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

Monday, 31 December 2007

Overall Walk Stats for 2007

This sketch (Especially the last bit!) really is appropriate when you take in to account
the group's walk statistics for 2007.

Overall distance walked when I have been involved: 960 miles.

(The equivalent of walking to London and back at least 4 times and a bit more!)

(This means that in reality we have all walked for pleasure more than a 1000 miles in 2007 (probably double this for Richard!).

Overall height climbed when I have been involved: 177,750'

(This is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest over 6 times!)

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Big Low, Berristall Dale and Kerridge 29th December 2007

Looking across Kerridge, White Nancy towards Alderley Edge from just below Big Low.

White Nancy and friends.

The only Hare seen today!

Walk stats: Distance: 8.8 miles (9 miles, if you count the walk to the Vale Inn afterwards); Climb: 1796'.
Time: 4 hours 30 minutes; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Dave J. Sue and Michel P.
There seemed to be only a remote chance of good weather according to the weather forecast, but once again we were blessed with an excellent day. Dry, sunny but windy during the morning and more overcast in the afternoon with at one time the threat of rain that didn't materialise. Views throughout were excellent, particularly across lowland Cheshire towards Alderley Edge.
Lunch was taken at White Nancy before traversing the wonderful little ridge Kerridge, a ridge that seems to separate the industrial areas around Macclesfield with the more rural settings towards Lyme Park.
Birds seen or heard today included: Nuthatch, Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Siskin, Bullfinch, Grey wagtail, Kestrel, Jackdaw, Rook, Woodpidgeon, Collard dove, Carrion crow, Chaffinch, Long-tailed tit, Goldfinch and Wren.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Vale Inn on Addlington Road, Bollington where their winter beer festival had just started. A beer called "Last Rites" was on offer. This was a very sweet rather sickly beer. The better options seemed to be the stouts and porter. Dave J prefered Slaters' Premium. Between us we sampled enough to get one pint free!
Overall an excellent day, and the only rain experienced was in the car on the way home! A great day and Man U were beaten too!

Friday, 28 December 2007

Limestone and Lead 27th December 2007

Moel Fammau under cloud.

Inspectiion of one of the mine shafts done. Mine capped area on Halkyn Mountain

Walk stats: distance: 7.1 miles; Climb:1353'.
Time: 3 hours 10 minutes; Walking average: 2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Annie H., Paul and Michael.

The walk started at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn on a day when at best were expecting it to be wet and windy. Fortunately there was only a few spits and spots of rain and although it was quite windy at times, the wind was quite warm. The temperature must have been close to double figures throughout the walk. Distant views weren't spectacular, but hey were there. Moel Fammau was often below black clouds, but Parkgate and the Wirral seemed to be getting some sun. This walk weaves through the ravaged landscape of limestone and lead mining past and present. In fact lunch was taken in one of the excavations created by lead miners, the only way that we could get out of the gusty wind. Michael added to the Christmas festivities by providing us all with mince pies, for at least one their first of the year. The mine capped area close to Rhes y Cae is a fascinating place, worthy of more time spent exploring. The walk was extended slightly to include Midlist Farm where Water Buffalo roam and Sheep happily graze. As usual we were welcomed by two Jack russels and two Collies as we went through the farmyard.

Birds seen or heard today included: Nuthatch, Blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Mallard, Black-headed gull, Carrion crow, House sparrow and Greenfinch.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn, where the J.W. Lees bitter was excellent as it always is!

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Dates and Walks December 2007

Updated 26th December 2007.
Happy Christmas everyone.

Please reply to Tito as soon as possible whether or not you wish to go to the opera when the group goes to Italy in June.
Saturday 1st December 2007Alderley Edge, are Hill and Over Alderley.

Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: Unknown.
Start: National Trust car park near The Wizard Grid ref:SJ860773
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m. and meet at the car park.
To get to the car park from Chester take the A51 then A54 towards Winsford, Middlewich and Holmes Chapel. From Holmes Chapel take the A535 to Chelford (Aldeley Edge). at Chelford turn right on to the A537 to Monks Heath. At Monks Heath take the A34 to Aldeley Edge. On the outskirts of Alderley Edge take the B5087 (Macclesfield Road). The National trust car park is just after The Wizard (pub). This is a pay and display car park and closes at dusk!
this walk combines two walks taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". The first walk heads north-east to Waterfall Wood, Daniel Hill, Alder wood and Hare Hill. Just after finlow Hill Wood it links in with the second walk that then heads south to St., Catherine's Church with its unusual octagonal tower.

Thursday 6th December 2007
Mynydd-y-Gaer and Llanefydd.

Distance: 5+miles; Climb: Unknown.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Start: Llanefydd car park next to the church and public convenience. Opposite the Hawk and Buckle Inn.
This walk is taken from Lorna Jenner's book "Walks in the vale of Clwyd and the Denbigh Moors". We will need to extend this walk a little on the day, possibly to include Mynydd y Gyrt.

Saturday 8th December 2007
Llandegla, Graianrhyd and Llyn Cyfynwy.

Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb: Unknown. (About 1500' at a guess)
Start: A car park in the centre of Llandegla village. Grid ref:SJ197525
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
The early start is still needed if we are to complete a walk of this length in daylight. Hopefully this will enable us to start walking by 9-00 a.m.
This is a walk that we have done before on a day when the weather was really kind to us. However this time we will avoid the section on the road where a mad motorist nearly hit Jamie!
These two walks are taken from Carl Rogers' book " Walking in the Clwydian Hills". Last time we took lunch at Llyn Cyfynwy, basking in the sun. Hopefully we can this time too!

Thursday 13th December 2007
Around Styal

Distance: 9 miles; Climb: Unknown .
Start: Styal - Quarry Bank Mill National Trust Car park. Grid ref: SJ836832.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m. and meet at the car park.
This walk is taken from Jen darling's book "Best Pub Walks in Cheshire". The area around Quarry Bank Mill involves a few paths along the Bollin river and goes through woods, so it will probably be worthwhile bringing binoculars with you. This is an area that I have wanted to explore for some time, especially after spending several months at rECOrd logging bird reports for the area.

Saturday 15th December 2007
Loggerheads and Moel Famau.

Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb: 1500'.
Start: The main Loggerherads Country Park car park, on the right just past the Loggerheads Inn. The car park is a Pay and Display car park. Grid ref: SJ202626
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m., and meet in the car park. (It is intended that we start walking at about 9-00 a.m.)
This is a walk that we have done several times in the past, often as the first Saturday walk in January. This year I thought that we would end the year with this walk, and finishing with a drink in the Cholomendy Arms at Cadole. For some of us this will probably be the last walk before Christmas and should allow them to have a celebratory Christmas drink with everyone.

Thursday 20th December 2007
Holywell Common, Pen-y-Ball and Pantasaph

Distance: 9 miles; Climb: 1500+'.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Start: Crooked Horn car park (park near the sign). Grid ref: SJ186741.
This is another walk that we have done several times before, but this time we will miss out most of the racecourse!
This is again two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain".
The route does take us to the Catholic Monastery, but no-one will be forced to visit the stations of the Cross.
No prizes for guessing where the after walk drinks will be!

To get to the start point, take the A55, and take the exit signposted for the Britannia Inn. Follow the road past the Britannia Inn, and at the next T-junction (turn right, straight on really). follow this road, until it makes a right angled turn down hill, but here turn left (again straight on really) on to the Brynford road. Keep on this road, ignoring a left turn and two right turns as the road heads past the houses and starts to cross Holywell Common. The parking place is on the right opposite Holywell Common and its guide post that looks a little bit like something that you might expect in the wild west.

Saturday 22nd December 2007
Loggerheads, Maeshafn and Moel Findeg.

Distance: 9 miles; Climb: 1500'.
Start: Loggerheads Country Park car park Grid ref: SJ202626.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m. and meet in the car park.
Again this is walk that we have done several times before, and is a walk for those that have done all of their Christmas shopping!
Celebrations at the Cholomendy Arms as usual.

Thursday 27th December 2007
Limestone Lead and Halkyn Mountain.

Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Leave Chester Start time will probably be a little later than 9-00 a.m., so please give me a ring during the evening on Boxing day, to confirm the start time.
Start: Britannia Inn car park, Pentre Halkyn.
One of my favourite walks at any time of the year. The walk is one adapted from one of Dave berry's walks from "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain", but we will extend it a little as we feel fit. This will probably mean a vist to Moel y Gaer, and a walk through our friend's paint ball territory.

Saturday 29th December 2007
Big Low, Berristall Vale and the Saddle of Kerridge.
Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 2000'
Start: The Adlington Street car park Grid ref: SJ931782.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m. and meet in the car park.
This is another walk that combines two walks from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". He describes the walks as moderate to strenuous and includes some of the most scenic surroundings around Bollington. We have already strolled along Kerridge Hill and can vouch for that part of the walk.
After walk drinks will be in the Vale Inn, a hostelry that impressed us on the first visit. This time it is in the middle of their real ale festival. Offers to drive gladly accepted!

Richard's 60th birthday walk - January 1st 2008 - see "Dates and Walks January 2008" post below. The walk is a 10-30 a.m. start - leaaving Chester at about 9-45 a.m.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Loggerheads, Maeshafn and Moel Findeg 22nd December 2007

The only picture I managed to take - enjoying a drink in the Cholomendy Arms.

Walk stats: 8.3 m.p.h.; Climb: 1495'.
Time: 4 hours 30 minutes; Walking average: 2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.

A walk for the shortest day.The walk started in better weather conditions than we could have hoped for after looking at the forecast on Metcheck. Only in the last part of the walk from the Rainbow Inn to the Cholomendy Arms and back to the car were we treated to very heavy rain, always a problem for those that have the misfortune of having to wear spectacles. On one section Celia decided that it would be a good idea to test out her running down hill skills, but unfortunately she gained too much momentum and took a tumble. She seemed O.K., but on a closer inspection realised that she had quite a severe split in the skin on her arm, which everyone agreed needed hospital attention. Richard ministered some temporary patching up, applying several plaster to try and hold the skin together and covering it all up with a large plaster. It ended up with her friends' abandoning her at the Miners Arms at Maeshafn, leaving her to her fate to a giraffe! The landlord made her cup of coffee and ordered her a taxi and dispatched to the Countess, where she was quickly and and impressively treated according to Celia), and is all set to go off skiing tomorrow - butterfly stitches in place!

