DryP7lease put this address in your "Favorites" folder so that you can return directly to it in future. It is designed to download quickly and simply give you information about walks that are organized without using any complicated layout elements or large images.





Previous programme No.141

Previous programme No.142

Previous programme No.143

Previous programme No.144


Due to the unpredictability of numbers attending each walk it will be appreciated if members advise the leaders by the dates shown. The leaders may wish to limit the numbers, which they feel, are manageable, taking into consideration car parking, lunch arrangements and the number of obstacles en route which could slow the walk. Additionally by leaving your telephone number you can be contacted in the event of cancellations etc.

A walk number that is underlined has been altered since its original posting or is a new inclusion

Earlier walk programmes have now been removed from the web pages to save space, but copies including the reviews going back to 2001 may be obtained from Stan

Walking Group Mobile phone numbers are : 0754 6069085 and 0752 2958435  -  Please note that the phones will only be operative on the morning of a walk to enable members who are running late, are lost or delayed, to contact the walk leader.  If one number does not work, try the other !

Just a brief reminder – if you are leading a walk, you need to make sure that you have
a Leader’s Pack containing First Aid, Phone and Safety Jackets.  They are held by Richard Hart and Anne Trott.  It may be that one of both of those people are on your walk so they will bring it with them but if not, you must obtain it.
The phone needs to be turned on before you leave home so that you know about any delayed or lost walkers, and then kept on during the walk.  Don’t forget to switch off afterwards and return the Pack to its owner.
If your walk involves roads or lanes with traffic, then you and your backmarker need to wear a yellow safety jacket.

And finally:  The committee thinks that in future all walkers should carry either on their person or in their rucksack, some form of identity with important details such as emergency contact numbers and Doctor’s details.  You will find an example attached with this programme.  Please adopt and use it.

After the success of the Winchcombe Way project we have a new challenge for 2018 – The Cheltenham Circular Footpath – a 25 mile walk around the outskirts of Cheltenham.  This was originally designed with the help of Bob Price and the Rotary Club in Cheltenham and was for several years a sponsored challenge which several Walking Group members completed in either one or two parts.  Now it’s your chance!  Bob has divided the walk up into 7 sections, which are circular routes, and the first is in January.  Will you take up the challenge?

MAY  2018

Walk  1224

Date  Wednesday 2nd May     5 miles     Easy/Moderate     Pub lunch
Meet        Lammastide Inn, Brookend  GL13 9SF     Grid 684021  9.30 for 10.00 start.
Contact    Richard & Eileen    
Please note that Richard and Eileen’s number is now 01684 274197    by Sunday before.   
Directions    M5 to Jn 13, then A38 to turning for Breadstone, Halmore and Purton.  Turn right and  follow road to Wanswell.  Turn right and right again and pub is on left.
Details    We walk lanes to the Sharpness Canal and follow this to Sharpness Marina pausing  to inspect  The Hulks.  Then we pass the old docks and back to the pub.  Splendid  views of the Severn Estuary.  No stiles and one slight incline.  

Message from Richard 12/4/18  -  
If you are coming on the walk 1224 on 2nd May, you will need to pre-book your food.  The website for the pub menu is:
 Please let me know your choice when you book on, and remember, my number is now  01684 274194    or email me.

Sixteen of us set off from home in pouring rain for the start at Brookend. Unfortunately only fifteen arrived, as Kate was in a road traffic accident en route. We understand that she was not injured but our sympathies are with her. By the time that we arrived at Brookend the rain had nearly stopped and blue sky was fast approaching. In the event the weather was mainly sunny, though cool, with only one rain shower. We walked along minor roads to the Purton bridges over the Sharpness Canal and after crossing the northern bridge set off along the tow path towards Sharpness docks. En route some of us took the opportunity to examine "The Hulks" the remains of small ships on the shore which had been used to reinforce the river bank so as to prevent the erosion of the canal bank by the River Severn. We also passed the remains of the railway bridge which had been destroyed in a shipping disaster in 1960. After leaving the docks area we again followed minor roads back to the pub for an excellent lunch.  (Thanks to Hugh for the report and Terry for the photos  - SF)

All set?    (Photo by Terry)

Waiting for something?  
   (Photo by Terry)

The Hulks     (Photo by Terry)

The wide and wonderful River Severn  
   (Photo by Terry)

Walk    1225  Cheltenham Challenge 3

In view of the mud around at the moment and the need to avoid another steep climb,  Bob has made some changes to the next Cheltenham Challenge Walk:
Thursday 3rd May
 Distance 5.3 miles   Moderate/Energetic  Pub Lunch
The Grid Reference for the meeting point at the car park on Daisy Bank Road is 950189  meet at 9.30
The car park is on Daisy Bank Road, off Leckhampton Hill between Cheltenham and the Air Balloon.
The route will proceed to the end of Daisy Bank Rd then ascend Leckhampton Hill and join the Cotswold Way with views across the Severn Valley before descending to re-join Daisy Bank Road. We will then ascend Leckhampton Hill Road before turning right and descending to Leckhampton Church and onto Moat Farm. Then return to the start via Leckhampton Village.
shall drive to The Royal at Charlton Kings for lunch.
 Please let Bob know your lunch order when you book on.   The link for the pub is:    https://royalpub.co.uk/menu/

Date   Thursday 3rd May    6.5 miles   Energetic         Pub lunch
Meet        The Royal, Charlton Kings  GL53 8JH  Grid 965204  9.15 for 9.30
Contact    Bob & Kath     01242 232527   the week before
Directions    Leave A40 on A435 Cheltenham to Cirencester Road.  Left at first traffic lights, then immediately turn right into Horsefair Street.  Keep going right on one-way system round church.  Pub is on left, opposite west door of church.
Details    Across fields to A40 and join Circular Challenge Route for a long uphill section, where the final part is steep. The remainder of the route is fairly level, before a final descent to the start.

