Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Sunday, 28 November 2021

A Weekend in Timperley

Plans for this weekend were baulked by Covid and weather. We were due to run the Wythenshawe parkrun with grandson Jacob but for several reasons that didn't happen, and he missed both Wythenshawe and Burnley, where only 123 people turned up due to snowy weather.

It was Wythenshawe's 450th parkrun, and Richard Evans' first outing as Run Director. After discussion with my physio I'd planned a 30 minute run as part of my foot recuperation. That meant I was able to enjoy a good chat with Martha until near the end, when I needed to speed up to meet the planned objective. Magic! My time was exactly 30 minutes!

Mark Hunter took the photo at the finish (above) and as I forgot to take any more pictures here's one of Jackie Cordingley's - Laura, Franki, Rufus and a friend. 

Full results are here.

Meanwhile, up in Bacup, whilst they missed the Burnley parkrun due to the snowy weather, Kate, Jess and Jacob did enjoy a bit of sledging.

We were supposed to be out with Mike and Sarah last night (we had to cancel the White Swan in Fence), but at least they could join us, together with Isabella, for Sunday lunch. Here, we are waiting for the gravy before dishing up.

Later, after a cancelled rendezvous with Julia and Megan due to the trams not running, Sue and I got a bit of fresh air by walking our (not)parkrun route (number 490 for me) in lightly snowy conditions. As always, De Quincey Park proved to be photogenic.

As we strolled along the canal towpath it was something of a surprise to see mallards mating, even though the snow was accumulating on their backs.

And that's it for now, all calm as the world worries about a new Covid variant that may cause havoc.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Friday 26 November 2021 - Around Helsby Hill

Graeme, JJ and Judith joined me on an overcast day (much better than the expected rain) for a walk described in Jen Darling's 'More Pub Walks' book. Jen's route used to start, in the original 2000 edition, from Netherton Hall, but I believe it has been updated to start from Beacon Hill. Unsure about parking at Netherton Hall, I had already planned to start from the Sandstone Trail car park at Beacon Hill, from near where the above photo was taken as we made our way along a field path between winter greens, to briefly join Manley Road. 

We soon reached the Sandstone Trail marked path at Snidley Moor Wood, where the last signs of autumn are evidenced by deep beech leaf litter.

Burrows Lane was soon reached, completely blocked for traffic by a large pile of branches. The residents of Alderhall, pictured in the distance below, must have to gain access by a road from Commonside, to the south.

Here's a picture taken from the same spot, on a path that leads towards Helsby.

At the edge of a wood with marked paths, a convenient picnic bench enabled us all to enjoy the contents of our flasks and refuel on the shortbread and scones brought by me and JJ. All gone by the time I got the camera out.

Dog walkers were parking nearby, so whilst Jen's description follows the road, we chose to wander as they were, through the wood, passing a disused quarry, and rejoining the road a bit further on, near the signed path to Helsby Hill.

The path goes past a farm with a large pond inhabited by a flock of Shelduck, before heading on to the trig point at the 141 metre summit.

There are fine views from the summit, across the bay to Liverpool and Lancashire, and in the other direction to Beeston and Peckforton, where it was showery today.

A good path led down through woodland to a stile that marks the end of some National Trust land. The stile is notable for the electric lazer-fence that catches the unwary (lazy) folk who try to by-pass the stile. It's just a sharp nip, not fatal to either JJ or Graeme, but Judith and I took no risks...

After a brief navigational faux pas (we should have turned sharp left at the stile) we walked into, then out of Helsby, heading east towards Beacon Hill, with pleasant views in the unexpectedly fine weather.

The North Cheshire Way provided a good path along the western border of the woodland below Woodhouse Hill.

A weathered set of steps leads up to Carriage Drive, where we turned left and headed down to Netherton Hall, from where Jen's route starts.

If starting from the pub - on the main A56 road south of Frodsham - it would be courteous to seek permission to park. Jen's 2000 dated guidebook describes appetizing meals and snacks. We didn't take the opportunity to provide an update on this, but the pub was busy.

Turning back up Carriage Drive, we regained the Sandstone Trail and turned sharply left up some steep steps to reach Frodsham Golf Course.

The path across the golf course is poorly marked, resulting in our following the perimeter rather than the designated path. You can see that near the car in the image below that records our 11km route with 350 metres ascent. It took us a leisurely three and a half hours.

Thanks for your company, everyone; there should be another outing next Friday (3 December). Let me know if you'd like details and are not on my circulation list.

I'll insert links to JJ and Judith's reports when they are published.

A visit to Wilkinsons in Warrington (very busy) confirmed that my damaged Canon G16 camera is not worth repairing. Scrap, unless anyone would like to have a go at mending it...

