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, 28 January 2008

Dates and Walks January 2008

Last updated on 28th January 2008
Tuesday 1st January 2008.
Happy New Year to everyone
and of course
Happy Birthday to Richard
New Year's day walk - Richard's 60th birthday
Llanarnon-yn-Ial and Eryrys.
Distance: 6 miles; Climb: 1200'.
Start: Pistyll Gwyn Quarry car park on the B5430 1 mile north of Llanarmon.
Leave Chester at 9-45 a.m. and meet at the car park. (start walking at about 10-30 a.m.)
The walk is shorter than usual, but is New Year's Day after all. Another reason for the later than usual start time. Another reason for starting later is that the Colomendy Arms doesn't open until 2-00 p.m., and we need to finish the walk around that time too! The walk is taken from Carl Rogers' book "Walking in the Clwydian Hills". He describes it as a walk exploring the lesser known limestone hills separated from the main Clwydian ridge by the Alyn valley. Footpaths are generally good and views of Moel Fammau and the southern Clwydian Range are superb for most of the walk.
Thursday 3rd January 2008
Thursday 3rd January 2008
Garth Wood, Felin Blwm Wood and Maen Achwyfan.
Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb: 1000' at a guess.
Start: Whitford village. Roadsise parking opposite the church. Grid ref: SJ147782.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m. Meet at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn and go in convoy from there. We will take as few cars as possible.
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". It is quite some time since I have done the first walk. Unfortunately it is only 4.5 miles and the only other walk that links in well with it is Maen Achwyfan, a walk that we have already done quite recently, although obviously not this year!

