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.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Walks and Dates October 2017

Advanced notice.
Harris Hikers Annual Meal 2018.
Probable Venue: The Red Fox, Thornton Hough. 
This is another Brunning and Price hostelry.
Date: Thursday 8th February 2018.
I haven't approached the Red Fox yet, and won't do so until early in January 2018, so if you prefer another venue, I am open to suggestions.
I will contact everyone by e-mail in December to check how many are interested in joining us for the meal.
Thursday 5th October 2017.
Thurstaston Common, Stapledon Wood, Caldy and More.
Distance:8-10 miles. Climb:1000'.
Start: Thurstaston Visitor Centre Car Park. Grid ref:SJ239835.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.
This is a repeat of the walk that we usually do in January, so I thought it was about time we tried it out in a different time of the year.  The route combines two walks from Raymond Roberts' booklet "Wirral Walks - the West Wirral Six". This is a relatively easy walk with good views along the way, especially from Thurstaston Hill. We hope to walk back to Thursaston along the beach, so bring binoculars with you. High tide is at 13-27, even though it is a 30.5' tide (9.3 m), it should have gone out far enough by the time we get to the coast. If not we have always got the Wirral Way.
Saturday 7th October 2017.
Llugwy and Lledre - Postponed
Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Start: Railway station car park in the centre of Betws-y Coed. Grid ref: SH795565. 
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m. (It takes about 1 hour 10 minutes from Saltney)
This is another walk taken from Dave Berry's new book "Walks Around Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley". This walk links the beautiful wooded Llugwy and Lledre Valleys. It takes in Sarn Helen, the former Roman Road, and reaches over 800' before descending in to the Lledre Valley. It involves a steep climb to Llyn Elsi or at least that is what Dave Berry says!
The last couple of times I have done this, the weather has not been kind, but hopefully at this time of the year it may not be quite so wet!
Thursday 12th October 2017.
Lady Bagot's Drive and More.
Distance:8-0 miles. Climb: 600'.
Start: Ruthin Riverside Car park (Pay and display - £3-50). Grid ref: SJ121582.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.


This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd".  We have completed this walk many times before in all sorts of weather conditions. Conditions underfoot have been particularly challenging after lots of rain and the Afon Clwyd is in spate.  In the past we have seen Kingfishers and Salmon jumping the weir, seeing either again would be nice.
Saturday  14th October 2017.
No walk - I'm going for my flew jab.
Thursday 18th October 2017.
Cwn Dulas, Cefn yr Ogof and Gop Wood.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1300'.
Start location. Abergele, Pensarn Beach car park by PC. Grid ref:SH942786.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The bulk of the walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast", with an extension to include the small hill Cefn yr Ogof. Always a good walk with several opportunities to have extensive views. We may decide to explore Gop Wood a little more. If we miss out Cefn yr Ogof, the walk will be a mile or so shorter and the climb reduced by about half.
Saturday 21st October 2017.
Deganwy Castle and the Great Orme. 
Postponed due to the weather forecast suggesting high winds and heavy rain all day.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1900'.
Start:Roadside parking near the Public Conveniences on the West shore of Llandudno. Grid ref:SH773819.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
The main walk today is the Deganwy Castle walk taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast". Sections of this walk have been known to be muddy in the past.
The extension to the walk , after returning to the car, will involve most of the circuit of the limestone plateau on the Great Orme, including a visit to the trig point and descent via the Monks' path to the toll road. There are plenty of options to shorten the walk if required.
Thursday 26th October 2017.
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  28th October 2017.
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 go back to me.  I'm sure that we can use our map reading expertise 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.

