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.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Bryn Euryn and More 27th February 2016

The start of the walk at Bryn Euryn Nature Reserve.
Llys Euryn, in decay for over 200 years, but still worth seeing!
The Little Orme from the summit of Bryn Euryn.
Panorama from the summit of Bryn Euryn.
"I've made it!"
At the trig point on the summit of Bryn Euryn.
Bryn Euryn from near the quarry North of Llangwystenin.
"I bet you didn't know you'd end up on someone's blog!"
Summit of Bryn Euryn, from South of Mochdre on the way to The View.
At the view point, near the The View.
Bryn Pydew Monument from the view point.
Panorama, looking Westward from the view point.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.2 miles. Climb: 1707'.
Time: 6 hours 6 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Roger.
We set off, expecting the walk to be a little shorter than our usual route as we started from Bryn Euryn Nature Reserve, rather than on the coast. It ended up being just over nine miles and with a challenging 1700' of climb. Thankfully this walk has lots to offer and plenty of superb viewpoint on route. We must do this again one day when the distant views are crystal clear - today they were somewhat hazy/misty, especially towards the high tops of the Carneddau.
 Lunch was taken, quite early, just before 12-00 and after we had only walked 3,1 miles!  It was in a playground in Mochdre, but it did have a bench to sit on and the delightful aroma coming from the nearby chippy reminding us of the limitations of our packed lunches!
 As we climbed the road, South of Mochdre, as we approached the primary school, three youngsters heading down to the village approached us. They seemed intrigued by my "gadgets", particularly my binoculars. They initially thought Roger and I had walkie talkies, but were delighted when we allowed then to look through our binoculars and monocular and that one of our gadgets was a GPS with a map on it showing exactly where we were. The way these three youngsters related to us was a credit to their parents and to their school, they were in Year 7 and 8 at their local school.
 The best overall view of the day was probably from The View, but still a little disappointing that itn was still somewhat hazy.
 As we walked down Nant-y-Glyn Road and through Pwllchroachan Woods, our legs were beginning to tire and although it was less than 2 miles as the Crow flies, it would be much more for us!
 Arriving back at the car, the distance and climb covered, justified our how tired we felt!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Blue tit, Greenfinch, House sparrow, Woodpigeon, Collared dove and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Around Puddington, Shotwick and Its Castle 25th February 2016

Looking over Deeside Industrial Park towards the Clwydians from paths between Puddington and Shotwick.
Emerging pond life?
Between trees or is it tree?
Shotwick Hall.
No. 2 Beluga coming in to land.
Our lunch spot in Dingle Wood.
Site of Shotwick Castle
The view  looking West from Lodge Lane.
The tower of Shotwick church as we headed towards Shotwick Lane.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.6 miles. Climb: 297'.
Time: 5 hours 11 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, David S. and Phil.
Another select group set off in sunshine, hardly any wind and frost still on the ground. Unfortunately it soon became quite warm and we had our fair share of claggy mud, but I have known worse! 
 Much of the walk was along field edges and this was where we found most of the mud, but did pass several interesting old and new buildings and had good views towards the Clwydian Hills, with their snow covered tops looking very inviting.
 We had covered nearly 7 miles before we found a suitable lunch spot in Dingle Wood, just East of Shotwick Wood.
 Lots of Snowdrops were out and Dingle Wood looked to be a good place to revisit in May when the Bluebells would be in flower.
 This walk involved negotiating busy roads, but none too difficult!
 The last part of the walk strolling down Shotwick Lane towards the Yacht passed several interesting houses, one a thatched house had superb gardens and was only visible as the leaves on the roadside trees were missing.
 Birds seen or head today included: Common blackbird, European robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Dunnock, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Black-headed gull, Common gull, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Common buzzard, Greenfinch, Collared dove, Winter wren and Great spotted woodpecker.
 After walk drinks were experienced at the Yacht Inn, where tonic water, coffee and tea were the order of the day - no real ale on offer!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Walks and Dates February 2016

