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, 27 April 2013

Around Bosley Cloud 27th April 2013

St. Mary's church, Bosley.
Our first view of "The Cloud".
Who took this photo?
At the trig point on "The Cloud".
Heading through the woods on Cloud Side.
A Song thrush on Gooseberryhole Lane.
Just one little duckling.
Macclesfield Canal pointing towards Croker Hill / Sutton Common.
Stats: Distance: 9.0 miles. Climb: 1026'.
Time: 4 hours 50 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
A mixed bag of weather today, from sunshine to rain and even hail at one point. Thankfully it was mainly dry, although we did have to use our waterproofs for short periods and at time the wind was on the cool side to say the least.
This proved to be quite a varied walk, and to my surprise the route up to the trig point involved a bit of a scramble too!
Chiffchaffs seemed to be everywhere, but the highlight of the day was hearing our first Cuckoo of the year.
Lunch was taken, not long after joining the towpath on the Macclesfield Canal, where we were lucky to find a section of a tree trunk to sit on, as we basked in the sunshine as we dined!
Birds seen or heard today included: Mallard, Chaffinch. Chiffhaff, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Barn swallow, Rook, Carrion crow, Cuckoo, Willow warbler, Common pheasant, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Meadow pipit and House sparrow.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Farmers Arms at Kelsall, where Weetwood Best went down well. It was good to see the Farmers open again and with a fairly full car park and  and the most number of customers that we have seen for quite some time.
A good day, made even better when Liverpool won 6-0 away from home and without Suarez!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Fron Hen and Bryn Alyn 15th April 2013

Wind damage in a wood South west of Fron Hen.
Looking across the valley from the slopes of Fron Hen towards Bryn Alyn.
"This is just a gentle stroll!"
You can't get away from Moel Famau!
I think it's lunchtime.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.8 miles. Climb: 1900'.
Time: 5 hours 39 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h. (I must have allowed too much time for lunch!)
Group: Martyn, Annie, Sue and Michel, Phil, Tim, David S., Fran and Celia.
Considering the weather forecast, we did very well, no rain until about 14-00 hours.and even then it was only very light. It was just about sufficient for those with new Paclite waterproofs to test their new gear!
This walk is always a bit of an up and down, up and down sort of walk, but it does give a lot of variety and usually lots of opportunity to get muddy boots. However today was an exception, all the ground was very dry, even the usually muddy section!  The only water we saw was near the end where we could see two springs bubbling up out of the ground.  
The views today were somewhat limited, but as we contoured around Fron Hen we could see the two cathedrals in Liverpool quite clearly. It was good to see the Spring flowers starting to appear, with Wood anemone showing quite well and Daffodils too.
Birds seen or heard today included: Coal tit, Blue tit, Great tit, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Woodpigeon, Common buzzard, Common kestrel, House sparrow, Dunnock, Common blackbird, European robin, Meadow pipit, Canada goose, Mallard, Goldfinch, Jackdaw, Carrion crow and Barn swallow.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn at Mold, where Purple Moose, Snowdonia Ale went down well.  I think the Titanic Stout went down well with David too!
This is always a good walk, whatever the time of the year, and today was no exception and very likely to be on the list in next year.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Walks and Dates April 2013

Updated on 13th April 2013.
Thursday 4th April 2013.
Arrowe Country Park, Landican and Little Storeton and Storeton Hill.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Arrowe Country park Car park. Grid ref: SJ275856.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines three walks from Anthony Annakin-Smith's Book " Wirral Walks". The walk includes waterfalls, woodland wildlife, parkland, a former racecourse, ancient lanes, an aircraft crash site and a "puzzle for cyclist"!
Saturday 6th April 2013.
Gawsworth Hall, North Rode and More.
Postponed - will be put on the list again later in the year.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 800'.
Start: Lay-by on the A523, South of its junction with the A54. Grid ref: SJ917657.
Leave Chester at 08-30.
The main part of the walk is taken from the Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire. It is described as a walk exploring the Cheshire Landscape at its most typical. The walk starts at Gawthorpe, but we will start just outside Bosley.  We will link up with the walk on the way to North Rode, using mainly field paths and a short section along the A54.
Thursday 11th April 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 09-00 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 third walk that we have attempted from this guide book, hopefully it won't be as muddy as the first!
Saturday 13th April 2013.
Barthomley, Englesea-brook, Weston and its Western Fringes.
Distance: 8-10 mile. Climb: 500'.
Start: Roadside parking near Barthomley Church or the village Hall car park. Grid ref: SJ767524.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from the "Pathfinder Guide to Cheshire". It describes the walk as one which explores the pleasant and gently undulating countryside, visiting the interesting villages of Barthomley and Englesea-brook. Can be muddy in places and there are over 50 stiles, some requiring reasonable agility!
Thursday 18th April 2013.
A Roman Road to Ffrith from Bwlchgwyn.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start: Roadside parking in Cefn Road, Bwlchgwyn. Grid ref: SJ268534. To get to the car park turn off the main A525 into Brymbo Road, and then opposite the primary school turn left into Cefn Road. If we park just after the it junction with Cefn Lane, the road gets a little wider.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
This walk is taken from R.J.A. Dutton's book "Hidden Highways of North Wales", and starts at the Memorial in Bwlchgwyn. The last time we started there, parking isn't very good, so we will start just around the corner from the Memorial in Cefn Road. Much of the walk is similar to the one that we did last year, when we started from the Memorial, but this time we will walk it in the opposite direction.

