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PROGRAMME No 149 JANNUARY, FEBRUARY & MARCH
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
A walk number that is underlined
altered since its original posting or is a new inclusion
Earlier walk programmes have now been removed from the web
save space, but copies including the reviews going back to 2001 may be
obtained from Stan
Group Mobile phone numbers are : 0754 6069085 and 0752 2958435
Please note that the phones will only be operative on the
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
Just a brief reminder – if you are leading a walk, you need to make
sure that you have
Leader’s Pack containing First Aid, Phone and Safety Jackets.
They are held by Richard Hart and Anne Trott. It may be that
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
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.
finally: The committee thinks that in future all walkers
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.
Thursday 3rd January 6.5 miles Moderate Pub lunch
Rising Sun, Cleeve Hill, Grid 981267 9.30 order
food 0945 start
Contact Bob & Kath 01242 232527 by Sunday before
Directions On the B4632 between Cheltenham Prestbury and Winchcombe
A steepish climb to the quarries then an undulating walk across the
Common to Wontley Barn. Returning via West Barn, the Masts and
below Cleeve Cloud to the Rising Sun
a wonderful way to start the year. 24 hardy souls gathered in the
car park of The Rising Sun to begin the first walk of 2019. A
very cold day had been forecast at 1C, but in fact it was 4C when we
started, which with no rain, fog or wind made it perfect winter walking
We were initially confronted with what appeared to be
the north face of the Eiger, but it is the short way to the heights of
Cleeve Hill and got rid of the climb in one foul swoop. No problem, as
everyone made their own pace. After regrouping at the top it was plain
sailing from then on. We followed the undulations of Cleeve
Common and dodging the ever intrepid golfers, made our way via the
slight descent to Wontley Barn for a welcome coffee break.
gradual incline took us back to the masts. The fitness of
everyone was impressive, especially just following on from Christmas
festivities, which meant we were well ahead of schedule. We took
a short break whilst Kath alerted The Rising Sun to our impending early
return, which was achieved by going via the hill fort and Cleeve Cloud
affording us great views across the valley to The Malverns. We were
delighted that one long table had been set up for us in the Malvern
View Bar - just perfect for the 22 of us who stayed for lunch. Thanks
to everyone who joined us for the walk. It was lovely to see so many of
you. Many thanks to Bob and Kath for leading today, and to Kath
for the report and Bob for the photos - (did they sweep up afterwards
too? - SF)
Across the grid (photos by Bob P)
Near the top
Thursday 10th January 6.5 miles
Pub lunch (Bob P) (Bob P)
Cleeve Hill Golf Club GL52
3PW Grid 988270
9.30 for 10
Contact Margaret & Terry 01684 772278 week before
Directions At top of Cleeve Hill turn into Wickfield Lane to Golf Club. Please park at lower part of car park.
This walk over Cleeve hill starts along the lower slopes in the
direction of the aerials, later taking an anti clockwise route back.
21 - or was it 22?
- gathered in the car park at Cleeve Cloud Golf Course to continue to shift
those Xmas pounds.
Off we set at a
goodly pace; in fact we zipped along (wink wink to Terry) along the lower Western
Terence seemed to
be doing a jazz walk by improvising as he went, in that we missed out the hill
fort that he intended to climb. This would have given me something to talk
about ... I did notice a lot of earth worms though .
Then after a short
break it was an ascent to the masts and a return along the edge, with a second
break near the windblown tree. I had
watched that tree grow ‘mm by mm’ my from my window at work over the years.
All into the Golf
Club for some hearty lunches - well I was happy as I was one of the first
We’d chosen our
time for the walk well – as, by the time we were leaving, the atmospheric cloud
So an enjoyable
walk, with good views, good company as always and robust food. Thanks Terry and
Margaret for leading, (and thanks also for the photos to Terry and to Calvyn
for the report; webmaster “Stub”).
Optimism beneath the Cloud
Overwhelmed by the Cloud?
Contemplation in the Cloud?
A Stimulating Lecture in the Cloud?
