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.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Walks and Dates December 2015

Updated on 21st December 2015.
Walks planned for the Thursday 17th December and Saturday 19th December 2015 have been changed again!
A short Walk for Friday 1st January 2016 has also been added.
Thursday 3rd December 2015.
Ysceifiog-Lixwm-Nannerch.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1300'.
Start: Ysceifiog, park adjacent to the children's play area. Grid ref: SJ152715.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountains".  This is another chance to explore the area around Ysceifiog using field paths, woodland paths and bridleways.  The walk also explores the countryside between the Wheeler Valley and Lixwm.  We have done this walk many times, but not for quite a while.
Saturday 5th December 2015.
Postponed.
Rhos-on-Sea, Bryn Euryn and Coed Pwllcrochan.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Roadside parking on Marine Drive in Rhos-on-Sea, near to St., Trillo's Church. Grid ref: SH841811. It may may be better to park in Trillo Avenue, opposite the church.
Leave Chester at 08-30.
This walk combines three walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llandudno and Prestatyn".
One is described as a varied walk exploring the hinterland behind Rhos-on-Sea and includes the hillfort in Bryn Euryn Nature Reserve. The other walk offers panoramic views as it meanders through the undulating countryside bordering on Mochdre, Colwyn Bay and Rhos-on-Sea. I rather suspect that suitable shortcuts will be made to ensure that the distance will be nearer 10.
Thursday 10th December 2015.
St. Dyfnog's Well, Llwyn Wood, Denbigh Castle and Goblin Fields.
Postponed - this route is notorious for flooding and mud, so I've decided to change the walk. See below for details.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 900'.
Start: Riverside parking near the weir in Brookhouse. Turn westward opposite the Brookhouse Inn, signposted "Pottery". Grid ref: SJ06896567.
These two walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd".  The main walk explore the attractive and varied countryside between Llanrhaeadr and Brookhouse.  The highlight on the walk is the Jesse window in the medieval church at Llanrhaeadre.  The second walk takes us on a "green" approach to Denbigh Castle.
Thursday 10th December 2015.
New Walk.
Holywell, and the Mostyn to Greenfield Coastal Path Round.
Distance: 10.0 miles Climb: 1000'.
Start: Holywell Halkyn Street Car Park. Grid ref: SJ18957548.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
Although the route is largely based on one we did in June this year, it has been adapted to avoid problems encountered then as well as to try and minimise boggy and muddy fields that we have to negotiate. Consequently this is a somewhat contrived route in that it is uses mainly country lanes from Holywell towards Whitford and down to Mostyn. The route along the Coastal path to Grenfield is quite pleasant, but being on the estuary it can feel a little breezy at times. Some field paths are included, particularly at the start of the walk, so we can expect to encounter a few mud challenges on this section. Once we get to Mertyn Lane it should be plain sailing!
 On the 11th of June we had lunch in the grounds of the Aberkan where we were able to use picnic tables and take advantage of the facilities.
 However should we feel adventurous on the day, there are many that could be used instead of the security of having a hard surface under our feet.
Saturday 12th December 2015.
Caer Drewyn, Pen-y-Pigyn and onto Cynwyd.
Postponed.
Distance: 9 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Corwen centre car park next to the Public Convenience. Grid Ref: SJ080435.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley" with a there and back extension to Cynwyd. The visit of Caer Drewyn is described as enchanting and the second walk as being a delightful walk through the wooded hillside above Corwen and concludes with lovely walk alongside the River Dee.
Thursday 17th December 2015.
A Walk on Halkyn Mountain from the Blue Bell Inn.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Common ground opposite the Blue Bell Inn, 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 - we usually only see the quarry from its Southern side. We might see if we can enter the quarry on the North side and emerge on the East side for a change.
Saturday 19th December 2015.
A Walk Around the Great Orme.
Distance: 8-10 miles, but will be decided on the day.
Climb: 500'-1000', depending on the route we take.
Start at Llandudno West shore. Roadside parking near the boating lake. Grid ref: SH771820.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is one we do several times each year, particularly if we want to avoid muddy conditions. The exact route wil be decided as we are going round. It will probably involve going around the Great Orme on the panoramic road, have lunch in the Happy Valley before taking the path across the limestone pavement and then taking the steps down to the invalids terrace and back to the shore.
Thursday 24th December 2015.
No walk unless anyone wants to escape from Christmas Preparations!
Contact me if you fancy a walk.
Saturday 26th December 2015.
No walk.
Friday 1st January 2016.
A West Kirby Round.
Distance: 5-6 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: The Parade, West Kirby. Park near the old baths / opposite the IRB station. Grid ref: SJ213860.
Leave Chester at 09-30.
The walk starts by going around the Marine Lake, if the tide permits. High tide is at 15-21. It is quite a small tide, 7.7 m /25.0', so there should be no problem around the Marine Lake or walking along the beach to Red Rocks.  Red Rocks may be a suitable spot for refreshments before heading through 
Hoylake Golf Course to the Gilroy Nature Reserve.  Finally a short climb up Grange Hill with its 
impressive War Memorial with superb views in all directions. The return is via the Beacon on 
Column Road and down to West Kirby through Ashton Park. 
 Bring binocular with you if you have them.
 Fruit cake will be provided, as long as I know that you are coming!
Harris Hikers Annual Meal 
Thursday 4th February 2016.
This would appear to be the best date for most of the group. I'm thinking of going to the Boathouse in Parkgate but at the moment I haven't booked anything.  I intend to go down on the 4th February, so if you plan to come to the meal, it would be helpful if you let me know, so that I have a rough idea of the numbers involved.
 If you know of anyone that might be interested in joining us for the meal, please pass on the details.
 I will try to keep everyone up to date by e-mail as much as I can as well as putting the details on the blog.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

