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, 31 March 2016

Around Beeston and Peckforton Castles 31st March 2016

Setting off from the Beeston Castle Car park.
On he Sandstone trail with blue skies above Peckforton Castle.
One of our first views of Beeston Castle.
Time for a rest for some. Still on the Sandstone Trail.
It doesn't look quite so sunny in Liverpool!
Skirting round one of the rather boggy section of the route.
A few noisy Rooks in a wood we were passing just before lunch.
A view of Beeston Castle from the South.
One of the better views of Peckforton Castle.
Being instructed on how to use a pair of secateurs.
The only lambs we saw today, and they didn't like the look of us!
Our final approach towards Beeston Castle.
On Wharton's Bridge watching a narrow boat going through Wharton's Lock.
I think they were just putting off the final climb up the fields to Beeston!
Walk stats: Distance: 9.5 miles. Climb: 641'.
Time: 5 hours 15 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Wendy, David S., Annie, Paul, Sue and Dave P.
This was a glorious day for walking, almost a day for being in shorts! However at times when the suns rays didn't get to us, it did feel a little on the cool side, but most of the group at some time needed to remove some of their outer garments.
 The views today were superb, and we even had distant views of distant hills decked in snow as well as seeing Liverpool Cathedral on the skyline. Our views of Beeston Castle couldn't have been better, we had views from every direction, but the view from the South was probably the best.
 To our surprise some of the field paths were water logged, and some towards the end were muddy too. Hence the first job on arriving home, after watching the West Indies beat India in the T20, was to clean boots, but at least it could be done outside in the sunshine.
 Lunch was taken on the side of a track near Willis's Wood, and just as we were leaving Michel noticed it was Badgers' latrine!
 Just after lunch Sue and Dave P headed back to the car and the rest of headed of on the second part of the walk. Paul decided to head back a mile or so later and then briefly rejoined us near Bate's Mill Bridge before heading along the towpath and back to Beeston along the Sandstone Trail. 
 The rest of us carried on towards and as we crossed fields towards Huxley Lane, I was given the opportunity to remove thorny sections of a hedge that had partly blocked a stile. This was the first time that I had used my secateurs, carried for the last few months for just an occasion as this.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Goldfinch, Common chaffinch, House sparrow, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Eurasian jay, Great spotted woodpecker, Blue tit, Great tit, Common buzzard, Common blackbird, Jackdaw, Common pheasant, Woodpigeon and Rook.
 We arrived back at the car, knowing we had had a really good walk, with legs on the tired side and looking forward to a refreshing drink.
 We made the mistake of trying to park in a car park at Tarporley that was used by "school run cars", and only just managed to get in before they started to leave.
 e all enjoyed drinks at the Swan, where brews from the local Weetwood brewery were sampled. Wendy's tea was even made with "real tea leaves" and a tea strainer supplied too.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Walks and Dates March 2016