Saturday 20th April 2013.
Hidden Gwytherin.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Lay-by on the B5384, West of Pandy Tudor. Grid ref: SH855641.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from an old Walking Magazine.  It describes Gwytherin as a compact village tucked into a fold of the hills to the East of the Conwy Valley, in an area that is not as rugged as Snowdonia, but it gives a feeling of space that is not found in the higher mountains. The western horizon is dominated by the high peaks of Snowdonia.  As far as I can remember, this will be a new area for me, a bonus and something to look foreward to.
Thursday 25th April 2013.
Fron Hen and Bryn Alyn.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Layby on the A494 Mold to Ruthin Road, about 1/2 mile South of Llanferres. Grid ref: SJ187597.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book More Walks in the Clwydian Hill".  We have combined these walks on several occasions before and the section over Bryn Alyn is always good. It will also give us another opportunity to test our route finding skills through Nercwys Forest!

Saturday 27th April 2013.
Around Bosley Cloud.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Lay-by on the A523, South of its junction with the A54. Grid ref: SJ917657.
Leave Chester at 08-30.
This walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "Best Pub Walks in Cheshire", although we won't take her advice on the local hostelries! The walk takes us to the top of Bosley Cloud with its panoramic views over the Cheshire plain.. After visiting the trig point on Bosley Cloud, the walk heads West to meet up with the Macclesfield Canal, which we follow for an easy four mile stretch.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Pandy Tudur and Gwytherin 20th April 2013

The bridleway leading West from Pandy Tudur.
Moel Siabod,  the first of the Snowdonia peaks to come into view.
The Snowdon Horseshoe.
Snowdonia peaks.
The moorland section of the walk.
In the village of  Gwytherin.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.6 miles. Climb:1390'.
Time: 5 hours 1 minute. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike, Paul and Celia.
Our only problem today was getting to the start in Pandy Tudur, as the road we wanted to use was closed to traffic just before our destination, so Mike had to show his reversing skills as we met other cars on the single track roads that we were diverted along.
The weather today was just about perfect for walking, bright and sunny and occasionally a gentle but cool wind, but that didn't stop us all donning our shorts for the occasion!
The views of Snowdonia were quite stunning, especially the Snowdon Horseshoe, Tyfan and the Glyders.
Birds seen and heard today were also good and included: Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Barn swallow, House martin, House sparrow, Blue tit, Great tit, Common blackbird, Jackdaw, Rook, Chaffinch, Coal tit, Eurasian curlew, Wheatear, Lapwing, Common buzzard, Ring ouzel, Pied wagtail, Winter wren, Dunnock,  Skylark and Golden plover.
It was good to see bees flying too, as well as other potentially biting insects!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where it was good to be back sampling the Lees bitter once more.
An excellent walk, one to be repeated, maybe at a time a little later in the year.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Bwlchgwyn and More 18th April 2013

