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, 26 October 2016

Erddig and Sontley 26th October 2016

Erddig Country Park - not a cow in sight!
The Cup and Saucer Waterfall.
Distant view of a Grey heron.
Fungi near the lodge at the entrance to Erddig.
Erddig Hall from one of the entrance drives.
"This is Wat's Dyke way?"
Wat's Dyke - well at least it's a bit that you can still see.
Autumnal colours in the trees.
One of the many ladybirds that joined us for lunch,
Another view of the ladybird.
Heading down a delightful bridleway.
Calves following the leader.
"You don't really expect us to follow you over the stile do you?"
Blue skies over Ruabon Mountain.
Walk stats: 9.1 miles. Climb: 416'.
Time: 5 hours 9 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue and Dave P.
This was another good day for walking, almost perfect Autumn weather, warm and sunny with only the occasional breeze putting in a brief appearance.
 Surprising to note, conditions underfoot were pretty good, with the exception of the track adjacent to New Sontley that Sue manged to avoid by slipping under the fence and going on the grass,
 Most of the route was easy to follow, although we have made particular note of three sections that in future will be avoided. One of which was a gate that had been tied shut with a piece of barbed wire, requiring us to go through three pathless fields before we could rejoin the footpath.
 Lunch was eventually taken on the roadside next to Old Sontley, where we sat on the bank basking in really warm sunshine. It was here that a large number of ladybirds seemed to take a liking to us. There seemed to be lots of different ones, one black with no spots and then most red or orange with varying numbers of spots. I think they were all Harlequin ladybirds.
 The final stretch of the walk was a pleasant stroll through Erddig Country Park, past the hall and Cup and Saucer Waterfall back to the car at Felin Puleston. On the outward journey we saw very few people or cows, but on the return journey people, dogs and cows were everywhere!
 It was good to see Dave back walking after his enforced layoff with a painful infection in one of his legs.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Wood pigeon, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Common pheasant, Grey wagtail, Grey heron, Mallard, Pied wagtail, Goldfinch and Common buzzard.
 Overall a very pleasant walk and no dead cows anywhere to be seen, although a few calves did pay us more attention than we really wanted!
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pant-yr-Ochain, where  Purple Moose's Snowdnia Ale went down well as it always does. Roger didn't join us at the Pant as he needed to get home early so that he and Margaret could celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary. Congratulations to them both.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Llangernyw and More 22nd October 2016

Waterfall on the Nant Rhan-hir in the grounds of Hafodunos Hall.
A unique waymarker on the woodland path in the grounds of Hafodunos Hall.
The Elwy Valley from Tyddyn Uchaf.
Moel Pentre-wern from the path from Hendre-ddu towards Pen-y-bryn.
Llangernyw from the path from Hendre-ddu towards Pen-y-bryn.
Nearly back at Llangernyw for the first time.
Is this really a buzzard.
Who lives in a home with garden figures like these?
A delightful path heading towards Fron-hyfryd.
On the path we wanted, but it didn't lead to any stream crossing point as it was meant to. 
Panorama looking North of Llangernyw.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles. Climb: 1194'.
Time: 5 hours 47 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Ed.
This was probably the best weather conditions that we have for this walk. Cool at first, but soon warming up to "shorts weather"! The path through the grounds of Hafodunos Hall is delightful despite being lined in places with Rhododendrons. 
 On arriving at Hedre-ddu, we decided to take the footpaths leading the Elwy North west of Pont Sylltu and in so doing avoided most of the road described in the route description.
 Lunch was taken on the edge of a small oak woodland leading East from Tyn-y-caeu, and although it wasn't windy acorns were constantly falling around us. On this occasion only Mike suffered a acorn hit!
 Lunch was taken a little on the early side, but we knew that there would be nowhere better for a long time. Basking in the warm bright sunshine made me dig out my sunglasses for what would be their last adventure.
 After passing near Ed's home, we decided to follow the way marked path that headed through woodland towards Fron-hyfryd and Nant and crossing the Afon Gell east of Ty'r felin. Alas despite he way mark directing down to the river, we were unable to find a crossing and ended up taking the alternative path to Henfryn where we picked up the road that would lead us up to Ty'r felin where could continue on our planned route.
 We arrived back at the car a little later than expected, having explored a few paths that we will use again on future walks, more important paths that we will not attempt to use again in the future.
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Common blackbird, Dipper, Mallard, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Raven, European robin and Common buzzard.
 Overall a good day, even if my glasses frame snapped in two as I went to take them off in order change my shirt before heading homeward.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn where the Anarchy Brewery's Strait Jacket at 3.6% went down well.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Alun Valley and More 20th October 2016

