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, 29 January 2011

A Traeth Lafan Round 29th January 2011

Ice on the sea shore!
Admiring the use of slate as fencing.
 
The path that we used from Abergwyngregyn.
Anglesey and Puffin Island from our lunch spot.
"The background is better than the foreground"  Not my comment!

Walk stats: Distance:9.9 miles. Climb:1275'.
Time: 5hours 10 minutes. On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Dave J. and Mike D.
This was a superb day for walking, bright and sunny with clear blue skies. Who could possibly want to go abroad when you get blue skies above blue seas in Wales?  
We set off along the beach towards Llanfairfechan hoping to spot a good selection of coastal birds. Unfortunately the tide was a little too far out and the North easterly wind made it uncomfortable to linger too long with binoculars so we saw fewer birds than expected.  The Traeth Lafan Nature Reserve was a disappointment too, most of the pools were frozen over and the only birds seen were a couple of Mallards!  Nevertheless it's always a joy to walk beside the sea. This time I decided that we would take the lower path from Abergwyngregyn. and explore a few paths that around the lower slopes back to Tal-y-bont.  This route was very pleasant, although the route through a farm wasn't clearly marked and we ended up going down the access track and rejoining path further on.
Quite a bit of the path just before lunch was very icy, but we all negotiated it successfully without a hint of a slip.
As ever the route through the farm near to entrance of the Taly-y-bont Nature Reserve was horrendous and we decided it should never be repeated! The only bonus was 100+ Greylag geese that circled above, having taken flight from a couple of fields away.
Arriving back at the car park, it was still bright and sunny and felt a little warmer that when we set off!
Birds seen or heard included: Redshank, Curlew, Shelduck, Wigeon, Oystercatcher, Carrion crow, Blackbird, Mallard, Greylag goose, Lapwing, Chaffinch, Winter wren, European robin, Blue tit, Coal tit, Great tit, Jackdaw, Rook, Common starling, Herring gull, Pied wagtail, Woodpigeon, Buzzard, Black-headed gull and Common gull.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn where the Lees bitter went down well.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Bryn Alyn and Moel Findeg 27th January 2011.


The first approach to Bryn Alyn.


A few friends alongside some unusually creative topiary in Maeshafn.


On the sunmmit of Moel Findeg.
I had another senior moment and forgot to take my camera!  Phil has kindly provided all of the photos.
Walk stats:Distance:9.3 miles. Climb:1860'.
Time: 5 hours 1 minute. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average:1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil, Tim, Sylvia and Dave J., Carol, Celia, Fran and Tito, Gordon, Annie H., Sue and Michel.
What a superb day for a winter walk this turned out to be.  Dry throughout, a breeze that was certainly on the cool side at times, and ending in glorious sunshine. 
This was a very varied walk that provided no route finding difficulties until we entered Nercwys Forest, where the ravages of tree felling didn't help our trying to find a path on the ground! as usual we ended up at the car park on the Eryris side of the forest and could use the minor roads to get back on track in the village.
Lunch was taken sheltering from the bitter wind just below an outcrop of limestone on the Southern part  of Bryn Alyn. 
Once back at Maeshafn we decide not to visit Deborah's Well and just extend the walk by a a mile or so to include Moel Findeg. As ever this proved to be a superb vantage point, with the whole of the Clwydian range coming into view as well as the Cheshire plain to the East.
Birds seen or head today included:European robin, Black-billed magpie, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven, Buzzard, Blue tit, Collared dove, Woodpigeon, Great tit, Dunnock, Mistle thrush, Chaffinch and Blackbird.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at a cost at the Glasfryn in Mold. Cwrw Eryry as ever went down well.  The tea went down well too!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Colin Horwell's Funeral

Updated 23rd January 2011.

As many of you know, Colin has been very poorly of late, and sadly lost his fight with cancer last week.

Colin's funeral will take place at Blacon Crematorium
at
09-30 on
Wednesday 26th January 2011.

Dates and Walks January 2011.

