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.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Delamere Forest and the Sandstone Trail 25th February 2017

The first evidence that Storm Doris has been here,  but worse was to come.
Crossing the footbridge, heading South from Gresty's Waste Car Park to Primrose Hill.
The way ahead just twent yards after the footbridge.
Looking across the gallops from Primrose Hill.
The way to King's Gate Car Park also blocked.
Looking towards Liverpool from North of Dodd's Rough, Kelsall.
Looking South East from Manley Common towards the microwave station on Pale Heights.
Daffodils in flower along the Sandstone Trail at Eddisbury Lodge Cottage.
At Pale Heights looking towards Moel Famau.
Looking towards the new Runcorn bridge from Pale Heights.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.6 miles. Climb: 1188'.
Time: 5 hours 7 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
The Saturday weather forecast for Betws-y-coed seemed like a repeat of Storm Doris that had caused us to abandon our walk on Thursday. However late on Friday we noticed that one forecast suggested it would be slightly better in the Delamere Forest area.  There was a window of about five hours that suggested that we wouldn't get drenched, but might have to put up with strong blustery winds.
 We decided that it was worth attempting a walk from Gresty's Waste Car Park, even if we had to abandoned the walk if the weather turned for the worst.
 Thankfully it didn't and we were able to complete the walk in the dry and the really strong winds didn't materialise.
 Soon after heading towards Primrose Hill we saw our first evidence of Storm Doris's wind power, with a large tree across the footbridge, but a few yards away a lot more trees had been blown over, completely blocking the footpath. We eventually managed to get round them by contouring just below the blockage and climbing up to the Sandstone Trail on the Western side of the blockage.
 That wasn't the last of the fallen trees that we would see, another one had fallen across the track leading to the King's Gate Car Park, but that was easy to get round.
 We experienced the worst of the mud (well just Mike really) as we approached a farm at Brine's Wood. Having watched Mike go nearly ankle deep in smelly mud, I was able to take a different route around it. In fact getting home, might boots were almost clean that they took just five minutes to give them a quick wipe and clean.
 This route certainly has more ups than you might expect, but overall it is probably one of the best and most varied walks in the Delamere Forest area.
 At times we had pretty good distant views, particularly towards North Wales and Liverpool.
 Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit, House sparrow, Wood nuthatch, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Mallard, Carrion crow, Fieldfare and Redwing.
 Lunch was taken in Delamere Forest about a mile to the East of Manley Common. We were able to take advantage of a bank on the side of the Sandstone Trail, having failed to find any suitable fallen trees on which we could perch as we had lunch.
 Probably the highlight of this walk is Pale Heights with its superb views in all directions, lifting your spirits as you make the final descent back to the car park.
 Overall a good walk on a day when we didn't think that we would get one!
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Farmer's Arms in Kelsall, where two of Weetwood's brew were sampled and enjoyed. Unfortunately as w enjoyed our drinks, we heard some bad news - Scotland had just taken the lead in the Six Nations Rugby match at Murrayfield!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Walks and Dates February 2017

