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 August 2017

Moel Fenlli and Cwm Blannant 31st August 2017

Heather covered hillsides - looking across the car park towards Moel Famau.
On Offa's Dyke Footpath on the North side of Moel Fenlli.
Male Stonechat on Heather North side of Moel Fenlli.
Moel famau rom the Norther ramparts on Moel Fennli.
At the cairn in the centre of Moel Fenlli.
Foel Fenlli from the South side of Cwm Blaennant.
Foel Fenlli from the South side of Cwm Blaennant just three minutes later.
It's good to be back in sunshine.
A happy Scrumble?
"Watch where you rub with that towel."
Walk stats: Distance: 6.9 miles. Climb: 1350'.
Time: 4 hours 24 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia, Paul and Scrumble.
The forecast was for it to be dry in the morning with  rain coming in after mid-day. The walk upto the top of the hill fort was  warm and sunny, but as we approached the A494 Mold to Ruthin road we heard our first clap of thunder and it wasn't long before it was raining quite heavily. 
 The views from the hill fort were good and w could see as far as the coast near Prestatyn with its offshore wind turbines.
 We ended up having lunch sheltering in the Wernog wood, and probably stayed a little longer than usual. This was to no avail as it never stopped raining for the rest of the walk, save for a few minutes as we passed Llys frm on the North side of Cwm Blannant. At least the rain wasn't cold and as we climbed the road past Half-Way House to Bwlch Penbarra the views began to open up again.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Meadow pipit, Winter wren, Barn swallow, Stonechat and Common buzzard.
 We arrived back at the car, having enjoyed the walk despite the rain, but grateful that we had dry clothing to change into.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Druids Inn at Llanferres, where sat outside, basking in the warm sunshine, admiring the view across the road to Bryn Alyn. Celia was pleased to be reunited with her new fleece and Paul hoped that Scrumble would dry off in the Sun so that his car wouldn't smell too much of wet dog!
 Tea and coffee and Bank's Sunbeam went down well, but we must note that in future the Druid's Inn closes at 15-00. We were thankful that the bar person served us despite it being 15095 by the time we got there.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Walks and Dates August 2017

Thursday 3rd August 2017.
The Little Orme and Coed Gaer.
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 800'.
Start: Roadside parking next to Paddling Pool and PC on Coast Road at Craig y Don, East side of Llandudno.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This has become a regular walk at any time of the year, but at this time of the year. When we did this walk last year we did see see Seals around Porth Dyniewaid, so hopefully they will be there this year as well.  The views from the top of the Little Orme are always superb. This is always an enjoyable walk whatever time we do it.
Saturday 5th August 2017.
Deganwy Castle and the Great Orme.
Postponed. 
This walk will probably reappear on the list 
in 
September or October.
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 10th August 2017.
Another Ceiriog Valley Walk from Pontricket 
(Walks E and F)
Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 1700'.
Start: Pontricket, Layby, Grid ref: SJ186343.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines Pontricket Walks E and F. This walk starts by following the Ceiriog Valley  Eastward from Ponticket and picking up the tramway to Pandy. Here it follows the East side of the Teirw Valley as far as Ty-du. At Ty-du the route follows the Upper Ceiriog Way along a stony bridleway. Hopefully it will feel better climbing than it did descending when followed it last on the 8th June. On reaching open moorland near Rhyd Caledwynt the route heads Eastward  across pathless moorland before for picking up a good track that leads back to Pontricket.
Saturday 12th August 2017.
A Pentrefoelas Round - one of Ed's Walks.
Distance: 6-11 miles. Climb: 1400'.
Start: Riverside car park and picnic site, Pentrefoelas SH872516.
Leave Chester 08-30.
The main part of the walk is only 5.25 miles, so hopefully we will be able to find an extension to increase the distance coverd by a few miles, weather permitting.
The described walk explores the area North of Pentrefoelas as it rises towards the Hiraethog moors. It eventually descend back in to the valley, crosses A5 and the river before heading for Plas Iolyn.
I haven't done this walk before although I have walked along parts of it and in the past some paths have been been quite boggy, but hopefully will be less so at this time of the year.
A possible extension explores the area to he West of Pentrefoelas that would take he walk up to 11 miles, although if need be there are easy options o reduce the walk to under 10 miles if need be. We can decide how much of an extension is we want just before arriving back at the car.
Thursday 17th August 2017.
Halkyn, Limestone, Lead and More.
Distance: 9  miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Common Land opposite the Blue Bell Inn, Halkyn. Grid ref: SJ209702. 
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
We haven't started a walk from this location for quite some time. I thought that it was about time we did so to do so again. This walk combines two of my favourite walks in this fascinating area on our local patch. We used to start this walk from the Britannia Inn and finish the walk by going through the "Water buffalo" fields, but as we start near the Blue Bell Inn, we will miss out that part of the walk.
Saturday 19th August 2017.
No walk - I've decided to go on a bus pass adventure.
Thursday 24th August 2017.
Melin-y-Wig and Derwen.
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 1000' at a guess.
Start: Boncyn Foel-bach Forest Car Park Grid ref: SJ055520. This is on the B5105 Ruthin to Clawdd Newydd road.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
This walk is taken from Lorna Jenner's book "Walks in the Vale of Clwyd".  We last did this walk in February 2016 and I enjoyed it then. I thought that it would be good to do it again, but in a different season. It is described as being a varied walk through forest, quiet lanes, including one that was used on a pilgrims' route and an attractive riverside path.