Lunch was taken in the shelter of the rocks at the Northern end of Moel Findeg. Views were there, by this time it was rather misty in the distance.

Birds seen or heard today included: Buzzard, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Robin, Blackbird, House sparrow, Hedge sparrow, Pied wagtail, Jay, Nuthatch and Magpie.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Cholomendy Arms at Cadole. A Skinners' brew and Stocking Filler brewed by Grays were those sampled today. Both drinks met with approval! Sylvia enjoyed a mug of teas and crisps.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Holywell Common, Pen y Ball and Pantasaph 20th December 2007

The group at the Pen y Ball Monument.

Snowdonia from the Pen y Ball Monument.

Walk stats: Distance: 9. 7 miles; Climb:1167'.
Time: 4 hours 35 minutes; Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Dave J., Celia, Annie H., Sue and Michel P.

This walk was completed throughout in bright sunshine. I was thankful that I was wearing my new reactalight glasses and they worked well! Despite the sunshine temperatures were on the cool side, never rising above zero Celsius, and at times I'm sure felt more like minus five Celsius or even cooler. However we managed to get a little shelter from the wind, and Sue revived us with some superb homemade Stolon cake, and Michel revived our spirits with a tot or two (for some) of slow gin!

Back to the walk, the ground underfoot was frozen, but we still had to take care crossing the muddy sections! Too often the frozen surface gave way under our weight and it was just as muddy beneath. These problems were only on a short section as we approached Holywell racecourse. Views from Holywell Common and the Pen y Ball Monument were outstanding with the Snowdonia mounts clearly in view from Moel Siabod, Snowdon, the Glyders, Tryfan and the Carneddau all there to see. This was all the more amazing where near to the Dee estuary was shrouded in mist and the Wirral had disappeared all together.

Birds seen or heard today included, Nuthatch, Great spotted woodpecker, Blue tit, Great tit, Wren, Magpie, Fieldfare, possibly Redwing, Blackbird, Sparrowhawk, Robin and Buzzard.

As is normally the case when we walk in this areas, after walk drinks were enjoyed in that wonderful Lees hostelry, the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. The Lees bitter once again being in fine fettle.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Around Styal 13th December 2007

TheRiver Bollin.

Look at theMedievel cross at Styal.

Crossing the Giant's Cliff bridge over the River Bollin.

Walk stats: Distance: 9.5 miles; Climb: 621'.

Time: 4 hours 31 minutes; Walking average: 2. 6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.

Group: Martyn, Annie H., Michel and Sue P.

Today's group was a very select little group. Tito was still in Italy, Dave J and Sylvia were sunning themselves on the Northumberland coast, Richard was on Imogen watch with her Nativity and Celia had a better offer!

Weather wise we couldn't ask for more. Bright sunshine for most of the walk, with blue skies to match. The location of this walk could have meant that we were fighting the tourists, but after leaving the car park we only saw two men and a dog all morning. The walk alongside the River Bollin was surprisingly up and down, involving quite a lot of ascending and descending steps. This was quite a varied walk and would have lots to offer as Spring walk, just as the trees were coming in leaf and perhaps the river flow was not so great. The walk went very close to Manchester airport, but very few planes seemed to disturb the air on this occasion. One plane did go only a couple of hundred feet above. Lunch was take by Ross Mere, where we basked in sun washing a couple fishermen. We didn't see them catch anything, although their keep nets were in the water. Towards the end of the walk we crossed The Carrs, an area of open land much frequented by dog owners, several of which seemed to have four or more dogs!
Birds seen or heard tody included: Carion crow, Blackbird, Robin, House sparrow, Blue tit, Woodpidgeon, Coot, Grey Heron, Mallard, Mute Swan, Sparowhawk, Nuthatch, Jay and Great Crested Grebe.

After walk drinks were taken at The Ship Inn in Styal. It wasn't the best pint of Cains that I have tasted, but the Young's Winter Warmer was OK.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Llandegla, Graianrhyd and Llyn Cyfynwy 8th December 2007

Llyn Cyfynwy.

Did we really have to stop for lunch?

Walk stats: Distance: 9.9 miles; Climb:2540'.
Time: 4 hours 41 minutes; Walking Average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.

In contrast to the 12 degrees experienced only two days ago, temperatures today were 10 degrees cooler, and that was before the wind chill effect. We started and finished in rain, but were fortunate to have some good spells between about 1o a.m and mid-day. The strong winds did't materialise until we arrived at Llyn Cyynwy where we had a job to stand up and Celia's rucksac cover attempted to escape. Lunch was taken where a small woodland acted as a wind break. The only views today were across Llanarmon yn Ial towards Moel Fammau.

By the end of the walk we were pretty wet to say the least and very appreciative of a bus shelter where we could exchange our wet gear for dry.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Starling, Redwing, Fieldfare, Mallard, Coot, Widgeon, Blackbird, Carrion crow and Pied wagtail.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Crown Inn, Llandegla. The Lees bitter was good, but not as good as the pint sampled at the Britannia Inn earlier in the week. Therer was a new landlord at the Crown so hopefully opening hours will be a little more helpful for uss in future.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Mynydd y Gaer and Moefre Isaf 6th December 2007

Blustery conditions at the modern cairn on Mynydd y Gaer.
Annie H., Dave J., Richard and Celia.
(What did we say about Graham Beech's photograph of the author and friends?)

