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.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Moel Hebog 30th August 2008

Moel Hebog - the main objective for the day. The star bird of the day - the Raven.
Lunch at the trig point on Moel Hebog.
Mike on the summit of Moel Lefn - not too impressed by the close attention of a plague of flies.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles;Climb:3084'.
Time:7hours 6 minutes; Walking average:1.8 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:1.3 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Mike, Celia and Laurence.
This turned out to be a more challenging walk than I had remembered, the steep scrambling ascent of Moel Hebog followed by the unremitting grassy descent before the pleasant traverse of the two minor peaks of Moel Yr Ogof and Moel Lefn. Worse was to come on this walk, there is always the horrendous trek through the forest and now the reinstated railway track to negotiate as uses the routes we had used in the past as paths! Apart from that this was, for most of us, an enjoyable walk rewarded by some excellent views of the Nantlle Ridge from Moel Lefn at a time when we were at last bathed in sunshine.
Early on we lost Richard for over an hour as he did his usual mountain goat act, then Roger as he forged ahead to help a couple negotiate the scramble/loose scree section up Moel Hebog. Finally Laurence disappeared for a while before he without a GPS and armed with map and compass guided us all through the difficult forest descent to the camp site and back to Beddgelert.
Birds seen or heard today were few and far between but included:Meadow pipit, Chaffinch, Swallow, Stonechat, Buzzard and Raven.
After a longer than usual walk, several pints of J.W.Lees were very welcome when we did finally arrive back at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. One or two chose other beverages to slake their thirst!

Friday, 29 August 2008

Eglwyseg Rocks and More 28th August 2008

The nearest that we could get to a peak today.
Descending the lovely grassy track down to the Offa's Dyke Path.
Our first visit to the tumulus.

Walking across Trevor Rocks.
Walk stats:Distance:9.3 miles; Climb:1740'.
Time: 4 hours 45 minutes; Walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walking average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Tim. Celia, Annie H, Paul, Sue and Dave P.

Weather today was kind to us, almost perfect for walking, not too hot and not too cold accompanied by a in the main gentle breeze. The only hiccup was about 30 minutes when we could feel some dampness due to some low lying clouds passing over, but hey soon dispersed and we enjoyed lunch in the sunshine.
Starting from near to the monument we soon gained the ridge and were able to enjoy stunning views particularly across Llangollen and the Dee Valley and to the west towards the Llantysilio Mountains.
This gem of a walk is good at any time of the year and was even better today after we chose to make new ground by visiting a tumulus and then following another path along the top of Creigiau Eglwyseg back to the Eglwyseg Plantation where we rejoined our usual route across Trevor Rocks.

Birds seen or heard today included: Kestrel, Buzzard, Swallow, Carrion crow, Meadow pipit, Raven and Wheatear.

After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pant-yr-Ochain at Gresford. Richard's absence at the table was noted and his presence missed!

Monday, 25 August 2008

Dates and Walks August 2008

Updated 25th August 2008
Saturday 2nd August 2008
Arenig Fawr
Distance:11-12 miles; Climb:3300'.
Start: Roadside parking just off the A4212 on a minor road to Arrenig Village. Grid ref:SH823392.
This walk is taken Nuttalls "The Mountains of England and Wales Volume 1". If completed in its entirety this route visits six peaks including Moel Llyfnant, Foel Berth and Gallt y Darren as well as the three peaks on Arrenig Fawr. Some of the group attempted this walk earlier in the year, but abandoned it as the weather closed in. Hopefully it won't happen again this time!
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.

