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 2016:- 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.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Walks and Dates December 2016

Thursday 1st December 2016.
The Trent and Mersey Canal, Great Budworth and More.
Start: Marbury Country Park car Park (Pay and Display £2-50 last time). Grid ref: SJ652763.
Distance: 7-10 miles. Climb: 1000'.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
The main 7 mile walk is taken from the "Pathfinders Guide to Cheshire". This is described as a varied walk with plenty of historic interest, including the Anderton Boat Lift.. The extra mileage will be made by exploring the Anderton Nature Park, Marshall's Wood, Carey Park, Ashton's Flash and Neumann's Flash.  Bring binoculars with you if you can.
Saturday 3rd December 2016.
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.
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.
Thursday 8th December 2016.
Cwm Conwy, Moel Y Gaer and Moel y Crio.
Distance:10 miles. Climb: 1200'.
Start: Rhosesmor. Parking area next to the children's play area. Grid ref:SJ214684.
Leave Chester at 9-00 a.m.This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain".  The Cwm Conwy walk is one of my favourite walks in the Halkyn area at any time of the year. The Moel-y-Crio will use only part of second walk, so we will have to take care that we are vigilant after going through Moel-y-Crio, otherwise we will be extending the walk more than we want to!
Saturday 10th December 2016.
Clip-y-Orsedd, The Druid Circle.
Distance: 9 miles. Climb:2400'.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
An early start as some of the group need to be back in Chester around 17-30.
Start: Car park behind the bank in Llanfairfechan. Turn right of Village Road. Grid ref:SH682747.
his walk uses two walks Dave Berry's book "Walks on the North Wales Coast." These two walks combine to make one of my favourite walks in this area as they explore the hills behind  Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr. We will visit the impressive Druids' Stone Circle, but on this occasion we will miss out Foel Lus.  On a good day we should get good views, especially towards the coast and Tal y Fan. As we need to be back in Chester early, we will only extend the walk as far as the Druids Circle.
Thursday 15th December 2016.
Marion Frith, Moel Hiraddug, Cwm and Coed Yr Esgob.
Distance:10.4 miles; Climb:1600'.
Start:Car Park at the Western edge of Dyserth on the A5151. Grid ref: SJ062793.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
It's over a year since we last did these two walks together. Both walks are taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks on the Clwydian Hills - New revised edition". He describes the first walk as delightful and the second one as providing a fascinating exploration of the low hills North of Dyserth.
Saturday 17th December 2016,
A Plumley Rail Trail.
Distance: 6-8 miles. Climb: 225' (excluding stiles!)
Start: Plumley Railway Station Moor Road Car Park. Grid ref: SJ721753.
Leave Chester: 09-00.
This is a walk produced by East Cheshire and is one suggested as a suitable Winter walk by David S for our Thursday group. Not knowing the area at all, I thought that I would explore the  area on a Saturday when I know we will only need to consider parking for one car.
The walk is described as exploring the beautiful countryside around Plumley, taking you through magnificent scenery from streams to farmland through woodland and leafy lanes. We will probably explore Plumley Lime Beds Nature Reserve. At this time of the year some sections across farmland are likely to be muddy.
Thursday 22nd December 2016.
Halkyn, Limestone, Lead and Moel Ffagnallt.
Distance:10 miles; Climb:1000'.
Start: Common Land opposite the Blue Bell Inn, Halkyn. Grid ref: SJ209702. 
Leave Chester at 09-00.
We haven't started a walk from this location for quite some time. I thought that as this is the last walk before Christmas that it was a good time to do so. It combines two walks from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". This walk combines two of my favourite walks in this fascinating area on our local patch and is our annual treat just before Christmas.
Saturday 24th December 2016.
No walk as I anticipate that most of the group will be busy getting things ready for Christmas.
However, if you are already organised and fancy a walk to relieve the boredom give me a call.

