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, 30 September 2010

Llandegla, Llyn Cyfynwy and Graianrhyd 30th September 2010

Nigel making a guest appearance and leading them out of the woods!


Lunch time, but not much of a view!


More ducks than you could ever expect, and this is only a few!
At the trig point above Llyn Cyfynwy.
Looking towards the Graianrhyd Quarry and the Clwydian Hills from the trig point above
Llyn Cyynwy.
Looking across Llyn Cyfynwy from the trig point towards Liverpool.

Walk stats: Distance:10.9 miles; Climb:1155'.
Time: 5 hours 21 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Sylvia and Dave J., Phil, Fran and Tito, Celia, Nigel Taylor, Annie H., Gordon, Sue and Michel.
Celia was back with the group after her walking holiday in Austria where she met up with Petra an Austrian German assistant many of the group will remember with fondness as she was a regular member of the walking group. Petra has sent greetings to all those from the walking group and Upton High who remember her 15 years or so ago. It is good to know that Petra is now married with two children, one has called Martin too!
It seems like its the Celia show, she arrived at the car park realising that she had left her lunch pat home. Gordon came to rescue and gave her one of his sandwiches, apparently a Cheeese and onion pasty bought at the local shop didn't come up to scratch, I don't know why I quite like them, especially when they are hot!.
Back to today's walk, what a wonderful day it turned out to be. The weather was perfect, even if the route finding wasn't, even with prompts from our resident Scot, we still went wrong.
Nevertheless this turned out to be a superb varied walk, one we must do more frequently in the future, especially since Sarah and Kelly are now running the Crown Hotel at Llandegla.
Birds seen or heard included:House sparrow, Chaffinch, Buzzarsd, Mallard, Common coot, Blackbird, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Great tit, Raven, European robin and Meadow pipit.
We arrived back at the Crown Hotel, Llndegla, looking forward to a pint of J.w. Lees bitter, alas the Crown was closed. However disappointment turned to joy as we met Kelly in the car park and we were soon supping an excellent pint of Lees bitter.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Walks and Dates September 2010

Updated 26th September 2010.
Proposed meal together.


Our group meal planned for the end of September at the Britannia Inn before Sarah and Kelly move to Crown Inn at Llandegla is no longer feasible. They stop cooking at the Britannia Inn on the 6th September and leave on the 20th. If we want a meal together cooked by Kelly, then we will need to consider a date in October at the Crown.

Thursday 2nd September 2010.
Holywell Common, the Old Racecourse and the Lixwm to Brynford Round.


Distance: 11 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start: The Crooked Horn Inn. Park close to the road near the inn sign. Grid ref:SJ186741.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". One walk explores open common and part of the 18th century Holywell racecourse and visits the infamous Pen-y-Ball Monument with its extensive views. The second walk explores the pasturs and open common between Lixwm and Brynford.


Saturday 4th September 2010.
The Hills West of Cadair Idris.

Distance: 12 miles; Climb:264'0'.
Start: The car park opposite the church at Llanfihangel-y-Pennant. Grid ref:SH672088.
Leave Chester 07-30 a.m.

This walk is taken from the Nuttalls' book "The Mountains of England and Wales. Volume 1:Wales". The two peaks involved are Tyrrau Mawr and Craig-y-Llyn. We will probably explore Castell-y-Bere, the largest castle built by the Welsh. Route finding in the past has been challenging, but with so many GPS's on board it should be easier this time!


Thursday 9th September 2010.
The Ysceifiog - Lixwm - Nannerch Round.


Distance: 10-11 miles; Climb:1100'.
Start: Ysceifiog. Park adjacent to the village playground. Grid ref:SJ152715.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". It is quite some time since we last did these two walks on Richard's patch. One walk follows field and woodland paths, bridleways and quite country lanes, while the other walk explores the attractive undulating countryside between the Wheeler Valley and Lixwm.


Saturday 11th September 2010.
Tre'r Ceiri, Yr Eifl and Vortigern's Ravine.


Walk postponed. Call Richard for a possible alternative.
Distance: 8 miles; Climb:3000'.
Start: Forestry Commission Car Park and Picnic site North of Llithfaen just beyond Mount Pleasant cottages. Grid ref:SH352441.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
Another chance to explore the wonderful remains of the largest and best hill fort in Wales. The walk is shorter than most, but this is walk to savour and not to be rushed. There is a good bit of climb involved too! Last time we also went round the museum at the Welsh Language Centre and some of the group went for a swim at Porth y Nant. Lets hope for a warm sunny day.

Thursday 16th September 2010.
Gadlys, Nant-y-Flint and the East of Holywell.

Distance: 12 miles; Climb:1427'.
Start: Public car park adjacent to the Stag Inn at Bagillt. Grid ref:SJ219753.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". The walk exlpores the attractive undulating rural hinterland between Bagillt, Flint and Holywell.

