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, 30 April 2015

Lady Bagot's Drive and More 30th April 2015

"Aren't we a happy bunch - walking in the rain".
Are the Clwydians on fire?
Bluebells in Coed Nant.
A closer look at some of the Bluebells.
The Clwydian Hills as we approached Rhewl.
Lunchtime in a sheltered by the trees of Coed Orllwyn just before reaching Rhewl.
Another view of the Clwydians, from the bank of the Afon Clwyd.
One of the Dippers seen on along the Afon Clwyd North of Ruthin
Walk stats: Distance: 12.1 miles. Climb: 595'.
Time: 6 hours 12 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4m.p.h. Overall walk avergae: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Roger, Celia, Annie, David S and Tim.
Disappointingly within a a few minutes of setting off.  we all had our full waterproofs on. Thankfully it didn't last by the time we arrived at Lady Bagot's Drive, it was possible for those that wished to remove waterproofs and fleeces, not all did!
 It was very noticeable today that Summer really had arrived, at least you would believe it as Barn swallows were everywhere!
 It was lovely to see so many Bluebells, Ransoms, Wood anemone and Primroses in Coed Nant, but our surprise of the day was to see a group trying to start fires in Coed Nant. We were a little concerned, but it was all legitimate and was part of an event organise below by Original Outdoors.
The organise came across to us, and put our minds at ease and was quite informative about the nature of the woodland.
By this time a few of the group had started to complain of food deprivation, so as soon as a sheltered spot could be found, suitable or not had had lunch on the side of the track, shelteres by Coed Orllwyn. We were in warm sunshine, but alas we had no views of the Clwydians - no-one complained!
 All the climbing had been done before lunch, except for a few stiles (less that in the past as many ha been replaced by new kissing gates!) as we went through the fields along the banks of the Afon Clywedog and Afon Clwyd.
 Not that many birds seen or heard today, but we did see at least five different Dippers along the Afon Clwyd between Ruthin Weir and Ruthin.
 Some of the views across to the Clwydian Hills were superb, some of the best that I have ever seen on this particular walk.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Rook, Blue tit, Great tit, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Mallard, Pied wagtail, Great cormorant, Grey heron, Greenfinch, Great spotted woodpecker, Winter wren, Common blackbird, Common pheasant, House sparrow, Dipper and Barn swallow.
 At over 12 miles, this walk was a little longer they liked and the sight of the car was a welcome relief!
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Ruthin Castle (Wetherspoons) where Ruddles Best, Abbott and an American style brew were all sampled (not by the same person!).
 Overall an enjoyable six hour walk, ending in glorious sunshine.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Llanrwst, Trefriw and Llyn Geirionydd 25th April 2015

On the embankment heading for Trefriw.
Trefriw from the embankment South of the village.
A very young lamb getting an early lunch, which is more than the rest of got!
Gwydir Castle from the Llanrwst bridge road.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 935'.

Time: 4 hours 21 minutes. On the move walking average: 2/3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike, Celia, Roger and LeRoi Walwen (putting in his first appearance since his two walks at the end of July 2011).
Alas the BBC weather forecast was the closest to what we got, the only difference being the rain started as we arrived and never stopped for more than a few minutes. In fact the rain was so heavy between about 12-00 and 13-30, that we changed our route to go through a wood, but it wasn't much better there either!  It was so bad that we didn't even stop for lunch, Roger managed with a chocolate biscuit and LeRoi had banana to keep him going.  Most of the group finished their lunch back at the car at about 14-30.
 Distant view were none existent and we had to be satisfied with the beauty of the immediate countryside that we were walking through.
 We did however hear a Cuckoo and saw Sand martins, two reasons for repeating the walk so soon after we last did it a few weeks ago.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Goosander, House Martin, Barn swallow, Sand martin, Mallard, Common sandpiper, Common blackbird, Grey heron, Canada goose, Carrion crow, Pied wagtail, Blue tit, Great tit, , Collared dove, Coal tit, Winter wren, Willow warbler, Lesser black-backed gull, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Collared dove and Wood nuthatch.
 Quite afew Spring flowers were also seen, including Bluebells and Wood sorrel.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Bluebell at Halkyn where the two house bitters brewed by Facers went down well. The log fires were much appreciated as the outside temperature had dropped to low single figures and some of the group still wearing damp clothes, a legacy of a wet, wet walk!
 Hopefully LeRoi won 't leave it quite so long before he joins us on a walk.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Around Plas-yw and the Alyn Valley 23rd April 2015

