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 in mid-week and 2-4 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, Wend and Ian Peers, 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, Nigel Taylor, Naomi Deynem

Sunday, 27 November 2016

A Ceiriog Trail From Pontricket 26th November 2016

Photo times are still on BST.
An old mill next to the Afon Ceiriog, West of Pont -y-Meibion.
Blue skies starting to appear out of the mist.
Doing what it says on the seat - "Lift up thine eyes to the hills".
Snoe on the hills on the North side of the Ceiriog Valley.
The view from our lunch spot on the Ceiriog TrailNorth east of Pen-y-gwely Reservoir.
Looking South east towards the Pen-y-gwely Reservoir.
Looking into the valley as the starts to set.
The same view without trees.
The Sun's rays showing some of the cobwebs in the fiels.
The path heading down the valley to Siambr-gerrig and onto Pontricket.
Emerging from the ford.
Autumnal colours East of Pontricket.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 1029'.
Time; 5 hours 39 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
We set off from the car with a cloak of mist in the valley and stretching up to the tops of the hills on each side of the valley, but we were optimistic that it would clear by the time we to the moorland around Pen y Gwely.
 It did indeed do just that and within 15 minutes of feeling the warm sunshine we were shedding fleeces and the views were superb. Views of hill tops decked in snow below blue skies what more could you want when out on an Autumn walk.
 The only problem we encountered was off road motor bikes with their high pitched engines speeding around a course set up South of Llechrydau. At least our quite solitude was restored once we had gone past them.
 Lunch was taken using convenient stones next to the trail that gave us superb views over the valley to the snow covered tops beyond. However we were not alone at our lunch spot, as Mike soon found out when he noticed lots of spiders crawling over him, at one point starting to make a web across his boots.
 Much later on we in fact we went across a field that seemed to be covered in cobwebs, only seen when the sun's light shone on them at a particular angle.
 As we approached Siambr-gerrig, we saw our bird of the day, a Woodcock flew towards us coming within a few feet before disappearing.
 Overall this was a really good walk and the Siambr-gerrig path is one we will use again to avoid the alternative track that we have used in the past.
 Towards the end of the walk as the Sun was starting to go down, we had superb views with unusual lighting. 
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Moorhen, Raven, Carrion crow, Common buzzard, Common pheasant, Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Meadow pipit, Stonechat and Woodcock.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at Pant-yr-Ochain at Gresford where Castle Rock's stout went down well.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Moel Findeg, Deborah's Well and More 24th November 2016

First view of Moel Famau.
Ceramic art seen on the way to Cholomendy.
The Clwydian Hills seen from Cholomendy.
A Welsh mountain pony trying to hide in Coed y Fedw.
Another Welsh mountain pony, but one that is a little less shy!
An unusual road sign on the outskirts of Maeshafn.
Looking back towards our lunch spot.
Strolling through Tir-y-coed after lunch.
It's always good to see a new stile!
The monkey face of Moel Findeg.
Panorama from Moel Findeg.
Moel Famau from Moel Findeg.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 1012'.
Time: 5 hours 4 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Phil.
This was a lovely Autumn day for walking, bright warm sunshine, hardly any wind and just about cold enough to justify keeping fleeces on. The only problem we had today was the fact that the Sun was so low in the sky, much of the morning we were regretting not having a baseball cap with a large peak to shade our eyes from the glare of the Sun! Wearing sunglasses later on helped a little.
 As is our want of late we explored a different path through Coed y Fedw on the way from Cholomendy to Maeshafn, giving us the opportunity to spot a few of the recently introduced Welsh mountain ponies. I wonder if they are appreciating the less harsh environment of the Clwydian Hills, having been relocated from Snowdonia.
 Lunch was taken by the lake in Tir-y-coed, where six convenient tree stumps provided suitable seats and side tables for each one of us.
 As the title of the walk included "Moel Findeg", we decided that we must make the effort to climb to its summit to admire the views in all directions. We were glad to see that we appeared to be having better weather than anyone walking on the Sandstone ridges of Cheshire.
 As we were parked in Cadole we kept to the path on the edge of the wood that went directly from Deborah's Well to Cadole.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Wood nuthatch, European robin, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Common blackbird, Woodpigeon, Canada goose, Common buzzard, Black-billed magpie, Common pheasant and Fieldfare.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, Mold, where I was able to pick up a walk description that we will probably use before the meal on the day of our annual meal together.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Walk and Dates November 2016