Saturday 18th September 2010.
Darwen Moor.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:820'.

Start: The Crookfield Road Car Park. Grid ref:SD665191.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire". The walk explores the high moors above Darwen. The walk is on good paths, but at times crosses over featureless moorland. It also visits the Jubilee Tower, marked on the map as a viewpoint. The walk is not recommended in poor visibility, so let's hope for a good day.


Thursday 23rd September 2010.
Coed Bell, Voelant and the Golden Grove with Sea Views.


Distance: 8-10 miles; Climb:2000'.
Start: Llanasa Village Car Park, opposite the church. Grid ref:SJ106815.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "More Walks On the Clwydian Hills". One walk is described as an exhilarating walk with breathtaking contrasting views of the coast, sea, estuary, hills and mountains. What more could we want? The second walk explores the low hills of the Northern end of the Clwydian Hills.


Saturday 25th September 2010.
The Stocks Reservoir Circuit.

Distance: 9 miles; Climb:320'.
Start: Slaidburn village car park. Grid ref:SD713524.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This is another walk is taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire", starting at the picturesque village of Slaidburn. The walk is described as a splendid circuit, and easy walk with one usually easy river crossing whatever that means!


Thursday 30th September 2010.
Llandegla, Llyn Cyfynwy and Graianrhyd.


Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb:1250'.
Start: Llandegla village car park opposite the primary school and Post Office adjacent to the bus stop. Grid ref:SJ197525.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.

These two walks are taken from Carl Rogers' book "Walking in the Clwydian Hills". One walk is described as an excellent walk which combines the craggy limeston escarpment of Graig with its wide views of the Clwydian Range and the flat moors of Llandegla. The other walk is described as a pleasant walk on parts of Offa's Dyke Footpath and visits Llyn Cyfynnwy with its delightful (my word) views.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Around Stocks Reservoir 25 September 2010

The War Memorial in the middle of Slaidburn.
Stocks Reservoir.
On the new bridge, light not at its best.
That's my boy!
Stocks Reservoir from the old railway track on the North side.

Walk stats: Distance:11.2 miles; Climb:1576'.
Time:5 hours 27 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Mike D., Sylvia and Dave J.
What a glorious day this turned out to be for walking. Clear blue skies and lots of sunshine with a cooling Northerly wind. Only towards the end of the walk did a few wispy white clouds started to appear above us.
This walk turned out to be more demanded than we had originally expected as the route description suggested only 320' of climb!
The walk was a lot more varied too and the views all day were superb. We visited the lovely St James' church near Stocks Reservoir that even had its own wind turbine to generate electricity. We also visited two bird hides that overlooked the reservoir, that added quite a few unexpected to today's bird list.
We decided to stick to the original route from New House as a leaflet picked up at the School Lane Car Park indicated that there was a foot bridge where our route description mentioned a ford that could be difficult to cross at times. The new bridge had only been built in the last couple of years in memory of Gil that had died in 2008.
Our last and probably best views of the reservoir were seen as we strolled along an old railway track bed on the Western side heading back towards Slaidburn.
Passing through a marshy field we had good views of a Brown hare, but alas it ran away too quickly to catch it on camera!
Birds seen or heard today included:Kestrel, Goldfinch, Common gull, Barn swallow, House martin, Grey heron, Buzzard, Linnet, Great cormorant, Mallard, Teal, Tufted duck, Wigeon, Lesser black-backed gull, Herring gull, Meadow pipit, Long-tailed tit, Lapwing, Pied wagtail, Canada goose and Barnacle goose.
I don't think that I have ever seen so many Barnacle geese on an inland reservoir, we counted over 20 birds as we went around the Eastern end of the reservoir.
On such a beautiful day the picturesque village of Slaidburn was seen at its best with quite a few visitors including quite a few at the Riverside Cafe sampling their wares as they sat around the outside tables looking over the river.
after walk drinks were enjoyed at the Hark to Bounty in Slaidburn, where Tirril Academy was the first choice followed by Theakston's Old Peculiar.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Golden Grove, Coed Bell and Voelnant 23rd September 2010

The first climb of the day, just what we wanted!
Guardians of the gate!
On route to Gwaenysgor.
Looking towards the Great Orme from Offa's Dyke footpath above Prestatyn.
Lunch time on the outskirts of Prestatyn. I didn't dare to askTito what he was was doing!
A delightful footpath!