Wednesday 16th January 5.5 miles Easy/Moderate Pub lunch
The Swan Inn, Coombe Hill, GL19 4BA, Grid
889271 9.30 for 10.00
Contact Hugh on 01452 780460 or Fran on 01684 491698 the week before
Directions Coombe Hill traffic lights on A38
A mainly flat walk with three gentle up slopes, footpaths, a long
bridle path which could be muddy, some short road sections and
six stiles. The walk takes in Knightsbridge, Tredington Park and
cheerful walkers met at The Swan Inn at Coombe Hill on a “dreich” (damp
and dreary) morning. Hugh lead us on this mainly flat walk
towards Knightsbridge, Tredington Park and Deerhurst Walton and back to
The Swan. The walk took us along mainly bridle paths which were
fairly muddy underfoot. We met 3 horses and riders and quickly
noticed that the horses were very skittish. They seemed to be spooked
by the “human apparitions” who appeared on their normally peaceful
path! The walkers stood back quietly to let them pass much to the
relief of the young riders. The walk opened out across fields and farms
and a patch of pretty snowdrops and Aconites were spotted in a farm
The sun tried to penetrate the clouds but gave up and at
midday the heavens opened! By this time one of the walkers ran
out of steam but luckily it was on a road and Hugh was able to phone
his wife Christine, who kindly came to the rescue. Barry, “the
Knight in shining armour,” stayed behind to keep her company till
transport arrived to take them to the pub to wait for the rest of the
walkers. There were 6 tricky stiles and gentle slopes to finish off the
Many thanks to Hugh for yet another enjoyable walk despite the
weather. (Thanks for the report Sylvia - anyone got any
photos for this walk? - SF)
Thursday 17th January 6 miles Moderate Pub lunch
Meet The Fleet, Twyning GL20 6FL Grid 905366 9.45 for 10.00
Contact Sonia 01684 298409 the week before. Food orders by 11th.
Directions Off A.38 from Tewkesbury
A walk to Strensham with one or two ascents. Some lanes,fields and
tracks. 4 stiles. n.b. Availability of loos at start
t b a.
Please choose food from www.thefleetattwyning.co.uk and give
your choice to Sonia by 11th Jan when
booking on the walk.
a perfect day for our walk - cool, sunny and mostly dry
underfoot. 22 of us set off from the Fleet Inn Twyning
walking through lanes, past pleasant looking new houses, and across
fields to the Drinkwater stables. Here we were greeted by some
extremely frisky horses and a even large buzzard! Besides an
attractive lake, Sonia informed us that Samuel Drinkwater, who was now
a trainer, had previously been a jockey and had ridden the horse " Tour
des Champs" when it won a race at Cheltenham back in 2017 .
stopped at Strensham War Memorial situated near some attractive and
interesting houses that displayed Coats of Arms. Here
we were told that Strensham was part of a Royal hunting forest In the
17 th Century and that Samuel Butler, the poet and satirist, was
baptised at Strensham. He was educated at Kings Worcester, and finally
buried in St Paul's Cathedral with a monument in Westminster
Abbey. Butler, a farmers son, was noted for his attacks on
Strensham Court, belonged to the High Sheriff of
Worcestershire in the 19th Century but it is sadly no more, being
destroyed by fire in 1974 and demolished a year later.
beautiful views of the blue Malverns, we crossed fields and lanes
and returned to the Fleet for a much needed lunch. Thank you
Sonia for a splendid and interesting walk. (Thanks also to Anne
for her report, and to Stuart for the photos - SF)
Look at that! (photos by Stuart)
The Malverns - All in a row
Last year's stubble
Thursday 24th January 4.5
Moderate/Energetic Pub lunch*
Royal William Hotel GL 6 6TT Grid
879128 9.30 to order food
Contact Anne & Margaret 01684 294859 the week before
Directions A46 Cheltenham to Painswick road. Pub is on R after Cranham turning.
Details Mostly woodland paths. Some fields. Very little flat walking. Muddy. Some stiles.