Updated 16th November 2016.
Ed contacted me earlier today informing me that the High Street in Llanfairfechan will be closed all day on the 19th, so I have brought the Prestbury walk forward to the 19th and moved the Clip y-Orsedd walk to the 10th December 2016. 
Thursday 3rd November 2016.
Big Covert and Bryn Alyn.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1900'.
Start: Layby on the A494 Mold to Ruthin Road, about 1/2 mile South of Llanferres. Grid ref: SJ187597.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book More Walks in the Clwydian Hill".  We have combined these walks on several occasions before and the section over Bryn Alyn is always good. However this time our route will only use part of one walk and will take us on both sides of Big Covert, one path quite close to Burley Hill Quarry.
It will also give us another opportunity to test our route finding skills through Nercwys Forest, although last year we did get right!
Saturday 5th November 2016.
Hidden Gwertherin.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Lay-by on the B5384, West of Pandy Tudor. Grid ref: SH855641.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from an old Walking Magazine.  It describes Gwytherin as a compact village tucked into a fold of the hills to the East of the Conwy Valley, in an area that is not as rugged as Snowdonia, but it gives a feeling of space that is not found in the higher mountains. The western horizon is dominated by the high peaks of Snowdonia.
Thursday 10th November 2016.
Pen-y-Ball, Pantasaph and the Gorsedd Round.
Distance:10-11 miles,. Climb:1000’.
Start: Roadside parking at Lloc. Turn left by the public house if approaching from Holywell on the A5026 on right if approaching on the A5026 from its nearest junction with the A55. Grid ref:SJ145765.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book " Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". we have done both walks many times before, but not often together. One walk explore the area between Holywell and Pantasaph, including the grounds of the friary. The other walk explores the attractive undulating countryside North of Gorsedd and Carmel.
 Although this walk can be upto 11 miles, we usually take a few short cuts to make the walk under ten miles.
Saturday 12th November 2016.
Jumbles, Wayoh, Turton and Entwistle Reservoirs. 
Postponed - weather forecast suggests it would be very wet and misty.
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!
Thursday 17th November 2016.
A Ceiriog Trail East of Pontricket.
Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 1700'.
Start: The Pontricket Layby on the B4500 , about 3 miles South of Glyn Ceiriog. Grid ref: SJ186343.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
This is a variation of the walk we did in September, but includes much more of the Llwybr Ceiriog Trail and visits the Pen-y-Gwely Reservoir. We may also be able to explore paths that avoid having to descend the steep unpleasant bridleway from Cefn-y-braich-uchaf with its concrete enclosed drainage pipes.
Saturday 19th November 2016.
Prestbury, Mottram and Whitley Green.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Springfields Car Park behind the Admiral Rodney, Prestbury. Grid ref: SJ902773.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This involves two walks from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks" and isa figure of eight walk around Prestbury. The walk includes sections along the River Bollin and gentle hills with good views. . The walk is described as easy/moderate and will probably include a slight detour to visit the restored Mottram Cross. These are two new walks for me, an added bonus.
Thursday 24th November 2016.
Moel Findeg, Deborah's Well, Bryn Alyn and Nercwys Mountain (A Tale of Two Mountains).
Distance:11 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Lay-by on the  Cadole to the Pantymwyn road. Grid ref: SJ205627. after passing the former Rainbow Inn (now a building site), take the next road on the right just before the newsagent. The lay-by is almost immediately on the right by the telephone kiosk.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "More Walks in the Clwydian Hills".  This is another chance to visit the summit of Moel Findeg with its fine views of the Northern Clwydians  and across the Cheshire plain to Pekforton and Beeston.  Hopefully we will make it as far as the ancient Deborah's well this time. We may even do it first this time, if we park in the Cadole lay-by.
Saturday 26th November 2016.
Beaumaris and Penmon. Postponed.
This walk will be replaced by the Ceiriog Valley walk described on the 17th November 2016. 
See above for details.
Distance:13 miles. Climb: 1300'.
Start: The car park on the left just past Beaumaris Castle. Grid ref: SH609762.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines one walk from Carl Roger's book "Coastal Walks Around Anglesey - Volume 1" with a walk from his book "Coastal Walks Around Anglesey - Volume 2" .  These are walks that we have enjoyed doing in the past.  High tide is at 08-30 and is only 27.5', so hopefully it will be possible to walk along the beach for the first part of the walk.  This is a good and varied walk, passing Penmon Priory and the site of Castell Aberlleiniog. Although it is nominally 13.0 miles, I'm sure a few short cuts will be made to reduce the challenge to under 10 miles!

