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

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Deganwy Castle, The Watchtower and the Great Orme 26th May 2018

The Great Orme from the Coastal Path to Deganwy.
The Watchtower from the North Wales Golf Course.
Deganwy Castle from the North Wales Golf Course.
At the Watchtower..
The unexpected side of the Watchtower.
St. Hiliary's Church at Llanrhos.
St.Mary's Well, Llanrhos.
Approaching Deganwy Castle.
Part of Deganwy Castle.
Looking towards Conwy beyond the replaced wind shelter.
On the Monk's path to the Greart Orme.
The Monk's Path descending to the West Shore, Llandudno,
Trams on the Great Orme.
The Great Orme Cromlech.
Not what you would expect to see in your garden!
The Watchtower and Deganwy Castle from the Invalid's Terrace.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.9 miles. Climb: 1183'.
Time: 5 hours 20 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Ed.
We started the walk along the Coastal Path towards Deganwy in order to explore a footpath that went through the North Wales Golf Course. A well signed footpath, but probably one that we won't use again.
 The second golf course on the route today was the Maesdu Golf Course on the way to the Watchtower situated just above a quarry, and having one half of the tower missing. Distant views from the Watchtower towards the Great Orme were still somewhat hazy.
 The second surprise of the day was St. Mary's Well, now opened up for everyone to see.
 Deganwy Castle was a little disappointing as so little of it remains.
 Once back on the Coastal Path at Deganwy, it was good to see that the wind shelter damaged in storms a few years ago had now been completely rebuilt.
 Lunch was taken near the boating lake at Llandudno West Shore, where we were able to take advantage of one of the many benches available.
 Towards the end of lunch, we experienced a few spots of rain which persisted for about 15 minutes as we traversed the path above Marine Drive.
 after dropping back down to Marine Drive, we decided to ascend the Great Orme using the Monk's Path, the first time that Ed had done so.
 After passing the summit of the Great Orme we descended past the Copper Mines, following the signs for "Town Centre", down many steps until we reached the Invalid's Terrace and back to the West Shore.
 Overall the weather had been good, despite being humid at times. a cooling North easterly wind was expected, we only experience it briefly as we reached the plateau on the Great Orme.
 The North Wales Coast towards Conwy Mountain remained in mist all day, and Puffin Island could only just be seen.
Birds seen or heard today included: Herring gull, Pied wagtail, House martin, Swift, Barn swallow, Common starling, House sparrow, Woodpigeon, Collared dove, Common whitethroat, Goldfinch, Rook, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Willow warbler, Common chaffinch, Great cormorant, Greenfinch and Oystercatcher.
 Spring flowers were in abundance and included: Common rock rose, Tormentil, Red clover, Thyme, Bird's foot trefoil, Bluebell, Harebell and Buttercup.
 Overall an excellent walk, possibly to be repeated next time in a June or July when more butterflies would be on the wing.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Wat's Dyke Way, Brynford and the Greenfield Heritage Park 23rd May 2018

On the path through Coed Llwybr-y-bi - Ramsons everywhere!
Emerging from darkness into to light.
Lime kilns on the South side of Bryn Mawr Quarry.
Lambs on Holywell Common.
Bluebells on Holywell Common.
A Song-thrush on power lines across Holywell Common near Brynford.
At our lunch spot in Brynford.
Looking towards the Dee Estuary as we descended from Brynford towards Holywell.
The fishing pool in the Geenfield Heritage Park.
Bluebells in the Geenfield Heritage Park woods.
Walk stats: Distance: 9.3 miles (9.7  miles). Climb: 1026'.
Time: 5 hours 19 minutes. O the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. (2.5 m.p.h.). Overall walk average: 1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Mike, Paul and Ed the Beagle.

This was a good day for walking, especially in the morning, when it wasn't too hot, but even so we were grateful for stretches when trees and hedges shielded us from the direct Sunshine.
 The path through Coed Llwybr-y-bi was much better than we have experienced in the past, with the muddy section being quite dry. Throughout the wood the dominant flowering plant was the Ramson, and times their pungent smell was in the air.
 Views towards the Dee estuary were good, despite being on the hazy side.
 Lunch was taken at Brynford, where we found several benches near the sculptures showing the mining heritage of the village.
 Arriving back at Holywell, Paul and Ed the Beagle left us and headed back to the start, and we decided s to explore the Greenfield Heritage Park where we knew that much of the walk would be in the shade of the trees lining the old railway track.
 The biggest surprise of the day was finding patches of Bluebells still flowering and their scent reaching our nostrils occasionally.
 Song thrushes not seen as frequently as the used to be, so one perched on a power line within a few feet of us was a bonus.
 In the afternoon, our walk took us through Greenfield Heritage Park, today shared by a local primary school on a sponsored walk to get sufficient funds to buy a defibrillator for the school and needed to raise about £1000.
 As we passed the fishing lake in the Geenfield Heritage Park, we saw lots of small fish near the the east side of the lake, but in addition we saw at least ten very large fish as their fins broke the surface of the water. We could also see their outline just below the surface. We were informed by a local that they were in fact Carp, although some Bream were also present.
 On the way back we did explore one path that we had not used before. It involved quire a steep climb, before descending back to the old railway track. This small diversion enabled us to see several patches of flowering Bluebells, that we didn't know even existed.
 Birds seen or heard today included: House sparrow, Rook, Barn swallow,  Black-billed magpie, European robin, Common blackbird, Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Chiffchaff, Wilow wabler, Common chaffinch. Mallard, Moorhen and Common buzzard.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, where the Lees bitter was in pretty good shape, although perhaps a little on the lively side.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Walks and Dates May 2018

