About Me

When? Started: 1993 Who? Started with staff and friends from U H S, Chester. Organiser: Martyn Harris We walk every Thursday 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 Thursday than on a Saturday. Most ever: 29. Numbers walking: 2-12, and usually about 8 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.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Denbigh Castle and Llanraeadr 21st September 2017

The brook west (Afon Ystrad) of Brookhouse Pottery.
Waiting for the rest of the group crossing the fields to Denbigh Castle.
At the entrance to Denbigh Castle.
At the entrance to Denbigh Castle.
Lunch time back at the cars.
On the Clwydian way, heading East from Brookhouse.
The Jesse window dating from 1533 in St. Dyfnog's Church, Llanraeadr.
Time for  rest - outside St. Dyfnog's Church, Llanraeadr.
The Clwydian Hills from the path West of Pen-bryn llwyn.
The best sort of tile, one that you can go round!
Getting over the last "new" stile of the day.
Moel Famau and the Clwydian Hills from fields North east of Pont Felin Ganol.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 525'.
Time: 5 hours 25 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Phil, Jim and David S.
The weather forecast for today wasn't good, but this wasn't going to put us off as it was likely to be Phil's last walk with the group before he heads for Scotland. The forecast rain never materialised and I suffered from "boil in the bag syndrome" just because I believed the forecast and put on my waterproofs. Thankfully at early lunch they could be discarded, and we were able to walk in warm sunshine for the rest of the day.
 Although our walk passed the entrance to the castle we didn't go inside, but carried on past the former Howells School, now Myddleton College and back to Brookhouse.
 Back at the car we decided that nearby wall was a good place on which to sit for lunch. Phil brought some of Jeans's lemon cake to mark the occasion of his last walk. We liked it so much that most of us had two pieces - even me!
 After lunch some of the paths we used were a little waterlogged to say the least, and one we had to go through a head high field of maize, but at least we could see a way through.
  After going into St. Dyfnog's Church, Llanraeadr to see the Jesse window, we decided that we needed to shorten the walk. Unfortunately the way we originally chose involved us spending time with secateurs to cut back the hedge that had gone across the top of the stile. We soon found that this was to no avail as the next stile went into a maize field that screamed at us "you shall not pass".  More time stopped to look for the best way to go, and again involved need for the secateurs to be used, but at least there wasn't any maize - only sheep and cows to bother us.
 Although we may never use this route again, it did give us some superb views of the Clwydian Hills from Prestatyn South to Moel Famau.
 We arrived back at the car for the second time, having had a really good walk and been blessed with some really pleasant weather, particularly in the afternoon.
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Dipper, Black-billed magpie, Rook, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Sparrowhawk, Black-headed gull, Carrion crow and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Dinorben Arms at Bodfari, where he Brunning and Price Bitter and Deucher's IPA went down well.
 It won't be the same next week when we arrive at the start of a walk and Phil won't be in his car reading his paper as he waits for the rest of the group to arrive.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Walk and Dates September 2017

Saturday 2nd September 2017.
Around Llyn Trawsfynnyd. 
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Trawsfynydd Cafe and Fishing Permit Car Park, just off the A470 down the road to the Power Station. Grid ref: SH696383.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is another walk that Ed has found. It is in a walk that is totally new to me, so I will enjoy exploring this area.
 It is described as a fine 8 mile walk with spectacular views in places. The walk goes round the lake in a clockwise direction, heading South towards the village of Trawsfynnydd. It involves a small section of the A470, but doing the walk this way round gets the road section over quite early in to the walk. Thankfully it is also on a wide footpath. After this the route heads towards the lake and crosses what is described as a unique footbridge. The route on the West side of the lake, looks as though it may be interesting in terms of path finding, whilst the section on the North side is described as going through as a swampy section, so this might be challenging too!
Thursday 7th September 2017.
Llansannan and Mynydd Tryfan.
Distance: 8-10 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start:Car park behind PC opposite the Post Office in Llansannan. Grid ref:SH933658.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is mainly a walk taken from Lorna Jenner's book "Walking in the Vale of Clwyd". This is a varied walk along the Afon Aled and its tributaries, through rolling pastures edge with thick hedges and pockets of woodland, with a backdrop of mountains. However we will include an extension to include Mynydd Tryfan.
Saturday 9th September 2017.
Astbury Mere and More.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb:500'.
Start: Astbury Mere Country Park. Grid ref: SJ846627.
Leave Chester 08-30.
The described part of the walk is taken from the Patherfinder Guide to Cheshire. It is described as following mainly enclosed tracks, part of the Macclesfield Canal and visits the attractive village of Astbury. The extension is along the canal to High Town, the Gritstone Trail to Dane in Shaw, field paths to Heather Bank farm and Northward back to the canal and the described walk.
Thursday 14th September 2017.
The Alun Valley, Moel y Waun, Llyn Gweryd and Limestone Pastures.

