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 July 2015

Moel Famau - Not Twice, but Thrice 30th July 2015

The Red route or is it the Blue route to Moel Famau.
The first visit to Moel Famau Jubilee Tower.
Looking back along the route that we used to climb to Moel Famau for the second time.
At the Jubilee Tower for the second time.
The second path to be explored on the way to the Moel Famau summit for the third time.
Guess who is in the lead!
At the Jubilee Tower for the third time.
Which way down?
Just to prove that I did make it to the Jubilee Tower view point.
A last look towards Moel Famau, showing the path used on the first ascent (right) and the path used on the final descent (left).
The forest road down to Bwlch Penbarra with the Arans on the skyline.
This thistle must be special attracting three bees!
Walk stats: Distance: 6.4 miles. Climb: 1890'.
Time: 4 hours 16 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S and Phil.
A very select group today, and despite the forecast, we set off in in what might be described as "spotty rain" and it wasn't long when I had to bite the bullet and put on my waterproof jacket which I kept on until lunchtime - not because it was raining all of the time, but the North westerly wind was quite cool once we had climbed above the forest or what was left of the forest!
 The views today were quite good, but not exactly crystal clear, but Beeston Hill could be seen as could most of the high tops of Snowdonia.
 Lunch was taken on arriving at the Jubilee Tower for the third time, where we sheltered in one of the recesses in the tower base.
 We were surprised to see how much work had been done centre of the tower view point, with new stone work creating a convenient place to sit and new brass plates giving direction of the major peaks that could be seen as well as information about the tower itself.
 We decided to head for Bwlch Penbarra via a forest road as soon as we could escape from the main Offa's Dyke path  that was like a busy "motorway"!
 Birds seen or heard were few and far between but included: Common kestrel, Common buzzard, Raven, Carrion crow, Meadow pipit, Woodpigeon, Black-billed magpie and winter wren.
 David and Phil also saw was a Weasel.
  The final descent from Bwlch Penbarra to the lower car park was along the path that went parallel with the road. This had largely significantly improved by putting slate flakes, making it a very mud free route. This path was lined with lots of thistles and yellow flowers that made it an avenue that attracted lots of different bees and other insects.
 We arrived back at the car, having found two little used paths that were quite pleasant and could be used as alternative paths to some of the more unpleasant stone paths leading to Moel Famau summit.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, Mold, where Purple Moose Snowdonia Ale went down well as did one of the brews from Bear Town Brewery.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Snowdon via the Rhyd Ddu Horseshoe 25th July 2015

Which way now?
The quarries and decision time.
On top of the world - not quite just starting on the South Ridge.
First views of Snowdon summit.
At the trig point on Snowdon.
The South Ridge.
Llyn Cwellyn and Mynydd Mawr.
Train arriving at Snowdon Summit Station.
Last views of Snowdon Summit from Llechog.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 2660'.
Time: 6 hours 53 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Mike.
The forecast for today was relatively good in that rain wasn't on the cards, but the downside was that it would feel like 1 Celsius at the summit with winds gusting to about 27 m.p.h. Thankfully the winds never got that strong, but the temperature at times was pretty cool.
 Unfortunately Celia didn't feel too well, and on arriving at the quarries just short of Bwlch Cwm Llan, she decided to head back to Rhyd Ddu, but insisted the we should carry on.
 On the ascent views were intermittent as was the appearance of the Sun, and at times the higher sections of Snowdon were in cloud. I've never seen so many people climbing Snowdon and at times on the South Ridge we had to stop to let people coming down pass us.
 As we had only set off from Rhyd Ddu at 11-00, we stopped about half a mile from the Summit for lunch, and at this point views South West towards Harlech and Cardigan Bay came in to view.
 The Summit as expected was busy and we had to queue for several minutes just to get to the trig point and any idea about going into the cafe to use its facilities was just out of the question. It was good to see lots of families climbing Snowdon and to see the joy on a six year old declaring to her younger sister that they had reached the cafe.
 On the descent, the Sun came out more and more and the views became better and better and by the time we crossing the top of Llechog Snowdon was in clear blue sky.
 We arrived back at Rhyd Ddu having had a good walk, knowing that on Sunday our knees would remind us of the 2660' stony descent that we had done the day before!  I didn't think we had been walking that slowly, but the the ascent took us nearly four hours (including lunch) and the descent nearly three hours.
 Birds seen or heard today: Meadow pipit, Herring gull and Raven.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Walks and Dates July 2015

