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, 29 March 2009

Moel y Garnedd and Y Lordship 28th March 2009

At the trig point on Moel y Garnedd - Red kite country!
A lamb, a few minutes after being born.
Lunch time!

Walk stats: Distance:14.2 miles (15 miles); Climb:2397' (2500').
Time:5 hours 20 minutes (6 hours 30 minute); On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Sylvia and Dave J.
The weather today proved better than expected. Only the odd brief shower and one short unpleasant hail storm interupted a largely dry and occasionally sunny day. The strong winds forecast didn't materialis either. The same couldn't be said for conditions underfoot, it's not often that the my feet are soaked and everywhere else is dry! There were some very unpleasant unavoidable muddy patches, some too deep for ordinary boots!
Despite this overall this was a good, if rather long walk. Only Richard and Dave J. completed the final section of the walk while Martyn and Sylvia shortened the walk slightly by sticking to the minor road for the last mile.
Quite a lot of this walk was across what seemed to be like pathless marshy moorland across Moel y Gaer, but we were rewarded with fine views of the Arans and Arrenig Fawr, both in snow capped majesty. However this area also gave us two superb views of Red kite, very much the bird of the day.
Other birds seen or heard today included:Blackbird, Chaffinch, Meadow pipit, Great tit, Blue tit, Carrion crow, Raven, Buzzard, Greenfinch, Nuthatch, Pied wagtail, Herring gull, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Woodpigeon and Grey wagtail.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at one of our favourite hostelries, the Cholomendey Arms at Cadole.


Friday, 27 March 2009

Around Clocaenog Forest and Pincyn LLys 26th March 2009

The black sheep of the family, but who are they running away from? High on the farm road from Clocaenog village just before it changes into a forest track.
The Clwydians from Bryn-Llwyd farm on the final approach back to the Clocaenog Forest..

The group at the Pincyn Llys Monument, but who's trying to hide round the corner?

Walk stats: Distance:10.8 miles; Climb:2297'.
Time:5 hours 5 minutes; On the move walking average:2.7m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Gordon, Annie H., Celia, Nigel, Sylvia and Dave J.
This was a walk of surprises, the first of which was Nigel joining on the walk for the first time this year. Hopefully his work committments will allow him to join us again before too long.
We also started the walk at a new location for us, we started at the Coed y Fron-wyllt forest car park, just South of Bontuchel. e later discovered an even better start point in the middle of Clocaenog Forest close to the Pincyn Llys notice board. Both of these car parking areas are better than the parking opportunities availablee in Cyffylliog. The weather forecast for the day was to be showery and windy all day, but we didn't expect the driving hail storm that we experienced late in the day. However we did also have plenty of sunshine and blue skies to make up for our 30 minutes of discomfort just after lunch! The views of the Clwydians during the bright spells were excellent. We encountered a friendly local farmer at Pentre-potes farm, who despite our inability to understand what he was saying, managed to direct on the right way through the farm!
Birds seen or heard today included:Robin, Greenfinch, Coal tit, Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Fieldfare, Blackbird,Great spotted woodpecker, displaying Ravens (bird of the day), Carrion crow and no less than a wake of Buzzards.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, but sadly Richard was unable to join us. The beer of choice was Cwrw Eryri, and excellent refreshing beverage.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Dates and Walks March 2009

Updated 24th March 2009
Thursday 5th March 2009.
Pontcysyllte, Croes yr Esgob and Pengwern Vale.
Distance:12 miles; Climb:1500+'.
Start: Llangollen Centre Long stay car park(Pay and display):Grid ref:SJ213421
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". We have completed both walks before, but I don't think we have done them together before or started at Llangollen. These walks offer good views, weather permitting, which hasn't been in the past.

Saturday 7th March 2009
Another Five Dales Walk
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1000+'.
Start:Miller's Dale Old Station National Trust Car park:Grid ref:SK137738.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks - Northern Dales. He starts at Peak Forest, but we will start at Miller's Dale. (there doesn't appear to be any car park in Peak Forest, but we can check on the walk and if there is note it for future reference) He describes this walk as one that will appeal to discerning walkers seeking to explore the beautiful back country between Miller's dale and Peak Forest.. The five dales include: Peter dale, Hay Dale, Dam Dale, Monk's Dale and Miller's Dale.

