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

Friday, 29 June 2007

Around Delamere 28th June 2007

No photographs available - none taken.

Walk stats: Distance: 10.5 miles; Climb: 828'; Time: 4 hours 25 minutes;
Walking Average: 2.8 m.p.h.

Group: Martyn, Richard, Michel, Tim, Gordon and Dave J.

The walk started from the Barn Bridge car park in Delamere Forest and made use of the Sandstone Trail and Delamere Way footpaths. This isn't a walk that will linger long in the memory, but nevertheless it was pleasant amble across easy terrain and the weather was kind too!
Plenty of flowers were blooming and one fungus was spotted. The only animals seen today were Rabbits, Grey squirrels, a Vole and a dead Mole! Birds seen or heard included: Skylarks, Buzzards, Carrion crow, Raven, Wren, Great tit, Willow warbler, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Mistle thrush and Nuthatch.
After walk refreshments were taken at he recently refurbished Carriers Inn. Plenty of money has been spent on making this venue spic and span, and during our stay the landlady was seen with a dustpan and brush sweeping up after a few walkers (even more wrinkly than us!) had left. Pleasant and clean, but not much character - not really our kind of hostelry!

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Dates and Walks June 2007

Updated on 24th June 2007

Saturday 2nd June 2007
No organised walk.
Thursday 7th June 2007
Along the River Weaver, Kingsley and Around Frodsham.
Distance: 11 - 13 miles. Climb: Not a lot, but probably more than we think.
Start: Centre car park on the south side of the railway station.
Grid ref: SJ519779.
To get to the car park from Chester. Turn right at the traffic lights in the centre of Frodsham (traffic lights with the Bears Paw Pub on the left and the Golden Lion on the right). After a short distance turn left by the Helter Skelter Wine Bar. Follow the road round past a recycling centre to a large car park.
This walk is not taken from any book, so we will just following footpaths on the OS map. The initial part of the walk takes us through the north side of Frodsham, partly on the Eddisbury Way to the Weaver Navigation System. Here we will follow the riverside footpath for 3-4 miles. The Weaver is a good place to see water birds, so don't forget to bring your binoculars with you. After leaving the river we will take field paths to reach the village of Kingsley where we will follow the Eddisbury Way back to Frodsham.
After walk drinks will be in the Helter Skelter Wine Bar. Despite its name, it does have a good choice of real ale and cider.
Saturday 9th June 2007

Saddleworth Edges.
Distance: 8 - 9 miles. Climb: 1200'
Start: Binn Green car park. Grid ref: SE017045
To get to the car park/pic-nic site.
The car park is just off the A635 Stalybridge to Holmefirth road. There are two possible routes to get on to the A635.
One route uses the motorways and the other just A roads.
The motorway route uses the M53 from Chester then the M56 towards Manchester/Stockport.
The M60 is then taken as far as the Stalybridge junction (Junction 23). From Junction turn left and then right at the next lights following signs for the A635(Staylybridge/Saddleworth/Holmfirth/Sheffield).
The parking area is about two miles after Greenfield (or the left turn for the centre (don't take this turning)).
The alternative route uses the A51 to Tarvin. The a54 to Northwich. The A556 to Knutsford. The a557 to Macclesfield. The A523 to Hazel Grove. The A627 to Marple. Glossop. and the A624 to Stalybridge, and picking up the A635 at Stalybridge heading for Saddleworth/Holmfirth.
I suggest that we leave Chester at 8-00 a.m. We may decide to go in convoy, but if needed we can arrange that nearer the time.
This walk is taken from Mark Richard's book "High Peak Walks", and is the first of three planned for this area.
He describes this walk as one of the best in northern Peakland, a veritable feast for the eyes. Here deep valleys rimmed with bold craggy edges and three silver sheets of water fill the vale with one set high upon the moor for good measure. He also says that he always looks forward to renewing his aquaintance with this delectable corner of the Peak District.
I only hope it lives up to Mark Richard's descriptions.
Thursday 14th June 2007
Frodsham Marshes and Around Helsby Hill

This walk was postponed due to the weather. The organiser didn't want to get wet.
The walk will be rearranged on a new date, probably in August or September.
Distance: 8 miles + the distance around Frodsham Marshes that we choose to walk. Climb: Not a lot, but probably more than we think.

Start: Centre car park on the south side of the railway station.
Grid ref: SJ519779.