Walk stats: Distance: 8.1 miles; Climb:1267'.
Time:4 hours 29 minutes; On the move walking average:2.2 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Richard, Roger, Gordon, Annie H., Phil, Sue and Michel, Sylvia and Dave J., Fran and Tito.
What a lovely walking walking, a little on the warm side, but patchy blue skies and plenty of sunshine and no need for waterproofs. This was true until 13-45 when it started to rain,gently at first, but quite heavy at times and it lasted for about half an hour. At least it was warm rain! Only one member of the group braved the elements without putting on his waterproof, but thankfully, like others, he changed into a dry set of clothes back at the car.
It is always good to start in the picturesque village of Llansana before climbing towards Golden Grove and onto Gwaensygnor.
The best views of the day were from the Offa's Dyke footpath on the approach to Prestatyn where the Great Orme too was clearly in sunshine.
Lunch was taken at our usual spot where we enjoyed the new seats that gave us superb views over Prestatyn and across the Dee estuary towards Liverpool and the Wirral. Lunch was taken just before 12-00, despite Fran declaring that it was too early!
As we approached Gronant it started to rain, but thankfully we were only just over a mile away from the car and the rain had stopped by the time that we were back in Llanasa.
Birds seen or heard today included: Grey Heron, Snipe, Skylark, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Raven, Mallard, Pheasant, Moorhen, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Woodpigeon and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. It was good to find that the new landlady intends to keep the same opening times as the previous licensees.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Darwen Moor 18th September 2010

At the trig point on Darwen Hill. Photo by Richard.
Tito at the top of the Darwen Jubilee Tower. Photo by Richard.
Lunch time. Photo by Richard.
Fran at Fran's Gate with the Darwen Jubilee Tower in the background.
At Hollinshead Hall and Well.
Trekking across the featureless open part of Darwen Moor.
View across Sunnyhurst Hey Reservoir from the top of the Darwen Jubilee Tower.

Walk stats; Distance:12,4 miles. Climb:1563'.
Time: 5 hours 20 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.;Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Dave J., Fran and Tito.
A good day for walking, some warm sunshine, very little rain, but at times a little on the cool side when we were in the cool breeze.
This was a very a pleasant 10 mile circular walk using mainly the Witton Weavers Way. Even crossing the supposedly featureless moor section had some views and things to look at. Thankfully the paths that we used to cross Darwen Moors were clear and good underfoot.
The Darwen Jubilee Tower was on the skyline at the start of the walk and dominated the skyline even more so as we approached it after lunch.
We all decided to climb to the upper viewing area at the top of the tower, where we had good views no matter where we looked.
Birds seen or heard today included:Chaffinch, House sparrow, Nuthatch, Great tit, Barn swallow, Carrion crow, Blackbird, Long-tailed tit, Goldfinch, Common starling, Kestrel, Black-billed magpie, Woodpigeon, Meadow pipit, Mallard, Canada goose, Pied wagtail and on the grey side Grey wagtail and Grey Heron.
An enjoyable pint of Thee B's Bobbins Bitter was enjoyed at the Royal Arms at Tockholes. Tito announced that he had lost his glasses, not for the first time! Having emptied all of the car boot and the rucksacks in vain, Tito disappeared and triumphantly reappeared wearing his glasses - good end to the day!

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Gadlys, Nant-y Flint and east of Holywell 16th September 2010


Looking across the Dee estuary towards the Wirral bathed in sunshine.

Nearly there, and the Sun is still shining

Plums, glorious plums or should it be "hold your plums"!

Walk stats: distance: 12.0 miles; Climb:1610'.
Time: 6 hours 7 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Phil, Sylvia and Dave J., Annie H., Sue and Michel.
The weather today was much kinder than we were expecting. Only a few minutes of rain throughout and the rest of the mainly in sunshine, and at times we were even accompanied by a lovely cooling breeze!
This walk was more of a challenge than usual, we soon found ourselves trekking through what seemed like a wilderness and for someone in shorts it wasn't good news!
This hazard over, we were soon able to enjoy superb views across the Dee estuary as we descended back down to New Brighton (East of Bagillt).
Other challenges included a very muddy section through the wood just outside Holywell (our own fault the better path was about 20 feet higher, I (we) must remember next time!).
The surprise of the day was to find a kissing gate erected in a 6' fence that had in the past been a barrier only 1 foot away from a stile and a waymark sign through it.
The highlight of the day, for some, was a tree full of ripe plums, slowing us down just a little!
Birds seen or heard today included; House sparrow, Common starling, Barn swallow, House martin, Blackbird, Great tit, Jay, Black-billed magpie, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Carrion crow, Black-headed gull, Nuthatch and Jackdaw.
Butterflies seen included; Red admiral and a Peacock.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. The Lees bitter went down well, a pity I was driving!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Ysceifiog to Moel Arthur 11th September 2010

I decided to miss out on the walk today and go down to the Exacta Stadium to watch Chester win 2 -0 against Garforth Town from Leeds.
Only Mike and Richard decided to walk.

Account provided by Richard.