Updated 11th January 2011.
Happy New Year to Everyone.
Saturday 1st January 2011.
Hilbre Island and the West Kirby Round.
Distance:9-10 miles, although we can make it shorter if need be! Climb:300'.
Start:The Parade by the Marine Lake at West Kirby. Park near the old baths, opposite the Lifeboat Station. I expect this will be a popular place for a New Year's Day walk, so if we park at the end of the Parade towards the Yacht Club, we should have a better chance of parking near each other. Grid ref:SJ21458601.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Raymond Roberts' booklet "Wirral Walks - the West Wirral Six". This is the first time that we have attempted to go over to Hilbre Island, but the tide will be on its way out when we set off, so hopefully we can follow it out. If not we may have to visit Red Rocks first and have lunch on Hilbre. Although it won't be the best time for bird watching, it should still be worthwhile bringing binoculars, and there is a good chance of seeing Seals.
After returning to the mainland we will head down along the beach to Red Rocks where we will have lunch. Fruit cake will be provided, so let me know if you intend coming. If we complete the whole walk from Red Rocks we will set off down the road towards Hoylake and then on to Grange Hill before returning past the Beacon, through Ashton Park back to the start. If a shorter walk is required, then after lunch we can return to West Kirby along the path through the sand dunes.
Thursday 6th January 2011.
Thurstaston Common, Stapledon Wood, Caldy and More.
Distance:8-10 miles. Climb:1000'.
Start: Thursaston Visitor Centre Car Park. Grid ref:SJ239835.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This is a repeat of the walk that we did on 1st January 2010 and combines two walks from Raymond Roberts' booklet "Wirral Walks - the West Wirral Six". This is a relatively easy walk with good views along the way, especially from Thurstaston Hill. We hope to walk back from Caldy to Thursaston along the beach, so bring binoculars with you.
Saturday 8th January 2011
Errwood and Burbage Edge.
Distance:9-12 miles. Climb:2000'.
Start: The Street car park at the Eastern end of Errwood Reservoir. Grid ref:SK013757.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". This is another walk from the Goyt Valley and involves sections in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, if we take the longer route. He describes the views on the walk as being outstanding. We have walked in this area several times, but I don't think we have walked on both sides of Errwood Reservoir on the same walk.
Thursday 13th January 2011.
Rhyl and the Clwyd Estaury, Rhuddlan and beyond.

Distance:10-11 miles; Climb:500'.
Start: Rhyl, Foryd Bridge Car Park (Pay and Display). Grid ref:SH99618063.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines a walk from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast" with a walk from Lorna Jenner's book "Walking in the Vale of Clwyd and Denbigh Moors". This is another walk when binoculars will be useful. Hopefully we will get better weather than last year. Rhuddlan Castle is a CADW site, but I think it closes for the Winter.
Saturday 15th January 2011.
The Dolwyddelan to Ty Mawr Round.Distance:9 miles. Climb:1800.


Start: Dolwyddelan Station Car Park. Grid ref:SH738522.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
Last year we visited Ty Mawr on several occasions, but thought that we could devise a better route. This our chance to prove it! The planned route follows a path alongside the Afon Bwlch y Groes, crosses Bwlch y Groes, passes through Pigyn Groes and onto the Penmachno to Ty Mawr Road. The return route follows the road past Ty Cyfyng where we then follow forest and quarry tracks back to Dolwyddelan as we have done in the past. No route description this time, just a map!
Thursday 20th January 2011.
Great Warford, Lindow Common and the Carrs.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:500'.
Start: Twinnies Bridge, Wilmslow. Grid ref:SJ839823.
This walk is based on a walk from Graham Beech'e book "Walks in east Cheshire", but as is often the case we are starting at a different place than that in the walk description. The link parts of the walk we have done many times on our walks in the Wilmslow area. He claims that the Great Warford walk involves little used paths, hopefull they won't be too overgrown.
Saturday 22nd January 2011.
Holcombe Moor, Bull Hill and Peel Tower.


Distance:9-10 miles; Climb:1200'.
Start:Car park beside the B6214 Holcombe to Haslingden Road. Grid ref:SD782184.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m.
This walk is based on a walk from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire". His walk is only 4.5 miles, so there is a little more exploring of Holcombe Moor to do in order to stetch it to the 10 miles. The walk heads for Bull Hill first and visits the Pilgrim's Cross, circles around the slopes of Bull Hill before arriving back at the Pilgrim's Cross. The walk then picks up the described route over White Hill and Harcles Hill to Peel Tower. This walk does have the possible problem that it crosses an MOD firing range, so if we hear gunshots or the Red Flags are flying, we may need to rapidly rethink our plans!
Thursday 27th January 2011.
Moel Findeg, Deborah's Well and Around Bryn Alyn.