Marbury Country Park and Pick Mere 1st December 2016

Budworth Mere viewed from its Northern side.
The St Mary's and All Saints Church at Great Budworth and the stocks for sinners!
This is our lunch spot - on shore by a gull roost!
Looking over Pick Mere towards Great Budworth from our lunch spot.
One of the seven juvenile Mute swans on Pick Mere.
One of the adult Mute swans on Pick Mere.
On the towpath through the scenic part of Wincham!
Looking across Budworth Mere towards Great Budworth from the Southern side of the mere.

What can possibly be making this stick move in the still quiet waters of Budworth Mere?
Ignore any commentary by ?
Walk stats: Distance: 7.8 miles. Climb: 290'.
Time: 4 hours 19 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, David S and Paul.
This was the first of our Winter walks as today was the official start of meteorological winter. Taking that in to account this was a really good day for walking, quite crisp underfoot and pleasantly warm whenever we were in the sunshine. Budworth Mere had a thin layer of ice in places and in the morning very few birds were on the lake.
 The field on the North side of the mere had large numbers of Eurasian Curlew, more than we saw on our previous visit.
  Great Budworth village is a delightful picturesque village, although we only saw the parts West of St Mary's and All Saints Church and on along School Lane.
The section through the fields to Pick Mere is usually very muddy, but thankfully today the ground was still frozen, so cleaning boots when we got home didn't take long, a quick wipe on the uppers was all that was needed!
 Lunch was taken near the landing stage on Pick Mere, which at that time was bathed in warm sunshine. This was a delightful spot for lunch with superb views across the Mere towards Great Budworth and lots of birds on the mere to entertain us as we had our lunch.
 The section of the canal path from Wincham to the Lion Salt Works isn't one that stands out in your memory, but it does make you realise how important industry was in days gone by.
 Rather than visit the Anderton Boat Lift today, we explored Marbury Country Park by taking the path through Black Wood and Big Wood to join the path on the Southern side of the Mere. There were lots more birds on the mere at this stage.
 Just before the boat house our attention was drawn to first a submerged branch of a tree moving about and the just a few minutes later a post about 15' into the mere started to do the same. We watched it for several minutes hoping that we would see the perpetrator of the moving post. Unfortunately the identity of the "Marbury Monster" remains a a mystery. We would welcome any sensible suggestions or explanations for the moving post/stick.
 Birds seen or heard today include: European robin, Blue tit, Great tit, Wood nuthatch, Black-headed gull, Herring gull, Great crested grebe, Tufted duck, Mallard, Eurasian curlew, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Common blackbird, Great cormorant, Mute swan, Wigeon, Coot, Moorhen and Lapwing.
 After walk drinks enjoyed today were locally brewed  Weetwood's Eastgate and Cheshire Cat as we sat in the pleasant and warm Farmers Arms at Kelsall.
 Overall a really good walk, just about the right length for this time of the year.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

A Ceiriog Trail From Pontricket 26th November 2016

Photo times are still on BST.
An old mill next to the Afon Ceiriog, West of Pont -y-Meibion.
Blue skies starting to appear out of the mist.
Doing what it says on the seat - "Lift up thine eyes to the hills".
Snoe on the hills on the North side of the Ceiriog Valley.
The view from our lunch spot on the Ceiriog TrailNorth east of Pen-y-gwely Reservoir.
Looking South east towards the Pen-y-gwely Reservoir.
Looking into the valley as the starts to set.
The same view without trees.
The Sun's rays showing some of the cobwebs in the fiels.
The path heading down the valley to Siambr-gerrig and onto Pontricket.
Emerging from the ford.
Autumnal colours East of Pontricket.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 1029'.
Time; 5 hours 39 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.5 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
We set off from the car with a cloak of mist in the valley and stretching up to the tops of the hills on each side of the valley, but we were optimistic that it would clear by the time we to the moorland around Pen y Gwely.
 It did indeed do just that and within 15 minutes of feeling the warm sunshine we were shedding fleeces and the views were superb. Views of hill tops decked in snow below blue skies what more could you want when out on an Autumn walk.
 The only problem we encountered was off road motor bikes with their high pitched engines speeding around a course set up South of Llechrydau. At least our quite solitude was restored once we had gone past them.
 Lunch was taken using convenient stones next to the trail that gave us superb views over the valley to the snow covered tops beyond. However we were not alone at our lunch spot, as Mike soon found out when he noticed lots of spiders crawling over him, at one point starting to make a web across his boots.
 Much later on we in fact we went across a field that seemed to be covered in cobwebs, only seen when the sun's light shone on them at a particular angle.
 As we approached Siambr-gerrig, we saw our bird of the day, a Woodcock flew towards us coming within a few feet before disappearing.
 Overall this was a really good walk and the Siambr-gerrig path is one we will use again to avoid the alternative track that we have used in the past.
 Towards the end of the walk as the Sun was starting to go down, we had superb views with unusual lighting. 
 Birds seen or heard today included: Common blackbird, Moorhen, Raven, Carrion crow, Common buzzard, Common pheasant, Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Meadow pipit, Stonechat and Woodcock.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at Pant-yr-Ochain at Gresford where Castle Rock's stout went down well.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Moel Findeg, Deborah's Well and More 24th November 2016