Walks Updated 16-50 on Monday 17th February 2016.
Celia -latest (19/02/2016)
Celia has had the plaster removed from her arm and has been told to get on with using it as nuch as she can.
She says visitors are still welcome, but there is a good chance that she will be able to make the tea.
She would lkie to theank everyone for their kind words and messages.
Celia's mobile may not be working for a short time, so if you need to contact her, use her landline number or e-mail.
Thursday 4th February 2016.
Annual Meal and Walk - Boathouse, Parkgate the elbow.
The Walk.
Distance: 5 miles. Climb: 150'.
Start: The Boathouse Parkgate, car park. Grid ref: SJ275787.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
The walk sets off from the Boathouse car park towards the Old Baths car park and along the quay wall past the golf course. At the end we will head North up the road as far as the Wirral Way. We will follow the Wirral Way Eastward past Parkgate as far as Moorside. Initially we can use footpaths from the Wirral Way through Moorside to reach houses in Moorside. A short section left and then right through the estate will lead us back to the shore at Parkgate. A short stroll along the front will take us back to the car park. I anticipate that we will arive back at the Boathouse at about 13-00.
Bring binoculars with you if you have them.
 We will probably stop for a drink at about 11-15. I suggest you bring a drink with you and a snack if you think you need it to put you on until the main meal at about 13-30.
I anticipate that we will arive back at the Boathouse at about 13-00 to give us time to change out of our walking gear.
If you are just coming just for the meal, I suggest you arrive at between 13-00 to 13-15.
Saturday 6th February 2016.
Caer Drewyn, Pen-y-Pigyn and an on to Cynwyd.
Distance: 8 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Corwen centre car park next to the Public Convenience. Grid Ref: SJ080435.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines to 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 11th February 2016.
Around the Little Orme to Rhos On Sea.
Distance: 8-9 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 08-45 a.m.
This has become a regular walk at any time of the year, but it will be the first time that we have done it February. The views from the top of the Little Orme are always superb, but the main reason for doing the walk so early in the year is to see if there are any Seals around Porth Dyniewaid.
Bring binoculars with you if you have them.
Saturday 13th February 2016.
A Pen-y-Bwlch Gwyn Round. 
Postponed, see below for alternative.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start: Pont y Bala Car Park. Grid ref: SH929362.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This is another walk from Dave Berry's book"Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn".
He describes it as a walk through the hills north of Bala. It skirts a prominent hill called Moel Emoel. but perhaps we may be able to reach its summit! The open hill section he advises is for "experienced walkers only and should be avoided in poor visibility!" Last time we didn't read the small print and as it suggested route finding at the North end of the walk isn't easy, especially when the paths aren't well used across the moors. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us and we will have good views all day!
 When we did this walk in 2011 we saw Red kites, so bring your binoculars with you ifyou have them.
Alternative Walk.
Connah's Quay Docks to Chester.
Distance 10 miles. Climb:100'.
I intend to catch the No. 11 Chester to Holywell bus (leaving Chester at 09-30) , alight at the Hare and Hounds, Connah's Quay and walk back to Chester along the Coastal Path and Cycle Way back to Chester. I may change my mind and use the Coastal Path all the way back to Chester. This will allow me to try my new boots out without getting them muddy!
Thursday 18th February 2016.
Melin-y-Wig and Derwen.
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 1000' at a guess.
Start: Boncyn Foel-bach Forest Car Park Grid ref: SJ055520. This is on the B5105 Ruthin to Clawdd Newydd road.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
This walk is taken from Lorna Jenner's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd".  I have only done this walk once before starting from this car park and that was more than 10 years ago. It is described as being a varied walk through forest, quiet lanes, including one that was used on a pilgrims' route and an attractive riverside path.
 Part of the route, particularly sections of the riverside path have in the past been rather boggy (Remembered from it being on walks starting from Melin-y-Wig). The section through the forest can be boggy too. The only other thing I remember about this walk is that the final section involves climbing out of the valley upto the car park - not the most ideal way to end a walk.
Saturday 20th February 2016.
Rhos-on-Sea, Bryn Euryn and Coed Pwllcrochan.
Postponed
Distance: 12 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 08-00.
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'm sure that a few short cuts will  e made to ensure that distance will be closer to our usual 10 miles.
Thursday 25th February 2016.
Puddington and Shotwick
Distance: 10 miles.Climb: 380'
Start: Lay-by on Parkgate Road (A540) just North West of the Yacht Inn. Grid ref:: SJ354733.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m. I'm sure the unpleasant smell experienced in 2011 will have dispersed by now!
This walk combines two walks from Anthony Annakin-Smith's book "Wirral Walks".  I've been hoping to include the Shotwick walk on the list for some time, but the need to find a suitable start point and the need to negotiate busy roads have put me off in the past.  At times care will be needed as we have to negotiate busy roads and locating a suitable lunch spot may be challenging too.  These walks allow us to explore the villages of Shotwick and Puddngton, both recorded in the Doomsday Book.  Hopefully we will also visit the site of Shotwick Castle too, although I don't think there is much evidence to  see!
Saturday 27th February 2016.
Clip-y-Orsedd and The Druid Circle.
This walk will probably be replaced by the walk planned for the 20th February 2016.
Distance:10 miles. Climb:1800'.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
Start: Car park behind the bank in Llanfairfechan. Turn right of Village Road. Grid ref:SH682747.
his walk uses two walks Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast." These two walks combine to make one of my favourite walks in this area as they explore the hills behind Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr. We will visit the impressive Druids' Stone Circle, but how much further we go will depend on the day and the weather.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Melin-y-Wig and Derwen 18th February 2016