Distance: 9-11 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Roadside parking near the telephone box in the centre of Maeshafn.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book " More Walks in the Clwydian Hill". We will complete the Moel Findeg walk, but probably only part of the Bryn Alyn walk. The first walk explores open country, attractive woodlands and superb views, especially from the summit of Moel Findeg. The second wlk explores the impressive limestone scenery around Bryn Alyn known locally as the Pothole Mountain.
Saturday 29th January 2011.
Traeth Lafan and Its Foothills
with an extension to the Traeth Lafan Nature Reserves.
Distance:10-11 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Aber Ogwen Coastal Car Park. Grid ref:SH616724.
This walk uses two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks On the North Wales Coast". The Traeth Lafan and it Foothills walk is an annual favourite and has in the past given us some wonderful experiences, especially in Winter trampling through soft fluffy knee deep snow that didn't stick or wet our legs. The coast at this time of the year is good for Wintering birds, so it is worthwhile bringing binoculars with you.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Holcombe Moor, Bull Hill and More 22nd January 2011.

Updated 23rd January 2011.
At the trig point on Bull Hill.
The reason why we had to modify our route!
The Red Flag was flying but we still went to the trig point, twice!
The Memorial stone on the site of an old cross.
Peel Tower on Holcombe Moor.

Walk stats: Distance:10.5 miles, Climb:1280'.
Time: 5 hours 15 minutes. On the move walking average:2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Dave J, Mike D., Paul G, John and Elaine.
The weather forecast was quite good, partly cloudy, dry and on the cool side. Thankfully the ground was still frozen, and made our trek across the peaty moorland quite pleasant. We went past the parking area at 09-15, but didn't recognize it as we were expecting it to be a car park rather than a lay-by! It was half an hour later that we eventually parked the car having been as far as the White Horse in Helmshore twice. At least this allowed the Greenhalghs to catch up with us!
Everything went well up to the trig point on Bull Hill, but our proposed route across MOD property was barred by a soldier. How unlucky could we be to go on a day when the shooting range was in use!
The revised route took us around the perimeter of the firing range before arriving back on the summit of Bull Hill for the second time. We then rejoined the described walk across the moor to Peel Tower, obviously a very popular objective for people visiting this area.
Overall this turned out to an excellent walk with views in all directions, especially across Cheetham Close and Winter Hill beyond. We even did a bit of train spotting, more challenging to see than to hear!
Lunch was taken on the slopes of Lark Hill, utilizing the walls by a derelict building as seats. Dave provide cakes made by Sylvia and John produced some of Elaine's Christmas cake. Both were enjoyed by all that sampled them.
Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Raven, European robin, Great tit, Blue tit, Green woodpecker and Red grouse.
Having said goodbye to our Bolton friends, we headed off to the White Horse encountered earlier in our search for the car park. It isn't often we frequent a hostelry where school children and younger are in the majority. Nevertheless we managed to find a quiet corner to enjoy a pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord as did another couple of walkers.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Around Great Warford and More 20th Januar 2011.

This was a photo-less walk, I missed my one opportunity of taking a notable photo when we went past Fred Dibnah's caravan!
Walk stats: Distance:11.4 miles; Climb:255'.
Time: 5 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average:2.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.3 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn.Roger, Gordon and Annie H.
The weather forecast wasn't good, with lingering mist/fog on the agenda. Whilst this was true walking wasn't unpleasant, but the views were always left to our imagination!
This walk would be excellent if you really liked horses, we must have seen hundreds of them on this walk. This is obviously a poor area of Cheshire. Our only other distraction was the challenge of crossing a new by-pass twice!
The highlight of the walk otherwise was passing through a farm and talking to the farmer about Fred Dibnah and the endless greenhouses growing millions of tomatoes for Tesco.
Our lunch spot was chosen out of desperation, I sat on a stile, Annie sat on the grass, Gordon just stood up, and I'm not sure that Roger had any lunch at all.
Bird seen or heard included: Blackbird, Black-billed magpie, European robin, Carrion crow, Blue tit, Collard dove, Woodpigeon, Mallard, Moorhen, Great tit, House sparrow and Balck-headed gull.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Lord Eldon in Knutsford where Tatton Best and Ale were enjoyed. Rumour has it the fish and chips here are excellent, but it's worth going for just the real fire and the real ale too!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Around the Great Orme 15th January 2011


A view across the West shore from the "invalid walk".

Even the goats were seeking shelter behind the wall, although one didn't like the look of us!