Cwm Dulas, Cefn yr Ogof and Gopa Wood 19th Ocober 2017

Looking West from Abergele towards Llandulas.
Who's the poser then?
Common redshank and Turnstone on the rocks as high tide approaches.
Looking across towards Llandulas Quarry from the path leading to Cefn yr Ogof.
Panorama  from the path leading to Cefn yr Ogof.
At the trig point on Cefn yr Ogof.
Crossing the "new" stile North of Cefn yr Ogof.
Craig y Forwyn from the village of Rhyd-y-foel.
On the path below Pen-y-coeddyn-mawr.
Is that where you should be?
Is this the latest walking fashion - an umbrella?
Walk stats: Distance: 9.2 miles. Climb: 1129'.
Time: 5 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, David S, Celia, Mike and Ed.
Overall this turned out be a good day for walking, mainly dry, not much Sun and very little wind. It was only in the last hour that we had any rain at all and that wasn't enough for me to put on waterproofs on, although Ed did ue his umbrella for short period.
 As we set off from Abergele, the sea was well in, but few birds could be seen except for Great cormorants and Herring gulls. Careful looking out to see a few Common scoter could be seen. As we approached Llandulas every groyne post seemed to be occupied by a Great cormorant, there must have been over fifty in all.
 Heading inland our route took us to the trig point on Cefn yr Ogof, a superb viewpoint looking West. It was pleasing to see that since our last visit,  a stile had been constructed over the broken stone wall and a new fence erected alongside of the wall.
 Lunch was taken on the slopes of Cefn yr Ogof, overlooking the Dulas valley.
 We had good views from the path that contoured on the West side of  Pen-y-coeddyn-mawr. Up to this point we hadn't had any hint of rain, but as we approached Gopa Wood we started to feel a bit of the wet stuff on any skin that was exposed, so we decide that on this occasion we wouldn't do any further exploring of the wood, but head straight back to the start.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Herring gull, Oystercatcher, Great cormorant, Pied wagtail, Goldfinch, House sparrow, Turnstone, Common redshank, European robin, Mallard, Woodpigeon, Eurasian jay, Collard dove and Common buzzard.
 Overall a good walk, making the best of the day weatherwise and thankful that the heavy rain only came when we were in the car on the way home.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn where Flintshire Bitter and Black Bart Cider went well. I was even home early enough to do a "Tim Dwyer" - head to Chester and sample a curry at Wetherspoons as Thursday is their Curry day.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Lady Bagot's Drive and more 12th October 2017

Waiting for the "leader" after the first climb of the day.
Crossing the Afon Clywedog, South west of Rhewl.
Autumnal colours beginning to show on Lady Bagot's Drive.
Looking North east tover Rhewl towards the Clwydian Hills.
Information board adjacent to our lunch spot.
Trig point found?
Not David's choice of stile!
"Well that was a waste of time".
Walk stats: Distance: 9.5 miles.Climb: 540'.
Time: 5 hours 40 minutes, On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Mike and David S.
 This turned out to be a really good day for walking, pleasantly warm, hardly any wind and after lunch plenty of sunshine.
 Lady Bagot's drive was delightful, with sunlight penetrating the canopy highlighting the start of Autumnal colours in the leaves.
 The views of the Clwydian Hills as we descended the fields from Coed Nant towards Rhewl were superb. 
 Lunch was taken in the centre of Rhewl, where two benches provided dry resting places as we basked in the Sun as we enjoyed the contents of our lunch boxes.
 After lunch we set off from Rhewl towards Llanynys, although it wasn't our intention to go that far.
 We went in search of a trig point marked on the OS map that had eluded us on previous occasions.
 Mike found it, well we think he did, when he spotted a ring on the grass in the middle of the junction.
 Much of the walk after that was along the banks of the Afon Clywedog, a river that was as high as I have ever seen it. Most of this section in the past had stiles that weren't of the highest standard, but since our last visit had been replaced by new kissing gates, a blessing to those that are getting a little less dexterous in limb, even if they aren't as aesthetically appealing to some.
 Just after passing Clwyd Hall, we came across two sheep with heads trapped in the wire fence. We attempted to free them, but in vain, so Mike set off to the farm  Plas Llanchant to inform the farmer, but alas his journey was in vain too. Hopefully the farmer would check out his sheep before it was too late,
 Passing the sewage farm, several people were watching at the Salmon leap, they said that the Salmon were there, but today they hadn't attempted to get up the weir, but had so the day before.
 We arrived back at the cars with legs a little more tired than expected, but there again the distance was a little longer than expected too.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Raven, European robin, House sparrow, Common pheasant, Black-billed magpie, Pied wagtail, Mute swan and Woodpigeon.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Castle Hotel in Ruthin, were David enjoyed sampling the Ruddles and Isampled one of the festival brews.
 Overall an enjoyable walk, despite the claggy mud that had to be removed from our boots when we got home.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Walks and Dates November 2017