A Special Around the Great Orme and More 19th December 2015

Mute swans on the West Shore Boating Pool.
"You think we're trapped, don't you?"
Why does the sea look so calm?
Goats in grazing in places I wouldn't like to be!
Fulmars on nesting ledges on the Great Orme.
More goats deciding they didn't want their photo taken.
"Why do we always have to go uphill after lunch?"
Mistle thrushes ahead!
Rainbow in the sky.
Heading down the Monk's path.
A flowering Celandine in mid-December?
The West shore toll house.
The West shore toll house.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.2 miles. Climb: 1761' GPS wind assisted.
Time: 5 hours 04 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Roger.
We arrived at the West shore and were ready to set off about 09-40, but never really got going until about 10-10. We were passing the West shore toll house and I happened to mention to a man having a cigarette outside that lots of new windows had been put in. Next to our surprise, Vaughan, the owner was giving us a guided tour of the whole building, giving us descriptions and explanations of much of the renovation work he had done and to his future ideas to take it even further.  Passing the building on so many occasions and wondering what it was like inside and now being afforded the privilege of being invited in, made this a walk that we will always remember.
 Lunch was taken in the shelter in Happy Valley, Llandudno with its benches and views towards the Llandudno pier. It has the advantage too of a very convenient PC!
 The weather today could have been quite nasty, but thankfully we had very little rain, about 20 minutes after lunch when I unnecessarily put on my waterproofs! The wind at times was quite blustery, especially as we headed across the plateau on top of the Great Orme, but at least it was warm wind and it wasn't really a battle even when it was face on!
 Our first surprise of the day was  to see flowering Snowdrops, admittedly in someone's garden and later on Roger spotted a flowering Celandine!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Mute swan, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Raven, Common buzzard, Oystercatcher, Herring gull, Great black-backed gull, Fulmar, Great cormorant, Common kestrel and Mistle thrush.
 The views today weren't particularly good and at time we could see that the Carneddau was receiving quite a but of rain, but thankfully it missed us out as it headed North eastish!
 At the end of the walk we were thankful to have had a good walk and the best of the weather, especially as we had torrential rain all the way back to the Blue Bell at Halkyn, where as usually we had a warm welcome and  a Dee seasonal cider to match!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

A Blue Bell Inn Walk Around Quarries 17th December 2015

Mountains tops in the sky as we left the cars at the start of the walk.
Limekiln on the the South side of Moel y Gaer, Rhosesmore.
"Don't run away, itn may look like a replica, bti it it's the real thing!"
Michel in listening mode and happy bush hunters still in the distance!
The view from our lunch spot, looking across the estuary towards the Wirral.
Happy bush opportunities as well!
Who is that emerging after exploring the Pen yr Henblas Quarry?
It's a happy ? hunter!
"Are these identical twins?"
At the Halkyn Mountain trig point.
At least one person suggests the temperatures are 6 degrees  above the norm for mid-December!
"why does it say keep out?
There's always one poser!
Walk stats: distance: 9.3 m.p.h. Cimb: 1259' (Possibly wind assisted at times!).
Time: 4 hours 44 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0.m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Annie, Phil, Tim, Wendy, David S. and Celia.
This walk was based on Steve's Blue Bell Inn, Halkyn walk 3, but adapted to avoid most of the muddy sections!
 We set off with waterproof on as there was still rain in the air, but it wasn't long before some of us were suffering from "boil in the bag syndrome" and decided that taking off our waterproofs/Winter jackets was the best option. However as the weather forecast suggested it wasn't long before we had to change our minds. However it was still warm and the rain itself wasn't too unpleasant, Despite a little grumbling re-lunch spots we carried on past the Pen-y- Pwll Quarry and ended up having lunch in a sheltered spot on the West side of the Pen-y-Henblas Quarry.  We had good vies across the Dee Estuary towards Liverpool where the Anglican Cathedral could clearly be seen.
 Wendy provided everyone with Jaffa Cakes as it was her "?" birthday tomorrow. This was a reminiscent flavour for many of us and at one point even large Waggon Wheels were mentioned! Thank you Wendy and enjoy your day on Friday.
 After lunch we had hoped to explore the Pen-y-Henblas Quarry, but the route in at the North west end had been recently blocked off by substantial new fencing.  Consequently we had to go along the road yet again. when we arrived at the original entrance, access was still available, but notices proclaimed that motorised vehicles were now banned. Has there been a serious accident that led up to all this expensive fencing been put in place since our last walk just sixth months ago?
 After lunch was much better and waterproofs could be discarded and "boil in the bag syndrome" was a thing of the past!
 I'm getting a little worried, on the last two walks our overall walking average has been 2-0 m.p.h., and once again I had to think of extensions in order to get back to the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn close 15-00 when the Post Office Opens!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Greu Heron, Jackdaw, Common kestrel, Raven and Mistle thrush.
After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where for once we were grateful that they hadn't lit the fire!
 Ther Blue Bell Bitter and the Sam's Medium Cider went down particularly well.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Holywell and the Mostyn to Greenfield Round 10th December 2015

