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, 28 February 2009

Ashlett Hill, Townbrook Valley and the Pike 28th February 2009

Townbrook Valley - one I prepared earlier!
Heading up the ridge to the Pike.
A few of the Snowdrops in the wood at the end of Townbrook Valley.
The rest of the group approaching Rectory Wood.


Walk stats:Distance:8.6 miles; Climb:1673'.
Time:4 hours 34 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.
The weather turned out as forecast, mist on the tops at the start, overcast, clearing and with the odd glimpse of the sun and temperatures on the mild side out of the wind!
These two walks together gave a superb overall walk and when we repeat it we will allow ourselves the time to explore some of the summits, rather than just contour around them. Nevertheless we had some wonderful views once the mist had lifted. In the main we avoided the crowds, except when we were in Cadingmill Valley. Thanks to the National Trust shop selling AA batteries photographs along the Pike walk were taken.
This walk follows deep cut valleys and little ridges not expected on the Long Mynd, making it a really special walk.
Snowdrops were blooming well in Rectory Wood and several trees had catkins on display, birds were singing loudly, all joys that Spring is here.
Wonderful Welsh cakes were provided by Roger (courtesy of Margaret). Thank you Margaret. Roger looked quizzically when Martyn said that he had left one Welsh cake, but was happy when he realised that it wasn't for the birds but being kept to eat on St David's day!
Birds seen or heard included:Robin, Dunnock, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Great tit, Blue tit, Greenfinch, Buzzard, Stonechat, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Magpie, Song thrush and Green woodpecker.
After walk drinks were taken at the Buck Inn in Church Stretton where Dirty Tackle by the Wychwood brewery was the best on offer. The average age of the drinkers did rise considerably when we arrived! Perhaps we will try the Kings Arms next time!


Friday, 27 February 2009

Coed Ceunant, St Christopher's Blessing and the River Clwyd 26th February 2009

St. Peter's Medieval church, ruined by inappropriate efforts in renovation of the bell tower! Walking on the open footpath alongside Coed Ceunant.
Lunch by the River Clwyd.
A friendly pony at Llanynys.
Walk stats: Distance:13.6 miles; Climb:1055'.
Time:6 hours 3 minutes;On the move walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Michel and Sue, Sylvia and Dave J., Gordon, Annie H., and Celia.
This walk proved to be full of surprises not least the fact that it was about 3 miles longer than we had originally expected. Dave Berry on this occasion had underestimated the length of both walks. On two occasions we were confronted with footpath closures and one land owner challenging the right to go along his drive from St Peter's Medieval church to link in with a footpath about 200 yards up the drive. Thankfully we did not see the owner of Llanbedr Hall, although a local resent had warned us of his unsavoury character! Despite these problems this was a long enjoyable walk in good conditions both underfoot as well as the in the main warm overcast weather that accompanied us throughout.
Rumour has it that a local farm shop encountered on route is in hard times - their free range eggs keep disappearing!
Lunch, by necessity was a little later than we would have liked, but eventually we did find a pleasant spot alongside the River Clwyd.
It was another Dipper day as we walked next to the Avon Clywedog on route to Llanynys.
A cute pony welcomed us as we went across fields from Llanynys. It was later on this walk that we encountered a closed path over a road bridge that had collapsed, but the diversion virtually followed the opposite bank, so the extra mileage didn't contribute much to the 13.6 miles total.
Celia broke her duck for this year by opening a gate for everyone and then closing it afterwards!
The birds seen or heard today included:Blackbird, Dunnock, Housesparrow, Chaffinch, Carrion crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Grey heron, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Nuthatch, Greatspotted woodpecker, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Buzzard and Dipper.
We arrived back at the riverside car park very tired and we all agreed a little too late to take a celebration drink and all headed directly homeward.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Morridge from Warslow 21st February 2009

The Roaches from Merryton Low.
At the trig point on the summit of Merryton Low.
At the trig point on Under the Hill, but are they acting? Not really it was quite windy!

