About Me

When? Started: 1993 Who? Started with staff and friends from U H S, Chester. Organiser: Martyn Harris We walk every Wednesday 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 Wednesday than on a Saturday. Most ever: 29. Numbers walking: 2-12, a 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, Jim McCabe, Mal Pulford., Joyce Russell

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Golden Groves, Sea Views, Coed Bell and Voelnant 18th April 2018

The start of the walk in Llanasa.
Golden Grove hidden in the trees.
"Do you call this keeping to the footpath?"
Time for the first rest - well for some who got to the seat first!
Not what you expect to see in a duck pond.
Turtles sunbathing on the banks of a duck pond North of Gwaenysgor.
Our lunch spot in Gwaenysgor.
The panorama between Moel Siabod and the Great Orme from the Offa's Dyke Footpath above Prestatyn Hillside Nature Reserve.
The lighthouse on Talacre beach.
A Wheatear resting in the hedgerow as we descended North from the Police WT Station.
The first Bluebells in Coed Bell, but not enough to make it a Bluebell Wood Walk.
Our last view of the coast, before heading South back to Llanasa.
Back at Llanasa, enjoying what is left of any liquid refreshments they had.
Walk stats: distance: 8.8 miles. Climb: 1682'.
Time: 5 hours 42 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.0 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h. (Due to to much sunbathing at lunchtime.)
Group: Martyn, Roger, Jim, David S., Mike, Wendy, Ed, Joyce Russell and  Mal.
 This was the largest group that we had in 2018 on a normal Wednesday walk. This was the first walk that Joyce had joined us, so hopefully the walk experienced today won't put her off joining us agaibn in the future.
 We set off from Llanasa, not 100% sure that we were going to get the glorious sunny day that had been forecast. Those doubting were soon proved wrong, and we ended up with beautifully warm, pleasant sunshine in the morning with a cooling breeze every now and again.
 Overall this might be described as a somewhat up an down walk, although not just one up and down, but several!
 Plenty of birds were singing and we had several sightings of Wheatears passing through on their migration to their breeding grounds.
 The sea views towards the Dee estuary and beyond were superb and later in the day Snowdonia could clearly be seen on the horizon as we headed North along the Offa's Dyke Footpath above Prestatyn Hillside nature Reserve.
 The most unusual sighting of the day is normally reserved for the best bird seen, but today the Turtles sunbathing at the end of the duck pond North of Gwaenysgor takes the honour.
  Lunch was taken in the memorial garden at Gwaenysgor where suitable seating arrangements were  available, even if a couple did have to improvise.
 I was pleased see that steps were in place on what in the past had been an unpleasant section of the Offa's Dyke Footpath.
 After reaching the Police WT Staion, there were a few grumbles as we descended almost to the Gronant road before heading East towards Coed Bell where we had a few sightings of Bluebells in flower.
 The final climb of the day along the byway out of Gronant to Llanasa was quite tiring as by now the temperature must have been in the low twenties at least and were were sheltered from the cool breeze that we enjoyed earlier in the day.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Blue tit, Great tit, Greenfinch, Coal tit, Woodpigeon, Black-billed magpie, Barn swallow, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Moorhen, Willow warbler, Wheatear, Goldfinch, House sparrow, Jackdaw, Herring gull, Common pheasant, Canada goose, Chaffinch, and Mallard.
 We arrived back at the cars, having had a good varied walk, and feeling a little more tired than usual, but climbing 1600' must have contributed considerably.
  Unusually for the group today, several of the drivers had commitments in the evening and needed to get home, so after walk drinks had to be put off until we got home. Several cups of tea with a little whisky added provided the pick me up  I required!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Walks and Dates April 2018

Update 19th April 2018
I won't be able to access my PC for  FEW DAYS, so I won't be able to access the blog until software problems have been sorted.
Wednesday 2nd May 2018.

