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, 30 January 2010

Ken Murray - Funeral Details.

Ken's Murray's Funeral will take place on Monday 8th February 2010.

The Funeral Service will be at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Heswall at 1-00 p.m.

Followed by Cremation at Landican at 2-00 p.m.

Followed by refreshments at the Sheldrakes Restaurant in Banks Road, Heswall. (maps to get there will probably be available at the church service.)

The church is on the main through road in Heswall. The nearest car parking to the church in Heswall is a pay and display car park behind the church in Pye Road. To get to the car park turn right by Iceland and then left to get to the car park. Alternatively turn right after the church and then right to get to the car park.

The family have chosen the "Bone marrow transplant unit" at the Royal Liverpool Hospital to receive any donations made in memory of Ken.

If you have any unusual or humorous anecdotes concerning Ken, Elaine would be pleased to hear from you so that she might include them in the eulogy.

You can send them via me if you wish.

Coed Creigiau and Cefn Cyfarwydd 30th January 2010

Llyn Geirionydd just in view with Moel Siabod the dominant peak to the right.
The Carneddau decked in snow, what a view, a good reason to walk in this wonderful country!
Our lunch spot - not a happy time for Richard as he realised that he had lost his expensive Panasonic camera!
Looking towards the coast down the Conwy Valley - superb views towards the end of the day.
Walk stats:Distance:7.8 miles; Climb:1645'.
Time:5 hours 2 minutes; On the move walking average:2.0 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.5 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Mike, Celia, Sylvia and Dave J and Georgie the Jack Russell.
The weather was forecast to be dry and cold, but we didn't anticipate the snow/hail that had fallen overnight. However the clear blue skies and the bright sunshine made the high peaks of the Carneddau look stunning, even Moel Siabod looked magnificent! It wasn't planned , but we ended up completing the walk in reverse, which turned out to be a blessing! the rising road was very icy and trying to descend would have been horrendous! The views from this road however were outstanding, nothing less than you would expect from God's own country!
Departing from the road on the "footpath" was just like setting off into unknown country, even though most of us had been there before!
After the ruined house we stopped for lunch, where Richard realised that he had lost his camera. So if anyone reading this blog that walks in the area around Cefn Cyrarwydd and Brwnog isaf and find a Panasonic camera, please let me know.
Dave J amused us as we waited Richard's return from his camera search, by first trying to keep Georgie warm by putting her in his rucksack! She didn't appreciate this, but was much happier when Dave put her inside his coat. I'm not surprised that she appreciated Dave as a hot water bottle!
Towards the end of the walk we had superb views down the Conwy Valley and beyond to the sea. we went past a lovely house that had this view 24/7 , but did they appreciate this magnificent view as much as us?
Overall this was a lovely walk, marred only by Richard losing his camera.
Birds sen or heard today were few, but included:Blue tit, Great tit, Robin, Bullfinch,
Long-tailed tit, Robin, House sparrow, Blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Raven and Chaffinch.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Fron Hen, Big Covert and Bryn Alyn 28th January 2010.

At least someone looks happy! On the track below Fron Hen
Threatening skies.
Investigating the cave in Big Covert.

On the limestone summit of Bryn Alyn.
Walk stats:Distance:8.6 miles; Climb:1857'.
Time:4 hours 54 minutes; On the move walking average:2.3 m.p.h.;Overall average:1.7 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Fran, Celia, Tim, Gordon, Annie H., Sue and Michel.
We set off with threatening skies and Moel Fammau in cloud, we were optimistic that any raain would come in during the afternoon. It came earlier, but the odd shower was only light and thankfully they didn't last.
There was a little snow left in patches. but nothing to worry about, only wet limestone rocks were a challenge to us staying upright on the descent of Bryn Alyn.
We stopped for lunch a little earlier than usual. The location was at the entrance to the cave in Big Covert wood. Only Michel dared to enter!
The second walk as initially planned was abandoned as we decided to explore the western Bryn Alyn plateau, a delightful area that gives you a sense of being on top of the world.
Birds seen or heard today included:Blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Jay, Robin, Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Herring gull and Jackdaw.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, where Cwrw Eryri was the beer of choice. The beer was a little cold, but the roaring fire was just what you want at the end of a good walk on cold day!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Dates and Walks January 2010.