Thursday 12th March 2009
On Foot to Eyarth Halt via Craig Adwy-wynt and Nant Clwyd.
Distance:13 miles; Climb:1500+'.
Start: Ruthin riverside car park (Pay and display). Grid ref:SJ121582.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is little longer than usual, but it is one well worth the extra effort. Include extra rations if you think you will need them! Both walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks In the Vale of Clwyd". The walk over Adwy-wynt and through the grounds of Nant Clwyd Hall is one of my favourite walks from this book. sunset is at 18-11, so we should have enough time to finish the walk without the need for a torch!

Saturday 14th March 2009
The Pentrefoelas Round, Foel las Motte and Ffridd-y-Foel.
Distance:12-13 miles; Climb:2000+' .
Start: Penrefoelas village car park. In the village turn left over the river. Grid ref:SH874514.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book"walks Around Hiraethog Moors and Lakes" or his last slightly revised version called "Walks in the Hidden Heart of North Wales". The only new bit as far as I can see is the complete circuit of the Alwen Reservoir which we have already done!
He describes one walk as using paths, old coaching roads and drovers routes and quaint lanes and rises to Bryn Prys at just over 1000' and skirts moorland reaching over 1100'. The second walk passes an old earthwork castle - Foel Lass Motte.

Thursday 19th March 2009
Moel Llanfair and Coed Plas y Nant and Moel y Plas.

Distance:11 miles; Climb:2500'.
Start: the Three Pigeons in Craigfechan Park as far away from the inn as possible. Grid ref:SJ147544.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This combines two of the best walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills" and uses a lovely section of the Offa's Dyke footpath. If we complete the walk by 3-00 p.m., then after walk drinks will be at the Three Pigeons, if not we will need to negotiate!

Saturday 21st March 2009
Grin Low, Corbar Hill and the Goyt Valley.

Distance:8-10 miles;Climb:2000'.
Start:Buxton Country Park, Green Lane, Buxton. (Seems to be a right turn just before the traffic light turning that we have often taken in the past).
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m. It will probably be a good idea to go in convoy so that we arrive at the same car park!
This combines three walks from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks - Northern Dales". It will give us a chance to explore Buxton as well as the opportunity to visit Poole's Cavern if we wish (£7-50 or £6-00 for OAPs (last years prices)). I have wanted to do these walks for quite some time, particularly the visit to Solomon's Temple on Grin Low. The views across Buxton from the top of the tower are supposed to be magnificent!

Thursday 26th March 2009
Pincyn Llys.

Distance:11 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Cyffylliog. Grid ref:SJ060578. Parking can be difficult in this small village, so I suggest that we meet at the riverside car park in Ruthin (Grid ref:SJ121582) and take as few cars as possible on the Cyffylliog.
In the past this challenging walk has not been regarded as one of favourite walks, but I thought it was worth another airing since I missed it last time! The walks are taken from his Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Hiraethog Moors and Lakes" and explores the undulating upland pastures and forest between Cyffylliog. and Clocaenog.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m. and meet at the riverside car park, Ruthin.

Saturday 28th March 2009
Moel y Garnedd and Y Lordship.

Distance:13 miles;Climb:2000+'.
Start:Fron Feunol Snowdonia National Park lakeside car park.Grid ref:SH917351.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book"Walks Around Y Bala". He describes the walk over Moel y Garnedd a a route for experienced walkers that enjoy wild open places and requires careful navigation as to be avoided in poor visibility. On good days it gives superb open views. The second walk explores undulating landscapes south and west of Parc, using field paths, forest trails and quiet lanes as it passes places of historic interest!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Solomon's Temple, the Goyt and Corbar Hill 21st March 2009

On top of Solomon's Temple on Grinlow.
A "view" from the top of Solomon's Temple. Heading towards Errwood Reservoir.
Looking to the cross on Corbar Hill.
Walk stats: Distance:11.6 miles;Climb:2550'.
Time:5 hours 42 minutes;On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk aveage:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J., and Mike D.
This was an excellent walk despite the disappointingly cool and largely sun free misty weather. The three walks linked together quite well using the Poole Cavern/Buxton Country Park car park on Green Lane as the starting location. The views from Solomon's Temple are, we understand superb, so we will have to revisit in the future to verify the fact for ourselves! The stretches across Wild Moor to Errwood Reservoir lived up its name although we did encounter more people here than we expected. Lunch was taken just beyond the Errwood Reservoir where the high point of the day was the date and prune cake made by Roger's wife Margaret. On this occasion Roger was in no position to add to the rest of the group's endorsement to this being a good "walking cake"!
The walk through Buxton's Pavilion Gardens and along the Serpentine was a really lovely link between the walks and an unexpected bonus.
Birds seen or heard today included:Blackbird, Robin, Coal tit, Great tit, Blue tit, Chaffinch, Pheasant, Canada goose, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Greenfinch, Red grouse, Buzzard, Jackdaw, House sparrow, Dunnock, Tufted duck, Woodpigeon, Carrion crow, and Curlew (probably the bird of the day).
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek. The Hartington bitter as usual was good, but today was a little on the cool side.
The only downside of the day was the wrong result at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, but MU and Chelsea were surprisingly beaten, making it a good end to the day for at least one of group!