"That lot make me nervous!".
"Look what you've done, she's run off!"
Jacob's sheep in the fields South west of Pant-y-ffordd.
Gelli-Gynan Farm and the Llantysilio Mountains beyond.
Autumn colours on the track leading from Gelli-Gynan Farm.
"Can't you tell it's stopped raining now?"
Ponies on Rhen Wylfa.
Doing it in stile after that awkward climb out of the last Rhen Wylfa "valley".
"That's better!"
Panorama looking North east as we approached Llandegla.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.2 miles. Climb: 724'.
Time: 5 hours 7 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue and Michel.
Weather was pretty well what was forecast, and the few spots of rain just about counted as the 5% chance of rain. Temperatures just in double figures and very little wind made it almost perfect foe walking.
 After setting off a little earlier than usual, and taking our first short cut, we arrived at our usual lunch spot a little too soon, so we headed for Llanarm-yn-Ial where we took advantage of stone seats one of the side entrances. 
 The walk ended up only in part as originally planned, as we explored the paths past Ty'n-twll and Gelli-Gynan Farm. The access road to Ty'n-twll proved very pleasant,taking us through part of the valley that we hadn't seen before. The field that was overlooked by Ty'n-twll had been landscaped and now looked like typical park land.
 The track from Gelli-Gynan Farm back up to Offa's Dyke Path seemed like the hardest climb of the day, but in reality wasn't a lot.
 The last part of the walk went through Rhen Wylfa, a series of "valleys" between outcrops of limestone.
 We arrived back at the car just before 15-00 and before the primary school had tipped out its clients at the end of the day.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common pheasant, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Raven, Common buzzard, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Woodpigeon, European robin, winter wren, Wood nuthatch and Common blackbird.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Red Lion in Dodleston where Timothy Taylor's Landlord and a brew from Moorhouse were sampled.
 Overall a very enjoyable walk without too much effort!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Walks and Dates October 2016