Updated 22nd February 2017.
Thursday 2nd February 2017.
Leasowe Lighthouse to New Brighton.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 200'.
Start: North Wirral Coastal Park car park. Grid ref: SJ257915.
To get to this car park, instead of turning left towards the lighthouse, as the A551 turns right onto Leasowe Road, go straight on (past PC block on right and cafe/snack hut on left). This car park has a good tarmac surface.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is a walk along the beach to Perch Rock Fort, assuming that the water on the incoming tide is low enough. It should be, High tide is at about 14-30, 9.2 m, 30'. This is quite a large tide, so we will need to keep an eye on the incoming tide , and escape from the beach if we have to.  From Perch Fort Rock, we will continue onto Vale Royal Park (where we in the past we have had lunch) and onto Wallasey Gardens. Hopefully the weather will be a little less windy than last year!
Hopefully there will be plenty of birds to see as the tide comes in, so bring binoculars with if you have any.
Saturday 4th February 2017.
The Little Orme and 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.
 Grey seals in Porth  Dyniewaid on 31st January 2017.
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. As you can see there were plenty of Seals on the beach in the cove in the middle of last month. I counted around fifty, including a good number of pups so good numbers should still be there when we do his walk.
Bring binoculars with you if you have them.
Harris Hiker Annual Meal 2017
Our annual walkers meal together will be on
Thursday 9th February 2017.
At the Glasfryn, Mold.
I have been to the Glasfryn and have booked our annual meal there.
In order to make the bill that we get at the end of the meal simpler to understand please don't put your drinks on the main tab.
At present they haven't requested that we pr-order the meals, but they may get back to me if they do.
Anyone that has been linked with the walking group is welcome to join us for the walk and the meal, or just for the meal.
I have e-mailed everyone that I think may be interested in joining us for the walk and / or the meal, using the e-mails that I currently have. If you didn't get an e-mail, please let me know.
Details of the walk are found below.
Glasfryn and Gwysaney. 
Please arrange your own transport.
Distance: 5.1 miles. Climb: 360'.
Start: Glasfryn, Mold. Grid ref: SJ23986516 (Approximate Post Code CH7 6LR)
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
I envisage completing the walk by about 13-00, ready for starting the meal at about 13-15.
The walk is the one that the Glafryn advertise and complete copies can be obtained on iFootpath,com.
The walk is described as involving challenging terrain, but I think that is a little exaggerating.
We have done most of this walk in the past when we did a few walks published in the 1955 Liverpool Daily Post. If I remember correctly the sections through the woodlands can be boggy, but wouldn't describe it as being challenging.
The walk is decribed as taking you high into the surrounding hills. passing through the beautiful Gwysaney Estate before descending to the village of Soughton. It is a really rewarding walk taking you through classic Welsh hillsides and valleys.
Saturday 11th February 2017.
The Llugwy and Lledre Valley. 
Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 1000'.
Start: Railway station car park in the centre of Betws-y Coed. Grid ref: SH795565. 
Leave Chester at 8-00 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!
Thursday 16th February 2017.
Wat's Dyke, Brynford, St., Bueno's Well and St., Winifride's Well and More.
Distance: 8-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Halkyn Street Car Park, Holywell. Grid ref: SJ18957548.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is another figure of eight walk made by combining two walks and maybe three walks from Ron Williams and Elfed Jones's booklet "10 walks Around Holywell".
One walk explores the countryside between Holywell and Brynford. The other walks around the Greenfield Valley, will hopefully lead us to find the location of St., Bueno's Well again.
Saturday 18th February 2017.
The Edge to Nether Alderley and the Edge and Hough.
Distance: 9-10 miles; Climb: Not a lot (less than 1000' at a guess).
Start: National Trust car Park close to the Wizard Restaurant, Alderley Edge. This is a Pay and Display car park - Free to National Trust Members. Grid ref: SJ860773.
Leave Chester at 8-30 a.m. and meet at the car park.
This walk combines two walks from Graham Beech's book " East Cheshire Walks". He describes it as being moderate. The walk will again probably give us views of the communications tower on Croker Hill/Sutton Common. We may also get the opportunity to visit Nether Alderley Mill (National Trust- so bring your N.T cards with you if you are members.)
Thursday 23rd February 2017.
Another Pontricket Walk.
Postponed due to the expected arrival of Storm Doris bringing heavy rain and gale force winds.
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 1462'.
Start: Pontricket, Layby, Grid ref: SJ186343.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines Pontricket Walks A and F.  It starts on a path on one side of the Ceiriog between Pontricket and Treceiriog and returns along the other side of the river. The walk then heads for open moorland and on to a drovers road, Sarn Sws (The Kissing Way).
The descent from the drovers road is on the South side of the River Teirw and eventually joins the riverside path at Pont Meibion. The return section is described as being via two tumbling valleys.
Saturday 25th February 2017.
Mynydd Garthmyn and the Fairy Glen.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1600'.
Start: Main car park at Betws-y-coed. Grid ref: SH795565.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This version is taken from Carl Rogers' book "Walking in the Conwy Valley" and only varies a little from the walk that we usually do. Both walks are described as being varied walks with stunning views, especially to the West.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Alderley Edge, Hough and Nether Alderley 18th February 2017