Thursday 2nd November 2017
Moel Findeg, Deborah's Well, and More
Distance:8-9 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Lay-by on the  Cadole to the Pantymwyn road. Grid ref: SJ205627. after passing the former Rainbow Inn (now a building site), take the next road on the right just before the newsagent. The lay-by is almost immediately on the right by the telephone kiosk.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "More Walks in the Clwydian Hills".  This is another chance to visit the summit of Moel Findeg with its fine views of the Northern Clwydians  and across the Cheshire plain to Pekforton and Beeston.  Hopefully we will make it as far as the ancient Deborah's well this time. We may even do it first this time, if we park in the Cadole lay-by.
Saturday 4th November 2017.
A Walk Around Disley.
Distance: 9-10 mile. Climb: 1200'.
Start: Disley Station Car Park. Grid ref: SJ972845. (If the car park is full, we will go to Lyme Park and park there, so if you are a National Trust member, bring your membership card with you.)
Leave Chester at 08-45 a.m.
This walk combine a walk from Jen Darling's book "More Pub Walks in Cheshire and the Wirral", with a walk from the "Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire".
The latter route takes us along the Gritstone Trail through Lyme Park and up to the Bowstones, where on a good day you get good views of Shutlingsloe and the Cheshire Plain.  The other walk on the East side of Disley, climbs Black Hill and gives good views towards Kinder.
Thursday 9th November 2017.
Grindley Brook to Marbury.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 200' at a guess.
Start: Layby on the A41, East of Grindley Brook Locks Cafe and about 400 m before the roundabout / junction with the A49. Grid ref: SJ 524428.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
This walk is one that Phil saw in the Times, planned by Christopher Somerville, so ignoring the preduces of many of the group I decided to give a go! The walk starts at the Horse and Jockey, but we will start in the layby a little East of that particular hostelry.
The walk is described as one which goes through a countryside that is a maze of drumlin hills and kettlehole lakelets. I womder if we will be able to identify these two features of the landscape. He describes the walk as being boggy in places, but he did it in February, hopefully it won't be as bad for us! The walk included parts of Bishop Bennett's Way, the Sandstone Trail, South Cheshire Way and parts of the Shropshire Union Canal.
Saturday 11th November 2017.
Jumbles, Wayoh, Turton and Entwistle Reservoirs. 
Distance:10 miles. Climb:1100'.
Start:Waterfold Car Park, off Bradshaw Road (A676), Jumbles Country Park.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This walk is based on a walk taken from Terry Marsh's book "Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire". He describes the walk as a pleasant walk on good paths. The extension to Turton and Entwistle Reservoirs includes another section of the Witton Weaver Way and crosses Turton Heights and a hill called Cheetham Cross. A good and varied walk. Has been known to be on the boggy side on the descent from Cheetham Cross! The last time we did this walk, we missed out Cheetham Cross, making the walk just over 9 miles.
Thursday 16th November 2017.
Owain Glyndwr's Mount, Nant Friddisel and the Pen y Grog Mines,
Distance: 6-7 miles. Climb: 1400'.
Start: Grid ref: SJ115437. Road side parking on B5437 on the South side of Pont Carrog.
This walk is a little shorter than usual, but takes in to account that route finding might be more difficult than usual. The main objective is to visit the Pen y Grog disused mines using a footpath that would be an extension to our normal walk which we last did in July, but having climbed Moel Fferna no-one has been very keen to extend the walk further. The call of the Grouse Inn might have had something to do with it!
 This route starts by heading alongside the river, before taking the paths that climb up to the mine. After retracing our steps the walk uses a path through the Carrog Plantation that we have used before and may take some finding. Having successfully negotiated our way through the forest and on to open moorland we then follow familiar paths towards Carrog-uchaf, but just before the farm we head back South in to the Carrog Plantation to contour on forest paths around Owain Glyndwr's Mount and finally descend to Llidiart y Park and along the B5437 back to Pont Carrog. 