View from the slopes of Moefre Isaf.

Martyn at the trig point / GPS location station on Moelfre Isaf.

Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles; Climb:2500'.
Time:5 hours 15 minutes; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Dave J and Annie H.
This 5 mile walk from Llanefydd turned out to be almost double the length with the improvised extension to Moelfre Isaf. The weather forecast for the day was horrendous and anyone in their right minds would have stayed at home. However the worst we had to experience was a strong blustery wind, especially when we were on the top of Moelfre Isaf. Even the temperature was barmy, reaching at least as high as 13 degrees Celsius. I don't think it reached the heights experienced down the valley in Rhyl where it was 16 degrees Celsius, the highest in the country.
This was a wonderful varied walk and the bonus of Moelfre Isaf just added to it. The views throughout were superb, even if we couldn't quite see Snowdonia. Just how much rain had fallen in the area recently was evident from the volume and speed of the water in the rivers and the fact that at times it was as though we were walking on water! This didn't deter us from enjoying the walk and all agreeing that it is another walk to be repeated in Summer conditions.
Birds seen or heard today included: Fieldfare, Redwing, Blue tit, Great tit, Grey heron, Carrion crow, Buzzard, Magpie, Dunnock, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Pied wagtail, Collared dove and Robin.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. Once again the Lees bitter was in excellent form. Celia bought the crisps and ate them, after the mean purchaser of the first round refused to buy any!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Alderley Edge, Hare Hill and Over Alderley 1st December 2007

The view from Alderley Edge, looking towards Manchester.

The waterfall in Waterfall Wood on Alderley Edge.

St., Catherine's church, Over Alderley

Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles; Climb:1091'.
Time: 4 hours 43 minutes; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Tito, Celia, Michael, Paul, Sue Powell, Sylvia and Dave J.
This pleasant and gentle walk seemed like a Thursday walk with the turnout of nine being the largest group for some time.
It was also completed in better than expected weather conditions, with the sun being out for most of the walk. The strong north westerly winds weren't as strong as they were forecast. Nevertheless it was still cool at times, encouraging us to keep on the move. It didn't rain, but in places it made up for it with wet, muddy and boggy conditions underfoot.
The climb was surprisingly over a thousand feet and several places gave good views towards Manchester and across the Cheshire plain to Beeston and beyond. This was a good walk and one we will repeat with a few minor alterations to avoid some of the minor road walking. Lunch was taken in the grounds of St., Catherine's church, Over Alderley where a seat was available for some of us. St., Catherine's church was built in 1840, and constructed in what seemed like a rather cheap looking brick, but it had an octagonal tower, a feature that made it stand out as out of the ordinary. Tito seemed on a mission, as his ruck sack became fuller and fuller with samples of holly with berries. I only hope he left some for the birds!
Birds seen or heard on the walk today included: Grey Heron, Blackbird, Pochard(first sighting this year), Mallard, Buzzard, Kestrel, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Great tit, Jay, Magpie, Carrion crow, Starling, Robin, House sparrow and Nuthatch. At one time, just after lunch, a party of several hundred Starlings entertained us with thier shoal like movements across the sky, often performed before they drop down to roost.
Celia was convinced that we had tried to lose her on the way back, accusing us of not waiting for her and giving her the Kings Head as the pub where we were going for a drink, but Tito came to the rescue ignored all directions given but still located us in the Cross Keys, Knutsford which was the correct name of the place that we intended to go. Timothy Taylor Landlord, Deuchars IPA and Coach House Cranberry Ale were quaffed with relish in surroundings that seemed better than the last time that we were there.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Around Llansannan 29th November 2007

On track!

Mynydd Tryfan - summit not in view - who's looking to the future!

Walk stats: Distance: 8.01 miles; Climb: 1296'.
Time: 4 hours 6 minutes; Walk average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Tito, Dave J and Celia.
This walk was completed in almost perfect Autumn conditions, cool but very pleasant when the sun was shining, which was all but for a few minutes after lunch. We even got views of Tryfan and Snowdon, not totally clear, but still there in outline. This was a walk of delightful variation from valley floor, river edge and valley tops. It was indeed a walk blessed with many birds(of the feathered kind) on display. This was a a "double dipper day", but the most impressive bird on view was the buzzard. Overall we must have seen more than a dozen birds, all enjoying the sunny day and the thermals it provided. Some views were less than fifty feet away, and one group of four seemed like a family party. Other birds seen or heard included were: Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Coal tit, Redwing, Fieldfare, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Woodpidgeon, Carrion crow, Raven, Pied wagtail, House sparrow, Grey heron and Mallard.
Lunch was again signalled by Tito's alarm, and was taken on the hillside overlooking Tan-y-fron. Again Fran provided the food (M & S Tomato and Basil crisps and a four variety pack of sandwiches (prawns, egg and cress, ham and cheese and roast chicken - the best one for me was the ham and cheese!).
This walk has the potential for being a good summer walk, especially if we take the more strenuous option and include Mynydd Tryfan. Look out for this walk will being added to the June or July walks list.
After walk drinks were enjoyed once again at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn. As always the hospitality and the beer were excellent.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Dates and Walks November 2007

Updated 27th November 2007.