Updated 26th January 2010.
Thursday 21st January 2010.
Gronant Dunes and the Point of Ayr.
Distance:10-12 miles; Climb:Not a lot!
Start: Talacre Car Park. Grid ref:SJ124848. (New start point)
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks On the North Wales Coast". It is really a walk from Prestatyn to Point of Ayr and back and is mainly along the beach where possible. It will be another opportunity to do a little birdwatching on route, so don't forget to bring your binoculars. The variation in distance will depend on whether we have to do a little detouring to get round the "Prestatyn Cutting" and the Presthaven Caravan Park..
Catherine's Second Bishop's Castle Mystery Walk.
This walk has been rearranged for Saturday 6th February 2010.
Distance:10 ish" miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: Bishop's Castle, Station Road Car Park. Grid ref SO324 877.
We will need to leave Chester at 07-30a.m. , if we are to catch the 9-30 a.m. bus to Shrewsbury to the start of the walk.
Don't forget to bring your bus pass with you, if you have you have a valid English Bus Pass, the rest of us will just have to pay!
Saturday 23rd January 2010.
Deganwy Castle and the Great Orme.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1900'.
Start:Roadside parking near the Public Conveniences on the West shore of Llandudno. Gris ref:SH773819.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The main walk today is the Deganwy Castle walk taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast". Sections of this walk have been known to be muddy in the past.
The extension to the walk , after returning to the car, will involve most of the circuit of the limestone plateau on the Great Orme, including a visit to the trig point and descent via the Monks' path to the toll road.
Thursday 28th January 2010.
Fron Hen, Big Covert and Around the Nant.
Distance:10-11 miles; Climb:1700+'.
Start: Lay-by on the A494 just West of Llanferres. Grid ref:SJ187598.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills". One walk is described as beiing a varied walk exploring both sides of the Alyn Valley, whilst the second walk is described as a delightful walk exploring the stunning limestone scenery North of Llanarmon-yn-Ial.
Saturday 30th January 2010.
Coed Creigiau and Cefn Cyfarwydd.
Distance:8 miles; Climb:2241'.
Start: Trefriw Car park. Grid ref:SH782630.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley". He describes it as an exhilarating walk exploring the little known upland area North of Trefriw, utilising scenic upland roads offering extensive views. We will also include part of the way-marked path through Coed Creigiau .

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Deganwy Castle and the Great Orme 23rd January 2010

Richard's photo catching the mood of the sunlight across the Conwy estuary from the
Great Orme.
Richard's photo of us in Deganwy Castle.
The sad bird of the day (the boating lake had been drained!)

I wish I was drinking the same brew as last night at the Mill!


At the 17th centuary watch tower.



Conwy Castle from Deganwy Castle



In the centre of Deganwy Castle.
The high point of the day the summit of the Great Orme.



Walk stats: Distance:10.8 miles; Climb:1371'.


Time:5 hours 43 minutes; On the move walking average:2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.


Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Mike, Dave J., Sylvia and Celia.


The weather forecast had deteriorated from earlier in the week, but thankfully the earlier forecast was more accurate! Much of the walk was completed in sunshine and at time it was to warm for our winter gear!


We started the walk with a surprise in that the road railway bridge has been totally removed and we had to use a well made footbridge supported by scaffolding. Its design was ingenious to say the least, it was have added to our anticipated distance for the first part of the walk!


This was a really good walk and even the anticipated muddy sections weren't too bad!


The views from the watch tower and the vantage point of Deganwy Castle were superb.


Our route across the plateau of the Great Orme was interupted by smoke produced by burning Gorse heaps, part of what we assume was part of the Great Orme management! Nevertheless we still manage to circumnaviagte the burning area and m ake our chosen descent down the Monk's path.


The spot of the day went to Sylvia who pointed out to some of the group some flowering Snowdrops!


For the birders of the group the best sighting was of two Fulmers sitting onwhat must have been a nest sight.


Birds seen or heard today included:Mute swan, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch, Reed bunting, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Oystercatcher, Buzzard, Raven, Blackbird, Redwing, Fieldfare, Robin, Wren, Chough (another spot by Sylvia), Black-billed magpie, House sparrow, Dunnock, Starling and Fulmar.
After walk drinks were enjoyed, as usual, at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where the Lees bitter went down very easily!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Talacre to Prestatyn 21st January 2010.

