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.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Walk Statistics 2011

Total number of walks - 101.
Walks cancelled due to bad weather - 1.
Walks cancelled because I don't like walking on my own - 3.
Where have we walked?
Wales - 71 walks.
Cheshire - 16 walks.
Peak District - 8 walks.
Lancashire - 5 walks.
Shropshire - 1 walk.
Total distance walked - 981.2 miles.
Total climb involved - 121, 003'.
Who has joined the group on a walk this year?
Martyn Harris, Dave and Sylvia Jenkins, Fran and Tito Ravazzolo, Sue and Michel Pelissier, Roger Smith, Annie Hammond, Celia de Mengel,Carol Herbstritt, Phil Marsland, Paul de Mengle, Gordon McNee, Sue and Dave Pearson, John and Elaine Greenhalgh, Paul Greenhalgh, Carol and Tim Dwyer, Mike Dodd, Paul Collinson, LeRoi Walwin, Wendy Peers and Georgie the Jack Russell, Richard Green, Becky Lennon and Indy the Lancashire healer/Jack Russell cross.
How many join each walk?
Thursday  2 -14.
Saturday 2-6.  Although we did get 11 on January 1st.
Birds seen or heard during our walks -126.
Barn swallow, Bar-tailed godwit, Black-billed magpie, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Brent goose, Bullfinch, Chiffchaff, Chough, Coal tit, Collared dove, Common buzzard, Common coot, Common crossbill, Common gull, Commom redstart, Common sandpiper, Common starling, Common tern,Common whitethroat, Cuckoo, Curlew, Dipper, Dunlin, Dunnock, Eider duck, European robin, Feral pegeon, Fieldfare, Fulmar, Gadwall, Ganet, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Goosander, Grasshopper warbler, Great black-backed gull, Great cormorant, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Great crested grebe, Green woodpecker,Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey wagtail, Greylag goose, Guillemot, He harrier, Herring gull, House sparrow, House martin, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Kittiwake, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little gull, Long-tailed tit, Mallard, Meadow pipit, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Muscovy duck, Mute swan, Nuthatch, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pintail, Puffin, Purple sandpiper, Raven, Razorbill, Red grouse, Red-breasted merganser, Red-legged partridge, Red kite, Redpoll, Redshank, Redstart, Redwing, Reed bunting, Ringed plover, Ring ouzel,Ring-necked parakeet, Rock dove, Rock pipit, Rook, Ruff, Sand martin,Shag, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Skylark, Snipe, Song thrush, Stonechat, Sparrowhawk,Tawny owl, Teal, Tree sparrow, Tufted duck, Turnstone, Wheatear, Widgeon, Willow tit, Willow warbler, Winter wren, Treecreeper, Woodpigeon, Wood warbler, Yellowhammer.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Moel Fammau 29th December 2011

Moel Fammau from the viewpoint above Loggerheads Country Park.
Raring to go!
Walking along the Leet.
Escaping from the "breeze" on the summit of Moel Fammau.
The final section of the new (to us) descent.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.6 miles. Climb: 2158' (Taken from when we did the same route in 2010). On the GPS today mine came to 3057' and Roger's 3500', obviously they were both wind assisted.
Time: 5 hours 22 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie H., Sue and Michel, Wendy, Sylvia and Dave J.
The weather forecast wasn't particularly good and we were expecting lots of showers and high winds giving real feel temperatures just above freezing.
Thankfully the only real rain we encountered was after lunch, and the only challenging wind was as we approached the summit of Moel Fammau. It helped us on the ascent, but around the Jubilee Tower itself, the wind was so strong that the sensible ones didn't even attempt to climb it! Which two went to the top? Alas there is no photographic record of their feat!
This walk is always a good walk with its easy start along the Leet and the steady climb, eventually bringing us to our lunch spot just beyond the top reservoir.
By 12-20 we were on our way again, bracing the wind and the rain as we headed for the Offa's Dyke footpath.
Sue and Michel decided to take a lower level route that contoured around Mole Fammau  before heading back to Loggerheads.
The rest of us gritted our teeth, determine to reach the summit.  This done, we all passed the trig point, to follow a new to us path that headed almost in a straight line towards Brithdir Mawr. This is good route, but quite steep in places, but would be excellent on a dry, calm day!
Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Nuthatch, Fieldfare, Redwing, Chaffinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Jackdaw, Raven, Bullfinch, European robin, Blackbird and Long-tailed tit.
The most spectacular bird seen as we approached Moel Fammau, turned out to be bits of bracken  fifty feet above us, twisting and turning as they were caught by the ever icreasing "breeze".
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn in Mold, where Hawkhead bitter and Weetwood's Cheshire Cat went down well.
A good walk, despite being tired and weather beaten.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Walks and Dates December 2011

Just in case anyone in the walking group has not yet heard, Sue Pearson's mother died on the evening of Friday 2nd December 2011.
I know Sue, Dave, Sarah, Elen and the rest of the family are in our thoughts and prayers  at this time.

