About Me

When? Started: 1993 Who? Started with staff and friends from U H S, Chester. Organiser: Martyn Harris We walk every Thursday 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 Thursday than on a Saturday. Most ever: 29. Numbers walking: 2-12, and usually about 8 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.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Moel Penamnen 26th April 2008

A view of Moel Farlwyd.
Do I really have to admit that I like these characters!

Getting ready to leave the lunch spot.
Walk stats: Distance:7.8 miles; Climb: 2916'.
Time: 4 hours 18 minutes; Walking average: 2.6 m.p.h.; Overall wlk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Celia, Roger, Dave J.
This was a walk that lived up to more than one could have ever expected. Once we were on the tops the panorama was magnificent. We weren't sure of the peaks that we were looking at, but the views could still be enjoyed. Exploring little known peaks does bring their rewards. Two new peaks for all of us were Foel-fras and of course Moel Penamnen. we had excellent views of Llynnau Barlwyd and Moel Farlwyd, both of which I hadn't heard of before. weather was good, but on the summits it was a little blustery to say the least. However it wqs dry throughout and for the last mile or so quite sunny.
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Willow warbler, Wheatear, Carrion crow, Chiffchaff, Swallow, Meadow pipit, Skylark Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Stonechat, Swallow, Wren and Muskovy duck.

Three of the group, Dave J., Richard and Roger completed the extension walk "Across the Lledre", adding 2.9 miles and 406' to their stats. They also walkes at a rapid 3.1 m.p.h., showing that some members of the group walk a lot slower than them!
It was also reported that they saw two Dippers and four Goosanders, unconfirmed reports of course!

After walk drinks were at the Britannia Inn as usual, but I did describe April as being the Britannia Inn Season! J.W.Lees bitter went down well, but that is only what we have come to expect!

Friday, 25 April 2008

Around Moel Arthur and Over Penycloddiau 24th April 2008

On the bridleway below the slopes of Moel Arthur.
Is this a view of Moel Arthur?
On the track that traverses the norther slopes of \Penycloddiau.
Moel Fammau and the Clwydian Hills from Penycoddiau.

Walk stats: Distance: 10.5 miles; Climb:2470'.
Time:5 hours 13 minutes;Walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Annie H., Dave J., Sylvia, Sue and Michel.
This walk is a local classic at any time of the year. Once again we were blessed with good weather for almost all of the walk. The odd drop of rain towards the end of the walk and a strong wind as we traversed Penycoddiau were all we had to contend with despite the somewhat iffy weather forecast. Throughout much of the walk we had extensive views, first towards the east and the Dee Estuary, then across Vale of Clwyd and beyond towards Snowdonia with the still snow capped peaks and finally towards Moel Fammau and the Clwydian Hills. Spring flowers are starting to appear and the Willow warblers seemed to singing everywhere. The climbing took a little more out of some of us than we had initially expected, and nobody took the optional extension to climb Moel Arthur on arriving back at the cars.
Birds seen or head tioday included: Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Swallow, woodpecker, Magpie, Carrion crow, Raven, Buzzard, Kestrel, Robin, Wheatear, Pheasant, Jay, Blackbird, Blue tit, Meadow pipit, Skylark, Goldfinch and Pied wagtail.
As usual we just had to visit the Britannia Inn to slake our thirst!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Dates and Walks April 2008

Updated 21st April 2008

Wednesday 2nd April 2008
The funeral of my father Anthony (Tony) Harris took place today.
The funeral was at Blacon Crematorium and was led by the pastor at Waverton Evangelical Fellowship, the Reverand Chris Mellor.
Ann and I would like to thank all those that attended the funeral and all those that have said such kind things to Ann and the rest of the family, both in person and in cards and letters that we have received.
The family would also like to thank everyone for their kind donations in memory of Tony. The donations towards Kidney Research currently stands at £517-20.
Thursday 3rd April 2008
Coed y Felin, Moel y Gaer and Moel Ffragnalt.
Distance: 11-12 miles; Climb; 2000+'.
Start: Coed Felin, Hendre. Grid ref: SJ196678
To get to the start take the Mold - Denbigh road (A541) and turn right at a narrow/ minor road by the Coed y Felin Nature Reserve sign board. The car park is just up the hill on the left.

This is the second of a several Thursday walks that could be regarded as a Britannia Inn series.
This combination of walks is one of my favourite taken from Dave berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mount". This walk gives some wonderful variety of terrain, including historical archaeology and two mini summits as well as passing through field grazed by Water buffalo.

Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.

Saturday 5th April 2008
Nant y Pandy and beyond The Ro.

Distance:10 miles; Climb: 2000+'.
Start: Layby near the The Original Butterfly Man Centre. Grid ref:SJ157425
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". The walk features a beautiful narrow wooded gorge, interesting old slate quarries, open moorland and a delightful bridleway along the rim of the Dee Valley. The first part of the walk climbs through the Ro valley to open moorland with its extensive views. A chance to revisit some old friends, perhaps giving Moel Fferna a miss this time!
Another chance to visit that little gem The Grouse Inn a Carrog.
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.

Thursday 10th April 2008
Ysceifiog-Lixwm-Nannerch


Distance:10-11 miles; Climb: 1500+'.
Start: Ysceifiog Village. Park carefully near the village children's play area. Grid ref:SJ152717.
We have done both of these walks before, but not together. One explores the attractive undulating countryside between the Wheeler Valley and Lixwm, and the other follows field and woodland paths, bridleways and quiet country lanes.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m. If you get there too early go to Richard's for a cup of tea!



Saturday 12th April 2008
Pilsbury Castle and Wolfscote Dale.
Distance: 11 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Start: Hartington Village car park (pay and display). Grid ref:SK123602

This is a repeat of the walk we almost completed in 2005 and one that Celia will no doubt remember well.This time we will do the Pilsbury Castle circuit first and after lunch we will visit the sylvan Beresford Dale, the open aspects of Wolfscote Dale and the wilder aspects of Biggin Dale.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m and meet in the car park at Hartington.

Thursday 17th April 2008
Moel Plas-yw, the Alyn Valley and Coed Ddu.

Distance:11-12 miles; Climb:2500+'.
Start: Car park area at the foot of Moel Athur. Grid ref: SJ148658.
Another two walks from Dave Berry's book ""More Walks on the Clwydian Hills". The Moel Plas-yw walk impressed us last time with its excellent views and delightful woodland valley paths. A visit to the summit of Moel Arthur could be an extension at the end of the walk for some!
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.

Saturday 19th April 2008
Gwydyr Lake Trail and the Llanwrst Mine Engine House.

Distance: 11 miles, Climb: 1000'.
Start: Car park by the railway station. This is is free park, so we might as well start the walk here if it is full, we can always revert to the original Pont-y-Pair car park ,(pay and display), just over the bridge.
Grid ref:SH795565.
This walk involves another two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y- coed and the Conwy Valley", but reminds me of a walk led by Michel during the foot and mouth outbreak a few years ago. This is a walk with extensive views exploring an area of the Gwydyr Forest Park featuring numerous scenic upland hills. The other walk meanders across the part wooded upland area and reaches the high viewpoint called Clogwyn Cyrau.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
Thursday 24th April 2008
Around Moel Arthur and Pencloddiau

Distance: 12-13 miles; Climb: 2500+'.
Start: Forestry Commission car park at Llangwyfan. Grid ref: SJ139668.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's bookls. One from "walks on the Clwydian Hills" and one from "More Walks in the Clwydian Hills". The walk could involve a there and back ascent of Moel Arthur, otherwise the route merely goes around it along that wonderful green track past that unusual part built house, and finishes by going over Pencloddiau from north to south, a sting in the tail perhaps!
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.

Saturday 26th April 2008
Moel Penamnen
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start:Parking space near Dolwyddelan. Grid ref: SH738522.
This route is taken from Michael Burnett's book "Walks East of Snowdon". It climbs south out of the valley and crosses wild moorland to reach the summit of Moel Penamnen with its dramatic south facing crags.
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m. There may be a problem parking, so I suggest that we take as few cars as possible and go in convoy.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Llyn Sarnau and the Gwydyr Lakes Trail 19th April 2008

Betws-y-coed from Clogwyn Cyrau.
The group at Clogwyn Cyrau viewpoint.

One of the views of the Mountains of Snowdonia.

At the Llanrwst Engine House near Llyn Sarnau.