Christleton and the Roman Bridges.
As the Bluebells look as though they will be flowering later this year the walks planned for Wednesday 18th April, Saturday 21st April and Wednesday 25th April will be moved to May.
Replacement Walks for these dates in April have been posted and are to be found below the originally planned walk.
Wednesday 4th April 2018
Helsby and Frodsham Hills.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb; 1500'.
Start: Helsby Quarry Woodland Car Park. Grid ref: SJ490750
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from the book "Pathfinder Guide to Cheshire". Much of it we have done before when following walks on the Sandstone Trail. However part of the walk around Helsby Hill is new to me and it is the first time that we have started from this car park. On a clear day, the views across the estuary is superb. The walk is described as being energetic. As the walk is a little shorter than usual, we may wish to explore the Woodhouse Hill fort a little more.
Saturday 7th April 2018.
Big Low, Berristall Vale and the Saddle of Kerridge.
Postponed - weather forecast only fit for ducks all day!
Distance: 8-9 miles; Climb: 2000'
Start: The Adlington Street car park Grid ref: SJ931782.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m. and meet in the car park.
This is another walk that combines two walks from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks". He describes the walks as moderate to strenuous and includes some of the most scenic surroundings around Bollington. We have already strolled along Kerridge Hill and can vouch for that part of the walk.
After walk drinks will be in the Vale Inn, a hostelry that impressed us on earlier visits.
Wednesday 11th April 2018.
Melin-y-Wig and Derwen.
Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 950' .
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 14th April 2018.
Wem  Walks - By the Bridges to Soulton Hall.
Postponed- Billy no mates again!
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 130'.
Start: Wem Centre Car park. SJ524289.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This is another of a series of walks from Wem and is the first time that we have walked in this area of Shropshire.
The walk starts by heading North and includes par of the Shropshire Way, eventually arriving at Edstaston. The walk description suggests that it is worthwhile visiting the Norman church of St Mary the Virgin. After visiting the church heads east and then South through farmland and involves crossing many stiles. Soulton Hall is reached, a majestic 17th century manor house.
 The last part of the walk, heading West back to Wem is largely on quiet country lanes.
Wednesday 18th April 2018.
Coed Pen-y-Gelli and More.
This walk has been moved to Wednesday 9th May when hopefully there will be  a better chance of seeing Bluebells.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb:700’.
Start: Roadside parking at Lloc. If approaching from Holywell on the A5026, turn left by the public house (now a private house) into St Asaph Road. Park in left. If approaching on the A5026 from its nearest junction with the A55 (Prestatyn junction), Turn right in front of the public house (now a private house) into St Asaph Road. This is just after the the Pant Y Wacco sign and the road starts to bear left. St Asaph Road is one way and can only be approached from then A5026.
Grid ref:SJ145765.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This is a annual Bluebell Wood Walk, and is effectively a figure of eight walk based on Lloc. This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry’s book “ Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain”.  The walk will probably will be near to 10 miles as we will only complete a small section of the usual Gorsedd Round. 
 This is nearly a month earlier than last year, so hopefully we will catch more of the Bluebells in flower.
Replacement Walk.
Golden Grove Sea Views, Coed Bell and Voelnant.
Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 1700'.
Start: Llanasa. Car park opposite church. Grid ref: SJ106814.
Leasve Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk has been adapted from walks found in Dave berry's booklets "More Walks in the Clwydian Hills" and "Wals on the North Wales Coast".
 One walk is described as an exhilarating walk with contrasting views of coast, sea, estuary, hills and mountains. The other walk explores the Northern end of the Clwydian Hills and includes part of the Offa's Dyke Footpath through the Prestatyn Hillside Nature Reserve
Saturday 21st April 2018.
Bluebell Woods Around Parbold. 
This walk has been moved to Saturday 19th May when hopefully there will be  a better chance of seeing Bluebells.
At this time I anticipate that all of the usual Saturday walkers won't be able to walk, so a replacement walk will be provided on request.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 800'.
Start: Hunter's Hill Quarry Nature Reserve on Bannister Lane WN6 9QD. Grid ref: SD503123
It is 48 miles from Saltney, so should be a little less from Chester and should take just over an hour to get there.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is a walk that we have done for the last three years, and each time the Bluebell have been superb. This walk is on the East of Parbold, and visits up to ten different woods, This is nearly three weeks earlier than we have done on the past, so hopefully the Bluebells on show.  The walk also includes part of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal as far as Appley Bridge. This is a walk that we have done a few times now.    Last time the Bluebells and wild garlic in Fairy Glen were quite stunning.  In the past we have seen Brown hares, so hopefully we will today too. Bring binoculars with you just in case. There is no description, just the OS map.
Wednesday 25th April 2018.
Maen Achwfan, Llyn Helyg, Crown Bach and Coed Pen-y-Gelli.
This walk has been moved to Wednesday 16th May when hopefully there will be  a better chance of seeing Bluebells.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb:1000’.
Start:Roadside parking opposite the church in Whitford. Grid ref:SJ147782.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This is a Bluebell Woods walk we first did in 2011.
The walk starts off by using one of the walks in Dave Berry’s book “ Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain. We have completed this one several times, including visiting the beautifully carved Maen Achwfan.  However this time we include exploring two new woods, Glol and Llyn Helyg woods.  Hopefully we will return through Crown Bach woods to Lloc and then return to Whitford via Twll Bach.
Replacement walk.
Ysceifio-Lixwm-Nannerch.
Distance: 9 -10 miles. Climb: 1400'.
Start: Ysceifiog, park adjacent to the children's play area. Grid ref: SJ152715.
Leave Chester 9-00a.m.

