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 November 2013

The Alun Valley, Llyn Gweryd and Limestone Pastures 28th November 2013

"I'm late, I'm late .....for church!
"Does anyone know where we're going?"
Our lunch spot.
Heading steeply up to a stile at the top of one limestone outcrop.
Back at Llandegla and the Church of St Tecla.
Walk stats:Distance: 9.4 miles. Climb: 940'.
Time: 4 hours 58 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn. Sue and Michel, Roger, David S., Tim and Celia.
The weather today was largely overcast, with nothing but dampness in the air, hardly enough to require waterproof jackets, and with temperatures on the warm side, I think I should have been wearing shorts as well as doing most of the walk in a short sleeved shirt.
 Although this walk contained some rather damp sections, our boots didn't get too muddy, although some of us did get mud in some funny places on their over trousers!
 We didn't approve of one sign that said "Do not picnic on the footpath", and chose a much better place just outside Llanarmon-yn-Ial.
  As we approached the road after passing Llyn Gweryd, we seemed to be in cloud, and visibility was quite poor,  so it was decided to miss out the path above Accre Hall and continue  down the road and rejoin planned walk at the cross roads.
  We then continued the walk through a series of limestone outcrops and pastures back to Llandegla.
  Birds seen or head today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Eurasian jay, Redwing, Fieldfare, Wood nuthatch, Common buzzard, Rook, Mallard, Common buzzard, Common blackbird, Goldfinch and Black-headed gull.
  After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Railway Inn at Coed Talon, where the beer of choice was the bitter brewed by the Llangollen brewery. As yet the ambiance wasn't at it's best, but at least the staff were trying their best!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Walks and Dates November 2013

Saturday 2nd November 2013.
Around Llangernyw.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Llangernyw, Near PC, down the lane by the church. Grid ref: SH876674.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This is a figure of eight walk around Llangernyw. part of the walk is based on a walk from Lorna Jenner's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd and in the Denbigh Moors". It is described as being a delightful walk centred on the pretty village of Llangernyw. It includes terraced woodland paths besides a cascading stream through former pleasure gardens of Hafodunos Hall. The extension to the walk, explores the countryside North of the village and follows a section of the Afon Elwy, passes the remains of  a motte and then  explores the area North west of the village on the way back to Llanefydd.
Thursday 7th November 2013
Lindow, Saltersley and Mobberley.
Distance: 10.6 miles. Climb:885'.
Start: Twinnies Bridge Car park, Wilmslow Grid ref:SJ840823.
Leave Chester 08-45 a.m.
This walk is taken from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks", and is one we last did November 2009. A good varied walk, but not too much climb involved!
Saturday 9th November 2013.
Sandbach and More.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Car park on Alsager Road, Hasall Green. Grid ref: SJ77555825.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
Although the described walk starts in the centre of Sandbach, this is a figure of eight walk around the village of Hassall Green.
The main part of the walk is taken from the Patherfinder Guide to Cheshire. Whilst part of the walk includes the centre of Sandbach, most of the walk visits more secluded areas just outside the town. It is described as including peaceful sections, including two secluded valleys and a section of the Trent and Mersey Canal.
The extension takes us East along th Trent and Mersey Canal as far as Thurlwood, before heading for Lawton Heath End and returning to the car park along the Salt Line.
Thursday 14th November 2013.
Halkyn, Limestone, Lead and Moel Fagnallt.
Distance: 9.5 miles; Climb:1850'.
Start: Britannia Inn, Pentre Halkyn. Grid ref: SJ212712.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m. 
We haven't started a walk from this location this year, so I thought that it was time we did. It combines two of my favourite walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". They are two walks in this fascinating area on our local patch, steeped in industrial heritage, but not everyone's cup of tea!
Saturday 16th November 2013.
Around Llyn Brenig and in Search of Our Ancestors.
Distance: 11-13 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre car park (Pay and Display). Grid ref: SH968547' .
Leave Chester 08-30 a.m.
This walk is based on two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Hidden Heart Of North Wales" or "Walks Around the Hiraethrog Moors and Lakes". This is a low level walk, and although it it extends the walk a little it is well worth the extra effort to visit the ancient Bronze Age Cairns, they were quite impressive the last time we visited them, definitely worth another look!
Thursday 21st November 2013.
Llansannan and Mynydd Tryfan.
Distance: 8-10 miles; Climb:1500'.
Start:Car park behind PC opposite the Post Office in Llansannan. Grid ref:SH933658.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk is mainly a walk taken from Lorna Jenner's book "Walking in the Vale of Clwyd". This is a varied walk along the Afon Aled and its tributaries, through rolling pastures edge with thick hedges and pockets of woodland, with a backdrop of mountains. However we will include an extension to include Mynydd Tryfan.
Saturday 23rd November 2013.
Astbury Mere and More.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb:500'.
Start: Astbury Mere Country Park. Grid ref: SJ846627.
Leave Chester 08-30.
The described part of the walk is taken from the Patherfinder Guide to Cheshire. It is described as following mainly enclosed tracks, part of the Macclesfield Canal and visits the attractive village of Astbury. The extension is along the canal to High Town, the Gritstone Trail to Dane in Shaw, field paths to Heather Bank farm and Northward back to the canal and the described walk.
Thursday 28th November 2013
The Alun Valley, Moel y Waun, Llyn Gweryd and Limestone Pastures.
Distance:11 miles; Climb: 2000'.
Start: Llandegla Village car park, adjacent to the bus shelter and opposite the Post Office. Grid ref: SJ196523.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills". He describes one walk as being delightful and the other as being an easy walk with scenic delights. What more could we want from a walk, and as we know Dave Berry is frequently delighted on his walks! From past experience parts of the route can be muddy underfoot.
Saturday 30th November 2013.
Around Lyme Park.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Nelson Pit Visitor Centre, Higher Poynton. Grid ref: SJ945833.
Leave Chester at 08-30.
This walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "Best Pub Walks in Cheshire", although we will start at the Neslon Pit Visitor Centre car park, and probably won't visit the hostelry that she suggests. The walk includes, a section of the Macclesfield Canal, open moorland, the Bow Stones and passes two reservoirs before going through Lyme Park. On reaching Lyme Park, we will decide whether to continue on the described route or take a more direct route to the car park. The open moor section has been known to be quite boggy on previous visits.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Astbury Mere and More 23rd November 2013