Distance:11 miles; Climb: 2000'.
I'm sure we will look for a few short cuts to bring the distance down a little!
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 16th September 2017.
Deganwy Castle and the Great Orme. - Postponed.
Start:Roadside parking near the Public Conveniences on the West shore of Llandudno. Grid ref:SH773819.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The main walk today is the Deganwy Castle walk taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast". Sections of this walk have been known to be muddy in the past.

The extension to the walk , after returning to the car, will involve most of the circuit of the limestone plateau on the Great Orme, including a visit to the trig point and descent via the Monks' path to the toll road. There are plenty of options to shorten the walk if required.
Thursday 21st September 2017.
Denbigh Castle, Goblin Fields and St Dyfnog's Well.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 670'
Start: Roadside parking by the weir, West of Brookhouse Mill and Pottery. Take the A525 from Denbigh. Just before the Brookhouse Mill Tavern on the A525, at a signpost for "Pottery", turn right (West), go past the marked parking bays for the pottery   and park on the left side of the road by the weir. Grid ref: SJ069656.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
These two walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd". One walk explores the attractive and varied countryside between Llanrhaeadr and Brookhouse and gives us the opportunity to see again the famous Tree of Jesse medieval stained glass window (1533) and Ann Parry's gravestone with its inscription"God kept His word".  The walk also includes two mile of riverside  alongside the Afon Ystrad and Afon Clwyd
The second walk is described as interesting and takes a "green"approach to a little known castle in Wales.
Saturday 23rd September 2017.
Coed Creigiau and Cefn Cyfarwydd.
Distance:8 miles; Climb:1800'.
Start: Trefriw Car park. Grid ref:SH782630.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley". He describes it as an exhilarating walk exploring the little known upland area North of Trefriw, utilising scenic upland roads offering extensive views. We will also include part of the way-marked path through Coed Creigiau.
Thursday 28th September 2017.
The Gorsedd Round, Pen-y-Ball and Pantasaph.
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.
 The last time we did this walk, we explored a path through the golf course, but couldn't find where the path left the golf course near the fisheries. I thought that this time we might investigate the path from the fisheries end to see if it really does exist!
Saturday 30th September 2017.
No walk - I will be going to a family  birthday celebration in Aldridge.