Food needs to be ordered in advance. Please choose your lunch and
let Anne know by Monday 21st. http://www.royalwilliam.co.uk/ for
walkers, well wrapped up, set off from The Royal William and were soon
on the first upward climb through Buckholt Woods. After crossing
the busy A.46, we skirted Prinknash Abbey Park passing the former
purpose-built monastery. The monks left this building in 2008 to
return to their former home. We were inspected by a herd of inquisitive
young cows as we finished our coffee break, but they soon lost interest
when there was no food to be had. Slogging up another steep
stretch of lane brought us to Pope’s Wood which is home to some
magnificent beech trees. Seeing snowdrops and catkins
around and about made it feel that maybe Spring might not be so far
A small section of walking around the outskirts of Painswick
Beacon led us on the home straight to the Pub. Many thanks to Noel, our
able leader, who stood in for Anne on the day, and also to Margaret,
who ensured we had the lunch that we had ordered. (Thanks also to
Sonia for her report, and to Shirley and Terry for the photos - SF)
Hello! Hello! (Photo by Shirley)
Noel leads the way (Photo by Shirley)
Through the woods (Photo by Terry)
One at a time . . please! (Photo by Terry)
Thursday 31st January 5.5
Fostons Ash GL6 7ES Grid
9.30 for 10.00 start
Contact Jim and Margaret 01684 296773 the week before
M5 to Jct. 11A then A417 passing the "Air Balloon" . In 1
mile take right
B4070 towards Stroud
and Birdlip . At Birdlip keep to B4070. Fostons Ash
pub on LHS in about 2
.Details The walk is on
open country past Overtown with good views over
woods, then mostly in
woodland to Sheepscombe and back to Fostons Ash.
views of Painswick vallley .
an eye on the weather and hope in the heart, 19 of us set off in the
bracing chill, marvelling at beautiful white fringed
fields. Crunching through parts of the Cotswold
Commons and Beechwoods to the call of the nuthatch and little flocks of
birds flying through - we thought brambling on the beech masts
(Jim and Margaret had seen them on their recent
recce). Stunning stretches of mixed woodland with
iced puddles (no falls). (Special for me to discover that a new
walker to the group, Rowena, had trained at the same hospital as myself
- a lot of reminiscing). You can’t have too many medical people
and one of the group became unwell - fortunately near our destination
(and with Bob on hand) - we wish her well. Still no snow as
we left the warm pub - he who dares wins! Many thanks for Jim and
Margaret for a glorious walk! (Thanks also to Pamela for her
report, and to our celebrated snapper, Graham. for his photos -- SF)
A bit of a cold snap (Photos by Graham)
Dressed for the weather
Through the woods
Wednesday 6th February 6
Hayles Fruit Farm GL54 5PB Grid
053 297. 9.30am to order, start 10.00
Contact Mike & Jenny 01684 772194 the week before
A46/B4077 (Stow road) to Toddington roundabout. R towards Winchcombe
for 1 mile then L along lane past Hailes Abbey. The fruit farm is
on your right.
Details Cotswold way to Campden
Lane. Across fields to Little Farmcote. Down hill to rejoin Cotswold
way which we follow back to Hayles. Walk can be modified to make
it shorter and less energetic depending on the weather.
walkers set off from Hayles Fruit Farm, with promising glimpses of the
sun trying its hardest to break through the early morning fog. We
started with a long uphill slog, which took us up to Beckbury Camp and
Cromwell’s monument, from where he is reputed to have sat to watch the
ruin of Hailes Abbey. It was a very
welcome seat after that climb … We had coffee in the woods then
descended Campden Lane to a short bit of lane walking before peeling
back off on to the footpaths. Empty horse boxes by side of the
road were evidence of a hunt taking place in the area, but we didn’t
spot it, although the weather was clearing and the views were
wonderful. We spotted Damien Hirst’s house, still wrapped in polythene
after a number of years, and debated whether or not it was an art
installation and speculated about what was going on under the covers.
