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, 28 March 2013

A Packhorse Trail Around Caergwrle 28th March 2013

Icicles in Derby Road, Caergwrle.
crossing the first of the ancient packhorse bridges.
Heading across our first snow field.
A Beluga, but not one we can include on our wildlife list for the day!
Returning to the right way after our first minor detour!
Follow the leader!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.8 miles. Climb: 670'.
Time: 5 hours 48 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Phil, Annie H., and David S.
We arrived at Caergrwle to find the main roads clear, but the car park had some bays with piles of snow around them, but all occupied, and we ended up parking on the roadside, still with plenty of snow around. One of the locals commented "You'll need crampons if you are going up the hill", when I said we were going in the opposite direction he said "You'll need skis in that direction".
So we headed Eastward to experience fields with snow in which we sank  a foot or so, to fields with no snow, and muddy area in which we almost sank as much as we did in the snow! However it was good to have the muddy bits in the middle, so that the snow at the end cleaned our boots for us, saving us another task when we got home.We had lunch on the roadside near to the Golden Grove Inn, sitting on the roadside basking in the sun.
Our final stretch towards Caregwrle, should have been a pleasant stroll along a path above a river, but it was more of a challenge than we expected as we had to pick our way around fallen trees.
Nevertherless it turned out to be a good walk in the conditions, but I'm not so sure that we recognised many of the ancient tracks.
There is always something special about walking in snow, especially if you happen to be the first ones to doing so.
Birds seen or heard today: Common blackbird, House sparrow, Winter wren, Great tit, Common starling, Dunnock, Mallard, Common pheasant, Common buzzard, Little owl, Carrion crow, Lapwing, Woodpigeon, Collared doveSkylark and Lesser black-backed gull.
We've head about mad March hares, but we were fortunate enough to see two of them.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Red Lion at Penyffordd, where Wychwood, Hobgoblyn Ale went down well.

Walks and Dates March 2013

Updated on 23rd March 2013
Saturday 2nd March 2013
A Walk Around Waen Aberwheeler and Llandyrnog.
Distance : 10 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Layby in Aberwheeler on B5429, just after play area and opposite Bro Llaweni. Grid ref: SJ096694.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This is a walk taken from R.J.A. Dutton's book "Hidden Highways of North Wales". It explores the  Roman and Medieval Roads between Waen Aberwheeler and Llandyrnog. As far as I know. the only section that we have done before is along the Afon Clwyd from Llaweni Hall.
This is the first walk that we have attempted from this guide book.
Thursday 2nd Marsh 2013.
A Walk Around St., Asaph.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Pont Elwy car park. Grid ref: SJ035743.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines a walk from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd" with a walk taken from R.J.A. Dutton's book "Hidden Highways of North Wales". One walk explores the countryside around the cathedral and the Afon Elwy to the north, and the second walk explores the Medieval Roads South of St., Asaph.  It is a long time since we walked from St., Asaph, but the second walk allows us to extend the walk beyond the 7 miles that we did then.
Saturday 9th March 2013.

Jumbles, Wayoh, Turton and Entwistle Reservoirs.
Distance:10-11 miles. Climb:1200'.
Start:Waterfold Car Park, off Bradshaw Road (A676), Jumbles Country Park.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk is based on a walk taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire". He describes the walk as a pleasant walk on good paths. The extension to Turton and Entwistle Reservoirs includes another section of the Witton Weaver Way and crosses Turton Heights and a hill called Cheetham Cross.

Thursday 14th March 2013.
The Elwy Valley.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Llanfair Talhaiarn village car park. Take the A548  South of Abergele. Grid ref: SH 927703.
This walk is taken from "Walkers Britain - Volume 2". It is described as a moderate walk along little used  rural lanes which wind down wooded valleys and across rushing streams: tranquillity and timelessness. Riverside, hedge-lined lanes; 4 climbs; can be muddy in places.  Possible short extension to the summit of Mynydd Bodran (if we can find a way).

Saturday 16th March 2013.
Audlem and the Shropshire Union Canal.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: Not a lot!
Start: Cheshire Street Car park, Audlem. Grid ref: SJ659436.
The main part of the walk is taken from the "Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire", and the extension takes us further along the canal to Hawksmoor Bridge and returns  to Audlem via Kinsey Heath. The walk is described as exploring the attractive valley of the River Weaver with fine views throughout.
Thursday 21st March 2013.
Burwardsley and Raw Head.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Roadside parking on Sherrington Lane in  Brown Knowl. Be careful parking, remember that large farm vehicles frequently use the road. Grid ref: SJ497537.
This walk is a walk starting near Phil's home, and will include some f the best sectionsof the Sandsone Trail.