This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountains".  This walk explores the area around Ysceifiog using field paths, woodland paths and bridleways.  The walk also explores the countryside between the Wheeler Valley and Lixwm.
Saturday 28th April 2018.
Llyn Caer Euni from Llanderfel.
Distance: 9 -10 miles. Climb:1600’
Start: Roadside parking on B4402 North of the War memorial near an old chapel in the village of Llanderfel. Grid ref: SH982369
Leave Chester 8-15 a.m.
The described part of the walk is taken from Dave Berry’s book “Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn”. This is only a 5 mile walk, but the extra miles is linking the start of the walk in Sarnau with Llanderfel, using different paths on the outward and return journeys.
The outward route will include using a path through the Nature Reserve Cors y Sarnau. There is a good chance of seeing Red kites in this area, so bring binoculars with you if you have them.

Walks and Dates May 2018

Update 19th April 2018
I won't be able to access my PC for  FEW DAYS, so I won't be able to access the blog until software problems have been sorted.
Wednesday 2nd May 2018.
Christleton and the Roman Bridges.
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 300'.
Start : Car Park near Little Heath Pond. Grid ref: SJ443659
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk was in the Country Walking magazine in 2006, and which we did in January 2010 with snow on the ground. This is a low level walk close to home, but is an area that we haven't explored much. we will probably extend the walk a little to include the Roman Bridges named after the way that it was constructed, rather than having anything to do with the Romans. The walk includes field paths, particularly in the area of Hockenhull Platts, but we may choose o avoid the and use country lanes instead.
 he final section of the walk is along the canal from Salmon's Bridge through Waverton to Christleton.
Saturday 5th May 2018.
Pendle Hill – the annual search for Dotterel.
Distance: 8.0 miles. Climb:1900’.
Start: Downham Village Car park. Grid ref: SD785442.
Leave Chester:8-30 a.m.
This is a little shorter than our usual Saturday walks.  The route today is the one in Terry Marsh’s book “Fifty Classic Walks in Lancashire”. He describes it as “undoubtedly the finest ascent of Pendle Hill”. Let’s hope for a good day weather-wise, topped up with good views of  Dotterel as we did a few years ago.  Don’t forget to bring binoculars.
The last few times we have done this walk, the weather hasn't been kind.lets hope the weather is better this year.
Wednesday 9th May 2018.
Coed Pen-y-Gelli and More.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb:700’.
Start: Roadside parking at Lloc. If approaching from Holywell on the A5026, turn left by the public house (now a private house) into St Asaph Road. Park in left. If approaching on the A5026 from its nearest junction with the A55 (Prestatyn junction), Turn right in front of the public house (now a private house) into St Asaph Road. This is just after the the Pant Y Wacco sign and the road starts to bear left. St Asaph Road is one way and can only be approached from then A5026.
Grid ref:SJ145765.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m. This is one of our annual Bluebell Wood walks. It is a figure of eight walk based on Lloc. he walk includes parts of two walks taken from Dave Berry's booklet " Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain."
Saturday 12th may 2018.
Pont Rhyd-yr-Hydd.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1600'.
Start: Llandrillo riverside car park. Grid ref: SH035371.
Leave Chester 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's booklet " Walks Around the Berwyn Mountains and Ceiriog Valley". It is described as an exhilarating walk exploring the upper Dee Valley between Llandrillo and Cynwyd. The route follows ancient upland trackways, rising to a height of 1600'. Providing the weather is good, we should get some panoramic views from the higher parts of the route. The return route passes through attractive undulating countryside past the 18th century Hendwr.
Wednesday 16th May 2018.
Maen Achwfan, Llyn Helyg, Crown Bach and Coed Pen-y-Gelli.
Distance:9-10 miles. Climb:1000’.
Start:Roadside parking opposite the church in Whitford. Grid ref:SJ147782.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This is a Bluebell Woods walk we first did in 2011.