Saturday 5th January 2008
The Edge to Nether Alderley and the Edge and Hough.
Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb: Not a lot (less than 1000' at a guess).
Start: National Trust car Park close to the Wizard Restaurant, Alderley Edge. This is a Pay and Display car park - Free to National Trust Members. Grid ref: SJ860773.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m. and meet at the car park.
This walk combines two walks from Graham Beech's book " East Cheshire Walks". He describes it as being moderate. The walk will again probably give us views of the communications tower on Croker Hill/Sutton Common. We may also get the opportunity to visit Nether Alderley Mill (National Trust- so bring your N.T cards with you if you are members.)
After walk drinks will be at the Angel in Knutsford (or the Cross Keys if the Angel isn't to our liking).
Thursday 10th January 2008
Willaston and the lost village of Hadlow.
Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb: Not a lot!
Start: Hadlow Road station car park, Willaston: Grid ref: SJ332773.
This combines two walks taken from Anthony Annakin-Smith's book "Wirral Walks". He describes one walk as including a restored railway station, a roman road, old buildings, Wirrals's largest windmill, an ancient hedge, the Wirral Way, farmland and a Glow worm site. The second walk includes, a Roman road, a medieval road and a turnpike road, unusual trees, as well as more farmland and the same section of the Wirral way.
After walk drinks at the Wheatsheaf, Willaston (if anyone knows how to get there!).
Leave Chester 9-15 a.m. and meet at the Hadlow Road Station car park.
Saturday 12th January 2008
Grinllwm - an outlying hill with good views.
Distance: 8 miles; Climb: 1500' (at a guess).
Start: Plas yn Dre car park near the Library/ Police station, North of Llanrwst. Grid ref: SH796618.
Leave Chester 8-0 a.m. Meet in the car park at the Britaania Inn, Pentre Halkyn. We will then go in convoy to the start.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's new book "Walks Around Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley". He describes it as a walk of great variety, exploring the Conwy Valley between llanrwst and Trefriw. It includes riverside paths, two waterfalls and a climb up the outlying hill, Grinllwm. This is the first of of what looks like some good walks from Dave Berry's latest walking booklet.
This walk had to be cancelled due to the flooding in the Conwy Valley and around Llanrwst in particular.
Instead a walk from Llandudno West Shore around the Great Orme and Deganwy castle was undertaken.
The original walk from Llanwrst will be put on the list again, probably some time in February or March or April
Sunday 13th January 2008.
Sylvia's Birthday.
Happy birthday to Sylvia from everyone in the group.
Thursday 17th January 2008
Lindow, Saltersley and Mobberley.
Distance: 10 miles; Climb: Not a lot expected.
Start: Twinnies Bridge car park, Wilmslow. The car park is on the B5166 Wilmslow to Styal Road.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". He starts the walk in Racecourse Road by Lindow, but says the cars keft there are often vandalised, so we will start at Twinnies Bridge car park where dog walkers seem to be coming and going all of the time. This will extend the described walk a little over a mile, providing we can find the correct link paths. He describes the main walk as being easy, but there are many criss cross paths that make an O.S. map essential and the ability to us it of course. After walk drinks will probably be at the Lord Eldon on Tatton Street. There is a car park on Tatton Street. (Pay and Display). You can get to Tatton Street by taking our normal route along the one way street past the Cross Keys. At the very end, just as the road bears right, Tatton Street is on the road on the left that heads back in to town. The car park will then be on the right.
Saturday 19th January 2008
The Middlewood Way and Cheshire Ring Walk.
Distance: 10 miles; Climb: Not a lot! We can extend the walk if that is the wish of the group, and the weather is good, and no-one needs to get back early.
Start: Middlewood way car Park, Adlington Road, Bollington. Grid ref:SJ931782.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This walk is an improvised walk to once again to give us a chance of enjoying the hospitality of the Vale Inn on Adlington Road. No guide for this walk, only the O.S. map and our ability to use it! The walk starts by following the Middlewood Way (former railway track) as far as Middlewood/Higher Poynton, then using the Goyt Way to link with the Macclesfield Canal, and returning to Bollington via the canal towpath (described as the Cheshire Ring Walk). This should be an easy stroll with good views from the elevated Middlewood Way.
It may be worth bringing binoculars, last time we walked along the Macclesfield Canal there were plenty of birds to see.
Thursday 24th January 2008
Redesmere, Siddington, Capesthorne and more.
Distance: 7+ miles. Climb: Not a lot expected.
Start: car park adjacent to Redesmere on Fenshawe Lane, off A34. Grid ref: SJ:849713.
Leave Chester at 9 - 00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". The walk as described is only 7 miles, so we will have to look in ways to extend it on the day. The walk passes quite a few sections of open water/lakes/ponds, so binoculars may be a worthwhile addition to bring along. One possible extension seems to follow a stream for quite a while.
After walk drinks will probably be at a suitable location in Knutsford, probably the Lord Eldon on Tatton Street.
Saturday 26th January 2008
The Llugwy and Lledre Valley.
Distance: 8 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Start: Railway station car park in the centre of Betws-y Coed. Grid ref: SH795565. I think this is a Pay and Display car park, and make sure you park within the designated lines!
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Dave Berry's new book "Walks Around Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley". This walk links the beautiful wooded Llugwy and Lledre Valleys. It takes in Sarn Helen, the former Roman Road, and reaches over 800' before descending in to the Lledre Valley. It involves a steep climb to Llyn Elsi or at least that is what Dave Berry says!
Thursday 31st January 2008
A walk around the Bollin and Wilmslow to Mottram Bridge.
Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb: 500'+.
Start: Twinnies Bridge car park, Wilmslow. The car park is on the B5166 Wilmslow to Styal Road.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks", linking the two with paths across The Carrs and along the River Bollin. Some of the walk we have done when we completed the walk from Quarry Bank Mill, but in the main the paths will be new to us.
After walk drinks at a suitable location in Knutsford, probably the Lord Eldon on Tatton Street.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Llugwy and Lledre Valleys 26th January 2008

The Afon Lledre from our lunch spot - not the coldest wind swept spot that they claim I usually suggest for lunch!

The group near Llyn Elsie.

The view from the monument above Llyn Elsie.

Martyn at the Reservoir Monument above Llyn Elsie.

Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles; Climb: 1957'.
Time: 4 hours 10 minutes; Walking average: 2.5. m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Dave J., Celia, Laurence, Mike, Roger, Evelien and Charlie.

This was the first of the walks planned for this area, since the one from Llanwrst had to be postponed due to flooding. The number for this walk was boosted with five people joining the group for the first time this year, including Laurence who had flown down from Glasgow to join us on the walk whilst being in Chester over the weekend.
This walk started in temperatures, much above the forecasted feel like 5 Celsius temperature, but once we were on the higher open forest area it did get much cooler. Overall the weather was kind to us and at times the sun even shone!