Walk stats: 10.9 miles; Climb: 1274' (Estimated from walk Memory Map elevation profile).
Time: 5 hours 33 minutes; On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walking average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger and Celia.
The weather was good for walking although during the middle part of the walk the wind was a little challenging to say the least! The walk from Warslow to Upper Elkstone was full of surprises with hidden valleys and woods, quite picturesque in their own way. The views from the Merryton Low trig point were very good, especiallt towards the Roaches. In this area we spotted a group of sodiers on exercise. I wonder if they were enjoying themsekves as much as us at this point! Finding a sheltered spot for lunch was a problem today and we ended up with our backs to a stone wall on the roadside next to the Mermaid pub. sometimes you just have to make the most of any opportunity that presents itself!
We would have lingered longer at the Rey Memorial viewpoint, but one member of the group wasn't too happy!
The greatest challenge of the day was by the trig point on Under the Hill, where the wind suddenly and unexpectedly gained strength, making it quite difficult to make progress in the way you would wish!
From Upper Elkstone we decided return to Warslow along the minor roads, rather than take the footpaths across the fields.
In all a good walk.
Birds seen or heard today included:Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Nuthatch, buzzard and Wheatear.
After walk drinks went down well at the Wilkes Head in Leek. reminding me that yes Hartington Bitter is the best pint in the world!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Bryn Euryn from Rhos-on-Sea 19th February 2009

St Trillo's Chapel, Rhos-on-Sea.
An early morning visit to St Trillo's, the smallest church in Wales, but who's the preacher?
Snowdonia from Bryn Euryn.
On the summit of Bryn Euryn.Bryn Euryn from our early lunch spot.
On Bryn Cadno - not marked on the OS map, but part of a local nature reserve.

Walk stats: Distance:10.4 miles; Climb:1713'.
Time:5 hours 17 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Richard, Michel and Sue, Annie H., Fran and Tito, Tim, Dave and Sue.
This proved to be a more challenging walk than most of us expected. Weather conditions were generally good, quite warm early on with some blue skies, becoming overcast later with a little dampness in the air from time to time.
Our climb up Bryn Euryn ended in a little scramble up a steep grassy slope, having taken the wrong path through the woods on the north side of the hill. The views from the summit of Bryn Euryn in all directions were superb, an early reward for our efforts.
We started the walk a little later than usual and consequently there were calls for a lunch stop at only 3.5 miles into the walk, far too early for Martyn. It didn't match the criteria! At least half way, after 12-30, at the top of a hill and with a view. So much so that Martyn unjustly and unkindly made some cutting remarks that upset Fran for which he now humbly makes his apology.
The rest of the walk proceeded without any further incidents, although for some reason we all felt quite leg weary and decided to head for coast down the road, rather than take the route through Pwllycrochan Woods.
The lovely walk along the front from Colwyn Bay past the Victoria Pier to our cars at Rhos-on-Sea seemed much longer than the 1.5 miles.
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Oystercatcker, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Great tit, Greenfinch, Magpie, carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Blackbird, Woodpigeeon, Grey wagtail and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed by all at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. As usual the Lees bitter went down well, and some debate ensued concerning Lees being the best bitter in the world. The other contenders being Hartington bitter and Roosters. We all have our favourites, but at least everyone agreed we all look forward to a pint of Lees after a Thursday walk!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Dates and Walks February 2009

Updated 16th February 2009

Thursday 5th February 2009 .
Halkyn, Limestone, Lead and a little more.

Distance:6+.Climb:1500'.
Start:Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn. Grid ref:SJ212712.
Leave Chester at 9-00.
Remember this walk is shorter than usual because we decided that it would be a good idea to sample the food, especially as there was an offer of two main meals for £5.
The walk is nominally only 6 miles, but I hope we can explore the area North of the Pant-y-pwll quarry that includes the Pen yr Henblas quarry and Bryn Mawr quarry. This would probably increase the walk by about a mile, but it is still my intention to get to the Britannia Inn for about 1-00 p.m. No need to bring a packed lunch, but perhaps a light bite if you can't last out till our meal! As Dave Beryn points out this walk gives a great insight into the history of Halkyn and the industrial development of Halkyn Mountain.

Saturday 7th February 2009.
Darnford Valley.

