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 March 2008

Cwm Conwy, Moel y Gaer and Gwysaney 27th March 2008

Cwm Conwy & Moel Y Gaer
(David Berry walk 15 - Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain)
Around Gwysaney (Dave Berry walk 14 -Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain)

A larger party than last Thursday:
Richard(our leader for the day), Dave, Sylvia, Celia, Paul, Fran, Tito, Sue, Michel.

Total distance: 21 kms 13.1 miles
Total ascent: 510 m 1683 ft
Walking average: 4.1km.h 2.6m.p.h

Unlike last Thursday, there were plenty of birds to be seen and heard:
Curlew, Mallard, Coot, Lapwing, Partridge, Chiffchaff, Wren, Nuthatch, Robin, Chaffinch, Snipe, as well as the bird Richard and Dave saw on a previous visit to Moel Y Gaer but whose name they did not know.
We also saw a lovely hare, a rare sight these days.

Two ‘delightful’ walks and in brilliant weather conditions for most of the day. Both walks presented navigating challenges quickly sorted out by Richard and his second in command, Dave. On one occasion, some stranded walkers had to be traced by ‘phone…!
We had lunch at the top of Moel Y Gaer in brilliant sunshine, with excellent views of the Dee estuary, Wirral and Cheshire plain. When Michel suggested that a siesta might be a good idea, Dave commented that ‘discipline has gone’, time for our leader to take charge of us again!
In the afternoon, Tito took an unusual interest in a couple of cock pheasants and practised his hunter- gatherer skills, soon joined by Michel. The last leg of the walk was, as always, very rewarding and the welcome JW Lees most appreciated.

Report provided by Michel

Sounds like another good walk, but I understand the weather wasn't good in the morning, but got better in the afternoon - Martyn

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Dates and Walks March 2008

Updated 26th March 2008
My Father who most of you know as Tony Harris, passed away in the early hours of this morning in the Countess of Chester Hospital. He died quite peacefully as far as we could tell, but he was heavily sedated. He had a very serious infection that had spread throughout his system, and of course there was also the cancer that was only discovered at the end of February.
I will not be walking on Thursday or Saturday, and the first few in April are in the air at the moment depending on what has to be done. I will keep everyone informed as and when I know what and when I have things to do, if they fall on a normal walk day.
Michel's has the route for Thursday.
I am cancelling the walk as scheduled for Saturday, but I'm sure you can Dave Jenkins and Richard can arrange walk.
Tuesday 5th March 2008
Happy birthday Immogen Green.

Saturday 1st March 2008

Mow Cop

Distance: 10-12 miles.
Climb:1500' (at a guess)
Start: National Trust land just below Castle in Mow Cop. Grid ref: SJ857574

This walk is taken partly taken from Carl Rogers book "Walks Along the Gritstone and Mow Cop Trails" However we will extend it to include more of the Gritstone Trail and part of the Cheshire ring Canal Walk as well as some of the South Cheshire Way. It also possible to include part of a walk by Jen Darling and visit Little Morton Hall. This is another National Trust property so bring your Membership cards just in case.

Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m. Meet at Cheshire County Officers at 8-20 a.m., so that we can go in convoy.
It may be worthwhile going in convoy as I don't know how obvious the parking area is in Mow Cop. Mow Cop is only small, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find!
Wednesday 5th March 2008
Waun y Llyn - Llanfynnydd and Hope Mountain.

Distance: 10 miles.
Start: Waun y Llyn Country Park. Grid ref: SJ269589
This combines two walks from the booklet "Rural Walks in Flintshire" published by Flintshire Countryside Services. They describe one walk as involving breathtaking views, industrial heritage and peaceful countryside. The other walk involves woodland, moorland, old quarries and superb views and is strenuous with undulating terrain with many stiles and can be muddy!

The country park is sign-posted from Coed Talon on the A5104.

Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
Saturday 8th March 2008
A Walk Around Swettenham.

Distance: 9 miles.
Climb: Not a lot expected.
Start: Brereton Heath Country Park. Grid ref: SJ795654.

This walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "More pub walks in Cheshire and Wirral", although we have extended a little by not stating at the Swettenham Arms pub. This will be a new area for me, although I must admit that I have visited the pub once many years ago.

Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m. and meet at Brereton Heath Country Park.
Thursday 13th March 2008
Pengwern Vale and Pontycyllte and Croes yr Esgob.
Distance:12 miles.
Climb: 2000' at a guess.
Start: Trevor Basin car Park. Grid ref: SJ272423.

This combines two of the walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the De Valley". The walk starts by going through the attractive Pen-y-coed before heading for the Trevor canal basin. The return journey makes an exhilarating crossing of the aqueduct. After Froncysyllte, it passes the edge of Pen-y-Craig quarry and onto a viewpoint "Croes y Esgob". Last time we did this walk, it was a little misty and the views weren't at their best. Hopefully we will get a clear day this time.

Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m. and meet in the car park.
Saturday 15th March 2008
Grinllwn, Llanrhychwyn Church and Around Llyn Geirionydd.

Distance: 10-11 miles.
Climb: 1500+' (at a guess).
Start: Plas yn Dre car park, Llanwst. Grid ref: SH796618.
The car park is near the library and Poluice Station to the north of the village.

This is the walk that we originally tried to complete on the 12th january, but had to postpone due to the fact that Llanwrst was once more flooded.
This time I have extended the walk a little by combining two of th walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Vally". The first walk he describes as a walk of great variety, exploring the Conwy Valley between Llanwrst and Trefriw. It uses riverside paths, visits two waterfalls and climbs up the outlying hill, Grinllwm.

Leave Chester 8-00 a.m. and meet in the car park at Llanwrst.
Thursday 20th March 2008
Castell Dinas Bran, Trevor Rocks, Trevor Hall and the Llangollen Canal.

Distance:11 miles.
Climb: 1500+' (at a guess).
Start: Llangollen old school long stay car park (pay and display). Grid ref: SJ214420
The car park is found by taking the first road on the right (signposted P), after crossing the river.
This combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". The first walk is a variation on one we have done before, whilst the second walk is one we have done before but started it from the Trevor Basin. The walk along Trevor Rocks is always a walk worth repeating.

Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m. and meet in the car park.

Saturday 22nd March 2008
Around the Old Horseshoe Pass and Eglwyseg Rocks.

Distance: 12 miles.
Climb: 2000+' (at a guess)
Start: Park on open land opposite the Ponderosa Cafe at the top of the Horseshoe Pass.
Grid ref: SJ193481

This walk combines two of the walks from Dave Bery's book "Walks around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". The one walk is described as delightful and the other as exhilaring. What more can we ask for in a walk.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m. and meet at the parking area.
Thursday 27th March 2008
Cwm Conwy, Moel y Gaer and Around Gwysaney.
Martyn will not be walking today. Michel will have the route descriptions.
Distance:12 miles.
Climb: 1500+'.
Start: Parking area next to the children's play area in Rhosesmor. Grid ref: SJ214684.

I'm getting withdrawal symptoms, it's such a long time since we walked in this wonderful area on a Thursday.

The walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". These are two excellent walks, although they can be muddy in places.

After walk drinks will of course be at the usual local hostelry.

Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m. and meet at the parking area in Rhosesmor.

Saturday 29th March 2008
Over Peover and Lower Peover from Knutsford.
This walk has been cancelled.
Please contact Dave Jenkins to see if a walk has been arranged.
Distance: 15+ miles.
Climb: Not a lot expected.
Start: Tatton Street long stay car park (pay and display) in the centre of Knutsford.
Grid ref: SJ751788.

The part of the walk around Over Peover and Lower Peover is taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks" . This is only about 6 miles, so much of the walking will be along link paths from Knutsford. Trying to use just footpaths without retracing routes will be a test of our map reading skills, and the extra distance covered might be a challenge to our stamina and the soles of our feet (it will be for me at least).

Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m. and meet in the Tatton Street car park.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Dinas Bran and Trevor Rocks and More 20th March 2008

Terrible weather forecast: high winds and heavy rain, but in fact we got off very lightly indeed.

The Walkers: quite a select and European group.