Thursday 2nd July 2015.
Eglwyseg Escarpment and Trevor Rocks.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb:1200'.
Start: Off road parking on the Panorama road just East of the monument. Grid ref: SJ247426.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This must be one of the best walks in the Llangollen area, especially on a sunny day. This a walk that makes you feel like you're  on top of the world with superb views in all directions, including the Dee Valley, Dinas Bran, the Llantysilio Mountains and the Berwyns. Always a favourite walk and on the list at least once every year. Good whatever the time of the year.
With the completion of the the A55/A483 Posthouse Junction promised for the last weekend in June, I decided to celebrate the event with this superb walk, I only hope that I'm not being too optimistic.
 If I find that its completion has been delayed yet again, I'll probably switch the walk with one that avoids needing to use that section of the road to get to the start.
 Saturday 4th July 2015.
Craig Bron-Banog and Part of Cwm Alwen. 
Distance:11 miles; Climb:1100'.
Start: Llanfihangel Glyn Myfyr. Riverside picnic site. Grid ref:SH987496. Take the Ruthin to Cerrigydrudion road. Turn right just after the bridge by the Crown Inn. Continue down the road past the church. The picnic area is on the right just before the school.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
Both walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks In the Hidden Heart North Wales". The Craig Bron-Banog walk is new to us. He describes it as an eight mile figure of eight walk exploring the afforested undulating countryside South-east of Llyn Brenig. The route meanders through Clocaenog Forest, passes a hidden waterfall and an ancient standing stone before reaching the highest point of Craig Bron-Banog with its panoramic views.
Thursday 9th July 2015.
Around Gwystaney and More.
Distance: 6.0 miles, 8.5 miles or 9.5 miles or 10.5 miles (decided on the day, as and when we have to make a decision!).
Climb: 1500', but depends on the actual route we decide to take after lunch! 
Start. Parking area near the children's play ground in Rhosesmore. Grid ref: SJ214684.
The walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book " Walks Around Holywell Mountain and Halkyn Mountain. Our usual route normally includes Cwm Conwy, but I suspect that today's walk won't! The Gwystaney walk is described as a walk through the undulating countryside between Rhosesmor and Sychdyn, exploring the lush wooded Gwysaney Estate. The second walk at least includes visiting Moel Y Gaer hill-fort and how much more depends on us!.
Saturday 11th July 2015.
Mynydd Marian.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Llandulas Beach Car Park. Grid ref: SH907786.
Leave Chester at 08-30.
This walk is one that we often usually do on a Thursday. I will probably look to see if there is a convenient extension that can take the walk to about 10 miles.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book, "Walks on the North Wales Coast". It combines an interesting section of the coat line with the attractive limestone countryside between, Old Colwyn, Llysfaen and Llandulas.
Thursday 16th July 2015.
Around the Old Horseshoe Pass, the Eglywseg Rocks and Glen.
Distance:10.3 miles; Climb: 2205'.
Start: Car park opposite the Ponderosa Cafe on the Horseshoe Pass. Grid ref:SJ193481.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walking Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley". These are two delightful walks, especially when the weather is good. An easy start heading down hill, a superb middle section with a challenging climb up the old Horseshoe Pass road at the end!
Saturday 18th July 2015.
Mynydd Eilian and Point Lynas and More.
Distance: 7-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Llaneilian Car Park. Grid ref: SH474929.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Best Walks in North Wales". The walk visits one of Anglesey's high points, and follows a section of the Coastal Path. A good section of the coastal path is on concessionary paths that are closed on some days. I've e-mailed Anglesey Council, but as yet they haven't goback to me.  I'm sure that we can use our map reading expertese to get round any path that is closed! Walking along the coast is always good at any time of the year, especially if you get good weather'. Let's hope we will get good weather on this occasion.
The difference in mileage depends on how much of an extension we add on to the planned walk.
Thursday 23rd July 2015.
Cyrn-y-Brain and Coed Llandegla.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Car parking area opposite the Ponderosa Cafe. Grid ref: SJ192480.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book " Walks Around Ruabon Mountain, the Clywedog Valley  and Hope Mountain." He describes it as a walk exploring open access moorland with panoramic views and contrasting forest paths.
Saturday 25th July 2015.
Yr Wyddfa - Snowdon.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: 2700'.
Start Rhyd Ddu Station Car Park (Pay and Display). SH571525.
Leave Chester at 08-00.
This is the usual walk from Rhydd Ddu. Ascent via the quarries at Bwlch Cwm Llan  and the steady climb up the South ridge nd Bwlch Maen and descent via the Rhyd Ddu path. I always like to climb Snowdon at least once a year, and the Bwlch Maen ascent is one of my favourite routes.
We may have to change the route at the last minute, if we find  the car park at Rhyd Ddu is full when we get there.
It is a while since we climbed Snowdon, so I hope the weather is kind to us.
Thursday 30th July 2015.
Moel Famau - Twice!
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Moel Famau Forest Car park (pay on entry. £1 last time we used this car park), just East of the PC block.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines to routes from Dave Berry's Books, one from "Walks in the Clwydian Hills" and one from "Walks in the Clwydian Hills - New Edition." This is a walk that we first did in January a couple of years ago, and every one said that they enjoyed it.  Hence its inclusion again this year. Perhaps at this time of the year we will reach the Jubile Tower on a warm wind free day with superb views in all directions!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Coed Llandegla and Cyrn-y-Brain 23rd July 2015