The walk starts off by using one of the walks in Dave Berry’s book “ Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain. We have completed this one several times, including visiting the beautifully carved Maen Achwfan.  However this time we include exploring two new woods, Glol and Llyn Helyg woods.  Hopefully we will return through Crown Bach woods to Lloc and then return to Whitford via Twll Bach.
Saturday 19th May 2018.
Bluebell Woods Around Parbold. 
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 800'.
Start: Hunter's Hill Quarry Nature Reserve on Bannister Lane WN6 9QD. Grid ref: SD503123
It is 48 miles from Saltney, so should be a little less from Chester and should take just over an hour to get there.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is a walk that we have done for the last three years, and each time the Bluebell have been superb. This walk is on the East of Parbold, and visits up to ten different woods, This is nearly three weeks earlier than we have done on the past, so hopefully the Bluebells on show.  The walk also includes part of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal as far as Appley Bridge. This is a walk that we have done a few times now.    Last time the Bluebells and wild garlic in Fairy Glen were quite stunning.  In the past we have seen Brown hares, so hopefully we will today too. Bring binoculars with you just in case. There is no description, just the OS map.
Wednesday 23rd May 2018.
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 09-30 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 lead us to find the location of St., Bueno's Well, but last time we gave it a miss.
Saturday 26th May 2018.
Lathkill Dale and More.
Distance:11-12 miles; Climb:900'.
Start: Moor Lane car park just outside Youlegrave. Grid ref:SK192643.
Leave Chester:8-00 a.m.
This combines two walks from Mark Richard's book "White Peak Walks Northern Dales". This walk should be mid-season the flower "Jacob's Ladder", so we should be able to spot some in flower. Lathkill Dale is renown for its wild flowers, so hopefully a few Spring flowers will be out.
 The walk will be shortened a little to bring it down to about 10 miles.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Melin-y-Wig and Derwen 11th April 2018

The path heading West from the Boncyn Foel-bach car park.
Escaping from the forest South of Glan-y-gors.
On the riverside path from Melin-y-Wig to Derwen.
Our lunch spot beside the Afon Clwyd.
A better view from our lunch spot beside the Afon Clwyd.
The second plastic covered box-like object that we saw close to the Afon Clwyd.
Siskins on a feeder West of Glyn-mawr.
The medieval church at Derwen with its 15th century preaching cross.
At least one lamb didn't mind being photographed.
Ffynnon Sara A Medieval Holy well.
Walk stats: 8.1 miles. Climb: 975'.
Time: 4 hours 31 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group:Martyn, Sue Pelissier, David S and Ed.
Not the best day of the week to go walking with mist clinging to hillside for most of the day, making it feel on the damp side. The lack of wind meant that it never really cleared fully, but thankfully the best time was between Melin-y-Wig and Derwen and around the time we stopped for lunch.
 Views today were all in the imagination!
 At least today all the locals that we met were friendly and helpful, particularly a lady that lived opposite the church at Derwen who explained how the church was maintained after it had ceased to have services.
  After lunch most of us felt that we would be more comfortable if with discarded our waterproofs, which proved to be correct. 
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Chiffchaf, Willow warbler, Common pheasant, Chaffinch, Wood nuthatch, Treecreeper, Coal tit, Blue tit, Siskin, Great tit, Collared dove, Black-billed magpie, House sparrow, Winter wren and Common buzzard.
 A good varied walk, enjoyed today, but even more enjoyable on a bright sunny day.
 At least today our boots didn't get too muddy, although some of us experienced mud-creep on our over-trousers! 
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at Wetherspoons Ruthin Castle Hotel where hot tea and coffee were the drinks of choice.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Above Helsby and Frodsham 4th April 2018

