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WALKS PROGRAMME No 152   JULY, AUGUST & SEPTEMBER   2019 

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.  
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, or pass it on to the next walk leader.
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.









JULY  2019


Walk  1315

Date  Wednesday 3rd July    5.2miles Easy  Pub Lunch  
Meet        The Royal Oak, The Burgage, Prestbury GL52 3DL  9.30 for 10.00
Contact    Bob&Kath    01242 232527 the week
Directions    Cheltenham Racecourse, take road to Prestbury along New Barn Lane and turn left into The Burgage after 1.5kms.  Pub on left.
Details    From The Burgage proceed to racecourse and follow perimeter path around racecourse past GWR Station and on to Southam. Returning to Prestbury via low level footpath below Queens Wood. 4/5 stiles, no steep hills. 
 

Eleven assembled at the Royal Oak in The Burgage, Prestbury for a walk around Cheltenham Race Course. The morning was warm and initially cloudless. We walked on public footpaths alongside the race circuit with glorious views over the course and the surrounding hills and countryside. We were even blessed with the arrival and subsequent departure of a steam train at the adjacent station. Although it clouded over somewhat during the morning the weather warmed up, and we were glad of the drink on returning to the Royal Oak.  (Thanks to Bob P and Kath for leading and also to Bob M for the report and to Graham for the photos - SF)

In the sun  (Photos by Graham)

At the races

Toot, toot!

In the shade

Walk  1316

Date  Thursday 4th July        6 miles Moderate        Own arrangements for lunch
Meet        Cattle Market car park  Monmouth  NP25 3EG  (£4.40 all day)  10.00 start
Contact    Richard&Eileen  01684 274197  the week before
Directions    M50, A40 and follow signs into Monmouth via Dixton Rd to town centre.  At the Monow Bridge turn left.
Details    We walk beside theWye and the Monow and explore the countryside between.  16 easy stiles.  Explore the town and its many pubs afterwards.
 

Cyfarfu un ar ddeg ohonom yn Trefynwy ....
11 of us met at Monmouth on another glorious sunny day securely tied our shoelaces and off we set. Walking thro town one of the locals said “Don’t follow him he doesn’t know where he’s going”. Soothsayer?
After a pleasant walk along the river Wye we came suddenly upon a delightful church at Dixon. Mention of a church at this site goes back to AD735. Surprising as the flood level marker inside the church was above the head of our tallest walker.
Leaving this oasis of calm we crossed the A40 and a slow climb thro the fields.
At the edge of a field of rape seed we took our break finding shade where we could.
Hereafter things became more interesting as we trudged thro the field with the official path completely overgrown with planting and nettles and brambles.
We exited to find half had been set upon by Tylwyth Teg in the field as their shoelaces had been cleverly undone.
After a short jungle section we came to the bank of the Monnow and a weir with an escape route for the salmon plus a very interesting dual reverse Archimedes screw to generate hydro-electricity.
Very shortly we had a decision whether to make the walk short, medium or a mile longer. We opted unanimously for medium and were soon back to civilisation, or what passes for civilisation in Wales.
Nice to explore a different area, and thanks all round to Richard and Eileen and proving the soothsayer wrong. (Thanks to Richard and Eileen for leading, and  to Calvyn for his report and photos and also to Tony for his photos too - SF)

Blue remebered hills    (Photo by Calvyn)

Through the hay   (Photo by Calvyn)

Hot ain't it?   (Photo by Tony)

Bide awhile    (Photo by Tony)


Stroll

Date  Tuesday 9th July                 Kempsey                   10.30 start
Meet        Park at side of road close to Kempsey church and meet by church gate.
Contact    Eileen    01684 274197     the week before
Directions    A38 north to Kempsey and turn left at cross roads by shop, signed Church.
Details    We will explore some of the older parts of the village.
 

Many of the 23 of us (with two new members) that came for today's stroll had, like me, driven through Kempsey for many years on our way to Worcester without ever stopping to explore this suprisingly large and varied village.  Our guides, Eileen and Richard led us around to discover some historic connections with the river Severn. One such being a former waterman's tavern "The Severn Trow", now a private dwelling, and the site of a former ferry.  We also passed through a remnant of an ornamental garden that was part of the Kempsey estate - very pretty!.  Fortunately the weather was kind to us, overcast, but dry and very warm, so we were able to enjoy our stroll around the lanes bordered with summer flowers, and along the road with a fascinating mix of architecture from the last 400 years topped off with a visit to the large and imposing church.  Many thanks to Richard and Eileen for this unexpected treat!

Past the church

The last ferry has gone!

Garden ornaments?

There is a ford here!


