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, 29 September 2016

Newtown Mountain Forest, Cae-llwyd and Ty Mawr Reservoirs 29th September 2016

Bethlehem Chapel, Rhosllanerchrugog at the start of the walk.
The woodland path heading North from Penycae.
The path from Newtown Mountain Forest leading to open moorland.
Buarth-yr-yd ahead.
What can we se on the horizon?
Frodsham and Helsby Hills on the left.
One or two Starlings having a rest and thinking about starting a murmeration.
Ty Mawr Reservoir from our lunch spot.
End of lunch overlooking Ty Mawr Reservoir.
If you're lost follow the sheep!
Back on track.
Autumnal colours starting to appear.
A closer look at the Autumnal colour of the leaves.
A Mosaic at Rhos celebrating various ages, but they seem to have missed out Tim's. 
Walk stats: Distance: 9.4 miles. Climb: 1201'.
Time: 5 hours 20 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Roger, Wendy, David S and Tim.
The weather today was probably the best that we had when completing this combination of walks from Rhosllanerchrugog, and definitely the driest underfoot.
 We experienced mainly blue skies and sunshine and at times quite blustery winds that felt cool whenever the Sun disappeared behind clouds, 
 At various high points, the views, particularly across the Cheshire Plain and towards the Wrekin and the Long Mynd, were excellent.
 Lunch was taken from a point between Cae-Llwyd Reservoir and Ty Mawr Reservoir. The latter appearing bright blue. Both reservoirs, particularly Cae-llwyd seemed to have much less water in than usual.
 Tim surprised us by producing some superb hazel nut and chocolate biscuits, and when pressed admitted that it was his birthday and only one more to go before a really special one!
 Fortified by the extra energy from the biscuits, short cuts were no longer an option, and we headed off the loop that climbed through moorland to Fron Deg.
 We arrived back at the car, having had a delightful walk, proclaiming that it should be repeated again at this time of the year or maybe in Summer.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common starling, Barn swallow, Carrion crow, Black-billed magpie, Woodpigeon, Common buzzard, Goldfinch, Grey wagtail and Dipper.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pant yr Ochain, where Purple Moose, Snowdonia Ale and Titanic Stout were sampled.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

The Roaches, Lud's Church and the Black Brook Valley 24th September 2016

The pinnacles on Hen Cloud, but not to be visited on the walk today.
A Kestrel hunting on the fields next to Windygates farm.
Amongst the rocks at the Southern end of the Roaches.
A plaque to commemorate the visit of royalty.
Apparently he was part of German nobility and the the father of Queen Mary.
Doxy Pool on the Roaches.
At the trig point on the Roaches.
At the trig point on the Roaches.
Bosley Cloud framed by Gritstone pinnacles on the Roaches.
The Hanging Stone seen from the Northern end of the Roaches.
The Northern entrance to Lud's Church, now with a  boardwalk.
The Black Brook Valley from South east of the Roaches School near Roach End.
The final approach towards the Roaches at the end of the walk.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.6 miles. Climb: 1507'.(Wind assisted GPS reading 2194')
Time: 6 hours 11 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn. Mike and Celia.
It looked like being a good day for walking, except the predicted gusts of up to 40 m.p.h. were a little worrying. Thankfully they never did get that strong, although around mid-day they could be described as on the strong side. Temperatures were pleasantly warm, even the wind and views in all directions were really good.
 Like the Prince and Princess of Teck, we too visited Doxy Pool and Lud's Church, Mike even sat in the "Queen's Chair", shaped out of the rock adjacent to the commemorative plaque.
 Walking along the ridge of the Roaches is always good, where you feel on top of the world, especially as you can clearly see the valleys on each side as we could today.
 All of the  Cheshire Plain with Bosley Cloud and Shutlingsloe standing proud highlighted our view from the trig point on the Roaches.
 Lunch was taken, near the junction of paths, one leading to Gradbach and the other to Lud's Church, where an a small outcrop of Gritstone provided us with suitable resting places. This outcrop is apparently called Castle Rock. This is a location that we have used before as a lunch spot.
 On this occasion, we decided to miss out the path through Lud's Church and instead took the path its  Northern side,  leading Gradbach Wood.
  This was only the third time that we have done this walk that descended in to the Black Brook Valley on the Eastern side of the Roaches, a valley that appears like a hidden valley, the more
you descend down to the river.
  On reaching the road near Hazel Barrow Farm, the route back seems a long way away, especially as the Roaches and Hen Cloud cannot bee seen.
 On following the track to Well Farm the Roaches soon come into view after leaving the track on to the moorland path. The last half a mile now seemed much shorter and we would soon be able to sample that perfect pint at the Wilkes Head, Leek - pint of Hartington Bitter, the best bitter in the world.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common kestrel, Meadow pipit, Carrion crow, Winter wren, Raven and Barn swallow.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