Stats:Distance:12.8 miles; Climb:1644' (Total ascent/descent:3287').
Time:4 hours 24 minutes; On the move walking average:3.4 m.p.h.
Mike and I had a good walk despite odd outbreaks of showers. Temperature quite warm throughout the walk.
The route was Ysceifiog to Nannerch, to Summit of Moel Arthur, descent to parking spot at the bottom of Penyclodiau, contoured around lower route and had a hurried lunch as rain arrived, then continued around to cross Offas Dyke and descend down to cross A541, past nature reserve then right turn up hill back to Ysceifiog.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Ysceifiog, Llixwm and Nannerch Round 9th September 2010

On the road from Ysceifiog to Llixwm - one of the many! Aren't wea serious lot!
Setting off through the Waen dymarch woods just after lunch. Who's the happy one?

Walk stats: 9.2 miles; Climb:933'.
Time:4 hours 35 minutes; On the move walking average:2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Celia, Dave J, Richard, Annie H., Gordon, Sue and Michel.
The forecast was for rain at mid-day. Thankfully only Richard experienced the rain at Ysceifiog before we arrived! Most of the walk enjoyed in the the sunshine, with largely blue skies. This is always an enjoyable walk around Richard's village, but it doesn't give a lot of opportunity for taking inspiring photos! However today new kissing gates and the absence of "really muddy" paths made this walk even better than usual. The main disappointment, at least for some, was the lack of suitable lunch spots, and the the one taken wasn't perfect, on the roadside before entering Waen dymarch woods. At least four members of the group had a "park bench" to sit on, the rest just as on the roadside like waifs and strays! Celia provided Lake District Ginger Bread, enjoyed by most of the group.
The birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Barn swallow, Raven, Carrion crow, Goldfinch, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Blue tit, Great tit, Jackdaw, Jay, Black-billed magpie, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Redstart, Blackbird and Buzzard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed as usual at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, wher the Lees bitter was in particularly good nick!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Tyrrau Mawr and Craig-y-llyn 4th September 2010

On a new route to the Carnedd Lwyd. Photograph bt Richard.
Looking towards Barmouth. Photograph bt Richard.
The information board next to Mary Jones' home when she set off bare foot at the age of fifteen to walk to Bala to get a Bible.
Thankfully we don't have to do that to get a Bible in a language that we can read!
Cadair Idris from our lunch spot on Carnedd Lwyd.
On the summit of Tyrrau Mawr.
Cwm Craig-y-llyn from the slopes of Tyrrau Mawr.
On the summit of Craig-y-llyn or very close to it!

Walk stats: Distance: 10.9 miles; Climb:2505'.
Time: 6 hours 12 minutes; On the move walking average:2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Mike and Dave J.
The weather forecast was spot on, warm and sunny until lunch, clouding over after lunch with a superb cooling breeze and light showers between 3 and 4 p.m.
The views throughout the walk were superb, looking up and down the valley, looking across towards Cadair Idris, looking to the coast towards Barmouth and the view of the day was probably looking towards Craig-y-llyn from Tyrrau Mawr.
We lost Richard soon after heading up towards the summit of Craig-y-llyn, but thankfully he was in the car when we arrived back at Llanfihangel-y-Pennant.
The descent from the ridge wasn't particularly easy for us, but I don't think Richard's route was any better either!
After walk drinks were enjoyed as always at the Cholomendey Arms at Cadole where the beer of choice today was the Woodlands Brewery's " Old Faithful".

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Lixwm, Brynford, Holywell Common and More 2nd September 2010

Lunchtime below the lime kilns.
A Comma butterfly seen on the walk.
The start of the walk, are we really in Wales?
The second time on Holywell Common.
A short cut lead us to this account of a leaping horse!
Which three of the group could have posed for this creation at Brynford?
Answers on a postcard!

Walk stats:Distance:12.7 miles; Climb:678'.
Time: 5 hours 53 minutes; On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Richard, Roger, Sue Pelissier, Sylvia and Dave J.
What a glorious sunny day for walking this turned out to be. Until the last ten minutes or so we had wall to wall blue sky, and only a few wispy clouds accompanied us back to the car. The occasional breeze was welcome, but it didn't happen often ad temperatures must have been in the mid twenties for most of the walk.
This superb walk could be summarized as as "bare legs, Stinging nettles, waist high Bracken and stiles we didn't like!"
The warm conditions brought out the butterflies as well as the birds.
Butterflies seen included: Red admirals, Small tortoiseshell, Comma, Small Heath and Large white.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common starling, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Pied wagtail, House sparrow, Barn swallow, Common buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Common gull, Herring gull. Black-billed magpie, Jay, Carrion crow, Linnet, Goldfinch and Jackdaw.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. After a long walk in the hot Sun, refreshments at the Brit were more than welcome!
Hopefully Michel's knees will have recovered by next week.