Saturday 18th November 2017.
Ramshaw Rocks and the Roaches.
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 1400’.
Start: Lay-by on West side of Hen Cloud, opposite the track to Windygates. Grid ref: SK006618.
Leave Chester at 08-00.
Ramshaw Rocks were visited for the first time last year and combined with The Roaches it makes a superb walk, worth repeating on a n annual basis.
This walk allows us to explore Ramshaw Rocks seen so many times as we have walked over the Roaches. Ramshaw Rocks from a distance have always looked to be an interesting place in which to walk. This time Ramshaw Rocks will be our main objective with a North to South traverse of the Roaches a bonus towards the end of the walk. If time and legs permit, Hen Cloud may be included as an extension.
 The route heads North and then North west leading to Well Farm. From Well Farm field paths are used to reach the Churnet Way near Naychurch. The Churnet Way is followed North over Ramshaw Rocks and then leaves the Churnet Way and heads North to visit Black Brook Nature Reserve, After a complete circuit of the Reserve the route drops down to the road South of Newstone Farm. The road is then followed North for about a mile before heading west across Goldstich Moss in to the Black Brook Valley. After crossing the brook on a footbridge the path then rises to Roach End. At Roaches End the main path over the Roaches is followed past the trig point and Doxy Pool back to the start.
Boggy area guaranteed!
Thursday 23rd November 2017.
Sandbach and More.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Car park on Alsager Road, Hasall Green. Grid ref: SJ77555825.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
Although the described walk starts in the centre of Sandbach, this is a figure of eight walk around the village of Hassall Green.
The main part of the walk is taken from the Patherfinder Guide to Cheshire. Whilst part of the walk includes the centre of Sandbach, most of the walk visits more secluded areas just outside the town. It is described as including peaceful sections, including two secluded valleys and a section of the Trent and Mersey Canal.
The extension takes us East along th Trent and Mersey Canal as far as Thurlwood, before heading for Lawton Heath End and returning to the car park along the Salt Line.
 This is a new walk for the Thursday group. As it is only 45 minutes from Chester to Sandbach, I thought it would be within distance for a Thursday.
Saturday 25th November 2017.
Llugwy and Lledre.
Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Start: Railway station car park in the centre of Betws-y Coed. Grid ref: SH795565. 
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m. (It takes about 1 hour 10 minutes from Saltney)
This is another walk taken from Dave Berry's new book "Walks Around Betws-y-Coed and the Conwy Valley". This walk links the beautiful wooded Llugwy and Lledre Valleys. It takes in Sarn Helen, the former Roman Road, and reaches over 800' before descending in to the Lledre Valley. It involves a steep climb to Llyn Elsi or at least that is what Dave Berry says!
The last couple of times I have done this, the weather has not been kind, but hopefully at this time of the year it may not be quite so wet!
This is about the fifth time that I have attempted to put this walk on, hoping for good weather and have ended p postponing the walk. Hopefully this time it will go ahead.
Thursday 30th November 2017.
Gadlys, Nant-y-Flint and the East of Holywell.
Distance: 12 miles; Climb:1427'.
Start: Public car park adjacent to the Stag Inn at Bagillt. Grid ref:SJ219753.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
Two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". The walk exlpores the attractive undulating rural hinterland between Bagillt, Flint and Holywell.
This walk was last done in 2010 and our desire for walks over 10 miles has waned a little since then, so I will look at ways of reducing the walk by about three miles to make sure we get back to the cars before it goes dark!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Thurstaston Common, The Dungeon, Royden Country Park and Caldy 5th October 2017