The Trent and Mersey Canal, Great Budworth and More.
This walk will appear later in the year.
Start: Marbury Country Park car Park (Pay and Display £2-50 last time). Grid ref: SJ652763.
Distance: 7-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
The main 7 mile walk is taken from the "Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire". This is described as a varied walk with plenty of historic interest, including the Anderton Boat Lift.. The extra mileage will be made by exploring the Anderton Nature Park, Marshall's Wood, Carey Park, Ashton's Flash and Neumann's Flash.  Bring binoculars with you if you can.

Saturday 23rd March 2013. 
Walk cancelled due to the heavy snow fall and road conditions.
All Around Lake Vyrnwy. 
This walk will now be in September 2013.
Distance: 14 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Llanwyddyn car park on the South side of the dam. Grid ref: SJ017190.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This is another walk taken from "Walkers Britain - Volume 2".  I've wanted to do this walk for some time, but never got round to it.  It is a slightly longer walk than usual, so I thought we'd better do it before my legs tell me that attempting that sort of distance is unrealistic!  The walk is described as a moderate walk with two climbs. It also describes a wide variety of bird life around the edges, so it may be worthwhile bringing binoculars if you have them.

Thursday 28th March 2013.
An Ancient Packhorse Trail Around Caergwrle. - Still on!
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Caergwrle Village Car Park on High Street. Grid ref: SJ305574
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from R.J.A. Dutton's book "Hidden Highways of North Wales". This walk heads East via Bryn-y-Gaer, Shordley Hall, Town Ditch, Honkley Farm and eventually reaches the Golden Grove Inn. The return route is is via Burton Lane, Rackery Farm, Rackery Hall and Gwasted Farm. The walk includes drovers roads and a corpse road.
Saturday 30th March 2013.
Old Highways South of Druid. 
This walk is postponed due to the weather, and will be included later in the year.
Distance: 8 - 10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Layby on A549, 1 mile West of its junction with A5 and East of Glas-yr-Afon, Glass Bloberry. Grid ref: SJ02974261.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from R.J.A. Dutton's book "Hidden Highways of North Wales". It explores a  Roman road, a hill fort, a Medieval road and an old coach road. The extension explores roads and byways North of Glan-yr-Afon. Includes Ty-tan-y-dderwyn, Cefn-eithin and Llwyn-ithel.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Brown Knowl, the Sandstone Trail and More 21st March 2013

On the low level part of the walk.
"This is my patch!"
At the Memorial Stone on Bickerton Hill.
At the trig point on Raw Head.
Our best view of Beeston Castle.
Along the delightful path through Bodnook Wood.
Distance: 13.6 miles. Climb: 3120' (wind assisted) Probably nearer 1800').
Time: 6 hours 49 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Phil, Fran and Sue Pelissier.
It was good to have Fran and Sue back to boost our numbers. A fine day weatherwise, although it was a keen wind that accompanied us along the sandstone ridge from Maiden Castle to Bickerton Hill.  Thankfully the wind came from behind us. It wasn't a day for lingering to admire the views or chat to other walkers. The views were somewhat misty especially in the distance, but otherwise quite good.
Lunch was taken before heading towards Peckforton, and it was necessary to shelter on the West side of the hill to avoid the cold wind.
We decided not to follow the walk description all the way to Beeston Castle and instead headed on a path that started along the drive to Peckforton Castle.  We thought that this would shorten the walk slightly from the 12.5 miles described. we also decided to explore another new (to us) path through Pennsylvania Wood, and the walk ended up being more than the described route!  We also ended up going through one very muddy field that will discourage us from repeating the experience.
Birds seen or heard today included: Greenfinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Collared dove, Common blackbird, European robin, House sparrow, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Common buzzard and a Sparrowhawk.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Egerton Arms at Broxton, where their Piffle brew (brewed for them by the Conwy Brewery) went down well. It was a good pot of tea too!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Audlem and More 16th March 2013