Looking across the valley to Nant y Ffrith.
At the packhorse bridge in Ffrith.
It's not what you think!
"Honest, it was this big!
On the way to Nant -y  Ffrith.
An old lime kiln on the extension part of the walk.
One of the many challenges to our tree climbing skills.
David holding the direction post where it should be!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles. Climb: 2566' (seems a little high, must be wind assisted!).
Time: 5 hours 48 minutes. On the move walking average: 3.1 m.p.h. Overall walk avergae: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, Se and Michel, David S., Celia and Tim.
The weather forecast was for short shower, mainly around lunch time. We set off with our waterproofs on, not because it was raining, but to protect us from the the wind! However by the time that we reached Ffrith, waterproofs were removed for the rest of the day.
This turned put to be quite a varied walk, particularly the improvised extension to the walk when we realised that the original walk described as 9 miles was in reality less than 5 miles!
The main challenges of the day were the many fallen trees that obstructed the route, but they were all overcome, if at times we were glad that no-one was filming our methods of negotiating the hazards!
Lunch was taken on a well protected area on Nant y Ffrith, a little South of the trig point on Pen Llan-y-gwr (Next time we do this walk or a variation of it, we must get a tick on that trig point!), a little earlier than usual as we had all finished by 12-20!
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Dunnock, carrion crow,  Jackdaw, House sparrow, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Woodpigeon, Eurasin jay, Black-billed magpie, Raven and Common blackbird.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pant yr Ochain at Gresford, where Purple Moose, Snowdonia Ale went down well!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Barthomley and More 13th April 2013

Barthomley Church - the start of the walk.
Two young calves weighing us up.
An unusual plant? Any suggestions as to its identity?
It's Butterbur! Identified by staff at rECOrd.
The first frog spawn seen on a walk in 2013.
Walk stats: Distance: 12.1 miles. Climb: 1139'.
Time: 5 hours 46 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Celia.
Optimistically we hoped that we would be able to complete the walk before the forecast rain came in from the South west. We set off in glorious sunshine, shorts and shirt sleeves for at least one member of the group! The only rain we experienced was a ten minute spell after lunch that wasn't sufficient to make us put waterproofs on.
Much of the walk was on field paths, so we were lucky to find the muddy sections dry, but there was still plenty of evidence of much flooding in the area.  In fact one section of fields looked more like a wetland habitat, with appropriate birds such as Tufted duck, Mallard, Canada geese and Common coots in residence.
The first village after Barthomley was Englesea-brook, a picturesque village that also had a Methodist Museum in the former Primitive Methodist Church.
Lunch was taken about 1 p.m., more than half an hour after Celia reminded us that her energy levels needed replenishing.   There hadn't been many suitable place to stop for lunch, so we were very grateful to come across power cable pole lying at the edge of a small woodland, that we could use.  As we ate our lunch, we were protected from the wind, that by now had turned quite cool, and we were entertained by Skylarks singing in the field nearby.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, European robin, Greenfinch, Common starling, Common blackbird, Dunnock, Chiffchaff, Pied wagtail, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, House sparrow, Common buzzard, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion crow, Lapwing, Skylark, Mallard, Tufted duck, Canada goose and Common coot.
Overall an unusual walk, particularly good if you like to see horses and you enjoy the challenge of 50 or more stiles.
Barthomley has a delightful old thatched pub called the White Horse, but at the moment it is being repaired after the thatch had been set on fire by a chimney fire. It will take another six to eight weeks before it reopens, but fortunately most of the damage on the inside is water damage, and its structure hasn't been damaged.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Travellers Rest at Alpraham where two of us found the Weetwood, Eastgate Bitter very agreeable. I got the impression that Celia wasn't too impressed with this little gem of a local, and  I don't think it was just the Carling lager that she was drinking! I got it wrong , it was just the lager! Sorry Celia.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Aberwheeler and Llandyrnog 11th April 2013

Heading from Glan Clwyd fram towards Coed y Plain.
Greylag geese, dropping in for a snack with the locals.
Two shires, looking cold and hungry.
Show me the way to go home!
Primrose, some of the first seen this year.
Yet more locals, wondering what we were doing on their patch.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.1 miles. Climb: 397'.
Time: 4 hours 35 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, Sue and Michel, Phil, Mike and David S.
This turned out to be a good day to be walking in the valley, with the clouds quite low and snow still evident on the Clwydian Hill, even at the low level that we could see.  Rain was forecast foe most of the day, but thankfully we only had showers before lunch, and we managed to shelter at lunch time under the lychgate at Llandyrnog, although it soon stopped.
Much of this walk has in the past been rather muddy, especially by the Afon Clwyd, but today it was largely dry, although there was much evidence of the river having spread substantially over its flood plane.
This turned out to be quite a varied walk, and on reflection will be interesting to recall the location of the ancient trackways described in the route description.
Part of the route included stiles that were rather awkward to say the least, especially for tired legs towards the end of the walk!
Birds seen or heard today included: Chifchaff, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Woodpigeon, Common blackbird, Dunnock, Great cormorant, Mallard, Grey heron, Lesser black-backed gull, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Green woodpecker, Great spotted woodpecker, Nuthatch, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Common starling, House sparrow and Kingfisher (seen by Michel as it flew along the Afon Clwyd, in an area where we have seen it before).
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, where the Snowdonia Ale went down well.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Connah's Quay Docks to Chester City Centre 6th April 2013