Walk  1317

Date  Thursday 11th July     5miles  Moderate/Energetic  Pub Lunch
Meet        Wyche Inn,  WR14 4EQ  Grid 769437  9.30 for 9.45
Contact    Graham & Betty  01684594331  the week before
Directions    Welland- TR British Camp CP-Jubilee Drive-thro’ Wyche cutting (roadside parking) and pub is on left .
Details    Walk on east side Malvern Hills to Wynds Point (where famous Swedish singer Jenny Lind lived her last 15 years)
Time for an ice cream then we have a choice- over the tops or a more moderate path back to lunch.
 

Writing of a fair weather walk around the central body of the Malverns may seem like a piece of cake until faced with a blank sheet of paper.  Nonetheless, this was a story that had to be told of 19 brave souls crossing over the old Salt Way; now the most dangerous corner hereabouts, to order lunch at the Wyche Inn, AND crossing back again.  I surmised that it could only get easier.
Easier it did, as Betty led us up and down along gentle slopes while, in gaps between the trees, reminding us of our green and pleasant land beyond.  All of a sudden, that is two miles along the path, we found ourselves in an old quarry, more green than grey, with scattered boulders on which to relax and take our refreshments…the perfect spot, with the quarry face rising up almost to the summit of Black Hill (north).
Eventually, time was called for the gentlemen to move on, only to be met with a band of swarthy young men heading for the quarry!  Although the outcome of the encounter that followed remains a secret, it appeared to have altered Betty’s ‘satnav’ as we began to walk downhill instead of onwards and upwards.  Happily, the increasing sound of the internal combustion engine put our leader back on track, up and over the pathway between the Black Hills (splendid views to the north), and down to our much anticipated ‘ice-creams to die for’ rest stop.
Our return journey was entirely different in character with expansive views to the west, but before that we followed a gently rising and reconstructed track for the benefit of wheelchair users to reach the ridge path.  This led us to the south col below Pinnacle Hill, the highest point of the mid-Malverns at 1171ft and the parting of the ways.
A dozen of the fittest took to the high route, while the rest of us, ‘the Seven’, contented themselves with following the 1,000 ft contour, gazing wistfully out west towards next week’s epic along Offa’s Dyke and the Cat’s Back Ridge.
This reverie came to an end as the two groups coalesced between Little Switzerland and Jubilee Hill for the final stroll down to an enjoyable lunch together at the Wyche Inn.  Our thanks go to Betty for leading a splendid walk in both directions, and to Graham for keeping one hand on a light touch tiller at the rear of the party, while the other hand was held at the ready to ‘write with light’ (to photograph) the highlights of the day.  (Thanks also to Noel for his amazingly detailed report, and to Graham for his usual super photos - SF)

A bit of level walking    (photo by Graham)

Lovely ice cream at Wynds Point  
   (photo by Graham)

Choose your path  
   (photo by Graham)

The wonderful Malverns
   (photo by Graham)

The whole team  
   (photo by Graham)


Walk  1318

Date  Wednesday 17th July   4 miles Easy/Moderate      Pub lunch
Meet        Boat Inn   Ashleworth GR 818250  GR 818250      9.30 for  1000
        Very small car park so share cars.
Contact    Noel   01684 772526   the week before    25 max
Directions    Once in village, follow signs to the river.
Details    Across the fields to Ashleworth.  Gentle climb up to 50m for views of May Hill and Malverns; laconic descent to the long lane to Longridge End, returning via river path.  Approx. 4 stiles.
 

Nineteen of us - including two new, welcome walkers - assembled at the Boat Inn at Ashleworth on a warm ( becoming hot) day with hazy sunshine. We walked across fields to Ashleworth village post office and then up hill along  bridle and foot paths to the 50m ridge line where we had our coffee stop. This had panoramic views towards May Hill. On the way some of us saw the very unusual site of a woman on horseback taking a goat for a walk on a leading rein. After coffee we started back, joining Longridge Lane to its end and on down to the River Severn. A further mile along the river bank saw us return to the Boat Inn where we enjoyed excellent food while sitting outside on the river bank.  (Many thanks go to Noel for his usual well-crafted leadership, and the interest that he brought to this lovely walk.  Thanks also go to Hugh for the report, and to Lesley and Hugh for their photos - SF)

Through ripening wheat     (Photo by Lesley)

Relaxing on the ridge  
    (Photo by Lesley)

A convenient bench
    (Photo by Lesley)

In the hay  
    (Photo by Hugh)