Misty views of Astbury Mere from the West side.
Macclesfield Canal, heading to Hightown.
The Biddulph Valley Way.
Looking towards Bosley Cloud.
Our approach to Astbury and St., Mary's Church.
St. Mary's Church from the main gate.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.1 miles. Climb: 393'.
Time: 5 hours 13 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Celia.
Arriving at Astbury Mere, mist still hung over the mere, but despite the temperature being just above zero, it didn't feel cold.
  This was quite a varied walk with plenty of views, especially on the outward route, and heading towards Congleton on the Macclesfield Canal. A short section on the Biddulph Valley Way, a former railway line, was delightful.
  The canal section from Lambert's Lane towards Astbury, didn't have a lot to offer, and some of the sections across fields challenged the waterproofness of our boots!
 In Astbury we were fortunate to meet the minister and a couple pf parishioners coming out of St. Mary's Church, and they gave quite a bit of interesting information about this unusual Medieval church.
 Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Black-headed gull, Common coot, Mute swan, Mallard, House sparrow, Lesser black-backed gull, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Woodpigeon, Wood nuthatch, Blue tit, Common blackbird, Redwing, Black-billed magpie and Tufted duck.
  Overall a good walk, starting at Astbury Mere Country Park, with its excellent facilities and many maintained paths.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Farmer's Arms at Kelsall, where Weetwood's "Cheshire Cat" was the beer of choice.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Llansannan and Around Mynydd Tryfan 21st November 2013

Llansannan church.
A view from just South of Bwrdd Arthur.
Waiting for Celia.
Nearly back on track!
Mynydd Tryfan from the road on the West side of the hill.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.3 miles. Climb: 1269'.
Time: 5 hours 7 minutes. On the move waking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil, Tim, Celia and David S.
Once again this turned out to be a good day for walking, a little on the cool side, but after an early scare of a five minute , the weather was fine.
 The first part of the walk went well and route finding was relatively easy, but trying to find our route on the new part of the walk proved much more challenging, especially when paths on the OS maps seemed to be incorrect, and access gates were locked. 
  However some of the scenery seen from the East side of Mynydd Tryfan was superb, and well worth taking the path across Bwrdd Arthur.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Wood nuthatch, Meadow pipit, Goldfinch, Common blackbird, House sparrow, Common starling, Fieldfare, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Raven and a Red kite.
 Once again we saw a Brown hare racing across the field away from us.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Pentre Halkyn. Once again the Lees bitter was on form.
 This post was posted a little later than usual as Chester was grid-locked and I didn't get in until after 18-00, and I decided that feeding the washing machine and getting my evening meal ready had greater priority!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Around Llyn Brenig 16th November 2013