Heading along the delightful Beech avenue North west of the 
Boncyn Foel-bach Forestry Car park and viewpoint.
Looking South from the Beech avenue.
Looking West from the path North of Fawnog Rydd.
Looking North east along Llyn Derwen.
The River Clwyd, East of the Melin-y-Wig footbridge.
"I'm sure I put my sandwiches in my rucksac or are they with my gloves?"
The view from my lunch spot by the River Clwyd .
At this point I wished I'd got a base ball cap!
Part of the delightful riverside path.
The snow covered Berwens from the road West of Derwen.
The Celtic preaching cross in Derwen churchyard.
Inside Derwen church.
Some of the Snowdrops seen today.
Fynnon Sarah
Our final view of the Llantysilio Mountains and the Berwyns.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.1 miles. Climb: 867'.
Time: 4 hours 47 minutes. 
On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S, Fran and Phil.
What a glorious day for walking, my only mistake was to wear my Paramo jacket all day! Warm and sunny, hardly any wind and even more surprising very little mud (it only took me ten minutes to clean the mud off my boots when I got home).
 There was no problems route finding, even in the forest, where a few sideways moves had to be made to get round fallen trees, the path was still fairly clear and in the main well waymarked.
  As we approached Melin-y-Wig about 11-50 there was a bench by the chapel where it was suggested should we might have lunch there, but even Fran said "It is a bit early!" 
  However five minutes later we entered a meadow with a stone wall on its North side and no objections were made when this sheltered Sun spot was a good place for lunch!
 After lunch we followed the delightful path on the North side of the River Clwyd, eventually reaching a road that led us to Derwen. The views South and East to the Llantysylio Mountains and the snow covered  Berwens were superb.
 Snowdrops on the roadside here were the first we had seen today.
 We visited Derwen Church with its rare rood screen and Celtic preaching cross before heading North back to the car park, first passing Fynnon Sarah, no li9nger a good place to take the water, and Braich farm guarded by three geese and a variety of chickens, I think there was an odd duck or two there as well!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Winter wren, European robin, Blue tit, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Common buzzard, Common pheasant and Black-billed magpie.
 We arrived back at the car with everyone declaring this was by far the best walk that they had been on in 2016!
 The Glasfryn was suggested as a suitable place to enjoy our after walk drinks, alas when we arrived there, it was closed foe refurbishment. Thankfully the Red Lion ant Penyfordd came to our rescue and we were able to enjoy a good pint of Timothy Taylor's Landlord.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Litle Orme and More 11th February 2016

