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

Saturday, 29 December 2018

The River Clwyd from Rhuddlan to Rhyl and Back 29th December 2018.

Rhuddlan Castle as we set off on the start of the walk.
Looking back towards Rhuddlan from the cycle track/ tarmac covered path.
Greylag in the foreground, but what about the other two? Greylag/Canada cross?
Male Goosander on the Brickfieldd Pond.
Coot  on the Brickfieldd Pond.
Tufted duck  on the Brickfieldd Pond.
Red breasted merganser on Rhyl Marine Lake.
Approaching Pont y Draig (Dragon Bridge) over the River Clwyd at Rhyl.
Male goosander on the River Clwyd in Rhyl Harbour.
Looking towards Rhyl from our lunch spot on the Foryd beach,
The Little Orme and the Great Orme as we left the coastal path to head back inland to Rhuddlan.
Black tailed godwits on the West bank of the River Clwyd, South east of the pumping station.
Walk stats: Distance:8.4 miles. Climb: 647' GPS wind assisted, but probably around 200'.
Time: 3 hours 45 minutes. On he move walking average: 2.8 m.p.h. (3.0 m.p.h. on my newest GPS). Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Jim.
An early start today, as we set off before 09-30. The cool breeze ensured that walking in shorts was not the best option despite the ambient temperature being in double figures..
 It was somewhat overcast as we set off towards Rhyl along the East side of the River Clwyd, with the cool breeze against us. We were quite glad to head for the Brickfields Nature Reserve, where we were sheltered for  short time  from the wind.
 Even after arriving at the Rhyl Marine Lake it was a little early for lunch, so we headed for the beach at the Foryd.
 We were able to sit on some rocks with the breakwater behind looking towards Rhyl not the worst view we have had during lunch. At this point the Sun came from behind the clouds, so it was pleasantly warm.
 After lunch we had the muddy path along the dyke on the West bank to look foreword to. We decided to drop down to the rive bank below the the dyke and to a large extent it was a good decision, but our boots did need cleaning when we arrived home.
 We were back at the car by 13-30, proof as Jim said, if there are only two walking we usually walk a little faster!
 Birds seen or heard today included: common starling, Mallard, Little egret, Greylag, Canada goose, Eurasian curlew, Common redshank, Back headed gull, Herring gull Great black backed gull, Blue tit, Great tit, Common blackbird, Wigeon, Mute swan, Common redshank. Woodpigeon, Feral pigeon, Shelsduck, Black tailed godwit, Coot, Moorhen, Great cormorant, House sparrow, Red breasted merganser, Tufted duck, Lapwing and Grey heron.
 Ater walk drinks were enjoyed at the Bluebell in Halkyn where Gwynt y Draig cider and Lees bitter went down well.
 Overall an enjoyable walk with the added bonus that my boots only took ten minutes to clean!

Saturday, 22 December 2018

The Little Orme to Rhos-on-Sea and back 22nd December 2018

The Little Orme as we left Craig-y-Don,
Local residents at the foot of the Little Orme.
Ed leading the way on recently improved path on the East side of the Little Orme.
Snowdonia from the trig point on the Little Orme.
A little on the breezy side at the trig point on the Little Orme.
Descending "the ridge"!
Seals on Angel bay at high tide.
Dunlin roosting on the rocks West of Rhos Point at high tide.
Turnstone roosting on the rocks West of Rhos Point at high tide.
Residents at Rhos Point.
View from our lunch spot - At. Trillo's Chapel, Rhos-on-Sea.
.A Purple sandpiper on the roosting on the rocks West of Rhos Point as the tide receded.