Graham M has asked me to thank all his friends in the walking group for their kind wishes to him on the occasion of his 80th Birthday!  -  SF

Cheltenham Challenge part 3 started today from Daisy Bank road car park and took us along the escarpment above Charlton Kings before doubling back under the Devil’s Chimney to reach the Leckhampton Road.  From there, we dropped down into Leckhampton itself before winding our way back up the old tramway  path to the car park.

On a warm day there were excellent views over Cheltenham and beyondand some of the fields were a mass of cowslips.   Just 8 of us enjoyed Bob’s well planned route and lunch at The Royal was very good.  Thanks to Bob and Kath for their hard work.  (Thanks to Richard for the report and to Tony for the photos - SF)

Above it all    (Photo by Tony)

Shall we go?
   (Photo by Tony)

Yes, why not!
   (Photo by Tony)

Woodland wandering
   (Photo by Tony)


Date   Tuesday 8th May               Kemerton                   
Meet    In lane by Kemerton Church.    10.30 start.  Numbers are limited and you must book onto this Stroll.
Contact    Pamela        01386 725547     the week before
Directions    To Bredon then Kemerton and turn right at war memorial.
Details    A chance to explore the Nature Reserve.
Our stroll today took us around the impressive achievement of Kemerton's Nature Resrve.  Not only the lakes, reed beds and woodland but also a hertitage orchrd!  The 19 of us were privileged to be led by our very own Pamela, who has been in the thick of this remarkable enterprise from the start, and able to answer all our questions.  And what a lovely sunny day we had for it too!  Our route took us first through the orchard before taking to the woodland, past the reed beds and lakes, into and out of bird hides and so on.  A comprehensive tour that ended up with Pamela's husband giving us a brief history of the Nature Reserve.
Many thanks to Pamela for a super morning (and thanks for the photo too! - SF)

The heritage orchard

At a bird hide

Wodland sunshine

" . . 'till May be out"     (photo by Pamela)

Walk  1226

Date  Thursday 10th May    6 miles    Mod/Ener             Picnic
Meet        Village Hall, Upper Soudley  GL14 2UA   Grid 657104      9.45 for 10.00
Contact    Margaret & Terry    01684 772278    the week before
Directions    A38S to A48 to Elton Garage, then turn right to Littledean.  Right at mini r’bout then left in 200 yds sp Soudley (2 miles).  At cross roads straight over and down over bridge to village hall.
Details    A different walk, mainly on forest tracks with plenty of undulation and the odd view point.  Also waterside picnic spot.  Maybe bluebells.  No stiles.

Seventeen of us were lucky enough to be on this walk in the Forest of Dean. The weather recently has featured both heavy rain and excessive heat, but today was near-perfect: sunshine, light cloud and gentle breezes. But what made the walk memorable was bluebells – everywhere, bluebells. Several of us commented that we had never seen such an impressive display. Bluebells are attractive enough plants individually, but they are transformed when in their thousands, spread out on the floor of the forest, beneath the trees reaching up to the blue sky. And the light today brought out their colours, sometimes arranged in bands of soft blue against the spring greenery of the beech trees, at other times a more intense indigo. The walk also included a short stretch along the bank of the pretty Soudley Brook, and provided archaeological interest in the form of what is thought to be the remains of a Roman road. And I almost forget that our leaders had planned the ideal spot for our picnic lunch, at Wenches Ford, complete with tables, benches and civilised loos.

Thanks to Margaret and Terry for such an enjoyable walk – I have awarded it the Blue Riband.  (Thanks to Bob W for the report, and to Graham and Terry for the photos - SF)

Lovely day for a walk in the Forest    (Photo by Graham)

Wooo . . . look at the bluebells!   
   (Photo by Graham)

Is that a cuckoo?  
   (Photo by Graham)

Wonderful Forest of Dean!  
   (Photo by Terry)

Walk  1227

Date   Wednesday 16th May     5 miles  Easy             Pub lunch  
Meet    Free Public Car Park in Upton upon Severn - opposite Upton Parish Church, St Peter & St Paul  WR80JQ.                 Meet at 9.30  
Contact    Graham & Betty    01684 594331    the week before
Directions    A38 from Tewks, then left to Upton.  Left into and through town.
Details    A mainly level walk, with some gentle hills,  starting along the old railway track to the cholera burial ground then  past the old Mill House and the site of Hanley Castle- on the way to 12th Century Hanley Castle Church of  St Mary’s with both Saxon & Norman influences,with 15th Century  almshouses  close by, a peaceful place for a coffee stop. Plenty of little known tracks during the walk enjoying views of the Malverns.
Lunch will be at Ye Olde Anchor in Upton and their menu will be emailed after booking, for your choices.

 In perfect weather for walking, we set out across the playing field behind Upton to discover a hidden track along the disused railway track there axed by Dr. Beeching. Eighteen walkers, including a very welcome newcomer, sauntered under clouds of blossom until we were slightly horrified to discover the Upton Cholera Burial Ground. Retracing our steps, we soon reached the hidden moat of the former Hanley Castle, now a bare plateau and guarded by vocal rooks, or were these crows? The village itself was just beyond and we learnt about the Lechmere family as benefactors and the history of the church and former grammar school founded in 1326, now the much larger Hanley Castle Comprehensive. After coffee around the preaching cross and a photo-shoot outside the Three Kings (not inside!), we crossed wonderful flower meadows to discover a slowworm slithering back into hiding and literally thousands of tiny Early Purple Orchids. The final stretch back to lunch in Upton was downhill which made a perfect ending to a memorable walk. Thank you so much Betty and Graham. .  (Thanks also to Angela  for the report and to Graham for the photos _ SF) 


A bit of a break at Hanley Castle     (Photo by Graham)

