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.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Old Horseshoe Pass, Eglywseg Rocks and Glen 29th April 2010

On the path leading from the Ponderosa.
On the first descent!
The Eglwyseg Rocks Ahead.Looking back at the Llantysilio Mountains.
Can anyone identify this silvery fungus growing on this tree?
Has anyone identified this fungus?
Gordon on the Offa's Dyke Path below the Eglwyseg Rocks.
Proof that he does do as he is told (by Sheila of cause!)
Walk stats: Distance:10.3 miles; Climb:2085'.
Time:5 hours 38 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Sylvia and Dave J., Michel, Gordon, Annie H., Celia, Fran and Tito.
Optimistically we had hoped to just miss out on any rain, but alas today it started very light at lunch time, but then got steadily worse, so much so that most of us decided to shorten toe route by about a mile by just following the Old Horseshoe Pass Road from Pentre Dwfr. I suppose that we can be thankful that at least it wasn't cold or windy.
This undulating walk has plenty to offer, with fantastic views all round, especially on a good. At least in the morning we could enjoy the views, and we had the added bonus of hearing the groups' first Cuckoo of the year.
Lunch was enhanced by Fran providing everyone with a piece of citrus flavoured Madeira cake a little alcoholic beverage to toast Beth and Jake on their recent wedding.
Many flowers were again seen including:Cowlsip, wood anemone, Violets, Bluebells.King cups, Wild strawberry and Primroses. There were many Daffodils, but do they count?
Birds seen or heard today included:Wheatear, Raven, Jackdaw, Skylark, Meadow pipit, Blackcap. Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Carrion crow, Grey heron, Coal tit, Chaffinch, House martin, Buzzard, Cuckoo and Dave and Richard's Pied flycatcher.
After walk drinks went down well, where a Cottage brew was the best on offer, and the ladies in the group enjoyed a pot of tea!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Dates and Walks April 2010.

Updated on 26th April 2010.
Thursday 1st April 2010.
Valley, Moor and Estuary and Pen y Ball and Pantasaph.

Distance:12 miles; Climb:1903'.
Start:Greenfield Valley Car Park on the A548. Grid ref:SJ197775.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". The walk starts by going through the Greenfield Heritage Valley before we climb the "wonderful" Pen y Ball and onto Pantasaph, and finally crosses a section of Holywell Mountain and returns along the Dee Estuary. Possible sightings of Wheatears on the section, a few early arrivals were spotted there last week.

Saturday 3rd April 2010.
Llyn Maes y Clawdd and Earl's Wood and Mynnydd Mynyllod.

Distance:9-12 miles; Climb:2000+' (if we complete all of the second walk).
Start: Riverside parking in Llandderfel village. Grid ref: SH982371.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This walk involves two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn". The first walk is new to us and completes the walks in the book that start from Llandderfel. He describes this walk as a delightful walk in the beautiful Upper Dee Valley, featuring two attractive lakes. The second walk is described as exploring delightful hidden upland pastures. Last time we extended this walk to explore the moorland area a little more, but this time we will keep strictly to the route description and may even use the alternative shorter route.

Thursday 8th April 2010.
Pontcysyllte, Croes yr Esgob and Trevor Hall Woods.

Distance:11 miles; Climb:1800'.
Start: Trevor Basin Car park. Grid ref:SJ272423.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
If I remember correctly the last time that we did these two walks, it was the first time that Gordon had joined the group. The walks are taken from Dave berry's book "Walking Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley.
The first walk starts by crossing the the aqueduct (alternative is to by-pass it by using the road from the car park up to the village of Frocysyllte). The walk then climbs through the quarried limestone hills above Froncysyllte, eventually giving good views across the Dee Valley towards Trevor Rocks. The second walk takes us through the lower wooded Northern slopes of the Dee Valley below Trevor Hall, before returning along the Llangollen Canal towpath.

Saturday 10th April 2010.
Solomon's Tower, The Goyt and Corber Hill.

Distance:12 miles; Climb:2250'.
Start:Poole's Cavern Car Park, Buxton. Grid ref:SK0499726.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
Last year when we attempted these walks, it was somewhat misty, particularly at the start of the walk and climbing Solomon's Tower left everything to the imagination, but all agreed it would be worth a second visit. Hopefully we will get good views on our second visit. The walks are taken from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks - Northern Dales". A surprisingly good walk considering that three walks are linked along the streets of Buxton.

Thursday 15th April 2010.
Bryn Alyn, Limestone and Lead.

Distance:12 miles; Climb:2000+' at a guess.
Start: Roadside parking by telephone box in Maeshafn. Grid ref:SJ202610.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "More Walks In the Clwydian Hills". We have done both walks several times before, but I don't think we have done them together before. One walk goes through impressive limestone scenery before linking with the second walk at Eryrys. The second walk continues to explore attractive limestone country between Eryrys and Graianrhyd.