This is a walk taken from Jen Darling's book "More Pub Walks in Cheshire and Wirral".
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m. and meet in the car park at Frodsham.
This walk starts with a short circuit around Frodsham Marshes and the areas used by the Manchester Ship canal dredging Company to get deposit their dredged mud. These spots are often a good spot for waders. I've also seen stoats catching rabbits here too. The main part of the walk is taken Jen Darlings book "More Pub walks in Cheshire and the Wirral", and starts near the Netherton Hall pub. My contacts say we should stick with the Helter Skelter for after walk drinks! The walk passes the memorial to Jack Baker the Frodsham walker who devised the Sandstone Trail and Baker way. The walk uses parts of these two trails. The walk also reaches the summit of Helsby hill which at only 464' still gives superb panoramic views.
Saturday 16th June 2007
The White Shark. A Classic White Peak Walk!
Distance: 12- 13 miles; 2100'.
Start: Longnor car park. Grid ref: SK088649.
To get to Longnor follow the A51 towards Nantwich. Then the A500 towards Stoke on Trent. Then the A53 to Leek. From Leek take the A523 road to Ashbourne. At the Green Man Pub. turn on to the B5053 to Onecote, Warsow and Longnor. In Longnor turn right and the new car park is on the right. The alternative parking area is on the cobbled square in the centre of Longnor.
This walk is one we did quite a few years ago, on a day that we first experienced the delights of the Wilkes Head in Leek.
The walk is taken from the Trail Magazine. It suggest that the walk takes 6.5 hours, but I expect that we will take a little longer!
The route also allows us to visit Pilsbury Castle, missed
on the walk that Celia gashed her leg. We won't be revisiting the stile that caused the damage!!
The second part of the walk includes Chrome Hill and Parkhorse Hill. New access might allow us to explore the summits of these two minor peaks. David Ogle author of this walk says of this walk " Amazingly, on the edge of the fluffy White Peak, a pair of shark's fin ridges give extra bite to a trip around scenic dales. all I can say is wow." He also describes this walk as "little", but at over 12 miles I can't agree with him on that one!
Thursday 21st June 2007
Rostherne Mere and Tatton Park
Distance: 8 miles + whatever we decide when walking round Tatton park Grounds.
Start at Tatton Park car park. Grid ref: SJ743823.
Don't forget to bring your valid Cheshire Tatton Park Pass if you have one. Between us we could ahve upto four (Martyn, Celia, Dave J and Tito). We'll need them to get free parking! If you are a National Trust Member bring your card too.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The OS map for the route has arrived, so the walk will go ahead as planned.
Route to Tatton Park.
Take the A51 from Chester to Tarvin.
The A54 Tarvin to Kelsall.
The A556 Kelsall to Northwhich. Follows this road beyond the M6 as far as Mere.
At Mere turn right onto the A50, then left onto the. A5034. After few hundred yards turn right onto a minor road by a lodge. The entrance to Tatton Park is on the right after a little more than a mile.
The first part of this walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "Best Walks in Cheshire". The walk visits the village of Rostherne where the church lychgate is reputed to be the oldest in England. Rostherne Mere is a good bird watching place, but unfortunately the best view points have restricted access to permit holders. Our best opportunities for nature watching will probably be as we go round the grounds and meres in Tatton Park. The route also passes Booth Bank Farm, a place where John Wesley stayed, and preached from beneath an oak tree. This ancient oak tree still stands infront of the farm house today.
Saturday 23rd June 2007
Black Hill - a Dark Peak Challenge!
Distance: 11 miles. Climb: 1100'.
Start at a car park off the A635 in a lane opposite an old hotel called the Isle of Skye Hotel.
Grid ref: SE077075. This will probably be the start point, since it is a little nearer than Digley Reservoir, and we will have to go passed it to get to Digley anyway.
Digley Reservoir. Grid ref:SE111073.
To get to the car park near the site of the old Isle of Sky Hotel, follow the route to the Binn Green car park (see Saddlworth Edges route on the 9th June 2007 above). The car park is on the next minor road on the left after about 3-4 miles after the Binn Green car park.
This is another walk from Mark Richard's book "High Peak Walks". He describes Black Hill as a much maligned tract of wild moorland. We will see! This walk as well as visiting the summit of Black Hill at 1908' also visits five reservoirs. It may be worthwhile bringing binoculars, if the moors are as wild as he suggests, then we may have a chance of seeing moorland birds like Golden Plovers and even Hen Harriers. The walk also follows part of the Pennine Way Alternative Route and goes close to the Holme Moss transmitter station. Some of the route described is on pathless terrain, so it should be interesting. However we do have the transmitter mass to aim for. I only hope that the heather, bilberry bushes and tussocks of grass are not too much of a challenge for us, and the sheep tracks are easy to follow!
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
Thursday 28th June 2007
Delamere Forest
Distance: 10 miles:
Start: Barnbridge Gates car park. Grid ref: SJ542716.
This walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "More Pub Walks in Cheshire and Wirral".
Leave Chester at 9-00 am.m. and meet in the Barnbridge Gates car park.
To get to the start point take the A51 from Chester to Tarvin. Then take the B5393 (Ashton Lane) left through Ashton towards Mouldsworth. Take the second turn on the right, just before entering Mouldsworth, to Delamere and hatchmere. The car park is on the right after about 2 miles.
Most of us will have walked these paths several times in the past, but not often when there likely to free from running children. Again the whole route should give good bird spotting opportunities, especially as we go close to Linmere, Flaxmere and Hatchmere. Don't forget to bring your binoculars with you.
Saturday 30th June 2007
Around Lyme Park
Distance: 10 miles; Climb: unknown.
At higher Poynton visitor centre and parking close to the marina on the Macclesfield Canal.
Grid ref: SJ945833. This is just off Anson Road.
To get to the parking area. Take the A51 from Chester and then the A54 to Winsford and Holmes Chapel towards Wilmslow. Then take the A535 towards Alderley Edge and then the A5102 to Poynton. At Poynton follow the road to the east for Higher Poynton. Signs for the Anson Museun and Marina may help.
This new suggested parking place avoids the need to park in Lyme Park itself
If you are a National Trust Member bring your card, just in case we decide to explore some of Lyme Park itself..
This walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "Pub Walks in Cheshire and Wirral". Jen Darling doesn't give much help about what we might expect to see on route except for two for two Saxon cross shafts called the Bowstones. However I'm sure we'll find much more ourselves!
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.