The funeral will take place on Monday 19th December 2011 at 12-00 at Upton Church of the Holy Ascension on Church Lane

Congratulations to Emma and Dan on the birth of their son, Henry Alexander on 20th November 2011, and to Paul and Yvonne on becoming grandparents for the fifth time.

Congratulations to Beth and Jake on the birth of their daughter, Isabella Catherine on Tuesday 22nd November 2011 and to Fran and Tito on becoming grandparents again.

Friday 30th December 2011.
Roger and Margaret Smith kindly invite members of the walking group to their
"at home"
from 3-00pm to 7.00 pm.




Thursday 1st December 2011.
Penycloddiau and Moel Arthur.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Llangwyfan Forestry car park: SJ138668.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Clwydian Hills".  This area of the Clwydians has so much to offer, and Moel arthur and Penycloddiau is particularly good.  On a good day the views from both hill forts is superb.
Saturday 3rd December 2011.
Y Bala and Beyond Llanfor.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:1600'.
Start: Pont y Bala car park. Grid ref: SH929362.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.past we have parked next to the football field.)
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book"Walks Around Y Bala and Penlylyn". The main walk explores the varied countryside North of Bala, including the wild remote upland around Moel Emoel. The second walk allows us to explore Bala itself and discover some of its history.
Thursday 8th December 2011.
Around Rhuddlan and the Clwyd Estuary.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 450'.
Start: Marine Lake Car park off Westbourne Avenue at the West end of Rhyl.
Leave Chester at 09-00a.m.
A low level walk that we always do at this time of the year. Hopefully this time we will be able to use paths on both sides of the river!  A good time of the year to see some of a Winter visiting ducks and geese, so bring your binoculars with you if you have them.  as last year we will probably make a detour to go round the Brickfield Pond Nature Reserve. We usually do this walk in anti-clock-wise direction, but this time we will as described in the route description, but this time we will attempt the riverside part of the walk in the opposite direction.  A chance for us to use our map reading skills without being distracted by any descriptions!
Saturday 10th December 2011.
Talacre to Prestatyn and the Point of Ayr.
Distance: 10 miles.Climb: 100'.
Start: Talacre beach car park (Next to the Smugglers Inn) Grid ref:SJ124848.
Leave Chester 08-30 a.m.
This is a walk that we often do on a Thursday as well.  The first part of the walk is along the beach, tide permitting, and return through the golf course and sand dunes.
This is a good time of the year to see Wintering ducks and possibly  Snow buntings on the shore, so bring binoculars if you can.
The short walk to former site of the bird hide at the Point of Ayr will be completed, legs and weather permitting!
Thursday 15th December 2011.
Limestone, Lead, Halkyn Mountain and Our Christmas Meal at the Britannia Inn.
Distance: 6 miles. Climb:600'.
Start: Britannia Inn, Halkyn, car park. Grid ref: SJ211711.
Leave Chester 09-00, hopefully for a 09-30 walk start.
A short walk over very familiar territory, so that we are back at the Britannia Inn just before 13-00 p.m.
Little needs to be said about this walk as most of us have done it before.  There may be a little improvisation on the return route once we have reached the trig point on Halkyn Mountain.
Saturday 17th December 2011.
Postponed  until January 2012.
All Around Ilam.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:500' at a guess!
Start: Blore Pastures car park. Grid ref: SK135498.
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
Two walks are taken from Mark Richards' book "White Peak Walks - Southern Dales". These were the first two walks that I did after recovering from my knee ligament squash accident more than 10 years ago.  One walk is described as revealing a beautiful and seldom seen aspect of the Manifold valley with its traverse of Musden Low and return within the sinuous wooded valley of Musden.  The second walk explores the country park around Ilam Hall and Ilam village itself. The extension to the walk is somewhat contrived and explores both sides of the Manifold between Ilam and Thorpe. Just to be awkward, we will probably do the extension first!
Thursday 22nd December 2011.
A West Kirby Round.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: 264'.
Start: Alongside the Marine Lake at West Kirby as near to the sailing club (the one with real yachts in the compound) as you can get. Grid ref: SJ21468600.
Leave Chester 09-00a.m.
This walk is based on a walk by Raymond Roberts from his booklet "Wirral Six". However we will extendit to include the Gilroy Nature Reserve before heading up Grange Hill.  If we want to extend the walk we can continue along the shore as far as Hoylake, tide permitting! Another good walk for birdwatching, so bring your binoculars with you.
Saturday 24th December 2011.
Talacre to Prestatyn and the Point of Ayr.
Distance: 10 miles.Climb: 100'.
Start: Talacre beach car park (Next to the Smugglers Inn) Grid ref:SJ124848.
Leave Chester 08-30 a.m.
This is a walk that we often do on a Thursday as well. The first part of the walk is along the beach, tide permitting, and return through the golf course and sand dunes.
This is a good time of the year to see Wintering ducks and possibly Snow buntings on the shore, so bring binoculars if you can.
The short walk to former site of the bird hide at the Point of Ayr will be completed, legs and weather permitting!