Thursday 7th August 2008
The Great Orme

Distance: 8-9 miles.
Climb: 1575'.
Start at Southern end of West Parade. Grid ref: SH774815. Roadside parking adjacent to the boating lake.
Always a good walk, and we should be OK starting from this less popular side of Llandudno. I suggest that we take the route up the steps first and come back along the road. It will give all of those with boy's toys to test them out against the road markings.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
Saturday 9th August 2008
Snowdon

Distance:7 miles; Climb:3100'.
Start Rhyd Ddu car park (Pay and display £3)
Grid ref:SH571525
This walk uses the Rhyd Ddu path and the South Ridge (Bwch Maen Paths). It is a walk we have done several times before and is one of my favourite routes to the summit of T Wyddfa. The summit hotel is so far from being finished, it will be lucky if it is finished for next summer. In addition the construction around the working area isn't that easy to negotiate. However the paths to the summit trig point have been completed and have been well done. One surprise to me was the fact that all of the stiles on the Rhyd Ddu path have been replaced by bridleway style gates. I haven't decided which way round to do the walk yet, we can decide when we get there.
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.
Thursday 14th August 2008
The Southern Clwyds
Distance:8-9 miles; Climb:2000' (Last time we did it!) Start: A small parking area at Pentre Celyn just outside Craig Fechan and the Three Pigeons pub. Grid ref: SJ150534. This walk is taken from Carl Roger's book "Walks in the Clwydian Hills". We have haven't done this walk since March 2006, and that time there was snow on the ground. Most of us enjoy this walk, so I thought it would be a good local walk to put on again. Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.

Saturday 16th August 2008
Mynydd Garmym, Dinas Mawr, Conwy and Machno Falls
and the Fairy Glen.
Distance:11-12 miles; Climb:2000+'.
Start: Main car park in Betws-y-coed. Grid ref:SH7956565
I think I am the only one in the group that hasn't done this walk before, so I thought it was only fair if the rest of the group guided me round.
The walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley", although you informed me that another author also has one of the walks in their guide book.
Dave Berry describes one walk as following delightful tracks across attractive upland country adjoining the dominant crag of Dinas Mawr, and offers extensive views. It also gives us the opportunity to visit the Machno and Conwy falls (smal fee required) and the famous "Fairy Glen" (small fee required). The route also goes to the Capel Garmon Burial Chamber.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
Thursday 21st August 2008
Around the Alwen Reservor
Distance: 6-7; Climb:1500'.
Start: Car park adjacent to the Alwen Reservoir. Grid ref:SH956530
This is a relatively new walk in that it has only been open since July 2006. It is a good walk for woodland birds, although we didn't see many on the reservoir the last time w did the walk.
There is no guide for this walk, although we could call in at the visitor centre at Brenig to see if they have any yet. Otherwise it will a case of following the marker posts as we did last time. OS maps will still be useful.
We could possibly extend the walk by calling in at the Sportsman's Arms and walking out to the "haunted house", something that I've wanted to do for a long time.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Saturday 23rd August 2008
Holy Island
Distance: 11 miles according to Carl Rogers, but it seemed longer than this (13.5 using a wheel measurer).
Climb:1100'.
Start Holyhead. Opposite toilet block by the harbour before the turn to South Stacks. Grid ref: SH245833.
This walk is taken from Carl Rogers book "Walks Around Abglesey Volume 2". This is a superb walk, and although it isn't the best time of the year for bird watching, we should still get good views if Guilemots, Razorbills and maybe Puffins. We should also see Choughs and there is a good chance of seeing Peregrine Falcon. Binoculars recommended.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.

Thursday 28th August 2008
Trevor Rocks, Eglywseg Rocks and Ruabon Mountain.
Distance: 11-12; Climb:1500'.
Start: Off road parking just before the Monument on the Panorama Walk Road.
Grid ref:SJ244427
This is one of my favourite walks in this area. Fantastic views with very little effort needed, especially if we keep to the high level paths. Again no route descriptions and few of the paths on the ground are actually on the OS map! Hopefully this time we won't have to go without Richard, assuming that he finds the parking area this time!
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.