Thursday 1st November 2007
Thurstaston Common, Stapleton Woods, Caldy, the Dungeon, Heswall Dales and the shore.

Distance: 10 miles; Climb: 500' at a guess!
Start: At Thursaston Country Park car park; Grid ref: SJ239835.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m. and meet at the car park at Thirstaston (use the parking area nearest to the steps leading to the visitors centre)
This walk combines two of Raymond Roberts' walks from his "Wirral Six". High tide is at 9-53 a.m.( 29.2'), so we will need to do the Thurstaton Common part of the walk first and leave any walk along the shore to the afternoon. This shore is always a good area for winter birds, so it should be worthwhile bringing a pair of binoculars with you.
After walk refreshments for those that can make it, will probably be at the Dee View at Heswall, although there is a choice of going to the Wheatsheaf at Willaston, if someone knows how to get there!
Saturday 3rd November 2007
Bollington and the Bowstones.

Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb: Unknown.
Start: A car park just north of Bollington, just off the B5090. Public convenience also there. Grid ref: SJ931782.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.

This walk is taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks", and is the second walk from this book that we will undertake. He describes this walk as an exhilarating walk to the Bowstones, and is a popular walk. It includes a fair portion of Lyme Park and sections of the Gritstone Trail. He describes the walk as strenuous, but I think we will cope.

Thursday 8th November 2007
Coed Bell and Voelnant, Golden Groves and Sea Views.

Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb: 1500+'.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Start: Llanasa Village car park. Grid ref: SJ106815
I have decided to change the start of the walk from Gronant to Llanasa. Llanasa is easier to get to than Gronant, and it's nearer the Britannia Inn too!To get to Llanasa, take the A55, and take the second junction after the Britannia junction, signposted to Trelawnyd and Prestatyn. This is the A5151. Follow the A5151 as far as Trelawnyd. In the centre of Trelawnyd turn right. This road is signposted Llanasa. Ignore the first minor crossroads, and follow the road to the next T-junction. Turn right to Llanasa. The car park is on the right opposite the church.
This combines two walks, one from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast" and the other from his book "More Walks on the Clwydian Hills". We have done both walks before, but not together. On a good day Blackpool Tower can be seen from one viewpoint. You may not want to see Blackpool Tower, but the views towards the Irish Sea northwards are still good.
Saturday 10th November 2007
Beneath Cregiau Llwyn-Gwern and Castell Carndochan.
Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb: unknown!
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
Start: Layby near Pont Rhyd-Sarn on the A494, about 1.5 miles past the turning for Llanuwchlan, just before a chapel on the right. Grid ref: SH859288.

This walk is taken from Dave Berry's booklet "Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn". He describes this walk as a walk exploring a little known area of stunning and varied scenery. The route visits a beautiful river valley and goes through forests and skirts impressive rocky hills.
Thursday 15th November 2007
The West Kirby Round and the Old Village of Caldy.
Distance: 11 miles; Climb: Not a lot!
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Start: Thurstaston Visitor Centre Car Park. Grid ref: SJ238835.
This combines another two walks from Raymond Roberts' booklet "The Wirral Six". It involves walking along the shore. High tide is at 13-45 p.m., so we will need to do that part of the walk first. It should be good for bird watching, so bring your binoculars with you.

Saturday 17th November 2007
Ingersey Vale, Rainow, Swanscoe Hall and White Nancy.

Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: Unknown but probably about 1500'.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
Start: A car park at the north end of Bollington, just off the B5090. If you go under the aquaduct and the sign for Clarence Mill you've gone too far. The car park is on Adlington Road. Public convenience also there. Grid ref: SJ931782.
This is another walk taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". This walk includes a there and back section, if we wish to visit White Nancy along the Kerridge Ridge. A visit to White Nancy was one of my main reasons for putting this route on the list. The route is described as being mainly on paths with a short section on quiet lanes. Part of the route follows the Gritstone Trail.
After walk refreshments will be at the Vale Inn on Adlington Road. It is described a place of character and serves mainly locally brewed beers. Sounds good to me!
Thursday 22nd November 2007
The Clwyd Estuary and Rhuddlan.

Distance: 11 miles; Climb: Not a lot!
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
this low level walk combines two walks, one from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast", and the other from Lorna Jenner's book "Walking in the Vale of Clwyd and Denbigh Moors." This walk could be good for bird watching, so bring your binoculars with you.
Start: Car park at the Marine Lake, Rhyl (close to the Foryd Bridge (a blue bridge over the Clwyd)). SH995996

Saturday 24th November 2007
Mynydd Mynyllod

Distance: 7.5+ miles; Climb: Unknown - 1500+' at a guess.
Start: Village of Llanderfel - by the river opposite the old chapel. Toilets nearby. Grid ref: SH982371.
There is very limited parking, so we will need to take as few cars as possible.

Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m. and meet at Love Lane car park, Mold.

This walk is taken from Dave Berry's booklet "Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn". He describes the walk as visiting the delightful hidden upland pastures with its rocky outcrops, scattered trees and former farms and moorland north of Llanderfel.