Walk  1319

Date  Thursday 18th July       8 miles      Energetic               Picnic
Meet        Little Black Hill Car Park HR2 0NL Grid SO289329.      Meet 9.45am
Contact    Graham and Mike    01684 594331      week before
Directions    Allow 1hour 30min. from Tewkesbury. M50 to end, A40, A49, B4348 to A465. Turn L on A465 to Pontrilas. Turn R onto B4347 to Ewyas Harold. In Ewyas Harold turn L to Longtown.  In Longtown take Olchon Valley to Llanveynoe and Little Black Hill, keeping R at fork. Alternatively, from A49 take L on B4521 to Skenfrith and R on B4347 to Grosmont (toilets) and Pontrilas etc. This route might take a little longer.
Details    We cross Olchon Brook and climb onto Offa’s Dyke Path.  We head along the ridge NW towards Hay Bluff.  We turn right and head for the rocky Black Hill (the Cat’s Back).  We descend steeply to the car park.  This is a high level route starting at 1000ft and climbing to 2300ft. 
Notes  Please take waterproofs and extra layers, and plenty of fluids, whatever the weather.  Walking time 5 hours.  A shorter, 5 mile route will be used if weather dictates.

After an early start and long drive, 15 adventurous walkers arrived at Little Black Hill car park, keen to tackle this challenging walk.

Initially, we followed a downhill trail with several stiles, which proved difficult for those with short legs. After crossing the Olchon Brook we started to climb the Hatterall Ridge. Looking upwards, a number of us started to question whether we should have stayed at home, but were urged onwards and upwards - 2300 feet here we come!  It wasn’t long before we had our first welcome coffee break. While sitting comfortably, admiring the beautiful view and congratulating ourselves on climbing the first part of the hill, our illustrious leaders announced that we had followed the wrong path and would have to retrace our steps. After much huffing and puffing, the party trundled off down the hill to start the climb again.

The new path gradually climbed the ridge through shoulder-high dense bracken, giving us a steady unimpeded climb, with the opportunity to take a number of “breathers.  Just before the top of the ridge we saw a herd of wild Welsh ponies, which prompted Graham to start clicking away with his camera. We were extremely pleased to eventually reach the top and were rewarded with magnificent distant views across Brecon & Radnorshire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and Worcestershire. It was time for another welcome food break and a chance to sing Happy Birthday to Terry, who had decided to spend his special day on the top of a hill!

Well rested, we then proceeded along the path constructed in 1971, which follows where possible, Offa’s dyke. This was constructed by Offa the Anglo Saxon king of Mercia, between 757 – 796 AD and runs from Chepstow to Prestatyn for 177miles. Is anyone up for walking this after the Camino?

We continued to walk the ridge in excellent, but windy, weather conditions, on a pathway built mainly of flag stones. Eventually we reached the path to Black Hill, which is locally known as the Cat’s Back as it looks like a crouching cat ready to pounce. We were now on the home straight and everyone was in fine form. The walking conditions gave no problems until the last part, where we had to navigate a very narrow rock outcrop and a steep descent to the car park. With toes hurting we arrived to find Margaret dishing out slices of Terry’s birthday cake, which was a perfect end to a splendid day.

For some of us it was an achievement to climb 2300 feet and walk 8.5 miles. Thank you to Graham/Betty and Mike/Jenny for organising and leading such an excellent walk.  (Thanks also to Stuart for his graphic report and to Graham for his ususal wonderful photos - SF)


Woodland creatures   (Photos by Graham)

What goes up- must come down

Wonderful panorama

The Cat's Back - a must for all walkers!


Walk  1320

Date  Wednesday  24th July        7.1 miles         Moderate         Picnic 
Meet        The Valley (Evesham Country Park)  WR11 4DS  Grid  044 465    10.00 start
Contact    Mike&Jenny  01684 772194   the week before
Directions    A46 to Evesham and follow ring Rd. At Twyford rbt. Signposted services, turn rt. look for signboard The Valley.  Meet by the railway station in the top car park.  Toilets in the shops.
Details    An extended version of Richard and Eileen’s walk in December, visiting the Site of the Battle of Evesham 1265.  After visiting the battle field, where we have our coffee stop, we follow the river round Evesham , stopping for our picnic lunch in Abbey Park where there are free toilets. After lunch we continue along the river back to ‘The Valley’.    Easy walking, gentle climbs total 400ft, one stile.We expect to be back at the valley between 2.30 and 3pm where there are places to get a cup of tea.
 