Our first view of the Dee Estuary from the Wirral Way, but is the tide in or out?
The bottom of The Dungeon.

The Dee Estuary from the top of the steps on The Dungeon path.
"Is this really the waterfall in The Dungeon.
Looking across the estuary towards the North Wales from the path South of Thursaston Church.
Thursaston church from the South.
Thurstaton church from Telegraph Road.
The Dee Estuary from the toposcope on Thurstaston Common.
A brisk march on the shore from Caldy to Thurstaston.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.1 miles. Climb: 900' wind assisted on the on the GPS, but probably nearer 700' in reality.
Time: 4 hours 32 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Celia and David S.
The forecast for today was pretty good with little rain on the cards, but quite a strong North westerly wind. This was exactly what we got, but probably with a lot more sunshine than expected, making me wish that I hadn't opted to wear my fleece for the whole walk!
  In order to avoid the trek up Station Road, we set off along the Wirral Way, through The Dungeon to reach the described walk at Thurstatston Church. Much of this section gave us good views of the Dee Estuary and the incoming tide.
 Our walk across Thurstaston Common, started on a path around a boggy area that we learned was locally known as Kitty's Flash. It was in this area that we had superb views of a Common kestrel, probably a young one from the calls that it was giving.
 Once again we had good views from the toposcope on Thurstaston Hill, with the Great Orme seen in the distance on one side and the cathedrals of Liverpool on the other.
 After passing the sandstone outcrop called Thor's Stone we headed for Royden Country Park, where we knew there were plenty of pic-nic tables we could utilise for  lunch.
 After lunch we headed for Caldy where our route took us past some very prestigious properties where garages were bigger than my little semi!
 Arriving at the beach at Caldy we were met with a pretty strong cool wind, which thankfully assisted us on the way back to Thurstaston Visitor Centre, the start of the walk. Thankfully at this time the tide had gone out sufficiently to allow us n easy way walk on firm sand below the sea defences
 Unfortunately at this time the Sun was shining at its brightest, making spotting birds on the estuary quite difficult.
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Carrion crow, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Common kestrel, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Eurasian curlew, Oystercatcher, Eurasian jay, Canada goose and Black-billed magpie.
 We arrived back at the car having had a good walk and only two stile, none of which really challenged Roger!
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Red Fox at Thornton Hough, a Brunning and Price hostelry.
 Dunham Massey's Walker's Bitter went down well. hey also had an impressive selection of real ciders on offer. 
 This could well be the venue for Harris Hikers annual meal 2018.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Lloc, Mertyn Downing and Pen y Ball Top 28th September 2017

The climb from Mertyn Downing to Pennant Golf Course.
Waiting to start the muddiest path on the walk.
Looking over the Dee estuary towards Liverpool from East of The Grange.
The  view looking North from the trig point on Pen-y-Ball Top.
At the trig point on Pen-y-Ball Top.
Roger's last stile.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.1 miles. Climb:956'.
Time: 5 hours 21 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, David S., Celia, Pippa, Jim, Paul and Scrumble.
This was a glorious day for being out in the countryside, warm, sunny and occasionally a gentle breeze.
 This was Roger's first walk for some time, a day to see whether crossing stiles was a problem in the past. Thankfully it was and all manner of stiles were successfully climbed.
 One of the objectives of the walk today was see if we could access the path on the West of Coed Mertyn to the Pennant Golf Course - we couldn't, it too was so overgrown that attempting to make a way through wasn't an option that one pair of secateurs could handle. 
 Lunch was taken at Pantasaph, where we took advantage of one the benches in the grounds of the Fransican friary.
 Approaching The Grange farm, we are usually greeted by at least three barking sheep dogs, it wasn't long before they appeared, but this time with their more of their mates and a Labrador type dog. Scrumble wasn't very happy by the attention of these barking canines as cowered with tail between his legs until we escaped from the farm yard.
 The best viewpoint of the day was at Pen-y-Ball Top, where both Liverpool cathedrals and Fiddler's Ferry Power station could clearly be seen.
 We arrived back at the cars, having had a good walk, knowing the the Coed Mertyn paths would for us always be off limits.
 Birds seen or heard today include: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, European robin, Eurasian jay, Woodpigeon and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where Facer's This Splendid Ale and Gwynt y Ddraig's  Black Dragon cider went down well as did the locally produced Triple D Cider.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Coed Creigiau, Cwm Ddu and Cefn Cyfarwydd 23rd September 2017

