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, 26 March 2015

Boothsdale 26th March 2015

The long roads ahead towards Boothsdale.
Looking towards Kelsbarrow Castle.
Looking South towards Boothsdale.
On the path leading to Boothsdale.
The Sandstone Trail in Primrose Hill.
The gallops, but not a horse in sight - obviously too windy.
Walk stats: Distance: 5.4 miles. Climb: 900'.
Time: 2 hours 29 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn. Roger and Phil.
Small numbers today, but holidays and recovery from ops are the main reason, rather than the weather forecast. The weather was exactly as forecast, cloudy and overcast with a cool Northerly wind, with Sunny spells later on.
  This walk doesn't off many phot opportunities, although we did get good views over Boothsdale, looking in a South west direction.
 Considering the rain over night and early this morning, conditions underfoot were good, and it wasn't until we were on the forest paths on Primrose Hill that the had to pick our way around the muddy sections.
 Some of the group may have wanted to stop at the Summertrees for an icecream, but alas it was closed, possibly being redecorated.
 Not many birds seen or heard today, but it was a bonus to see a Yellowhammer and hear one or two Greenfinches. Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Carrion crow, Common blackbird, Great tit, Winter wren, House sparrow, Wood nuthatch, Greenfinch and Yellowhammer.
No after walk drinks today - I needed to be home for 13-00 (made it with 15 minutes to spare!).