We were lucky that this walk was on a ‘cooler’ day between two of the hottest days in the year.  There was some cloud and a little breeze at times and we did not suffer.
After setting off from the Evesham Country Park we walked down to the Avon and followed its bank for a mile or so.  It was a little humid in this ‘Jungly’ section and some of the path was under water from the heavy rain the night before.  Whilst we enjoyed some shade under the Simon de Monfort bridge, Jenny very expertly told us of this gentle man’s history and then led us up the the site of the Battle of Evesham where he met his demise in 1265.
After a break, we walked down to the Avon and followed it all the way back to the Country Park, pausing for a picnic by the town bridge and the very crowded Abbey Gardens.  We again battled with the ‘Jungle’ where Tony heroically threw himself in the brambles so that Sylvia could test our the first aid kit.  All,  however, was mended by a welcome cup of tea in the Garden centre.
Thanks Jenny and Mike for a well-planned and enjoyable walk.  (Thanks also to Richard for his report and to Terry for the photos - SF)

Along the Avon   (All photos by Terry)

Now where?

Come to sunny Evesham!

Waiting for the ferry? 

Walk  1321

Date  Thursday 25th July   4.4 miles Moderate.    Garden Centre Lunch**
Meet        Mythe Garden Centre GL20 6EB.       9.30 for 10.0 start
Contact    Andrea, Bob and Anne.  01684 294676   week before
Directions    The Mythe Garden Centre is up the A38 north from Tewkesbury, about half a mile on the left.  **Please give menu choice when booking http://tewkesburygardencentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Main-Menu.pdf
Details    This is a 2 rivers walk. We descend from the garden centre to walk along the Severn as far as the Mythe bridge where we cross over the A38 and go towards the Avon. After walking along the River, (several stiles) we ascend gently towards Shuthonger via the Monks Pools’.
We cross back over the A38 and make our way to Anne’s house for a coffee stop in her garden. Loo available! Then we descend through Shuthonger Common towards the Severn and walk back via the Red Pools where we hope to hear and see wildlife.
Several ups and downs but not too steep, some stiles. 
 

The weather was exceptionally hot and sunny.  Indeed the prediction was for the hottest day ever recorded in the UK but nevertheless eleven of us met at the Mythe garden centre. The route immediately went down a green lane, passing King John's Castle and the end of the disused Mythe railway tunnel, down to the bank of the River Severn.  We then went south along the river bank path, through dense overgrown woodland, to Thomas Telford's beautiful bridge over the river. After crossing the A38 we walked along the River Avon meadows, before veering "inland" to Shuthonger where we visited and rested at Anne Trott's house. We were entertained there by Sylvia's husband, complete with his  Scottish costume (red-haired wig and bonnet) with a dialect retelling of the story of David and Goliath.  After this refreshing break, we returned to our start point via Shuthonger Common and the Mythe Railway Nature Reserve.  Brown's restaurant at the garden centre was air-conditioned; this was much appreciated by some very hot walkers. The food was good too! Thanks to Anne and her family and friends for their hospitality and to Andrea and Bob for leading.  (Thanks to Hugh for the report, and to Shirley for her photos - SF)

Mad dogs and englishmen . . .    (All photos by Shirley)

Brave souls!

A bit of shade

Not the best kept steps!

Walk  1322

Date  Wednesday 31st July    4.75 miles     Easy    Picnic at Hugh’s house
Meet        Apperley Village Hall car park, GL19 4DP     Grid 867286     9.45 for 10.00 start
Contact    Hugh and Fran 01452 780460    the week before
Directions    A38 south to traffic lights junction with B4213, turn right for 2 miles, second turning         on the right signed to Apperley
Details    From Apperley to Deerhurst, then climb gently to Tewkesbury golf course and a different route back to Apperley. Hugh will provide soft drinks, beer, wine etc.

It was an overcast but warm day for the 19 walkers that met up in the car park in Apperley today.  Hugh's wife, Christine, took charge of our packed lunches to store in the cool for us, and we set off across the playing field for Deerhurst. 

Before long we were admiring the ancient and historic Saxon church, (what a gem!) and setting off along the ridge above the Severn along the Long Plantation.  When we came to the golf course at Tewkesbury Park, we turned inland for a while, before heading south on our return journey.  On the way we passed Park Farm where extensive and doubtless expensive, work is in progress. 

Back to Deerhurst we came, and, at length, returned to Apperley.  All along the way there were vast fields of ripening crops: beans, bearded and plain wheat -  to say nothing about the delights of summer flowers, streams, pools and scenery worthy of any artist's brush!  What lucky bunnies we are to live in such a delightful corner of England! 