The walk was a very varied walk with the footpaths close to both the Afon Llugwy and Afon Lledre being the the term "delightful" to mind. The best views of the day were reserved for the high point of the day at the monument above Llyn Elsie.

Lunch was taken at a picturesque spot with the wonderful bubbling torrents of the Afon Lledre nearby.

Dave Berry as usual got it right when he described the climb from the Lledre Valley to Llyn Elsie as being a steep climb. This route through the forest wasn't the best bit of the walk, at least not for me!

Birds seen or heard today included: Goosander, Grey Heron, Dipper, Raven, Nuthatch, Wren, Jay, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Buzzard, Jackdaw and Treecreeper.

As a special treat for Celia, after walk drinks were taken at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where we were greeted by a pony and a large dog at the entrance. A better welcome that the one we used to get from the boxers! As usual the J.W. Lees bitter was in excellent form, and despite my suggestion that he shouldn't, Laurence treated us all to a second pint.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Redesmere, Marton, Siddington and Capesthorne 24th January 2008

Shutlingsloe and Croker Hill.

After lunch at Marton Church.

The inside of Marton Church.

Walk stats: Distance: 12.5 miles; Climb: 1139'.
Time: 5 hours 06 minutes; Walking average: 2.8 m.p,h,; Overall walk average: 2.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Annie H., Sylvia and Dave J.
This was a walk completed almost entirely in sunshine. What a blessing after so much rain. However the temperature was only about 5 or 6 Celsius, and felt even cooler in the wind. This was quite a varied walk and the little extension to Marton provided us with the little gem of St. Paul's and St. James church, apparently the oldest half timbered church in Europe still in use. This was also the lunch spot, taking advantage of the two benches in the church grounds.
The walk provided many good views of distant Cheshire high spots, including Alderley Edge, Shutlingsloe and the communications mast on Croker Hill.
This walk seemed to be alive with birds on the many lakes past, the hedgerows, in gardens, in the fields and in the wooded areas.
Birds seen or heard today included: Mallard, Great crested grebe, Canada goose, Greylag goose, Black-headed gull, Coot, Little grebe, Tufted duck, Grey heron, Goosander, Great spotted woodpecker, Blue tit, Great tit, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Jay, House sparrow, Bullfinch, Sparrowhawk, Robin, Wren, Mute swan, Redwing, Fieldfare, Starling, Goldfinch, Woodpidgeon, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Buzzard and Red-crested pochard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Lord Eldon in Knutsford where the beer of choice today was Hambleton's Stallion bitter.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

The Middlewood Way and Cheshire Ring path from Bollington 19th January 2008

Enjoying lunch alongside the Macclesfield Canal!
Walk stats: Distance: 14.7 miles (15 if you take into account the walk to The Vine afterwards. Climb: 298'.
Time: 5 hours 3 minutes; Walking average: 3.2 m.p.h. (A PB for the group!), Overall walk average: 2.9.m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Tito, Sylvia and Dave J.

This walk was that we didn't really know what to expect, a little bit like the weather. The initial route along the Midddlewood Way (an old railway track), although elivated didn't give us the views that we perhaps had hoped for. It did however provide us with a pair of badgers, a two foot frog and a three foot rabbit (all wood sculpures)! The climb along the outward journey along the railway track was less than 100', but I suppose we should have expected that.
Along the Middlewood Way we encountered, runners, walkers (many with dogs) and horse riders (all well behaved).
We extended the walk a little and went almost as far as Marple to the Cown Edge Way link to the Macclesfield canal.
Lunch was taken at the first available bench on the Macclesfield Canal.
The return toute along the canal, was surprisingly harder, and we amazed to maintain the 3.2 m.p.h. walking speed of the outward journey. Once again the canal tow path was a popular section for dog walkers.
Birds seen or heard included:Robin, Song thrush, Mistle thrush, Kestrel, Dunnock, House sparrow, Mallard, Feral pigeon, Dove, Blue tit, Great tit, Nuthatch, Long-tailed tit, drake Mandarin, Canada goose, Moorhen, Chaffinch, Wren, Collard dove and Mute Swan.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at The Vale, Bollington, where Pheonix Navvi and a Cottage Brewery beer were the beers sampled.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Lindow, Saltersley and Mobberley 17th January 2008

No Photographs - it was raining too much! and I forgot totake the camera to the Lord Eldon!