Saturday 17th April 2010.
Chelmorton and Deepdale and Chee Dale and Blackwell.

Distance:9-10 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start:Wye Dale Car Park (Pay and Display I think); Grid ref:SK104724.
Leave Chester at 8-0 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks - Northern Dales".
He describes one walk as a walk in a miniature Grand Canyon claimed from the railway age for the express delight of walkers. The second walk he describes as walk to savour, indeed a ramble to amble! What an encouraging description, hopefully we will get to the start this time!

Thursday 22nd April 2010.
Lady Bagot's Drive with St. Christopher's Blessing.

Distance:11-12 miles; Climb:500+' at the most!
Start: Ruthin riverside car park (Pay and Display). Grid ref:SJ121582.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
These are two walks that we have done several times before. The walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd". One walk is described as a ramble up the Clywedog Gorge and the second walk as a delightful walk featuring attractive sections of the Afon Clywedog and Afon Clwyd. In the past we have found sections to be on the wet side!

Saturday 24th April 2010.
Another Walk Around the Great Orme.
Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb:1300' at the most.
Start: Roadside parking at Llandudno West Shore (close to the play area). Grid ref:SJ772818.
Leave Chester at 8-00a.m.
The route is intended to follow the toll road as far as the Happy Valley, climb through the Happy valley as far as the summit of the Great Orme, following an anticlockwise route around the limestone plateau before droping down the zig-zag path back to the West Shore.
Sea birds like Fulmar and Kittewake should be neesting on the cliffs, so don't forget to bring your binoculars with you. We might see terns and Guillemots too.
The Ward Stones.
This walk will now be put on the May or June walking lists.
Distance:12 miles; Climb: "2000' at the most.
Start:the Jubilee Car Park on the Trough of Bowland Road. Grid ref:SD542573.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
I know that this is a little further than we usually go of late, but it is quite some time since we last did this walk. Hopefully we will visit three peaks, Clougha Pike (1355'), Ward Stone (1836') and the Grey Mare and Foel (1837'). Much of the walk is along access paths across the moors owned by the Duke of Westminster. It is a Grouse moor, but hopefully we may still see birds of prey like the Hen harrier which has in the past been persecuted by gamekeepers. As far as I can remember it is a very enjoyable walk, although sections can be boggy (Derek V lost a glove when he slipped and his hand became submerged in the peat bog) and there is a 2-3 mile uphill walk along the tarmac at the end of the day (something that Celia often reminds me of even now!).
Thursday 29th April 2010.
Around the Old Horseshoe Pass, the Eglywseg Rocks and Glen.
Distance:10.3 miles; Climb:2205'.
Start:Car park opposite the Ponderosa Cafe on the Horseshoe Pass. Grid ref:SJ193481.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Bery's book "Walking Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". These are two delightful walks, especially when the weather is good. An easy start heading down hill, a superb middle section with a challenging climb up the old Horseshoe Pass road at the end!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

All Around the Great Orme 24th April 2010

A residence with a difference - photo by Richard.
On the path just above Happy Valley - photo by Richard.
At the toposcope on the top of the Great Orme - photo by Richard.
A contented old goat!
One of the butterflies seen today. Confirmed as a Speckled wood.
Mike after deciding to discard his "lower legs" with a little help from a friend!
Looking West along the Northern edge of the Great Orme.
On the last leg, but the view shows our outward journey.

Walk stats: Distance:9.7 miles; Climb:1359'.
Time:5 hours 54 minutes; On the move waking average:2.2 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:1.6 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn , Richard and Mike D.
What another glorious day for walking this turned out to be. The weather was perfect throughout, warm sunny, and the only slightly cool sections (for some), was when we edged around the Great Orme below the limestone upper cliffs that kept us in the shade for a few minutes.
We started off by meeting a man that was, at least according to the note on the back of his hand cart, said he was going round the Great Orme 100 times in aid of Great Ormand Street Hospital. We later found out that he was only doing it 4 times today, not surprising since each circuit must be at leats 5 miles!
We had lunch, taking advantage of the picnic tables provided near to the road on the Norther side of the summit of Great Orme.
Mike took 10 minutes writing a text to Fran and Tito, remembering that it was Beth and Jake's wedding, only to realise that there was no signal. We persuaded him to stand on the seat and lo and behold he had a signal and the message was successfully sent! Thankfully he received a reply that indicated that all was well and they were enjoying themseves at the Red House on the banks of the River Dee.
Congratulations to Beth and Jake, what a wonderful day it's been for your wedding.
Flowers seen today included Primrose and and our first Cowslip of the year (although we had seen lots more on the roadside of the A55 earlier).
Butterflies seen today included:Peacock, Red admiral and the brown butterfly in the photo above.
Birds seen or heard today included:Oystercatcher, Herring gull, Mute swan, Carrion crow, Fulmar, Barn swallow, Stonechat, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, House sparrow, Dunnock, Woodpigeon,
Jackdaw, Shellduck, Lesser black-backed gull, Greater black-backed gull, Skylark, Meadow pipit, Blackbird, Robin, Great cormorant, Willow warbler, Wheatear, Razorbill, Guillemot, Kestrel and Chough. In addition Mike did spot a striking dove in a tree in a garden, but on a closer look it wasn't real, just a model!
After walk drinks were enjoyed as usual at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn.