Panorama from the dam on Llyn Brenig.
Llyn Brenig from the North, slightly South east from Mae- Llwyd
At our lunch spot on the new Clwydian Way footpath, North of Llyn Brenig.
Pont Brenig, waiting for the rest of the group returning from their search for "happy trees"!
Larches showing Autumnal colours.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles. Climb: 500'.
Time: 4 hours 14 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.8 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia, Roger and Mike.
 This proved to be another good day for walking, not much Sun, only occasional breeze, with good paths that meant that we had clean boots at the end of the walk.
 The views today were superb, especially along the reservoir from both the North and the South. The surprise today, was to find that the usually very boggy section of the path had been converted into superb slate chipped path, good enough to push a wheelchair along. a new path around the Nature Reserve had also been created, something that we must explore some time in the future.
 The birds today were few and far between, but we did a few displays by the local Ravens. Other birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Blue tit, Stonechat, Great cormorant, Black-headed gull, Lesser  black-backed gull, Carrion crow, Winter wren, Meadow pipit and Common blackbird.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn, where Celia enjoyed her tea for the second time in 3 days, Roger enjoyed his orange squash as he watched Wales win in the rugby, and the rest of us appreciated the Lees bitter!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Around Halkyn Mountain and Moel Ffagnallt 14th November 2013

"Is that Celia smiling,  on a day like this!"
Looking towards Moel Ffagnallt from a new path heading towards Ffagnallt and on to Ffagnallt Farm.
Our lunch spot in Moel-y-Crio.
Don't we look a happy bunch!
Another shot of the "happy bunch", but at least one person is smiling!
Walk stats: Distance: 8.0 miles. Climb: 1300' (wind assisted GPS reading). In reality about half that!
Time: 3 hours 59 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie, Sue and Michel, David S., Celia, Tim and Wendy.
A weather forecast that implied that we would get showers, some sunny spells and blustery winds, with a temperature feeling on the cool side (about 5 Celsius). I don't think anyone on the walk would disagree, but none of the forecasts hinted at the hail storms that we also endured.
 As the wind was a little on the strong side, we missed out our usual lunch spot at the toposcope on Moel Ffagnallt, and instead sheltered in the lea of wall on the edge of Moel-y-Crio.  Annie, as it was her birthday early next week, cheered us all up by treating us to chocolate biscuits.
 Despite the frequent showers, we did get sunny periods when the views towards Moel Famau and the Clwydian Hills were good. In addition we met two friendly people one route, the first a farmer at Ffagnallt, who opened the gate for us as we passed through his farm yard and the second a man taking his delightful Collie pup for a walk. His final comment was more rain is on its way, he wasn't wrong!
 Birds today were few and far between, but included: Black-billed magpie, Common blackbird, Jackdaw, House sparrow, Blue tit, Great tit and a Common buzzard (if you count the one that we saw through the Britannia Inn window as we enjoyed our after walk drinks. Some of us enjoyed the Lees bitter, but a few chose a warming cup of tea or coffee.
 Quite unexpectedly we also saw a Brown hare, which leaped from almost beneath our feet and raced across two fields through two open gates.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Sandbach and More 9th November 2013

The start of the walk, near the Black Bear Inn on the Market Square, Sandbach.
The main church at Sandbach.
A sad looking Romping Donkey - named on the route description.
"What am I doing here?"
Our lunch spot in the middle of the canal.
St. Philip's Church - still in use. Not many people can claim to go to a pink tin church.
The end of the walk, celebrating finding the Sandbach Crosses with a drink in the Black Bear Inn.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.9 miles. Climb: 470'.
Time: 5 hours 14 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
This was another good day for walking, sunshine all day and a few spots of rain that lasted for at most 1 minute. Another case of shorts would have been better than Paramo gear, although Mike did think it was a little on the cool side for bearing any flesh!
 An unusual walk that provided plenty of challenges in terms of following the instructions at the start in the centre of Sandbach - we didn't even spot the Sandbach Crosses even when we were standing in Market Square! Our excuse was that the Farmers Market had set up in front of it, and we only spotted them when we returned to the square after the walk.
  Throughout much of the walk we could hear the steady drone of the traffic on the M6, and many of the fields had horses, but a few did have cattle and sheep.
 A lot of the walk as along the Trent and Mersey Canal, where at first we were surprised to that many of the locks had two locks side by side, but this made sense as this was at one time used commercially for hauling salt and coal, so having the twin lock system would reduce delays.
 One pleasant surprise was a disused railway line, part of the old "Salt Line" until the 1930s, now converted into a delightful gladed path, along which we were overtaken by a couple with a pushchair!
 Overall a very pleasant walk, a stroll through the East Cheshire countryside.
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Woodpigeon, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Common buzzard, Fieldfare, Blue tit, Pied wagtail, Goldfinch, Common blackbird, European robin, Mallard, Black-billed magpie and Eurasian jay.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Black Bear in Sandbach centre, alas it was a Robinson's pub, but at least the Spitfire and Hobgoblin were OK!
 Reply to the "Robbies" fan: 40 years ago, when my local area was known as "Greenall Whitley Land",  I travelled more than 30 miles just to sample Robinson's brews, and then Hatters mild was my preferred choice. Over the years my taste buds have changed, and Robbies is not on my list of my favourite brews!