On the path leading to Helsby Hill.
The way ahead.
Spring has arrived.
No awkward stile now and even steps to help!
Our lunch spot sitting in the Sun at the Memorial on Frodsham Hill.
The new Runcorn bridge from our lunch spot.
The view from our lunch spot, looking towards Liverpool.
Liverpool's Anglican cathedral as seen from our lunch spot.
No preferences here, this is the RC cathedral from our lunch spot.
Enjoying the mud on the Sandstone Trail heading from Frodsham towards Helsby.
Helsby Hill from the viewpoint North of Woodhouse Hill fort.
The Middle way path contouring around Helsby Hill -  mud nearly over!
Walk stats: Distance:  7.7 miles. Climb: 988'. Time: 5 hours 18 minutes. On the mover walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.4 m.p.h. (That's a lot of stopping!)
Group: Martyn, Roger, Jim, Mal and Wendy.
This turned out to be a better day weather wise, than most of the forecasts said it would be. We were expecting lots of showers, some heavy, especially after lunch, but at least it would feel quite mild. In the end we had one shower just before lunch, but in reality I didn't have my waterproof jacket on all day.
 After all of the recent rain we have had, paths were at times on the muddy side, and to my surprise it wasn't Wendy grumbling about the mud this time, instead this time was Roger!
 We arrived at the entrance to Woodhouse Hill Fort at 11-00, and decided that we would miss out exploring it today and continued on the walk heading towards Beacon Hill and Frodsham, arriving at the Memorial on Frodsham Hill at about 12-30. 
 This was the perfect lunch spot, with the Sun shining and plenty of available seats with good views over the Weaver and the Mersey towards Liverpool. We had good views of both the old and the new Runcorn bridges.
 After lunch we were following the Sandstone Trail for most of the way. This is a really good section except for the time it took us negotiating the muddy boggy parts. We did get glimpses of good views through the trees as we followed the contouring path.
 The last part of the route followed the Middle contouring path across Helsby Hill, perhaps going over the top might have been the better option today.
 We arrived back at the car, thankful that we had had a good walk and despite all the muddy boggy paths encountered our boots were relatively clean and wouldn't take much effort to clean.
 Birds seen or heard today included Carrion crow, European robin, Eurasian jay, Black-billed magpie, Common pheasant, Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Common blackbird, Mallard, Shelduck, Winter wren, Blue tit, Great tit, Chiffchaff, Common pheasant, Wood nuthatch, Goldfinch, Treecreper, Grey wagtail and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the White Lion at Alvanley, where Robinson's Dizzy Blonde went down well. It was a good sized pot of tea - I managed to get four cups out of it!

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Around The Little Orme and Bryn Euryn 31st March 2018

