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Previous programme No.155

Previous programme No.158

Previous programme No.159


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 !

 This programme has been together on the basis that when the current lock down ends on 2 December we will be able to resume our walks on the same basis as immediately prior to lock down. This may be a naive hope but there is no other strategy that we have apart from giving up our organised walks. The group leadership will of course review any revised instructions which come from government and/or the Ramblers Association as they become available and make any changes necessary.

NB   1.   Walkers are requested to carry both their U3A membership cards and their ICE (in case of emergency) cards with them on all walks and strolls.
NB   2.   Members may bring a guest but the guest must not displace a member if spaces on the walk are limited.
NB   3.   Members should always carry hand sanitizer and a face covering.
NB   4    Barry leads short walks of 2.5-3 miles on Thursday mornings for U3A members only. These short walks will be graded as "easy" and Barry will choose the walk to suit the participants. To book onto one of Barry's walks please ring him on 07751170833 (or 01242 522973) by the Tuesday before. Barry may decide to vary the day depending upon the weather forecast.

The group leadership have reviewed available instruction and regulation now that the future "tiers" are known. We are in Tier 2 as is most of southern England. At present our planned walks for December and January are in Tier 2. We have checked the rules and, as we are affiliated to the Ramblers Association, we may from December 3rd recommence our covid-secure walks. In practice this means complying with the covid risk assessments that were in place prior to the current lock down. Thus walk leaders will need to complete a risk assessment as per walking group guidelines prior to their walk. Walk leaders should, at least mentally, check off each point in the risk assessment list. They must also keep a record of who attended their walk and pass the list to Tony Barrett after their walk. Walk leaders should also keep up to date with any changes to the tier that their walk is in; e.g. your walk may be Worcestershire which may be in or move to a different tier to our part of Gloucestershire.

We have decided to continue to limit our walk numbers to a maximum of twelve people per walk. We think that this number makes a reasonable compromise between covid secure walk management and having a worthwhile group walk.

We are aware that several keen and active members have decided to limit their participation in group walks as part of their personal shield
ing strategy. We hope that once effective vaccination is widespread we will be able to return to full strength walks, hopefully after Easter.

In the meantime please book onto walks as you wish  in the usual way.   (28/11/20)

December  2020

Walk    1388  

Thursday 3 December 6.7 miles (5.15 if fort 2 is omitted) Energetic               Picnic lunch
Meet        Overbury. Grid 960378. GL20 7PB.   9:45 to start walking at 10:00.
Contact    Geoff on 07974 677597 the week before
Directions    B4080 through Bredon. 2 miles later turn left in Overbury just after the old village shop. Park on the right before the tarmac road up the hill to Lalu farm.
Details    We climb the hill through Overbury Park to Lalu farm, turn left and head for the tower (Parsons' Folly) a climb of 210m. Then head east along the top of the escarpment past the BT tower to take a path which forks down to the left. Follow this to Elmley fort. Retrace the path to the main path (a climb of 125m) and go straight across along a line of Scots pines. After the last one turn left then right to the 3rd fort, Conderton Camp, and finally Pigeon Lane. Right here takes us back to the cars. The route can be reduced by avoiding the 2nd fort. There are no stiles but many opening gates.

Geoff had to cancel his walk today due to the inclement weather. He will reschedule in Jan/Feb.

Walk  1389

Wednesday 9 December 4.5 miles  Moderate  with a climb up and down
Meet    Sudeley Castle Car Park. Winchcombe. GL54 5JD. 9:45 for 10::00 pm start.
Contact    Andrea and Bob. 01684 294676 the week before
Directions    In Winchcombe look for directions to Sudeley Castle, follow side road down and follow up through the castle gateway. Go along the drive for about 500yards and park on the green area by the entrance to the castle.  We are not going in.
Details    We follow the Cotswold Way up the hill, on the road,  lanes and fields towards Cordean Hill. We then cut across and come back down the Winchcombe Way. Might well be muddy. Great views. 568 ft of ascent. 4 stiles on the way down.

There is an open air café in the car park at the start and end of the walk for refreshments. Open 10:45 am to 16:30 pm.