At the strange but wonderful Three Kings
    (Photo by Graham)

Anyone for hayfever?
    (Photo by Graham)

At the fever burial ground
    (Photo by Graham)

Walk  1228

Date   Thursday 17th May      5 miles  Mod/ Ener    Café lunch/picnic/own arr.
Meet    Winchcombe Station GR 027297      9.30 start
Contact    Ian & Kathy 01684 290542 the week before.
Directions    Take A46 out of Tewkesbury. At Teddington roundabout straight on to the                  B4077     then right onto B4078 to Greet and Winchcombe. Station on the left, just through Greet.
Details    We catch the 10.11 Steam Train to Gotherington Halt. Cost of
train journey £4 single. We then walk to join the Gloucestershire Way, past Dixton Manor and up over Langley Hill to Winchcombe. We will not start walking until about 10.25am and therefore do not anticipate finishing until 1-30pm.

On a pristine May morning, seventeen passengers, waited patiently on platform one at Winchcombe Station for the 10:10 am service, the Cheltenham Flyer. All walkers were reserved and well-behaved as they took their seats and gazed out at the stunning countryside they were now chugging through. A halt to the journey was called at Gotherington, where the initial journey terminated and the walk proper began. Ian now lead us up a series of dried-out hardened tracks, signalling hopefully, the end of winter and the promise of summer. The route wound around nearby Dixton Manor and many points of interest were highlighted, although disappointingly Ian had forgotten to get permission for us to use the zip-wire and tree swing in the adjoining grounds. We started to huff and puff our way up Langley Hill, through a steep tree- lined tunnel with fern and flowered embankments, and myriads of insects on both sides. Everybody was chuffed when emerging into the sunlight we saw the extensive views across the valley towards the Malvern Hills. At a major junction of four footpaths we had refreshments before tackling the steady incline towards the summit of Langley Hill. Just prior to reaching the hill-top we took a left-hand track, which took us on a semi-circular route, affording spectacular views towards Alderton or alternatively, Winchcombe .The group now steamed down the hillside and the walk arrived at Winchcombe Station, our final destination. Lunch was ready and waiting in the buffet, delicious rolls, ham or cheese with anything you wanted. Everybody agreed it was just the ticket! Many thanks go to Ian and Kathy for a first class walk!! ( Thanks also to the reviewer Steve (notice the railway references?) and the photographers, Pamela, Terry and Ian - SF)

At the station    (photo by Terry)

   (photo by Ian)

over the hill and far away
   (photo by Ian)

   (photo by Pamela)

Walk  1229

Date   Wednesday 23rd May     4.5 miles Easy +  (Puffer Style*)        Pub lunch
Meet         Great  Western Arms Blockley. GL56 9DT  Grid 166 351  9.45 for 10.00  Contact    Stan    01684   293319    the week before
Directions    A44 from Broadway up Fish Hill  - Left turn after turn for Chipping Campden.  Right at Village T junction, immediate left, and pub is to left at next junction.
Details    Walk follows Diamond way to the A44 then north past Upton Wold farm to Norcombe woods,  A mix of open fields, tracks, woods  and village streets.      A long incline to start and a short steep slope near end will be taken in short plods with lots of stops!

There were just 10 of us for the walk today in the lovely quiet village of Blockley.  Tucked away off the main track and with no particular special attraction, it is a delight easily missed.  Having given our lunch orders into the Great Western, we set off through the village, admiring along the way the cottages and flower tubs.  When  we reached Rock Cottage, I told the tale of The prophitess Joanna Southcott and her mysterious locked box. The contents of this, she said, would save the nation in time of national danger.  Pressing on, we set off up the long incline through the fields to the main Morton road.  All along the way was a delight - the sun had come out and the track verges were bursting forth with all manner of wild flowers.  On we went, through wooded areas and field boundaries to  the final test of a climb up to join the top end of the village before returning to the pub for good food in good company. The general consenus was that it has been "a lovely walk!"  Thanks to Barry for being today's official photographer - SF

Through the village  
   (photo by Barry)

   (photo by Barry)

It's not all slog
   (photo by Barry)

Lovely views
   (photo by Barry)


Walk  1230

Date   Thursday 24th  May       6 miles  Energetic             Pub lunch
Meet    Butchers Arms, Mickleton. GL55 6SD    Grid  162434          9.30 for 10.00
Contact    Steve & Justin    01684 295438  week before.
Directions    A46  out of Tewkesbury. At Teddington roundabout straight on, the B 4077 to Toddington. Left at roundabout onto  B4632 to Broadway. Keep on the     B 4632 to Mickleton. In the village take a left turning by the  Nisa Local Supermarket, past the Three Ways House Hotel ( Pudding Club) and the Butchers Arms is about 300 yards on the right.
Details    From Mickleton we climb up Bakers Hill, through Bakers Wood to Hidcote Boyce via a section of the Heart of England Way. Through Hidcote Boyce we walk to the top of Bakers Hill, before descending gently to Hidcote Bartram. Return to Mickleton is via a descent near Kiftsgate Court and the path leads back to the village whilst passing through the churchyard. The walk consists mainly of field footpaths with some lane walking. Approximately 3 stiles and lots of kissing (gates). Stunning views over the Vale of Evesham, and some interesting First World War connections.