Update 23rd May 2018
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, After the"beast from the East" the Bluebells are blooming a little later than expected but hopefully they will be still in flower.  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.
Cadair Bronwen from Llandrillo. Postponed.
Distance: 10 miles. Climb: 2400'.
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". The walk is described as a walk for experien ced walkers featuring two ancient passes and Cadair Berwyn, the most Northern peak in the Berwyns. The walk follows an ancient track that leads from the Dee Valley to the Ceiriog Valley. When we  followed this track earlier in the month, we heard a Cuckoo Near Pont-yr-hydd. Last time about a mile after crossing Pont-yr-hydd, we headed North towards Cynwyd, but this time we will continue up hill to Pen Bwlch Llandrillo. At this point the route climbs in stages across open moorland to the summit of Cadair Bronwen. The rout the descends to Bwich Maen Gwynedd where the path into the Chlochnant valley is followed back to Llandrillo.
 On a clear day we should get good views acros the Berwyns and towards the Arrenigs.
Alternative Walk
Deganwy Castle and the Great Orme. 
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.
Wednesday 30th May 2018.

Penycloddiau and Moel Arthur.
Distance: 8-9 miles. Climb: 1200'.
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 are superb.

Walks and Dates June 2018

Saturday 2nd June 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 still be flowering
 The walk will be shortened a little to bring it down to about 10 miles.
Wednesday 6th June 2018. 
Brown Moss and Bombers.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: Not a lot.
Start: Brown Moss Nature Reserve Grid ref: SJ563396.
Leave Chester 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from a booklet of walks based on Whitchurch. It is described as having no hills or banks to climb and only a few stiles to climb. However in Summer some fields may have crops in them. The walk goes through Prees Heath a WW1 army base  used for training. Prees Heath was also an airfield and forms part of a butterfly conservation area. Hopefully we will see a few on our walk. The walk also goes through the picturesque hamlet of Ash Parva with its classic duck pond.
 We will probably extend the walk a little by exploring the Nature Reserve.
Saturday 9th June 2018.
Holyhead Breakwater Country Park and South Stack.
Distance:10 miles. Climb:1326'.
Start: Holyhead Breakwater Country Park (Pay and Display). SH225833
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.
This is another walk that has become an annual favourite. Along the coastal section there should be  good chances of seeing Choughs, Guillemots, Razorbills and even Puffins. Bring binoculars if you can. If time and energy reserves allow we may visit the summit of Holyhead Mountain.
As we start at the Country park, we will again do the walk in a clockwise direction,  finishing the  walk along the Coastal Path.
Wednesday 13th June 2018.
Eglwyseg Escarpment and Trevor Rocks.
Distance: 9-10 miles. Climb:1200'. Can be made shorter if need be.
Start: Off road parking on the Panorama road just East of the monument. Grid ref: SJ247426.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This must be one of the best walks in the Llangollen area, especially on a sunny day. a walk that makes you feel like you're  on top of the world with superb views in all directions, including the Dee Valley, Dinas Bran, the Llantysilio Mountains and the Berwyns. This is one of our  favourite walks and is always on the list at least once every year.
Saturday 16th June 2018.
Mynydd Mynyllod.
Distance: 7-8 miles. Climb: 1500'.
Start: Roadside parking in Church Street, Llanderfel. Grid ref: SH981369. If approaching on the B4401 from the West, after turning left by the Memorial, prk on the left just before the start of the houses near an old chapel.
Leave Chester at 08-30 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave Berry's booklet "Walks Around Y Bala and Penllyn". It is a figure of eight walk that rises from the upper Dee Valley to explore delightful hidden upland pastures. MynyddMynllod is a moorland area to the North east of Llanderfel and reaches to a height of just under 1200'.
Wednesday 20th June 2018.
A Clwydian Trio.
Distance: 9 miles; Climb:1900' '.
Start: Pentre-celyn car park . Grid ref: SJ150534.
The car parking area is on the left adjacent to the sign for Pentre-celyn, just off the B5429.
Leave Chester 9-00 a.m.
This is another walk by Debbie Hamilton and is taken from the "Walking" magazine. This walk includes the section of Offa's Dyke Path goes near Moel y Plas, Moel Gyw, Moel Llanfair and Boncyn y Waen-grogen. Her walk starts from Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, but we will start at Pentre Celyn about half a mile beyond Graigfechan.
Saturday 23rd June 2018.
St. Celynnin's Church and Tal y Fan.
Distance:7-8 miles. Climb: 2600'.
Start: Roadside parking in Rowen, on the right by houses just after passing the Post Office. Grid ref:SH761719.
Leave Chester 8-30 a.m.