Distance:12 miles; Climb:1500+'.
Start: Church Stretton centre car park (Pay and display). Grid ref:SO454941.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Ian R. Jones's booklet "20 Church Stretton Walks". This walk is to the North of Church Stretton and includes a section of the Shropshire Way between Golden Valley via Ratlinghope and Bridges, crosses Wild Moor to the West before returning to Church Stretton along Motts Road.

Thursday 12th February 2009.
Golden Grove and Sea Views Coed Bell and Voelant.

Distance:9-10 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start:Gronant Village Institute car park. Grid ref:SJ092831.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines one walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast" and one walk from his book "More Walks on the Clwydian Hills". If time allows after the walk we could do a bit of bird watching at Talacre/Point of Ayr, so bring binoculars with you just in case.
Saturday 14th February 2009.

Thors Cave and Bincliff.
Distance:11 miles;Climb:1500'.

Start:Wetton Village Car Park. Grid ref:SK108552.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks - Southern Dales". It is long time since we did the Thors Cave walk and the Bincliff walk is a new to me.

This walk was postponed and will be put on the list later in the year.

Thursday 19th February 2009.
Bryn Euryn from Rhos on Sea.

Distance:10 miles; Climb:1500+'.
Start: Roadside parking on the front at Rhos-on-Sea, opposite the Public Convenience, close St. Trillo's Chapel.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk actually starts from Moelfre, but by starting from Rhos-on-Sea it will increase the walk by a few miles and a bit of a challenge in map reading to link up with the described walk. This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast" in which he describes it as giving panoramic views as it meanders through the attractive countryside above Rhos-on-Sea and Moelfre. Bryn Euryn is well worth exploring.

Saturday 21st February 2009.
Morridge and More.

Distance:10 miles;Climb:1500+'.
Start: Warslow, parking by the public convenience next to the village hall. Grid ref:SK086586.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken fromMark Richard's book "White Peak Walks - Southern Dales" and is nominally only 5 miles, but by starting at Warslow we can extend it to about 10 miles. This will allow us to explore the area between Warslow, Upper Elksone and Lower Elkstone. The described walk is describes as being a walk in the moorland country, the domain of Grouse, Curlew and sheep, a splendid place to wander in. There are far ranging views, particularly from the Rey Memorial viewpoint, the described start in the book.

Thursday 26th February 2009.
Coed Ceunant, St., Christopher's Blessing and the River Clwyd.

Distance:11 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start:Ruthin riverside car park (Pay and display, remebering to park between the lines!) Grid ref:SJ121582.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd". This scenic walk wanders through varied countryside with excellent views and includes stretches of the lower slopes of the Clwydians. Thes sections by the River Clywedog and River Clwyd can be on the boggy side! Gaiters recommended.

Saturday 28th February 2009.
Town Brook Hollow, Helmeth Wood and the Pike.

Distance:10 miles; Climb:1500+'.
Start:Church Stretton centre car park (Pay and display). Grid ref:SO454941.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines three short walks taken from Ian R. Jones's booklet "20 Church Stretton Walks". Town Brook Hollow (Ashlet Hill) and the Pike are to the North of Church Stretton and Helmeth Wood is to the South. It may be possible to include a traverse of Hazler Hill with its TV mast.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

All Around the Great Orme 14th February 2009

The only kid on the block!
Looking towards the western side of the Great Orme, not our normal approach!

Walks stats:Distance:8.0 miles; Climb: 1029'.
Time:4 hours 58 minutes;On the move walking average:2.2 m.p.h.;Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn and Richard.
This walk was rearranged at the last minute to visit the Great Orme rather than the longer trek to the Peak District. The weather was overcast, but generally quite pleasant. The wind was only slight, keeping the para-gliders grounded until mid-afternoon. The route chosen today avoided visiting the trig point, but instead allowed us to explore the western slopes of the Great Orme in little more closely. Lunch once again was taken in the shelter of the church in the St. Tudno cemetery, accompanied only by Jackdaws looking for a free meal!
Goats in the first part of the walk were few an far between, but we did see one kid with its mother. Towards the end of the walk we saw about 30 goats, but they were mainly billy goats. The highlights of the day were excellent views of Grey seals, at least three, entertaining us and perhaps the best of all was the sighting of three Harbour porpoise.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. The Lees bitter went down well and we may have tempted to stay and watch Wales thrash England in the rugby had B & B been on offer!
Birds seen or heard today included: Herring gull, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Carrion crow, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Raven, Jackdaw, Housesparrow, Nuthatch, Fulmar, Kittewake and Cormorant.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Coed Bell, Voelant and Golden Grove 12th February 2009

Moel Siabod and Snowdonia in their winter coat.