Some of us, too busy nattering to pay proper attention, took a slight
detour (distracted by the red kite!) and had to double back up a hill –
that’ll teach us to keep an eye on our walk leader! Nearing the end,
just past Little Farmcote, a small group took the easy way back down
Salter’s Lane, passing the evocative ruins of Hailes Abbey (note to
self – research why the names of the Abbey and the Fruit Farm are
spelled differently) while the intrepid majority braved the 4 stiles
and an exceptionally muddy field, in which Mike apparently performed a
particularly spectacular slide. We were all rewarded with a good lunch
at the Orchard Tea Room and, for some, with a particularly good cider,
made on site at the fruit farm. Many thanks to Mike and Jenny for a
very beautiful walk, in good company on a lovely mild winter’s
day. (Thanks also go to Shirley for the report and a photo, and
to Pamela and Graham for the other photos -SF)
Light refreshments (photo by Pamela)
A rare flat bit (photo by Shirley)
Up, up, up! (photo by Graham)
Cromwell's Seat (photo by Graham)
Wednesday 13th February 5 miles Easy/Moderate Pub Lunch
Rose & Crown 3,The Cross, Nympsfield, Stonehouse, GL10 3TU,
Grid 801006 9.30 to order. Walk 10.00 from
Woodchester Park NT car park
Contact Hugh or Fran 01452 780460 or 01684 491698 the week before
You will need to choose your lunch beforehand and let Hugh/Fran
know. The menus were attached with this programme.
M5 J13, then A417 towards Stroud, at roundabout just before Stroud take
B4066 towards Dursley, left turn to Nympsfield. Park at pub and combine
lifts to NT Woodchester Park. Park in NT car park, £3 all day for
non-NT members. Note do not follow signs to Woodchester Mansion.
Suggest combining lifts in NT members’ cars, as pub car park is very
small as well.
Details A walk along the north side
of Woodchester Park lakes, and returning along the south side; mainly
following contour lines but with some gentle uphill slopes. Forest
tracks and footpaths, no stiles.
us met at the Rose & Crown in Nympsfield, making sure that we had enough
cars with National Trust members in them so when we reached the nearby NT
Carpark at Woodchester Park no charges were incurred.
It turned out to be a pleasant morning with
periods of blue sky and a mild temperature. Hugh led us with Fran as the
Backstop along the north side of Woodchester Park Lakes following a forest
were 3 lakes in total. We stopped for our coffee stop at the far end of the
lakes. Here we saw some ducks also herons from nearby Heronry.
was then time to return along the south side. Some of the footpath was slightly
muddy and, at one gateway, a small stream of water had to be navigated. Soon we
passed the old kennels with a solitary Jacob sheep inside, the rest of the
flock being in the field opposite. This
was followed by an attractive 200 year old boathouse which had been recently
we passed some Belted Galloway cattle including one with a brown strip instead
of the usual white one. Woodchester
Mansion soon appeared, the home of the Ducie family from 1600s to 1845.
It was sold to William Leigh from Liverpool who demolished the Georgian mansion
and started to build the Gothic mansion which we see today. However he ran out of money in the 1860s so
the mansion was unfinished.
this point one of our walker's required assistance so Tony went and drove his
car to the mansion while Bob and Sylvia waited with the casualty. The rest of
us walked back, up the hill to the carpark and then onto the Rose and Crown for
our lunch. The rest of our party soon rejoined us, I must admit my pie was very
to Hugh and Fran for an enjoyable interesting walk; to Justin for the
review, Tony and Sylvia for the photos & webmaster "Stub".
Leading uphill is really fun! ( Photo by Tony)
Following is fun too! (Photo by Tony)
Costa del Woodchester? (Photo by Sylvia)
Walk leadership is really fun! (Photo by Sylvia)
Thursday 14thFebruary. 5
The Black Horse Inn.Naunton.GL543AD Grid 120235
9.30 to order food. At lunch time park by village hall area
NOT by pub. Share cars please.