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Walks and Dates March 2015

Updated on 18 March 2015.
Thursday 5th March 2015.
A Walk on Halkyn Mountain from the Blue Bell Inn.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Common ground opposite the Blue Bell in, Halkyn. Grid ref: SJ209702.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m. 
This is a walk devised by Steve at the Blue Bell Inn, Halkyn. It covers much of our regular walk that we do called "Halkyn Mountain, Limestone and Lead". However this route takes us in a clock-wise direction and around Moel-y-Gaer before heading to Rhes-y-cae. It also takes us  around the North of the Pen-y-Henblas quarry . The Saturday group did this walk for the first time on 23rd January 2015.
Saturday 7th March 2015.
The Llugwy and Lledre Valley. 
Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Start: Railway station car park in the centre of Betws-y Coed. Grid ref: SH795565. 
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m.
This is another walk taken from Dave Berry's new book "Walks Around Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley". This walk links the beautiful wooded Llugwy and Lledre Valleys. It takes in Sarn Helen, the former Roman Road, and reaches over 800' before descending in to the Lledre Valley. It involves a steep climb to Llyn Elsi or at least that is what Dave Berry says!
Thursday 12th March 2015.
Around the Little Orme and More.
I have brought this walk foreward as the seals and pups were on the beach at Porth Dyniewaid on the 28th February 2015, so hopefully they will still be there.
Distance: 8-10 miles. Climb: 700'.
Start: Roadside parking next to Paddling Pool and PC on Coast Road at Craig y Don, East side of Llandudno.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This has become a regular walk at any time of the year, but at this time of the year there is a good chance that we many see Seals around Porth Dyniewaid. The views from the top of the Little Orme are always superb.
 We have a choice of walks, we can either go inland (8 miles) after visiting the quarry and Porth Dyniewaid or we can carry on along the coast as far as Rhos-on-Sea (10 miles). The latter is a there and back, although some of the route is along the beach, tide permitting.
 We will decide which of the two routes on the day.
Saturday 14th March 2015.
Tegg's Nose and Macclesfield Forest.
 Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 1865'.
Start: Tegg's Nose Country Park Car park. Pay and Display. Grid ref: SJ950732.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from the "Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire". It is described as a varied walk with good views from Tegg's Nose. We will visit Tegg's Nose first, rather than at the end of the walk. The walk is also described as an undulating walk exploring the countryside on the edge of the Peak District.
Thursday 19th March 2015.
Grange, Pantasaph and Llwyn Ifor.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb 1000'.
Start: Holywell, Halkyn Street Car Park. Grid ref: SJ18957548.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is another figure of eight walks from Ron Williams and Elfed Jones's book " 10 Walks Around Holywell".
 Again the walks take us along many paths that we know well, but there are a few new ones for us to explore too. Good views, especially towards the coast once we get on higher ground above Holywell
Saturday 21st March 2015.
Llyn Geirionydd, and the Llanrwst to Trefriw River Walk.
Distance:9 miles. Climb:1100’.
Start: Plas yn Dre Car park, Llanwrst. Grid ref:SH796618.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combine two walks from Dave Berry’s book “ Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley”.  The walk begins with a pleasant walk along the Afon Conwy to Trefriw, before heading up to Llyn Geirionydd.  The valleys around Geirionydd are known haunts for Cuckoos, so hopefully we might hear one or as in the past been lucky enough to see one.
Thursday 26th March 2015.
Daresbury and Moore Nature Reserve.
Postponed - I will be gong to a funeral in the afternoon.
I'm thinking of  changing the walk to one starting at Gresty Waste, Kelsall. A short walk in the morning of 5-6 miles, so that I can get home for about 13-00. If anyone interested in this as an option, please let me know. 
There is always the option of those wanting to, can exend the themselves.
See below for details of the short walk.
Distance: 10-12 miles; Climb:Less than 500' at guess.
Start: Car park Moore Nature Reserve, Lapwing Lane, Warrington. Grid ref: SJ578854.
Route to Moore Nature Reserve.
From Chester take the M53, then take the M56.
Leave M56 at Junction 11.
From Junction 11 take the A56.
Continue on the A56  past the A558 turning and follow signposted directions ahead for Moore Village.
At the next traffic lights turn left for Moore Village. As you enter the village turn right into Moore Lane
If you get as far as Moore Post Office, you've gone too far!.
Follow Moore Lane over the Ship Canal into Lapwing Lane, and the entrance to the Reserve. The car park is on the right, opposite the notice board.
The Daresbury walk is only four miles, and is taken from Jen Darling's book "Walks in West Cheshire and the Wirral". In addition it is planned to start the walk by exploring Moore Nature Reserve and possible  the Appleton reservoir area, which should take the walk up to about 10 miles or slightly more, if we decide that we want to on the day.
Primrose Hill and Boothsdale.
Distance: 5 miles. Climb: 500' at a guess.
Start: Gresty Waste car park on the A556. Grid ref: SJ540686.
Leave Chester at 09-00a.m.
The walk starts by crossing the A556 , heading towards Delamere, through King's Chair before heading outh throughKelsall.
The return part of the walk from Willington includes a 2 mile section of the Sandstone Trail.
Saturday 28th March 2015.
Walks Around Cemaes Bay.
Postponed as the regular Saturday walkers all have better offers!
Distance: 10 miles. Climb:500'.
Start: Car park near the harbour in Cemaes Bay. Grid ref: SH373935.
Leave Chester 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks, one of each of the books that Carl Roger has written on "Coastal Walks On Anglesey. He describes one walk as an excellent walk along a dramatic section of the coast. good paths, but one section is a little exposed an might intimidate some people. Let's hope it's a calm day and dry underfoot! The other walk heads towards the Wylfa Power Station, where there is a possible short extension to Mynydd y Wylfa.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Llanrwst, Trefriw and Llyn Geirionydd and More 21st March 2015