Happy Christmas Everyone.


Thursday 29th December 2011.
Moel Fammau From Loggerheads Memorial.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 1600'.
Start: Parking area on the A494 opposite the "We Three Loggerheads" Memorial Stone. On the left just after passing the shop at Cadole. Grid ref: SJ20246265.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk starts by heading above the limestone quarries before dropping down to the leat. Eventually reaching a road that heads towards Cilcain. Our route takes a short cut along  a path above fishing ponds before taking monor road past the waterworks at Cilcain. Just after the upper resrvoir our route swings South, skirting around Moel Dywyll before rising to the summit of Moel Arthur.   Our return route uses paths running South of ffrith Mountain and Rhyd yr Eilun, before passing through the Loggerheads Country Park car park and Visitor Centre and the last climb up the road to the car park.
A walk using OS maps only!
Friday 30th December.

Roger and Margaret Smith's at home.
From 15-00 to 19-00.

Saturday 31st December.

No Walk






Thursday, 22 December 2011

Another West Kirby Round 22nd December 2011

Turmstones by the Marine Lake Causeway, West Kirby
The Marine Lake, West Kirby
Looking across Hilbre towards the Point of Ayr Lighthouse.
On the beach between Red Rocks and Hoylake Lifeboat Station.
On the extension through Caldy.
Distance: 9.2 miles. Climb: 527'.
Time: 4 hours 14 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie H., Sue and Michel, Phil, Wendy and Dave J.
What a glorious sunny day this turned out to be, not the dull overcast weather forecast.  We arrived at the Marine Lake becalmed and the Sun shining.  This was more like a Spring day than a Winter day, and we should have been in shorts, alas I listened to the forecast, but at least I didn't have to wear a fleece or waterproof!
The Marine Lake provided the birds of the day with two male Goldeneye and close up views of Turnstone, although perhaps the sight of the day was the swirling flocks of Dunlin as they twisted and turned over the water's edge.
It was such a good day that we extended the walk along the beach beyond Red Rocks as far as the Lifeboat Station at Hoylake, before cutting inland through the houses and eventually arriving at the Gilroy Nature Reserve.
Lunch was taken at the Grange Hill memorial where the views towards Hilbre and beyond to North Wales were superb.  In the other direction, Leasowe lighthouse and the cathedrals in Liverpool could easily be seen.
Once again Roger produced some of Margaret's excellent Mince Pies for everyone, another reminder that it really was December and not June!
The final extension was across Caldy Hill from the Beacon and back along the Wirral Way, with the final few hundred yards back along the beach to the Hoylake Yacht Club.
Birds seen or heard today included: Turnstone, Goldeneye, Red breasted merganser, Black-heade gull, Herring gull, Dunlin, Common redshank, Curlew, Great black backed gull, Oystercatcher, Knot, tonechat, Skylark, Shelduck, Kestrel, European robin, Common starling, Pied wagtail, Shoveler, Black-tailed godwit, Common coot, Moorhen, Greylag goose, Carrion crow, Common teal, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Canada goose, Long-tailed tit, Great tit, Blue tit and Blackbird.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the very popular Wheatsheaf at Raby where the Brimstage brew Trappers Hat went down well.
Overall a fantastic walk, a contender for the walk of the year!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Around Halkyn Mountain - A Christmas Lunch Walk 15th December 2011