Saturday 30th August 2008
The Moel Hebog Ridge
Distance:7-8 miles; Climb:3200'.
Start Car park in Beddgelert. Grid ref:SH589482
To get to the car park, take the A498 from Capel Curig to Beddgelert. In Beddgelert turn left with the A498 over the bridge and the car park is on the right about 200 yards past the ice cream shop. If you get as far as the Royal Goat Hotel you have gone too far.
This route is one we have done several times before and is one described by Terry Marsh in his book "The Mountains of Wales". This is a good walk, especially on the ridge. Routes through the forest are not so easy, at least they weren't the last time we did it. It is quite interesting to note that the Nuttalls recommend a larger than usual scale orienteering map for use in the forest as most of the paths aren't on the normal OS map! It will be interesting to see how far the Rhyd Ddu to Beddgelert railway line has reached. Views of the Nantlle Ridge and Snowdon Group can not be bettered from these slightly lower peaks.
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.

Holyhead Mountain and More 23rd August 2008

Our first clear view of Holyhead Mountain.
South Stack Light House from the lookout shelter.
The whole group at the trig point on Holyhead Mountain

Walk stats: Distance:11.7 miles; Climb:2295'.
Time:5 hours 48 minutes; Walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard and Roger.
Weather conditions today for most of the walk was very kind to us. Bright and sunny for most of the time, accompanied by a pleasant but cooling breeze. By late afternoon however the breeze had changed to quite a strong wind, which was mainly at our backs. It did however bring in some rain that accompanied us for the last mile of the walk, but also stopped just as we got back to the car.
This walk following even more of the Anglesey Coastal Path than on previous occasions was even better than usual, almost the perfect walk.
We managed to return an item that had been dropped on the path to its rightful owner. It looked like a beret, but turned out to be something for a dog, exactly what use it was we will never know!
Most of the sea birds had left, leaving us more time to admire the wonderful rugged sea cliffs and deep sea inlets along this part of Holyhead Island.
Birds seen or heard today included:Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Wheatear, Herring gull, Chough, Linnet, Cormorant, Swallow, Jacksdaw, House sparrow, Pied wagtail and Raven.
As usual excellent pints of J.W.Lees bitter were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn

Around The Alwen Reservoir and More 21st August 2008

On the footpath on the western side of Alwen Resrvoir. Heading for the footbridge across the northern end of Alwen Reservoir.

One of the views from the hunting lodge on Denbigh Moors.
What is left of the old hunting lodge on Denbigh Moors.
Walk stats: Distance:8.0 miles; Climb:664'.
Time:3 hours 12 minutes; Walking average:3.1 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.5 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.
This walk was a little shorter than usual, but in view of the showery and at time heavy rain this was probably a good thing. On the bonus side at least it wasn't raining while we had lunch taking advantage of a picnic bench overlooking the reservoir. This very easy walk now follows well maintained paths that would be good enough for wheelchair users let alone our creaking limbs.
Most of the birds seemed to be keeping their heads down and only a few were seen or heard.
They included:Redstart, Carrion crow, Kestrel, Pied wagtail and Meadow pipit.
As an added extra we also decided to visit the former hunting lodge high on the moors behind the Sporting Arms, something that I have wanted to do for some time. It was well worth the visit as it won't be long before this once impressive house will be a complete pile of rubble with little evidence of its former glory. Celia didn't seem too impressed, but at least she did get a mobile phone signal from this point.
Early drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Mynydd Garthmyn and More 16th August 2008

The group on the summit of Mynydd Garthmyn.
A view from Mynydd Garthmyn.
One of the many waterfalls.
Capel Garmon Burial Chamber.

Walk stats: Distance:11.3 miles; Climb:2153'.
Time:5 hours 55 minutes;Walking average:2.6 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.

The weather turned out to be much better than the forecast and waterproofs weren't needed after the first ten minutes or so. The views from Mynydd Garthmym were good, but not as clear as on the group's last visit early in the year. The Capel Garmon Burial Chamber was quite a fascinating site, but the highlights of the day were many cascading waterfalls that we could see, including Machno and Conwy Falls as well as several other unnamed ones. Fruit cake and chocolate orange were provided to mark Martyn's birthday. The group also gave Martyn a gift that will be used to purchase more from the Memory Map series of software. Martyn would like to thank all that contributed to the gift, and to Richard who presented Martyn with the challenge of growing a White Egret Orchid!