We did a walkover today. Sad to say Sudeley Cafe is shut so no refreshments this time. The gate is also shut so we need to park in the Lane outside the main entrance, lots of roadside parking here. We have altered part of the walk to cater for the new start. There is mud, a lot of it in places! But it is doable and there is now only ONE stile. We recommend at least one stick and boots.( From Andrea 3rd Dec )

Seven of us set off towards the higher climb out of Winchcombe on a fairly mild day for December. We climbed past the cricket pitch with several stiles set into the fencing for the fielders on to the ascent of the hill. Pausing for breath we admired the sight of Winchcombe in the distance. On reaching the road at the top Bob pointed out the ancient stone stile, which has been recorded by Peter Stevenson, who is making a record of such old stone stiles.

At the entrance to the Humblebee cottages we paused for coffee at some socially distanced  stones ,although we gathered from a local driver that was not in order. At the bottom of the driveway there were some very smart wooden gates, also with a new pedestrian gate. From here going back to lower levels we encountered some very muddy parts, especially near the gateways. However not deterred, Bob and Andrea found an alternative way into the next field by crossing some water and negotiating a fallen tree. After another extremely muddy gateway we were most encouraged that no-one had slipped over! We descended the lane on the end of the walk having enjoyed the company and fresh air.  (Thanks to Sonia for the report  -  SF)

Good to go   (All photos by Graham)

High above Winchcombe

Now what did Mum say about sitting on wet stones?

Ski slope?

Walk  1390   (Change of venue)

Thursday 10 December 3.75 miles  Moderate     Lunch Own arrangements
Meet        Market House, Ledbury, HR8 1DS     09.45 for 10.00 start
Contact    Jennifer & Tony    01684 276960            the Sunday before
Directions    In Ledbury park in the paying car park behind the swimming pool, and meet at Market House
Details    We walk south out of Ledbury and climb up to Conigree Woods, then over fields and lanes to Eastnor Village. The return is past the church, over the ridge through fields following the Geopath Way, descending through a rough sunken track to Ledbury. No stiles but there are a number of steady climbs.

Thursday 10th December 2020 Grade: Easy. Length: 4 Miles
Venue: Gupshill Manor Car Park, GL20 5SY Start: 10am Lunch: Own arrangements
Leader: Tony & Jennifer Barrett Contact: 01684 276960 Contact: By Tuesday before
Directions: Gloucester Road, Tewkesbury.
Description of Walk: A gentle walk on paths and tracks through the Southwick Park area returning through Lincoln Green. 2 stiles.We hope you can join us on this last walk of 2020, at the end of a year no-one will ever forget.

Nine of us met at Gupshill Manor car park on a greyish, cool day with some sunny periods. The walk was a mixture of roads, pavements,  footpaths and bridle paths; amazingly, in view of all the rain,  it was not too muddy. The route took us via Southwick Park and Farm to Redhouse Farm where we stopped to admire their beautiful and charming alpaca herd. On our way back we passed through Southwick Farm again where we saw, what in a thousand years time, will be of interest to archaeologists - "primitive(?)early 21st century farm machinery" being buried in an enormous briar patch which had just about consumed both a large tractor and other items which were buried so well that they could not be identified. The final part of the route took us to Lincoln Green Lane and along parts of the Battle Trail. Thanks to Tony and Jennifer for a late change of venue when their original Ledbury route proved inadvisable.  (Thanks to Hugh for the report and to Sylvia for the photos - SF)

Ready for the fray    ( All photos by Sylvia)

Wait at the gate

A little late sun

On the bridge - in wellies!

Walk  1391

Thursday 17 December   4.5 miles   Easy/Moderate   No lunch
Meet        The Village Inn Twyning GL20 6DF   Grid 904364   Meet at 10.00
Contact    Sonia   01684 298409   the week before 
Directions    From Tewkesbury on A 38 north,  right turn following the Twyning signs to the village green.
Details    We shall take the footpaths past the trout lake, then walk across fields
to catch some views of the Cotswolds. We’ll return beside the Avon. There is only one incline and one downhill slope. I will limit the group to 8 as there are many stiles!

Eight of us met by the Fleet Inn in Twyning on a fine winter’s morning, grateful that the rain had stopped but fully prepared to encounter mud. And no sooner had we started than we had to pick our way through wet mud for a couple of hundred yards. That was not the last of the mud but, from then, the main hazards were a fair number of stiles, some of them quite high. As we walked along the west bank of the River Avon, with Tewkesbury Abbey ahead of us in the distance, we shared the winter sunshine with a large number of Canada geese on the river and in a riverside meadow. Our walk took us almost as far as the Mythe Waterworks. After a stop for refreshments, we returned to Twyning by way of the higher ground parallel to the river. From these paths, we had fine views of the Cotswolds and the Malverns. On reaching Wood End we decided to take the farm track and A38 route to Church End, in order to avoid some particularly muddy fields. From Church End we made our way back to Twyning on paths and tracks, passing the pools that are thought to have provided fish for the monks of Winchcombe Abbey in medieval times.