The start of the walk.
Llama watching!
At the trig point on Halkyn Mountain.
Nearly home and two more have joined the group!
Pre-meal drinks at the Britaania Inn.
Main courses nearly finished.
Walk stats: Distance: 5.8 miles. Climb:695'.
Time: 3 hours 0 Minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Phil, Paul, Annie H., Sue and Michel, Tito, Sue and Dave, Carol and Tim, Wendy, Sylvia and Dave (caught up with group about a mile from the end), Fran, Sheila and Gordon (joined us for the meal).
Once again we had the best of the weather, a couple of showers that didn't last too long.  The only wind we experienced was on the top of Halkyn Mountain, and even then it wasn't very strong and just a little on the cool side for one or two of the group.
Good views were seen from the trig point on Halkyn Mountain, especially across the Dee estuary to Liverpool and towards the Clwydian hills with their slight dusting of snow.
A bonus today was the absence of any really muddy sections and when some of the group were wondering if they could last 'till lunch at 13-30, Tim came to the rescue with some excellent Danish pastries for everyone, just enough to revive those that had started to flag a little.
Back at the Britania Inn, we had about an hour to chat with a drink in the bar before going into the conservatory for the Christmas lunch.  The Lunch went down well with everyone, although Phil's "Yorkshire" pudding looked rather sad.  Everyone was give a free mince pie and coffee at the end of the meal. A nice gesture as it wasn't expected.  
Another bonus for me was that the rest of the group wouldn't let me pay! Thanks everyone.
Birds seen or heard today included: Great tit, Blue tit, Carrion crow, Woodpigeon, Fieldfare, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Long-tailed tit, European robin and Black-billed magpie.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Marine Lake, Brickfield Pool, Rhuddlan Nature Reserve, Afon Clwyd and the Foryd 10th December 2011

The Marine Lake, Rhyl.
One or two Lapwings above the Marine Lake.
Rhuddlan Castle from our lunch spot in Rhuddlan Local nature Reserve.
Walk stats: 10.0 miles. Climb: 839'.
Time: 4 hours 56 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Roger.
Down to two walking today, but it had the bonus that Martyn  had a few more of Margaret's excellent mince pies to enjoy!
A bright and sunny day, but on the cool side, much better than lashing rain and gale force winds that greeted us on Thursday.
The Marine Lake had been allowed to drain and quite a bit of mud was exposed, consequently there great numbers of Lapwing, Oystercatchers and quite a few Redshank too.  The star birds on the Marine Lake were the 12 Red breasted mergansers.
This walk was largely on the North Wales Path and new tarmacked paths around nature reserves, so we arrived back at the ca with clean boots, always a bonus.
Paths on both sides of the Afon Clwyd were open and we completed a small extension along the North Wales path to the coast and back around by the harbour.
Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Feral pigeon, Woodpigeon, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Winter wren, Common redshank, Lapwing, Goosander, Red breasted merganser, Mallard, Oystercatcher, Little grebe, Great crested grebe, Herring gull, Great cormorant, Grey heron, Dunlin, Kestrel, Curlew, Little egret, Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Pied wagtail, Teal, Wigeon, Greylag goose, Mute swan, Shelduck. Tufted duck, Common coot, Moorhen, Black-headed gull, Ringed plover, Meadow pipit, Goldfinch, Common starling and Dunlin.
Overall a good walk, especially if you like bird watching too!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the Lees bitter went down well and people were enjoying meals.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Rhuddlan and the Clwyd Estuary 8th December 2011

Only Martyn, Roger, Gordon, Annie H, Sue and Michel arrived at the Marine Lake car park at Rhyl.  We sat in the car for about half  an hour, hoping that the rain would stop and the gale force wind would abate a little. The rain got worse and the wind got stronger so it was a unanimous decision to abandon the walk and head for home and for me soup and corned beef butties for tea!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Beyond Llanfor and Y Bala 3rd December 2011.

Llanfor church, sadly no longer in use.
Our lunch-time view across Llyn Tegid.
One of the rainbows seen today.
Underground Craig Y Fron quarries above Bala.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.6 miles. Climb: 1570'.
Time: 5 hours 24 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Dave J.
Today we had sunshine and showers all day, thankfully none of the showers lasted very long and were never enough to wet us!  However the same couldn't be said for conditions underfoot as we grossed quite a few boggy and at times muddy fields and a ford that was a little deeper than we really wanted!  The wind was a little on the cool side, so winter gear and gloves were appropriate for most of the walk!
Nevertheless this was a good walk with the light and views constantly changing.  We also had the occasional rainbow appearing.
The Afon Tryweryn was quite full and flowing quite rapidly, ideal for canoeing, but to our surprise two Dippers were constantly in and out of the water.  In fact one of them seemed to be swimming on the surface of the water before diving under it, and repeating it time and time again, behaviour that neither Dave or myself have ever seen before.  This deep fast flowing water we thought was not "Dipper territory".
Lunch was taken alongside Llyn Tegid, where we took advantage of the many seats provided.
The underground quarries Craig Y Fron quarries were the most interesting feature on the after lunch part of the walk. The limestone quarried being used to build Capel Tegid and many other buildings that we saw on our history tour of Bala later in the walk.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Long-tailed tit, Collared dove, Black-headed gull, House sparrow, Pied wagtail, Carrion crow, Raven, Jackdaw, Common buzzard, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, European robin, Mallard, Meadow pipit, Grey heron and Dipper.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Bridge Inn at Pontybodkin, where two good brews from the Cottage brewery were on offer.