Thursday 29th November 2007A Walk around Llansanan.
Distance: 8 miles; Climb: 1500'.
Start: Car park in Llansanan; Grid ref: SH933658.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m., and meet at the car park in the centre of Llansanan, or meet at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn and go in convoy. (we had problems getting to the start last time, when flood at Llanfair Talhaiarn prevented us following the planned route to the start). It may be worth while going via Denbigh and Henlan, rather than Abergele, our chosen route last time!

This walk is taken from Lorna Jenner's book " Walks in the Vale of Clwyd and the Denbigh Moors". The last time that we did this walk, only two of us completed the walk as described, but we both thought that it would be well worth doing again.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Mynydd Mynyllod 24th November 2007

A view looking towards Bala.

Richard in a world of his own - no just an Imogen update!
Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles; Climb: 2159'.
Time: 4 hours 42 minutes; Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average; 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.

The group at one time looked as though it could have been up to eleven, but in the end for one reason and another only five actually went on the walk. The weather forecast was for light rain throughout, but fortunately after lunch the weather cleared up, and we finished the walk in pleasant walking conditions, cool and with ever improving distant views. This walk has a lot to offer and some of the wilder moorland areas little visited were traversed. perhaps another walk to be considered for a repeat during the Summer.
Mynydd Mynllod at just over 1200' isn't the biggest peak in the world, but it did over quite extensive views in all directions. Route descriptions weren't always easy to follow and again we had to resort to the GPS to get back on track. Finding a protected lunch spot proved somewhat difficult, and lunch was eventually taken rather late than planned on the side of an access track to a nearby farm.
Throughout the walk Celia was itching to get to the top of anything that remotely looked like a peak, whether or not it was an actual peak or we had the right of access. Only when we approached the open access area around Mynydd Mynyllod did we deliberately go off track to reach its summit and Celia got her peak!
Birds seen or heard included: Stonechat, Carrion crow, Meadow pipit, Fieldfare, Raven, Buzzard, Blackbird, Robin, House sparrow, Herring gull and Black-headed gull.
Only two of the group survived to take refreshments at the Cholomendy Arms where the landlady informed us that Paul had called in early. Again two excellent pints were enjoyed alongside a warming real fire.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Rhyl to Rhuddlan and More 22nd November 2007

Tito making a stand at Parliament House, Rhuddlan.

How many donkeys can you get in one shed!

Walk stats: Distance: 10.5 miles; Climb: 454'.
Time: 4 hours 53 minutes; Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h..
Group: Martyn, Richard; Tito, Celia; Sylvia and Dave J.

The walk started quite bright, but soon deteriorated in to drizzle backed by a cool northerly wind. The drizzle continued on and off for most of the walk, but we did get some sunny spells too! Our first trouble started when a local resident warned us that the riverside path on the western side was reportedly closed. Whether or not we should have continued along the path is debatable, especially as we had to go round one fence that blocked the way forward.
Anyway we were rewarded by seeing the most number of different birds encountered on our walks this year.
The second part of the walk is exactly as Lorna Jenner describes it. Which should have heeded her words and never attempted it at this time of the year. Part of the route across a field was almost like walking through a river, and the walk finished with a long stretch on the road. The only distraction along the road were a group of donkeys, that challenged us to guess just how many donkeys can you get in one shed!
Lunch was a little late. No suitable lunch spot could be found despite Tito's alarm going off. He couldn't wait for lunch so took his medicine without. Eventually lunch was taken, not in an ideal spot, but under the shelter of main road going over river and river path. Tito again provided us with lunch (sandwiches and Walnut cake (courtesy of Fran's connection with M & S). All gratefully received and Richard managed to have a couple more fore his tea.
Birds seen or head today included: Red-breasted merganser( a couple on the river and at least eight on the Marine Lake), Little egret, Curlew, Snipe, Cormorant, Oystercatcher, Fieldfare, Redwing (our first sightings of the year), Mallard, Widgeon, Lapwing, Starling, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Redstart, Robin, Goldfinch, Jackdaw, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Mute swan, Carrion crow, Buzzard, Shelduck, Little grebe, Dunlin and Redshank.

After walk refreshments were taken at the Britannia Inn. J.W. Lees bitter being in fine fettle as usual, and as always a warm welcome by the two landladies and the locals alike.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

White Nancy, Kerridge and Tegg's Nose 17th November 2007

At the trig point on Kerridge End.

White Nancy, built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo.

On Kerridge Hill.

Walk stats: Distance: 11.3 miles; Climb:1756'.
Time:5 hours 28 minutes.
Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Sylvia and Dave J.

This turned out to be an excellent walk for this time of the year. It started in Bollington with a suggestion that it was going to somewhat rainy, but this soon disappeared and it remained dry for the rest of the walk. We only had hints of sun, especially towards the end of the day. The little ridge from White Nancy to Kerridge end was the highlight of the walk and gave superb views across Cheshire and beyond in all directions. The original walk from Graham Beech's book was only 6 miles, so we extended it to go to Tegg's Nose and in so doing we covered a little more of the Gritstone Trail. We took advantage of the picnic tables at Tegg's Nose to have lunch. Thanks again to Fran for providing us with Mince Pies (not just mince pies - M & S Mince Pies. These were enjoyed by all, especially Sylvia who had left the rest of her packed lunch at home! We didn't linger long over lunch as the the temperature seemed to drop and we soon felt quite cold. The way home was now virtually all down hill so we could quicken our pace to get warm.