Hugh, ably assisted by Fran, not only lead us with his usual skill and care, but also together with Christine, entertained us royally in their lovely garden.  Many thanks to them both! – SF

1. Leaving Deerhurst 

2. A little flash of sunshine 

3. At Park Farm

4. Lots of biscuits! 

5. All together now!  [Photo by Christine]




August  2019



Walk  1323

DateWednesday 7th August    4.75 miles   Easy/Moderate        Pub lunch
Meet        Fish & Anchor  Offenham WR11 8QT  Grid 066471       9.40 for 10.00
Contact    Terry & Margaret 01684 772278  the week before
Directions    A46 onto Evesham bypass, 3rd L on B4035, 1st R B4510 continue thro' Offenham to pub on R nr bend in river..
Details    The walk starts in a northerly direction following the river climbing slightly on reaching Cleeve Hill and Windmill hill, passing a nature reserve then later stopping at Middle Littleton to see the tithe barn.
A couple of short ascents and descents with views and about 5 stiles. Plenty of parking at the pub.
 

Two dozen of us met at the Fish & Anchor, by the River Avon in Offenham near Evesham. Presumably the somewhat unusual name of the pub was chosen to appeal to anglers and boaters, but we were there to walk and to enjoy the countryside. The weather was ideal for late summer – “cloudy-bright” with a gentle breeze – and we set off, most of us in shirt-sleeve order, along the bank of the calm and peaceful Avon. Not a fishing rod or boat was to be seen. The walk took us up to Cleeve Hill (no relation to the more familiar one near Cheltenham) and Windmill Hill (which was a bit windy, but with no obvious mill). We followed shady paths and a rather dodgy bridleway, and across a large field, which was full of wild flowers and was probably set-aside. We were treated to views of Bredon Hill and neighbouring hills in the Cotswolds, as well as glimpses of the Avon. The season of mellow fruitfulness beckoned, with plenty of blackberries and a few plums (some of them quite ripe) in the hedgerows. The morning was not short of architectural and historic interest, because we stopped to look inside the impressive tithe barn at Middle Littleton, which is owned by the National Trust. Only one thing spoiled this lovely walk: having to cross an area of fly-tipping. We managed to negotiate the hazard of a tree that had fallen across the path, all of us still flexible enough to get under it. A final challenge was to walk down a steepish and uneven hillside, but we were surrounded by scabious and other flowers, and the pub was in sight only a short distance away, where we would soon enjoy an excellent lunch.

This was a memorable walk, ably organized and led by Margaret and Terry. (Thanks also go to Bob W for his excellent report, and to Graham for his usual super photos - SF)

Waiting for a bus?     (photo by Stan)

Ripe blackberries    (photo by Graham)

Is this an assault course?
 (photo by Graham)

A real meadow
 (photo by Graham)




Walk  1324


Date  Thursday 8th August       6 miles Moderate/Energetic     Picnic lunch
Meet        North Quarry car park, West Malvern Rd  WR14 4LT  Grid 771469      10.00
Contact    Richard & Eileen  01684 274197  the week before
Directions    Through Great Malvern on A449 and left on West Malvern Road.  Car park is on left just before the clock tower.  £4.40 all day.  There may be free parking at the side of the road.
Details    Across the fields to Storridge past Knight’s Cider (refreshement stop?) and back along the Worcestershire Way, Sugarloaf and Ivy Scar Rock.  Some climbing.

After a full house on Terry & Margaret’s walk the previous day, there were only 9 of us for this interesting and varied walk.  We were able to park by the roadside and were soon admiring the precipitous gardens on the North end of the Malvern Hills. 

We dropped off the hill down the steep steps of the Worcestershire Way (“peared” with the newer Geopark Way and its trilobite waymarks). After a couple of footbridges, a coffee stop and an orchard, we were entering cyder country, and we soon came across the farm shop selling Knights’ cyder.  Onward we rambled to the outskirts of Storridge and then continued along the formerWorcester Way though more orchards and woods (great views across the western valleys and to the Hatterall ridge where some of us had walked only 3 weeks earlier).  We crossed the West Malvern Road and began ascending Sugarloaf Hill beside St James’s church and the Abbey School.  It was quite a pull after our 4 mile stroll through the orchards but we made it to some seats for lunch, then over the hills to Ivy Scar Rock (photo stop) and an easy descent back to the Clock Tower. 

The weather was kind, not too hot, not to cold, and we were grateful to Eileen and Richard for taking us to this less well-known, tranquil part of the Malverns.  Thanks to Gillian for arty photos and Mike for the report [“Stub”]

1.       Coffee stop – looks as if a caffeine rush is needed!

2.       Art[y] photo enhances Nature.

3.       An entry for a caption competition? [email Stan]

4.       Interesting seats for lunch?


Stroll

Date  Tuesday 13th August            Beckford   
Meet        Car park behind Beckford Village Hall                  10.30 start
Contact    Mike & Jenny   01684 772194  the week before to book on.
Details    A stroll around parts of the village with a visit to the Nature Reserve.
 