Walk stats: 6.3 miles; Climb:2198' (wind assisted).
Time:2 hours 25 minutes. On the move walking average:2.9m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.6 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn and Roger.
The weather forecast wasn't good, rain and strong winds. We sat in the car by the boating lake for about 15 minutes, hoping that the rain would ease a little. I'm not sure it ever did, but nevertheless we decided to put on our waterproofs and set off. Within just 100 yards or so, we were beginning to doubt our decision as the gale force wind battered our faces with sand! We decided to follow the tarmac track towards the zigzag path to the summit, but this time we continued along the path all the way into Llandudno.
By now the rain and the wind seemed to ease a little and walking was quite pleasant for the next couple of miles or so. However just past the "Rest and be thankful cafe" the wind became so strong that at times it very difficult to make any progress at all.
We didn't see many birds today, but we did see lots of goats, over 70 in all.
Birds seen today included:Mute swan (30+ on the boating lake on the West shore), Jackdaw, Oystercatcher, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Carrion crow, Redwing, Fieldfare and Great cormorant.
Lunch was taken by the boating lake on the West shore taking advantage of the seats and the shelter from the wind it provided.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn where the Lees bitter was excellent and the roaring real fire added to the usual warm welcome.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

A Rhyl to Rhuddlan Walk 13th January 2011

Trekking across a water-loggged field, a good section on the outward journey!
The information board at our lunch spot in the new Rhuddlan Nature Reserve.
Rhuddlan Castle from our lunch spot
Route finding, a major component of today's walk!
A Kingfisher, but not the one we would have loved to see!

Walk stats: 10.9 miles; Climb:254'.
Time: 5 hours 10 minutes. On the move walk average:2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue P., Annie H., Carol H., Sue and Dave P., Phil, Sylvia and Dave J.
Weather forecast good, dry and very warm 10+ Celsius, so we set off expecting all would be as planned. However our planned route on the Western bank of the Afon Clwyd was soon cut short with a barrier and a notice stating that the footpath was closed. This proved to be a minor hiccup as we had had our OS map experts Dave and Phil with us and they soon decided on a route to get round the problem.
A little bit of road walking and then on to Gypsy Lane, sounded good, but the tarmac soon ran out and we ended up on a green track that had been churned up by cattle, claggy mud or what, we won't be doing this route again!
The bonus of our detour was going through the new Rhuddlan Nature Reserve and having lunch using the picnic tables with a good view of the castle.
Having already reached 5 miles, it was decided that we would only walk as far as Twt Hill, but would investigate the Brickland Pool Nature Reserve on the way back. What a lovely community facility this, a credit to the foresight of the local council in improving the access to everyone in this area.
Birds seen or heard today included:House sparrow, Woodpigeon, Feral pigeon, Colared dove, Blue tit, Great tit, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Black-billed magpie, Goosander, Goldeneye, Teal, Wigeon, Blackbird , European robin, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Common gull, Common coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Little egret, Common starling, Great cormorant and Mute swan.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, where the Lees Bitter, as ever, was in good nick. Change of management, yes, but the beer tastes just as good!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Errwood, Axe Edge Moor and Burbage Edge 8th January 2011


Reflections in the frozen Errwood Reservoir. What a start to the walk.

Part of the Chromford and High Peak Railway track.

A view from Danebower Quarry.
Publish Post
And we were supposed to cross that.
Stories about a dog being swept away didn't help either!

The path to Shooters Clough.

A new (to me) entrance to Errwood Hall.

Walk stats: Distance:13.6 miles; Climb:2900' (seems rather high, it was windy!).
Time: 6 hours 24 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h.; Overall walk average:2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger and Dave J.
This turned out to be superb walk, one that would be worth repeating in Summer or Autumn. Thankfully it was dry throughout the walk, but the icy wind made sure that we didn't linger long, views were enjoyed on the move.
As usual we doidn't start the walk at the recommended staring point at the Cat and Fiddle, instead we started at The Street car park by Errwood Reservoir.
Conditions underfoot were generally good, although crossing steams in spate added to the adventure, and no-one got wet feet.
The sections on the Chromford and High Peak Railway track were delightful, giving us plenty of time to enjoy the moorland scenery around us. Some sections still had frozen snow, but we could avoid having to cross it by going on the grass at the side of the path.
Lunch was taken on the Dane Valley Way just before Danebower Quarries, where we sat on the side of the path facing a wall just 2' in front of us, not the best view that we have had at lunch, but at least we were sheltered from the cold wind.
Roger provided us with some of Margaret's superb Welsh cakes (3 each with enough for Dave to take 3 home for Sylvia).
Birds seen or heard today included: Red grouse, Blue tit, Great tit, Mallard, Mute swan, Meadow pipit, Woodpigeon, Carrion crow and Rook.
After walk drinks wee enjoyed at the Lord Eldon in Knutsford where locally brewed Tatton Best went down well.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Thurstaston Common, Stapledon Wood and the More 6th January 2011