Contact Anne 01684 294859 the week before
B4077 from Teddington roundabout towards Stow. When descending into
Ford turnR towards Guiting Power.Pass G Power and after1km turn L at SP
Naunton.At top of hill at junction with B4068 turn L and immediately L
again to Naunton.Small CP at pub in morning.At lunch time park on road
near village hall. After ordering food, Drive to Salperton,
backtracking to B 4068 and turn R towards Cheltenham.After 3Km after
two buildings take first turn L unsignposted, near top of hill.Go
straight across A436 SP Salperton. Go through village and turn first L
at war memorial ( behind wall) , up hill, across cattle grid and
straight on to top of hill.Open gate on L proceed along drive .Car park
is on R before church in trees.
be wet and muddy across fields and tracks. Lovely views .Two delightful
churches and wonderful carpets of snowdrops and aconites in woods by
church at Salperton. Worth going just for that. Through Hazelton
a very foggy drive, 18 members met at the Black Horse Inn, Naunton to
give lunch orders. We then drove about 5 miles to the walk start at
Salperton Park Church, where we saw a magnificent display of snowdrops
and aconites amongst the trees. It was a very fitting start to the St
Valentine’s Day walk.
At her usual fast pace, Anne, displaying a
large ‘I’m in charge badge’ led the walk, with Noel at the rear. It was
a comparatively warm winters day, which was perfect for our walk, even
though views were initially hampered by the fog. Unfortunately,
while tackling a particularly muddy path Margaret stepped on a nail
filled horseshoe. Luckily medical treatment was not required, but her
boot sadly sprung a leak! However, not to ignore the good luck, she
retrieved the horseshoe to take home. We then had our first coffee
break. By this time the fog was clearing and the sun was shining in a
clear blue sky, so we could enjoy the beautiful views. Some walkers
were even lucky enough to see two hares enjoying the glorious weather.
second coffee break was taken at St Andrew’s Church, Hazelton, where we
had the unexpected pleasure of being entertained by Noel (the walker’s
bard) with a lovely poem about Cotswold stone tiled roofs. After an
uphill walk, we arrived back to take photos of the snowdrops in the
sunshine and explore picturesque Salperton church.
Our thanks go to
Anne and Noel for organising an excellent walk. (Thanks also to
Stuart for the report and to Graham for the photos - SF)
Marching into the mist (All photos by Graham)
What's going on Leader?
Our Bard in action
Thursday 21st February 5
Moderate Pub lunch
The Waypoint, Painswick Golf Club. GL6 6TL
Grid 867115 9.30 for 10.00
Contact Terry & Margaret 01684 772278 the week before
Directions A46 towards Painswick. 2nd turning on R after Royal William into Golf Course Rd
The route takes us over the golf course to Rococo gardens, looping
around over fields and tracks then back via the beacon and finishing in
We hope to have a menu available the week before the walk for pre booking.
Please let Terry and Margaret know your menu choice from this Menu (PDF), when you book on. Please note that this menu is not the
same as the one on Waypoint’s website.
a gloriously sunny day, 25 lucky walkers set off from Painswick Golf Club
through the lovely beech woods to the
Rococco Gardens. It was more like April/ May than February. Perhaps this unusually warm February weather
is the result of all the hot air emanating from the Houses of Parliament these
walked round the perimeter of the gardens, enjoying the carpets of snowdrops in
the woods and then back through the woods skirting the edge of the golf course
and up the short steep climb to Painswick Beacon with its wonderful views all around
walked past Paradise, stopping to
admire the beautiful first colours of Spring....a flowering prunus, purple and golden crocuses, golden jonquils, shiny yellow
celandines, a dandelion and lots
of daisies. Spring has definitely sprung. A
thrush sang at the start of our walk, robins
sang from every hedgerow. Great Tits called all around and golden
headed yellow hammers flew down onto
the road in front of us.
delightful walk....our thanks to Margaret and Terry....and a good lunch at the
golf club. (Thanks to Anne for the report and to Bob and Terry for their
photos). Web update by ‘Stub’.