It was a lovely day for the stroll around Beckford that the 18 of us enjoyed today.  For such a small village there is a lot to enjooy here, - especially the nature reserve - aquired by the villagers and now maintained by them,  and also the historic and lovely church.  We visited both of these, but first made our way up the lanes to the farm buildings at the bottom of the "yellow brick road" to see the iconic gleaming streamline caravans that they renovate here,  From here, we made our way to the nature reserve for a walk aound the pool and then on to the church to admire the special early Norman carvimgs.  All the churches around the foot of Bredon Hill are worth a visit, and Beckford's especially so.  A lovely summer stroll made all the more interesting by our guides' research which they shared with us.  Many thanks to them both for a morning so well spent.

Dazzling!

Dappled sun in the nature reserve

Watching the ducks

In the church


Walk  1325

Date  Wednesday 14th August   (
There is likely to be heavy rain (again) on Wednesday so Betty and Graham have moved their walk to Thursday 15th this week.  All other details are the same.  It may be that some of you are now able to make this walk with the change of date.  If so, contact Graham.)
 
10 miles Moderate /Energetic  Picnic.
Meet        First right down the hill after Horse & Groom pub, Bourton on the Hill,
                     parking at roadside    .Grid 175325    GL56 9AQ          9.45.start.
Contact    Graham & Betty  01684 594331 week before
Directions    A44 Oxford Road from Broadway approx 5 miles to B  on the H.
Details    Energetic by length of walk. We visit Sezincote,Longborough & Hinchwick stopping at Blockley for afternoon tea.  8 stiles.
 

Shunning the atrocious weather of the previous day, 14 met in glorious windy sunshine at Bourton-on-the Hill.  Following a photograph-stop in front of the beautiful copper cupola of Sezincote House, we ambled our way passed contented jersey cows plus calves to Longborough.  Before coffee, we admired the ancient craft perpetuated by three dry-stone-wallers creating an immensely long wall at around 5 metres per hard-working day.  Unfortunately, no badger came to watch our Cotswold picnic, as had happened four years ago on this sunny spot, but we were blessed with buzzard spotting over Bourton Downs and Hinchwick Manor.  Annoyances of the day were loss of a walking stick, a cow pat deliberately placed for treading and a hat left behind though retrieved.  The highlights of the day – and there were many – included cream / cake teas at the Blockley Community Café & Shop accompanied by a swarm of wasps - and no-one was stung. 

Huge thanks to Betty and Graham for organising and leading this memorable walking day. 

(Thanks to Angela for the report and to Graham for the photos; ”Stub”)

Let's get down to it and seize the view

Backbreaking work?

Perennial Remembrance?

Chased by a Swarm of Wasps?



Walk  1326

Date  Thursday  22nd August          6.25 miles   Moderate/Energetic   Picnic
Meet        St Peter’s Church car park, Martley. GR 756598     9.50 for 10.00 start.
Contact    Sonia  01684 298409 week before.
Directions    A.38 towards Worcester and left on to A4440. On 3rd roundabout join
                      A.44 towards Bromyard. Turn off rt to Martley on B.4197. Just after
                       the closed down Crown Pub turn rt on to B 4204(signed Worcester)
           and very shortly turn right again on to Church Lane. Car park is on
 the left,  before a righthand bend.
Details    We walk through fields, orchards and ancient woodlands with great
                     views on joining the Worcestershire Way. 3 shortish steep climbs
                     and 2 stiles. Possibility of a drink at a nearby pub after the walk.
 

16 of us gathered at the Red & White Sandstone Church of St Peter in Martley. It was a pleasant walking day, some sun and a threat of a shower. Although Sonia was nominally our leader she was assisted by a friendly buzzard, on a route created by the 'nones' of Martley. The walk took us through old woodlands, cider orchards and a herd of cattle who were interest to see why the ladies 'stayed back'. Lunch was on the Worcestershire way with wonderful views to the mountains of Wales. We then descended to join the River Teme before a steep climb back to the church via a new housing estate, one house had twin front doors which was most intriguing. Thank you Sonia for an interesting walk and commentary, in a new area for some. (Thanks to Tony for the report, and to Bob W and Terry for the photos - SF)

Scrumping!      (Photo by Bob W)

Through the woods  
     (Photo by Bob W)

Ducks in a shooting gallery?  
     (Photo by Bob W)

Here be dragonflies!  
     (Photo by Terry)



Walk  1327

Date  Thursday 29th August   5.5 miles   Moderate       Pub lunch
Meet        Red Lion , Stiffords Bridge, Cradley  WR13 5NN  GR 734480 
        9.30 for !0-00 start.
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    From the pub we walk to Cradley old church,  then through woods and            meadows to Vines End. From here  along the edge of woodland to Bank             farm and then a steady incline to the top of Cockshot Hill and back to             Stiffords Bridge. Good views looking west of the Malverns.
 