The start of the walk, but alas no longer able to serving real ale or anything!
Looking from Connah's Quay Dock to the new Flint bridge.
What am I, any suggestions?
Hawden Bridge over the Dee.
Queensferry old bridge from Hawarden Bridge.
The blue road bridge over Welsh Road.
Self-portrait, never the best, but at least you can see I've crossed the blue bridge!
The way to the next bus stop, at Chester!
Walk stats: Distance: 10.0 miles. Climb: 100'.
Time 3 hours 26 minutes. Overall walk average: 2.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn - Billy no-mates.
The weather forecast for today was superb, bright and sunny and temperatures in double figures.  This was too much to miss, and I decided that I must go solo, and test drive my shorts for the first time this year! This I did and it proved a good decision, particularly after mid-day.
I decided to get the bus to Connah's Quay and return Chester via the cyclist No. 5 route as I have for a long time wanted to go over the blue bridge over Welsh Road. I have always admired this bridge on the many occasions that I have gone under it on my way to the Wirral, and planned that some day I would walk over it, today was that day!
This really was a pleasant stroll, despite the continued disturbance of the tranquillity by frequent cyclists and a couple of roller skiers!
Bird sng was in the air all day, and just after passing over the Dee on the Hawarden Bridge, I had the pleasure of hearing and seeing my first Chiffchaff of the year. By the time that I reached Blacon Station, they were two a penny, but still lovely to hear!
The surprise bird today was seeing a flock of Fieldfare, flitting between the trees along the track and adjacent fields near Saughall.
Birds seen or heard today included: Chiffchaff, Blue tit, Great tit, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Feral pigeon. Mallard, Great cormorant, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Rook, Goldfinch, Common teal, Greenfinch, Lesser black-backed gull, Common buzzard, Common blackbird, Skylark, Song thrush, Winter wren, Fieldfare, Redwing, Lapwing, Chaffinch, Black-billed magpie, European robin and House sparrow.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Cross Quays in Chester, where the Joule's beers went down well, as did the Weston's perry!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Arrowe Country Park, Little Storeton and Storeton Hill 4th April 2013

The cascade in Arrowe Park.
"What cascade?"
"You've got us to come over here to see that, we nearly missed it!"
A pair of Mandarin ducks in Arrowe Park.
The waterfall in Arrowe park.
Walk stats. Distance: 11.9 miles. Climb: 674' ( wind assisted, probably nearer 300' in reality).
Time: 5 hours 21 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, Sue and Michel, Fran, David S., Sue and Dave P.
This turned out to be another good day for walking, largely sunny and only the occasional breeze to cool us down!  Much of the walk was on paths that had the potential for being very muddy, but today everywhere was dry and most of the muddy sections the mud had dried hard. 
We started the walk exploring Arrowe Country Park, along several delightful tracks through the woods. The highlight of this section was the Mandarin ducks near the pond at the South west end of the park.  One of the locals informed us that several pairs are known to breed in this area of the wood.
The second part of the walk headed for  Little Storeton, where we had lunch sitting on a broken sandstone wall, with sun beating down on us.
The final delightful section of the walk was along the old tramway in Storeton Wood, an avenue of trees which would be even more picturesque when their leaves are out.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, European robin, Greenfinch, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Rook, Mallard, great cormorant, Dunnock, Pied wagtail, Moorhen, Canada goose, Mandarin duck, Black-headed gull, Common gull, Kestrel, Herring gull, Chaffinch, Meadow pipit, House sparrow, Great spotted woodpecker, Green woodpecker, Woodpigeon and Common blackbird.
After walk drinks were enjoyed as always at the Wheatsheaf at Raby, where Brimstage, Trapper's Hat went down particularly well, a pity I forgot to take my carry keg!  The only other beer sampled was Brains, Reverend James, which David seemed to enjoy.