Old mine workings on the way to the Beacon on Alderley Edge.
The view looking North west from the sandstone ridge on Alderley Edge.
Descending the path from Alderley Edge on the way to Hough.
Part of the Donkey Trail Trek Route back to Nation Trust Car Park  near the Wizard.
Catkins, another sign that Spring is on its way.
On the path heading towards Nether Alderley.
I'm glad we didn't take this route when this was a Maize field!
Snowdrops in Alderley park.
Crossing the footbridge over the Aldeley Edge by-pass.
Looking back towards St. Mary's Church, Nether Alderley.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.8 miles. Climb: 776'.
Time: 5 hours 7 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Mike.
To our surprise we set off from the car park with a little rain in the air, but really enough to get you wet and after about an hour it stopped. Distant views from the sandstone ridge on Alderley Edge were somewhat hazy, but at least I managed to see if my app "PeakerFinder" worked.
 The walk across Alderley Edge was probably the best part of the walk as much of the afternoon walk was through farm land with some very muddy sections of path. However conditions underfoot were on the whole much better than those we have experienced in the past.
 We were hoping to take lunch on a seat near a sharp bend on Finlow Hill Lane with views South East towards Over Alderley.
However as usual the seat was already taken. Thankfully a little further on a felled tree provided suitable seats, accommodating all leg sizes.
 After lunch it became quite warm and probably didn't justify the wearing of Winter gear, and every now and again we experienced a welcome cooling breeze.
 In the past I have usually remembered this walk for the mud, but today I think it will be the long trek on the cobbles of Bradford Lane.
Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, European robin, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Great spotted woodpecker, Wood nuthatch, Common blackbird, Canada goose, Mallard and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Farmer's Arms at Kelsall, where the tea, yes tea, went down well.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Wat's Dyke, Brynford and the Greenfield Valley 16th February 2017

Walking through Coed Llwybr-y-bi.
Walking through Coed Llwybr-y-bi.
Waiting for the back-markers to emerge from Coed Llwybr-y-bi.
Snowdrops on the roadside near Glan yr Afon.
On the path leading to the lime kilns.
At the lime kilns below Bryn Mawr Quarry - but something is missing!
Striding out across Holywell Common.
The first lambs of the year on our Thursday walks - in fields near Brynford.
Being friendly with the local boys.
Another sign of Spring on trees near the Battery Pool in Greenfield Valley.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.7 m.p.h. Climb: 1227'.
Time: 4 hours 23 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Phil, David S., Celia, Wendy, Jim McCabe, Sue and Dave P.
The forecast for today was pretty good, even if we did feel a few spots of rain as we arrived at the car park (Now a Pay and Display Car park - £1-00). We had sunny spells and hardly any wind to mention, except when we got out of the car at Harwarden later in the day.
 I'm use to forgetting the odd thing, but this is the first time that I've left my rucksack at home. At least I won't have to pack it again for the walk on Saturday. 
 This walk turned out to be a bit of a roller coaster of a walk, although at times it felt that we were forever going up hill from the time we started to climb out of Coed Llwybr-y-bi until we reached the lime kilns near Bryn Mawr Quarry.
 Just as we left Brynford one of the fields a lambs, not exactly newly born, but they were the first that we had seen on our Thursday walks in 2017.
 Distant views weren't as good as we have seen in the past, but you can't have everything on every walk.
 Passing the Pet Cemetery we came across two very friendly bulls, one a White Park and the other a Highland.
 We arrived at Holywell for our lunch in the usual place at the memorial Garden, and thankfully Dave P came to my rescue and lent me £20 so I could go the Chatwins and buy myself some soup (very enjoyable Tai chicken) and Michel provided chocolate coated nutty biscuits for everyone in celebration of his birthday yesterday.
 After lunch we followed the Greenfield Valley along the old railway track and returned via the various pools in the Heritage Park.
 David S was on a mission and we arrived back at the cars just after 14-00, making our usual hostelry
a none starter unless we wanted to wait half an hour outside until it opened.
 It was good to have a new recruit to the group, especially when it turns out that he is a CAMRA member too. Hopefully Jim will want to join the group again in the future,
 Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, House sparrow, Mistle thrush, Common blackbird, Woodpigeon, Great tit, Common coot, Moorhen, Tufted duck, Mallard, Little grebe, Black-headed gull, Herring gull and Jackdaw.
 A few of us called in at Hawarden and enjoyed a refrweshing pind of Castle Rock's Harvest Pale.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Llugwy and Lledr Valeys 11th February 2017