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Lindow, Saltersley, Mobberley and Twinnies Bridge 7th November 2013

Our first plane spot!
Our second plane spot. Is it an A380?
"I never thought we'd have a debate about a golf course, I don't think Annie did either!"
Walk stats: Distance: 11.2 miles. Climb: 365'.
Time: 5 hours 44 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Phil and Annie.
This was yet another glorious day for walking. We set off in our Winter gear, expecting it too be somewhat cool. What a mistake, it should have been shorts, sun-hats and sunglasses, yet again I've put my shorts away too early!
 This was largely a walk through the very pleasant East Cheshire countryside, through many fields, lots of horses and wet pastures. There wasn;t a lot to say "take a photograph of me", so i didn't take many photographs (7 in all and 5 were of aeroplanes and I only took photos of 2 planes!).
 Nevertheless this was a good walk, despite not finding the route description easy to follow, and switching back to just using the OS map with a little help from the GPS was the best option, and Phil regained his confidence in map reading skills.  However he was disappointed that we went along Newgate, rather than go along the North side of Lindow Moss to hear the venting noises of the escaping methane gas from the old landfill site!
 Once again we experienced difficulty along the woodland path through the Carrs, with Phil sinking to his knees in the bog and had to free himself with the aid of a tree branch just above his head. On this occasion Roger got it right and headed to the riverside path much earlier, and wa waiting for us as we approached Twinnies Bridge.
 Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Common blackbird, Jackdaw, Wood nuthatch, Carrion crow, Black-headed gull, Mallard, Grey heron, Common buzzard, Eurasian jay,Common pheasant Black-billed magpie and Woodpigeon (hundreds of them).
  After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Bird in Hand at Mobberley, a Sam Smiths pub, that must be one of the warmest in the UK, roaring real fires in every room (at least the 5 that we saw!).

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Llangernyw and More 2nd November 2013

St. Digain's Church - the start of the walk.
Part of the terrace through the Hafodunos Estate.
The waterfall on the Hafodunos Estate.
The road to Llangeryw - blue skies again!
A promise of better weather to come!
Nearly there - honestly!

At last back at Llamgernyw!
Walk stats: distance: 9.5 m.p.h. Climb: 2028' (wind assisted at times!).
On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Roger.
The weather forecast today was promising, lots of sunshine until about 2 and then showers. Alas they got the timing wrong, we had 1 hours of rain followed by sunshine and many showers, including thunder and lightening and hail. In Celia's terms it would have been "I wish I'd stayed in bed!"
 Several times during the described part of the walk, we contemplated stopping once we returned near Llangernyw, but we really knew this wasn't an option, Margaret was making the mince meat ready for the mince pies, and Roger was better out walking until at least it was time to wash up!
 Having said that this proved to be a good walk, and one that must be repeated on a warm dry day in the Summer.
 This is a beautiful area of undulating countryside, much of it along the Afon Elwy, with superb views along the valleys.
 The extensions involved footpaths that weren't always obvious, but on one occasion we a help from both the farmer and his wife on where the path went from their farm.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Wood nuthatch, Rook, Jackdaw, Collared dove, Carrion crow, Grey heron, Raven, Goosander, Blue tit, Common blackbird, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Redwing, Common starling and European robin.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Stag Inn at Llangernyw, where the Conwy Brewery's Autumn Red went down well. This hostelry has much to off in terms of character and at this time of the year, the welcoming roaring fire!