The Afon Conwy at Llanrwst - the start of our walk today.
A pair of Goosanders on the Afon Conwy.
The waterfalls above Trefriw.
A section of the delightful woodland path on the South side of the Crafnat Valley.
The monument at Llyn Geirionydd.
Panorama of Llyn Geirionydd from the path above the road its East side.
Moel Siabiod from our lunch spot.
Snowdon from our lunch spot.
The mountains of Snowdonia from North east of Castell y Gwynt on the East side of Llyn Geirionydd.
The ancient church at Llanrhychwyn.
Lambs basking in the warm sunshine in fields South west of Llanrwst.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.2 miles. Climb: 1067'.
Time: 5 hours 9 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Roger.
What a glorious day for walking this turned out to be, not quite a shorts day, but pretty close. Plenty of sunshine, but rather a cool breeze that made it feel chilly when not in the sunshine.
 Once we had started on the ascent to Llyn Geirionydd, the woodland path was delightful, and I'm sure we will do this walk again soon, probably at the end of May or beginning of June when the trees will be fully decked in their finery.
 The views of Snowdonia from a point North east of Castell y Gwynt were superb. You could still see snow on the Snowdon and Crib Goch and the Carneddau too.
 On days like this even the more remote often boggy areas seem beautiful. A few Spring flowers, including Primrose and Celandine were out in good numbers.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common buzzard, Goosander, Grey heron, Mute swan, Mallard, Woodpigeon, Carrion crow, European robin, Pied wagtail, Blue tit, Coal tit, Great tit, Goldfinch, Common blackbird, Common starling and Meadow pipit.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where Moorhouse's White Witch went down well as did the Nook Dry Cider.
 Overall a great day out walking, pity about the rugby!


Thursday, 19 March 2015

Llwyn Ifor, The Grange and more 19th March 2015

Is this a Llama needing a haircut or am I just jealous?
"Why pick on me?"
"The rest ran away!"
"Despite being warm, I'm still not taking my fleece off!"
"I've heard of a headless women before, but never a headless rocking horse!"
The final approach towards Holywell.
Walks stats:9.3 miles. Climb: 1106'.
Time: 5 hours 11 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Tim, Celia and Phil.
The forecast for today was superb, the only question was could it be the first shorts day. In reality it was, but I didn't trust my instincts and opted for gear in between my Paramo gear and shorts, but at least I had my photochromic lenses on and went round in a short sleeve shirt all day!
 This wasn't a walk that provided many photo opportunities, although I did miss one chance of taking a view that included the Duke of Lancaster fun ship! Views across the estuary was rather hazy. Was this due to the forecast pollution/smog coming across from Europe/France/Paris (who suffered it yesterday) or was it just a normal heat haze type phenomenon?  I rather suspect this far North it was the latter.
 The morning walk included a few new paths for us, and it is always good to use different paths and link them with paths that we are familiar. The problem with knowing many of the paths in the area, you can go off on auto-pilot, but thankfully Phil using the route description brought me back on track!
 Having rejected my first suggestion of a lunch spot, we ended up having lunch once again in the delightful War Memorial Gardens in Holywell. This is like a Sun trap, and consequently we had more than the usual 20 minutes over lunch (but everyone else will deny it!).
 The afternoon walk took us uphill again and include some new paths, one very muddy and tot be avoided in the future if we can!
 Whilst we didn't quite make it as far as Pantasaph today, we did include a path through the farm yard at The Grange that is far better than oping on the concessionary path around then farm that we have used in the past.
 Another delightful point was that Blackthorn was blossoming and more Spring flowers we out, including, Green alkonet, Self heal and Field speedwell.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Common buzzard, Black-billed magpie. European robin, Woodpigeon, Great tit, Common blackbird, Wood nuthatch, Dunnock, Winter wren Chaffinch and Chiffchaff (the bird of the day, heard just as we arrived back at the car park in Holywell - the first that I have heard this year with any certainty).
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell in Halkyn, where Nook Medium Cider went down well, as did the Warsteiner Lager and even the sparkling water and Tim could just about taste the added lemon slice (he hopes this is another sign that he is getting his taste buds back).
 Overall a good walk on a beautiful day. One of the great bonuses and privileges of being retired.