Walks and Dates October 2017

Thursday 5th October 2017.
Thurstaston Common, Stapledon Wood, Caldy and More.
Distance:8-10 miles. Climb:1000'.
Start: Thurstaston Visitor Centre Car Park. Grid ref:SJ239835.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This is a repeat of the walk that we usually do in January, so I thought it was about time we tried it out in a different time of the year.  The route combines two walks from Raymond Roberts' booklet "Wirral Walks - the West Wirral Six". This is a relatively easy walk with good views along the way, especially from Thurstaston Hill. We hope to walk back to Thursaston along the beach, so bring binoculars with you. High tide is at 13-27, even though it is a 30.5' tide (9.3 m), it should have gone out far enough by the time we get to the coast. If not we have always got the Wirral Way.
Saturday 7th October 2017.
Llugwy and Lledre
Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Start: Railway station car park in the centre of Betws-y Coed. Grid ref: SH795565. 
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m. (It takes about 1 hour 10 minutes from Saltney)
This is another walk taken from Dave Berry's new book "Walks Around Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley". This walk links the beautiful wooded Llugwy and Lledre Valleys. It takes in Sarn Helen, the former Roman Road, and reaches over 800' before descending in to the Lledre Valley. It involves a steep climb to Llyn Elsi or at least that is what Dave Berry says!
The last couple of times I have done this, the weather has not been kind, but hopefully at this time of the year it may not be quite so wet!
Thursday 12th October 2017.
Lady Bagot's Drive with St Christopher's Blessing.
Distance:10-11 miles. Climb: 600'.
Start: Ruthin Riverside Car park (Pay and display). Grid ref: SJ121582.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.

This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd".  We have completed this walk many times before in all sorts of weather conditions. Conditions underfoot have been particularly challenging after lots of rain and the Afon Clwyd is in spate.  In the past we have seen Kingfishers and Salmon jumping the weir, seeing either again would be nice.
Saturday  14th October 2017.
No walk - I'm going for my flew jab.
Thursday 18th October 2017.
Cwn 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. We may decide to explore Gop Wood a little more. If we miss out Cefn yr Ogof, the walk will be a mile or so shorter and the climb reduced by about half.
Saturday 21st October 2017.
Jumbles, Wayoh, Turton and Entwistle Reservoirs. 
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 26th October 2017.
Around Gwystaney and More.
Distance: 6.0 miles, 8.5 miles or 9.5 miles or 10.5 miles (decided on the day, as and when we have to make a decision!).
Climb: 1500', but depends on the actual route we decide to take after lunch! 
Start. Parking area near the children's play ground in Rhosesmore. Grid ref: SJ214684.
The walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book " Walks Around Holywell Mountain and Halkyn Mountain. Our usual route normally includes Cwm Conwy, but I suspect that today's walk won't! The Gwystaney walk is described as a walk through the undulating countryside between Rhosesmor and Sychdyn, exploring the lush wooded Gwysaney Estate. The second walk at least includes visiting Moel Y Gaer hill-fort and how much more depends on us!
Saturday  28th October 2017.
Mynydd Eilian and Point Lynas and More.
Distance: 7-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Llaneilian Car Park. Grid ref: SH474929.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Best Walks in North Wales". The walk visits one of Anglesey's high points, and follows a section of the Coastal Path. A good section of the coastal path is on concessionary paths that are closed on some days. I've e-mailed Anglesey Council, but as yet they haven't go back to me.  I'm sure that we can use our map reading expertise to get round any path that is closed! Walking along the coast is always good at any time of the year, especially if you get good weather'. Let's hope we will get good weather on this occasion.
The difference in mileage depends on how much of an extension we add on to the planned walk.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Horseshoe Falls and More 16th September 2017