Presthaven Sands from our lunch spot.
Lunch in the lee of the sand dunes! (1)
Lunch in the lee of the sand dunes. (2)
Lunch in the lee of the sand dunes! (3)
Lunch in the lee of the sand dunes. (4)


Isn't anyone enjoying themselves?

They're all running away, just when I wanted to take a photo of the group by the lighthouse!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.2 miles; Climb:100'.
Time:3 hours 59 minutes; On the move walking average:2.6 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.3 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Tim, Sylvia and Dave J., Annie H., Sue and Michel, Celia, Fran and Tito.
Good weather for walking, plenty of sunshine, even if the keen South easterly wind did encourage us to keep on the move. Walking in the dunes did afford us some protection on the outward journey.
This was an unusual walk for us , essentially a there and back walk, all in the pretext of a little birdwatching. We didn't even see the Shore lark that had been reported earlier in the week!
Lunch was taken, sheltering in the lee of the sand dunes. It isn't often that we can enjoy fruit cake as we take in a lovely sea vista! The cake was in honour of Sylvia's birthday last week.
Birds seen or heard today included:Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Common gull, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Shellduck, Mallard, Teal, Coot, Dunlin, Sanderling, Lesser black-backed gull, Greater black-backed gull,Pied wagtail, Starling, Feral pigeon, Knot, Turnstone and Cormorant.
As usual when in this area our after walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn in Pentre Halkyn where the welcoming open fire was a rel treat on such a cold day. The Lees bitter was good too!



Sunday, 17 January 2010

Traeth Lefan Nature Reseeves and Aber Falls 16th January 2010.

Looking back towards Llanfairfechan. Rhaeadr Fawr ahead!
A close up of Rhaeadr Fawr (Aber Falls).
Rhaeardr Fawr from the North Wales Footpath across Cae'r Mynydd.
Walk stats:11.9 miles; Climb:1498'.
Time:6 hours 16 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Sylvia and Dave J.
Weather forecast to be wet and windy, but thankfully for those that braved it, the only rain we had was for ten minutes around lunch time! Even the strong cooling wind wasn't in evidence often enough for some of us!
The first stretch along the coast was a birdwatchers bonanza with hundreds of Dunlins reeling magnificently before coming back to land.
Our normal route was flooded just beyond the Afon Abaer footbridge and we had to retrace our steps because four of the group didn't want to get wet feet! Although having got as far as the footbridge we did manage to see a Dipper.
The alternative route inland was the one the one shown by Dave Berry on his schematic map.
The raging waters of the Afon Aber impressed all along its course, being much fuller than any of us could remember.
On arriving at the base of the falls, close approach was impossible unless you wanted to get soaked by the spray. The true power of the tumbling water was only appreciated a mile or so away from the slopes of Cae'r Mynydd where you could still hear the thundering noise from the tumbling water as it crashed on the rocks below.
Thankfully we decided to take the shorter route down to Abergwyngeryn and back to to Llanfairfechan.
Birds seen or heard today included:Feral pigeon, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Mallard, Mute swan, Black-headed gull, Carrion crow, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Dipper, Teal, Pintail, Curlew, Brent goose, Shellduck, Little egret, Knot, Dunlin, Greenfinch, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, House sparrow, Mistle thrush, Redwing, Black-billed magpie, Fieldfare, Rook, Jay, Pied wagtail, Shoveler and a small diving duck probably a female Goldeneye.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. It was good to sample the Lees bitter again, the first time this year!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

The Chester to Roman Bridges Round 14th January 2010.

On the bottle again!
You don't say! Walking alongside the frozen canal.
Snow covered fields near Plough Lane, Christleton.
Lunch time at Roman Bridges.


