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, 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.