Walk stats: Distance: 10.6 miles; Climb: 885'.
Time: 4 hours 47 minutes; Walking average: 2.8 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Dave J., Annie H., Fran and Tito.
This walk walk can honestly be described as a wet one! The Met Office forecast rain and at times we certainly knew about it! It did relent at time, and we did have lunch sitting on a fallen tree during a half an hour period when there was no rain and we were sheltered from any wind. This walk was taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks", and on this occasion his descriptions were on occasions very difficult to follow. In fact for the last third of the walk we decided to abandon his description, and resort to using the O.S. map only. On this walk our gear was tested for its ability to resist penetration by water, and our boots were also treated to frequent coatings of mud. They say it's good for the complexion, I hope it's good for leather too!
This is quite a varied walk through this Cheshire countryside, taking us past several stretches of open water and on our return leg along Graveyard Lane we came across a Quaker graveyard.
Towards the end of the day, the weather was slightly kinder, and by the time we reached the car at Twinnies Bridge it had ceased, and the Sun was beginning to show.
Annie H. even had a little note on her windscreen. Very complimentary it was too. Will she ever reply to it?
Birds seen or heard today included: Siskin, Blue tit, Great tit, Grey Heron, Jay, Pied wagtail, Buzzard, Kestrel, Robin Wren, Fieldfare, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Great crested grebe, Mute Swan, Carrion crow, Jackdaw and Blackbird.
After walk drinks was at the Lord Eldon in Knutsford. Old Peculiar and Adnams Bombardier were the beers on off (Tetley Bitter doesn't really count). The O.P. was in excellent condition. this very homely pub is probably one we will use again.

The route from Knutsford to Chester took us a little longer than expected, road works cones were everywhere and it was gone 6-30 p.m. by the time I got home. Richard would be even later, especially if there were queues at the tills in Tesco at Broughton.
Perhaps we should think about a different route home next week!

Saturday, 12 January 2008

The Great Orme, Chromlech and Deganwy Castle 12th January 2008

A view across the estuary.

The first real climb of the day.

At the watch tower.

I'm the king of the castle!

Walk stats: Distance: 13 miles; Climb: 1900'.
Time: 6 hours; Walking average 2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Fran and Tito, Sylvia and Dave J.

This walk was not the one we had originally planned. The planned walk was in the Conwy Valley starting from Llanrwst, but the rainfall over the last few days meant that once again Llanrwst was flooded. Last minute changes meant that the walk was switched to include the Great Orme and Deganwy Castle.
At the start of the walk Tito presented Martyn and Richard with their (I've spotted a Cattle Egret 2008" badges, and then we set off). This is a glorious walk, and the weather on this occasion was really good, sunny for most of the day with a cool wind experienced at times. We deviated from the described walk to include the section around the training area for the second world war. This was also a section where the wild goats frequent, and about twenty were there today. A fairly long road walking section along Marine Drive allowed us to look up towards the cliffs and down towards the sea for the variety of birds that are around at this time. The section on the top of the Great Orme is always superb with good views, especially across the Conwy Estuary towards Snowdonia.
Lunch was taken in sheltered sunny spot just below the Great Orme station, where the last of Martyn's 2007 fruit cake was devoured.

The second of the walks to the watch tower and Deganwy Castle and back along the Conwy estuary beach was a pleasant surprise to those that had not done this walk before. The views from the little hill. site of Deganwy Castle made this excursion memorable. Fran provided an excellent piece of Simmnel cake for afternoon tea at this location.

Birds seen or heard today included: Oystercatcher, Curlew, Mute swan, Herring gull, Jackdaw, Fulmar, Lesser black-backed gull, Stonechat, Chough (Celia heard on calling), Meadow pipit, Ringed plover, Grey wagtail, Pied wagtail, Wren, Robin, Raven, Rook, Blue tit, Great tit, Carrion crow and Kestrel.

At the end of the walk Sylvia was presented with a birthday card from the group, a day early, but she can use her bus pass from from tomorrow.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Willaston and Hadlow Old Village 10th January 2008

Lunch time at Hadlow Road Station - a train didn't arrive all,of the time we were waiting!

Lunch time on Hadlow Road Station Platform.