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Porthmadog Index updated

There's no separate entry for today, just this note that I've updated the index for this year's trips to Porthmadog - here. Lots to go at for anyone lucky enough to be visiting this area.

You can also click on the labels on the right hand side of the blog for any other Porthmadog trip reports.

I now have to go through and index the 400 images from last week, but a couple of 'winter' trips are needed before I produce a Photobook of 'A Year in Porthmadog'. That should be fun!

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

A Different Part of Wales

Back in 2006 a few of us enjoyed a hot walk along the Pembroke coastal path. I recall an excellent trip. Here are just a couple of photos taken on 8 June 2006, included here by way of 'random pictures from the hard drive'.

Happy Days...

Monday, 22 November 2021

Back in Timperley

Our weather in Wales was fine, but with limited sunshine. Yesterday it dawned sunny in Timperley, and remained so all day. We could have done with that last week.

I nipped out on the bike and took the above picture near Seamons Moss Bridge.

Then Mike, Sarah and Isabella had invited us for an excellent lunch, prior to which the one year old treated us to her impersonation of 'Izee, the beautiful spy'.

"I want my dinner!"

"That'll do!" 

Now we know why her cheeks are so rosy...?

Meanwhile, Millie studiously avoids her basket. It's interesting to see her treating Isabella with a soft touch (usually) that if it was an adult bothering her would be a scratch.

Today was another 'blue sky' day in Timperley. After lots of house admin etc I managed to get out and complete 5km in 32 minutes without feeling I was overstretching my heel injury. It's slowly getting better, but will be offered a quiet day tomorrow. 

Here's the canal in Timperley near the end of my jogging route, with dusk approaching.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

Saturday 20 November 2021 - A Birthday, a parkrun, and Christmas in Hinckley

After being treated to breakfast in bed by the two Js, Kate realised she had woken to the aura of a Special Day.

A rather large cake later confirmed the fact.

Happy Birthday, Kate, we look forward to a celebratory meal next week.

A bit later, it was parkrun time. Jacob ran another good time in Burnley, whilst a bit further south in Litchfield, Sue and I met up with Mick and Gayle at Beacon Park.

It was a scenic two laps in the city park on a good surface. Here are the volunteer scanners near the finish.

The park is full of interest!

Here's Gayle at the finish. She's ankle injured from a recent pothole incident on a flooded path, so is walking parkruns in about 40 minutes just now. I walked with her for the first lap then tried running the second lap. My poorly heel/foot just about stood up to that and I finished in under 34 minutes. Excellent.

Meanwhile, Sue and Mick had chatted their way round in under 27 minutes. An easy jog for them.

After tea/coffee in Erica (M&G's smaller campervan), Sue and I made our way to Sue's family's pre-Christmas party. It was very jolly and we came away with some lovely presents. Unluckily for others, we haven't yet turned our minds to Christmas in any way other than this. It seems to be creeping up on us.

Friday, 19 November 2021

Friday 19 November 2021 - Pont Gethin

Today's walk, after cleaning the house and enjoying a coffee with Dave, was a short outing on the way home. Starting at Plas Penaeldroch Manor, near Dolwyddelan, we noted that the café is still shut. The owner told us that it was unlikely to reopen any time soon due to Covid regulations and staffing issues. But the B&B has seen good business this year and he has no objection to walkers parking at the Manor. It would be courteous to ask permission. We had already parked in a small lay-by nearby.

The walk continued past Lledr Hall, a fine looking building now used as an outdoor centre by Salford Council. Trees obscured my attempts at a photo.

Beyond this, our route followed that of Afon Lledr, passing a railway bridge before hugging as close to the river, which proceeded through a narrow gorge, as practicable. 

Our path was through soggy leaf litter, but those attempting the path on the left bank of the river would be less comfortable. I wouldn't recommend the 'path' shown below - it soon deteriorates into a steep metal ladder with very few rungs.

Emerging at a campsite, we were accosted by a chap who wanted to know whether it was possible to walk from here to Betws-y-Coed. It is. "I have a map", he told us. We adjourned for lunch by the river.

After lunch we continued to a tunnel under the railway. Here is Pont Gethin, built in 1875, the bridge that takes the railway over the Lledr river. I failed to take a good picture on the overcast day, but we have managed a full week's walking without having had to call on our waterproofs!

Sue spotted a badger, but like me was too tardy with her camera.

The path then rose a bit, and looped around to follow the railway before rejoining our outward route and returning past Lledr Hall and the Manor. 

Here's our route - 6.5km, 150 metres of ascent, taking 2 hours. A good way to finish this trip. We were at home in Timperley by 4pm.