A Ceiriog Trail North of Rhiwlas 22nd September 2016

The River Ceiriog at Pontricket.
A lesson in map reading?
Unexpected rock cliffs North of Cwmclwyd.
Looking West Nant Llechwedd-gwyn towards the Ceiriog Valley as we ascend the Lower Ceiriog Trail / Upper Ceiriog Way past Springhill Wood.
.Rowen with abundant fruit. glistening in the bright sunshine.
A suitable spot to to wait for the photographer and have a drink at the same rime or eve adjust one's.attire to suit the ambient temperature!
The Berwyns from the Upper Ceiriog Way North of Foel Rhiwlas.
The panorama from South west of Pen y Gwely just before our lunch spot.
An abandoned plough next to the path heading down towards Rhiwlas.
A gate that we had hoped to go through, but without a machete at hand we had to make a slight detour.
Foel Rhiwlas seen the North west. 
Walk stats: 7.3 miles. Climb: 1136'.
Time: 4 hours 59 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Celia, Wendy and Phil.
Overall this proved to a good day for walking, plenty of sunshine and only a gentle breeze that occasionally make us feel on the cool whenever the clouds blocked out the Sun. Thankfully that didn't happen often.
 The walk in the morning was superb, starting on a delightful path through woodland towards Pont-y-Melbion. As we climbed up the  Nant Llechwedd-gwyn Valley we had delightful views towards the Ceiriog Valley and once we had climbed to the top of the Nant Llechwedd-gwyn Valley  the views towards the Berwyns couldn't be bettered.
 Lunch was taken just South of Pen y Gwely, where the remains of an old stone wall made convenient perching spots with fine views of the Berwyns to look at and the warm sunshine on our backs.
 The section of path on the East side of Foel Rhiwlas presented us with one or two problems and will be missed out on any future walk in this area. This will probably be sooner rather than later, maybe in November or December of this year,
At the end of the walk Roger commented on the fact that we had been stopped for 90 minutes or more, but looking back we stopped a fair while to allow a farmer to drive his flock of sheep along the trial first, then waited while three horse riders went through a gate before we closed it, and of course there was our lunch stop that now seems to last for at least 30 minutes and that's before you take in to account stops to look at the map, admire the view or visit happy bushes!
 Birds seen or heard today included: Coal tit, Common blackbird, Common pheasant, Goldfinch, Barn swallow, Rook, Common buzzard, Black-billed magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion crow and Wood pigeon.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Pant-yr-Ochain at Gresford where a brew from the Stonehouse Brewery went down well.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Walks and Dates September 2016

Updated on the 9th September.
Thursday 1st September 2016.
No walk.
I am unable to walk on the first , so the walk this week will now be on Wednesday 31st August 2016.
Saturday 3rd September 2016.
Y Bala and Beyond Llanfor. Postponed
Distance: 10-11 miles. Climb:1600'.
Start: Pont y Bala car park. Grid ref: SH929362.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.past we have parked next to the football field.)
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book"Walks Around Y Bala and Penlylyn". The main walk explores the varied countryside North of Bala, including the wild remote upland around Moel Emoel. The second walk allows us to explore Bala itself and discover some of its history.
Thursday 8th September 2016.
The Upper Ceiriog Valley.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start:  The Pontricket Layby on the B4500 , about 3 miles South of Glyn Ceiriog. Grid ref: SJ186343.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
This is a walk from a layby suggested as a good start point by David S.
The walk starts by heading North on a minor lane to meet the Upper Ceiriog Way at Rhyd Caledwynt. The route then follows the Upper Ceiriog Way to Llanarmon Dyffryn-Ceiriog. Leaving  Llanarmon Dyffryn-Ceiriog using field paths to pick up the Upper Ceiriog Way again at Llidiart-cae-hir. The Upper Ceiriog Way is then followed to a track West of Cefn-y-braich that heads North back to our start.
There is no description for this walk, so it's back to basics and map reading.
Saturday 10th September 2016.
A Walk in the "Last of the Summer Wine" Territory.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Crown Bottom Car Park on Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth. Grid ref: SE14250837.
Leave Chester at 08-00 a.m.
This is a walk taken from "Great Walks In Great Britain - The Peak District". This walk is described as being moderately strenuous exploring the Holmfirth Valley. Talking to a walking group from Holmfirth when they were staying in the Mill in Chester, they described their home patch as being a superb area in which to walk. That couple with the fact that I like the series based there, made me decide to put this walk on, even though it is a little further than we normally travel. It looks as though I'll be driving!
Thursday 15th September 2016.
Moel y Gaer, Moel Fammau and the Western Fringes.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start: Car park at Bwlch Penbarras. Pay and display (£1 the last time we were there). Grid ref: SJ162606.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills". An opportunity to explore the Western slopes of Moel Fammau before climbing its summit. The return route uses the main path of Offa's Dyke back to Bwlch Penbarras.  An easy start, a stiff climb in the middle and a stroll back to the car. Plenty of opportunity for good views in all directions, if it is clear when we get to the Jubilee Tower.
Saturday 17th September 2016.
Cadair Idris.
Distance: 6-7 miles. Climb: 3150'.
Start. Minffordd Car park on the B4405 Tal-y-Llyn Road., near to its junction with the A487.
As it will take us about 2 hours to get to the start, we will leave Chester at 07-30.
This is the classic circuit of the Llyn Cau, climbing to the summit of Penygadair along the Minffordd Path and descending South from Mynydd Moel towards Nant Caenewydd.
It is anticipated that this will be a long day out and will onlt take place if the weather forecast is good.
Thursday 22nd September 2016.
A Ceiriog Trail North of Rhiwlas.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 2000'.  or Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 1725'.
Start:  The Pontricket Layby on the B4500 , about 3 miles South of Glyn Ceiriog. Grid ref: SJ186343.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
 On the 9th we found the proposed 10 mile walk was a little on the long side would have meant that we would be a little late getting back to the car. I have looked at the planned route and found a short cut that reduces the the length of the walk to about 8 miles, so this will probably be the one that we will do.
This walk explores the Ceiriog Valley to the South and East of our start point at the Pontricket Layby. Only about a mile of this walk is on minor roads with most of the walk being on the Ceiriog Trail and a small section of the Upper Ceiriog Way. There is no description for this walk, so it's back to basics and map reading.
Saturday 24th September 2016.
The Roaches and Lud's Church.
Distance: 9 -10 miles. Climb: 2000'.
Start: Roadside parking below the Roaches North of Upper Hulme. Grid ref: SK004621.
Leave Chester at 8-00 a.m. 
This walk is taken from the Pathfinder Guide to the Peak District.  The Roaches has become one of our annual favourite walks, but this route is one that we have only done once before.  It includes the main Roaches ridge, and possibly Hen Cloud. The planned return route will be back along Black Brook. Can be boggy, especially on the lower route back from Lud's Church. Hopefully conditions underfoot will be better than the muddy experiences we have had on previous visits.
Thursday 29th September 2016.
Newton Mountain Forest, Cae-Llwyd and Ty Mawr Reservoirs.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Lay-by near Bethlehem Chapel, Rhosllanerchrugog. Grid ref: SJ289468.
To get to the lay-by enter Rhos on the B5097 from the North.go past Ysgol y Grango, and just past the Coach and Horses pub turn right along Mountain Street. At the junction by the Sun Inn, turn left along Hall Street to find a lay-by by Llys-y-Mynydd and opposite Bethlehem Chapel.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines another two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Ruabon Mountain, the Clyweog Valley and Hope Mountain". The walks explore the edges of Rhuabon Mountain and visits two of Rhosllanerchrugog's upland reservoirs.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Cadair Idris 17th September 2016