There were 20 of us on today’s walk, led by Jim and Margaret, in one of their favourite areas.  This was unknown to most, judging by the many routes taken to the Red Lion pub, Stiffords Bridge, Cradley, near Malvern.  Our very own quiz master, Dr. Bob, posed the question, “What name is the largest number of pubs called?”  Someone answered, “Is it the Red Lion?”  Correct.  The name Red Lion - derived from the badge of John of Gaunt, who died 1399.

We welcomed a new member, George, to the Walking Group, and hope he’ll soon feel at home with us.  He’s already talking of wanting to tackle Snowdon; so watch this space!

Today felt like one of the last days of summer: cloudy and sunny, but warm enough not to need top jackets. 

From the pub, we crossed fields to Cradley old church and through woods and meadows to Vine End, with glimpses of the Malverns to the North West, seeing them from a different angle than usual.  Then, lovely stretches of downland, strewn with magnificent trees, like in a country park.  After coffee, in a delightful spot, a sudden rainy squall took us all by surprise but, luckily, was soon over, and we gradually made our way back to the Red Lion pub in lovely weather for a very enjoyable lunch - and much camaraderie as usual. 

Thanks again to Jim and Margaret for sharing a fine walk with us.  Betty and thanks to Graham for the photographs. [web: "Stub"]

Its off to walk we go!

Is this the right place for coffee?

Quizmaster - or Walk leader?

So where is the Red Lion?

"lovely stretches of downland, strewn with magnificent" - logs

September  2019






Monday 2nd September
Ashchurch Village Hall
2.00 p.m.
Walking Group Annual Meeting
Reports-discussions-elections-pictures-tea-cake
Donald Trump and  Boris Johnson have been invited but
regret that they are too busy elsewhere.




Walk  1328


Date  Thursday 5th September    5 or 6 miles  Moderate       Pub lunch
Meet        The Bell Inn, Selsley.  GL5 5JY  Grid 835 039   9.30 to order  9.45  start
Contact     Mike and Jenny     01684 772194      week before
Directions    M5 to J 13.  A 419 towards Stroud.  Just before Stroud turn right at roundabout to Selsley.  Keep Left in Selsley.  Pub is on the left.  Small Car Park, please share cars if you can.
Details    We walk the Cotswold Way loop.  A gentle climb over Selsley Common then through woods to Kings Stanley.  We walk along a short section of the recently restored Stroudwater Canal.  We go as far as weather and time permit then make a short climb back to Selsley for lunch at 1.30pm.  4 stiles, good paths.
 

18 of us assembled in “The Bell “ car park with an extra layer to keep out the chilly wind.
This Cotswold loop walk took us across Selsey Common,with good views either side.
The first coffee stop was tucked into Pen Wood,a beautiful beech wood.
Sticks at the ready, down the slightly damp path downhill off the ridge towards King’s Stanley, gave Stuart the opportunity to taste a few blackberries! A second coffee stop provided us with a more urban view of the outskirts of the town.   After crossing some busy roads we came onto the tow path alongside the restored part of The Stroudwater canal at Ryeford lock. The smart townhouses opposite were such a transformation from the woollen mills era of the past.
A short gradual climb back up to Selsey allowed us a good view of the saddleback tower of All Saints “Arts and Crafts” Church.
Back at the Pub we had a very enjoyable and well organised lunch. Thanks to Jenny and Mike for a walk of such contrasts   (Thanks also go to Sonia for her report and to Terry for his photos – SF)

Top of the world!   (Photo by Terry)

Very stylish!  
  (Photo by Terry)

Ryeford double lock  
  (Photo by Terry)

All Saints  
  (Photo by Terry)


Stroll      Tuesday 10th September

 
 

This Stroll is dedicated to the late Steve Dawe

Any voluntary donations will be forwarded to St Nicholas Church Ashchurch Fabric Fund

Meet: Morrison’s Car Park [far end on right by cycle track]; also on Bus Route 41.
Time: leave at 10.30

Details:  A Stroll looking at Tewkesbury’s Two Forgotten Railways

·         We shall follow the line of the First 1838 Railway on tarmac until we reach Healings Mill Quay Street.

·         We shall return via the 2nd 1864 Railway and those, who can cope with non-tarmacked paths and possible nettles and brambles, will discover the remains of the 2nd station before returning to the car park.  [The less adventurous can return via Station Road.]