This walk is taken from Dave Berry's book "Walks Around Betws-y-coed and the Conwy Valley". This walk is described as exploring the scenic upland pastures, full of antiquity, featuring a remote ancient church, Maen Penddu (standing stone), a burial chamber and Cae Bach (hill fort). Visiting Cae Bach may involve a there and back extension! Although this walk is shorter than our usual walks, Dave Berry does suggest that we should allow at least 5 hours and is for experienced walkers only!
Wednesday 27th June 2018.
Chirk - Offa's dyke, A Canal Tunnel and maybe a Castle.
9.0 miles. Climb: 800'.
Start: Chirk Centre Car Park. Grid ref: SJ291377.
Leave Chester at 09-00 a.m.
This walk is taken from Dave berry's booklet " Walks Around the Berwyns and The Ceiriog Valley". It is described as a walk of great variety and explores the attractive undulating countryside around Chirk. At times it follows the Offa's SDyke Footpath. Part of the route follows the Llangollen canal towpath and includes going through a short tunnel. You may wish to bring a torch, but there is a handrail to guide you. This will be the first time that we have started a walk from Chirk.
Saturday 30th June 2018.
Moel y Garneddd.
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.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

A Bluebell Wood Walk Around Parbold 19th May 2018

Bluebells in the hedgerow early in the walk.
An early encounter, but wasn't hanging around to have a photo taken. 
One of two Brown hares seen on the edge of a wood North of Parbold Hill.
A Celtic cross memorial in a hamlet North west of Prior's Wood Farm.
Wild Ramsons, a flower in abundance today.
Sensible lambs.
Ramsons along the paths in the Fairy Glen.
The waterfall in the fairy Glen.
Bluebells in the Fairty Glen, Parbold.
A bank of Bluebells in the Fairty Glen, Parbold.
Bluebells in a wood North of Sparrow Hill.
Walk stats: distance: 10.1 miles. Climb: 850'..Time: 5 hours 0 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.5 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 2.0 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Elaine and John.
This was a good day for a walk, especially when trying to avoid all of the hysteria concerning other events taking elsewhere.
 The weather was bright and sunny with very little breeze, a little more would have been welcome as temperatures rose. the temperature must have risen above 20 Celsius at times.
 As a "Bluebell Wood Walk", the morning was a little disappointing with most of the Bluebells seen being well past their best.
 However the morning highlight was seen two Brown hares  as we descended towards Parbold Hill. One came within about 20 metres of us, but didn't stay still long enough to have its photo taken.
 Lunch was taken near the locks North west of Appley Bridge, where we took advantage of a bench. several ducks and one or two passing dogs showed great interest in what we were having for lunch, but only Elaine was willing enough to share some of her lunch with the ducks.
 as we walked along the towpath of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal we saw one female Mallard with at least 11 ducklings, but they weren't easy to count as they seemed were quite scattered, but still within about 10 metres of their parent.
 Bluebells were a little better in the afternoon, with good banks of them seen in the Fairy Glen and a wood North of Sparrow Hill.
 Distant view were very hazy, although we could just about see the mast on Winter Hill at one point and Blackpool Tower at another point.
 Birds seen or head today included: Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Song thrush, Mallard, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Common blackbird, Black-headed gull, Rook, Woodpigeon, Common starling, Wood nuthatch, Blackcap, European robin, Grey wagtail and Common pheasant.
 Although the Bluebells weren't at their best there were plenty of flowers blooming including: Greater stitchwort, Buttercups, Ramson, red clover, Herb robert, Red campion, Blackthorn and Hawthorn.
 We arrived back at the cars having had a good pleasant walk despite the Bluebells not being at their best, with the added bonus that our boots were still clean, the absence of rain over the last week meant that the usual muddy sections had mud that was baked hard, making our progress much easier.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed with a cup of tea when we got home, Elaine and John about 15-30 and me about an hour later.
 Overall a good walk to be repeated, but nearer the beginning of May to catch the Bluebells at their best.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