We were lucky to have had good weather for such an enjoyable walk. Many thanks to Sonia for organizing and leading the walk, and for showing three of us who live in Twyning paths that we had not been aware of previously.  (Thanks to Bob W for the report, and to Graham for his photos  -  fine craftsmen both!  -  SF)

Up and over     (All photos by Graham)

An Avon ready to flood soon

Winter sun for the walk


Walk    1392   

Wednesday 23 December    5 miles  Easy/ Mod   lunch picnic/own arr.      Meet:             Pershore Bridge, Bridge Street, WR10 1AX (closest)    9.45 for 10.00
Contact:     Terry and Margaret  01684 772278  the week before                      
Directions:     Located on the B4084 ¼ mile south of Pershore
Details:     Walk on tracks and arable fields to riverside path to Great Comberton. Some lane walking. Mainly flat.

Just four members braved the forecasted deluge to do this walk from Pershore. The start being already underwater and the finish being judged as too dangerous because of a  muddy steep slope, we decided to substitute the advertised walk with a flat stroll to Wype Piddle. In light rain we walked via Pershore Market to rejoin the Avon at the leisure park and followed the river eastwards to Wyre mill and then to a pleasant Riverside park for coffee. The rain abated as we continued as far as the pub in the centre of Wyre Piddle with its pretty Tudor cottages. We returned from the Mill via a new boardwalk across protected wetlands. We were fortunate to get back to the start just before very heavy rain arrived.

Thanks to Terry and Margaret for leading the walk and providing the report and to Graham for his photos - SF

Wet     (all photos by Graham)




Walk  1392a    

Extract from a letter as of 27 Dec. from Hugh concerning the different rules concerning Tier 3 regulations (Gloucestershire,) and tier 2 (Worcestershire)
" . . . The immediate effect of all of this is that Graham and Betty's pudding buster walk on 30 December is only open to residents of Worcestershire. The walks in the January programme are in both counties. Thus it is up to walk leaders to query potential walkers on their county of residence and only accept members who live in the same county as the walk is in. Equally if  a walk leader is leading a walk in a different county from their residence then they cannot lead it!"

Wednesday, 30th December  5 miles  Moderate Picnic at the end, if required.
Meet         Golden Valley, near Malvern Hills.  Grid  776371   10.00 start
Contact      Graham & Betty   01684 594331 the week before,
Directions   A438 Tewkesbury/Ledbury road, at B4208 crossroads T. Rt., in 1 mile T. Lt. to Golden Valley, in 0.25 of a mile T. Rt. onto track, park near Mill Pond.
Details      Our Walking Group’s annual ‘Pudding Buster’walk will be different this year, with no festive pub lunch to look forward to because of Co-vid 19, but we guarantee the Malvern Hills are as scenic as ever.                         We walk north-west across Hollybed and Castlemorton Commons towards the Hills, with one short steepish ascent, followed by our coffee stop below Swinyard Hill, and mostly downhill on the return.
We hope you can join us on this last walk of 2020, at the end o
f a year no-one will ever forget.  
It was a wonderful day for a Walk Leader to wake up to- sunshine, glistening snow clad hillsides, and a promise of laughter tramping over commons towards the Malvern Hills with like - minded friends. We would have been 13 in number (unlucky for us) but  because of tier changes, Worcestershire Tier 3, Gloucestershire Tier 4 following rising numbers of Covid cases it was not possible for walkers to venture outside their respective Counties.
Today, Margaret & Terry accompanied Graham & Betty on a familiar Pudding Buster walk from the Golden Valley, across Hollybed & Castlemorton commons onto the Malvern Hills. After a short climb a coffee stop was enjoyed at the Rock, the spot Graham & Betty have chosen to have their ashes scattered, with a view across the valley to the Cotswolds though trees below are gradually obscuring the view.
In all the years Tewkesbury U3A Walking Group has been operating nothing like this pandemic has stopped us in our tracks. Since lockdown 1, March 2020, we coped during good summer months, walking in small groups, and when the new activity of zoom meetings began ( which proved invaluable to all of us) the situation was more bearable (tho’ I’m hopeless at quizzes!) As Winter approached, bad weather, another Lockdown, and ever changing rules meant
became more difficult to deal with.
After we have received our Covid vaccinations, we hope 2021 will soon allow us all to walk together again across the 3 Counties where we are privileged to live, to enjoy some of the most glorious countryside in England.
Happy New Year Everyone, Betty & Graham
Many thanks to Betty and Graham for all their tireless work for the group throughout this
confused and resricted year - better times are coming!  _ SF

. . . A spot to come back to

Tier 3 folk

Snow in the mountains?