St. James's Church at Audlem.
"Catch me if you can!"
Strolling alongside the Shropshire Union Canal.
The River Weaver and its flood plain.
One of the many Fieldfares seen today.
A natural tree sculpture.
The final approach to Audlem.
Walk stats: Distance: 11.7 miles. Climb: 397'.
Time: 5 hours 55 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
A better than expected day weather wise, dry all day and after lunch lots of sunshine. The same couldn't be said for conditions underfoot as we trudged through very claggy muddy fields as we left Audlem Northwards. Without the muddy fields this would have been a delightful walk. Lunch was taken not long after joining the Shropshire Union Canal towpath. Had we known, we would have walked a little further towards Audlem and taken advantage if the pic-nic tables at the start of the lock system.
Birds seen or heard today included: Fieldfare, Common blackbird, Winter wren, Dunnock, European robin, Chaffinch, Wigeon, Mute swan, Moorhen, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Common coot, Grey heron, Common buzzard, Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch, Common starling, Woodpigeon, Common pheasant, Jackdaw, Rook, Grey wagtail, Carrion crow, Collared dove and Mallard.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Traveller Rest just outside Bunbury, where Weetwood Eastgate went down well.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Exploring the Eastern Environs of Llanfair Talhaiarn 14th March 2013

Walking along the western banks of the Afon Elwy, heading North.
Tree scupture on the road below Mynydd Bodran.
"Are you sure this is the summit of Mynydd Bodran?"
At the summit cairn on Lloft y Coryn on Mynydd Bodran.
Snowdonis from Lloft y Coryn on Mynydd Bodran.
Lunch on the banks of the Afon Aled, less than 4 miles from the start!
A Welsh daffodil on the roadside.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.8 miles. Climb: 1677'.
Time: 6 hours 31 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S, Carole H., and Phil.
A superb day for walking, clear skies and sunshine in the morning and for most of afternoon, and the only spots of rain experienced were late in the day. The temperature was just about right for waking, although on the more exposed "higher" ground it did feel a little cool.
The described walk was mainly on the roads, so we decided to use alternative footpaths where ever we could, a decision that was to test our map reading skills to the limit, even with a GPS with it own OS Map!  It didn't help, when we found out later that some paths had been re-routed when new owners had bought a forest! A few more way marker at strategic points would have been helpful, especially when several paths went around farms / houses.
Overall this was a varied and interesting walk, and will probably be repeated in the future, but the next time in an anti-clockwise direction, to see if the path finding is easier then!
Birds seen or heard today included: Winter wren, Dunnock, European robin, Common buzzard, Nuthatch, Blue tit, Great tit, Rook, Carrion crow, Raven, Fieldfare, Common kestrel, Woodpigeon, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, House sparrow, White-throated dipper, Greenfinch and Dove.
It was so late getting back to the car park, that we had to drive past the turning for the Brit.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Jumbles Reservoir and More 9th March 2013

At the trig point on Cheetham Close.
Looking back to Turton Moor.
Turton and Entwistle Reservoir.
A male Goldeneye on Wayoh Reservoir.
A pair of Great crested grebes on Wayoh Reservoir.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.4 miles. Climb: 1045'.
Time: 5 hours 23 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
I've had better days for walking than we experienced today.  Rain was in the air most of the day, although we did get periods of relative brightness.  On the top of Cheetham Close and Turton Moor, we even had sleet and the cold Easterly wind encouraged us to head downhill without delay.
Once back along the reservoir tracks we were sheltered from most of the bad weather and it was a pleasant stroll around Turton and Entwistle Reservoir. Alas there was plenty of evidence that some dog walkers here don't realise that the " Dog Poo Fairy" doesn't operate in this area and their little packages are left dangling from the branches of the trees where they left them!
Lunch was taken sitting on a broken wall by Turton and Entwistle Reservoir, not realising had we gone a hundred yards further on there would have been a nice park bench to sit on. We must remember should we repeat this walk in future.
The best of the birds were seen on Wayoh Reservoir, where a pair of Goldeneye toook top spot.
Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Common blackbird, Winter wren, Blue tit, Great tit, Dunnock, Black-headed gull, Canada goose, Great cormorant, Goosander, Mallard, Pochard, Great spotted woodpecker, Woodpigeon, Black-billed magpie, Common coot, Moorhen, Eurasian curlew and Goldeneye.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Dunham Arms at Dunham Hill, where Wychwood Hobgoblin went down well. As we were more than double the age of everyone else there and with under school age children running everywhere, I don't think we will be calling in again!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