Wigeon on the sea in Penrhyn Bay.
Count the Grey seals if you can - we counted over 50 in the bay and nearby in the sea.
Are these pups in Angel bay.?
Are these pups in Angel bay?
A Raven on top of the rock face in the old quarry at Angel bay.
Llandudno ahead.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.6 miles. Climb: 1073' (Wind assisted GPS reading). (1036' on the Memory Map Route properties).
Time: 4 hours 17 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Jim and Ed.
Overall the weather today was pretty good for walking, although it was a little too breezy as we approached the trig point on the Little Orme. Heading east, the wind was assisting us as we all the way to to Rhos-on Sea.
 On our first visit to Angel bay, it was very close to high tide, but at least we did see about 16 Grey seals.
 we decided that we would revisit the bay on our return journey and this time, with more beach exposed, we saw at least 53 seals, including a good number of pups.
 Distant views along the coast towards Colwyn bay and Rhyl beyond were good.
  We decided to have lunch using the many benches available near St. Trillo's Chapel at Rhos-on-Sea, where I tried hard to get a good photo of A Great crested grebe on the sea nearby as I enjoyed my lunch. I failed as it kept on diving, just a I had it in focus.
 Overall a very enjoyable walk, mainly in sunshine, only four drops of rain  and lots of  Grey seals in Angel Bay.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Eurasian curlew, Herring gull, Black headed gull, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Common blackbird, Fulmer, European robin, House sparrow, Pied wagtail, Great cormorant, Oystercatcher, Common starling, Raven, Turnstone, Purple sandpiper and Wigeon.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell in Halkyn, where the Lees Bitter and Gwynt-y-Draig Black Dragon went down well.

Dates and Walks December 2018.

Advanced Notice: Walkers Meal 2019.

Date: Wednesday 13th March 2019.

Proposed Location Pant-yr-Ochain, Gresford.

This is later than usual in order to avoid the February half-term holidays in Flintshire and Cheshire which together spread from 18th February to 3rd March 2019.
I will post more details early in 2019, and will endeavour to contact everyone I think may be interested.