"Is this really the path?"
Another "red blob" takes the lead!
Just to prove that we did see at least one bird! It is in fact a Common buzzard.
Heading for the luinch spot at pace - not soon enough for some!
The view from our lunch spot at the cairn on Cyrn-y-Brain.
Sir Watkin's Tower and the trig point from our lunch spot at the cairn on Cyrn-y-Brain.
Looking across the valey to the Eglwyseg Escarpments.
A delightful pathy leading us back to the Ponderosa - microwave station track.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.6 m.p.h. Climb: 1185'.
Time; 4 hours 53 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Tim, Wendy, Roger and Phil.
This turned out to be a good day for walking, not too hot and not too windy and very little of the wet stuff, in fact we had about 5 minutes of spotty rain just as we set off after lunch.
 This was the first time that we have attempted this walk in a clockwise direct, and everyone agreed that it was the best way to do it! The main reasons for this being the best way round, was that the indistinct paths across moorland to Faraway was competed at the beginning of the walk when our legs were fresh, and secondly path finding East of the Wireless station and above Fron-lwyd was much easier.
 The views today were pretty good too, first towards Moel famau and the Clwydians, and later towards The Eglwyseg Escarpments. In fact at lunch time we could also see Arrenig Fawr and some of the mountains of Snowdonia.
 Lunch was taken in the cairn on Cyrn-y-Brain, some donning waterproof to keep warm!
 The route after lunch turned out to be surprisingly trouble free, and gave us some superb views along valleys that we hadn't even noticed on previous occasions.
 Overall a good walk, that will be repeated again in the future, but as today it will only be after a long dry spell in the Summer.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Meadow pipit, Stonechat, Raven, Common blackbird, Common buzzard, Common kestrel, Jackdaw and Peregrine falcon.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed, well sort of,  at the Bridge Inn at Pontblyddyn. I wasn't sure how to take the barman's sarcastic comments when each of the none alcoholic drinks were ordered!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Mynydd Eilian and More 18th July 2015

Porth Eilan at the start of the day.
The vista West of Porth Eilan  from a path South of Mynydd Eilian.
Point Lynas.
Little Tilley and Big Tilley at the trig point on Mynydd Eilian.
The view from the trig point on Mynydd Eilian.
The view from the trig point on Mynydd Eilian.
Grey seals in Poerth Helygen.
A Grey seal showing its head in Porth Helygen.
Horse on the horizon.South of Point Lynas
St. Eilian's church at Llaneilian.
Inside the church at Llaneilian.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.5 miles. Climb: 1816'. (Wind assisted on the GPS, probably nearer 1000'.)
Time: 5 hours 31 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Roger.
This was a lovely day for walking, although the wind was a little too strong to keep your hat on unless it was battened down!
 After leaving Porth Eilian we headed North toward Mynydd Eilian along paths and through Wild flower meadows that seemed to be a hot spot for Meadow brown butterflies.
 Once we had gained a little height, the views particularly towards the coast were superb. he mountains of Snowdonia could be seen from Mynydd Eilian, although they were somewhat hazy.
 We stopped for lunch overlooking Porth Aber, and it was just after setting off again that we saw our first Grey seal and Sandwich terns diving into the sea. As we continued, we had about 12 sightings of seals, but the most that could be seen at the same time was six.
 All along the coast back to Porth Eilian and beyond to Ogo'r Sant the Sandwich terns were seen, and a few Gannets were seen as we approached Port y Corwgl.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Greenfinch, Commo whitethroat, House martin, Common kestrel, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Sandwich tern, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Great cormorant, Stonechat and Gannet.
 Overall a good and interesting walk with so much to see, flowers galore and frequent views of seals. It ended with a visit to Llaneilian church with its Medieval rood screen.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue bell in Halkyn, where Purple Moose's Snowdonia Ale went down well and helped to overcome the disappointment of the Australians dominance at Lords