"Well in France it's like this..!"
Dog violets - the first of many.
Bluebells - the first that we have seen on a walk this year.
An early lunch, but at least we all had somewhere to perch!
Almost the last of the climbs to the East side of Moel Evan.
Moel Plas-yw on the left of the road leading down to the A541.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles. Climb: 1292'.
Time: 5 hours 27 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h. (we must be having too long for lunch or searching for "happy bushes"!
Group: Martyn, Paul, Fran, Davis S., Celia, Annie and Tim.
 The weather today was almost perfect for walking, pleasantly warm all day, very occasionally clouding over and hardly any wind.
 This walk was a little of a roller coaster walk with short up followed with downs and then ups again. 
 Starting just outside Cilcain, I wasn't too sure where we would find an appropriate place for lunch, but no-one complained when just on mid-day I suggested that we stop for lunch when I noticed sections of a felled tree that would give us suitable places on which to sit.
 Most noticeable today was the variety of flowers that were in bloom including: Celandine, Stitchwort, Bluebell, Ransoms, Wood anemone, Primrose, White dead nettle, Forget-me-nots, Dandelions and Dog violets. There were many more, but I can't remember them all - flowers are harder to remember that birds!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Chaffinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Blackcap, House sparrow, Carrion crow, Raven, Common buzzard, Winter wren, Wood nuthatch, Chiffchaff and Willow warbler.
 This walk doesn't give many opportunities for distant views, but local scenery was superb.
  Overall a good walk, especially on day as good as today.
 I'm sure this start from the car parking area West of Cilcain will be our start for many walks in the future.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell in Halkyn, where Three Tuns' Pale Ale went down particularly well, but Richard's Cider wasn't to everyone's liking!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Bosley Cloud and More 18th April 2015

St. Mary's Church of the Virgin - Bosley.
The start of our walk.
Our first clear view of The Cloud.
Top of The Cloud - no-one there yet!
Panorama from The Cloud, looking towards Sutton Common.
At the toposcope on The Cloud.
The Cloud from our lunch spot.
A Grey heron on the canal near our lunch spot.
Mallard/Farm yard duck with three of her four ducklings on the canal.
"I'm the king of the castle".
"Just kidding!"
A few of the many Celendines seen today.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.7 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Time: 4 hours 50 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger and Mike.
This turned out to be a superb day for walking, wall to wall blue skies, warm sunshine with the occasional cool breeze to remind us that it wasn't Summer yet!
 Our route up The Cloud was slightly different than usual, as we gradually climbed on a path across the Eastern slopes before scrambled up a track that took us to the ridge just a few yards South of the trig point.
 By the time we got there, The Cloud was hot spot for walkers approaching from all directions, but thankfully we were able to have group phot taken, just before most of them got to the trig point/toposcope.
 The views from the top were good, although a little hazy in the distance. We could make out Beeston, but we wouldn't be honest if we said we could see Moel Famau. Perhaps on another day.
 Lunch was taken just before reaching the canal, several fallen tree trunks provided us with suitable perching spots.
 After lunch, all we had to do was the four mile gentle stroll along the towpath back to bridge 57 and the path back to Bosley and the car.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Common buzzard, Common kestrel, Common pheasant, European robin, Great tit, Blue tit, Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Mallard, Moorhen, House sparrow, Pied wagtail and Grey heron.
 We also saw a lizard on The Cloud, presumably a Common lizard. It was good to see a few butterflies flying, including Peacock and Small tortoiseshell. A good number of Bumble bees were seen around the Cloud.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Stamford Bridge at Barrow, where the Conwy Brewery Piffle Bitter went down well.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Moel Famau via its Western Flanks and More 16th April 2015

