High Lane Logo Walking Away 2012
The Friday 'Walk'
The Saturday Walk
The Sunday Walk
Click for Walking Group in 2012

Clwydian Hills, North Wales, 6th – 8th July
It was raining heavily when we arrived, as 30 of us booked into the Beaufort Park Hotel, near Mold.  The clouds hung low over the hills and the likelihood of the rain stopping in the next few hours seemed remote.  Our walking holiday leaders - Clwydian Walking Holidays Ltd - decided to cancel walking for the day, and instead took us to St Asaph for a very interesting guided tour of the Cathedral followed by tea and cakes at the nearby café.

St Asaph, which gained its City Status this year, has had a church, and at some time a monastery, on this site since AD 560.  St Asaph Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Diocese of St Asaph, one of the six dioceses of the Church in Wales.
Following the refreshments in St Asaph, transport was provided back to the hotel, where we were able to relax and watch the Wimbledon men’s tennis semi final.

Dinner was served in a private dining room, after which there was an illustrated talk and quiz on British Birds by Martin James MIACE.

28 walkers assembled in the sunshine complete with packed lunch provided by the holiday company, ready to be transported to the start of our walk. The 5½ mile walk with an optional extension to 8 miles started from Moel Parc at a height over 300m giving us splendid views right from the start.  The walk followed the Clwydian Way south keeping mainly at the same height until we reached the hillside car park and picnic area at the foot of Moel Arthur.  Here Clwydian Walking Holidays were waiting with our coffee, tea and packed lunches.

The return route which most walkers opted for, followed the Offa’s Dyke Path and involved a couple of fairly strenuous climbs up to the top of Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau, where we enjoyed wonderful views over the Welsh Mountains, and the Dee Estuary.

Dinner on Saturday evening was followed by live entertainment, featuring ‘Muddyboots’, a group of six mature and talented musicians including Bob Eckersley, our Clwydian Walking Holidays’ leader and also including Brian Locking (bass guitarist and occasional harmonica player for “The Shadows” in 1962 –3).  A thoroughly enjoyable evening of 60’s style music with vocals, and rock and roll music, which brought many of our walking group on to the dance floor demonstrating lots of interesting dance steps - particularly from Ray Barratt, who later confessed he was suffering from cramp.  And where did those young ladies sounding kazoos come from?
It was another warm sunny morning, but with the threat of some heavy showers, as 26 walkers set off in the minibuses to be transported to a lay-by just south of Llanferres, for the start of a 4½ mile walk that felt like 6.  This walk began with a long gradual climb heading west up towards Fron Hen before turning sharply to the northeast on a very muddy track through the woods back towards Llanferres.  The route then continued through fields and over a number of ladder stiles to a steep lane, which took us to the old lead mining village of Maeshafn.  Here our leaders were waiting with a welcome cup of coffee or tea and the offer of transport back to the hotel for those who felt they had walked far enough.
After the coffee break we began our return by walking south up through the woods and past Burley Hill Quarry and then turning west to meet our transport waiting in the lay-by on the A494.  In summary, a fairly strenuous walk in quite muddy conditions but in fine warm weather, which continued back at the hotel where walkers ate their packed lunches on the hotel patio, ready to watch, or listen about, Andy Murray in the men’s final.

Bob Eckersley This was the first time that our Walking Group Leader Walter Mason had used a walking holiday company to organise accommodation, provide transport to and from the walks, provide packed lunches and to lead the walks.  Members I spoke to were generally of the opinion that the Clwydian Walking Holiday Company had done well in coping with dreadful weather conditions on Friday, when they were forced to replace a walk with a guided tour of St Asaph Cathedral.  They were praised for the choice of the walk on Saturday, the transportation arrangements, the quality of the musical and other entertainment plus the ample packed lunches they provided.
Some of the leaders

Sam and Irene Chappell