Nineteen walkers met at the Butchers Arms in Mickleton on a drizzly May morning. Steve gave an intriguing introduction to the walk suggesting we keep our eyes open for the unexpected!
From Mickleton we climbed Baker’s Hill to Baker’s Wood and although we had lost the previous few days sunshine there was a quiet beauty to the misty valleys. The Red Campion was looking particularly attractive in the muted light. While here Steve pointed out a plaque recounting the story of First World War Belgian soldiers who had been sent to convalesce at Norton Hall, Mickleton, a V.A.D hospital. One of them had carved a large likeness of a soldier into the trunk of a tree - which remains clearly visible.
We then headed to Hidcote Boyce via a section of the Heart of England Way and here we were advised to look out for a mysterious sculpture, a giant hare and goldfish in an unusual place - all were duly found with a lot of chuckling! We walked to the top of Ebrington Hill for our coffee but, sadly, were unable to see the full extent of the views. As we left the hill we passed an isolated property, definitely inhabited, but with no road access, and was that a picture of a witch on the sign above the gate?
Our walk continued past fields of flax to Hidcote Bartram, through Hidcote Manor, and on to Mickleton via a descent near Kiftsgate Court.
In Mickleton we went through the churchyard of St Lawrence’s where Steve continued the poignant story of one of the Belgian soldiers who did not recover from his injuries and is laid to rest there. Steve had thoughtfully brought a remembrance cross with him which was placed on the distinctive grave.
Although overcast we had enjoyed a beautiful spring walk and heard a large variety of birds including Whitethroat, Chiff Chaff, Skylark, and more. Lunch at the Butchers Arms was much appreciated.
Thank you Steve and Justin for an interesting, glorious walk.  (Many thanks to Mary M for the graphic report and to Terry and Pamela for the photos - SF)

Wisteria!     (photo by Terry)

Red hawthorne
    (photo by Terry)

Steve tells the tale    (photo by Pamela)

Striding out
    (photo by Terry)

Walk  1231

Date   Wednesday 30th May                4/5 miles Easy              Pub lunch
Meet        Gupshill Manor    Tewkesbury                           9.30 for 10.00
Contact    Barry      01242 522973         the week before  
Directions    A38 out of Tewkes on right just after Aldi.
Details    A gentle walk around Tewkesbury and its outskirts.

10 of us gathered on a very rainy morning at Gupps Hill. While most of us had our waterproof gear on, the hardy souls, Barry and Stan, were in shorts!
We walked down towards Tewkesbury, following the ‘Battle Field signs. Along the way Barry, Stan, Marion and Mary gave us snippets of the history of Tewkesbury and their experiences in the town. We went through Victoria Garden and on to the Ham, where we heard a cuckoo. At this point, those of us who were ‘waterproofed’ began to feel rather warm.
On reaching the lock gates, the only lock in the country connecting two rivers, Mary encountered a number of men, who all received a hug and a kiss… her cousins we were told!
In the Abbey gardens Stan introduced us to the Ginkgo Biloba tree. This type of tree can be traced back 270 million years (honest check RHS website).
We wandered back to Gupps Hill and lunch. Great walk and good company.  (Thanks to Barry for leading us today, and to Fran for the report - SF)

Long grass on the Ham

A sea of green

Swapping stories

At the Cross

Walk  1232

Date   Thursday 31st May         6 miles               Energetic       Pub Lunch
Meet             Black Horse Pub  Cranham      GL4 8HP    Grid 896130      9.30 for 10.00
Contact       Andrea & Sonia     01684 294676 during the week before.
Directions       Take M 5 South as far as 11A Junc. Keep on A 46 lane and follow through two roundabouts,signposted Painswick. Turn left to Cranham on Buckholt Rd. The lane to the Pub is at the bottom of the hill on the rt.
Details           We walk through Buckholt Wood to pick up the Cotswold Way to reach the Painswick Beacon where there are lovely views.  We walk on the Wysis Way into Paradise and back through attractive valleys to Cranham Common.  It is an energetic walk as we climb 950 ft in total. There are about 6 stiles.

22 of us gathered at the Black Horse who opened as a favour us. The weather threatened rain and perhaps thunderstorms, but Sonia assured us that if we ‘got a move on’ we would beat the rain. So a swift climb on to the Cotswold Way and a rapid climb of Painswick Beacon for excellent views over the Severn Valley. Then a steady descent through Paradise and typical Cotswold countryside, meadows,streams and expensive houses, in an increasingly humid atmosphere, but no other rain! Thanks to Andrea and Sonia for a challenging walk.  (Thanks to Tony B for the report, and to Terry and Pamela for the photos - SF)

Hello!     (photo by Pamela)

Refreshment     (photo by Terry)

Off we go
    (photo by Terry)

At the beacon
      (photo by Terry)

JUNE  2018

Walk  1233

Date   Wednesday 6th June       6m     Energetic               Picnic
Meet        Bulls Cross, near Slad            Grid  878088              9.45 start
Contact    Tony & Jennifer,  01684   276960               by the Sunday  before.
Directions    M5 Jn 11a and turn left onto A417.  Turn right to Birdlip and keep on B4070 to Bulls Cross.  Park on left hand side of road.
Details    A walk around Laurie Lee’s Slad Valley involving steep ascents totalling 1250 ft and descents which in places can be muddy.  Good views over the valley and Stroud.  7 stiles.  We walk through 3 GWT Reserves and at the end can visit the Woolpack.  This walk takes about 4.5 hours.

Tony Barrett’s phone was zapped by the recent lightning so if you have difficulty contacting him, please use:
 07762 202 708.
 to book onto their walk.

Just 9 of us “Walked out one midsummer morning” to walk the Laurie Lee Trail around the Slad Valley.  After a cool start, the sun came out and we enjoyed blue skies with wispy clouds and marvellous views.  The meadows were full of buttercups and clover and scattered with a few orchids.  We took turns to read aloud the poems set along the trail and had our lunch on Swift’s Hill, overlooking Stroud (best seen from a distance).  After meeting another U3A group from Bath, we made the final climb back to the cars at Bulls Cross and of course had a drink at the Woolpack and visited Lee’s grave at the little church opposite.  Being of the Third Age, we didn’t crawl under any hay waggons or stuff our boots with straw!