Updated 19th October 2016.
The walk on the 27th October has been cancelled as I will be going to a funeral on that day.
I have switched the walk to Wednesday 26th October, so hopefully some of the Thursday group will be able to join me.
Saturday 1st October 2016.
The Morda Valley.
Cancelled -I've lost the desire to walk in the rain all day!
This walk will replace the walk originally planned for the 8th October 2016.
Distance: 9.0 miles. Climb: 1270'.
Leave Chester: 08-30 a.m.
Start: Craignant Car Park and Picnic Site. Grid ref: SJ254349.
This is a walk by Neil Coates that appeared in the Ramblers Summer magazine 2016. It is described as a leisurely walk, following sections of the Offa's Dyke path and the Ceiriog Trail. In addition sections it follows narrow lanes and upland tracks leading in to beautiful backwaters of the Welsh Marshes.
This walk in fact overlaps at one point with the last walk that we did from the Pontricket start point, so it will probably appear on the Thursday list in the near future.
Thursday 6th October 2016.
The Sandstone Trail - Rock Farm to Birch Heath.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 640'.
Start: Tarporley. Car Park adjacent to the Rising Sun. Grid ref: SJ553628.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is the third in our walks along the Sandstone trail. It involves part of Walk 4 and  probably all of Walk 5 from Carl Rogers' book "Circular Walks on the Sandstone Trail".  Perhaps not the most inspiring section of the trail, but I'm sure we'll get the best out of it, providing it doesn't rain!
Saturday 8th October 2016.
Skelmanthorpe Circular Trail.
Postponed - see 1st October above for the replacement 
Morda Valley walk.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: New Street Car Park, Skelmanthorpe. Grid ref: SE231105 or Savoy Youth & Community Centre, 32A Elm Street, Skelmanthorpe. Grid ref: SE232106.
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
This another walk in the Kirklees area. It is described as a 10 mile walk introducing you to stretches of  Denby Dale, including parts of he Dearne Way and the Kirklees Way. The Kirklees Light railway also operates in this area.
It is always good to explore new areas.
Thursday 13th October 2016.
Gop Hill, Golden Grove and Sea Views From Llanasa.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Car Park in Llanasa opposite the pub and church.  Grid ref: SJ106815
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
We have walked in this area many times, so this is a walk that uses sections of  each of them as well as exploring a few new paths.
 The walk includes mainly field paths to Trelawnyd and then visits the cairn on the Gop. The walk then follows a path that goes all the way round Gop Hill past the caves before joining the Clwydian Way to Gwaenysgor and on to a section of Offa's Dyke Path. 
The final part of the walk passes St. Elmo’s Summer House and Golden Groves on the way back to Llanasa. 
This should be an exhilarating walk with breathtaking contrasting views or at least that is how the route description is described.
Saturday 15th October 2016.
Y Bala and Beyond Llanfor. 
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:1600'.
Start: Pont y Bala car park. Grid ref: SH929362.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.past we have parked next to the football field.)
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book"Walks Around Y Bala and Penlylyn". The main walk explores the varied countryside North of Bala, including the wild remote upland around Moel Emoel. The second walk allows us to explore Bala itself and discover some of its history.
Thursday 20th October 2016.
The Alun Valley, Moel y Waun, Llyn Gweryd and Limestone Pastures.
Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Start: Llandegla Village car park, adjacent to the bus shelter and opposite the Post Office. Grid ref: SJ196523.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills". He describes one walk as being delightful and the other as being an easy walk with scenic delights. What more could we want from a walk, and as we know Dave Berry is frequently delighted on his walks! From past experience parts of the route can be muddy underfoot.
Saturday 22nd October 2016.
Llangernyw and More.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Llangernyw, Near PC, down the lane by the church. Grid ref: SH876674.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This is a figure of eight walk around Llangernyw. part of the walk is based on a walk from Lorna Jenner's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd and in the Denbigh Moors". It is described as being a delightful walk centred on the pretty village of Llangernyw. It includes terraced woodland paths besides a cascading stream through former pleasure gardens of Hafodunos Hall. The extension to the walk, explores the countryside North of the village and follows a section of the Afon Elwy, passes the remains of  a motte and then  explores the area North west of the village on the way back to Llanefydd.
Wednesday 26th October 2016.
Erddig, Wat's Dyke and Sontley.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Felin Puleston Car park, Wrexham. Grid ref: SJ325492. To get to the car park, take the A483 towards Wrexham, turn left onto the A5152 to Rhostyllen and Wrexham. Turn right onto a side road sign-posted Erddig, and almost immediately turn left down a side track sign-posted Felin Puleston Countryside Centre to a parking area by farm buildings.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Rhuabon Mountain, the Clywedog Valley and Hope Mountain". They are described as a walk through the Erddig Estate and the attractive farmland of Felin Puleston. It also includes an impressive section of Wat's Dyke.
Hopefully this time it won't be as muddy and the dead calf seen last time has been removed!
Thursday 27th October 2016
Walk cancelled.
Saturday 29th October 2016.
Jumbles, Wayoh, Turton and Entwistle Reservoirs. 
Postponed until 12th November 2016.
See below for new walk.
Distance:10-11 miles. Climb:1200'.
Start:Waterfold Car Park, off Bradshaw Road (A676), Jumbles Country Park.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This walk is based on a walk taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire". He describes the walk as a pleasant walk on good paths. The extension to Turton and Entwistle Reservoirs includes another section of the Witton Weaver Way and crosses Turton Heights and a hill called Cheetham Cross. A good and varied walk. Has been known to be on the boggy side on the descent from Cheetham Cross!
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.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Y Bala and Beyond Llanfor 15th October 2016

The church  of St Mor and St Deiniol t Llanfor.
Llyn Tegid from the rising path East of coed Tai-draw.
warm enough even for Mike to roll his shirt sleeves up, a little at least!
Toy cranes in the window at Ty'n-y-ffridd, but when were they last played with as a toy?
Panorama looking South east.
Panorama from our lunch spot above Ty'n-y-celyn.
The ruins of Ty'n-y-celyn.
Y Bala from the access track to Ty'n-y-celyn.
The Afon Tryweryn from Pont y Bala.
Llyn Tegid from the rugby club path.
The Craig Y Fron Quarry Caves,