A Bluebell Wood Walk from Whitford 16th May 2018

On track passed Pentre-ffynnnon Farm.
Bluebell in Ffriddoedd wood.
Not the shape of tree that you usually find in a wood (Coed y Garreg).
Bluebells in Coed y Garreg.
Bluebells in Glol wood.
Our lunch spot in Llyn-Helyg Wood.
Cowslips near Cynlas.
A view of Crown Wood that we may never see again!
Ramsons were in flower too.
An orchid in flower on the track from Lloc.
Walk stats: distance: 9.4 miles. Climb: 592'.
Time: 5 hours 32 minutes. On the move walking average; 2.2 m.p.h (2.6 m.p.h. on my newest GPS). Overall walk average:1.7 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn, Roger, Ed, Fran, Mike and David S.
Just after setting off it started to rain and we all ended up putting our waterproofs on, but within half an hour they could be returned to our rucksacks. Overall it was a pleasant day for walking, hardly any wind and certainly not the cold one we were expecting from the North east.
 Bluebells were the main objective for the day, and we weren't disappointed. The extra week and the rain overnight had brought them on well, and the Bluebells on the West side of Coed y Garreg and the East side of Glol were superb. In Coed y Garreg we could smell them too.
 Lunch was taken in Llyn-Helyg Wood, where we made use of a fallen tree trunk, but alas we didn't have a view to speak of.
 After lunch the circuit of Llyn-Helyg Wood, proved a little more challenging than we have experienced in the past as drainage ditches had been put in across the track we were using. In future I think this circuit will be missed out.
 Our main challenge of the day came after taking the path from Ffriddion Farm towards Crown Wood. We had great difficulty crossing a stream and then finding the path through the wood along the path on the West of Rhydwen Farm. Even getting out of the field onto the track from Ffordd Las was only possible after Mike had cleared a way over the stile with a pair of secateurs.
 Everything was plain sailing from now on as we headed through Coed Pen-y-Gelli to Lloc and back to Whitford.
 We arrived back at the cars with tired legs, but having had a good walk with lots of Bluebells and other Spring flowers to appreciate as well.
 Birds seen or heard today included: Barn swallow, Mallard, Shelduck, Mute swan, Tufted duck, House sparrow, Common buzzard, European robin, Canada goose, Common blackbird, Common pheasant, Common chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Carrion crow, Raven and Rook.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Britannia Inn at Halkyn, even though the Lees Bitter wasn't quite up to its usual excellent standard.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Pont Rhyd-yr-hydd12th May 2018

Looking North from the track leading to Pont Rhyd-yr-hydd.
The track leading to Pont Rhyd-yr-hydd -  new route for us.
New growth.
Pont Rhyd-yr-hydd ahead.
At Pont Rhyd-yr-hydd.
A small waterfall South of Pont Rhyd-yr-hydd.
The Arrenigs from the track South of Cefn y Ffridd.
The view from my lunch spot by Nant Gwyn at Cefn y Ffridd.
Distant views of the Arrenigs.
BluebellsEast of Cwm-isaf.
Very young carves in a field North of Llandrillo.
Walk stats: Distance: 10.5 miles. Climb: 1240'.
Time: 5 hours 47 minutes. On the move walking average: 2.3 m.p.h. Overall walk average: 1.8 m.p.h.
Group: Martyn and Mike.
This turned out to be a glorious day for walking, warm and sunny and occasionally a pleasant breeze to cool us. No rain and the feel like temperatures of 5 Celsius never materialised. In fact for walking the weather conditions were just about perfect.
 Distant views were good, especially after lunch when the Arrenigs came into view.
 We were luck enough to hear a Cuckoo calling, but the most unexpected bird seen today was two Mandarin ducks. Other birds seen or heard today included: Pied wagtail, House martin, Barn swallow, Willow warbler, Chiffchaff, Common buzzard, Common pheasant, Common blackbird, Great tit, Blue tit, Goldfinch, Eurasian curlew, Meadow pipit, Winter wren, Carrion crow, Rook, Raven, European robin, Mallard, Collared dove and Woodpigeon.
 Much of the walk today was new to us, so had plenty of added interest. The only down side was the fact that the tracks were used by off road vehicles.
 Lunch was taken by Nant Gwyn where plenty of stones provided good places to sit, enjoying views of the Arrenigs at the same time.
 Spring flowers were plentiful, particularly along the verges as we descended past to the valley past Cwm-uchaf. These included: Bluebells, Primrose, Stitchwort and Common dog violet.
 As expected the only difficulty we had in terms of route finding was going through  the caravan site at Hendwr.
 We had to go through a field that had several cows with quite small calves. It was obvious that they didn't approve of our presence, but stopped coming towards us as we gave them a wide berth.
 Overall a very good walk, capped by hearing the Cuckoo.
 After walk drinks were enjoyed at the Bridge Inn at Pontybodkin where one of Purple Moose's brews went down well.