Walk stats: Distance:12.6 miles; Climb:345'.
Time:5 hours 13 minutes, On the move walking average:2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:.4 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Sue and Michel, Tim, Paul, Celia, Dave J and Sylvia, Fran and Georgie.
Another day when we felt that driving our on cars was to be avoided, so again we decided to walk from Chester using public transport to get to the start.
We set off along the tow path from Cow Lane Bridge heading towards Hoole. Celia decided that conditions underfoot were not to her liking and decided to abandon the walk at City Road.
The rest of us soldiered on and met up with Dave and Sylvia and Georgie near the water tower in Boughton.
Conditions underfoot got better as we approached Christleton and the snow had been less compacted by the pressure of many feet.
The rest of the walk was relatively easy going, with paths across snow covered fields defined enough to easily follow.
Lunch was taken at the bridge over the River Gowy, one of the Roman bridge".
The route back to the canal took us past Guy Lane Farm with its unusual array of farm equipment including a rocket!
We rejoined to canal at Salmon Bridge for the easy stroll back to the Bridge Inn at Boughton.
We were joined by Rosemary and Libby as we enjoyed a drink by the open fire in the Bridge. Brimstage bitter and Copper Dragon were the two brews downed the most.
Birds seen or heard today included:Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Blackbird, Starling, Black-billed magpie, Jay, Black-headed gull, Mallard, Mute swan, Tufted duck, Moorhen, Redwing, Fieldfare, Robin, Bulfinch, Pied wagtail, Buzzard, Snipe and Kestrel.
After drinks the final mile back to the city centre seemed much easier than the last couple of miles before the break at the Bridge Inn.
Another good walk, even though knees don't seem to appreciate these flat" walks, if my left knee is anything to go by!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The Dee and Old Railway Track Round 9th January 2010.

Waiting for everyone at the start of the walk. Along the River Dee nar the Saltney Ferry footbridge.
Lunch time -waiting Georgie!
The last stretch along the old railway track / cycleway.
On the old railway track / cycleway.
Walk stats: distance:11.7 miles; Climb:255'.
Time:4 hours 37 minutes; On the move walking average:2.9 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.5 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Fran, Dave J., Sylvia and Georgie, and Sue and Dave P.
This was the second of our hastily rearranged walks to avoid travelling too far in cars wit icy conditions on the roads.
It was good to have Sue and Dave Pearson on the walk with us, even if they did escape early to return to collect their grandchildren.
This turned out to be another glorious Winter walk, with blues skies and bright sunshine, but without the cold Easterly wind that had been forecast.
the walk started from the suspension bridge in Chester and headed past the racecourse and along the river path towards Saltney Ferry. Conditions had been cold for some time and part of the river had frozen over, and near the footbridge, sheets of ice could be seen floating seaward, one of which had a gull hitching a ride.
The section along the river was good for birdwatching too, with the highlights including close up views of flying Grey herons as well as rafts of Wigeon (over 100 birds) near the barge terminal for the A380 wing .
The link route to the cycleway was easier than expected, after initially being kept on track using the map on Martyn's new Memory Map GPS.
The only unpleasant part of the walk was the short section of the busy Chester to Queensferry Sealand Road as far as Church Farm.
The walk on the old railway track / cycleway was delightful too, with the highlight being the impressive tree wood carvings just before arriving at the old Balcon Station.
From Blacon we walked back into Chester along the Ellesmere Port Canal, made interesting with much of it being frozen over. We even saw two Mute swans taking shelter in the one of the covered boat builders docks where there was still some unfrozen water.
The last part of the walk from the Water Tower to Lower Bridge Street was along the city walls.
Birds seen or heard today included: Mute swan, mallard, Teal, Little grebe, Moorhen, Feral pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Kestrel, Buzzard, Blue ti, Great tit, Long-tiled tit, Bulfinch, Chaffinch, Wigeon, Redshank, Cormorant, Carrion crow, Song thrush, Blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Robin, Wren, Fieldfare, Redwing, House sparrow, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Pied wagtail and Goldfinch.
A perfect walk was rounded off by enjoying drinks at the Bear and Billet in Chester. The Phoenix Arizona bitter went down well as we recovered from our efforts. Surely this warm friendly hostelry must be one of the best, if not the best, CAMRA recommended pubs in Chester.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Chester to Eccleston 7th January 2010.

Looking towards the weir from the suspension bridge.
Walking across the Meadows.
The steaming River Dee.





Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles; Climb:490' Seems hardto believe!).
Time: 3 hours 51 minutes; On the move walking average:2.7 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.3 m.p.h.
Group:martyn, Roger, Celia, Fran and Tito.
The planned walk was abandoned in favour of this low level walk starting from Chester and allowing us to leave our cars behind.
This was a truly delightful walk along the river to Eccleston, where the only challenge was trying to keep the bright sunshine from our eyes for the first couple of miles or so The riverside path was covered in snow, but walking was relatively easy and only one or two icy patches required extra care. The unusual feature of the day was the mist rising a foot or so above the river that gave it an air of mystery.