Ascent - through a Desert? [Terry]
Atop a Green and Pleasant Land? - by contrast! [Terry]
A Prairie Coffee Break? [Bob]
Passing English Spring Flowers? [Bob]
Wednesday 27th February 4 miles easy Pub lunch
The Swan, Staunton GL19 3QA
Grid 792294 10.00 to order, 10.20 leave
Contact Lesley 01452 840602 the week before
Directions A438 over Mythe Bridge, left on B4211, right on B4213
A mainly flat walk to Corse Church using lanes, fields,
tracks and bridleways. Very muddy. Some uneven walking &
approx 6 stiles.
had glorious weather for our lovely walk today! The unseasonable
spell of bright, warm sunny days had held on for the 16 of us that set
off from the Swan heading south for the church at Corse. Our route took
us through the village and joined the Whitmore Way past Pitt's Mill,
Old Field Top to Stone End House where extensive burrowing is being
done to improve the facilities for the week-end caravans that are
enjoying this peaceful spot. On now to Corse Church via the lovely Old
Vicarage and an extensive orchard. After a welcome break here, we
returned to The Swan by a different route, in part over a bridleway,
chopped and churned, of course, by hooves into a bog here and
there, By now jackets, fleeces and even jumpers had been shed
under a cloudless blue sky! Passing by Pitt's Mill again, we were
examined by a trio of horses of progressively smaller stature, making
one think they could fit together like Russian Dolls! A
little more walking and we had completed our 5.2 miles earning our
excellent food and beer in the Swan.
Many thanks to Shirley for her usual happy and careful leadership!
Spring sunshine and flowers
"Russian Doll" horses
Thursday 28th February 5.5 miles Moderate/Energetic Pub lunch
Meet Farmers Arms, Birtsmorton, WR 13 6AP Grid 790363 Order food at 9.30.
Contact Betty & Graham 01684594331 from Monday 18th Feb.
Directions A438 over Mythe bridge to B4208 Turn right and look for pub sign on right
Details After ordering food we drive to the Golden Valley CP for a 10am start.
cross the common and head for Castlemorton and climb gradually to walk
parallel to the Malvern Hills as far as the British Camp reservoir
where a steep track takes us to the BC contour path and firm ground for
the rest of our walk, great views as ever on the Malverns.
ordering food at The Farmers Arms Birtsmorton, 23 of us gathered at the
car park by the lake at Golden Valley. Not quite the
glorious weather of the previous two days, grey skies with a
speck or two of rain in the air, which seemed to suit the
multitude of waterfowl on the lake. We walked across
the scrubland of Birtsmorton Common before reaching a
Cottage, where Graham took a little detour down Memory Lane remembering
the times that he had holidayed there as a boy...and the fabulous
breakfasts cooked over a fire. "Blue Hills" remembered, we
walked on to Dales Hall. a little farmhouse complete with
cider press in the garden and Malvern Spring water flowing in
abundance, from a tap in the wall, clearly an opportunity not to
be missed. Walking on through woodland along the bottom of the
hill we came to the more challenging bit of the walk, the steep path
going up to and beyond the British Camp reservoir. Our
coffee break taken looking down over the reservoir was all the more
appreciated. With the rain now beginning to dominate life, we
followed the path round the base of British Camp down to
Birtsmorton Common and the Golden Valley. Wet if not
weary we welcomed the hospitality of the
Farmers Arms. Thanks to Betty and Graham for leading a lovely
walk. (Thanks also to Jim for the report, and to Graham and Terry for
their photos - SF)
Comes the rain! (Photo by Terry)
A real watering hole! (Photo by Graham)
Bright, dry and rested (Photo by Graham)
Oh my aching legs! (Photo by Graham)
Wednesday 6th March 5.5 miles Moderate Pub lunch
Meet Craven Arms, Brockhampton GL54 5XQ Grid 035 222. 9.30 for 10.00 start
Contact Mike & Jenny 01684 772194 the week before
From Southam go over Cleeve Hill towards Winchcombe. Just before
entering the town, turn R into Corndean Lane (signed Brockhampton and
Andoversford). After 4 miles, turn L into Brockhampton village and next
R to the Craven Arms.
and tracks. We follow the infant river Coln to Sevenhampton
church, then on to Whittington and Syreford Mill. Back to
Sevenhampton and return along a quiet road.
weekend's winters tail was still offering its worst as 20 hardy souls
met in the car park of The Craven Arms in Brockhampton. Under leaden
skies and a brisk wind we all prepared ourselves for the inevitable
showers we were to meet.