"A great view, but it's not France!"
The Great Orme and More from the Little Orme.
A closer view of the snow on the Carneddau.
Part of the group at the trig point on Little Orme Head.
"There must be something interesting down there!"
"is this what they are looking at?
Ourusual view of Grey seals in Angel bay.
The whole group except for one!
Oystercatcher rock!
Turnstone on the rocks.
I'm not a Ternstone, but what amd I?
Great crested grebe off Rhos-on Sea,
Walk stats: Distance: 7.2 miles. Climb: 741'.
Time: 4 hours 16 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h. (too much seal and bird watching today!).
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Roger, Phil, David S., Wendy,Tim, Sue and Dave P.
Generally a good forecast for walking, a little on the cool side, but hopefully sunny spells with no rain!
As we set of this was true, but once we had descended from the Little Orme in to the quarry we were sheltered and the warm sunshine made me feel that Paramo gear was a little o.t.t.!
 Sue and Dave P. joined us at the start, missed out Little Orme Head, and rejoined in the quarry overlooking Porth Deyniewaid (Angel Bay) where we stood for a fir time looking at the Grey seals basking on the shore and a few more in the sea. We saw about 15 seals, but one person Dave and |sue encountered said that there was over 50 there a couple of weeks ago. We were pleased to see fifteen, in fact one would have been enough!
The tide was to far in, so we had to wind our way through the housing estate, heading for Rhos-on Sea, eventually arriving at out lunch spot overlooking Penrhyn Bay, a little garden are with plenty of benches and good views. In fact Wendy and Phil said this was a perfect lunch spot for Celia, the seat that they were sitting on was such that the railing in front of them completely obliterated the the wind farm out at sea!
 After lunch Sue and Dave headed back to Craig-y-Don, having tested Dave's new hip enough for one day and the rest of us headed for Rhos-on-Sea.
 As the tide was in was was a gentle stroll along the promenade with the occasion stop to look at Turnstones and Common redshanks on the rocks and surprisingly for us Great crested grebe off the shore, but quite close in.
 Near the end of the walk, it started to rain a little, but thankfully almost stopped completely as we arrived back at the car.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Herring gull. Jackdaw, Rook, Eurasian curlew, Fulmar, Great cormorant, Common blackbird, House sparrow, Black-billed magpie, European robin, Meadow pipit, Common chaffinch, Oystercatcher, Turnstone, Common redshank, Pied wagtail and Great crested grebe.
Overall a very pleasant walk, just a stroll, especially after lunch!
After walk drinks were enjoyed as always, at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, the walk was just long enough to ensure that we didn't have the ignominy of waiting outside the Post Office until it opened!



Saturday, 6 February 2016

Pen-y-Pygyn and Llangar Church 6th February 2016

Pen-y-Pygyn from the main car park in Corwen.
The new statue of Owain Glyndwr in centre of Corwen.
The path through Coed Pen-y-Pygyn.
One of the small waterfalls near Pen-y-Pygyn.
At the Peny-Pygyn Monument.
The view across Corwen and the Dee Valley from the Pen-y-Pygyn Monument.
Caer Drewyn on the right.
The River Dee and Pont Corwen.
"The path through Coed y Happus."
Our lunch spot at Llangar Church.
Llangar Church from the lychgate - our lunch spot.
Walk stats: Distance: 4.5 miles. Climb:578'.
Time: 3 hours 21 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.9.m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h. (We were reluctant to set off after lunch!)
Group: Martyn, Roger and Mike.
The forecast today was not good, at best showers, persistent at times and gale force winds from the South and temperatures around 5 Celsius, but feeling like - 2 Celsius.
 Arriving at Corwen, the rain had stopped, we set off, expecting rain, but optimistic that we would at least get a walk. This we did and as far as Pen-y-Pygyn, the rain kept off and the views over Corwen and the Dee Valley were quite good. Soon after the rain started - it was the only shower that we got, but it lasted until we arrived back at the car 3 hours later!
 Although it was raining, the strong wind didn't materialise, so it wasn't that unpleasant except for the fact that I had to stop frequently to clear my spectacles as they kept on "steaming up"!
 The River Dee looked to be in spate and how fat it was flowing was only realised when three Mallards were seen being carried by the flow.
 Lunch was taken at Llangar Church, where we were very grateful to shelter under the lychgate and take advantage of the benches on each side.
 Unfortunately this delightful little church wasn't open today as it is only open between April and October - perhaps this walk should be done next time in the Summer when it is open.
 It was decided that conditions weren't getting better, so our best option was return directly to Corwen, get home early and watch Six Nations Rugby or the remains of the ODI cricket.
 Arriving at the car, we were thankful to be able to change out of our wet gear sheltering in a bus shelter.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Jackdaw, Rook, Blue tit, Goldfinch, Mallard, Chaffinch, Common blackbird, Blue tit and Common pheasant.
 After walk drinks were taken at the Bridge Inn, where we sampled one of the Sandstone Brewery's beers. Alas this was a little on the bland side, but better than the Green King IPA or Theaskston's Best that were also on offer. Once again the landlord displayed his skills in making you feel welcome! 
 This is a case of three strikes and you are out - next time we will go elsewhere!
 I ws back home before 15-00 and able to watch England chase down South Africa's score in th ODI and take a 2-0 lead.