Birds seen or heard today included: Jay, Nuthatch, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Kestrel, Pied wagtail, Grey wagtail, Goosander, Blackbird, Magpie, Starling, Fieldfare, Carrion Crow, Rook and Jackdaw.
We had our after walk drink at the Vale Inn within walking distance from the car park in Adlington Road, Bollington. This was an excellent little pub, and the old Samuel Smith sign outside should be ignored. Much better lies within. The beers sampled today were from Highgate and Blakemere. The pub also had a real fire - a pub to visit after a walk on a cold Winter day. Expect more walks starting from Bollington, even if we have to repeat the ones we have done already.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Thurstaston to Hoylake 15th November 2007

Looking across the estuary to Wales.

Lunch time at Red Rocks, Hoylake. Tito - the last bit of cake is mine!

The final view of the day.
Walk stats: Distance: 12.8 miles; Climb:580'.
Time: 5 hours 25 minutes; Walking average: 2.8 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.4 m.p.h. (both records for the group).
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Tito, Michel and Sue P., Sylvia and Dave J., Annie H., and Catherine Murphy (joining the group for the first time for this year).

This was a walk done in perfect weather. Bright sunshine all day, very little wind, but on the cool side. Lunch time was again provided (courtesy of Fran and M & S) - not just sandwiches this time but cake and fresh fruit too. Fishy things as well, but I'm too lazy to look up how to spell them!

Walks along the beach are always enjoyable and with the incoming tide approaching it gave good chances of bird watching.
Birds seen or heard today included: Grey heron, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Knot, Redshank, Turnstone, Curlew, Stonechat, Blue tit, Mistle thrush, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Coot, Mallard and Feral pigeon.

The views from the high points at the Beacon and the War Memorial on Grange Hill were superb, and there were only one or two whimpers about wanted lunch! This could be a thing of the past - Tito now has an alarm that goes off at lunch time!

This walk is good at any time, but today would be very difficult to better.

An excellent pint or two were enjoyed at the Dee View in Heswall. Black sheep and Copper Dragon brews provided the celebratory drinks for most of us.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Beneath Creigiau Llwyn-Gwern, Castell Carndohan and Cwm Lliw 10th November 2007

One the views seen on route! Any offers for the names of the hils in the picture?

The Afon Lliw and at last a way to cross it!

The bridge we had a job to find!

Lunch time - before the rain set in.

Walk stats: Distance: 11.4 miles; Climb: 2365'.
Time: 6 hours 39 minutes; Walking average: 2.0; Overall walking average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Tito, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J, Sue and Dave P.
This combination of walks has a lot to offer. During the morning we were treated to some better than expected weather, and could appreciate the many fine views that were on offer. The afternoon in contrast turned to rain and drizzle and much of the beauty of the second part of the walk was clouded by the conditions. For once Dave Berry's route descriptions at times weren't easy to follow and we found ourselves not quite where we should have been. Lunch was taken just in time to avoid the start of the rain. Tito provided sandwiches (courtesy of Fran and M & S) and Sylvia provided the second course with some superb home made Eccles cakes. This walk even had a fine set of stepping stones much to Celia's delight! However Dave J gallantly came to the rescue , walking through the river (his feet wet already wet!) giving her a helping hand to cross them.
Birds seen or heard today included: Long-tailed tit, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Kestrel, Buzzard, Starling, Stonechat and Robin.
The final spot was of course Tito's mouse, perhaps not a Dormouse, but certainly a mouse!
After walk refreshments were enjoyed as usual at the Cholomendy Arms, today a little fuller than usual, with standing room only for some of us! The brews sampled today included Hidden Pint (from the Wiltshire brewery Hidden) and Spitting Feathers Special.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Golden Grove, Sea Views, Coed Bell and Voelnant 8th November 2007

Our shelter and early lunch spot!

Lost at the police mast! Where do we go next!

The best view of the day!

Walk stats: Distance: 7.6 miles; Climb: 2035'.
Time: 4 hours 03 minutes, Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Tito, Celia, Annie H, Michel and Sue P, Dave and Sylvia J.

The walk started from the beautiful picturesque village of Llanasa. The weather, as predicted soon turned to rain and an increasingly strengthening wind. We passed a group of electricity supply workers putting up new poles to support the power cables, their position balancing at the top of the pole seemed to be a very precarious position to be in, especially in these conditions. Nevertheless they were still working when we returned about an hour or so later. The open moor section as we approached Offa's Dyke gave good views of the Irish Sea and the obvious approach of a storm. Fortunately we managed to arrive at very spacious shelter on the road above Prestratyn, and were forced to take an early lunch. It was only 11-40 a.m. and we had only walked about 4 miles! This broke our normal lunch time rule of not having lunch before 12-30 p.m., but much to our surprise didn't break the rule of being at least half way round. Anyway we were rewarded for our decision to shelter and take an early lunch, by Sue P providing us some excellent Parkin made to her own recipe. The weather improved by the time we arrived at the police transmitter station and the views towards to coast were quite impressive, even if we couldn't see Blackpool tower on this occasion. The walk was shorter than usual, so alas we had to head for Britannia Inn early. It was like the good old days when we aimed to be enjoying a pint of Lees before 3-15 p.m. (for those that can't remember the time when that signalled the end of the school day!). I am getting a little worried, at one point I almost thought Celia was beginning to like the place, when she declared that it was clean! We won't have to stick to our guns and declare "we're only here for the beer"!
Birds seen or heard today included: Kestrel(seen by Richard, confirmed by Celia!), Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Blackbird, Carrion crow and Jackdaw.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Bollington to Bowstones 3rd November 2007

Autumn colours in Lyme Park.