The Little Orme as we set off from Craig-y-Don.
The tramway that we were happy to miss out today.
Porth Dyniewaid Quarry.
At Porth Dyniewaid.
Porth Dyniewaid - where have all the seals gone, out to sea every one!
Looking towards Penrhyn Bay - rain spot on the lens!
That's why we didn't walk along the beach!
Early lunch at Llys Euryn.
Daffodils on the roadside leading to the village of Glanwydden.
The Great Orme as we headed  for Craig-y-Don at the end of the walk.
Walk stats: Distance: 7.9 miles. Climb: 790'.
Time: 3 hours 55 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.4 m.p.h. (2.6 m.p.h. on the newest GPS) Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger and Ed.
This wasn't a classic walk, but a walk in defiance of the weather forecast, a forecast that led to us abandoning our planned Bala walk in the hope that this area would give us a better chance of a walk in which we wouldn't get soaked. Thankfully it did, although the strong Northerly wind did make us choose a route avoiding any tops, so no trig points today!
 Usualy we climb to the top of Little Orme Head, but today we walked around the  South side to approach Porth Dyniewaid through the quarry on the South east.
 No seals today as they have long returned out to sea, but the waves crashing on the rocks/beach at Porth Dyniewaid, this wasn't a place for any living thing to be sheltering by choice.
 The tide was well in and any idea of walking long the beach across Penrhyn Bay was out of the question.
 In fact we had to walk on the South side of the Penrhyn Road to avoid getting wet by the waves crashing over the top of the walled sea defences.
 After a climb from the coast, we arrived at Llys Euryn, and decided this was the best place for lunch, even though it was a little early.
 After following the path around the North side of Bryn Euryn past Colwyn Bay Rugby Club, the rest of our walk was along mainly country lanes, but we didn't mind at least our boots wouldn't get muddy!
 The climb up Derwen Lane through Penrhyn Side was longer and steeper than we would have liked towards the end of a walk, but otherwise it is a route that may be repeated in the future, especially if we are trying to avoid paths with known problems.
 We arrived back at the cars, having had a good walk with very little rain, except for the few spots during the first hour or so.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Rook, Oystercatcher, Herring gull, Blue tit, Great tit, Common blackbird, Winter wren, Dunnock, House sparrow, Moorhen and Goldfinch.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed by some at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the Lees Bitter was in excellent condition. It was good to see the Brit busy with diners as well as though that enjoy Lees brews.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Walks and Dates March 2018

Updated 7th March 2018.
Saturday 3rd March 2018
Wem  Walks - By the Bridges to Soulton Hall.
Postponed - heavy snow forecast for Shropshire on Thursday and Friday, so I anticipate road conditions getting to Wem would be difficult.
Distance: 8 miles. Climb: 130'.
Start: Wem Centre Car park. SJ524289.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This is another of a series of walks from Wem and is the first time that we have walked in this area of Shropshire.
The walk starts by heading North and includes par of the Shropshire Way, eventually arriving at Edstaston. The walk description suggests that it is worthwhile visiting the Norman church of St Mary the Virgin. After visiting the church heads east and then South through farmland and involves crossing many stiles. Soulton Hall is reached, a majestic 17th century manor house.
 The last part of the walk, heading West back to Wem is largely on quiet country lanes.
Wednesday 7th March 2018.
Barber Hill, Vivod Estate and the Horseshoe Falls.
Distance:10 miles.
Climb: 2000'
Start: Llantysilio Green car park. Grid ref: SJ198433

Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Llangollen and the Dee Valley".  This can be a glorious walk, if the weather is good.

 We usually start this walk in the centre of Llangollen, but I thought this would be a good place to start. It's probably a little late, but with a bit of look the Snowdrops in Llantysilio Green churchyard will still be in flower.
Saturday 10th March 2018.

The Sandstone Trail - Beeston and Peckforton.
Postponed, bad weather forecast and no takers!
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Start: Pay and display car park at Beeston Castle. Grid ref: SJ540591. The Pay and Display machine only starts at 10-00.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
The first time that we did this walk, it was the fourth in our walks along the Sandstone trail. It involves Walk 6 and Walk 7 from Carl Rogers' book "Circular Walks on the Sandstone Trail".
This is another good section of the trail and has a good variety of terrains to enjoy. I thought it was time to give another airing! Usually a mid-week walk, I thought it would be worthwhile to do it on a Saturday for a change
Wednesday14th March 2018.
Penycloddiau and Moel Arthur. 
Postponed - this walk will be replaced by the walk originally planned for the 28th February.
See below for details on the Limestone, Lead and More walk. 
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Llangwyfan Forestry car park: SJ138668
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks in the Clwydian Hills".  This area of the Clwydians has so much to offer, and Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau are particularly good.  On a good day the views from both hill forts is superb.