A St Asaph Round and More 7th March 2013

What a lovely day for a snooze!
Th first wild Snowdrops seen on a walk this year.
St. Asaph Cathedral, but alas not our destination today.
The Afon Clwyd from the new footbridge.
"I don't like the look of those three humans!
Heading for the new bridge over the Afon Clwyd for the second time.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.9 miles. Climb: 630'.
Time: 5 hours 40 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S and Phil.
An unusual day weather wise, dampness in the air for much of the day, but you couldn't really call it rain. It was rather too warm wearing winter gear all day, and with temperatures at times in double figures, it was really a shorts day!
An different walk to our normal walk as we were tracing Medieval and Roman roads, not many that were very obvious! Nevertheless an enjoyable walk, including a footpath diversion that wasn't that clear to follow, but we eventually got back on track!
Our final section of the walk from the outskirts of St Asaph down towards the river, allowed us to experience the "claggyest" mud this year, necessitating in boots being cleaned immediately on arrival at home, even before getting the evening meal ready!
Birds seen or heard today inclided: Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon. Song thrush, Mistle thrush, Greenfinch, House sparrow, Goosander, Common buzzard, Common kestrel, European robin, Dunnock and Mallard.
Today was the first time that we have seen young lambs on a walk, always a sight to make you think Spring is on the way. Our first sight of wild Snow drops was good too, but the wild Daffodils seem a little late coming
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn, wher the Lees bitter went down well and you always geta warm welcome.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Moel y Parc and Penycloddiau from Aberwheeler 2nd February 2013

It must be Summer, Mike's taking his fleece off!
At the summit cairn on Moel y Parc.
Mike at the new cairn on Penycloddiau.
Dave's house, finally completed. Taken from Llangwyfan Forest.
Denbigh below with Snowdonia  in the distance.
Walk stats: Distance: 11.0 miles. Climb: 1879'.
Time: 5 hours 53 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
This was another glorious day for walking, dry and largely Sunny, a little on the cool side whenever the Sun disappeared behind cloud.
The views were good, but hazy in the distance, but the Vale of Clwyd was much clearer than on Thursday (28th February 2013).
The route from Moel y Parc and Penycloddiau as well as the contouring track on the West side of Penycloddiau was popular with other walkers too.  I don't think I've seen so many walkers and their dogs on this section of Offa's Dyke before.
Lunch was taken on the Southern slopes of Peycloddiau, a leisurely half an hour in the Sun, before setting off for our stroll back to Aberwheeler.
Birds seen or heard today included: Rook, Jackdaw, Carion crow, Ravn, Blue tit, Great tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, European robin, House sparrow, Dunnock, Common buzzard and Crossbill.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell in Halkyn, where Blue Bell Bitter and Dark Blue were sampled (beers brewed by Facers for the Blue Bell.  A good choice of beers and ciders, but we'll probably go back to the Brit next time!

Friday, 1 March 2013

Moel Arthur, Penycloddiau and Moel y Parc 28th February 2013

Snowdonia from the Northern slopes of Moel Arthur.
At the cairn in the centre of Moel Arthur.
Looking down the woodland track in Coed Llangwyfan.
At the cairn on Pennycloddiau.
A not so clear view of Snowdonia from Penyclodiau.
At the Moel y Parc cairn.
Sitting in stile after the final ascent!
Walk stats: Distance: 10.7 Miles. Climb: 1963'.
Time: 5 hours 53 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Phil, David S., and Wendy. (joined later by Sylvia and Dave J.
What a glorious day for walking this turned out to be. Bright and sunny, blue skies all day, and the wind was only slight.   An almost perfect Spring day to be out in the Clwydians, it really could have been a shorts day, especially after lunch. The only downside was the fact that the distant views weren't exactly crystal clear, but with the summits of Snowdonia peaking through the mist, it gives a different dimension to enjoy.
Lunch was taken just after descending from Penycloddiau, where we were entertained by one of the para-gliders, hoping for a stronger wind.
Just before getting back to the car, we met Dave and Sylvia, who had done their own walk in Coed Llangwyfan, and were lucky enough to see a party of Crossbills feeding at the top of the Fir trees.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, where Hobson's Twisted Spires was the main brew sampled.