Updated on 14th March 2016.
John Farey.
As many of the walking group have connections with Upton-by-Chester High School, it is with the sad news that John died on 4th March 2016 following a heart attack.
His funeral in the form of a Requiem Mass took place at 12-00 on Monday 21st March 2016 at St. Boniface's Church, Bunbury, CW6 9PE
Thursday 3rd March 1016.
Garth Wood, Felin Blwm Wood and Maen Achwyfan.
Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb: 1264'.
Start: Whitford village. Roadside parking opposite the church. Grid ref: SJ147782.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m. 
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". It is quite some time since I have done the first walk. Unfortunately it is only 4.5 miles and the only other walk that links in well with it is Maen Achwyfan, a walk that we have done many times before, but not as yet  this year.
Saturday 5th March 2016.
Audlem and the Shropshire Union Canal.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb: Not a lot!
Start: Cheshire Street Car park, Audlem. Grid ref: SJ659436.
The main part of the walk is taken from the "Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire", and the extension takes us further along the canal to Hawksmoor Bridge and returns  to Audlem via Kinsey Heath. The walk is described as exploring the attractive valley of the River Weaver with fine views throughout.
Thursday 10th March 2016.
Arrowe Country Park, Landican and Little Storeton and Storeton Hill.
Distance: 10-12 miles. Climb: 646'.
Start: Arrowe Country park Car park. Grid ref: SJ275856.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines three walks from Anthony Annakin-Smith's Book " Wirral Walks". The walk includes waterfalls, woodland wildlife, parkland, a former racecourse, ancient lanes, an aircraft crash site and a "puzzle for cyclists"! I'm not sure we found them all  when we last did this walk in April 2013.
Saturday 12th March 2016.
Hidden Gwytherin.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Lay-by on the B5384, West of Pandy Tudor. Grid ref: SH855641.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from an old Walking Magazine.  It describes Gwytherin as a compact village tucked into a fold of the hills to the East of the Conwy Valley, in an area that is not as rugged as Snowdonia, but it gives a feeling of space that is not found in the higher mountains. The western horozon is dominated by the high peaks of Snowdonia.  Last time we did this walk we enjoyed it despite the weather being a little on the wet side.
Thursday 17th March 2016.
The Sandstone Trail. Primrose Hill And Pale Heights.
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:1260' .
Start: Gresty's  Waste car park on the A54. Grid re: SJ540686.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This is another walk on the Sandstone Trail.The main walk is a  route described in Carl Rogers's book "Circular Walks Along the Sandstone Trail". This includes the section as far as Fishersgreen and returns via Utkinton and Primrose Hill Wood.  We will start with the extension that includes a visit the viewpoint on Pale Heights before heading to The Yeld and King's Gate where we pick up the described route.
When we did this walk in 2012, I managed to lose my camera and my monocular, I'm sure everyone will make sure I don't do it again!
Saturday 19th March 2016.
Around Bosley Cloud. Postponed. 
This walk will probably appear on next month's list.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb:1020'.
Start: Lay-by on the A523, South of its junction with the A54. Grid ref: SJ917657.
Leave Chester at 08-30.
This walk is taken from Jen Darling's book "Best Pub Walks in Cheshire", although we won't take her advice on the local hostelries! The walk takes us to the top of Bosley Cloud with its panoramic views over the Cheshire plain.. After visiting the trig point on Bosley Cloud, the walk heads West to meet up with the Macclesfield Canal, which we follow for an easy four mile stretch.
Thursday 24th March 2016.
A Walk Around Waen Aberwheeler and Llandyrnog.
Distance : 9 miles. Climb: 600'.
Start: Aberwheeler  is on B5429. Approaching from the Mold road, turn left and after passing the play area and Bro Lleweni. This lane is opposite the chapel and the bus stop turning area. Park carefuly in the lane next to the houses. Grid ref: SJ096693.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is a walk taken from R.J.A. Dutton's book "Hidden Highways of North Wales". It explores the  Roman and Medieval Roads between Waen Aberwheeler and Llandyrnog. As far as I know. the only section that we have done before is along the Afon Clwyd from Llaweni Hall.
Saturday 26th March 2016.
Craig Bron-Banog and Part of Cwm Alwen. Postponed. 
This walk will probably appear on next month's list.
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 9-00 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 31st March 2016.
The Sandstone Trail - Beeston and Peckforton.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Pay and display car park at Beeston Castle. Grid ref: SJ540591. The Pay and Display machine only starts at 10-00.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
The last time that we did this walk, it was the fourth in our walks along the Sandstone trail. It involves Walk 6 and Walk 7 from Carl Rogers' book "Circular Walks on the Sandstone Trail".
This is another good section of the trail and has a good variety of terrains to enjoy. I thought it was time to give another airing!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

An Aberwheeler and Llandyrnog Round 24th March 2016

Setting off at a brisk pace from Aberwheeler.
Just a few lambs, but the first we have seen on our Thursday walks.
Primroses in flower on the roadside heading towards Llandyrnog.
More Primroses nearby.
More lambs having a feed.
"Come on, Mum's this way."
"Look what I've found".
Which is the best scarecrow?
Back at Aberwheeler - the memorial Cross.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles. Climb: 643' (GPS reading, still probably a little wind assisted,)
Time: 4 hours 44 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Annie, Sue Pelissier, Phil and David S.
Weather forecasts for today were quite varied from rain all day to no rain at all, thankfully we experienced the latter. Although we had cool wind at times it was overall good day for walking. Most of the conditions underfoot were good, although we did get muddy boots as one section adjacent to the Afon Clwyd was on the boggy side.
 This was essentially a bottom of the valley walk, giving us views to Clwydians from Moel y Parc to Moel Famau. The views to the West over the Denbigh flying club to the hills beyond were good too.
 Several sections of the walk showed superb displays of daffodils, but today was a day for the Primroses to shine. Even Snowdrops, Dandelions, Daisies and Periwinkles were in flower. Our pace in the mornings was higher than usual and by the time we had lunch at Llandyrnog church, we had completed 5.4 miles.
 Today was another day for challenging stiles, several being broken and one could hardly be called a stile at all!
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Carrion crow, Rook, Herring gull, Mallard, Greylag goose, Canada goose, Shelduck, European robin, Woodpigeon, Black-billed magpie, Winter wren, Pied wagtail, Great cormorant, Common buzzard, Blue tit and Common blackbird.
 Overall a delightful walk and back at the car before three, and more important Ron's coming to look at my central heating tomorrow morning!
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue bell Inn at Halkyn where a brew of the Lancaster brewery went down well as did Gwynt - y - Draig Farm house cider. The coffee went down well too.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Primrosehill Wood and Pale Heights 17th March 2016

