
Little Orme Head from Creigiau Rhiwledyn.
One of the Grey seals in Porth Dyniewaid.
The Little Orme from Mynydd Pant.
The Great Orme from Nant-y-Gamor.
Deganwy Castle from the path below the limestone cliffs  West of Coed Gaer.
Autumn colours already!
The Coastguard helicopter in the skies South of the Little Orme.
The Coastguard helicopter coming in to land on the field West of Crag-y-Don.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.5 miles. Climb: 1323'.
Time: 5 hours 7 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.9 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Celia.
This was almost the perfect weather for walking, pleasantly warm and no rain.  However the cool breeze when we were at the trig point on Little Orme meant that we didn't linger too long to watch the sailing event off shore at Crag-y-Don/Llandudno.
 While on Little Orme Head we were surprised to see how acrobatic some of the Great cormorants were as they manoeuvred in the Westerly wind.
 The next surprise came as we overlooked Porth Dyniewaid/Angel Bay and saw three Grey seals. A notice pointed out that the seals gave birth to their pups on the beach any time between September and January.
Lunch was taken on the small limestone outcrop of Mynydd Pant, where we sheltered on the Eastern side of the limestone pavement to keep out of the cool breeze.
 The coastal views and views towards Deganwy and Conwy we good, but the higher hills of Snowdonia had cloud lingering over the tops.
 The final surprise came as we went through Penrhyn Side and saw a Coastguard helicopter circling and eventually landing the field opposite the paddling pool. We thought that it may have been a training exercise, but in fact it was a full blown rescue of a women that was injured on the Little Orme.  This would explain why there was an ambulance with flashing lights and someone being taken into it on a stretcher.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Eurasian curlew, Rook, Oystecatcher, Herring gull, Stonechat, Common blackbird, Meadow pipit, Red-billed chough, Jackdaw, Fulmar, Common buzzard, Common kestrel, Shag and Great cormorant.
 Overall a very enjoyable walk, well worth celebrating with pint of Purple Moose's Cwrw Ysgawen at the Bluebell Inn at Halkyn on the way home. 
 It's a pity the cricket and CFCs day wasn't as good as ours!