The view from the Offa's Dyke Path looking over Ruthin towards Aran Benllyn, Cadair Idris, Arrenig Fawr and Snowdonia.
Moel y Gaer, showing our route of descent (seen on the extreme left of the picture!).
Part of the panorama, looking West from the Jubilee Tower on Moel Famau.
On the gentle descent from the summit of Moel Famau.
Part of the ramparts on Moel y Gaer.
At the centre point in the Moel y Gaer Hillfort.
What plane is that?
A slightly better view - it's a C5 according to Roger or C150 Hercules according to David.
Walk stats: Distance: 6.5 miles. Climb: 1882'.
Time: 5 hours 1 minute. On the move walking average: 1.7 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.3 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue and Michel, Sheila, Phil, David S., Wendy and Tim.
The weather forecast for today was good and we set off knowing that it was going to dry, and hopefully would warm up after the cool start from Bwlck Penbarras. Thankfully it did and four of the sat in the warm sunshine on the top of Moel Famau as we looked over the Vale of Clwyd as we ate our lunch. The rest of the group for some reason sat on the opposite side of the tower in the shade with views towards Padeswood Cement Works!
 The views today were superb in the morning where peaks as far as Cadair Idris could be seen as well as the Carneddau which still had pockets of snow in places.
 The afternoon challenge was trying to find the route to Moel y Gaer Hillfort. It wasn't easy to find at first, and we had to do a little heather hopping before a definite path was found.
 After visiting the hillfort, we decide to descend on the path that steeply decended the South western slope, not a route that I relish repeating!
 Not a great variety of birds seen or heard today, but it was good to hear plent of Willow warblers and Chiffchaffs, and even better a Yellowhammer.
 The birds seen or heard today included: Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Yellowhammer, Raven, Carrion crow, Chaffinch, Meadow pipit, Eurasian jay, Woodpigeon, Common kestral (David's pigeon!) and Common buzzard.
 Overall, quite a challenging walk for David's first walk for over a month and Sheila's first walk with group.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, where Purple Moose, Snowdonia Ale went down well as we sat outside, still in the sunshine.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Bryn Alyn, Moel Findeg and Deborah's Well 11th April 2015

"Come on Mum, stop running away, I want a drink!"
Our approach  to Bryn Alyn.
Moel Famau from West of Tir-y-coed.
Moel Findeg, approaching from South east.
The panorama from Moel Findeg, looking towards the Moel Famau and the Clwydian Hills.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.5 miles. Climb: 1859' (GPS slightly wind assisted reading).
Time: 5 hours 23 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Roger.
Another good day for walking, mostly sunny with a cooling breeze at times (too cool for some!). The views today were superb, especially on Bryn Alyn and Moel Findeg. The latter gave us a 360 degree panorama.
 Heading over Bryn Alyn, we encountered a man carrying a shovel and measuring pole. He turned out to be a local enthusiast investigating some of the Bronze age burial sites in the area.
 Lunch was taken along side a pool towards the North end of Tir-y-coed, where several pieces of tree trunk had been placed as perfect seats, allowing us to rest our weary legs for a while.
 The climb up Moel Findeg from the Maeshafn road is always a bit of a pull, but at least today we had the breeze assisting us, and the views from the summit were worth the effort needed to get there.
 We even managed to make it as far as Deborah's Well, but for the second time today I didn't look at the route description and we followed the path signposted "Loggerheads", when the shorter route described was to head towards Cadole and the Cholomendy Arms.
 We arrived back at the car, knowing we had had a good walk in almost ideal walking conditions (for me at least - only one handkerchief needed and that for normal use only!).
 Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Wood nuthatch, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler (the first I have heard in 2015), Jackdaw, Wheatear, Chaffinch, Carrion crow, Common blackbird, Mistle thrush and Rook.
 After walk drinks were enjoye at the Cholomendy Arms, where a Great Orme Brewery and Hadrian's Brewery beers went down well.
 The Cholomendy Arms has had lots of work done, both on the inside and on the outside, and as ever there is always a warm welcome by the landlady.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Wat's Dyke Way, Brynford, St. Bueno's Well and More 9th April 2015