A Prestbury to Mottram Round 19th November 2016

Not a lot of river management on this section of the Bollin.
One of the many potential ox-bow lakes in the making.
Autumnal colours.
Autumnal colors under a blue sky on the way to the Top o' th' Hill.
Views towards the hills South East of Bollington.
A section of a flock of over 200 starlings foraging on a field South of Mottram ridge.
Looking South east from Mottram Bridge.
Looking towards the East from Legh Hall.
Snow in the Peak District.
In search of a Saxon Cross in the grounds of the St. Peter's Church, Prestbury.
Walks stats; Distance: 9.0 miles. Climb: 427'.
Time: 5 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group; Martyn and Mike.
This was a bright sunny day on the cool side at times but on occasions requiring fleeces to be carried in our rucksacks!
 As expected there were plenty of muddy sections to negotiate, especially on the path South of Woodside Farm on the way to Legh Hall.
 This walk certainly lets you know that many of the residents of this part of East Cheshire don't need to worry about where their next meal is coming from!
 Route finding at times as quite challenging, especially on sections across Mottram Hall Golf Course, where a few more signs would have been helpful, but at least on this occasion we didn't have to retrace our steps.
 Lunch was taken when we found two fallen tree trunks  by the path with views across the golf course.
 After arriving back at Prestbury, we decided to visit the local church to try to find the Saxon cross, but unfortunately it in a building that was not today open to the public.
Birds seen or heard today included: Wood nuthatch, Mallard, Carrion crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle thrush, Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit and Common buzzard.
 Overall an enjoyable day.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Farmer's Arms at Kelsall, where locally produced, Weetwood's Cheshire Cat went down well and the new innkeepers had ensure that there was a pleasantly warm environment.!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Gorsedd, Pen y Ball Hill and More 10th November 2016