The Route - Cadair Idris and a circuit of Cwm Cau.
The start of the steps on the Minffordd Path.
The route down is somewhere up there!
Time for a rest and a drink! On the path to Llyn Cau.
Cwm Cau, Craig Cau and Penygadair.
On the Minffordd Path with Penygadair in the background.
At Penygadair trig point.
Looking North west towards Barmouth from the summit plateau.
On grass at last.
The start of the descent towards Mynydd Moel.
The new path descent South of Mynydd Moel.
Tal-y-Llyn, taken from the path North of Moelfryn.
Cloud gathering on Penygadair. Glad we are not there now!
"Oh no, not more steps".
At the new slate bridge, replacing the ford over Nant Cadair.
Walk stats: Distance: 6.4 miles Climb: 2498'.
Time: 7 hours 21 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 0.9 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike and Ed.
This turned out to be a superb day for walk. Bright and sunny and the strong gusting winds failed to materialise.
 I had forgotten how long and relentless and steep the climb up Penygadair  was, but on a day like this frequent stops to admire the view was obligatory.
 Snowdon is popular, but today this Cadair Idris circuit wasn't far behind, lots of people and many nationalities.
 Lunch was taken at the col between Craig Cau and Penygadair, a leisurely 30 minute stop with good views over Cwm Cau to the East and towards the coast in the West.
 It was only a short climb up to the summit, but I must have look as if I needed reviving, as I was presented with a tot of cherry schnapps by a member of a different group who said that they had learned of the tradition while in holiday where they celebrated arriving at the summit of a mountain with schnapps. I didn't object!
 In our walk description we should have headed to Mynydd Moel before descending, but instead we decided to explore a new path that descended to the South of the original path.
 This was in the main quite a clear path on the ground, although it doesn't appear on the OS Map and led to a stile in the fence coming South from Mynydd Moel. 
 As ever the steep stony uneven path that descends alongside the fence was not easy and can be described as "a knee killer", despite it being stepped in places.
 Our only consolation was the good views and the clouds gathering on Craig Cau and Penygadair, making us feel so blessed at being on top in glorious sunshine with excellent views in every direction.
 Another bonus for the day the friendliness of so many walkers that were happy to engage in conservation with perfect strangers.
 We arrived back at the car, not feeling particularly tired, but glad to be able to sit down in the car and take the weight off our feet.
Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Meadow pipit, Carrion crow and Raven.
 We ended up heading for Dolgellau, where even Bank's Amber gold went down well and we all enjoyed a good helping of Steak and mushroom PedigreeAle Pie and chips at the Stag Inn before heading home.