Walk stats: Distance: 12.7 miles; Climb:2200'.
Time: 6 hours 23 minutes; Walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Tito, Sylvia and Dave J.
Overall this was a walk that turned out to be quite varied and had a few surprises. Even the weather was kind and the forecast showers didn't materialize. At times the wind was a little cool, but always seemed to on our backs pushing us forward. Much of this walk was along forest tracks, but most of them were fairly open and gave us plenty of magnificent views of the mountains of Snowdonia. Nearby Moel Siabod and Tryfan were the most dominant.
The Gwydyr Lakes Trail took us to several lakes that we were all visiting for the first time, and the amount of old mine workings around made us realise that at its peak this area was a major centre of mining activity.
Lunch was taken by one of these lakes, Llyn Gangors, but the one that was most off the beaten track was Llyn Bodgynydd, a reservoir built for the nearby Pandora Lead Mine.
The final part of the route followed the Afon Llugwy back to Betws-y-coed.
Not a classical walk, but nevertheless very enjoyable.
Birds seen or heatrd today included:Robin, Wren, Blue tit, Great tit, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Willow warbler, Raven, Herring gull, Jackdaw, Nuthatch, Jay, Magpie, Wheatear, Dipper, Grey wagtail, Pied wagtail, Goosander, Buzzard, Blackbird, and Carrion crow. Our mystery birds I think were Redpoll, unless someone else knows better!
After walk drinks were quaffed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Alyn Valley, Coed Ddu and Moel Plas-yw 17th April 2008

Setting off with snow all around us. Dave doesn't seem sure that we are on the right route!
We all made a detour to see this quarry (Michel's recommendation.)


Lunch in the sun.

The peaks of Snowdonia from Moel Pas-yw.

Walk stats: Distance: 10.9 miles; Climb:2365'
Time: 5 hours 33 minutes; Walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Annie H., Fran, Sue and Michel, Dave J. and Sylvia and Barbara (Dave and Sylvia's friend).

This excellent walk is I feel going to be a a Clwydian Hills classic. Today we started at the foot of Moel Arthur in conditions that were cold, windy and icy underfoot with a sprinkling of snow all around us. The sun was out and it made you feel good to be out. Although Michel, Richard and myself had done most of the walk before, much of it we couldn't recall.
Barbara joined the group for the first time. It's always good to have some fresh blood in the group. Hopefully she will join us again in the future. Barbara was one of the ones that were "showing off" because they went up Moel Arthur at the end. This description is a quote from Sylvia before she herself decided to set off after Dave J. and Richard as they headed towards Moel Arthur. The weather was kind all day really, always cool and breezy, but when the sun was out very warm.
We enjoyed lunch during one of these warm and sunny patches. Sue provided a piece of chocolate cake for everyone, an enjoyable bonus to set us all off in a good spirits for our afternoon walking challenges!
By the end of the walk most of the snow covering had disappeared, but he view in all directions were getting and better. We were rewarded with some good views of the main peaks in Snowdonia all still snow capped, the exact name of each peak as ever open to much debate, but we all still think we were right!
Birds seen or heard today included:Robin, Grey wagtail, Wren, Blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Chiffchaff, Bullfinch, Carrion crow, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Nuthatch, Blackcap and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed, as they always are at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. J.W. Lees bitter as it warmed up in the suns rays coming through the window tasted better and better!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Pilsbury Castle and Wolfscote Dale 12th April 2008

Richard and the "menhir".
Pilsbury Castle
Bird of the day!
Walk stats: Distance: 11.4 miles; Climb:1495'.
Time:5 hours 35 minutes;Walking average:2.5m.p.h.,Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn and Richard.
A very select group set off from the picturesque village of Hartington which seemed to be filled with young people embarking on a Duke of Edinburgh exercise. Thankfully we didn't see them for long. The weather today ranged from very warm and sunny to cool with hail storms, but in the main the weather was kind to us. The first route to Pilsbury Castle gave good views, particularly towards the castle and beyond. We had lunch back at Hartington, sitting on a bench by the memorial in the centre of the village. Here every bench was taken by walkers of all ages taking their lunch.
The second part of the walk in to Wolfscote Dale, as expected very popular and we seldom had any solitude, but this beautiful valley with its meandering river is always a pleasure to savour. It also provided us with excellent sightings of at least five Dippers. We did see Chiffchaffs, Skylarks and heard a Willow warbler, but we didn't see any Wheatear.
As you may guess we had to celebrate the walk at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where we quaffed Hartington Bitter before returning home.
Birds seen or heard today included:Blackbird, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Collared dove, Woodpidgeon, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Robin, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Dipper, Willow warbler, Stonechat, Skylark, Mallard, Grey heron, Wren, Piedwagtail and Meadow pipit.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Ysceifiog-Lixwm-Nannerch 10th April 2008

The first views of the day looking towards the Clwydians

The view looking towards Nannerch and our improvised route from the lunch spot.