Black Hill from Digley Reservoir 23rd June 2007

Saturday 23rd June 2007

Black Hill from Digley Reservoir

Digley Reservoir - Yorkshire

Martyn and Dave J at the trig point on Black Hill

The thistle with a difference!

Photographs Richard.

Walk stats: Distance: 12.1 miles; Climb: 2583'; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.;

Time: 6 hours 2 minutes.

Group: Martyn, Richard and Dave J.

The walk started with low cloud, but prospects of it lifting by the afternoon. This proved to be true with the Black Hill starting in cloud and mist and looking typically very bleak. However by the time we had trecked along the paved section of the Pennine Way to the trig point on Black Hill the whole panorama was to be revealed. We adapted the route slightly by following parts of the Kirklees Way and avoiding some road walking. The walk passed close to four resevoirs, all of which seemed fairly full. This was quite a varied and interesting walk, providing apt reminders of the challenges faced in crossing pathless Dark Peak groughs.

Plenty of wild flowers, particularly wild meadow flowers were encountered on route, including a very unusual looking thistle that could have been a design for a Chinese Dragon head.

Birds were in fine singing form throughout. Willow warblers were singing as we left the car park and were still singing as we arrived back. Then came the Skylark followed by Grouse calling. The liquid call of the Curlew and alarm call of the Curlew followed us up the valley to the road at the site of the former Old Isle of Skye Hotel. Then came the bird call of the day, the plaintive cry of the Golden Plover. This was also the bird of the day as we had two very good close up views. Also on the approach to Black Hill we saw a family of Red Grouse. The young chicks nearly making it as bird sighting of the day. We also had a good view of a Skylark as it landed just a few feet in front of us on its search for food for its young. The bird was close enough for us to get a clear view of its crest. Other birds seen or heard on the walk included: Grey Heron, Pied Wagtail, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Swallow, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Canada Geese, Stonechat, MistleThrushes (at least 10 loosely together), Meadow Pipit, Oystercatcher and Common Sandpiper.
Another good pint or two (all J.W. Lees) were sampled at King William IV at Greenfield.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Around Rostherne From Tatton Park 21st June 2007