Top of the world?

Message from the committee . . . "As you will know by now Gloucestershire has moved to Tier 4 and Worcestershire has moved to Tier 3.

In consequence Sylvia, Tony and I have conferred and believe that the only thing we can do now  is to suspend the walk programme until such time as Gloucestershire emerges from Tier 4.
"  -  Hugh  (31/12/20)

January  2021   (Happy New Year?)

January 2021 - The Corvid crisis shows no sign of easing anytime in the near future, and as a consequence our walk programme has been suspended till the present lockdown is lifted. Walks will be relaunched as soon as the restrictions are lifted and will comply with government guidelines.

Walk  1393

Wednesday 6 January    8.5 miles.     Energetic.    Picnic Lunch, ideally en route.
Meet        Sevenhampton Church GR 033217     9.30am start
Contact    Ian and Kathy  01684 290542   the week before.
Directions    Take the A40 out of Cheltenham through Charlton Kings. At the Traffic lights signed posted Stow on the Wold, turn left, then after about 400m left again towards Syreford. Right towards Sevenhampton, but ignore the sign for Sevenhampton village only, carry on another 400m until the next turning on the right sign posted Sevenhampton Church. Park on the side of the road.
Details    A rectangular walk. We head west towards the village of Whittington and then north to the abandoned Wontley Farm on the Cotswold Way. We then turn east  following track and road, before heading south at Charlton Pool to Sevenhampton Church via Brockhampton. During the first mile of this walk there are about 10 stiles, and then none. You have been warned


Walk  1394

Wednesday 13 January     4.6 miles     Moderate (ascent 200 ft)     Picnic lunch by lake or own arrangements
Meet        Kemerton Church     GR 945368     10.00 for 1015 start
Contact    Noel   01684 772526   the week before        
Directions    Bredon Road to Kemerton; 1st R after Crown Inn;  Church is 500 m on L.
Details    Kemerton Lake and village, climb to Upper Westmancote, down to Lower W., Kemerton 'Park', Lower Mill (John Moore's home),  Lake (picnic) or return to nearby cars.
N.B. Climb can be avoided, making this an EASY walk.  Please ring Noel beforehand.
2 stiles (one normal, one tallish step)


Walk  1395

Thursday 14 January   5 miles   Easy    lunch picnic/own arrangements
Meet        Eckington Bridge CP  Grid 924424  9.45 for 10.00 start
Contact    Terry and Margaret     01684 772278  the week before
Directions    From Tewkesbury take B4080 to Eckington Bridge, carpark on right.
Details    After crossing the bridge the route  goes to Great Comberton as described in Local Walks booklet No.2


Walk  1396

Thursday 21 January    6 miles      Energetic    
Meet        Meet  at Bredons Norton Bus Shelter    GL20 7HB  Grid  930391      9.45am for 10.00am start. 
Contact    Mike & Jenny    01684 772194     the week before
Directions    B4080 Tewkesbury to Bredon.  After crossing the railway bridge turn L on B4080 towards Pershore and Eckington.   Take the 2nd road on the right (signposted Bredons Norton)  Carry on through village to traffic island. The bus shelter is opposite.  There is limited roadside parking, mainly to the north of the church.
Details    We walk up Bredon Hill from Bredon’s Norton, returning via Sundial Farm and Westmancote.  Up to 4 stiles and a number of gates.
Total ascent, 300m (1000ft).  About 3 hours walking time including stops.
NB. The route may be varied according to weather and underfoot conditions.


Walk  1397

Wednesday 27 January    5 miles    Moderate
Meet        Apperley village hall car park  GL19 4DP Grid 867286  9.45am for 10.00am start
Contact    Hugh    01452 780460     the week before
Directions    A38 south then B4312, second turning right after 2 miles to Apperley, village hall is 400m on the right
Details    A walk mainly on the higher ground around Deerhurst and Apperley, fields, footpaths and country lanes. At least 6 stiles, some mud, part of the route will depend upon if there is any flooding around Deerhurst.