 Part of the route, particularly sections of the riverside path have in the past been rather boggy (Remembered from it being on walks starting from Melin-y-Wig). The section through the forest can be boggy too. The final section involves climbing out of the valley up to the car park - not the most ideal way to end a walk, but it isn't that steep.
Saturday 26th August 2017.
Maen Esgob and Maen Penddu - another of Ed's Walks.
Distance: 7- 8 miles. Climb: 1400'.
Start: Snowdonia National Park Sychnant car park Grid ref: SH755769.
This is the first time that we will have started at this car park. This is a very contrived series of interconnection circular walks exploring the Conwy Mountain area South west of the Sychnannt Pass.
This is always a delightful area to explore and and it will be interesting to explore one or two bits not visited on our usual walks.
The walk starts by visititing the mini peak of Cogwrn before exploring attractive upland cvountry featuring sweveral low hills with panoramic views. It also visits the top of Maen Esgob. After crossing Waen Gywrach it climbs onto Cefn Maen Amor with its large erratic boulders. After visiting the standing stones of Maen Penddu the route takes us passed two upland reservoirs following delightful green tracks heading to Cragfedwern and back to the car.
Thursday 31st August 2017.
Moel Fenlli and Cwm Blaenant.
Distance:6-7 miles.
Climb: 1524'
Start: Bwlch Penbarras car park (Pay and display).

Grid ref:SJ162606.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's booklet "Walks on the Clwydian Hills". It is described as an interesting walk, visiting an impressive iron-age hill-fort. Sections mender along the Offa's Dyke footpath as far as the Clwyd Gate. The return route will take us through little known Western fringes of the Clwydian Hills. It includes attractive woodland paths  and explores a delightful hidden valley. Most of the walk is along clear paths with excellent views throughout.
 The walk is nominally shorter than usual, but the last time I remember doing it was in July 2008, and we didn't bother with any extension, admittedly the weather wasn't good! However if the group are keen to extend the walk, it will be easy to do so. This is a decision we can leave until we get back to the cars if need be. There are plenty of tracks through the forest at Moel Famau Country Park to create a lop of whatever length we want.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Maen Esgob and Maen Penddu 26th August 2017