Birds seen or heard today included:Redstart, Raven, Buzzard, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Stonechat, Swallow, Jackdaw, Goldfinch and Wren.

After walk celebrations were held at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn where the Lees bitter was in fine form.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

The Southern Clwydian Hills 14th August 2008

The Clwydians looking towards Moel Famau
On the summit of Moel Y Plas
The trig point on Moel y Waun
Walk stats: Distance: 9.2 miles; Climb:20046'.
Time:4 hours 36 minutes; Walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0.m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia, Tim and Dave J.
Weather forecast was for showers, but this turned out to be a glorious sunny day, getting better as the day progressed. This walk is always good, but today was superb, the views in all directions were magnificent. There is nothing better than walking on days like this. It makes up for days like last Saturday!
We finished the walk at the Three Pigeons at Craigfechan, a pub that in the past has never been open when we finished the walk. We got there at five to three, only five minutes to closing time. It was enough time to get served! We sat basking in the sun in the garden outside and all raised a toast to Sue who had funded our celebrations on this occasion. We could have stayed much longer, but alas the bar was shut!
Birds seen or heard today included: Redstart, Meadow pipit, Stonechat, Raven, Buzzard and Kestrel.
The highlight of the day was a pair of foxes on the summit of Moel Accre, most of us saw one only Dave saw two!
On our return to Pentrecelyn one of the locals commented that she thought we were starting the walk rather than finishing it as we looked so fresh! What we looked like and what we felt are two different things!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Snowdon 9th August 2008 - The walk that never happened.

We had abandoned the idea of going up Snowdon quite early on, but even our bad weather alternative of walking from Bedgelert past Llyn Dinas to Nantmor and back along the Fisherman's path quite quickly in the procedure.
The weather was so bad today that the furthest that we walked was a mad dash from the car to the toilet block in Beddgelert and a similar, but not quite so wet experience in going from the car to our usual spot in the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.
The J.W. Lees bitter was in good form, and was the highlight of the day, a reward we didn't deserve.
It is a long time since I have seen it rain so hard for so long and with the cloud base so low. It was quite impressive to see the water gushing down the hillside like waterfalls in places where normally no streams exist! We were back in Chester soon after lunch and there wasn't any cricket at the Oval to compensate!
The group hoping for a walk included:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia and Sue Powell joining the group for the first time this year.
The ascent of Snowdon will be attempted again on 20th September 2008 - weather permitting!

Sue kindly left Martyn with enough money to buy the drinks next time we go walking, even if it is at the Glasfryn!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

The Great Orme Again and Again 7th August 2008

A queue on the steps, created by the photographer!A new friend at the the cromlech. The group at the trig point on the Great Orme. Whose been a naughty boy then?
Our wet weather lunch spot!
Our bird of the day. Photo not bad for my camara, but no match for Dave's or Paul's!
Walk stats: Distance: 11.0 miles; Climb:1552'.
Time:5 hours 7 minutes; Walking average:2.6 m.p.h.;Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Tim, Celia, Fran, Tito, Sue and Dave P.
This walk around the Great Orme was a little bit contrived to extend it from the usual 6.5 miles to 11 miles, but is an adaptation that we will do again, it avoids having to think about the usual extension to the watch tower and Deganwy castle. The weather was good to us as we climbed the steps route from the west shore to the summit, but at the trig point the weather closed in and we were soon in rain. The route around the top was completed with little rain, but reaching the summit again we were virtually in cloud. We dropped down to our bad weather lunch spot in the cemetery sheltering underneath church "lean-to". Spurred on by Fran we climbed again towards the summit before descending in to the "Happy Valley", a lovely little park type area, and dropped down to the Marine Drive. The rest of the walk, in quite heavy rain at times, was along the toll road back to the car on the west shore. Despite the rain a few of us didn't bother putting on the waterproofs, and some even used an umbrella continental style!
Birds seen or heard today included: Mute swan, Herring gull, Jackdaw, Meadow pipit, Goldfinch, Swallow, Raven, Carrion crow, Chough, Cormorant, Oystercacher, Kittewake, Lesser black-backed gull and the star bird of the day the kestrel.
After walk drinks were well received at the Britannia Inn (the star pub of the day!) at Pentre Halkyn