Saturday 1st December 2018.
Tegg's Nose and Macclesfield Forest.
Postponed.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Tegg's Nose Country Park Car park. Pay and Display. Grid ref: SJ950732.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from the "Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire". It is described as a varied walk with good views from Tegg's Nose. We will visit Tegg's Nose first, rather than at the end of the walk. The walk is also described as an undulating walk exploring the countryside on the edge of the Peak District. This is a walk that we have come to like and regularly appears on the list at this time of the year. Wintering birds sometime visit the many reservoirs we walk around, so it is useful to bring binoculars just in case.
Wednesday 5th December 2018.
A Walk Around Waen, Aberwheeler and Llandyrnog.
Postponed due to heavy rain in the weather forecast to last all day.
Distance : 9 miles. Climb: 600'.
Start: Aberwheeler  is on B5429. Approaching from the Mold road, turn left and after passing the play area and Bro Lleweni. This lane is opposite the chapel and the bus stop turning area. Park carefuly in the lane next to the houses. Grid ref: SJ096693.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is a walk taken from R.J.A. Dutton's book "Hidden Highways of North Wales". It explores the  Roman and Medieval Roads between Waen Aberwheeler and Llandyrnog. 
Saturday 8th December 2018.
Traeth Lafan and Its Foothills
Distance:7-8 miles. Climb:1000'.
Start: Abergwyngeryn Free Car Park Grid ref: SH 6527282. PC (opens about 09-30) nearby and a cafe at the outdoor centre that allows walkers to use the toilets (opens earlier than PC.)
This walk taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks On the North Wales Coast". The Traeth Lafan and it Foothills. This walk is an annual favourite and has in the past given us some wonderful experiences, especially in Winter trampling through soft fluffy knee deep snow, that didn't stick or wet our legs.  You never know we may get some  snow, this time too. It should be worthwhile bringing binoculars with you as we may visit The Spinnies Nature Reserve on the way back to our car.
This walk is described as walk of contrasting coastal and upland scenery with good views from the higher points on the North Wales path.
 This time we may investigate a new path that avoids a path that goes through a farm yard near The Spinnies, a very unpleasant smelly muddy experience even in July.
 High tide is at about 11-10 and is about 9.3 m (30.6'), so the coastal birds may still be a little fairly close around the time we get there mid afternoon.
Wednesday 12th December 2018.
The Sandstone Trail - Beeston and Peckforton.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Pay and display car park at Beeston Castle. Grid ref: SJ540591. The Pay and Display machine only starts at 10-00.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
In the past we have done this walk,as part of a sreies of walks along the Sandstone trail. It involves Walk 6 and Walk 7 from Carl Rogers' book "Circular Walks on the Sandstone Trail".
 I will probably look for ways of reducing the mileage a little.
Saturday 15th December 2018.
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.
Wednesday 19th December 2018.
Holywell, Bagillt and Flint.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb:430' at a guess.
Start: Flint Castle Car park adjacent to the Lifeboat Station. Grid ref: SJ247732.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk uses three walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Chester and the River Dee."  This is essentially a linear walk, so we will have to arrange enough cars to have cars at both Flint and Holywell or use the bus to take us from Flint to Holywell. (Leaves Flint McDonald's on Holywell Road, at 10-14) .
Last time we all caught the bus up to Holywell, so we will probably do the same today.
High tide 07-45, 8.0 m / 26.3'.
Saturday 22nd December 2018.
Around the Little Orme to Rhos On Sea.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 700'.
Start: Roadside parking next to Paddling Pool and PC on Coast Road at Craig y Don, East side of Llandudno.
Leave Chester at 08-45 a.m.
This has become a regular walk at any time of the year, but it will be the first time that we have done it in December. The views from the top of the Little Orme are always superb, but the main reason for doing the walk so early in the year is to see if there are any Seals around Porth Dyniewaid.
Bring binoculars with you if you have them.
High tide 10-00 9.3 m / 30.6'.
Wednesday 26th December 2018.
No walk.
Saturday 29th December 20128.
Rhuddlan L.N.R ., the Rhuddlan to Rhyl Riverside Walk with possible extensions to the Brickworks Pool N.R. and the Forydd.
Distance: 8 -11 miles. Climb: 200'.
Start: Park at the Rhuddlan L.N.R. car park. Grid ref: SJ020776. 
The car park is on the Western side of Rhuddlan. To get to the car park, from the A55, turn right on to the A525 (St. Asaph Road towards Rhyl and Rhuddlan), at the next roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Station Road (to Rhuddlan centre / Castle). The car park is on the right, opposite a new hotel. If you get to the bridge over the river you've gone too far!
This walk is an annual favourite, at least for those that like to do as little birdwatching as well. It is a good time of the year as there are lots of Winter visitors that frequent coastal areas and river estuaries. Bring binoculars with you.  Last time we had lunch by the Marine Lake, near the Foryd.  We have also had lunch on the beach at the Foryd. Although we didn't see Snow buntings on the Foryd last year, with a bit of luck we may see them this year. 
High tide at the Foryd is at 03-30, 8.5 m / 27.7'.
Last year we didn't do any of the extensions!  Extension, if any will  be taken at each appropriate point in the walk and decided on the day depending on how everyone feels.
Tuesday 1st January. 2019.
Hilbre Island.
Distance: 4-5 miles. Climb: 100' at a guess!
Start: South Parade, West Kirby Marine Lake. Park between the old baths and the Sailing Club at the Southern end of the lake Grid ref: SJ214860.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
It's a few years since we last did this walk on New Year's Day, but after looking at the Tide Guide, it looks like being a good option today. High tide is about 07-19, so we should be able to cross the sands following the tide as it goes out.
 Bring binoculars, their should be plenty of Wintering birds to see and hopefully seals too.
Fortified fruit cake will be provided, assuming that it hasn't all been eaten by those on the last two walks in December!

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Holwell, Greenfield and the Coastal Path to Flint Castle 19th December 2018