Thanks to Tony and Jennifer for a well-planned and delightful walk.  (Thanks to Richard for the report and to Terry for the photod - SF)

Green,green,green!    (Photo by Terry)

Reading Laurie's poems
   (Photo by Terry)

   (Photo by Terry)

Next stop the Woolpack
   (Photo by Terry)

Walk  1234

Date Thursday 7th June        4.5 miles    Easy                 Pub lunch
Meet        Fleet Inn, Twyning      GL20 6FL       10.00 to book food
Contact    Bob & Andrea      01684 294676       the week before
Details    An easy walk, with some stiles to Showborough House to view the sculptures in the garden.  Free admission and drinks and cake for about £2.50

Our visit to the Scupture exhibition in the gardens of Showborough House has become an annual fixture - a sort of works outing.  This year 22 workers signed up for the jaunt, and under a dry but overcast sky we set off.  Our route was the suual one, a sort of big loop to the south of Twyning turning to the north past Twyning Manor and then veering just a tad east over the common at Hill End to Showborough House.  It didn't take long before the jackets donned in the pub car park (" . . . a bit chilly this morning!")  were discarded as the day, and the walkers, warmed up.  All along the way nature was thrusting, (it's that time of the year), and  the meadows and hedges were bursting wiith life, growth, and blossoming like mad- wonderful!
The  exhibition was as interesting as ever - full of clever, witty or challenging pieces  and even bigger this year with an extension into the car park area- but for many of our group, the  gardens themselves were the star attraction.  Such a magnificent display of sensitive and creative planting and landscaping!  A cup of tea and a  slab of cake later, and were were off once again, this time in a direct route across the fields back to the Fleet Inn at Twyning and a good lunch in great company.  (So much better than the last time I ate there.)   Many thanks go to Bob and Andrea for organising it all for us - a lovely works outing once again!

All set?

The common at Hill End

Rabbits in transit

Chatting on the lawn at Showborough House


Date   Tuesday 12th June        The Alleys of Tewkesbury   
Meet        By Tewkesbury Abbey gates opp The Bell         for a 10.30 start
Contact    Stan        01684 293319     the week before
Details    A tour of some of the more interesting parts of Tewkesbury

There were 22 of us on today's stroll around the alleys of Tewkesbury, rather more than ideal, but we managed very well due to Ken performing excellent 'sheepdog' service at the rear.  Our route was a convoluted one of course, and we did not have time to visit all the walkable alleys in the town, but I hope we visited enough to get an idea of both the  'posh' and 'workaday' dwellings that are there now.  We talked here and there about the history of hardship and appalling conditions that alley dwellers endured in the past, the poverty, overcrowding and disease .  The weather remained dry and warmish for us, and no-one got run over as we trooped over the roads several times.   Everyone seemed to enjoy the visit, and when a few of us took to the 'Spoons' for lunch we met with another group 'doing the alleys' - what a coincidence!

In the Chapel Alley

Smart cottages in Fletchers Alley

Back door to the Nottingham

Lost alleys in Barton St

Walk  1235

Date   Thursday 14th June      .          6 miles   Moderate        Pub lunch 
Meet        Red Lion , Stiffords Bridge, Cradley  WR13 5NN  GR 734480  9.30 for 10.00
Contact    Jim & Margaret     01684 296773  week before
Directions    From Great Malvern go northwards along the A449 taking the turning on             the L.H.S.  A4219 to Bromyard    After a few hundred yards the road             branches, with the A4219 (Cowliegh Rd) on the R.H.S. Keep to the A4219         (Hereford and Bromyard) until it meets the  A4103. Turn left towards             Bromyard. The Red Lion is on the L.H.S. of the road in about 1mile.
Details    A pleasant walk through meadows ,woodland , along streams.
        Passing the ancient church at Cradley.  Good pub

On a bright and pleasant, if sometimes gusty, morning, 20 members turned up at the Red Lion, Stiffords Bridge, eager to escape the noise of the busy A4104. After passing through a couple of rustic iron gates we were soon into another world of lush buttercup-filled meadows rising gently to the picturesque village of Cradley to the south as we stopped to admire the imposing St . James Church,with its Norman and possibly Saxon origins. Our walk continued rising gradually along the foothills of the Malverns with dense woods to the left and beautiful views over open meadows below until we caught a glimpse of the Worcestershire beacon on our left. After a coffee stop atop a gently sloping valley our return journey was equally enjoyable as we looked across the neat farms and fields of broad beans, brassicas and sweet corn before joining a leafy lane of copper beech trees which led us back to the church. A further 1/2 a mile and were back to the 21st century to enjoy our meals at the Red Lion, where Graham had toyed with the idea of having the Venison burger but thought it might be two deer, or even too dear.
A very enjoyable walk, new to most of us, and sincere thanks to Jim and Margaret   (Thanks go to Terry for the report and 3 of the photos and to Pamela for her contribution - SF)

Blooming lovely     (photo by Terry)

Through cool woods  
  (photo by Terry)

Take your turn
  (photo by Terry)

Happy days     (photo by Pamela)

Wednesday 20th June
Margaret & Terry will host a
Garden Party
In aid of the Air Ambulance Midlands
2.00 – 4.00 p.m.    £5 (it all goes to charity)
rsvp   mrmorris@sky.com     01684 772278

What a lovely afternoon we had in Margaret and Terry's wonderful garden, and what splendid hosts they are!  There was lots to eat, lots of chat, and lots to admire in a garden that is a riot of blooms and colour - what a treat for us all.  Lots of fun too - always a feature of any gathering of the walking group membership.  The raffle went on and on - with lots and lots of prizes donated for the cause.  In the end the sum of  £447 was raised for the air ambulance charity.  Many thanks must go to Margaret and Terry for all their hard work in preparing and organizing this special event.