The Afon Llygwy from Pont-y-Pair.
Looking towards Betws-y-Coed from the Miners Bridge.
Sarn Helen, heading South towards the Lledr Valley.
Droplets of water condensing on the branches of many bushes.
The best of the views towards snow topped hills from Sarn Helen.
Alpacas on the upper slopes as we descended to Pont-y-Pant.
The Afon Lledr from Pont-y-Pant.
The delightful path running along the South side of the Afon Lledr East of Lledr hall.

The Afon lledr from the footbridge near Pont Gethin.
Llyn Elsi - all the climbing done, but it's still raining!
Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 1406'.
Time: 5 hours 52 minutes. Walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walking average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Ed.
 I arrived to find that you can only park for up to 4 hours at the car park near the toilets, and have to use the far car park opposite the bus stop for long stay and it costs £5 on pay and display.
The weather wasn't kind to us today in that we had only about ten minutes when the rain completely stopped, but at least it wasn't as cold or as windy as most forecasters had predicted.
 Distant views were very limited, but we did catch glimpses of snow on the higher hills to the South as we started to drop into the Lledr Valley.
 It was about 13-30 by the stopped for lunch as plodded on, hoping to find a suitable sheltered spot. We eventually did just after Pont Gethin, just as we re-entered and the climb Northward to Llyn Elsi.
 Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Great spotted woodpecker, Grey heron, Mallard, Wood nuthatch and Common buzzard.
 We didn't see any walkers until after we had arrived back at Betws-y-coed when a young couple overtook us as we descended on the forest track.
 Despite the rain, it was an enjoyable walk, but the next time we do it, it will be in the Summer!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Glasfryn and Gwysaney 9th February 2017

Walk followed by our Annual Meal 2017.

A big thank you to everyone for your very generous gift.
 It will keep me in printer ink and paper for 2017.
Moel Famau  above Ty-draw Farm taken from the road leading to Black Brook,
On the track near Tan-y-Wal.
Gwysaney hall from the South east.
Heading along the track past Gwysaney Hall.
On wat's Dyke, but only four were listening.
Snowdrops.
Even more Snowdrops on wat's Dyke Way South east of Soughton Farm.
Waiting to be fed at the Glasfryn, Mold.
Waiting to be fed at the Glasfryn, Mold.
Waiting to be fed at the Glasfryn, Mold.
Walk stats: Distance: 5.1 miles. Climb: 360'.
Time: 2 hours 12 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.1 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Roger and Margaret, Annie, Tim and Carol, Phil, Sue and Dave, Terry, Paul, Dave and Sylvia, Wendy, Celia, Anne and David S.
It was good to have our Stamford and Walsall friends join us for the walk.
 Thirteen of us set off from the Glasfryn at 09-50 with six more joining us just for the meal. 
 The weather was kind to us and thankfully we didn't experience the cold 12 m.p.h ENE forecast and it seemed much warmer than the - 3 Celsius feel-like temperature that we were anticipating.
 Overall the walk was quite pleasant with relatively good conditions underfoot. The muddiest section came as we took a path adjacent to a wood on the North side of Soughton and on a path through rough pasture on the South west side of the same village.
 I anticipated stopping around 11-00 or just afterwards so that we could all have a drink. We didn't see any obvious place to stop, and no-one seemed desperate to stop. The front runners on this occasion had set a cracking pace, so I had to impose a "Crystallised Ginger stop" as we emerged from the path at Vownog, Soughton, otherwise we would have been in danger of arriving back at the Glasfryn before they opened!
 The only really new section of the walk for most of us was on the Wat's Dyke Way across a small section of the dyke, East Soughton Farm.
 Thankfully we had sent Roger along the road as the three most difficult stiles were on this section, requiring you to pull yourself up, something that he finds difficult at present with his right shoulder giving him grief.
 Birds seen or heard today included: European robin, Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great spotted woodpecker, Common pheasant, Common buzzard, Jackdaw, Common starling, Woodpigeon, Wood nuthatch, Mistle thrush and Goldfinch.
 We arrived back at the Glasfryn in plenty of time to change and have a few drinks before our meals. 
 Everyone seemed to have enjoyed their meals and the venue so much, that I'm sure we will use it again for our annual meal some time in the future.
 Thanks to Michel's note system, paying the bill went without a hitch.
 The only downside for some was that they had run out of loyalty vouchers, so I've got an I.O.U for 19 vouchers to collect the next time I visit!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Little Orme and More 4th February 2017