Walk stats: Distance: 9.95 miles +(1.05 miles twitchers' extension for some!);
Climb: 553' (seems a lot!).
Time: 4 hours 7 minutes; Walking average: 3.0 m.p.h.(a record for the group!);
Overall walk average: 2.4 m.p.h. (also a record for the group!).
Group: Martyn, Richard, Sue Pelissier, Celia, Annie H, Fran and Tito, Sylvia and Dave J.
This walk wasn't the most inspirational walk that we have done, but it did allow us to visit parts of the Wirral that we hadn't visited before and stride along footpaths that in the past we didn't even know existed. It also allowed most of to test just how waterproof and mud proof our walking boots really were. On better days we could have witnessed racehorses testing themselves on their training gallops, but today we had to content ourselves with the tact that weather overall was much better than expected. In fact after lunch it was positively barmy! Lunch was taken on the platform of Hadlow Road Station, where we took over all of the available3 seats, and Tito surprised some visitors as he changed in to a fresh shirt, at the same time displaying a fair amount of bare skin to all and sundry. We also impressed one young lady who was pushing a pushchair along the Wirral Way, when she commented in passing "Its so unusual to see a group who are all walking at a good pace". Is this a complement or an insult!
After the main walk most of the group retired to the Wheatsheaf Inn at Raby where cups of tea (with UHT milk!)were the main order of the day. Martyn and Richard decided to join the bird twitching fraternity for the day and headed off a coupe of miles down the road to Ashfield hall farm where a Cattle Egret had been seen on the 7th and 8th of the month. They arrived on site with great expectation, only to be met by another birder who had spent some time unsuccessfully looking for the bird. Undeterred the intrepid duo set off along the farm drive and were rewarded by some excellent views of the bird in the small field in front of the building . just beyond the gate on the drive (Grid ref:SJ93792). What a wonderful end to the day. Seeing this bird for both of us was a "life tick!"
Other birds seen or heard today: Blackbird, carrion crow, Jay, Magpie, Nuthatch, Robin, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Mallard, Coot, Goldfinch, Moorhen, Pied wagtail and Fieldfare.
One of the beers enjoyed at the Wheatsheaf was the locally Brimstage brewed Trappist Tipple, an excellent refreshing beer at 3.8%. Tito tried an Italian Lager, but was it really authentic?
A day to be remembered for at least two of us!

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Alderley Edge, Nether Alderley and the Hough 5th January 2008

Alone in the woods!
St', Mary's Church - Nether Alderley.

Lunch at the Beacon.

Walk stats: Distance: 9.9 miles (at least 10 miles really after some of us had to park about half a mile away from the Cross Keys in Knutsford), Climb: 1110'.
Time: 4 hours 56 minutes; Walking average: 2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Dave J., Celia, Fran and Tito.

The walk was completed in almost perfect weather conditions for this time of the year, cold and sunny and most of the time sheltered from any wind. This is not what one would describe as a spectacular walk, but nevertheless it provided a very enjoyable outing, and in the main avoided the public masses that frequent the very popular area on Alderley Edge. Even at our lunch spot at the Beacon we were only disturbed by an old dog hoping for a morsel from our lunch boxes. He got none Sylvia's cake was too good. This walk took around the countryside south of Alderley Edge with many of its houses obviously owned by the wealthy. The only church visited today was St., Mary's at Nether Alderley with its mausoleum to the Stanley family. We went past Nether Alderley Mill, but couldn't visit it because it is only open between Easter and October. The second part of the walk wasn't exactly as planned, part of the route had been closed due to the danger of an unstable boulder above the path.
Birds seen or heard today included; Robin, Blackbird, Pied wagtail. Jay, Magpie, Buzzard, Kestrel, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Coal tit, Mallard, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Woodpidgeon, Great spotted woodpecker and Fieldfare.
We also came across tw fine specimens of fungi. One a bracket fungus, may be Razor stop, and the other Jelly Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae), once called Jew's Ear Fungus.
After walk drinks were initially at the Angel in Knutsford where Holt's bitter and mild were in excellent form. However this Camra recommended hostelry did not meet with the approval of the majority of the group and we moved down the street to the Cross Keys where Timothy Taylor's Landlord and Blakemere's Snowy Owl were the order of the day.
Next time we are in the Knutsford area we will try the Lord Eldon on Tatton Street in the centre of the town, but will this meet the approval of the rest of the group. The Lord Eldon is the only CAMRA recommended pub in the 2008 Good Pub Guide!