Blooming lovely!    (photo by Graham)

Lots of cake to eat    (photo by Graham)

Behave yourselves!    (photo by Graham)

What a wonderful garden!    (photo by Graham)

Walk  1236

Date   Wednesday  27th June     5.5 miles        Easy/mod.        Pub lunch
Meet        Duke of York, Berrow WR13 6JQ    Grid 782355     9.30 to order food
Contact    Anne       01684 294859 the week before
Directions     From Tewkesbury, over Mythe bridge on the A 438
Details    We walk along woodland on East side of Ragged stone hill and Chase End hill then up onto Howler Heath.From White leaved oak we follow the path round the bottom of Ragged stone hill back to Hollybush CP returning to the D of Y for lunch.

“Another day of relentless sun,tempered by a north east wind. 18 braved the walk, including new members Stuart & Gillian, and old friends Glen from Edinburgh and Tony from Chaceley   ably kept in order by Matron Anne, rather like a ‘Carry On ‘ film with occasional assistance from Calvyn when Jim & Margaret’s walk instructions went awry.
The walk, familiar in many ways, side of Ragged Stone Hill, Bromsberrow Estate paths down to Chase End Hill, with a coffee stop in a cool glade on comfy? logs. Then on to Whiteleaved Oak where sadly the notice board usually with inane & amusing comments has disappeared with the Auras man nowhere to be seen. Fortunately Barry provided the amusement of the day by climbing in the stocks for a photoshoot.
Saving the best till last, we visited the Oak Tree, festooned with trinkets from the recent Summer Solstice celebrations where the Druids perform their annual rituals. From there only a short stretch back through the shady woods (and the cold Spring fed trough for trailing hot hands).
Despite the heat much of the walk was comfortably shady, amidst trees of many shades of green. Back to the Duke of York where a good lunch awaited us. Many thanks to Anne & Calvyn for a memorable days walk  (Thanks to Betty for the report, to Graham for the photos and to Shirley for the loan of her camera! - SF)

Shady Bunch  (Photo by Graham)

 (Photo by Graham)

Special tree  
 (Photo by Graham)

 (Photo by Graham)

Walk  1237

Date   Thursday   28th June       9.3 miles   Moderate/Energetic     Picnic
Meet        Skenfrith Castle  NP7 8UH        Grid 457203     Start 10.00
Contact    Stanley F .
01684 850544   01368 850544  the week before
Directions    M50 to end;  at Wilton, right on A49 and in 2.5 miles, left on B4521.  Park on West side of Skenfrith Castle.  About 36 miles from Tewkes
Details    We explore the country to the West, towards Edmund’s Tump, touching on a few bits of the Three Castles Walk.

Just 7 of us journeyed down to Herefordshire today and Stanley wisely shortened the route from the proposed 9.5 miles because of the heat.  We started from the village of Grosmont and climbed slowly up to the ridge to the south.  The way was not always clear and needed a bit of map and compass work in places but we reached our goal – Edmund’s Tump - before descending steeply back down.

The views were superb, if a little hazy on this humid day – Garway Hill, Skirrid, Sugarloaf and Hay Bluff all visible in a panorama view from the top of the hill.  And we had the place to ourselves.  Just a couple of farm workers bringing in hay, a couple of dogs, one amorous bull with a host of wives and hundreds of sheep all seeking the shade of trees.

At the end, we visited Grosmont Castle and after 6.3 miles of walking and 1100 ft of climbing under our belts (not to mention a cream tea at the nearby Oriental Tea Rooms) we made our way home after a perfect day.

Thank you Stanley for taking us there.   (Thanks also to Richard for the report and to Terry for the photos - SF)

Trig Point  
 (Photo by Terry)

What a scorcher!  
 (Photo by Terry)

In the castle  
 (Photo by Terry)

Cream Tea - well earned"!  
 (Photo by Terry)

JULY  2018

Walk  1238   Cheltenham Challenge 4

Date             Tuesday 3rd July.        7 miles.     Energetic.     Pub Lunch
Meet.         Hewletts Reservoir.     Grid. 975223.         0915 for 0930
Contact.        Bob and Kath Price.     01242 232527. week before.  
Directions.        In Cheltenham, take the Harp Hill Road from Junction of Hales Road and    
                       Priors Road on the B 4075   .
Details            We follow the Cheltenham Challenge Route via Ham and Colgate Farm to the A40, then join the Cotswold Way climbing to Upper Colgate Farm then returning to Hewletts via Northfield Farm. 2 long hills and several stiles.
Please visit www.thehewlett.co.uk   to choose your meal and give the order to Bob when you book on the walk. 

Note from Richard on 2/7/18

I’ve just heard from Bob -  because of the low numbers and the fact that some people have withdrawn because of the heat he is going to cancel Tuesday and do the walk later in the year.  Sensible I think.  However, he and I are going to do a walk-over of another section of the walk (at low level – no hills) instead.  You are welcome to join us if you would like


Walk  1239

Date   Thursday 5th July       4.75 miles Easy            Pub lunch
Meet        White Hart    Inn, Maisemore       GL2 8HY    Grid 814213    9.40 to order
Contact    Hugh    01452 780460  the week before
Details    We follow a bridle path on the north side of the River Leadon valley to Murrells End, then a gentle climb to the top of Overton Hill, before crossing the A417 and following footpaths back to the start. No stiles but some mud if wet.