Walk stats: Distance:7.8 miles; Climb:1368'.
Time:4 hours 2 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Richard, Sue and Michel, Gordon, Annie H., Celia, Sylvia and Dave J.
What fine day this turned out to be. Dry and ion the main quite sunny. A shorter than usual walk with the views towards Moel Siabod being outstanding. We have done both these walks before, but the section through the southern part of Coed Bell was new. It looks as though this could be a good Bluebell wood with evidence of shoots already coming through.
Views to the coast were also good, with distant hills towards the Lake District on the skyline.
Birds seen or heard included:Carrion crow, Magpie, Raven, Robin, Chaffinch, Common gull, Herring gull, Blackbird, Blue tit and Great tit.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn where the Lees bitter was in good shape.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Darnford Valley 7th February 2009

Looking across Church Stretton for our first views of Caer Caradoc in snow. The Lawley in snow.
Striding out across the Long Mynd.
Who is the lonely figure heading for the top of Bechcott Hill?
Not everyone was ready for the group photo!
The group at the car park on the top of the Long Mynd.
Walk stats: 13.0 miles;Climb:2064'.
Time:7 hours 1 minute; On the move walking average:2.3m.p.h.;Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Catherine, Mike D., Dave J and Sylvia, Fran and Tito, Celia and Laurence.
This was the largest Saturday group of the year. The weather was gloriously sunny throughout the day, and when sheltered from the wind it felt quite warm. The views of distant hills clad in snow were superb. Trekking through the snow across the top of the Long Mynd and the slopes of Betchcott Hill and later the route from Coates farm to the Long Mynd was quite a challenge with the snow being over 2' deep in places. Lunch was taken in the sheltered Golden Valley. The main challenge of the day ws the descent down Mott's Road where the snow had melted in the sun and the froze again making it quite slippy, hanging onto heather on this occasion was much appreciated! A long quite arduous walk, but one still enjoyed by all.
Birds seen or heard today were few, but included:Blackbird, Housesparrow, Blue tit, Great tit, Wren, Nuthatch, Carrion crow and Raven.
Alas the Ragleth Inn was closed so no-one was able to celebrate the completion of our fine walk!


Thursday, 5 February 2009

Halkyn Mountain, Limestone, Lead and More 5th February 2009

A snowman family.
At the trig point on Halkyn Mountain.
Pen-yr-henblas quarry - our first ever sighting!
Doesn't anyone realise my legs aren't meant for this!
I don't want to be late for lunch!

Walk stats: Distance:6.9 miles; Climb:783'.
Time:3 hours 5 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h;Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Tim, Celia, Annie H., Fran and Tito, Sue and Michel, Sylvia and Dave J. and our resident dog Georgie. (Joined by Margaret Smith and Graeme Anderson for the meal).
A shorter walk than usual so that we could enjoy a meal together at the Britannia Inn at about 1 p.m.
This was our first walk in the snow, a good layer on the ground and the skies looking as though we could get much more. It was cold, very cold, but on the move you didn't notice it. However if you stopped or felt the urge to take off your gloves, you soon realised it was a mistake. This walk, popular for most of us, took on a new character decked in this carpet of snow, so easy to go off track. Surprisingly we didn't see anyone else taking advantage of walking through this fascinating landscape.
Nevertheless we arrived back at the Britannia Inn in perfect time, at 12-45. Graeme Anderson was already there, and Margaret arrived just as we were taking our boots off. She did well to cope with the car sliding across the car park as roger watched anxiously!
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Magpie, Nuthatch and Kestrel.
As usual the welcome at the Britannia Inn was superb, the Lees bitter is always good but today we were privileged to sample the food too. The group now want to make a meal there a monthly event! Even Georgie didn't miss out, Sylvia asked for a dogie bag so that he could sample the fayre when they got home!
We can no longer say "we are only here for the beer".