Looking West from Cogwrn.
Looking towards the Conwy valley from Cogwrn.
It doesn't look like being a good day on Tal-yFan!
Looking towards Penmon and Puffin Island from the cairn on Maen Esgob.
At the cairn on Maen Esgob.
 The view as we approached the large erratic stones on Cefn Maen Amor.
At the large erratic stones on Cefn Maen Amor.
Maen Penddu, South east of the Cefn Maen Amor.
The gentle descent to our lunch spot at the reservoirs.
Our lunch spot on the North side of the resevoirs.
Wild ponies on the mountain.
Sailing West of Conwy.
The described route alongside of the wall, but is it a path?
Conwy Castle from the path heading towards Craigfedwen.
The Conwy valley from Craigfedwen.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.5 miles. Climb: 1376'.
Time: 5 hours 15 minutes. On the move walking average: 1.8 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Ed.
I arrived at the car park to find that it was already pretty full, with only a couple of spaces left. Thankfully Ed arrived in time to claim one of them, before the rest of the Vale of Clwyd Ramblers arrived.
 We set up what seemed like quite a steep climb at the start of a walk, but were rewarded with superb views once we were on the top of Cogwrn. It is always good when you get different views of places you know so well, and the walk today was to provide us with many such views.
 The weather to the West was good all day, and in fact became better as the day progressed. However Tal-y-Fan seemed to be in cloud all day, and the summit was seen for the first time as we neared the end of the walk. 
 Although it seemed warmer than the forecast 16 Celsius, we did get a pleasantly cooling breeze from time to time. The cairn on Maen Esgob and the erratic stones on the top of Cefn Maen Amor were visited for the first time. but I'm sure they will be visited on our walk in the future.
 We headed for the reservoirs, where we hoped to find suitable rock on which to perch, but our first problem was how to get to them by going around from their western side. The first problem was crossing a stream, but heading up stream we soon found a place was narrow enough to cross with a large stone in the middle to act as a stepping stone. The next challenge was to cross another channel, but thankfully there was a choice of two wooden bridges that we could take.
 We had lunch on the Northern side of the reservoir, enjoying views towards the coast as we did so.
 After lunch we followed the North Wales Path for a couple of miles before exploring more new paths and visiting a small summits with a cairn and good views.
 Our only problem encountered was after visiting the top of Craigfedwen, we followed a path that took us through head high bracken before picking up a real path. On reflection this wasn't the way we should have gone!
 The Heather clad moorland was superb, especially so as could smell it too.
 We arrived back at the car, having had a good walk, having seen new things in area we thought we already knew well!
Birds seen or heard included: Common buzzard, Carrion crow, Raven, Red-billed chough, Meadow pipit, Stonechat, Barn swallow and Common kestrel.
 An fter walk drink was enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn in Halkyn.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Melin-y-Wig and Derwen 24th August 2017

Heading down the delightful green track leading to the valley and Llyn Derwen.
Distant hills on our way to Melin-y-Wig.
Our lunch spot near the Afon Clwyd.
Part of the delightful riverside path on the way to Derwen.
The Afon Clwyd between Melin-y-Wig and Derwen.
Looking South west down the Vale of Clwyd towards Melin-y-Wig.
The 15th century preaching cross in St Mary's church yard at Derwen.
Ffynnon Sarah, a medieval well, North of Derwen.
The last climb of the day on the track from Braich farm.
The Llantysilio Mountains from the track lading from Braich farm.
Not the easiest gate to negotiate!
Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 903'.
Time: 4 hours 57 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Oeral walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S., Celia and Jim.
The forecast said >5% chance of rain, but just as we were about to set off from the Boncyn Foel Bach Forest Enterprise Car Park, it began to rain and the rest of the group donned waterproofs, i just sheltered underneath a tree. In fact it soon stopped and the rest of the day was pleasant with sunny intervals, some breeze, but no more rain.
 An early part of the walk headed South from Glan-y-gors through the forest, not a good experience. The path wasn't easy to follow, with many fallen trees barring the way, making it quite difficult to negotiate safely. What a relief when we eventually found the stile out of the forest into open fields.
 It was along the road from Llyn Derwen to Melin-y-Wig that we had our first good views of the hills towards the Arrenigs.
 At Melin-y-Wig we picked up the riverside path and our lunch spot. The riverside path is delightful, but at times had become eroded by high river floods.
 At Derwen, St Mary's church was open, so we paid it a visit as well as looking at the 15th century preaching cross in its grounds.
 The route from Derwen was largely uphill, with the occasional flatter sections. 
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common buzzard, Pied wagtail, Goldfinch, House sparrow, Common whitethroat, Barn swallow, Black-billed magpie, Woodpigeon, Carrion crow and Eurasian Jay.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Druids Inn at Llanferres, where Banks' Sunbeam went down well. Celia enjoyed her Kronenbourg 1664 so much, she wants us to go back again next week!