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 has been adapted from several walks that we have done in this area. It includes many paths that we will be familiar to most of us, but also allows us to explore some new ones. Initially the walk heads North and crosses Halkyn Mountain and on towards Pen yr Henblas Quarry. As the path along the West side of Pen-y-Pwll Quarry has now been closed, we will explore a minor road and some new paths past Pwll-melyn that should get us back on Halkyn Mountain South of the closed path. We will also explore some new paths around Moel Ffagnallt and minor roads to the South of Moel-y-crio. After going round Moel y Gaer we head North back to the start.
 It is not intended to visit the toposcope on Moel Ffagnallt or Moel y Gaer, we may do so if the group wish to add a little further climb to the walk.
 After walk drinks will be at the Britannia Inn. New carpets in some areas of the Brit, so clean footwear requested!
Saturday 17th March 2018.
Moel y Garneddd.
Postponed due to a forecast giving high winds and a feel like temperature of - 7 Celsius. This coupled with me not feeling 100% made the decision not to walk easy.
This walk will now replace the walk originally planned for the 31st March 2018
Distance: 7-8 miles.
Climb: 1200'.
Start: Fronfeuno Snowdonia National Park Lakeside Car park Grid ref: SH917351.
Leave Chester 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's booklet "Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn". The walk explores the undulating countryside West of Bala. The route follows a a bridleway up to moorland, eventually crossing Moel y Garneddd at a height f 1170'. We can expect to see superb views as we cross the open moorland. The return route goes through attractive woodland. This is a walk for experienced walkers only and should not be attempted in poor visibility. Careful navigation is required.
Wednesday 21st March 2018.
Hawarden and its Environs.
8-9 miles. Climb: 680'.
Start: Tinkersdale Public Car Park, Hawarden. Grid ref: SJ316657.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This is a figure of eight walk starting in the centre of Hawarden. The last time we started a walk from this car park, was on the maiden flight of the A380 when it buzzed us as it flew low over Hawarden Airport. The first part of the walk expliores the area South of the village, and includes part of Hawarden Park. This walk is taken from the booklet "Rural Walks in Flintshire". At some stage on the walk we may wish to explore the castle grounds, possibly before we set off extension part of the walk. The extension part of the walk explores the countryside North west of the village along country lanes and field paths. Although I know this area quite well, having gone to school in Hawarden and played football for two teams based in the village, we will be exploring places that I haven't been to before.
Saturday 24th March 2018.
Wem to Clive and Grinshill.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb: 700'.
Start: Wem centre car park. Grid ref: SJ514289.
Leave Chester 08-30.
This walk is taken from a series of Wem Walks and explores the area to the South of Wem. It follows the Shropshire Way as far as Clive and Grinshill. The walk will include exploring the Corbett Wood and Quarry Trail before climbing to the summit of Grinshill Hill at 192'! The described route is linear and use the bus to return to Wem, but we will make a circular route by following field paths and minor roads. This will be only the second time that the group has walked in this area of Shropshire. It is always good to explore new area.
Wednesday 28th March 2018.
Moel Famau, Moel Dywyll and Moel Llys-y-coed.
I will be going out just after 08-00 on Tuesday 27th, so I will try to sort cars out on Monday this week.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: 1800'.
Start: Car park area West of Cilcain. Grid ref: SJ170652.
To get to the parking area, at the crossroads in Cilcain turn right (Westward), past the White Horse, Church and Village hall, at the end of a few houses on the right turn, left and the parking area is a few hundred yards further on on the right. 
This walk includes three hills along Offa's Dyke Footpath - Moel Famau, Moel Dywyll and Moel Llys-y-coed. The latter hill is not one of my favourite hills in the Clwydian range and I can't remember when it last appeared on one of our walks. It is the ascent from North to South that I dislike so much, the fact that we will be descending from South to North shouldn't be quite so bad!
 On a good clear day we should get excellent views in all directions.
 Saturday 31st March 2018.
Caer, Gai, Cwm Dyfrydwy with an extension over Garth Fawr.
Postponed.
This walk has now been replaced by a Little Orme.
Distance: 9.1 miles. Climb: 1100'.
Start: Roadside parking in Llanuwchllyn on B4403. Park opposite the PC and chapel. Grid ref: SH875302.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's booklet "Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn". One walk is described as a fascinating walk featuring a Roman fort and historic houses and the other explores both sides of the Dyfrdwy Valley. The optional extension explores the countryside South of Llanuwchllyn, climbing to open moorland around Garth Fawr at a height of 1079'. It returns along the Western side of the Afon Twrch (Cwm Cynllwyd).