Looking towards the Cage from Paddock cottage.

Richard crossing a restored packhorse bridge towards the end of the walk.

Walk stats: Distance:11.1 miles; Climb: 1887'.
Time: 5 hours 39 minutes; Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average: 2.o m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Richard.

Weather conditions at the start were much worse than we expected, and we delayed setting off for nearly an hour to avoid the worst of the rain and allow the low clouds to disperse from the hill tops. Following the route on the O.S. map wasn't that easy, but Graham Beech's route description on this occasion was very good, but a few stiles had been converted in to gates. Distant views were initially somewhat hazy, but towards the end of the walk, views towards the Peak district and across the Cheshire plain towards Jodrell bank were quite good. Autumn colours were very much in evidence, particularly leaves on the trees in Lyme Park, and the bracken was at its best, dying off, but leaving fantastic orange to red leaves.

Birds seen or heard today included: Snipe, Grey wagtail, Pied wagtail, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Jay, Mallard, Greylag goose, Pheasant, Stonechat, Blackbird, Robin and Red grouse. We also saw a bird of prey being mobbed by crows. It circled like a buzzard, but seemed too small. A sparrowhawk is one possiblity.

Unfortunately we didn't find a suitable place for refreshment in Bollington, lets hope we have better luck next time! Apparently there is a pub called The Vale in Adlington Road near to where we park that the Good Beer Gude 2008 says is open!

We ended up having a couple pints in the Mill in Chester, and I have to admit the Weetwood did taste quite good!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Around Thurstaston 1st November 2007

On Thurstaston Hill.

Thors Stone.
A view along the beach at Thurstaston - at the end of the day..

Walk stats: Distance: 10.5 miles; Climb: 678'.
Time: 5hours 1 minute; Walking average: 2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Tito, Celia, Annie H, Dave J, Michel and Sue P.

This walk is always a pleasant walk, especially when it can be combined with an incoming tide and a bit of bird watching. This was one of those days and as an added bonus this was a glorious November day, warm enough to wear shorts! The walk along the shore is always enjoyable and this occasion was no exception, we started on the beach and finished on the beach, what a way to start and end a walk! The ramble across Thurstaston Hill and the views in all directions never cease to amaze. Liverpool cathedral aways seems to be in a direction that you don't expect, but Wales is always in the right place.
This is another walk destined to be repeated on may occasions.
Birds seen or heard today included: Grey Heron, Lapwing, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Buzzard, Kestrel, Knot, Ringed plover, Starling, Blackbird, Robin, Mallard, Shellduck, Little egret, Meadow pipit, Herring gull, Black headed gull, Linnet and Redshank.

Only two of us were able to enjoy after walk refreshments at the Dee View in Heswall. Beers from the Cottage Brewery and Theakson's Black Sheep were on form today.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Pen y Bwlch Gwyn 27th October 2007

This really does give a feel of the weather conditions experienced during the middle part of the walk!

The Afon Tryweryn. A penny for your thoughts.

Getting away from friend!

On the approach path above Llyn Maen Bras

Walk stats: 10.9 miles; Climb: 2003'.

Time: 5 hours 53 minutes; Walking average: 2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h..

Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.

This was a walk completed in what can be described as not quite ideal weather conditions. Light drizzle accompanied us for most of the day, and at times we seemed to be in cloud. Distant views flitted in and out and at one crucial point in route finding were non existent. We ended up going over Pen y Bwlch Gwyn, rather than around it. The GPS for once proved a real asset, enabling us to get back on track on at least two occasions. The walk went close to a beautiful tumbling section of the Afon Tryweryn before climbing to some of the more remote hills North of Bala. Dave Berry's route description, at time didn't seem up to its usual standard, particularly around Penmaen-mawr cottage. At one point a post did not exist, and later on a ladder stile had turned into a step stile. despite our problem in route finding, this walk has a lot to offer, and must be repeated when the Summer sun is shining. Only then will we be able to appreciate the full beauty and many outstanding viewpoints offered on the walk. Lunch was taken in the shelter of some gorse bushes, overlooking Llyn Maen Bras, the first glimpse of which reassured us that we were on the right track.

The only animals seen today a Rabbit and a Gery squirrel.

Birds seen or heard included: Grey Heron, Long-tailed tit, Herring gull, Meadow pipit, Buzzard, Fieldfare, Carrion crow and Wigeon (about 12 birds, a surprise to first hear and then see on Llyn Maen Bras as we set off from our lunch spot).

As is often the case refreshments were taken at the Cholomendy Arms. The beers sampled today included Woodland Schooner and Wheetwood Blonde.