At Pale Heights - a superb viewpoint on a crystal clear day. Good but not perfect today.
On the path from King's Gate - the start of the described walk.
An solo Celandine flower - I wasn't expecting to see any more!
Wrong again, the verge on Hall Lane, Utkinton was a mass of yellow for a few hundred yards
The War Memorial in Utkington, unusual to see a well maintained cross with a figure of Christ. Perhaps there are some Catholic connections in the village, although  a Primitive Method Chapel was nearby.
Tirley Garth- you can just bout see that it is the Irish flag flying as it is St. Patrick's Day.
Walk stats: Distance: 11.4 miles. Climb: 907'.
Time: 5 hours 41 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, David S., Annie, Phil, Sue and Dave P.
This was a good day for walking, dry all day, rather cool at the start but positively barmy towards the end of the walk, so much so that even Phil finished the walk in his shirt with his sleeves rolled up and Annie ever so slightly hitched up her long sleeves!
 We started the walk at Gresty's Waste and headed North to Pale Heights one of our high points on the walk. By the time we arrived at The Yeld some of us discarded some of our Winter jackets and the two front runners in the group thought that the rest of had mysteriously disappeared as we used the facilities ( picnic tables) in the Yeld Car Park, so we were temporarily out of sight.
 Sue and Dave P joined us again, this time as far as Summertree, hoping that the cafe might be open, but sadly it looks as though it has permanently closed.
 Most of the outward journey involved sections of the Sandstone Trail and on a section just North of Wood Lane we took advantage of a few stones and a section of a fallen tree or was it post to sit on for lunch. The views from this point were good, but somewhat hazy, but we did have the delights of hearing a Skylark singing nearby and a couple of Common buzzards circling overhead.
 Although we saw many flowering daffodils on the roadside, the highlight of the day was to see an abundance of Celandine in flower - Spring is here at last!
 Some of the views as we climbed out of Utkinton were superb, especially to the West. 
 Birds seen or heard today included: Woodpigeon, Carrion crow, Rook, Common chaffinch, Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, Wood nuthatch, Common buzzard, Skylark, House sparrow, Mandarin duck and Common starling.
 Some of arrived back at the car with tired legs, grateful that unexpectedly are boots weren't muddy and we could look forward to a refreshing drink soon.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Stamford Bridge Inn, Chester, now a Hydes' venue, and consequently it was their original bitter that went down well.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Hidden Gwytherin 12th March 2016

"I won't go to that barber again."
Our first views of the snow covered higher Carneddau Peaks.
Another view of the snow covered higher Carneddau Peaks.
Make making use of his new soup flask and its collapsible spoon.
Not our best ever lunch spot, but at least it was sheltered from the cold wind coming over the moors.
At the old blacksmith's site in Gwytherin.
A Balwen Welsh Mountain sheep in fields just outside Gwytherin.
.One of the youngest lambs seen on our walks this year.
"We're not just a pretty face you know."
The chapel in Pandy Tudor - still in use, always good to know.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.4 miles. Climb: 1435'.
Time: 5 hours 52 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Roger.
Another good day for walking, but a little on the cool side, particularly before lunch, especially as we crossed the moorland areas - I was glad I hadn't decided to wear shorts! However after lunch we were in more sheltered valley areas and I had to work over time to keep my glasses free from "steaming up".
 This is a good walk, with some good views today of snow covered mountain tops, but much of the field paths were quite boggy and section used by sheep near gates were quite muddy. We did attempt to clean our boots whenever puddles allowed and to some extent it did work, as it only took me 10 minutes to clean my boots when I got home.
 Lunch was taken on the moorland West of Gwytherin, sheltering from the wind in a small hollow that had partly been used as tip for dumping. Nevertheless we were still grateful and at least we had the delightful sound of Skylarks singing nearby.
 We visited the village of Gwytherin, but Mike and Roger wondered why as we had to retrace our steps uphill again on our way to Pandy Tudor.
 Roger with strength sapping as we climbed uphill out of Pandy Tudor, still had the wherewithal to speak to a couple of local ladies using his Welsh skills -  and they both understood each other!
 Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Winter wren, Common buzzard, Common blackbird, Chaffinch, Pied wagtail, House sparrow, Rook, Jackdaw, Eurasian curlew, Skylark and Meadow pipit.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, Where Cheshire Brewhouse's "Cheshire Gap" went down well as did Gwynt-y Draig's "Farmouse Scrump".
 We even arrived home in time for Mike to watch Everton in a rare home victory, keeping a clean sheet against Chelsea and now heading for Wembley in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
 Overall a good walk, perhaps one that should be repeated in the Summer months.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Arrowe Country Park, Landican, Little Storeton, Storeton and Mud 10th March 2016