The first photo oportunity an they decided to walk away!
Just leaving the lime kilns, hats in place for those that needed them!
At the information board by St. Bueno's Well.
St. Bueno's Information Board.
Just a pool, not really a well!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.5 miles. Climb: 1032'.
Time: 5 hours 12 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia, Tim and Phil.
A bright sunny day with possible temperatures reaching into the twenties, this really was the first shorts day opportunity. Alas not everyone in the group thought so!
Much of the route we have done several times, but the sections through Nant and Dolphin were new to us. Distance views over the estuary weren't that good, as the estuary always seemed to be very hazy, but thankfully for us we were always in the sunshine.
 Lunch was taken in the memorial Gardens at Holywell, a delightful spot that seems to be a suntrap. we only just arrived in time as all the seats were soon occupied, and Tim and Celia even tested out the the wonderful metal memorial seat and didn't complain!
 As is often the case of late, we took longer over lunch, than our previously normal 20 minutes!
 There seemed to be lots of people around Holywell today, always good to see.
 After lunch, the main objective was to take us to St. Bueno's Well which would be a first for the group.
 After climbing the many steps we arrived at the location of St. Bueno's Well, only to find that it was really only a pool. Well worth a visit, and thankfully the "Holywell Walkers Guide Booklet" got us there.
 The final part of the route took us back through the centre of Holywell, where Celia thought that we had lost both Phil and Tim, but they had just gone to the local greengrocer's shop to get some strawberries that at 2 punnets for £1 seemed a bargain!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Common crow, Mallard, Common coot, Meadow pipit, Moorhen, Black-billed magpie, Common buzzard, Woodpigeon, Pied wagtail Lapwing and Winter wren.
 Lots of Spring flowers were blooming today including: Celandine, Wood anemone, Cowslip, Primrose, Alkanet, Forget me not, Wood sorrel, Crowfoot, Dandelions and Daisy.
 One or two butterfly's were flitting around, particularly Peacocks and one or two Small tortoiseshell, A few bumblebees put in an appearance too. Spring is here at last!
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Bluebell Inn in Halkyn, where the house beer brewed by Facer's went down well, and Tim enjoyed the the Heavy brew too!
 Congratulation to the Blue Bell in on being awarded the the Vale of Clwyd CAMRA pub of the year 2015, and they could still win this year's Cider Pub of the Year and Community Pub of the Year too!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Beyond the Ro, Moel Fferna and More 2nd April 2015

Spot the Treecreeper, a bird we wouldn't have seen, if we had crossed the stream at the right point!
"I'm off, if you are going to talk to me like that!"
Looking across the valley towards the path(the lower path) that we initially hoped to take.
Lunch at the cairn on Moel Fferna.
Just in case you think we took lunch early, the correct time is 13-03 not 12-03! 
I changed all the clocks in the house, but not the time on my camera!
The descent from Moel Fferna.
A little relief from Heather hopping.
A few tadpoles, but how many of these make it to be a fully grown Common frog?
The Llantysilio Mountains, looking North west over Glyndyfrdwy.
The final approach towards Dreboeth and the car parked near the craft centre.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.2 miles. Climb: 1432'.
Time: 5 hours 42 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Tim, Celia, Nigel and Phil.
This turned out to be a better day weather wise than we expected. I started off wearing my fleece, when in reality it was warm enough for it to have been left in my rucksack, and I was more comfortable after lunch when it was!
 The walk today wasn't exactly as it had originally been planned, but none the less it turned out to be a good route, and one that with minor adjustments we will probably attempt again in the future.
 The section across the moor heading for Moel Fferna gave us good view towards the Berwyns to the North and the Llantysylio Mountains to the South and even beyond towards Moel Fammau.
 Lunch was taken at the summit cairn on Moel fferna, and for once this was in warm, windless, handkerchief safe conditions!
 The route from Moel Fferna involved a little Heaher hopping, but no-one complained, and a new to me path enabled us to avoid any walking along the busy A5, a delightful path that we will definitely use in the future.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Blue tit, Great tit, Coal tit, Woodpigeon, Goosander, Mandarin duck, Chaffinch, Peacock, Common phesant, Meadow pipit and Skylark.
 after walk drinks were enjoyed at the Berwyn Arms, West of Glyndyfrdwy, where the only beer on hand pump was Woodlands brew.