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Around the Old Horseshoe Pass and Eglwyseg Glen 16th July 2015

The path heading across the hillside towards World's End.
"This bracken is shorter than I expected".
The view towards the Horshoe Pass Road.
The Llantysilio Mountains.
Dad's keeping his eye on us!
Follow the leader"
Lunchtime below the Eglwyseg Escarpments.
A pair of Peregrine Falcons above our lunch spot.
Not a panorama that I was expecting to be able to take!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.7 miles. Climb: 1671'.
Time: 5 hours 31 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Annie, Sheila, Phil,  Sue Pearson, Celia, Tim and David S.
We arrived at the Ponderosa to be greeted by a cool breeze that made one two of the group regret having only their Summer gear with them. Thankfully we soon dropped down a little and out of the wind, it was quite warm and for most of the day we were happy when we were to be walking in the shade of trees or when clouds blocked the Sun's direct heat.
 The views today were a little hazy in the distance, but walking along Offa's Dyke footpath below the Eglwyseg Escarpment is always delightful. A bonus today was to get several views of Peregrine falcons, particularly as we had lunch.
 Arriving at Pentre-dwr we had a choice, do we walk up the Old Horseshoe Pass Road or do we take the path down the Oernant valley. We made the wrong decision and chose the latter! After the first section we crossed a stile to find the path went through head high bracken that had encroached across the path, thankfully it wasn't wet. Having escaped from the bracken we walked up the road hoping to take a path that would lead us back to the car. However when we came to the path it too had head high bracken encroaching across, and the almost unanimous decision that we would continue up the road!
 We arrived back at the car thankful that we had had a good walk, perhaps more challenging than we had expected, but at least it hadn't rained and we had relatively clean boots.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Common buzzard, Stonechat, Common pheasant, Peregrine falcon, Pied wagtail, Grey wagtail, Winter wren, Common blackbird, European robin, Meadow pipit and Goldfinch.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Bridge Inn at Pontblyddyn, where several Conwy brews were on offer. The first one sampled was past its best and without any question it was changed to Minera Heather beer which was much more palatable and to our liking.
 We had a good turnout today, but with the holiday season starting, we be down to three or four next week.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

A Llanddulas Adventure 11th July 2015

Looking across the Afon Dulas Valley towards Rhyd-y-foel.
Two friendly goats 
or
"That one got away!"
Is this the way we should go?
or should we go this way?
A Pyrimidal orchid?
A Pyrimidal orchid?
Lady's bedstraw?
"I looked a lot better before I had a wool cut!"
I think it is a Badger face Welsh Mountain Sheep.
Just in case you hadn't noticed, someone else has joined the Tilley Brigade.
Yellow horned poppy?
Walk stats: Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 1117'.
Time: 5 hours 5 minutes. On the move 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Mike.
The forecast for today was good, and thankfully we didn't get any rain until it started spitting as we approached Halkyn in the car.
 We had good spells of sunshine, so Mike was happy knowing that his ears were well protected by his new head gear!
 Our route was from Llanddulas was essentially South along the Afon Dulas Valley, and everything went well until we arrived at Cefn Fran and evidence of paths disappeared, even in the farm yard we had to by guided by the farmer's wife and that was partly blocked. Once in the fields, any attempt to cross field boundaries was almost impossible - no stile and a barbed wire fence and broken barrier and sheeting blocked the way where the path should have crossed. We eventually went further round the field to a gate, and then had difficulty finding the stile on the opposite side that led to the road. we eventually found it and it took Mike nearly half an hour with secateurs to cut the vegetation away so that we could cross the stile. We should have crossed the road to head North on another field path, but that stile was also very overgrown, so we ended up taking minor roads all the way to Llysfaen, failing to locate yet another stile/path on the way.
 We were able to enjoy lunch in the bus shelter at Llysfaen, where at least we had somewhere to sit. I think the bus driver was disappointed that when we didn't get on his bus!
 after lunch we left Llysfaen on the North Wales Path, a delightful path, first along the top of a limestone outcrop and later along a wood path below Craig y Forwyn.
 We arrived back at the car, having knowing that we had been challenged in more ways than one! It was noticeable today that everyone we met spoke and were very pleasant.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Herring gull, Carrion crow, Raven, Jackdaw, Winter wren, Barn swallow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Grey heron, Black-billed magpie, Common blackbird, Common buzzard and House sparrow.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell in Halkyn, where the Two Trees Perry went down well.
 On arriving home, I realised that next week I'll be hopping - I left one of my boots in the car park at Llanddulas! Went back on Sunday after church, found the boot still there, but someone had kindly turned the boot on it side with the opening against one of the rocks!