Saturday, 14 March 2015

Tegg's Nose and Macclesfield Forest 15th March 2015

Panorama from Tegg's Nose viewpoint.
A new to us path used to descend from Tegg's Nose.
Heading along another new to us path, this time heading for Clough House.
"But Mum, I haven't learned to read yet!"
An interesting cobble track leading away from Clough House.
This little lamb didn't run away.
Part of Macclesfiels Forest in the process of being restored to a natural broadleaved woodland after removing none native conifers.
Shining Tor from Charity Lane near Forest Chapel
Two happy boys!
Looking back on our route along High Lane.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles. Climb: 1913'.
Time: 5 hours 24 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Mike and Celia.
We arrived at Tegg's Nose, to find it was rather overcast with a cool Easterly wind, but at least it was dry. Thankfully it remained like that all day and our only glimpse of any blue sky was as we arrived back at the car.
 This is one of those very varied  roller coaster walks with many ups and downs to get our calf muscles working. Distant views were a little hazy, but at least we did get a view of Shining Tor and Sutton Common.
 Lunch was taken on the track on the West side of Lamaload Reservoir, where the trees sheltered us from the cool wind as sat on an old wall.
 On the return route we used part of the Gritstone trail where it was particularly muddy as we climbed out of the valley towards Buxton New Road.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Chaffinch, Common pheasant, Tufted duck, Sparrowhawk, Carrion crow, Raven, Bullfinch, European robin, Blue tit, Coal tit, Eurasian curlew, Canada goose, Mallard and Common buzzard.
 We arrived back the car with many of our limbs telling us they had been on a good walk.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Stamford Bridge at Barrow, where at least six real ales were on offer.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Little Orme and a Coastal Walk 12th March 2015

Daffodils showing the way to the Great Orme as we headed for the Little Orme.
At the trig point on Little Orme Head.
Celia coming over the top at the cairn on Creigiau Rhiwledyn after having investigated a happy rock!
Grey seals on the beach at Porth Dyniewaid.
A slightly closer view of the seals.
Great cormorants on the cliffs on the West side of Porth Dyniewaid.
Down to earth again, a singing Greenfinch, well he was singing until I decided to take a photo!
Walk stats: Distance: 8.1 m.p.h. Climb: 998' (maybe a little wind assisited).
Time 4 hours 20 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia, Annie and Phil.
 The weather forecast for today had changed the closer we got to current time, so we were all optimistic that the rain wouldn't arrive until after lunch and the wind wouldn't be too strong.
 We set off with a little rain in the air, but that soon disappeared and w arrived at the trig point on Little Orme Head with a slight breeze to challenge us. Distant views weren't that good, but the objective today was not the views , but the prospect of seeing seals and their pups in Porth Dyniewaid.
 As we descended towards the quarry, we knew we wouldn't be disappointed as we could see quite a lot of people looking in to the cove, some of them obviuously taking photos.
 We weren't disappointed, and we saw at least 30 Grey seals, either on the beach or swimming in the sea. Many of the seals were pups, probably most of those on the beach. Phil had brought his new camera and was able to use it to take some good photos of the seals, a little better than my shoot and click camaera!
 What made my day, was to see at least two groups of primary school children being taken by their teachers to see the seals in Porth Dyniewaid.
 I forgot to take my Leki, so I decided that we would head along the coast to Rhos on Sea instead of heading inland.
 In may not have been the most popular decision, but at least we had a good lunch spot overlooking the sea at Rhos on Sea and a little further on could take advantage of the Rhos on Sea happy bushes!
 The return fro Rhos on Sea was along the road, with views to the sea until we past the golf club and the climb up Penrynside began.
 Although Spring flowers haven't really got going yet, we did see Periwinkle, Daisies, Dandelion and Forget-me-not in flower and a few trees were starting to blossom.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Herring gull, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Oystercatcher, Rook, House sparrow (this must be a good area for them as all the hedges/bushes we went past seemed to have chirping House sparrows), Great cormorants, Woodpigeon, Feral pigeon, Chaffinch, European robin, Common blackbird, Meadow pipit, Pied wagtail, Wigeon and Turnstone.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell in Halkyn, where appropriately the Snowdonia Ale went down well.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Llugwy and Lledr Valley 7th March 2015