Friday, 4 January 2008

Felin Blwm Wood, Garth Wood and Maen Achwyfan 3rd January 2008

The stream in Coed y Garth.

Some of the group leaving Maen Achwyfaen.

At the Watch tower.

Walk stats: Distance: 9.5 miles; Climb:1264'.
Time: 4 hours 23 minutes; Walking average: 2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Annie H., Fran, Tito, Sue and Michel P., Sylvia and Dave J.

This walk was completed on a cold and at times sunny day and the ground at times was slightly frozen. Much of the walk was along good paths through woods and in the case of Felin Blwm Wood and Garth Wood, streams could be heard tumbling along their course in the valley below. These open mixed woodlands would be well worth a visit in Spring , just as the leaves are starting to come on to the trees.

Lunch was taken in a clearing in the wood just before Maen Achwyfan. Before lunch was allowed the group kindly presented Martyn with a T-shirt with the inscription "Walk Leader" on the back, and "Can we have lunch?" on the front. This T-shirt could become part of the group's tradition whereby the person wearing or carrying the shirt is the designated lunch monitor, and it is up to them to decide the time and location of the lunch spot. Fruit cake was again provided for all, and Sylvia treated us all to home made chocolates.

One or two members of the group hadn't visited Maen Achwyfan, so that was the next port of call before heading for the watch tower. Now that the trees have been removed, the area around the tower looks quite devastated, but the views towards the estuary are excellent. One felled tree trunk has been made in to an seat from which to take in the views.

The birds seen or heard today included: Buzzard, Kestrel, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Wren, Robin, Carrion crow, Blackbird, Magpie, Jay, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Fieldfare, Jackdaw, Rook, Chaffinch and Dipper.

After walk drinks were abandoned when the Britannia Inn was found to be opening at 4-00 p.m., and we had arrived at 2-300 p.m.
Tito has taken on the task of setting up a spreadsheet that can track our own individual stats in terms of distance and climb (miles walked and feet climbed or for those that prefer kilometres walked and metres climb).

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Llanarmon Yn Ial and Eryrys 1st January 2008

The approach to the highest point on Bryn Alyn.

The highest point of the walk on Bryn Alyn Escarpment.

Lunch - after the bubbly and rum flavoured fruit cake!

Walk stats: Distance: 6.4 miles; Climb: 1050'.
Time: 3 hours 32 minutes; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, birthday boy Richard, Celia, Dave and Sue Pearson, Michel and Sue Pelissier, Fran and Tito
Authorised absences: Catherine, Sylvia and Dave J, Nigel and Elaine Taylor, Dick and Jill.

A later start than usual and slightly shorter than many of a our walks, but this one turned out to be just about right for the occasion. Dry throughout and good views in all directions throughout the walk. The highest point of the day was the limestone escarpments on Bryn Alyn. The descent from this high point started with Michel taking a tumble, followed by Martyn who decided that the only way to continue was to continue to slide down the slope on the slippy glue like surface. Celia was the third one to fall, not something she had planned after her experiences on the walk prior to Christmas, but this time everything seemed O.K.

Much to everyone's surprise lunch was offered at just after 1200 hours, nearly an hour before our normal time, but the leader knew what he was doing. This was going to be the best spot and there were no dissenters! As usual rum flavoured fruit cake was on offer as well as bubbly (supplied and carried by the Pearsons, Richard had another bottle in reserve) in recognition of Richard's 60th birthday. Two more walkers joined us in the celebrations (nationality unknown but believed to be Welsh or Lancastrian, but local to the Hawarden area (at least that's where he played his golf!).
After lunch it was a gentle stroll mainly on minor roads to Llanarmon yn Ial and back to the car park.
Birds seen or heard today were few and far between, but included: Nuthatch, Blackbird and Chaffinch. Were the birds asleep or was it us?

Birthday celebrations were held at the Colomendy Arms (spelled correctly this time!). The best pint of the day was was the Deuchars IPA. The landlady was surprised when birthday boy paid for the first round, but that's tradition for you!
Overall an excellent start to the new year.