The view of the Horseshoe Falls from Llantysilio Green picnic site.
A close up of the Horseshoe Falls with the Dee in spate.
The Horseshoe Falls from the Llangollen Canal umping station.
Quieter waters on the Llangollen Canal.
Looking west from the road bridge in the centre of Llangollen.
Hang gliders in the distance - South east of Llangollen.
Our first view of any sort after starting on the Allt y Badi enclosed track.
The Eglwyseg Escarpments from the Berwyn-Ceiriog road.
The llantysilio Mountains from the Berwyn-Ceiriog road.
Not the best lunch spot in the world, but at least it isn't on the road.
Looking North across the Dee Valley towards the Llantysio Mountains and the Eglwyseg Escarpments.
Castell Dinas Bran from a track near Bryniau-mawr.
The Chain Bridge from the station path.
Looking West from the Chain Bridge.
The Chain Bridge.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.5 miles. Climb: 1180'.
Time: 4 hours 54 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Celia.
I gave Celia a choice of 4, 6 or 8 mile walk, in the end we did nearly 10!
 The weather was good for walking, although the Sun didn't appear very often, but at least it was dry and the wind was only a breeze.
 We started the walk by passing the Horseshoe Fall, more impressive than usual as the the river was very high. We met some canoeists who had decided to move on to quieter waters.
 The walk along the canal towpath was in warm sunshine and superb reflections could be seen on the still waters.
 After passing Plas Newydd, home of the Ladies of Llangollen, we climbed out of the valley on the Allt y Badi track on what seemed like a never ending mile long slog and over 700' of climb.
 However once w had escaped the confines of the wooded track, w were rewarded with fine views first across the Dee valley towards the Llantysio Mountains and the Eglwyseg Escarpments, and later over towards the Ceiriog Valley.
 A late lunch a taken on a track at the Western end of of Cae-Madog Wood at the first opportunity of a spot not directly on the roadside. A sheltered spot for lunch whilst being serenaded by the many pheasants nearby.
 It was just after lunch as we headed towards Foel, on the west side of barber's Hill that we had our finest view across the Dee Valley with the whole of the Llantysio Mountains and the Eglwyseg Escarpments in view at the same time.
  The end of the walk was a cross the Chain Bridge over the River Dee in spate,  a great way to end a really good walk.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Mallard, Common buzzard, Common chaffinch, House sparrow, Common pheasant, Barn swallow, Goldfinch, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven and Pied wagtail.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pat-yr-Ochain at Gresford, where Purple Moose's Snowdonia Ale went down well.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

A Llandegla and Llanarmon-yn-Ial Round 14th September 2017

Setting off from Llandegla - waterproofs on - ready for rain if it comes!
"Where do you think you are going?"
Alpacas guading a flock of sheepner Pant-y-ffordd.
"I'm glad our footpath didn't involve climbing this tree!"
looking West towards the Clwydian Hills.
Our lunch spot - the church at Llanarmon-yn-Ial.
The cave on the East side of Llanarmon-yn-Ial.
Heading for the road.
at  aquick glance it looked like a cow with two heads!
An afternoon stroll in the sunshine!
Llandegla ahead.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 798'.
Time: 4 hours 36 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, and Phil.
The weather forecast for today wasn't good, frequent showers in the morning with warm sunny intervals, followed by heavier showers/rain in the afternoon.
 With this in mind we all put on full waterproofs right from the start, and it wasn't long before we had our first shower. Thankfully none of the showers lasted more than about ten minutes, and any breeze we had wasn't too strong, just pleasantly cooling.
 We modified our route slightly, aiming for Llanarmon-yn Ial, where we knew the porch on the South side would offer shelter from the rain should it be needed.
 As this was possibly Phil's last walk with the group, light treacle cake was provided to mark the occasion. The cake lived up to its name and met with approval.
 At times views towards the Clwydian Hills and the Llandegla moorland were pretty good whenever the Sun came out and blue skies were above.
 At times it was quite muddy underfoot, but the last leg of the walk was across fields wityh lush wet grass that meant we arrived back at the car with almost clean boots.
 Overall it was a very enjoyable walk, hardly marred by the regular showers.
Birds seen or heard included: Common pheasant, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Common blackbird, Woodpigeon, Black-billed magpie, Barn swallow and Comon buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Red Lion at Penyfordd, where Reverend James bitter was sampled.
 At the start of the walk, I had a chat with one of the local residents who had jus been to open the church. It is apparently open from about 09-00 to 17-00 each day when walkers are welcome to use the facilities, including being able to make themselves a hot drink.
 It now looks like Phil's last walk with the group before he heads to Scotland will be the Denbigh walk next Thirsday (21st September)