Notes for Guidance
        Information for all members (revised July 2020) 
Group Leader        Walks Co-ordinator                  Treasurer
Sylvia Murdoch           Hugh Bennett                              Tony Barrett
 01684 437462                          01452 780460     01684 276960

Walking Group mobile phones:  07546069085 and 07522958435

 Details of all walks and reports can be seen at

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

Stroll: A short walk at an easy pace with frequent stops. Warning is given about inclines or difficulties       

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

Moderate:  Some uphill/downhill stretches – uneven 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 subsequently unable to take part; one of the group phones will be turned on on the morning of the walk so that you can make contact in the event of a last minute delay or you become lost.
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.
Members may bring a guest but the guest must not displace a member if spaces on the walk are limited.
We usually stop for a 15-20 minute coffee-break after about an hour; so, as well as refreshments, something to sit on can be useful on wet ground.



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.  Remember that a short moderate walk may be more demanding than a longer easy one.

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.

Remember to carry any medications that you might need.  There will normally be a “coffee stop� so carry food, and water, especially on hot days.  It is sensible to carry a small first aid kit.  A whistle is a good way of attracting attention if you need help.

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

Keep to the route indicated by the leader:  do not devise shorts cuts, etc.  If you wish to leave the walk, you must let the leader know.

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

Be aware of the danger from ticks and hence tick-borne diseases, particularly in the summer months and near animals. Dress appropriately, e.g. long trousers rather than shorts; trousers tucked into boots, socks or gaiters.

Each walker is ultimately responsible for carrying out a personal risk assessment for every walk they undertake.

Carry identification in case of accident:  name, date of birth, emergency contact number, doctor’s number, essential medications. (ICE Card)

Carry your U3A membership card which may be checked.
    Classify your walk as STROLL/EASY/MODERATE/ENERGETIC.  Mention any steep     climbs and stiles.

    Aim to carry out a walk-over (with your co-leader) of your proposed route not more than     two weeks beforehand.

    Consider all the points in the national U3A walk leaders’ risk assessment (attached below).     Take action as you consider necessary.

    Limit your walk to a maximum number that you think you can safely manage.

    Have a co-leader to act as back-marker: count the party at the start and at suitable points during the walk. The back marker needs to know the planned route in case the party gets split.

    Liaise with Sylvia Murdoch to obtain the leader's pack (contains: phone & charger, first aid kit, hi-viz vests)

    Carry the walking group first aid kit; however remember that you may not be qualified to give medical advice. However there may well be a member with medical training and experience on the walk.

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

    Carry a map, the group mobile phone (as well as your own).  A GPS receiver is useful for pinpointing location. Switch on the group mobile phone before you leave home and keep it on until the walk is over.

    If your walk is along roads where traffic is expected, use the Group yellow vests for the leader and back-marker.  Walk in single file and face on-coming traffic except where visibility is obscured.
Ask for volunteers to write a report on and take photos of the walk and forward them to:
Having collected 50p from each walker, pass the money together with a note of date, walk number, number of walkers and total to Tony Barrett or Sylvia Murdoch.

General Information
Walkers on the email list will be sent full details of walks every other month.  If you require a paper copy of the walking programme, there is a charge of £4 p.a., payable at the Walking Group AGM or  the Enrolment Meeting.  This will be sent to you by post.

Reports on walks already done can be seen at

We are affiliated to the Ramblers Association and the membership card may be used to obtain a 10%  discount on walking gear in most local outlets. Please contact Richard Hart or Tony Barrett if you need a copy of the card.

All walkers and leaders are covered by U3A third party insurance even in the case of negligence, although it is assumed that all will conduct themselves with common sense.
     Walk Details
Leaders, when sending details of their walks to the walks coordinator for inclusion in future programmes, need to supply the following details:

    Preferred date; length of the walk; grade, i.e. stroll/easy/moderate/energetic; lunch arrangements, e.g. pub, picnic etc
    Meeting Place with post code and/or grid reference; meet time and start time.
    Directions to the meeting place
    Details of the walk, e.g. outline of the route; type and state of ground; steep gradients;     number of stiles.
    Any special instructions or information.


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.


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





Sylvia (Group Leader) 01684 437462

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Tony, (Administrator) 01684 276960 

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Hugh, (walks coordinator)  01452 780460

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Webmaster . . . Stan Fagg    Updated 26th January  2021