Thursday, 19 March 2009

Moel Llanfair, Coed Plas-y-Nant and Moel y Plas 19th March 2009

Looking towards the Clwydian Hills section of the walk from the chapel just North of Craigfechan. Walking through Coed Plas-y-Nant.
Heading across the field to towards Moel Gyw.
Lunch on the Offa's Dyke.
Walk stats:Distance:9.6 miles;Climb:1678;.
Time:4 hours 16 minutes; On the move walking average:2.9 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.2 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn (stayed at the The Three Pigeons), Dave J.,Sylvia, Richard, Roger, Gordon and Celia.
What a glorious day for walking this turned out to be. Warm, probably mid-teens Celsius, a pleasant breeze and mainly dry underfoot. It's a pity I had to remain behind at Craigfechan with an uncomfortable muscle problem, feeling better mid-afternoon after taking Ibobrufen (on Roger's suggestion). Views today were somewhat limited, being hazy throughout.
After walk drinks were at the Three Pigeons where Hancock's beer is the regular pint on offer, although some tried the Fusilier by Bragdy Conwy. Martyn who was there for nearly two hours also sampled a cheese and onion sandwich (with some excellent salad dressing on the "rabbit food", apparently using honey and grain mustard), a pot of tea (not my preferred flavour) and a a coffee (very pleasant Italian biscuit was provided with both the tea and the coffee).
Birds seen or heard today included:Greylag goose, Canada goose, Magpie, Blue tit, Great tit, Pied wagtail, Herring gull, Housesparrow, Black-headed gull, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Carrion crow, Chiff-chaff (first heard by the walking group this year) and Buzzard. Several Red admirals were seen close to the Three Pigeons. Dave also saw a Tortoiseshell butterfly. A few Bumble bees were seen, particularly around the Three Pigeons.
Apparently towards the end of the walk, the group did their best to lose Celia. They failed miserably - Gordon was volunteered to go to her rescue!
(Photographs from the walk were provided by Richard Green.)



Saturday, 14 March 2009

Around Pentrefoelas and Ffridd-y-fole 14th March 2009

Looking down on Pentrefoelas, early on the walk. The congested A5, thankfully we were going in the opposite direction!
Heading towards Ffridd-y-foel.
This wooded area was a fantastic picture of Snowdrops - the most we have ever seen in one go!
Walk stats:Distance:10.9 miles; Climb:1765'.
Time:5Hours 3 minutes; On the move walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Fran, Sylvia and Dave J.
This turned out to be a really good day for walking, much more sunshine than we could have hoped to get. without the cooling wind , most of us would have opted for clothing more appropriate for much colder climes! This was a walk with very little climb, very few stiles, but potentially fantastic views. Today the views of Snowdonia were outlined faintly, just enough to make us want to return on one of those glorious cold crisp days with the high peaks clothed in snow! Nevertheless this walk, often along high level green tracks making you feel like being on top of the world.
Birds seen or heard today included: Robin, Blackbird, Magpie, Herring gull, Fieldfare, House sparrow, Grey heron, Buzzard, Mistle thrush, Dipper and Peregrine falcon (bird of the day).
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Cholomendey Arms ant Cadol where Cotleigh Harrier beer was one of the several on offer, but relished by most!




Friday, 13 March 2009

Eyarth Halt, Craig Adwy-wynt and Nantclwyd Hall 12th March 2009

A watery expereience late in the day!
Our first glorious view of the Clwydian Hills.


Following the old railway from Pont Eyarth.


Crossing the Afon Clwyd in the grounds of Nantclwyd Hall.