Moel Famau and the Clwydian Hills from Pant Asaph.
The entrance to the Franciscan Friary, cafe and Peace Centre (something the whole world needs at the moment - not just Pantasaph..
Inside the church at Pantasaph.
Inside the church at Pantasaph.
The bronze statue of padre Pio in the church at Pantasaph.
On the path on the South side of the quarry - new to us.
Common kestrel sunbathing in the quarry West of Pen y Ball Hill.
Looking across the Dee Eastuary from Pen y ball Hill trig point.
"I dobn't care how they made trig points!"
A nice spot for lunch, but it's starting to rain.
Still raing, but promises of better weather to come.
On a delightful path through the Western section of Coed Allt-y-tywood.
Belted Galloway cow, bringing back memories of Gordon, a Scot that was a member of the walking group for many years.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.3 miles. Climb: 1313'.
Time: 5 hours 21 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Phil and David. S.
We arrived at the start with evidence of hail still on the ground, and wondering whether full waterproof should be put on at the start. We did get a few showers, but none lasted more than ten minutes or so and the strong cold winds forecast never materialised.
 The walk in the morning went well, covering the Gorsedd - Pantasph walk in an anticlockwise direction for a change. We even explored a few new paths and visited the church in the grounds of the Franciscan friary. 
 Approaching The Grange, Michel, Sue and David spotted a Woodcock, making me a little envious that I had missed out!
 Lunch was taken at Carmel, where a bench provided appropriate seating arrangements for three of us and roadside posts at a suitable height made good perches for the rest of us,
 The afternoon provided us with more of a challenge, first with Phil taking twenty minutes or so with secateurs to enable us to get to a stile and make further progress, and then later a path through the Pennant Park Golf Course ended with the access to the fisheries being blocked by a six foot high fence, discovered by Michel after he had battled his way through gorse to reach it.
 We ended up retracing our steps through the golf course and taking an alternative route to pick up the path we wanted that would lead us through the Western side of  Coed Allt-y-tywood and back to our cars in the lane next to former inn, The Rock at Lloc, arriving back in glorious warm sunshine.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Goldfinch, House sparrow, Pied wagtail, Black-billed magpie, Rook, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Common blackbird, Common kestrel, Common buzzard, Woodcock, Common snipe, Woodpigeon and mallard.
 After walk drinks weer enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where Blue Bell Bitter and Green Valley cider went down well and the real roaring fire was appreciated almost as much as the refreshments!
 Overall a good walk that needs a little tweaking around the golf course!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Hidden Gwytherin from Pandy Tudur 5th November 2016

Welsh sheep or Alpacas at Pandy Tudur or should have gone to specsavers.
Fly agaric on route.
First views of Snowdonia.
Yr Aran and the Snowdon Horseshoe.
Tryfan, but I'm glad I'm not there!
A chance to adjust gaiters.
You'd be surprise what followers we get on a walk!
On the Eastern path descent to Gwertheryn.
Our lunch spot at the blacksmith's at Gwytherin.
Threatening clouds above Gwertheryn.
First snowfall of the Autumn on Snowdonia!
The final descent to PandyTudur.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.1 miles. Climb: 1472'.
Time: 4 hours 48 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Ed.
A good day for walking, mainly dry, sunny at times, but on the cool side when we were exposed to any wind. After lunch we did experience of few minutes of hail, but not the painful type!
 We set off at quite a good pace along the bridle way towards Rhos-lan, South west of Pandy Tudur, and we were soon on open moorland with superb views of Snowdonia. The high tops seemed to be just in cloud, and we decided that it was cold enough at 1000', so we were quite glad that Snowdon wasn't our objective today.
 Apart from being partial to Welsh lamb, we haven't done anything to sheep, but as soon as they saw us, the sheep all ran off in the opposite direction away from us!
 As we approached Ty-uchaf-i'r-ffor, the calves had different ideas and came so close that when I tried to take a photo it was within a foot of my camera.
  The open moorland area of Ffrithuchaf was as usual quite boggy, but much less than we have experienced on previous visits.
 We tried a slightly different approach to Gwytherin, taking paths to the North Pen-y-graig to avoid crossing the stream that had proved difficult in the past. This proved a very pleasant and easy track that I'm sure we will use in future visits.
 Lunch was taken at Gwytherin, where we took advantage of a picnic table located on the site of the former blacksmith. Good PC facilities were available too.
 After a leisurely lunch, getting ever more leisurely, we headed up  the hill Northwards and soon experienced a brief hail storm, but at this level it was better than rain.
 About 1 mile South of Pandy Tudur, we again had good views of Snowdonia and some of the high tops clearly had a sprinkling of white, maybe snow or like us hail. We arrived back at the car, again in sunshine, having had a good varied walk, dry and relatively clean boots, but still glad that we had chosen Winter gear to wear!
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Herring gull, Carrion crow, Raven, Jackdaw, Common blackbird, Common starling, Common snipe, Collared dove, Winter wren and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell at Halkyn, where  Green Valley Devon Cider went down well as did the salt and pepper crisps.
 A good day and back home before lighting up time and pleased to find that my internet was back working!