Ten of us joined our walk leader Hugh at the White Hart Inn at Maisemore, with sun cream and hats a-plenty. We headed North West (so I am told…) walking bridle paths along the valley of the River Leaden, up to Murrell’s End where we had our shady coffee stop, watched over by several swallows on the phone lines above. Despite the hot dry spell, the one little boggy bit en route managed to make a mess of Kate’s shoes; this, and Betty’s melted chocolate biscuit, were the only down sides of this lovely summer walk. We had extensive views from paths which ran alongside fields of ripening wheat and barley and we stopped in the shade to admire Hartpury College horses performing in the distance before striding out (slowly and with frequent water stops in the shady bits – it was a very hot day…), to the top of Overton Hill, where 3 horses were greatly surprised as Hugh emerged from what must have appeared to them to be a hedge, having cut a swathe through the recently overgrown footpath for the rest of us. Butterflies abounded, and we missed our naturalists as technology failed to identify wayside plants, but a swift email brought satisfaction – thank you Pamela, for being on call! Downhill to the welcome sight of Maisemore pond where we disturbed a languishing grey heron, who took off from his perch when he saw us coming, eager as we were to get back to the pub for a well-earned drink and lunch. Tip of the day – put a water bottle in the freezer the night before a hot walk. Frequent sips of iced water were very refreshing on this hottest of days …  (Thanks to Shirley for the report and one of the photos, and to Stuart for the other three - SF)

Ray Mears foraging for broad beans?     (photo by Stuart)

Shirley looks up recipes for bean and thistle soup  
    (photo by Stuart)

Leave the shade? You're joking!  
    (photo by Stuart)

Wading through ripe oilseed  
    (photo by Shirley)


Date   Tuesday 10th July        Eckington   
Meet        Eckington Wharf picnic place   Grid 923423    for a 10.30 start
Contact    Mike & Jenny      01684 772194    the week before
Details    A stroll around the village.

Throughout our stroll today we were entertained by a peal of 5040 changes of Ambleside Alliance Major performed by the Vale of Evesham ringers on the bells of  Holy Trinity Church, Eckington.  We thought it might have been done for us – but probably not.

13 of us enjoyed this gentle stroll around the village today.  Jenny and Mike took us around streets not easily seen from the main road and told us about the history of the bridge, showed us where a Roman soldier had fallen and read us a poem by the war memorial.

We didn’t have the blazing sun of previous days but clouds made it a little sticky.  Ringing bells in ancient times used to be used to drive away thunder and lightning.  We hope it didn’t scare off the rain!

Many thanks to Mike and \Jenny for a delightful morning.  (Thanks also to Richard for the report and photos\ - SF)

By Eckington Bridge

Eileen greets a new stroller

Hidden Worcestershire

Shall we buy it?

Walk  1240

Date   Thursday 12th July     6 miles           Moderate                   Pub Lunch
Meet        The Fox Inn, Little Barrington.    OX18    4TB       Grid   192131   9.45 for 10.00
Contact    Calvyn and Steve            01684 296684    The week before.  
Directions    B4077 to Stow. A424 Stow to Burford, but after Wyck Hill    turn right onto minor roads signposted Rissingtons    and The Barringtons.    Follow road signs to the Barringtons passing Rissington Airfield. Drive through Great Barrington towards Little Barrington and the River Windrush. The Fox Inn is just over the bridge on the left.
Details    This walk has more bridges than Venice and more stiles than Versaci. It is a circular    route around the Windrush Valley. The walk passes through the Barringtons, Windrush village and the edge of the Sherborne Park Estate. It is a series of gentle rises and descents along a mixture of lanes, tracks, paths and field walking. It is likely to be damp and muddy in places.

This was the fourth time Calvyn and Steve were to embark upon this walk. Originally scheduled for earlier in the year, floods and mud had resulted in it being rescheduled for today, when bright  sun, temperatures in the high 20's, dust and  hard ground prevailed. Unfortunately the pub landlord had become suspicious of their earlier visits (long haired hippy type and a Welshman, aka Compo and Clegg), to suss out the area, and he insisted on money up front when ordering
food !
Once Steve had worked out which way up his money tin went,  both leaders donned high viz and Steve his old schoolmasters whistle ! Twenty of us set off under cloud, but this rapidly cleared to uninterrupted sunshine. We crossed the River Windrush for the first time, shocked at the water quality, opaque and grey, an unexpected sign of poor water quality. We duly noted the straw fox that adorned the ridge of a thatched barn and a motoring hedgehog in concrete, atop a masonry gate post. We  stopped again to admire the Barrington Estate and learn of its history from Steve, before heading on through beautiful Cotswold countryside. Our accompanying botanist/ornithologist/naturalist, Pamela, patiently fielding questions from all sides. How fortunate we are to walk with such a knowledgeable and patient lady - three cheers !
Wending our way onwards we crossed a tributary of the Windrush, bright clear and sparkling in the sun, as one day the Windrush itself might be ? However the zenith of Steve and Calvyn's organisational skills was marked overhead by the Red Arrows trailing red, white and blue smoke.  A fabulous Cotswolds walk in valley and on ridge, it was enjoyed by all.   For Ian and Kathy, presently  away in Spain, it was awwwsome!  (Thanks to Stuart for the wonderful report ant to our trio of photographers - SF)

The peasants are at the gates
!    ( Photo by Terry)

Flax?     (Photo by Terry)    

A bit of shade   (
 Photo by Calvyn)

Through fields of gold
   ( Photo by Pamela)

Walk  1241

Date   Wednesday  18th July     4.8 miles     Easy/Moderate  Own arrangements,
Meet        Newent Lakeside car park  (fee 80p)  Grid 722261,  09.45 for 10.00am,
Contact    Lesley   01452 84062 
01452  840602
week before
Details    The walk begins from above to the disused canal, through fields and occasional tarmac, towards the tiny arboretum and 'home'.  A couple of difficult stiles.


Walk  1242

Date   Thursday 19th July    5.5m Moderate/Energetic                    Pub lunch
Meet         Main St. Elmley Castle                    Grid 981411                9.30 for 10.00
Contact    Pamela & Mary          01386 725547       the week before
Directions    Eckington Road   from Bredon, then right to Combertons and Elmley or  Bredon, Beckford, Ashton under hill, then Elmley.    Park in Main Street near pub.
Details    We walk from the pub through pastures, with views of the Malverns and Bredon Hill, loop through to Great Comberton and return towards Elmley.    A final steep climb onto Bredon Hill (not ‘the Wall’) and a gentle downhill route back to the pub.