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Arenig Fawr 2nd August 2008

At the memorial and summit shelter on Arenig Fawr.
Arenig Fawr from Gallt y Darren
Back on a path at last after descending into the valley from Gallt y Darren.
Walk stats:Distance:13.1 miles; Climb:4539'.
Time:7 hours 5 minutes;Walking average:2.1 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn; Richard, Roger, Sylvia and Dave J.
Arenig Fawr the Nuttalls way. Thankfully the weather was kind to us and we experienced only a few spots of rain at lunchtime. Temperatures were good despite a cooling wind accompanying us for most of the day. At times the sun even shone! The walk across the main ridge of Arenig Fawr is always worth the effort, and even crossing the boggy area before ascending Moel Llyfnant isn't to bad, but the tortuous route to Foel Boeth and the descent from Gallt y Darren to the old railway track will be assigned to the "I've done them once and never again" group of peaks. Despite the mile after mile of bog hopping and the challenge of over four thousand feet of ascent and at times lagging about a mile behind Richard, this challenging walk was enjoyed by all and aching knees were revived with a pint of Great Orme bitter at the Cholomendy Arms at Cadole.
The start birds of the day were a pair of Pied flycatchers dashing on and off the fence wires in front of us near the start of the walk.
Birds seen or head today included: Pied flycatcher, Pied wagtail, Grey wagtail, Buzzard, Kestrel, Meadow pipit, Wheatear, Carrion crow, Chough, Redstart and Swallow.
Arenig Fawr will be climbed again, but my way not the whole Nuttall way!
Richard has reminded me that once again we had to come to the rescue of a sheep trapped by its head and wool in the wire fence. Its only sign of gratitude was that it dashed away down the track and at one point springinging into the air kicking its legs backward like a gambling lamb full of the joys of spring!

Friday, 1 August 2008

Around Cwm Ceirw 31st August 2008

One of the earlier views to the distant hills of Snowdonia.

The group at one the working wind turbines.
Caer Carodog
Walk stats: Distance:9.7 miles; Climb:1398'.
Time:4 hours 38 minutes; Walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Dave J., and Annie H.
This was a very pleasant walk in weather conditions that were a lot drier than we expected. Although it was quite humid it didn't rain until the last ten minutes of the of the walk and none of us put on waterproofs! This was a very varied walk giving some good distant views towards Snowdonia in particular. The main challenge of the day was avoiding bulls, one in particular started running across the field in a direction we thought was to head us off. Our escape was to cross a stream/boggy area in in her haste Annie dented her pride by falling over. In the event of it the bull was in fact running away from us, so our fears were unjustified. Every field we seemed to cross seemed to have its own bull, but thankfully the rest of them kept to themselves.
The route went close to some wind turbines, two of which working and two that weren't. Just around the corner from one that was working we saw a man come from the direction of one that wasn't working but suddenly just started. Jokingly I said to him "Have you started that one up?". To my surprise he replied "Yes". He spent the next ten minutes or so explaining why he had to manually start the wind turbines every so often. He also pointed out that they produce electricity about 87% of the time, a fact that most people are unaware of.
Further on in the walk I slipped off an old wooden bridge more a plank of wood over a stream and involuntarily sat down. Fortunately I didn't get wet, but like Annie only lost my dignity!
Near the end of the walk we went past a hill fort called Caer Caradog and decided to explore it next time as part of another walk.
Buzzards were the star birds today, we had very good close-up views of several birds.
Birds seen today included:Buzzard, Raven, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Herring gull, Lesser Black-backed gull, Black-headed gull, Redstart, Grey Heron, Pied wagtail, Chaffinch, Meadow pipit, Goldfinch and Stonechat.
After walk drinks were at the Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn. The Lees bitter seemed to be in particulaly good nick!