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WALKS PROGRAMME No 149  JANNUARY, FEBRUARY & MARCH   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.  They are held by Richard Hart and Anne Trott.  It may be that one of both of those people are on your walk so they will bring it with them but if not, you must obtain it.
The phone needs to be turned on before you leave home so that you know about any delayed or lost walkers, and then kept on during the walk.  Don’t forget to switch off afterwards and return the Pack to its owner.
If your walk involves roads or lanes with traffic, then you and your backmarker need to wear a yellow safety jacket.

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

















JANUARY  2019



Walk  1278

Date  Thursday 3rd January    6.5 miles Moderate         Pub lunch
Meet        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
Details    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


What 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 weather.

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.

A 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


Time out

Front runners


Walk  1279

Date Thursday 10th January   6.5 miles  Moderate             Pub lunch
   (Bob P)    (Bob P)
Meet        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.
Details    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 Edge.
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 served.
We’d chosen our time for the walk well – as, by the time we were leaving, the atmospheric cloud had descended.
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?


Walk  1280

Date  Wednesday 16th January    5.5 miles  Easy/Moderate       Pub lunch
Meet        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
Details    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 Deerhurst Walton.


20 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 yard.
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 walk.
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)



Walk  1281

Date  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
Details    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.


What 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 .
We 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 puritanism. 
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.
Enjoying  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


Walk  1282

Date  Thursday 24th January      4.5 miles  Moderate/Energetic        Pub lunch*
Meet        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 menus.


18 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 away!
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)




Walk  1283

Date  Thursday 31st January       5.5 miles      Mod/energetic        pub lunch     
Meet             Fostons Ash   GL6 7ES      Grid 915115           9.30  for 10.00 start
Contact       Jim and Margaret  01684 296773  the week before
Directions   M5 to Jct. 11A  then A417 passing the "Air Balloon" . In  1 mile take right turn                .               B4070 towards Stroud and Birdlip . At Birdlip keep to B4070.  Fostons Ash is                   pub on LHS in about  2 miles.
.Details       The walk is on open country past Overtown with good views over Cranham                    woods, then  mostly in woodland to Sheepscombe and back to Fostons Ash.               Good views of Painswick vallley .

With 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

Intrepid band

Through the woods

FEBRUARY  2019



Walk  1284

Date   Wednesday 6th February       6 miles Energetic             Café lunch
Meet        Hayles Fruit Farm  GL54 5PB  Grid  053 297.     9.30am to order, start 10.00
Contact    Mike & Jenny     01684 772194     the week before
Directions    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.


20 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)


Walk  1285

Date  Wednesday 13th February   5 miles     Easy/Moderate    Pub Lunch
Meet    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.
Directions    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.


17 of 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 track.

There 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.

It 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 restored.

Next 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.  

At 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 tasty.

Thanks 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)


Walk  1286

Date  Thursday 14thFebruary.       5 miles          Moderate.             Pub lunch
Meet    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
Directions    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.

Details    Could 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 village.


After 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.
The 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

Wow!

Walk  1287

Date  Thursday 21st February     5 miles    Moderate        Pub lunch
Meet        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
Details    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 Paradise!
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.


On 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 days!

We 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 us.

We 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.

A 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]


Walk  1288

Date  Wednesday 27th February     4 miles easy      Pub lunch
Meet        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
Details    A mainly flat walk to Corse Church  using  lanes, fields, tracks and bridleways. Very muddy. Some uneven walking & approx 6 stiles. 


We 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

Bridleway!

Green lane

"Russian Doll" horses

Walk  1289

Date  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.
 We 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.


After 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)



MARCH  2019



Walk  1290

Date  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
Directions    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.  
Details    Fields 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.


The 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.
The 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.
Passing through 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 Hailes Abbey
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'.
At 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)




Stroll


Date  Tuesday 12th March                 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.


Stroll postponed due to stormy weather.


Walk  1291


Date  Wednesday 13th March    5 miles  Easy/Moderate      Pub lunch
Meet        Lower Lode Inn  GL19 4RE       Grid  879317  9.30 to order for 10.00 start
Contact    Noel  01684 772526   by Saturday 9th.
Directions    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!

Walk  1292

Date   Thursday March 21st   5 miles  Moderate/Energetic      Pub lunch
Meet        The Plough, Ford  GL54 5RU  Grid 087293  9.30 for 10.00 start.
                      Parking 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.


Report


Walk  1293

Date  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
Directions    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 Kempley Green.
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.


Report

Walk  1294

Date  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.
Details    A level walk over fields and along tracks to the Severn, through Ryall                   Quarry. 


Report

Walk  1283

Date  


Report


Thanks to all walk leaders for your hard work. 





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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 7th  March  2019

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