Birds heard or seen on walks in 2011

Updated 3rd December 2011.  Total to date:126.
Red Kite, the bird of the day on 4th June.
(Picture from Wikipedia)
The hundreth different species of bird seen on our walks this year.
 (Picture from Wikipedia)
Ring ouzel - at least 7 different birds were seen in the area around Tal y Fan on 16th April.
Bird of the year so far!
 (Picture from Wikipedia)
Cormoran huppé
European shag, our bird of the on Saturday 12th March 2011.
(Picture from Oiseaux.net)

Greenshank, the bird of the day on Saturday 5th March 2011.
(Picture from Wikipedia)

A female Ring-necked parakeet, our most unexpected sighting this year to date.
A pair of Ring-necked parakeets, but we only saw one.
(Picture from Wikipedia.)
Barb swallow, Bar-tailed godwit, Black-billed magpie, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black-headed gull, Black-tailed godwit, Blue tit, Brent goose, Bullfinch, Chiffchaff, Chough, Coal tit, Collared dove, Common buzzard, Common coot, Common crossbill, Common gull, Commom redstart, Common sandpiper, Common starling, Common tern,Common whitethroat, Cuckoo, Curlew, Dipper, Dunlin, Dunnock, Eider duck, European robin, Feral pegeon, Fieldfare, Fulmar, Gadwall, Ganet, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Goosander, Grasshopper warbler, Great black-backed gull, Great cormorant, Great spotted woodpecker, Great tit, Great crested grebe, Green woodpecker,Greenfinch, Greenshank, Grey heron, Grey wagtail, Greylag goose, Guillemot, He harrier, Herring gull, House sparrow, House martin, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Kittiwake, Knot, Lapwing, Lesser black-backed gull, Linnet, Little egret, Little grebe, Little gull, Long-tailed tit, Mallard, Meadow pipit, Mistle thrush, Moorhen, Muscovy duck, Mute swan, Nuthatch, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pintail, Puffin, Purple sandpiper, Raven, Razorbill, Red grouse, Red-breasted merganser, Red-legged partridge, Red kite, Redpoll, Redshank, Redstart, Redwing, Reed bunting, Ringed plover, Ring ouzel,Ring-necked parakeet, Rock dove, Rock pipit, Rook, Ruff, Sand martin,Shag, Sedge warbler, Shelduck, Short-eared owl, Skylark, Snipe, Song thrush, Stonechat, Sparrowhawk,Tawny owl, Teal, Tree sparrow, Tufted duck, Turnstone, Wheatear, Widgeon, Willow tit, Willow warbler, Winter wren, Treecreeper, Woodpigeon, Wood warbler, Yellowhammer.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau 1st December 2011

On the top of Moel Arthur.
Dave Evans's "creation" nearing completion.
All photographs taken by Phil.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.0 miles. Climb: 1576'.
Time: 4 hours 37 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Dave J., Annie H., Phil and Paul.
What should I wear?  Arriving at the Llangwyfan Forestry car park with temperatures around 5 Celsius and a cool wind, I opted for the "Paramo" gear. It was the decision, although at one point when we were in the shelter of Moel Arthur I did have my doubts!
Anyway this turned out to be yet another great day weather wise to be walking in the Clwydiands.  Lots of others thought so too, but as far as we were concerned they were all going in the wrong direction!
The views all day were superb, not perfect, but it was all there, the Berwyns, the Moelwyns,  the Snowdon group, the Glyders,  the Carneddau , the Great Orme and later the Anglican cathedral in Liverpool, not forgetting the Clwydians North towards Moel y Parc and South towards Mole Fammau.
What a blessing it is to be able to walk in these hills on a day like this.  Even the variety of birds seen and heard today were a bonus as was seeing Dave Evans dream house being near completion, although alas for Dave it is someone else that is completing it!
Lunch was enjoyed by the cars at Llangwyfan Forestry Car Park, before setting off on the second part of the walk. Both walks taken today were walked in a clockwise direction, opposite to the usual route. It almost seemed like a new walk and has much to commend it.
Birds seen or heard today included: Kestrel, Raven, Common buzzard, Meadow pipit, Blue tit, Long-tailed tit, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Fieldfare, Redwing, Blackbird, Carrion crow, Bullfinch, Greenfinch and Yellowhammer.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the Lees bitter was in particularly good form!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Harris Hikers Christmas Meal 2011