Distant views of Snowdonia from the top of the Little Orme.
Snow on the highest tops in Snowdonia.
At the trig point on the Little Orme.
Llandudno and the Great Orme from the Little Orme.
Penrhyn bay and Rhos on Sea from Criegiau Rhiwledyn.
Grey seals on the beach in Porth Dyniewaid (Angel Bay), but exactly how many?
A Fulmar claiming a nest site in the disuded quarry South of Porth Dyniewaid.
The coast from Penrhyn Bay to Rhos-on-Sea and beyond.
The entrance to St. Trillo's Chapel.
Inside St. Trillo's Chapel.
Looking towards the pier at Colwyn Bay.  (The collapsed part on the seaward side.
Wind turbines an gas being burned off.
A few of the Wigeon close to the shore in Penrhyn Bay as the tide came in.
One of the many owls at Bodafon Hall Farm owl sanctuary.
(Not included in the list of birds seen or heard today.)
Our first lambs of the year on fields North of Bodafon Hall Farm.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.9 miles. Climb: 864'.
Time: 5 hours 3 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Ed.
This was a glorious day for walking, blue skies and bright sunshine accompanied us all day except for the twenty minutes or so that had our lunch near St. Trillo's Chapel.  In fact at times it was almost too warm for the Winter gear that we were all wearing.
 The views from the top of the Little Orme were superb in all direction with the snow covered peaks of Snowdonia giving a bit of a wow factor.
 The main attraction of the walk was to look for Grey seals in Porth Dyniewaid (Angel Bay). We weren't disappointed as we could see over fifty on the beach below us.
 Fulmars looking for nest sites on the cliff faces of the disused quarry South of Porth Dyniewaid was another bonus as were the Wigeon close to shore in Penrhyn Bay.
 The first part of the walk in Penrhyn Bay was along the beach as far as the breakwater, but as far a Celia was concerned this walk went downhill after the Little Orme and never recovered!
 Rather than just staying on the road all the way back to the car, Ed took us on a slight extension that went through Bodafon Hall Farm and Owl Sactuary.
 Well worth a visit, especially if you have under tens to entertain!
 Birds seen or hard today included: Rook, Herring gull, Black-headed gull, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Oystercatcher, Eurasian curlew, Mallard, Moorhen, Black-billed magpie, Great cormorant, Great tit, Dunnock Meadow pipit, Pied wagtail, Woodpigeon, Common starling, Collared dove, Goldfinch, European robin, Grey heron and possibly a Greylag goose.
 Both the PCs at Craig-y-Don and Rhos-on-Sea have been refurbished, a big improvement on the old ones.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue bell Inn at Halkyn, where one of the lighter Weetwood brews went down well as did the Haymaker Cider later on.
 Overall a good walk without fault - well almost!