Brockhampton is the largest settlement in
the Parish of Sevenhampton. Today, it is a sleepy community but once
boasted its own brewery. The tall brick chimney stands proudly as a
reminder. The source of the River Coln, a tributary of the River Thames
is just to the north of the village and the rains of the past few days
had turned this tranquil stream into something of a minor torrent.
Valley has an extensive history of settlement but little of importance
seems to have happened over the centuries. The land was once owned by
the Bishop of Hereford, until the 16th century when it was divided up
between various families.
Along the walk, we passed through the
villages and hamlets of Sevenhampton, Whittington and Syreford. We also
passed by the remains of the medieval villages of Sennington and
Whittington and a Roman Settlement near Syreford.
this area seems to be the thing to do as the history tells us there was
once a Salt Way close by and a Pilgrimage route, Hailes Way, leading to
Despite the gloomy weather our route took us across and
through a variety of terrain and landscape; river valley, arable and
grazing land, and woodland.
Coffee was taken in the shelter of an
old quarry, now being reclaimed by the forces of nature. In fact our
walk took us through or by several old quarries, suggesting the stone
in this area once had a particular value.
In Syreford we squelched
past a converted water mill and its pond, complete with that
traditional Cotswold welcome of 'Private, Keep Out'.
Sevenhampton we had the choice of returning via road or path. Those of
us who chose the latter paid a visit to St Andrews Church,
Sevenhampton. There has been a church here since 1136, but, over the
years, it has undergone many changes and restorations, hence the
higgledy-piggledy nature of its layout.
We arrived back in
Brockhampton at 1pm for a hearty pub lunch. Thanks to Mike and Jenny
for a great walk in lovely environments. (Thanks to Ian for the
report and to Graham for the photos - SF)
Over we go (Photo by Graham)
Wide open spaces (Photo by Graham)
Wait a bit (Photo by Graham)
Swamp hopping (Photo by Graham)
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.
Stroll postponed due to stormy weather.
Wednesday 13th March 5 miles Easy/Moderate Pub lunch
Lower Lode Inn GL19
4RE Grid 879317 9.30 to
order for 10.00 start
Contact Noel 01684 772526 by Saturday 9th.
A438 over Mythe Bridge and turn left for Forthampton. Left in
village and follow signs. Limited parking so share cars.
Details Flat to undulating walk around lower Forthampton with plenty of views.
The dire weather warnings, issued by the Beeb, of Storm Gareth, failed to put off upwards of 30 walkers from meeting
up at The Lower Lode Hotel for a 5
mile circuit around part of the Forthampton Estate.
The rising levels of River Severn suggested we were in
for a wet walk, but conditions underfoot turned out to be a lot firmer and
drier. All that effort to put gaiters on over boots proved to be in vain.
Forthampton is a sprawling, agricultural settlement that was once
owned by the Bishop of Worcester before transferring, through marriage, to the
Yorke family who retain ownership to this day. The main property on the estate,
Forthampton Court, once served as residence for Abbots of Tewkesbury.
Our walk followed a variety of terrain, country lanes,
river tow paths, grass and cultivated fields. The odd stile proved a time challenge for the
numbers involved and one gate in particular required the destructive side of
Shirley's nature. A notice in the pub
later informed us that a reward of one guinea will be paid to anyone reporting
damage to any of the gates and stiles on the estate. The queue starts behind me.
The ground gently rose above the flood plain and it was
close to the highest point that we stopped for coffee, in the shelter of the
wood on Greenhill. The top of the hill gave us wonderful views across to
Tewkesbury and upstream to the Mythe Bridge. It was here Noel regaled us with
the information about the land around us, Bushley Park, a mediaeval deer park.
This area was once part of Malvern Chase, one of the royal hunting lands, that
was eventually sold off by King Charles 1. The new landowners' attempts to
enclose the land led to riots amongst some of the local commoners.
Descending from this vantage point we headed for Upper
Lode Lock. The term Lode
refers to an area of the river where it was too shallow for loaded, commercial
boats to sail through without being unloaded. This delay in their journey often meant a
public house would be built close by to provide rest and refreshment for the
boat people. The magnificent Upper Lode Lock was built in 1858, and
this along with the dredging of the river, enabled sizeable commercial vessels
to sail up and down the river. Two steam
boats in particular, were used to transport china clay from Poole to Worcester,
until the railways proved a swifter and more profitable option.
