Weather permitting we go walking once a month, usually on the second Thursday. We enjoy healthy exercise in the fresh air with the emphasis on enjoyment and companionship as we explore the beautiful countryside in the North Wales area. Each member of the group volunteers to lead the walks in turn with Derek Williams co-ordinating our programme.
You will need boots, with a good tread, no smooth soles; not trainers nor similar very lightweight shoes which won't cope with the rougher or wetter ground very well and could be dangerous in some places. Walking poles would be an advantage on some walks as would something warm and waterproof to sit on in the colder weather.
We will almost always walk on paths or tracks or quiet roads. There will be some steeper sections, but not consisting of hundreds of feet together.
We don't expect to walk for longer than 3 hours. Occasionally we have an all day leisurely walk, bringing a packed lunch. The Leader will have either reconnoitred the walk the week before or know the route well.
If you enjoy walks of between 4 miles and 8 miles and would like to join us please do contact Derek Williams on 01492 514267 for further information.
We enjoy beautiful scenery, good company and walk places we’ve never been before.
The March walk was a journey through Denbigh's history led by Val. The 5 mile walk commenced at H.M.Stanley's statue in the square and took us up Broomhill Lane where we followed the legend of Blodeuwedd (from The Mabinogion ) and the history of Denbigh depicted in art works - including the drain covers!
We visited Edward I's castle and the Earl of Leicester's Church, a building that was never finished as the townspeople tore it down every night. This thwarted Robert Dudley's attempts to build the largest church of the Elizabethan age as he subsequently ran out of money.
Val had borrowed the old and suitably large key to the town walls. We were surprised to find ourselves walking on one of the most complete medieval town walls in Britain. After locking them back up again we continued to explore hidden walks around the town that took us out into the countryside, passing the derelict mental hospital and the Car Dai 50's museum (definitely worth a visit).
We had our morning break by the River Ystrad and then continued past Dr.Johnson's cottage (the man famous for his dictionary stayed here and was very fond of visiting the area, as was Beatrix Potter).
Our "wow" moment came as we followed a public footpath up a private driveway and were delighted by a vision of thousands of crocuses in full bloom - we were all lost for words by their sheer numbers and beauty.
We continued our walk back across fields with beautiful views, passing historic houses.Denbigh has more listed buildings than any other town in Wales and was full of surprises, even for those who had lived and worked here most of their lives.
We rounded off our visit with lunch at Ji-binc (Welsh for Chaffinch) a cafe on the High Street. Derek and Lynn Williams
October’s walk around Llyn Alwen
Unfortunately our new walking group member arrived before the three of us at the car park. The walk leader, Michael Clark and I had been delayed and arrived, together with Arnold at the walk start time of 10:00am. We missed Mira who had arrived at 09.50hrs and had decided to the walk on her own. We thought that we had seen her as we arrived, but we were uncertain. In case we were wrong, we waited until 10:30hrs and then set off at a brisk pace in fine weather. We anticipated catching-up the walker that we had seen start before us, but we were wrong. A misunderstanding by all.
Mike led us at a brisk pace and we felt that we had an and enjoyable work-out.
Of course, when we stopped for a break, it started to rain, but it soon gave up and although chilly, the sun returned for the rest of the day.
We never did catch-up with Mira.
In April the walking group enjoyed a 5 mile walk along Lady Bagots Drive in Rhewl.
Led by John Morris we walked along the carriage drive that Lord Bagot built for his wife through her favourite scenic gorge. Ascending through a wood of conifers and native trees we spotted a Dipper making his way up the River Clywedog which was swollen by all the recent rain. The wild flowers were blooming and we were treated to a beautiful carpet of Bluebells and Wood Anemones. We are fortunate to have botanists and birdwatchers in our group and their knowledge enhances our enjoyment of the lovely countryside we walk through. On this walk we also saw the Common Dog Violet, a mouse going about his business and the Dormouse nest boxes project in action.
After our refreshment break we climbed up out of the wood and returned across the fields enjoying wonderful views over the Clwydian Valley.
John had arranged lunch in the conservatory of the Drovers' Arms for those who were able to stay which rounded off a lovely day.
The May walk through the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park coincided with National Limerick Day and a member of our group Val O'Rourke composed this especially for us :
Some folk from the U3A
Went out for a walk in May.
As they'd got fitter
They walked so much quicker
And nothing could stand in their way !
MUD, MUD GLORIOUS MUD.
After heavy overnight rain dawn came bright crisp and clear. Nine brave or (misguided) walkers joined Our Leader Val Jones for the 1st walk of the year. Setting out from Rhuddlan on what was forecast to be a beautiful morning we thought this would be a stroll in the Park with a delightful lunch at the end. Our first obstacle was what normally would have been a walk over a rickety bridge crossing a meandering stream, we were confronted with a raging torrent and a knee deep lake.
Discretion being the better part of valour we withdrew and detoured via a convenient lane. Our next obstacle was a Bridle path which was several inches deep in muddy water and we had to negotiate along the slippery edges hanging onto the wire fence. At another point a field gateway full of water nearly forced us to retreat, but our intrepid leader swung the gate open, which we then used as a swing bridge to cross the muddy water
After navigating muddy and water logged fields, and byways. (The effort was compensated for, by magnificent views of the snow covered Snowdonia range, backed in bright blue clear skies, we also spotted our first Snowdrops) we eventually arrived at Dyserth. The waterfall was in magnificent full flow, wonderful and somewhat frightening to see, the raw power of nature in full force. After a quick break we resumed our walk back to Rhuddlan via the main path way to a most welcome lunch at The Old Crown at the Castle.
We have decided to unofficially rename our selves The U3A Walking Adventure Group. Outward bound next for us. If and when of course the aches and pains and dodgy knees allow.
Although this was perhaps a tough walk I suspect all of us were delighted with our individual performances.
WELL DONE THE GROUP.
Click on a picture below to see it full-size with more details.