No photographs available - none were taken!
Walks stats: Distance: 9.3 miles; Climbe: 597' ; Time: 4 hours 28 minutes;
Average walking speed: 2.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Michel, Dave and Sylvia J.
The walk started at the main car park at Tatton Park (must remember in future it doesn't open until 10-00 a.m., so leaving Chester at 9-10 a.m. would be better).
Them grounds seemed very extensive and we didn't get time to explore them this time. We thought that devoting all of the time to Tatton Park would be more appropriate. This will probably be on the 5th July (Dave J's 60th birthday and Celia's (one after the last one!) later in the week. Fruit cake will be provided!
This walk was second only to Christleton on the wet scale. We did get bright sunny periods, but when it rained it really did rain!!! The walk involved a fair bit of tramping across field some with crops, some fallow and some with inquisitive young cows in. A pleasant lunch break was taken sheltering under trees in the company of some young calves with wonderful views of the M56 just below us. The lych gate at Rostherne church had an unusual half revolving gate with a heavy weight mechanism to close it. This was the highlight of the day.
Several Red Deer were seen in Tatton Park along with several Grey Squirrels. We also thought we saw two Brown Hares bounding down the field, but they may well have just been large Rabbits. Bird seen or heard included: Grey Heron, Buzzards, Jackdaw, Greenfinch, Kestrel, Mallard, Tufted Duck and Skylark. There were other ducks on Rostherne Mere but they were too far away to identify.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

The Great White Shark - Chrome Hill and Parkhorse Hill 16th June 2007

Parkhouse Hill.

Parkhouse Hill from Chrome Hill.
Chrome Hill.

Ragged Robin - flower of the day!

Photos supplied by Richard.
Walk stats: Distance: 13.4 miles; Climb: 2080'; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.
Time: 7 hours 35 minutes.
Group: Martyn and Richard.

Dressed more for a wet Winter walk at temperatures expected to be below 12 degrees with now hope of sun, we ended up feeling very over dressed. The day turned out to be warm and almost rain free. Two short spells of rain, neither really worthy of putting waterproofs on. The sun was also out for much of the walk.

The walk started from Longnor, still no car park except for the cobbled square. We set off along the Manifold valley heading for Pilsbury. A pleasant walk that took us first past Sheen Hill with its trig point (still not accessible) and then on to the previously missed Pilsbury Castle. Lunch was taken just outside Earl Sterndale with good view of the shark-like fins of Chrome Hill and Parkhorse Hill ahead.
Chrome Hill is a superb little ridge that has totally unexpected aspects. It feels as though your on top of the world with steep slopes falling away on both sides as the path weaves its way between the "fins". This section of the walk will have to be repeated, probably without the section along the Manifold Valley. We thought that we had gone off track as we were forced to cross a stone bridge and onto the Hollinsclough road. In fact we only went wrong in the village where we should have turned left instead of taking the shorter route by going straight ahead. However it did have the advantage that the roadside had many flowers showing, including Ragged Robin, which Richard believes is quite rare these days.

Birds seen and heard today included: Grey Heron, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Curlew, Goldfinch, Wren, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Pheasant, Chaffinch, Mallard, Wheatear, Wren, Kestrel, Jackdaw, Swallow, House Martin and frequent parties girls displaying location stress symptoms on their D of E training exercises.

One or two or even more excellent pints of Hartington Bitter were sampled in the Wilkes Head at Leek. Leek was celebrating Leek 800 and our normal car park was filled with a fair, but it didn't deny us access to the Wilkes Head via the back door!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Saddleworth Edges 9th June 2007

Tito, Fran and Martyn on the track alongside Birchin Clough.

Richard and Tito at the memorial to two local climbers that died in the Italian Mountains

Lokking across Dovestone reservoir towards Saddleworth Edges

Walk stats: Distance: 9.8 miles; Climb: 1214'; Walking average: 2.2 miles;
Time: 6 hours 14 minutes.

Group: Martyn, Richard, Fran and Tito.

This was a walk with many surprises and challenges. It gave us views of Saddleworth that we didn't even know existed. The walks started with a gentle stroll along the side of two reservoirs before the challenges of Birchin Clough. This path was correctly described as a scramble of boulder hopping along the steep side of a cascading stream, before scrambling up the steep grassy bank to a good path. This path was good in most places, but one or two places presented challenges for someone whose legs don't bend as much as they should! The stream crossing point wasn't particularly easy to find, but thankfully the path to the edges was marked with red flags once we had found it. The flags were out to assist the runners in a fell race. This edge side route was superb, even if in places it get very close to what I would describe as "keep back territory". Another stream crossing point was difficult to find, and we ended up doing a little Bilberry hopping to get back on track. However it did give us clear views of our mammal of the day, a Mountain Hare (Mountain Hares are smaller than the Brown Hare). Our only other animal of any note was a frog that jumped over the edge from the path we were on. Fortunately it only dropped down a few feet. We also spotted a vivid green beetle with two spots on its back and some reddish edges. Was it a Green Tiger Beetle? A pleasant lunch spot was found close to Ashway Cross. On this occasion taken early, less than half-way round and only just after mid-day! Some good stones for sitting on prompted the decision, along with one or two hints.
Once Chew Reservoir had been reached the return route followed the reservoir road down to the Dovestone Reservoir and a pleasant track alongside the reservoir back to the road leading to the Binn Green car park.
Birds seen or heard on route included: Grey Wagtails, Mallards, Curlew, Canada Geese (including a skein of about eight birds rising from the Chew Reservoir almost going over our heads a few feet above), Carrion Crow and a pair of Common Sandpipers (birds of the day).