Walk stats:13.1 miles; Climb:1161'.
Time:5 hours 48 minutes; On the move walking average:2.8 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.3 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger, Gordon, Dave J., Fran and Tito.
The first time that we completed this walk it was 14.2 miles, so this time our short cut at the start reduced the walk to a less demanding 13.1 miles!
Once again we were blessed with almost perfect walking weather, plenty of sunshine, no rain and at times a wonderfully cooling breeze. This was definitely the first shorts day of the year, but only Dave J participated. The rest of us had to do with just baring our arms!
Our route across Craig Adwy-wynt took advantage of a recently created new path winding its way just below the main crags and gave us a new perspective. Nevertheless we did emerge onto the limestone pavement area by a new stile and information board telling us that this area had been renamed the "Eyarth Rocks Nature Reserve" as part of a butterfly conservation project.
Lunch was taken alongside Sawmill Pool. The bonus of the day for everyone was a Chocolate and rhubarb muffin provided by Dave J., but made by Sylvia. Thanks Sylvia. Congratulations too to both Dave and Sylvia on the news that they are to become grandparents later in the year.
The only downside to this walk was the muddy farm track that led away from Plas-Uchaf, and later the somewhat flooded track.
In all this is very enjoyable walk, even if it is alittle on the long side!
Birds seen or heard today included. Robin, Blackbird, Housesparrow, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Carrion crow, Raven, Buzzard, Woodpigeon, Pheasant, Nuthatch, Redwing, Blue tit, Great tit and Jackdaw.
After walk drinks were taken at the Glasfryn in Mold. Cwrw Eryri and Three Feathers were the brews on offer, both from the Great Orme Brewery.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

A Five Dales Walk from Miller's Dale 7th March 2009

A delightful green lane running along the top of the limestone plateau above the dales.
Entering Hay Dale for the first time.
Entering Peter Dale.
Entering Monk's Dale.

Walk stats: Distance:11.0 miles; Climb:1640'.
Time:5 hours 33 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Mike D., Sylvia and Dave J.
Once again the weather was kind to us, in the main quite warm with sunny spells and only few spots of rain, never enough to come anyway near wetting us!
We started the walk along the Limestone Way, a delightful green lane across the limestone plateau, an area that is the home territory of the Skylark whose wonderful song entertained us and reminded us that Spring is here! Walking through Hay Dale reminded us of how beautiful some of these Derbyshire dales can be.
Lunch was taken using the picnic tables and seats in the children's play area at Peak Forest.
The route from Peak Forest was literally down dale, all five of them, Dam Dale, Hay Dale, Peter Dale, Monk's Dale and Miller's Dale, all delightful except one! When can a 1 miles seem like 10? When you happen to be walking down Monk's Dale! Having fallen over on one of the slippy sections of the path, it upheld my earlier belief that Monk's Dale is my least favourite dale in the world, and one to be avoided!
Birds seen or heard today included:Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Mallard, Chaffinch, Meadow pipit, Blue tit, Great tit, Magpie, Blackbird, Mistle thrush, Fieldfare and Skylark.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the wonderfully friendly Wilkes Head in Leek. the Hartington Bitter was in good form and some of the group enjoyed the free pork pies on offer at the bar.


Friday, 6 March 2009

Pengwern Vale, Croes yr Esgob and Pontcysyllte 5th March 2009

One of the many fine views of Dinas Bran and the Eglywseg Rocks.
At the start of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
Pengwern Vale - the old course of the River Dee.
The snow covered Berwyns - late in the day.

Walk stats: Distance:13.0 miles;Climb:2500'.
Time:6 hours 23 minutes; On the move walking average:2.6 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger and Dave J.
What a lovely day this turned out too be. Plenty of sunshine and blue skies, not a lot of wind, no rain, although we did have a few flurries of snow and a minute or so of hail. So much of this walk offers superb views across the Dee Valley towards the Eglywseg and Trevor Rocks and the distant Llantysilio range. The Pengwern Vale gives unexpected views of the old course of the River Dee as it curved around the southern side of the little wooded hill Pen-y-coed and at the highest point on the walk we had good views of the snow covered Berwyns.
Lunch was enjoyed alongside the canal opposite the Aqueduct Inn. We were anticipating a visit by the Prince of Wales, but we were a little late, he visited Froncysylte, Welsh Village of the Year, on Monday the 2nd March. Martyn's latest fruit cake, only a few weeks old, was sampled and seemed to go down well!
Although it was 13 miles and the climb double that of last weeks Ruthin walk none of felt as tired.
Birds seen or heard today included:Robin, Blackbird, Jay. Magpie, Woodpigeon, Collard dove, Grey heron, Blue tit, Great tit, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook and Buzzard. Two Partridges, probably Grey Partridges were also seen on route to Croes yr Esgob.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Corn Mill in Llangollen where Station House Stonehouse Bitter was on offer.