A view looking South from the road that climbs from Trefriw to llyn Cowlyd.
Llanrwst from the road leading to Cwm Ddu.
The Conwy Valley from the road leading to Cwm Ddu.
Chape ruins in Cwsm Ddu.
One of several ruins on route in Cwm Ddu.
Looking towards Llyn Cowlyd.
Spot the footpaths!
Looking towards the high tops from the Cowlyd - Trefriw road.
The Klondike Mill and Llyn Gerionydd from  the Cowlyd - Trefriw road.
The waterfalls at West of Trefriw.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.8 miles. Climb: 1574'.
Time: 6 hours 8 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.8 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Ed.
The weather today wasn't exactly what we were expecting. There was dampness in the air all morning and warm sunshine at the end of the day, almost the opposite of the weather we were expecting. 
 We set off on the steep climb out of Trefriw on the Cowlyd/Gerionydd road and within in minutes a car stopped and engaged with us about our walk. This was to be the pattern for the day, everyone we met spoke to us and enquired/helped us on our route finding.
 Following the route description in Coed Creigiau wasn't easy, but later on it was to get much worse.
 The "path" South west of Tyddyn Ddu after the ruined chapel soon became non existent and we did a fair bit of bog trotting before eventually arriving at the Llyn Cowlyd - Trefriw Road.
 Lunch was taken near a stone sheep pen, with good views back towards the Conwy Valley, and allowing us to assess what was the best way ahead.
 We decided that once arriving at the road, the best option was to follow it all the way back to Trefriw.
 The views towards the Gwydr Forest and beyond were superb, despite the unusual lighting on the skyline. 
 Arriving at a footpath we noticed it would allow us to avoid the steepest part of the road, so we decide to be adventurous and take it. A good decision at first, but it wasn't going to last and the path went through extremely boggy terrain - this was a path NEVER to taken again!
 Towards the end of the walk, near a cemetery we decide to cut across to the Gerionydd road and take a path that took us to the fairy Glen Waterfalls. This was a good decision as the water coming over the falls was probably the most that I have ever seen.
 We arrived back at the cars, having had a really good walk that had challenged us more than we thought it would!
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Goldfinch European robin, Common blackbird, Meadow pipit, Raven, Common buzzard and Grey wagtail.
 I enjoyed an after walk drink at the Blue bell Inn at Halkyn, where Cotleigh's Gold Hawk bitter went down well.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Denbigh Castle and Llanraeadr 21st September 2017

The brook west (Afon Ystrad) of Brookhouse Pottery.
Waiting for the rest of the group crossing the fields to Denbigh Castle.
At the entrance to Denbigh Castle.
At the entrance to Denbigh Castle.
Lunch time back at the cars.
On the Clwydian way, heading East from Brookhouse.
The Jesse window dating from 1533 in St. Dyfnog's Church, Llanraeadr.
Time for  rest - outside St. Dyfnog's Church, Llanraeadr.
The Clwydian Hills from the path West of Pen-bryn llwyn.
The best sort of tile, one that you can go round!
Getting over the last "new" stile of the day.
Moel Famau and the Clwydian Hills from fields North east of Pont Felin Ganol.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 525'.
Time: 5 hours 25 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Phil, Jim and David S.
The weather forecast for today wasn't good, but this wasn't going to put us off as it was likely to be Phil's last walk with the group before he heads for Scotland. The forecast rain never materialised and I suffered from "boil in the bag syndrome" just because I believed the forecast and put on my waterproofs. Thankfully at early lunch they could be discarded, and we were able to walk in warm sunshine for the rest of the day.
 Although our walk passed the entrance to the castle we didn't go inside, but carried on past the former Howells School, now Myddleton College and back to Brookhouse.
 Back at the car we decided that nearby wall was a good place on which to sit for lunch. Phil brought some of Jeans's lemon cake to mark the occasion of his last walk. We liked it so much that most of us had two pieces - even me!
 After lunch some of the paths we used were a little waterlogged to say the least, and one we had to go through a head high field of maize, but at least we could see a way through.
  After going into St. Dyfnog's Church, Llanraeadr to see the Jesse window, we decided that we needed to shorten the walk. Unfortunately the way we originally chose involved us spending time with secateurs to cut back the hedge that had gone across the top of the stile. We soon found that this was to no avail as the next stile went into a maize field that screamed at us "you shall not pass".  More time stopped to look for the best way to go, and again involved need for the secateurs to be used, but at least there wasn't any maize - only sheep and cows to bother us.
 Although we may never use this route again, it did give us some superb views of the Clwydian Hills from Prestatyn South to Moel Famau.
 We arrived back at the car for the second time, having had a really good walk and been blessed with some really pleasant weather, particularly in the afternoon.
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Dipper, Black-billed magpie, Rook, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Sparrowhawk, Black-headed gull, Carrion crow and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Dinorben Arms at Bodfari, where he Brunning and Price Bitter and Deucher's IPA went down well.
 It won't be the same next week when we arrive at the start of a walk and Phil won't be in his car reading his paper as he waits for the rest of the group to arrive.