Flint Castle - this will be the end of the walk today, but this is the view as left to catch the bus to Holywell.
Part of the old railway track from Holwell through the Greenfield Valley.
The largest reservoir in the Greenfield Valley.
Tufted duck on the largest reservoir in the Greenfield Valley.
That single female is a little outnumbered (10 to 1) or is she just a luck lady?
Basingwerk Abbey.
Greenfield Dock entrance on the left and the Dee Estuary beyond.
The Millenium Beacon on the Betissifield Mibne Site - our lunch spot..
A Little egret on the water edge as w eheadd towards Flint Castle.
A happy lady escapimg from a noisy gull!
A Common redshank in Flint Dock.
A Eurasian curlew escaping from Flint Dock.
Our final approach towards Flint Castle,
The inside of Flint Castle.
Final views of Flint Castle from the entrance by the moat.
Distance: 7.9 miles. Climb: 262'.
Time: 3 hours 50 minutes. 
On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group Martyn and Celia.
The forecast for today was pretty good with rain only a possibility in late afternoon.
 I fact all morning we walked in glorious sunshine, making if feel much higher that the feel like temperature of 4 Celsius.
 The decent along the old railway track from Holywell to the Basingwerk Abbey is always a pleasant stroll ad indeed today w s no different.  However we did notice that a considerable amount of pruning had been carried out opening up both sides of the path. We later learned from A Clwyd Ranger that they had been given a grant to do so.
  Arriving at the coast, the views across the estuary were superb, the River Dee looking a majestic blue colour.
 Lunch was taken at the Bettisfield Milne site, where we sat on stone a d enjoyed views across the estuary.
 After lunch it was a pleasant stroll along the dykes to Flint Dock and onto Flint Castle and where we had left the car.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Goldfinch, European robin, Black billed magpie, Common magpie, Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Little grebe, Mallard, Grey heron, Tufted duck, Moorhen Black headed gull, Herring gull, Great black backed gull, Woodpigeon, Lapwing, Little egret  Eurasian curlew, Common starling, Common kestrel and Common redshank.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed when we got home - a glass of Merlot for me after cleaning my boots!

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Marbury Country Park, The Anderton Boat Lift and Great Budworth 15th December 2018

One of the feeding stations overlooking Budworth Mere, Marbury Country Park.
Tufted duck on Budworth Mere.
All quiet at he Anderton Boat Lift.
Looking North across the Trent and Mersey Canal towards Great Budworth.
Looking North across the Trent and Mersey Canal towards Great Budworth.
Mute swans in farm fields North west of School Farm, Marston
St. Mary and All Saints Church Great Budworth.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.0 miles. Climb: 734' (Wind assisted GPS reading). In reality around 400'.
Time: 2 hours 1 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average; 2.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Jim.
We set off from Marbury Country Park, knowing that it would be feeling pretty cold with a strong South easterly wind making feel like -5 Celsius, but after lunch rain and snow could play a part too.
 We started by looking over the mere from the hide/screen where we saw plenty of birds using the feeding station and a good number of Tufted ducks and Great crested grebe were quite near.
  Just after leaving the park, we stopped in our tracks as the footpath we wanted to us had was closed until further notice.
 We took the easy option and followed the road as far as the Anderton Boat Lift where we picked up our planned route once more.
 All quiet at the Anderton Boa Lift, so we continued our rout along the Trent and Mersey  Canal towpath back towards Marbury Country Park.
 Arriving near the footbridge over the canal back into Marbury Country Park, we saw a noticed informing us that there was no exit from the towpath heading towards Marston due to a dangerous building and dated 2014. The date seemed a little odd as we had walked this section as far as Wincham in 2017 without any problems. The only building in disrepair I could think of was near the Lion Salt Works and remembered a path off the can towards the Salt Barge pub just before it. so we ignored the notice and continued on route.
 This was indeed the problem building but we were able to escape via the Salt Barge Pub onto Offershaw Lane at Marston.
  After vsiting Great Budworth village, we decide that our best option was have lunch at Marbury Country Park and have lunch there. It was a good decision as it started to rain just as we turned into the park and coupled with the cold wind sitting anywhere for lunch would have been unpleasant.
Birds seen or heard today included: Wood nuthatch, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit. European Robin , Common chaffinch, Mallard, Common coot, Great crested grebe, Moorhem Lapwing, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Mute swan, Great cormorant, Tufted duck, Gadwall  House sparrow and Pied wagtail.
We cheated and had lunch in the car out of the wind and rain.
 After lunch we decided that w didn't want to join the dog walking training group and head home or at least to the Netherton Arms for a pint of Lees beers. although pretty busy we were able to find a table near one of there open fires.
 An enjoyable walk, capped with a good pint of beer and home early too.