First view of Moel Famau.
Ceramic art seen on the way to Cholomendy.
The Clwydian Hills seen from Cholomendy.
A Welsh mountain pony trying to hide in Coed y Fedw.
Another Welsh mountain pony, but one that is a little less shy!
An unusual road sign on the outskirts of Maeshafn.
Looking back towards our lunch spot.
Strolling through Tir-y-coed after lunch.
It's always good to see a new stile!
The monkey face of Moel Findeg.
Panorama from Moel Findeg.
Moel Famau from Moel Findeg.
Walk stats: Distance: 8.2 miles. Climb: 1012'.
Time: 5 hours 4 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.1 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.6 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Celia and Phil.
This was a lovely Autumn day for walking, bright warm sunshine, hardly any wind and just about cold enough to justify keeping fleeces on. The only problem we had today was the fact that the Sun was so low in the sky, much of the morning we were regretting not having a baseball cap with a large peak to shade our eyes from the glare of the Sun! Wearing sunglasses later on helped a little.
 As is our want of late we explored a different path through Coed y Fedw on the way from Cholomendy to Maeshafn, giving us the opportunity to spot a few of the recently introduced Welsh mountain ponies. I wonder if they are appreciating the less harsh environment of the Clwydian Hills, having been relocated from Snowdonia.
 Lunch was taken by the lake in Tir-y-coed, where six convenient tree stumps provided suitable seats and side tables for each one of us.
 As the title of the walk included "Moel Findeg", we decided that we must make the effort to climb to its summit to admire the views in all directions. We were glad to see that we appeared to be having better weather than anyone walking on the Sandstone ridges of Cheshire.
 As we were parked in Cadole we kept to the path on the edge of the wood that went directly from Deborah's Well to Cadole.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Wood nuthatch, European robin, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Common blackbird, Woodpigeon, Canada goose, Common buzzard, Black-billed magpie, Common pheasant and Fieldfare.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Glasfryn, Mold, where I was able to pick up a walk description that we will probably use before the meal on the day of our annual meal together.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Walk and Dates November 2016