The group in the woodland on the North side of the  Arrowe Country Park Golf Course.
In search of a waterfall.
"I've found it"
Will this Eurasian jay be the bird of the day?
Or will this male Mandarin duck be the bird of the day?
Crocus'sshowing well near Arrowe Hall, Arrowe Country Park.

Comments welcome, but you really needed to be there to experience the delights of this footpath late in the walk.
Walk stats: Distance: 11.6 miles. Climb: 276'.
Time: 5 hours 39 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Annie, David S., Tim, Phil, Paul , Sue and Dave P.
This was a good day for walking, pleasantly warm for this time of the year and I was able to walk all day without my jacket on. It was dry and wind free too, the only complaint would be from our boots as they were frequently being tested by claggy muddy paths and  boggy fields.
  Apart from that this was a delightful, Paul, Sue and Dave P joined us as we explored the environs of Arrowe Country Park and Phil's search for waterfall clearly labelled on the OS map.
 Lunch was taken using the pic-nic table by the playground in Arrowe Country Park, always a bonus to have somewhere dry to sit, but even then it didn't suit everyone!
 After lunch Sue and Dave left as Dave felt just under five miles was enough exercise for his new hip for one day. Paul decided he had a better offer in the afternoon, so he went off to explore the nearby Landican Cemetery before heading home for the school run.
 The afternoon walks presented more of a challenge in terms of boggy terrain, the worst of which could be avoided if we used the lane to Landican rather than the field route.
 We shortened the Storeton walk a little and only included the delightful Northern section of Storeton Wood. 
 The path through fields West from Little Storeton gave us the bird of the day, a singing Skylark which we managed to spot too.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Woodpigeon, Common buzzard, Carrion crow, Rook, European robin, Common blackbird, Chaffinch, House sparrow, Herring gull, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch, Wood nuthatch, Mallard, Canada goose, Collared dove, Mandarin duck and Skylark
 We arrived back at the car, having completed our longest walk of 2016, glad to be there and looking forward to refreshments at the Wheatsheaf at Raby. Pheonix brewery's Monkey Town Mild went down well.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Around Audlem 6th March 2016

The start of the walk - Audlem St. James's church.
Hankelow Hall.
Canada geese and Mallard on the Shropshire Union Canal  South of Cool Lane Bridge.
Striding out by the Shropshire Union Canal near Moss hall Aqueduct.
The River Weaver North East of Moss Hall Aqueduct.
An age fast approaching for some of us!
Hawksmoor Bridge on the Shropshire Union Canal.
Audlem St. James's Church again - nearly there!
Walk stats: Distance: 11.5 miles. Climb: 589'.
Time: 6 hours 28 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
A good day for walking, cool, but mainly sunny. The only rain experienced was when we we were approaching the car park at the end of the walk.
 The best part of the walk was in the morning where there was a little more of interest to see, although in fact the whole walk isn't one with many photo opportunities!
 Lunch was taken adjacent to Audlem Lock 15 where we were able take advantage of of picnic benches, enjoying lunch basking in the sunshine.
 The only interest after lunch came as we came across one of the locks closed and repairs being carried out on its collapsing walls.
Once again we had the challenges of getting to a stile with its approach guarded by deep water, getting around it resulted in much claggy mud sticking to our boots.
 Overall a long but enjoyable walk if you put the mud out of your thoughts!
Birds seen and heard today included: Common buzzard, Woodpigeon, Blue tit, Great tit, Collared dove, Common blackbird, House sparrow, Great cormorant, Mute swan, Canada goose, Grey heron, Tufted duck,  Greylag goose, Common coot, Moorhen, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, European robin and Rook.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at Horse and Jockey at Grindley Brook, where Mike enjoyed a pint of Abbott Ale and I sampler tray.