During this stage of the walk we appeared to lose 3
members of our party, only to be reunited at the lock. The one man and two
women claim to have looking for a lost glove. Prince Charming failed to tell
whether, and to whom, the found glove fitted.
Journey’s end was where we started, in the Bar of the Lower
Lode Hotel, where we all enjoyed good company and excellent food.
Many thanks to Noel for an excellent walk - and for ignoring
the threats of that storm in a tea cup.
(Many thanks to Ian for his comprehensive report, and to Graham for his
usual super photos!) Web update by "Stub"
Shall we get our feet wet?
Seems dry enough underfoot in this lovely avenue of trees.
What a hoot!
Best foot fowward for lunch!
Thursday March 21st 5 miles Moderate/Energetic Pub lunch
Meet The Plough, Ford GL54 5RU Grid 087293 9.30 for 10.00 start.
at back of pub
Contact Pamela & Mary 01386 725547 week before.
Directions B4077 from Teddington Hands roundabout to Ford
Details 2 steep climbs, through Temple Guiting, tracks, bridleways and footpaths. Lovely views.
Wednesday 27th March 6 miles Moderate Garden Centre lunch
Meet Queen's Wood car park. Grid 677286 9:45 for 10.00 start.
Contact Sally and Margaret on 01684 274440
M50 to junction 3 , turn right on B4221 towards Newent, after approx
3/4 mile turn left onto Kempley road, after 1.5 miles turn left towards
Kempley Green. Queens Wood car park is on left shortly before
Details We start on the Daffodil
Way, head through Dymock Wood, Betty Daws Wood, Shaw common, and back
up Queen's Wood. Expect plenty of daffodils, some mud, few
stiles. Lunch will be taken at 3 Shires Garden Centre, Ledbury
road, Newent, GL18 1DL.
Thursday 28th March 5 miles Easy Pub Lunch
Meet Railway Inn Ripple GL20 6EY Grid 873377 9:30 for 10:00
Contact Isabel and Jennie 01684 592226 the week before
Directions A38 north from Tewkesbury. Turn L at cafe 0.5 miles after 2nd roundabout.
Pub is on R in village.
A level walk over fields and along tracks to the Severn, through
to all walk leaders for your hard work.
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
the photos, Stan would be happy to supply a copy of the original file -
just quote the walk number and the photo title.
Walking Group has a mobile
phone to be used before and during walks for emergency contact — see
paper programme for number.
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.
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:
walk at an easy pace with frequent stops.
Undemanding and mainly level with occasional gentle ascents or
descents. There may be a few stiles.
uphill/downhill stretches - unlevel walking - several stiles.
Some longer steep hills and rough ground - may be many stiles.
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.
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
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
does all kinds of amazing stuff!) A real bargain - for a free
trial go to - http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/osmaps/
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.
Dress sensibly. Make
sure that you have suitable clothing and
footwear for the weather expected. A walking pole or stick can be of
Remember to carry any
medications that you might need. Carry food, and water, especially on
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.
Walk in single file on
roads and heed any advice about crossing roads given by the leader.
Classify your walk as STROLL/EASY/MODERATE/ENERGETIC. Mention any steep
climbs and stiles.
Limit your walk to a
maximum numbers that you think you can safely manage, given the nature
of your walk.
Have a co-leader to act
as back-marker: count the party at the start and at suitable points
during the walk
Carry a first aid kit or
ensure that someone else in the group has one.
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
Carry a map, the group
mobile phone and GPS receiver to make emergency calls and give exact
download a copy of the
Leader's Walk Plan Form (In Adobe Acrobat Format ie PDF) — Click on the
following link FORM
go to further advice for
leaders - Click on the following link
go to The Tewkesbury U3A
main site click here; Tewkesbury
Sylvia (Group Leader) 01684 437462
E Mail /
(Administrator) 01684 276960
E Mail email@example.com
coordinator) 01684 274197
E Mail / firstname.lastname@example.org
. . .
Stan Fagg email@example.com
Updated 7th March
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