Updated 16th November 2016.
Ed contacted me earlier today informing me that the High Street in Llanfairfechan will be closed all day on the 19th, so I have brought the Prestbury walk forward to the 19th and moved the Clip y-Orsedd walk to the 10th December 2016. 
Thursday 3rd November 2016.
Big Covert and Bryn Alyn.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 1900'.
Start: Layby on the A494 Mold to Ruthin Road, about 1/2 mile South of Llanferres. Grid ref: SJ187597.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk uses two walks from Dave Berry's book More Walks in the Clwydian Hill".  We have combined these walks on several occasions before and the section over Bryn Alyn is always good. However this time our route will only use part of one walk and will take us on both sides of Big Covert, one path quite close to Burley Hill Quarry.
It will also give us another opportunity to test our route finding skills through Nercwys Forest, although last year we did get right!
Saturday 5th November 2016.
Hidden Gwertherin.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb:1500'.
Start: Lay-by on the B5384, West of Pandy Tudor. Grid ref: SH855641.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from an old Walking Magazine.  It describes Gwytherin as a compact village tucked into a fold of the hills to the East of the Conwy Valley, in an area that is not as rugged as Snowdonia, but it gives a feeling of space that is not found in the higher mountains. The western horizon is dominated by the high peaks of Snowdonia.
Thursday 10th November 2016.
Pen-y-Ball, Pantasaph and the Gorsedd Round.
Distance:10-11 miles,. Climb:1000’.
Start: Roadside parking at Lloc. Turn left by the public house if approaching from Holywell on the A5026 on right if approaching on the A5026 from its nearest junction with the A55. Grid ref:SJ145765.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk combines two walks from Dave Berry's book " Walks Around Holywell and Halkyn Mountain". we have done both walks many times before, but not often together. One walk explore the area between Holywell and Pantasaph, including the grounds of the friary. The other walk explores the attractive undulating countryside North of Gorsedd and Carmel.
 Although this walk can be upto 11 miles, we usually take a few short cuts to make the walk under ten miles.
Saturday 12th November 2016.
Jumbles, Wayoh, Turton and Entwistle Reservoirs. 
Postponed - weather forecast suggests it would be very wet and misty.
Distance:10-11 miles. Climb:1200'.
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!
Thursday 17th November 2016.
A Ceiriog Trail East of Pontricket.
Distance: 8.5 miles. Climb: 1700'.
Start: The Pontricket Layby on the B4500 , about 3 miles South of Glyn Ceiriog. Grid ref: SJ186343.
Leave Chester at 09-00.
This is a variation of the walk we did in September, but includes much more of the Llwybr Ceiriog Trail and visits the Pen-y-Gwely Reservoir. We may also be able to explore paths that avoid having to descend the steep unpleasant bridleway from Cefn-y-braich-uchaf with its concrete enclosed drainage pipes.
Saturday 19th November 2016.
Prestbury, Mottram and Whitley Green.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 500'.
Start: Springfields Car Park behind the Admiral Rodney, Prestbury. Grid ref: SJ902773.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This involves two walks from Graham Beech's book "East Cheshire Walks" and isa figure of eight walk around Prestbury. The walk includes sections along the River Bollin and gentle hills with good views. . The walk is described as easy/moderate and will probably include a slight detour to visit the restored Mottram Cross. These are two new walks for me, an added bonus.
Thursday 24th November 2014.
Moel Findeg, Deborah's Well, Bryn Alyn and Nercwys Mountain (A Tale of Two Mountains).
Distance:11 miles. Climb: 1800'.
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 left. There is also a layby 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 26th November 2016.
Beaumaris and Penmon. Postponed.
This walk will be replaced by the Ceiriog Valley walk described on the 17th November 2016. 
See above for details.
Distance:13 miles. Climb: 1300'.
Start: The car park on the left just past Beaumaris Castle. Grid ref: SH609762.
Leave Chester 8-00 a.m.
This walk combines one walk from Carl Roger's book "Coastal Walks Around Anglesey - Volume 1" with a walk from his book "Coastal Walks Around Anglesey - Volume 2" .  These are walks that we have enjoyed doing in the past.  High tide is at 08-30 and is only 27.5', so hopefully it will be possible to walk along the beach for the first part of the walk.  This is a good and varied walk, passing Penmon Priory and the site of Castell Aberlleiniog. Although it is nominally 13.0 miles, I'm sure a few short cuts will be made to reduce the challenge to under 10 miles!