A pleasant refreshing pint of Deuchars IPA and J.W. Lees Bitter was enjoyed at King William IV in Greenfield, only a few miles from the start of the walk. It was even muted that it was "a Martyn kind of pub". Anyway we will be going there again in two weeks time. It was also suggested that perhaps sampling one of their good Lancastrian pub grub meals wouldn't go amiss. They did have the cricket on as well, another tick for them!
Photographs by Richard Green

Thursday 7th June 2007

No photos available.

Walk stats: Distance: 12.2 miles; Climb: 523'; Walking average: 2.8 m.p.h.;
Time: 5 hours 14 minutes.

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

This was a walk devised purely from the OS map trying to incorporate as much of the path along the Weaver as possible, and then using as much of the Eddisbury Way for the return journey from Kingsley.
The walk along the river was very pleasant and varied, but our hopes of seeing a good size boat moving along the river never came to fruition. A small motor launch and a narrow boat were the only vessels seen. Overall this route gave plenty of opportunity for seeeing and hearing birds.
The route from the river involved quite a lot of road walking as far as Kingsley, but most of it was on quiet country lanes. The section using field paths passed along the edge of several field that had been allowed to revert to traditional style meadows. One or two seems to be so abundant in meadow flowers that it seemed likely that they had been specifically planted. However whatever way they came about it added to beauty of the walk.
The only other flowers of note were Yellow Flag Iris and one or two spiles of Early Purple Orchids.
Birds seen or heard on this walk included: Sedge Warbler, A pair of Bullfinch, Mallards, Grey Heron, Reed Bunting, Willow Warbler, Skylarks (lots of them), Yellowhammers (lots heard, but not seen), Lapwings and one lapwing chick (bird of the day), Mute Swans, Tufted Ducks, Blackbird, Swallow, House Martin, Kestrel, Pied Wagtail and Canada Geese.

A pleasant drink was experienced at the Helter Skelter Wine Bar in Frodsham. A good real ale place that surves beer in over-sized glasses, always to be commended even if you still have to check if the pint is upto the mark! No doubt we will return to this venue next week.

This walk was completed at a good pace equalling our previous best! This is a good walk to be repeated, some say later in the year when the plums are ripe!

Friday, 1 June 2007

Bryn Alyn and Nercwys Forest 31st May 2007

No photographs available - old technology being used means that photos can only be posted once the film has been developed. This will probably be about once a month until my digital camera has been repaired.

Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles; Climb: 1470'; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h ;

Time: 5 hours 36 minutes.

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

The group was a little smaller than usual for a Thursday since several of the regulars were away on holiday.

The weather forecast was for showers, heavy at times. This was just what we got, but in reality we had more sun than showers. There was only one heavy shower around lunch time, but at least it didn't feel cold.

The route alongside the quarry towards Maeshafn revealed unexpected aspects the quarry workings. A pleasant 20 minutes or so resting on the seat in the centre of Maeshafn was enxperienced whilst waiting for Richard to catch up with the rest of the group. Part of the walk was through the Nercwys Forest with its many new paths and tracks. It allowed us to explore the forest paths in directions that we didn't quite anticipate! Again this was a good day for flowers. It was good to see that there were lots of path signs and information boards around the forest. It has obviously become a place trying to attract people for all sorts of leisure activities. Several fields on route from Bryn Alyn to Nercwys Forest were good examples of old hay meadows. Nercwys Forest seemed to be alive with the sounds of bird song. The Song thrush call coming from all directions. Other birds encountered were: Stonechat, Blackbird, Mistle thrush, Jackdaw, Rook, Greenfinch, Willow warbler, Chaffinch and Great tit.
Overall this was an enjoyable walk, although next time I think we will explore areas around the summit of Bryn Alyn rather than Nercwys Forest.
The Miners Arms at Maeshafn now closes at 3-00 p.m., so we decided to try the Druid Inn at Llanferris. A pleasant pint of Hopback Crop Circle was enjoyed in surroundings that can be described as being full of character, tables, chairs and benches had used for a long time with tell-tale evidence of use and sin some cases misuse. Nevertheless the Druid Inn does give us another place of call when we are walking on the Ruthin side of Mold.