Dave, led the walk in Martyn’s absence
Distance 18.3 kms 11.4 miles
Elevation 505 metres 1665 ft
Walking speed 4.1 km/h 3.1mph

Birds seen or heard today : Very few. They probably heard the weather forecast & stayed in the nearest pub! Kestrel , Robin, Goosander, Raven and Magpie

The two Dave Berry walks(walks 6 and 5) were slightly adapted. We went up to Castell Dinas Bran in record time and soon found out that we were going to have to put up with strong winds.
The climb up the gully to the escarpment was very enjoyable but at the top the winds were almost strong enough to blow you over. Michel lost the ‘snail’ off his rucksack, recovered at the last minute with his lekki.
We were glad to be lower down again, sheltered from the wind. The first variation was to go straight down to the Llangollen canal instead of climbing back up to Llandyn Hall.
We had an aperitif of garlic leaves before stopping for lunch at a picnic table along the canal, with great views of the Dee and the golf course.
The only variation on walk 5 was the addition of Llandyn Hall, which meant an extra climb after coming out of Trevor Hall wood.
Unfortunately there are no photos of the walk because of the poor light conditions and persistent rain…not really, but Richard and I had forgotten our cameras!

Grinllwn and Around Llyn Geirionydd 15th March 2008

Walk stats: Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb:1500+'.
Time: Unknown;Walking average: Unknown.
Group: Dave J., Sylvia, Richard, Celia, Laurence, Roger, Mike and Alexandre.

Stats to be updated if they become available!
Can any member of the walking group give more details on the description?

After walk drinks were at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn where a bottle of Moonraker was the surprise tipple. The pub was unusually full, but could have been anticipated by the fact that Wales were in the process of winning their first grand slam for some years!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Pontcysyllte Aquaduct and Croes yr Esgob 13th March 2008

Setting off from the Trevor BasinA view across the Dee Valley.

A view from the towpath on the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct
The view across the Dee Valley towards Eglwyseg.

Walk stats: Distance:12 miles(6.7 miles,; Climb:2500'(1000').
Time: 6 hours 15 minutes (3 hours 21 minutes), (Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.)
Overall walk average: 1.9m.p.h.
Group: Martyn (first walk only), Richard, Dave J., Fran and Tito.

This walk was undertaken in much better weather conditions than last time, and we were rewarded with fine views from the elevated points on the walk. Martyn really struggled today and decided to take the easy option and miss out the Pengwern Vale circuit.
It did however allow him to investigate the Telford Inn at the Trevor Basin, but was alas disappointed to find that they only had one hand pump and that wasn't in use!
The returning group added the comment that the second part of the was quite tough, an unrelenting climb, but overall this was an excellent combination of walks.
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Wren, House sparrow, Dunnock, Blackbird, Magpie, Woodpidgeon, Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Carrion crow, Common gull, Mallard, Mute swan, Coot, Rook and Buzzard.

Our attempts to have an after walk drink was somewaht challenging today. The Australia Arms was closed, the Duke of Wellington (last year's venue) no longer sells any real ale. Running out of ideas when Fran came to the rescue and suggested the Pant y Ochain at Gresford. The beers on offer could have been better, and certainly were on the cold side. Beers sampled included Timothy Taylor Landlord (probably the best on offer), Titanic New World, Flowers Original and Spitting Feathers Devastation. This last beer was sold to us as a weak beer (Richard's request), but was in fact over 5%. Dave and Martyn had to come to Richard's rescue by drinking his pint of Devastation, and providing a Thwaites Bitter at 3.5% as a substitute!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Around Swettenham 8th March 2008

I stop to take a photo and they all run off!

Walk stats: Distance: 9.3 miles; Climb:1000'.
Time:4 hours 5 minutes; Walking average: 2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.3 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J. and Sylvia, Dave and Sue P.