Friday, 8 September 2017

Llansannan 7th September 2017

Heading North East from Llansannan.
On the track through Coed Mawr.
Crossing the Afon Deunant on the footbridge East of Penglogor
The view across the Afon Deunant Valley.
looking East towards Mynydd Tryfan.
The new bridge over the Aled near Ponty Nant, South of Llansannan.
The Memorial in the centre bof Llansannan.
A second memorial in Llansannan.
Walk Stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 1130'.
Time: 4 hours 30 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h. 
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel Jim. David S, Mike and Ed.
We had a late start today as the A55 was closed in both directions between Halkyn and Caerwys, so our route to Llansannan had to be modified.
 The morning stated well and we set off in pleasant sunshine, but alas it only lasted until about 13-00 and from then on there was always a dampness in the air. However it was never enough to force me to put on waterproofs.
  Although we have done this walk several times before, we missed one turning, but  managed to carry on and rejoin the described route at the footbridge East of Penglogor.
 The morning walk had been quite a pleasant stroll and we decided to take an early lunch just south of Penglogor as it was still dry and we anticipated rain arriving soon.
  The woodland path on the East side of the Afon Aled is quite a delightful approach to to Llansannan from the South.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Barn swallow, Goldfinch, Common buzzard, Eurasian jay, Robin (dead) and Chiffchaff (dead).
 Overall an enjoyable walk, despite the weather not being at its best.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where locally brewed Blue Bell Bitter and Wicked Bee Cider were sampled.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Around Llyn Trawsfynydd 2nd September 2017

One of our first views across Llyn Trawsfynydd from the path on the East side of the lake.
Panorama of Llyn Trawsfynydd from the path on the East side of the lake.
The lake before the path takes us to the A470 just North of the village of Trawsfynydd.
The statue to Hedd Wyn in the centre of the Trawsfynydd village.
The War Memorial at Bryn y Gofeb on the South west side of the village.
The impressive footbridge across the South east corner of Llyn Trawsfynydd,
taken from the site of the War Memorial.
Looking Northwest across the Llyn Trawsfynydd from the middle of the footbridge.
Crossing the Trawsfynydd footbridge.
The view from our lunch spot near T'n Twll.
An even better lunch spot had we known it was there.  
About another mile North of Tyn Twll near the highest point on new cycle path on the West side of the lake.
The view from the New Maentwrog Dam completed it 1992.
The Afon Prysor from the New Dam.
Paert of thedelightful woodland adjacent to the road along the North side of the lake.
The view across the lake from the dam near the site of the power station.
Walk stats: Distance:8.5 mile. Climb: 583'. 
Time: 4 hours 35 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Ed.
This was almost perfect day for walking weatherwise. Warm and sunny with the occasional gentle breeze helping us not to overheat.
 The views all day were stunning, this lake seems to be surrounded on every side by high mountains that could clearly be seen, mainly topped by blue skies.
 The only downside to this walk was the mile long stretch along the A470, but thankfully there is a wide path that keeps you safe from the fast flowing traffic.
 The village of Trawsfynydd was much larger than we expected, and contains a statue of Hedd Wynn the famous winner of the chair at the National Eisteddfod.
 The village has the main War Memorial on a little hill on the South west side of the village where ther are fine views over Llyn Trwasfynydd. There is also a new wind shelter, appearing like the shape of the Three Legs of Man, enabling you to sit looking at the fine views without feeling the effects of any advese winds.
 Crossing the Trawsfynydd footbridge was a real bonus as it gave you views across the lake that are unique unless you are sitting in a boat.
 Lunch was taken along the West side of the lake, just after passing Capel Adda, now the headquarters for the South Snowdonia Mountain Rescue. We did this as we anticipated that path finding may soon become difficult as the route description warned of boggy areas and trying to find obscure reference points.
 We needn't have worried, since our route description has been written the new Traws Lake cycle path has been completed and the route to the Maentwrog dam was along firm stone/slate chip tracks all the way, where it met a road all the way back to the power station site.
 Birds seen or heard today inclded: Carrion crow, Raven, reatr tit, Common blackbiird, ufted duck, Barn swallow, House martin, Meadow pipit, Stonechat and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the lakeside cafe, although I did call in to the Colomendy Arms  at Cadole on the way home.
 Overall a superb walk, that I am sure will be repeated again in the future.