The Afon Llugwy as we set off from Betws-y-Coed.
Walking in the Llugwy Valley.
"Are they wild Welsh daffodils?"
The Afon Lledr from the footbridge/
Llyn Elsi from the Monument.
"I now I'm only a Common frog, bu I'm not just a thing!"
Walk stats: Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 2479' (GPS wind assisted, probably nearer 2000').
Time: 5 hours 27 mibutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Celia and Mike.
We set off from Betws-y-coed along the Llugwy Valley, optimistic that the weather would get better, it didn't until lunchtime! These  were almiost the worst weather conditions for me in my Paramo gear, too warm and cooking from within, glasses steaming up and the feel of rain almost like being in low cloud! Unfortunately we were sheltered from the wind and the expected cooling never arose!
 Consequently the continuous climb along Sarn Helen was a little on the tedious side, but once we were over the highest point it seemed much better.
 Walking along the Lledre Valley we managed to spot a Treecreeper doing what its name says it does. I addition we spotted lots of small dafffodils that led to much discussion as to whether they were truly wild Welsh daffodils.
 Lunch was taken alongside the Afon Lledr at the end of a small woodland, that provided shelter from the wind.
 It was only as we arrived at Llyn Elsi that the skies began to clear and there was a hint of the Sun trying to put in an appearance.
 We arrived back at Betws-y-coed knowing that the steep descent had made our knees happy to be on the flat!
 Birds seen or heard today were few, but included: Common blackbird, European robin, Canada goose, Mute swan, Lesser black-backed gull, Blue tit, Great tit, Dunnock, Jackdaw, Common buzzard, Carrion crow and Treecreeper.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell at Halkyn, where several brews were sampled including a bitter from a Brecon brewery, a Ginger beer, a local cider or two, a German sounding lager and even orange squash, as well as cheese and onion crisps!
 Overall a good day out, despite the early disappointing weather.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Limekilns, Quarries and More from the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, 5th March 2015

Walking around the ramparts of Moel-y-Gaer at Rhosesmore.
Panorama from the Kame at Moel-y-Crio - looking towards Clwydian Hills.
Panorama from the Kame at Moel-y-Crio - looking towards Moel-y-Crio and Halkyn Mountain.
Hatching a plot at the Waenbrodlas limekilns?
Pen yr Henblas Quarry from the South.
Phil pointing out some fresh water mussels in a pool in Pen yr Henblas Quarry.
"Move over, it's my (Annie's) turn now".
Young lambs at Midlist Farm, Halkyn
Walk stats: Distance: 10.6 miles. Climb: 1641'.
Time: 5 hours 12 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group; Martyn. Sue and Michel, Phil, Celia, Annie and Wendy.
 A relatively early start, we were on our way well before 10-00 a.m., our usual aim to start by time. Overall a very dry day, and even the expected muddy matches were quite dry. Not much Sun and the cool wind made sure we had no chance of over heating!
 We had frequent good views, especially from the Kame at Moel-y-Crio and the trig point on Halkyn Mountain. Views across the Dee estuary showed Parkgate to be having more sunshine than us.
 At lunch time, we had to shelter from the wind in mine workings on the South side of Pen yr Henblas Quarry.
 At this point I realised we would get back to the Blue Bell Inn, Halkyn too early avail ourselves of their hospitality, so I had to think of ways to extend the walk slightly wherever the opportunity arose! We ended up exploring inside the Pen yr Henblas Quarry from both of its possible entry points. Amongst the quarry spoils we saw several samples of rocks with patterns and markings that didn't exactly look like fossils but were just as beautiful.
  Arriving back at the twin masts, we were still too early, so I had to add another short extension that took us past the primary school, clay pigeon shoot and Midlist Farm.
 This extension enabled us to see the new born lambs in the fields next to Midlist Farm. These were the youngest lambs that we have seen on walks this year.
 We eventually arrived back at the Blue Bell Inn, just before 15-00, just about perfect timing!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Chaffinch, House sparrow, Song thrush, Common blackbird, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Dunnock, European robin and Sparrowhawk.
 After walk drinks enjoyed today included Purple Moose's "Calon Lan Bitter", brewed each year at the time of the Six Nations Rugby.