Thursday 15th December 2011.
Harris Hikers Christmas Meal.
This years Christmas Meal together will take place at the Britanni Inn at Halkyn on the 15th December 2011.
The menu offered is as follows:

If you let me know whether you can make it and give me your order, I can collate them and give numbers and orders to the Britannia Inn as soon as I can. I want to hand in he completed meals list on Thursday 8th December. I would appreciate all orders to be given to me by Wednesday 8th December.
As usual we will park at the Britannia Inn  (about 09-30 a.m.) have a walk of about 6 miles and be back at the Britannia for about 13-00. Meal 13-30 onwards. 
If you can't make the walk, but can make the meal that's OK too. 
If you're thinking of walking with the group and want to check us out and want to join us for the meal, that's fine too!

Bakewell, Chatsworth Park and the River Wye 26th November 2011

Female goosander on the Derwent at Chatsworth Park.
Red deer in the rain at Chatsworth Park.
Male Tufted duck on the Derwent at Chatsworth Park.
Grey wagtail on the Derwent at Chatsworth Park.
Autumnal colours between Carlton Lees and our lunch spot.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.1 miles. Climb: 1567'.
Time: 4 hours 35 minutes. On he move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J., Mike D and Celia.
Weather was expected to be mainly on the dull side, with a little Sun and possibly some showers.  This was pretty well what we got, but the showers were merely a dampness in the air and didn't warrant a stop to put on waterproofs!  In the main views were good, but today some of the birds that we saw were the highlight of the day.
It started well as we descended the track to Elsenor, when we saw a Treecreeper (they've been quite elusive this year, then we saw a Goosander on the Derwent as we approached Chatsworth Park and further down the river we had good views of a Grey wagtail (spotted first by Celia, that must be a first!), and later on we saw four Common crossbills at Carlton Lees ( first for the blog and definately the birds of the day).  In addition we saw a large number of Red deer on the slopes above the river at Chatsworth Park.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common crossbill, Collared dove, Black-billed magpie, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Winter wren, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Black-headed gull, Mallard, Canada goose, Common coot, Moorhen, Tufted duck, Grey wagtail, Long-tailed tit, House sparrow and possiblt a Sparrowhawk.
After walk drinks were enjoyecd by all but one at the Wilkes Head in Leek where Hartington Bitter was the icing on the cake after a good walk.  Sadly Dolly, the landlords dog, is no longer with us.
I must remember not to visit Bakewell this near Christmas, parking was horrendous and if one car owner hadn't moved his car, I think we would have still been there!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

St. Dyfnog's Well, Llwyn Woods, Denbigh Castle and Goblin Fields 24th November 2011

The first stretch along the Clwydian Way from the Brookhouse Mill.
"And they came, two by two..."
Little do they know the number of steps that lie ahead!
Walk stats: distance: Distance: 9.7 miles. Climb: 885'.
Time: 4 hours 34 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Dave J., Annie H., Wendy and Phil.
A very select group walking today too many have other things to do!
A good day weather wise with temperatures well into the shorts walking zone!  Only one of the group lived up to that forecast and wore shorts!
This was a more varied walk than you might expect around the Ystrad and Clwyd, but today it really was superb. Difficult section of the walk encountered in the past had been cleared and new stiles put in.
The walk started well with a pair of Dippers showing well along the river.
When we Arvie at Llanrhaeadr, the St. Dyfnog's church, the church was open, so were all able to appreciate the magnificent Jesse window.
Lunch was taken early, just before we crossed the former golf course, as we couldn't envisage a suitable lunch spot later on.
Crossing fields towards Ystrad arm we even saw daises in flower!
A good walk despite those steps up to the castle!
Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Dipper, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Rook, Blue tit, Great tit, Common buzzard, Pied wagtail, Nuthatch, Common gull, Black-headed gull, Moorhen, Collared dove, Feral pigeon, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch and a Song thrush singing at a time of the year when they shouldn't!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at our usual hostelry, the Britannia Inn at Halkyn.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Walks and Dates November 2011

Harris Hikers Christmas Meal.
See seperate posting below for details.