Friday, 18 August 2017

Halkyn, Limestone, Lead and More 17th August 2017

The Liverpool skyline as we descend towards Castle Wood.
Holiday experiences on the menu as they meander through Castle Wood.
Moel Famau and the Clwydian Hilld from the trig point on Billins, Halkyn Mountain.
At the trig point on Billins, Halkyn Mountain.
Lime kilns on the South west side of Bryn Mawr Quarry.
Our lunch spot on the North of the Pant-y-pwll-dwr Quarry.
Looking North across the Pant-y-pwll-dwr Quarry.
"Do we really have to go up there?"
The panorama looking Northwards from the Moel-Ffagnallt Millenium Cairn.
Capped mine shafts on Halkyn Mountain as w head for the Catch  wireless masts.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.6 miles. Climb: 1141'.
Time: 5 hours 26 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall wealk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Jim. Celia and Paul.
This turned out to be a superb day for walking, largely Sunny, pleasantly warm and occasionally a cooling breeze.
 Distant views were good, especially towards the Dee estuary and the Clwydian Hills.
 Our only disappointment was to find the path we usually take along the West side of the Pant-y-pwll-dwr Quarry is now closed. This forced us to rethink the route and find a new lunch spot. This trned out to be a small quarry North of the Pant-y-pwll-dwr Quarry, where we found plenty of suitable stones to sit on. Thankfully we were also hidden from the passing traffic on the nearby road.
 after lunch we headed along the East side of the Pant-y-pwll-dwr Quarry, much of it on a path that gave extensive views into this vast quarry.
 Our planned route was to take us across fields to Moe-Ffagnallt via Lilly Hill farm, but this time our way was blocked by a flood on the road East of Cefn-y-gildia farm, and much too deep for Celia to test out her new boots!
 After a short rest at the Millenium Cairn on Moel-Ffagnallt we headed across Halkyn Mountain back to the start.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common buzzard, Jackdaw, Raven, Common kestrel, Black-billed magpie, Goldfinch, House sparrow and Barn swallow.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn where one of the real ciders went down well. Celia was a bit mift as her usual "posh" lager was no longer on offer and she had to put up with a bottle of Pirroni.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Two Walks Around Pentrefoelas 12th August 2017

Looking South over Pentrefoelas.
Not easy easy for me to photograph, but at least you can tell that it is a Red kite.
Looking South towards Pentrefoelas on the Hiraethog Trail.
The surprise of the day a car rally on the A543 heading towards Denbigh.
It's hard to believe that this quite lane to Gorse Nug is yellow on the OS map.
The track heading South west towards Ty'n Llwyn.
Blue skies at last. Looking over Ty'n Llwyn towards Cefnen Wen and the Denbigh Moors.
An even better view towards Cefnen Wen and the Denbigh Moors.
A pleasant track to walk on, but not for a motorised vehicle.
Back on the Hiraethog Trail, heading East towards Bryn Prys.
Ed on the path just South of Gallt-y-celyn.
Walk stats: 
North and South of Pentrefoelas.
Distance: 6.9 miles. Climb: 590'.
Time: 3 hours 30 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.9 m.p.h.
South west of Pentrefoelas.
Distance: 4.0 miles, Climb: 299'.
Time: 1 hour 51 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.2 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Ed.
Weather-wise this was somewhat annoying, the rain was a stop start all morning, but never enough to really wet you and only lasting for a few minutes at a time. Nevertheless w still had our waterproof jackets on all morning, but never felt the need to put overtrousers on.
 On reaching the open moorland, distant views were getting better, Moel Siabod could clearly be seen, but the higher tops were still in cloud.
 As usual we failed to spot the "Stone Rows" identified on the OS map, but apparently they are very harder to see due to field improvements that have been made. As they only consist of small limestone stones, we probably would have needed to go right up to them in order to see them. However there are a similar better preserved set of stone rows on the South west of Cefnen Wen at SH8852753713 that may be worth investigating the next time we walk in the area.
 As we arrived at the A543, near Hafod y Dre, we were treated to seeing about ten old sports cars pass by on a rally of some sort.
 The final approach towards Pentrefoelas from Plas Iolyn was new to me, always a bonus.
 Having found no suitable perching spots, we decided to have lunch at the car park in Pentrefoelas, where we new we could use the riverside picnic tables or the shelter if needed.
 At this point the rain became quite heavy, so we were grateful to be able use the bench in latter.
After a longer than usual lunch break, the rain eventually stopped and we experienced more and more  blue skies and sunshine as time went on.
 The walk South west of Pentefoelas started off on a good green track, passing first Tyn-y-wern and then along the access track to Ty'n Llwyn.
 The track South of Pont Newydd, in theory could have been used by vehicles, but the size of the gates and the state of the track meant that this is no longer possible, but for walkers it is OK, although it was necessary to walk along the adjacent field edge at times.
 We arrived back at the cars in glorious sunshine, having had a good day walking (over 10 miles in all involving a climb of just under 1000').
 All it needed now was a beer at the Foelas Arms, but alas it wasn't to be, the door was open, but the only welcome w got was from two small dogs - no one was there to serve us, so after five minutes waiting we left still thirsty.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Europen robin, Blue tit, House sparrow, Meadow pipit, Barn swallow, Pied wagtails, Winter wren, Common buzzard and Red kite.
 Eventually I did enjoy a pint at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where Facer's Summer Ale went down well.