The Liverpool skyline from Thurstaston Hill.
The group at the toposcope on Thurstaston Hill.
Dave and Paul on Thor's Stone.
Part of the group on the steps of the Alfred Paton Memorial.
Hilbre from our lunch spot near the Alfred Paton Memorial erected in 1933.

Walk stats: Distance:9.7 miles; Climb:656'.
Time:4 hours 53 minutes.
On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h.; Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Gordon, Annie H., Michel, Phil, Dave J., Fran and Tito, Celia, Paul, Sue and Dave P.
It was good to see Sue and Dave Pearson join the group on their first opportunity after retiring at Christmas.
Initially we started off with a little rain in the air, but pleasantly warm for this time of the year, and from lunch time onwards the weather got better and better, and the the beach back to Thurstaston we were in warm sunshine.
As ever our trek across Thurstaston used paths that we hadn't used before, touching the described route on Thurstaston Hill and by Thor's Stone.
We had lunch by the Alfred Paton Memorial, talking advantage of the seats and steps available. We had superb views across Caldy towards Hilbre and the North Wales Coast beyond.
We decided to extend the walk a little by heading to West Kirby and going around the Marine Lake. It was one of those days when the tide was such that people walking along the causeway looked as though they were walking on water. Only six of the group decided to go along the causeway, whilst the other seven sat on seats in a shelter along the promenade!
The route along the beach was only just passable in places as tide had only partially gone out.
Birds seen or heard included:Collared dove, Woodpigeon, European robin, Nuthatch, Mallard, Common coot, Moorhen, Kestrel, Buzzard, Blue tit, Great tit, Carrion crow, Redwing, Fieldfare, Shoveler, Greylag goose, Tufted duck, Black-tailed godwit, Dunlin, Redshank, Great cormorant, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Knot, Red-breasted merganser, Turnstone, Curlew, Blackbird and house sparrow.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Wheatsheaf at Raby. Brimstage Trapper's Hat went down well. The very efficient stove made the a lovely warm feel to the room we were in.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Hilbre Island 1st January 2011


Heading for Little Eye.

Look what I've found!

The birds of the day - Brent Geese (Ignore the Carrion crow in the foreground)

Lunchtime on Middle Eye.

"You don't say!"

Walk stats: Distance: 5.9 miles (6.1 miles for the bog trotters!). Climb:210'.
Time: 3 hours 22 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Roger, Annie H., Sue and Michel, Sylvia and Dave J., Fran and Tito, Celia and Carol.
The weather turned out to be much better than expected! We approached the start in low cloud/mist and rain. However as we parked by the Marine Lake the rain stopped, but the Sun still didn't come out, but at least we weren't getting absolutely soaked.
I must admit I got the tide times wrong when I planned this walk, but thankfully that was to our advantage. We followed the tide out, perfect for bird watching, especially for Roger to road-test his new monocular!
We were lucky to be numbered in the first to set off for Hilbre as on the return journey there seemed to be a never ending procession of people that we passed.
The large number of Brent geese were probably the highlight of the day, although seeing Grey seals on the West Hoyle sandbank as it emerged was good too.
Lunch was enjoyed on the Eastern edge of Middle Eye where the New Year was celebrated with some of Martyn's rum flavoured fruit cake and Stilton cheese provided by Fran.
Birds seen today included: Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Common gull, Merganser, Goldeneye, Knot, Dunlin, Redshank, Oyster catcher, Purple sandpiper, Brent goose, Ring plover, Carrion crow, Winter wren, Shelduck, Turnstone, Grey heron, Curlew, Black-tailed godwit, Meadow pipit and Wigeon.
After walk drinks were enjoyed enjoyed at the Wheatsheaf at Raby. Local brewery from Brimstage provided the beers of choice with Oyster Catcher and Trappers Hat going down well. Annie even had a Cider!