Our first view of the coast from the road at Carmel.
Heading down the road to Mostyn. 
Guess who is the back marker, trying to catch up after investigating a "happy bush"?
Mostyn dock at the start of the section on the Coastal Path.
At the view point at the start of the Mostyn to Greenfield section of the Coastal Path.
Only 12-13, but we had to stop for lunch or so they said!
Passing the Duke of Lancaster fun ship.
Only one head bowed to the Duke of Lancaster!
Walk stats: Distance: 10.7 miles. Climb: 449'.
Time: 4 hours 52 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.6 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Sue and Michel, Phil, Paul, David S., Wendy and Tim. Annie not with us today she got snarled up in traffic congestion caused by an horrendous accident on the M53/A55 that took 3 hours for her to get out of.  It wasn't as suggested  by someone in the group who shall remain nameless said "she must have looked out of the bedroom window, saw it was raining and went back to bed!"
 We arrived at the car park to find that the car park is now Pay and Display, but at a very reasonable charge of £1 for all day parking.
 We arrived at the car park with the rain still falling, but being ever the optimist and believing the weather forecasters who said it would stop by 10-00 we sat in our cars for about 20 minutes.
 Just before 10-00 we put on  our boots and set off, not to see another drop of rain all day. Even the blustery wind predicted on the coast didn't materialise.
 We decided to use mainly quiet country lanes for most of the walk from Holywell to the coast at Mostyn with only a hundred yard section across the corner of a field heading for Mertyn Lane. 
 The views across the Dee Estuary to Hilbre Island and the Wirral beyond were very good and got better as the clouds moved away and we were bathed in sunshine.
 This was particularly so as we arrived at the Coastal Path East of Mostyn Dock  where we decided to have lunch sitting on the sea defences. Some had good views looking out across the estuary, others were happy to look the other way across the fields towards the sewage farm, thankfully not within smelling distance!
 After lunch I decided it was far too warm and put my jacket in my rucksack and felt much more comfortable for the rest of the walk.
 After lunch the path provided good conditions underfoot and those of us still wearing gaiters felt somewhat over dressed.
 The climb up to Holywell through the Greenfield Heritage Park was gentle climb, even with tired legs.
 We arrived back at the car, surprised to see that our "on the move walking average" was 2.6 m.p.h., a record in recent times! Sue suggested it might have been something to do with the fortified fruit cake provided for lunch.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion crow, Common blackbird, Common crow, Greater spotted woodpecker, Dunnock, Pied wagtail, Great tit, Goldfinch, Oystercatcher, Eurasian curlew, Common redshank, Lapwing, Turnstone, Great black-backed gull, Little egret, Mallard, Common coot, Moorhen, House sparrow, Swan and Tufted duck.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where Purple Moose, Snowdonia Ale went down well, as did the perry!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

A Ysceifiog, Lixwm and Nannerch Round 3rd December 2015

Foraging?
Where are they?
There they are. It's a good job there is a back-marker keeping them going!
Moel y Parc from the Babell to Lixwm.
Heading for Lixwm, happy to have tarmac under our feet!
A delightful woodland path and no mud!
Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 801'.
Time: 4 hours 41 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie and Phil.
Only four of us defied the weather forecasters and arrived at Ysceifiog hoping that the heavy rain would arrive after lunch. Thankfully we had very little rain and we got wetter from the "boil in the bag syndrome" than we did by any of the rain! Temperatures of over 10 Celsius, made wearing full Winter gear a little over the top!
 As we had had lots of rain in the last week or so, we decided to miss out any known muddy sections and use quiet lanes instead. We didn't always succeed and one section was very muddy with lots of fairly deep lying water, but only Roger manged to experience the delights of a "welly full"!
 Views weren't at their best today, but after lunch we did see Moel Famau in the distance, whereas in the morning only Moel y Parc could be seen.
 We only encountered a few friendly dog walkers, one of which warned us about the two donkeys grazing in the field behind the wall we were sitting on at lunch. They did come across, trying to get us to give them food and didn't seem very happy that all they got was a stroke!
 Our first real rain started just as we entered Nannerch, but it didn't last for long (about 20 minutes or so).
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Wood nuthatch, House sparrow, Fieldfare, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Common blackbird and Common buzzard.
 We arrived back at the car, happy to have had a good walk, even if it had largely been along country lanes. At least it got us out of the house for a few hours and at the end it wasn't raining and our boots were relatively clean!