Thursday, 22 April 2010

Lady Bagot's Drive with St Christopher's Blessing 22 April 2010

Our first Bluebells of the year.
Wood anemone.
Violets anad and Primroses.
Our "lone ranger" on the bridge to Bontuchal, Dipper spotting?
Most of the group on Lady Bagot's Drive.
One of many superb views of the Clwydian Hills seen on this walk.
The happy lamb, already in the distance, didn't wait to say thank you for being released!
The "Lamb busters" after successfully releasing a lamb.


Walk stats Distance:10.7 miles; Climb:527'.
Time:5 hours 26 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h
Group:Martyn, Richard, Sylvia and Dave J., Sue and Michel, Gordon, Annie H., Celia and Tim.
Another glorious day, just about perfect for walking, sunny, blue skies and only the very occasional breeze to stop us overheating!
We met another walker who summed it up well, butterflies are flying, many flowers are in flower and the birds are singing, what more could we want?
We enjoyed lunch at our usual spot on the banks of the Clywedog, just before heading off for Llanynys.
The highlight of the afternoon was seeing our intrepid "lamb busters" , Michel and Richard, dashing off to rescue a lamb trapped in the wire fence on the opposite side of the river. Job done we met up with them again at the next road bridge.
Butterflies seen included:Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Small white, Red admiral and a Common blue.
Flowers included:Primroses, Violets, Wood anemone, Lesser speedwell, Celedine, Crow's foot, Primrose and Bluebells.
Birds seen or heard today included:Blackcap, Blackbird, Robin, Nuthatch, Greenfinch, Rook, Raven, Jackdaw, Sparrowhawk, Carrion crow, Great tit, Blue tit, House sparrow, Mallard. Moorhen with chicks, Buzzard, Willow warbler, Chaffinch, Barn swallow, Sand martin, House martin, Greylag goose, Grey heron, Woodpigeon, Common sandpiper and Michel's Dipper and Richard's and Michel's Kingfishers!
After walk drinks we enjoyed by most of us at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. It seems such a long time since we last enjoyed a pint of Lees bitter in our favourite after walk hostelry!



Saturday, 17 April 2010

Chelmorton, Deep Dale, Chee Dale and Blackwell 17th April 2010

One of the many Dippers on the Wye in Chee Dale - photo by Dave J. A pair of Mandarin on the Wye in Chee dale- photo by Dave J..
Newly born lambs - photo by RichardAt the Chelmorton drinking troughs
On the Priests' Way down Horseshoe Dale towards Deep Dale.
These stepping stones are easy. Well for some they may be! Chee Dale from the fields near Blackwell Hall.

Walk stats:Distance:9.5 miles; Climb:1042'.
Time:5 hours 39 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.7 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Celia and Dave J.
Yet another glorious day for walking, sunshine all day, and only occasionally did we have any breeze to cool us.
The landslide on the A6 still hasn't been sorted, so we started the walk at Chelmorton.
This walk takes you through several "hidden" limestone dales, so typical of the White Peaks. Chee Dale in particular is unique with its two sections of stepping stones and two rock steps to negotiate.
We even spotted a small aircraft flying overhead, the only time that the piece of the blue sky above were disturbed.
However today was more memorable for the birds and butterflies seen. Butterflies included: Brimstones, Peacocks, Tortoiseshell and Orange tips.
Birds seen today included:Dippers (so many that we lost count, it really was a day to say Dipper days are here again!), Grey wagtail, Pied wagtail, Pheasant, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Blackcap, Coal tit, Great tit, Blue tit, Carrion crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Barn swallow, Chaffinch, Nuthatch, Great spotted woodpecker, House sparrow, Wren, Mallard, Moorhen, Curlew, Wheatear, Buzzard and Mandarin.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where the Hartington Bitter went down particularly well with most of us.


Thursday, 15 April 2010

Bryn Alyn, Limestone and Lead 15th April 2010

In Nercwys Forest by Richard.
Lunch time by Richard.
Looking back towards the Burley Hill Quarry and our final challenge of the day!Heading into the Nercwys Forest.
At last on a new path!Richard at the new (to us) viewpoint, with Moel Fammau


and the Southern Clwydian Range in the background.