Thursday 3rd November 2011.
Maes-Mynan and Pwll-Gwyn Woods, Bryn Golau and Ysceifiog Lake.
Distance: 11-12 miles. Climb:1000'.
Start: Ysceifiog. Park next to the village play area. Grid ref: SJ152715.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "More Walks On the Clwydian Hills". Both walks we have done several times, but not for some time. One walk is described as a delightful walk exploring the valley and foothills of the Clwydian Hills and the other walk as exploring the attractive and varied countryside overlooking the Wheeler Valley. Perhaps this time we will actually go round Pwll Gwyn Woods!
Saturday 5th November 2011.
Is-afon and Cwm Glyn with Lakeland Views and Upland Pastures.
Distance:10-11 miles. Climb:1800'.
Start: Snowdonia National Park Lakeside Car Park, Llangower. Grid ref:SH903321.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Y Bala nd Penllyn".  One walk explores the hills above Llangower, giving superb views and scenery. The second walk explores the attractive open hills South of Bala, giving the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views of the hills surrounding Llyn Tegid.
Thursday 10th November 2011.
Pencloddiau and Moel y Parc.
Distance: 10-12 miles. Climb:1800'.
Start: Llangwyfan Forestry Car Park between Pencloddiau and Moel Arthur.Grid ref: SJ139668.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
These two walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "More Walks on the Clwydian Hills. New and extended edition". The walk normally starts from Aberwheeler, but parking is somewhat limited there. This a good walk that explores both sides of Moel y Parc and Pencloddiau.  Expect superb views on a clear and frosty day.
Saturday 12th November 2011.
Great Hill, Spitler's Edge, White Coppice and More.
Distance:11-12 miles.
Climb:1200' at a guess.
Start: Tockholes Visitor Centre and Car Park next to the Royal Arms. SD665215.
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m
This walk is taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire". The described walk starts at White Coppice and is only 7 miles. We will extend the walk by starting at the Tockholes Visitor Centre Car park next to the Royal Arms. We have done most of the walk before, but not together. We will have plenty of opportunity to test how waterproof our boots are, especially as we cross Great Hill and Spitler's Edge, peat moorland at its best!
Thursday 17th November 2011.
Marion Frith, Moel Hiraddug, Cwm and Coed Yr Esgob.
Distance:10.4 miles; Climb:1600'.
Start:Car Park at the Western edge of Dyserth on the A5151. Grid ref:SJ062793.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
It's over a year since we last did these two walks together. Both walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydain Hills - New revised edition". He describes the first walk as delightful and the second one as providing a fascinating exploration of the low hills North of Dyserth.
Saturday 19th November 2011.
Mynydd Mynyllod, Llyn Maes y Clawdd and Earl's Wood.
Distance: 11-12 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Llanderfel Park next to the stream. Grid ref: SH982371.
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry;s book "Y Bala and Penllyn".  One walk explores the delightful hidden pastures and rocky outcrops, reaching moorland North of Llanderfel. The second walk features two attractive lakes and includes a section of the "Queens Walk" named after Queen Victoria'a visit in 1828.
Thursday 24th November 2011.
St. Dyfnog's Well, Llwyn Wood, Denbigh Castle and Goblin Fields.
Start: Riverside parking near the weir in Brookhouse. Turn westward opposite the Brookhouse Inn, signposted "Pottery". Grid ref: SJ06896567.
These two walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd".  The main walk explore the attractive and varied countryside between Llanrhaeadr and Brookhouse.  The highlight on the walk is the Jesse window in the medieval church at Llanrhaeadre.  The second walk takes us on a "green" approach to Denbigh Castle.
Saturday 26th November 2008
Bakewell, Chatsworth and the River Wye.
Distance:9 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Car park in Bakewell. Grid ref:SK218685.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m. If more than one car is required, it will probably be worthwhile going in convoy to ensure that we end up in the same car park.
This is a walk taken from the Pathfinder Guide "Peak District Walks". As well as attractive riverside walking, this walk gives grand views of Chatsworth House and an opportunity to visit Haddon Hall.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Mynydd Mynyllod, Llyn Maes y Clawdd and Earl's Wood19th November 2011