Lunch was taken just as we started down the Dukes Drive back to Overleigh. The final stretch of the walk was along the new path around the Racecourse, giving rise to much discussion on the merits of modern buildings and how they alter the Chester skyline.

Birds seen or heard today included: Mallard, Mute swan, Blackbird, Robin, Coot, Moorhen, Grey heron, Cormorant, Fieldfare, Redwing, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Blue tit, Great tit and Long-tailed tit.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Bear and Billet in Chester,where the thirst quenching Pheonix Hopsack went down well as we relaxed by the warming log fire.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Thurstaston Common, Stapleton Wood and Caldy 1st January 2010.

Waiting for Georgie!
At the toposope on Thurstaston Hill.
Wales from Thurstaston Hill.

Walk stats:Distance:8.4 mils; Climb:711'.
Time:3 hour 57 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Annie H., Sue and Michel, Roger, Dave J and Sylvia and Georgie the Jack Russell, Tim and Carol, Fran and Tito, Annie R and Mat.
As we set off the temperature was as low as minus 4 Celsius ans didn't rise much throughout the walk. However the predicted cold wind didn't materialise and it was a very pleasant walk largely in sunshine.
Lunch was taken in Stapleton Wood where fallen trees provided dry seating off the ground for our comfort. Martyn provided rum preserved fruit cake and Dave J provided the New Year toast with some Damson Gin. Both went down well!
The last mile or so was along the beach from Caldy back to Thurstaston Visitors Centre, allowed the birdwatchers amongst the group to look for waders along the edge of the ebbing tide.
This was a very popular day for being out and as we returned to Thurstaston Visitors Centre, even the overspill car park was pretty full.
Birds seen or heard today included:Bullfinch, House sparrow, Blue tit, Great tit, Sparrowhawk, Herring gull, Oystercatcher,Blackbird, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Pied wagtail, Ringed plover, Curlew, Lesser black-backed gull and Knott.
After walk drinks were enjoyed by some at the Wheatsheaf at Raby, where Brimstage brews were the best on offer.

Gadlys and Nant-y-Flint From the Britannia Inn 31st December 2009.

Crossing the new bridge over the A55 by the Britannia Inn. Lunch in Bagillt.
Not the first bridge we crossed photo by Richard. This must have been taken by Richard's on his way home!



Walk stats: Distance:10.1 miles; Climb:1284'.


Time:4 hours 55 minutes; On the move walking verage:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.


Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Dave J. and Sylvia, Celia, Sue and Michel.


This walk allowed us to use the link road from the Britannia Inn and over the new bridge across the A55, supposedly a quiet road leading to four dwellings, but several cars crossed the bridge at the same time as we did.
he car park at the Britannia Inn was covered in icy snow, but this was the limit of the snow, and we walked in glorious sunshine and no snow down to Bagillt.
Lunch was taken in the centre of Bagillt where seats in a roadside garden provided a welcome place to stop. Puzzled passersby seemed bemused at eight people having a pic-nic in the centre of Bagillt!
We arrived back at the britannia Inn, having had a really good walk and ready to enjoy a pint or two of Lee bitter.
Birds seen or heard today included:Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Jackdaw, Jay, Herring gull, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Oystercatcher, Robin, Curlew, House sparrow, Woodpigeon, Buzzard and Collard dove.

Walk Statistics For 2009.

Walk Statistics for 2009.

Total distance walked by the group: 1082 miles.

Total climb on the walks:173,13'.

Quite an achievement for group of walkers whose average age is considerably reduced when anyone under fifty five joins us!
Walkers this year:Martyn Harris, Dave and Sylvia Jenkins, Fran and Tito Ravazzolo, Richard Green, Sue and Michel Pelissier, Roger Smith, Tim and Carol Dwyer, annoe hammond, Gordon McNee, Celia de Mengel, Laurence Work, Catherine Murphy, Mike Dodd, Sue and Dave Pearson, Nigel Taylor, Ken Murray, Sue Powell, Robert Murphy, Annie Ravazzolo, Georgie the Jack Rusell.