The Craig Y Fron Quarry Caves,
Capel Tegid the beneficiary of the Craig Y Fron Quarry Caves, 
Walk stats: Distance: 10.6 miles. Climb: 1059'.
Time: 6 hours 1 minute. On the move walking averageL 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Ed.
Approaching Bala in rain, we wondered how long we would have to wait before we would be brave enough to put on our boots and set off.
 However as we turned into the car park the rain stopped and the weather just got better, mainly warm and sunny and nothing more that a gentle breeze.The views today were excellent, particularly to the high peaks above Bala.
 Route finding, especially around Coed Creigiau on the way to Ty'n-y-celyn was a little tricky when our way forward was blocked by a new fence. Thankfully we found a gate that enabled us to get back on track leading to Ty'n-y-celyn.
 Lunch was taken, sitting on the grass with superb views over Ty'n-y-celyn towards Bala and beyond.
After returning to Pont y Bala we set of on the path on the banks of the Afon Tryweryn and on to the road by the Southern end of Llyn Tegid.
 It was at this point that we started to see people. After the climb up to the Golf Club, the descent past the quarry caves was a very pleasant stroll, visiting Capel Tegid and returning to the car past Tomen Y Bala.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Common blackbird, Mistle thrush, Carrion crow, Herring gull, Wood nuthatch, Black-billed magpie, House sparrow, Mallard, Mute swan, Collared dove, European robin and Raven.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Crown In at Llandegla, where Black Sheep brews were on offer and the locally produced Rosies Triple D cider went down well.
 Overall a very enjoyable day out.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Gop, Golden Groves and Sea Views 13th October 2016

Buzzard on a post, South of Llanasa.
Looking North towards Llanasa and the coast beyond.
"Where am I?"
The  toposcope just outside Trelawnyd that we spent time debating was it right or not?
In fact Sue was right all of the time, we just had to be standing in the middle of it to realise.
The toposcope a we left it.
The panorama as we left the toposcope.
The Gop in the centre.
No comment, but the this was easier than it used to be!
Not lunch time yet!
At the Gop.
Who is that emerging from the caves underneath the Gop?
An unexpected lunch spot at Gwaensygor.
Where did you get those hats? "But I'm not wearing a hat!"
Emerging from the St. Mary's  Church at Gwaenysgor.
St. Elmo's Summer House - really!
Sea views and and the lighthouse on Talacre beach.
Nearly there, Llanasa ahead, if you follow the sheep!
Walk stats: Distance: 8.8 miles. Climb: 1159'.
Time: 5 hours 14 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, Phil and David S.
We set off, hoping that the 5% chance of rain lived up to its forecast. I suppose it was just about as we had a few spots as we had lunch in Gwaensygor. Nevertheless it was a pretty good day foe walking, it isn't often I can say it is a one shirt, one handkerchief walk!
 As we set off from the car park in the delightful village of Llanasa we were surprised to see a small flock of Ring-necked parakeets flew overhead. Some villagers we spoke to said that there are about ten of them.
 The first part of the walk from Llanasa was new to us, and it exploring it proved to be a a good choice. The views from the toposcope on the hillside East of Trelawnyd were excellent. On a slightly clearer day it would have been even better.
 After exploring The Gop and the caves below we took a path around Gop Hill that took us a little longer than expected and it was nearly 13-00 before we found a suitable spot in the centre of Gwaensygor where we were very grateful to three park benches near to to St. Mary's Church.
 After lunch part of the walk included Offa's Dyke Footpath that gave superb views towards the coast as we contoured along the hillside above Prestatyn Nature Reserve.
 The new signage for the Clwydian Wy enabled us to keep on track until we needed to head Eastward back to Llanasa.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Ring-necked parakeet, Goldfinch, Mallard, House sparrow, Common buzzard, Common pheasant, European robin, Rook, Jackdaw, carrion crow and Common gull.
 Overall a good walk that will be repeated in the future. I'm sure that with a little less time at the toposcope, we will get to Gwaensygor a little sooner for lunch and less grumbling stomachs!
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell in Halkyn where two of the six ciders and a perry were on offer.