This walk was a little shorter than what has become our usual length of walk of late. This however we thought was likely to be to our advantage as the weather forecast was for continuous rain and very windy. Thankfully this forecast proved to be wrong, and we experienced dry and quite sunny spells throughout the walk, and the only drops of rain felt just after getting back to the car.
This was a walk that pleasantly surprised us. It was a pleasant stroll around what was very obviously an area of Cheshire lived in by the rich and wealthy. Thankfully we didn't see too many of them, but could enjoy walking on the paths across their well maintained land. he walk stated by going around Brereton Heath Country Park, a lovely area around a lake cared for by Cheshire County Council, and very popular with dog walkers. The walk followed much of the Dane Valley Way where we frequently got glimpses of the river as it meandered across the valley floor, forming loops that we no doubt soon form ox-bow lakes. This walk has potential for being a good walk to do in late spring when all of the migrant birds are back and the wild flowers are blooming. A good walk for a Thursady outing perhaps. Lunch was taken on the with the River Dane meandering on its way about twenty feet away from us. Sylvia provided us with a piece of excellent fruit cake that sounded too good to be true - no sugar and no fat!
Birds seen or heard today included: Nuthatch, Great-spotted woodpecker, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Great tit, Black-headed gull, Greenfinch, House sparrow, Woodpidgeon, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Buzzard, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Canada goose and Cormorant.
The best sighting of the day was a Brown hare that raced across the field in front of us as we approached the Tremlow Aquaduct.
After walk drinks were taken at the Swettenham Arms at Swettenham, a very popular eating place for the Cheshire set, perhaps not really our kind of place, and certainly not the place I remember from my last visit a few decades earlier. However they did still serve real ales, and brews from Beartown and Hydes were the best on offer.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Waun y Lyn, Llanfynydd, Caergwrle Castle and Hope Mountain 6th March 2008

One of the views from Waun y Llyn Country Park. At the toposcope at Waun y Llyn.
And you asked when can we stop for lunch! Happy times at Caergwrle Castle.

Walk stats: Distance: 10.7 miles; Climb:2184'.
Time:5 hours 38 minutes; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard and Dave J.

A very select group set off towards the toposcope on a bright and somewhat cool, but for a few spots of rain a dry day. This was a very varied walk, particularly the second half with its visit to Caergwrle Castle, well worth a visit for any one's money, and it's free! The views from many of the "ridge tops" and high points were excellent, particularly across the Cheshire towards Beeston Castle.
Another walk well worth revisiting, but only when we have a had a prolonged dry spell! Some section would be particularly difficult if it was wet underfoot.
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Mallard, Common gull, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Raven, Stonechat, Greenfinch, Woodpidgeon, Great spotted woodpecker, House sparrow, Dunnock, Nuthatch, Wren and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the New Inn, where Cottage Old Pawfather was the the only guest beer on offer today. Not as light as we like after a walk, but still went down well as they usuallyu do!.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Around Mow Cop 1st March 2008

Mow Cop castle folly.
The Old Man of Mow.

On the bridge over the Macclesfield Canal.
The woodland path leading to Mow Cop.

Walk stats: Distance: 12.1 miles; Climb:1784'.
Time:5 hours 10 minutes; Walking average: 2.9.m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.3 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J, Sylvia, Fran and Tito.

The start of the walk was delayed a little as Richard decided to trap his finger in the door. The door didn't come off too badly, but Richard required patching up to stop the bleeding!
This St., David's day walk proved to be very enjoyable in good walking conditions, dry and quite sunny at times. The wind at times was a little gusty, but only marred the walk in that it seemed to result in the birds keeping to cover.
On arriving at the car park just below Mow Cop Castle, Dave Jenkins kindly presented all the Welsh members with a daffodil to wear for the occasion and Tito presented Martyn with a Dewi Sant badge.
This is an area that I have wanted to explore for some time and it didn't dissapoint. Much of the first part of the walk followed the Gritstone Trail along a pleasant ridge above the valley with good views in all directions. Another section followed a delightful path along an old railway track through Whitemoor Nature Reserve and the last part followed the Macclesfield Canal as far as Scholars Green. Lunch was taken on a bridge over the canal, that was also a footpath linking two housing estates. The views back towards Mow Cop brought out the dominant character of the folly.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blackbird, Robin, Great tit, Blue tit, Nuthatch, Raven, Carrion crow, House sparrow, Chaffinch, Mallard, Mute Swan, Woodpidgeon, Dunnock and Greenfinch.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Bleeding Wolf at Scholars Green where Robinsons beers were on offer. Not the best brews in the world, but they were still quaffed with relish!