Walk  1243

Date   Wednesday  25th July                6 miles                Mod/ Energetic                   Lunch:To be decided
Meet        Clanna Woods FC car park (very limited space)   Grid 584024 9.45 for 10.00
Contact    Terry and Margaret             01684 772278                      week before
Directions    A48.    App 4m past Lydney turn R at Globe Inn, Alvington.( GL15 6BA )A sp Hewelsfield and Brockweir.    After 1.5 miles Turn R at second crossroads , parking a short distance on R.
Details    An undulating walk through woods, fields, tracks, quiet lanes passing little hamlets. Over a dozen stiles and good views across the Severn, weather permitting


Walk  1244

Date   Thursday 26th July    5 miles Easy/Moderate    Picnic at Hugh's house
Meet        Apperley Village hall car park, GL19 4DP  Grid 867286  10.00 start
Contact    Hugh & Fran 01452 780460 the week before
Details    This is the reverse of a walk we did in March 17 through
Deerhurst and Deerhurst Walton. Two gentle hills, footpaths and country
lanes, some stiles.
Picnic at Hugh's house near the Village hall; he will supply beer, wine
and soft drinks. Hopefully the weather will be good enough for the garden!


Walk  1245

Date   Wednesday 1st August                   5 miles               Easy                         Pub    Lunch
Meet                                          The    Nightingale, Worcester WR7 4QS      Grid 909532                9.30   for 10.00 start
Contact                         Jennie & Isabel    01684 772216 week before
Directions    From Tewkesbury B4080 turn right at junction onto   A4104 through                                    Pershore. At Pinvin junction   turn left onto A44 and    pub on right just after Sneachill Village sign.   
Details                            Flat walk   along footpaths and tracks with   good views especially
of   Spetchley Hall as we pass      through the   Estate.    5 or 6 easy stiles and railway footbridge.


Thanks to all walk leaders for your hard work. 


Nearly all the photos on this page have been reduced in size and resolution to save both space and bandwidth.  Should you want a copy of any of the photos, Stan would be happy to supply a copy of the original file - just quote the walk number and the photo title.


The Walking Group has a mobile phone to be used before and during walks for emergency contact — see paper programme for number.

We are affiliated to the Ramblers Association and the membership card above may be used to obtain a 10 percent discount on walking gear in most local outlets.

If you require a paper copy of the walking programme, there is a charge of  £3 p.a., payable at the Walking Group AGM or at the U3A enrolment meeting. If you have internet access, then all information can be obtained by email, free of charge.

Walks are graded to give some idea of what to expect:

Stroll: A short walk at an easy pace with frequent stops.

Easy: Undemanding and mainly level with occasional gentle ascents or descents. There may be a few stiles.

Moderate: Some uphill/downhill stretches - unlevel walking - several stiles.

Energetic: Some longer steep hills and rough ground - may be many stiles.

Please book with the leader of the walk by the date given and arrive in good time before the start to boot-up and order lunch etc. Be sure to cancel with the leader if you are later unable to take part. Wear suitable shoes/boots and clothing for the walk and do not over-estimate your abilities. An attendance fee of 50p is charged for each walk attended. Dogs are not allowed on walks.


Walk Talk  

The Ordnance Survey has a service now that enables you, for an annual subscription of £19.99, to download and print off extracts from the OS maps that we use for our walks - anywhere in Britain!  - no more having to fold and unfold vast sheets of paper in the wind and rain - bliss! (Stop Press!  There is now an "App" for smart phones that does all kinds of amazing stuff!)  A real bargain - for a free trial go to -  http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/osmaps/




a) Carefully read the walk description to ensure that you are capable of walking the route at a moderate pace (about 2 miles per hour) without risk to health. Attention should be paid to the EASY/MODERATE/DIFFICULT grading as well as to any references to steep climbs, stiles, etc.

b) Dress sensibly. Make sure that you have suitable clothing and footwear for the weather expected. A walking pole or stick can be of great help.

c) Remember to carry any medications that you might need. Carry food, and water, especially on hot days.

d) Follow instructions given by the leader. Keep those in front and those behind you, in sight all the time.

e) Keep to the route indicated by the leader: do not devise shorts cuts, etc.

f) Walk in single file on roads and heed any advice about crossing roads given by the leader.


g) Classify your walk as STROLL/EASY/MODERATE/ENERGETIC. Mention any steep climbs and stiles.

h) Limit your walk to a maximum numbers that you think you can safely manage, given the nature of your walk.

i) Have a co-leader to act as back-marker: count the party at the start and at suitable points during the walk

j) Carry a first aid kit or ensure that someone else in the group has one.

k) Set a pace of about 2 miles per hour plus coffee and lunch/tea stops. Ensure that those finding the pace difficult have sufficient time to rest and recover, even if this is not favoured by more energetic members.

l) Carry a map, the group mobile phone and GPS receiver to make emergency calls and give exact locations.


To download a copy of the Leader's Walk Plan Form (In Adobe Acrobat Format ie PDF) — Click on the following link FORM



To go to further advice for leaders  -  Click on the following link Advice


To go to The Tewkesbury U3A main site click here; Tewkesbury U3A





Ken, (Group Leader) 01684 772564

E Mail / kennethflude@btinternet.com


Tony, (Administrator) 01684 276960  

E Mail  tonyandjenniferbarrett@btinternet.com


Richard, (walks coordinator) 01452 780505

E Mail / richard.hart13@btinternet.com


Webmaster . . . Stan Fagg stanfagg@freeuk.com    Updated  16th July  2018

   Just a counter
web counter
web counter