A Prestbury to Mottram Round 19th November 2016

Not a lot of river management on this section of the Bollin.
One of the many potential ox-bow lakes in the making.
Autumnal colours.
Autumnal colors under a blue sky on the way to the Top o' th' Hill.
Views towards the hills South East of Bollington.
A section of a flock of over 200 starlings foraging on a field South of Mottram ridge.
Looking South east from Mottram Bridge.
Looking towards the East from Legh Hall.
Snow in the Peak District.
In search of a Saxon Cross in the grounds of the St. Peter's Church, Prestbury.
Walks stats; Distance: 9.0 miles. Climb: 427'.
Time: 5 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group; Martyn and Mike.
This was a bright sunny day on the cool side at times but on occasions requiring fleeces to be carried in our rucksacks!
 As expected there were plenty of muddy sections to negotiate, especially on the path South of Woodside Farm on the way to Legh Hall.
 This walk certainly lets you know that many of the residents of this part of East Cheshire don't need to worry about where their next meal is coming from!
 Route finding at times as quite challenging, especially on sections across Mottram Hall Golf Course, where a few more signs would have been helpful, but at least on this occasion we didn't have to retrace our steps.
 Lunch was taken when we found two fallen tree trunks  by the path with views across the golf course.
 After arriving back at Prestbury, we decided to visit the local church to try to find the Saxon cross, but unfortunately it in a building that was not today open to the public.
Birds seen or heard today included: Wood nuthatch, Mallard, Carrion crow, Rook, Jackdaw, Woodpigeon, Fieldfare, Redwing, Mistle thrush, Common blackbird, Blue tit, Great tit and Common buzzard.
 Overall an enjoyable day.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Farmer's Arms at Kelsall, where locally produced, Weetwood's Cheshire Cat went down well and the new innkeepers had ensure that there was a pleasantly warm environment.!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Gorsedd, Pen y Ball Hill and More 10th November 2016

Moel Famau and the Clwydian Hills from Pant Asaph.
The entrance to the Franciscan Friary, cafe and Peace Centre (something the whole world needs at the moment - not just Pantasaph..
Inside the church at Pantasaph.
Inside the church at Pantasaph.
The bronze statue of padre Pio in the church at Pantasaph.
On the path on the South side of the quarry - new to us.
Common kestrel sunbathing in the quarry West of Pen y Ball Hill.
Looking across the Dee Eastuary from Pen y ball Hill trig point.
"I dobn't care how they made trig points!"
A nice spot for lunch, but it's starting to rain.
Still raing, but promises of better weather to come.
On a delightful path through the Western section of Coed Allt-y-tywood.
Belted Galloway cow, bringing back memories of Gordon, a Scot that was a member of the walking group for many years.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.3 miles. Climb: 1313'.
Time: 5 hours 21 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.2 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Sue and Michel, Phil and David. S.
We arrived at the start with evidence of hail still on the ground, and wondering whether full waterproof should be put on at the start. We did get a few showers, but none lasted more than ten minutes or so and the strong cold winds forecast never materialised.
 The walk in the morning went well, covering the Gorsedd - Pantasph walk in an anticlockwise direction for a change. We even explored a few new paths and visited the church in the grounds of the Franciscan friary. 
 Approaching The Grange, Michel, Sue and David spotted a Woodcock, making me a little envious that I had missed out!
 Lunch was taken at Carmel, where a bench provided appropriate seating arrangements for three of us and roadside posts at a suitable height made good perches for the rest of us,
 The afternoon provided us with more of a challenge, first with Phil taking twenty minutes or so with secateurs to enable us to get to a stile and make further progress, and then later a path through the Pennant Park Golf Course ended with the access to the fisheries being blocked by a six foot high fence, discovered by Michel after he had battled his way through gorse to reach it.
 We ended up retracing our steps through the golf course and taking an alternative route to pick up the path we wanted that would lead us through the Western side of  Coed Allt-y-tywood and back to our cars in the lane next to former inn, The Rock at Lloc, arriving back in glorious warm sunshine.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Goldfinch, House sparrow, Pied wagtail, Black-billed magpie, Rook, Carrion crow, Jackdaw, Common blackbird, Common kestrel, Common buzzard, Woodcock, Common snipe, Woodpigeon and mallard.
 After walk drinks weer enjoyed at the Blue Bell Inn at Halkyn, where Blue Bell Bitter and Green Valley cider went down well and the real roaring fire was appreciated almost as much as the refreshments!
 Overall a good walk that needs a little tweaking around the golf course!