Our first view, looking towards Llanderfel.
On the path from Hafoty Wen to Mynydd Mynyllod.
At the summit of Mynydd Mynyllod!
"Don't just look at us, how do we get down?"
Walk stats:Distance: 11.8 miles. Climb:1657'.
Time: 5 hours 51 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Dave J and Mike D.
Yet another good day for walking, not too hot and not too cold and a good deal of sunshine.  In fact the only time that Martyn put his fleece on all day was when he went into the Bridge Inn for pint!
The described Mynydd Mynyllod walk was a little odd, so we decided to to do our own route for the part around Mynydd Mynyllod and in fact we did a bit of heather hopping to reach its summit for the first time and possibly the last!
Although we have done this walk a few times, much of the route today seemed new to me. I'm hoping that it was because we did some of the walk in the opposite direction to the described walk, rather tha yet another "senior" moment!
We had lunch back at Llanderfel, taking advantage of the bench provided, but alas not the PC that have been closed for the last couple of years!
The only excitement of the afternoon walk was to be buzzed by a bright red helicopter as we walked along the "Queen's Path back to Llanderfel.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Dunnock, Carrion crow, Raven, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Jackdaw, European robin, Chaffinch, Nuthatch, Great spotted woodpecker, Grey heron, Mallard and Common buzzard.
In all a good walk, appropriate for short wearing conditions in the middle of November!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Bridge Inn at Pontybodkin, where the beer of choice today was Brains bitter. Sadly only the dying embers were left in the hearth, I was glad that I'd put my fleece on!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Moel Hiraddug and Graig Fawr 17th November 2011

The birthday girl, and doesn't she look happy!
She must be thinking of the of her Sandford and London trip over the next few days!
"But you know I like horses"
At the trig point on Graig Fawr.
Fish Mine!
Walk stats: Distance: 10.8 miles. Climb: 1914'.
Time: 5 hours 49 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie H., Phil, Celia, Paul, Tom and Carol, Sylvia and Dave J., Fran and Tito.
Was this a shorts day or not? I didn't get any support/like thinkers until Tito joined us for the second part of the walk! I still think I made the right decision!
Another good day for walking, although it was somewhat blustery as we approached the summits of Moel Hiraddug and Graig Fawr, but on days like this inh November we should be very thankfull.
On much of the walk, once we attained any elivation we had good views., somewhat hazy, but enough to gladen the heart! Others may not agree, and I admit to be a little biased, but the coast along North Wales and Anglesey is unbeatable!
Thanks to Annie, we all enjoyed chocolate biscuits in celebration of her birthday.
This was the first time that I have been past the entrance to the well known "Fish Mine", definitely a special bonus for me.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, House sparrow, Great spotted woodpecker, Common gull, Black-headed gull, Common buzzard, Nuthatch and Winter wren.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the new extra large pots of tea went down well. It should go without saying that the Lees bitter did too!
"Chelsea" mentioned that some of the group were missing and then I realised Sue and Michel, Gordon, Sue and Dave were all missing today!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Great Hill, Spitler's Edge and White Coppice from Tockholes 12th November 2011

Heading for Great Hill, the first time.  Is this really the path?
At the win shelter on Great Hill on the first visit.
The paved way across Spitler's Edge.
Great Hill, the final approach on the second visit.
At the wind shelter on Great Hill on the second visit.
Walk stats: Distance:13.5 miles. Climb:1765'.
Time: 7 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Dave J and Mike D.
Another good day for walking, warm sunshine, little wind and not even a threat of any wet stuff (except for what was under our boots!
The car park was the best place for seeing birds today with 6 or 7 different species being seen. We set of from Tockholes along a woodland path that was decked with autumnal coloured leaves, a delightful way to start the walk.
After crossing the Belmont Road the "path" across the boggy peat moor to Great Hill was stretched ahead of us. Whilst none of us experienced "the peaty clutches ..... and waist deep embrace" of Terry Marsh's description, Martyn did experience a closer encounter of the peat than he he really wanted!
Lunch was taken alongside the access track to Lower Hempshaw's. We could just about see Rivington Pike tower. As we approached White Coppice we started to see more and more people.  The route from White Coppice to Great Hill past Drinkwaters seemed very popular with walkers and fell runners.
as we descended Great Hill after the second visit, the Darwen tower could clearly be seen with its new look, making us realise that we were luck enough to climb to the top of the tower on last year's visit.
Birds seen or heard today included: Nuthatch, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Greenfinch, Long-tailed tit, European robin, Tree sparrow, Carrion crow, Raven, Kestrel, Pied wagtail, Common pheasant, Eurasian jay, Meadow pipit and Mallard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Royal Arms at Tockholes.  The beers that went down well were Hopstar (Darwen brewery) and Glen top (Rossendale brewery). It's good to see that this gem of a pub is in the Camra 2012 Good Beer Guide.
Overall a superb day witha walk and pint to match!