Conditions: as described above; no stiles and railway gradients so none)

Contact Jan and John on 01452-780591 week before

Lunch not booked but available in normal way at Canterbury Public House



When the expected 24 walkers had grown to 27, John lead us off from Morrison's car park on a tour of discovery following the routes of Tewkesbury town's lost railways.  The weather stayed bright and dry for us, with even a few shots of sunshine. Our route took us into the town, past the Methodist church, where John shared his amazing knowledge of the railways history with us.  When we arrived at  the Oldbury road crossing, we were treated to the sight of a  30's BSA  three wheel car drawing up, driven by a lady of mature years suitably dressed in a full leather flying helmet.  Onward throughBishop's Walk into the town centre and down to Healing's Mill,  such a shame to see the area descending into such a ruinous state.  From here we made a short walk past the Avon lock and made our way to the Bredon road (remnants of bridge on the Tewkesbury-Malvern line)  We returned to the cars by way of Gas Alley. and the overgrown route of rail line - past the remains of the station platform.  All of us agreed that we had not only visited bits of Tewkesbury that we had never seen before, but had also leaned a great deal about our town's history.  Many thanks to John (and his co-pilot Jan) for an entertaining and informative morning's stroll - SF

It went that-a-way

On the dock

Tool hire

Through the undergrowth

BSA


Walk  1329

Date  Thursday 12th September   6.5 miles     Energetic  Pub Lunch
Meet        Golden Heart Inn, Nettleton Bottom. GL4 8LA. Grid 969142    9.45 for 10.00
Contact    Justin and Steve     01684 295438       the week before.
Directions    M5 Junction11A. A417 via Birdlip towards Cirencester. Pub is on the right    hand side  of  the road, in the dip.
Details    A scenic walk that includes some strenuous ascents and descents, hidden valleys, two  beautiful churches( Brimpsfield and Elkstone), castle ruins and beautiful views. A  mixture of road walking( NOT the A417)and mostly field paths, with approximately six stiles.
 

Report

Walk  1330

Date  Thursday 19th September      5 miles Moderate/Energetic   Pub lunch
Meet    Beckford Village Hall, GL20 7AA at 9:30 for 9:45 start
Contact    Stuart & Gillian the week before. 01684 833751, 07971 387040 (phone/email gillie.griffiths4@gmail.com when you book, with lunch choice
    Beckford Inn:
www.thebeckford.com/storage/45/Beckford-Inn_Main-Menu_Spring-2019.pdf
Directions    B4080 from Tewkesbury  through Kemerton, Overbury to Beckford
Details    Steady climb up ‘the yellow brick road’, walk around Bredon Hill, down to Ashton under Hill, through Grafton, back to Beckford. 6 easy stiles.
 

Report

Walk  1330/2    (Additional walk added  26/7/19)

This Walk is dedicated to the late Steve Dawe

Any voluntary donations will be forwarded to St Nicholas Church Ashchurch Fabric Fund


Date: Wednesday 25/09/2019 Grade EASY Length 4 miles Max 25

Venue: Canterbury Leys Public House, GL20 8BT Grid: 905330 Start 10.00 Pub Lunch

Leaders: John Dixon & Jan Nattrass Contact: 01452-780591 Week before.
Directions: From Tewkesbury East on A438 [Ashchurch Road]; from Cheltenham via M5 to Junction 9 and left via A438 to pub on right.
Details: This is a walk, focusing upon the former routes of Tewkesbury’s Two Forgotten Railways.  It will be part urban and part rural with nettles.  There is one gate and a low stile.Note:    Please arrive in good time to order lunch. A menu will be provided for you to choose as the pub is not open nor is the toilet



 
Walk  1331

Date  Thursday 26th September  7.5 miles moderate/energetic.  Picnic lunch
Meet    Park as near as possible to Great Malvern Station for 0945 train to Colwall £2.60 single leaving from the far platform.
Contact    Noel  01684 772526   the week before.
Directions    Take B4211 from Upton to Gt Malvern.  At the double roundabout take 2nd exit.  After 400m turn left down to station.
Details    From Colwall station, we walk below Malverns west side before climbing steeply, but steadily (no rush) up to Sugar Loaf summit; then around the northern hills along Lady de Walden Drive, descending via St Ann’s Well back to station for a 1940s tea.
 

Report





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.


NOTICE BOARD

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  £4 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/


 

SAFETY POLICY

WALKERS

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.

LEADERS

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

 

 

Contacts:

 

Sylvia (Group Leader) 01684 437462

E Mail / 

 

Tony, (Administrator) 01684 276960  

E Mail  tonyandjenniferbarrett@btinternet.com

 

Richard, (walks coordinator) 01684 274197

E Mail / richard.hart13@btinternet.com

 


Webmaster . . . Stan Fagg stanfagg@freeuk.com    Updated 11th  September  2019

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