A young calf with it's mother.

Walk stats: Distance:12.0 miles; Climb:1951'.
Time: 6 hours 26 minutes.On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Tim, Sylvia and Dave J., Gordon, Annie H., Sue and Michel.
Another fantastic day for walking, perfect weather throughout, even Richard displayed his bare arms and legs today. Blue skies and sunny throughout, silent skies too and thankfully no signs of any volcanic ash clouds at all.
Our first walk we had completed many times before, but we still made the same mistake that we did last time on the route through Nercwys Forest. It must be our age or something like that!
The second walk to my surprise and most of the group turned out to be largely new, always a bonus in walks on our "local patch"!
One or two of the group on various parts of the walk decided to cut corners, and another two, the obvious two, ran up a side ridge just for the fun of it!
As well as the many glorious views, highlights included flowering Marsh Marigolds, Wood anemone and Cowslips as well as many beautiful Daffodils on the hedgerows.
Most of us finished the walk with tired legs, saw feet but longing for a sit down and a refreshing drink!
Birds seen or heard today included:House sparrow, Dunnock, Robin, Coal tit, Blue tit, Great tit, Raven, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Pied wagtail, Meadow pipit, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Wheatear (my first sighting of the year), Greenfinch, Curlew, Goldfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Chaffinch, Canada goose, Mallard, Barn swallow, Blackbird and Buzzard.
After walk drinks, later than usual, were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, where Cwrw Eryri by the Purple Moose went down well!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Solomon's Tower and the Goyt Valley 11th April 2010.

On top of Solomon's Tower with Buxton in the background.
Solomon's Tower.
Looking across Grin Low from Solomon's Tower.
On route over the moor to the Goyt Valley - our route is behind them.

Our first view of Errwood Reservoir.
The cross on Corber Hill, the one we missed out today!
Walk stats: Distance: 10.8 miles;Climb:1641'.
Time:5 hours 24 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard and Roger.
What a glorious day for walking this turned out to be. Even Roger dared to show his legs! Sunshine throughout, and only occasionally did we have a breeze to cool us down. It was a popular day for young people out on the hills in large groups, it must be the D of E season!
The views from Solomon's Tower were superb, a 360 degree panorama, and we were fortunate enough to have this vantage point to ourselves!
The views all day were a joy to behold, and lunch was taken overlooking the Errwood Reservoir.
Fortified by Margaret's excellent Welsh cakes we set off for Buxton, but we all lacked the get up and go to make the climb to the top of Corber Hill!
We all observed another Frog frenzy in a pool adjacent to a small reservoir above Buxton.
Birds seen or heard today included:Robin, Chaffinch, Wren, Cormorant, Canada goose, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Mallard, Tufted duck, Coot, Mute swan, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Meadow pipit, Willow warbler, Reed warbler, Dunnock, Curlew, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Pheasant, Red grouse and Skylark.
No Chiffchaffs today, but the Willow warblers made up for it.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wilkes Head in Leek, where the Hartington Bitter revived the parts that no other brew could!



Thursday, 8 April 2010

Poncysyllte, Croes Yr Esgob, Trevor Hall Wood and the Llangollen Canal 8th April 2010.

The start of the walk crossing the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct. One of the many wonderful views across the River Dee towards the Llantysilio range.
Always good to see a friendly native!
Lunch time at Pisgah Quarry Nature Reserve.
Lunch time at the Pisgah Quarry Nature Reserve, that's everyone, well nearly!
Three foals, but can you see them all!
On the downward trail through Trevor Hall Wood.
Perhaps not the flower of the day, but seeing blooming Primroses in Spring is always a joy!
Walk stats:11.1 miles; Climb:1545'.
Time: 5 hours 44 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Paul, Dave J and Sylvia, Fran and Tito, Gordon, Annie H., Sue and Michel.
What a glorious day for walking this turned out to be. Without doubt this really was a shorts day!
Dry, sunny, hardly any wind and wonderful company!
What a contrast this was to the walk that we did when Gordon joined us for the first time. At least this time we had views, all day!
What a joy it is to walk, when throughout the walk we heard Chiffchaff calling, and Willow warblers too, Red admirals and Peacocks flitting across our path and Spring flowers like the Primrose and White violet in bloom and at least one person heard the waffle of a Green woodpecker.
Why do we love walkingso much? Today's walk sums it up perfectly!
Birds seen or heard today included:Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Lapwing, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Partridge, Mallard, Pheasant, Nuthatch and Green woodpecker.
After walk drinks were enjoyed ant the Pant yr Ochain at Gresford, where Oakham's Bishop's Farewell was the tipple of the day.
We even sat outside, some of us in shorts and shades too!