Lunch on the roadside.

Walk stats: Distance: 9.7 miles, Climb:1094'.
Time:4 hours 47 minutes; Walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Annie H., Fran, Michel and Sue, Dave J. and Sylvia.

The walk started in brighter, sunnier conditions than we expected, and several of us discarded fleeces. Most of the morning was like this and at several points we had could views, particularly towards Moel Ffammau and the Clwydians. We did have one heavy shower around mid-day but we didn't get too wet as much of it was in the form of hail stones. This storm distracted us and we missed the path to Nannerch. this meant we had to do a bit more on the map reading to get us back on track. The bonus of course was it allowed us to follow several paths that were new to all of us, despite the fact that this is Richard's local path and we have all walked in the area many times.

This was definitely a walk that reminded us Spring was here. Plenty of flowers were in evidence including Bluebells and Primroses and the highlights of the day were our first sightings of a Swallow and we heard a Willow warbler for the first time.

Other birds seen or heard today included: Chiffchaff, Grey heron, Blackbird, Robin, Chaffinch, Great tit, Greenfinch, House sparrow, Dunnock, Jay, Magpie, Carrion crow, Buzzard, Swallow and willow warbler.

As usual when we walk in this area we visited the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn where the beer and the welcome was top notch!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Beyond the Ro, Moel Fferna and Nant y Pandy 5th April 2008

The view from Moel Fferna towards the Clwydians.
No room at the inn, so we headed down hill for lunch!


Walk stats: Distance: 9.0 miles; Climb: 2146'.
Time: 4 hours 34 minute; Walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger, Sylvia and Dave J.

The weather forecast wasn't too good and prospect of showers and temperatures in low single figures we in the offing. It turned out to be much better, with the only shower lasting about half an hour as approached the higher reaches of the Ro valley. Along the long stretch towards the summit of Moel Fferna the clouds lifted and we began to get glorious views in all directions, but especially towards the Clwydian Hills. The summit of Moel Fferna lived up to its reputation as a very cold and windy location and we decided to head down hill for lunch. We had lunch about 1000' below the summit, just squatting on the heather but bathed in sunshine. The final part of the route took us down the beautiful Nant y Pandy valley and blessed us with our first of the year views of a Dipper. We can definitely say "Dipper days are here again".
We finished the walk very early for a Saturday walk and had to console ourselves by heading for the Grouse Inn at Carrog earlier than expected! As usual the welcome and the beer were excellent. This gem of a place deserves to be supprted!
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Curlew, Grey wagtail, Pied wagtail, Pheasant, Greenfinch, Green woodpecker, Woodpidgeon, Chaffinch, Meadow pipit, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Dipper, Great tit, Blue tit, Buzzard and Kestrel (the last two were seen from the car on the way home!).

Friday, 4 April 2008

Coed y Felin, Moel Ffagnallt and Moel y Gaer 3rd April 2008

Inspecting the Murphy _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Waggon., before it heads off to Carrog.

The group on Moel Ffagnallt.

A lamb is born!

Walk stats: Distance: 10.0 miles; Climb:1155'.
Time:4 hours 38 minutes; Walking average: 2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Celia, Annie H., Paul, Sue and Michel, Fran and Tito.

The weather forecasters were right, this was largely a damp overcast day, and in the main relatively warm. The sun only made an appearance as we headed down the road back to the car park. This is always a good walk, but the views were left to our imagination and we had to find shelter in some old mine workings for lunch. A few Bluebells were out and Skylarks seemed to be singing everywhere on Holywell Mountain. The highlight of the day was observing a sheep give birth to a single lamb and watching the lamb trying to get to its feet. We also saw two frogs mating and crossing the road at the same time. Plenty of evidence of frogs that didn't make it to the other side of the road. We also heard our first Chiffchaff of the year.

Birds seen or heard today included: Chiffchaff, Robin, Dunnock, Blackbird, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Skylark, Buzzard, Pied wagtail, Magpie, Bluetit, Great tit, Great spotted woodpecker, Greenfinch and Chaffinch.

After walk refreshments were taken in the ever improving environs of the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. J.W. Lees bitter was good, but a little on the cold side.