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Previous programme No.147

Previous programme No.148

Previous programme No.149


WALKS PROGRAMME No 150 MARCH, APRIL & MAY   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.







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.


We left the early morning mist in the Vale, and drove up to the Plough.  The weather was mild under an overcast sky, as 26 of us set off to Temple Guiting.  We crossed the Windrush and stopped for a look at St Mary’s Church, which dates back to the Knights Templar in the C12th.  Even in those days, it was wool that funded Cotswold churches.  After many changes and extensions, the church has unusual proportions, with its rather large square tower.  There is much plain glass in the windows.  The three remaining panels of medieval stained glass are part of a set of twelve, the remainder having been sold by the Talbot family in 1809 to the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York for the princely sum of £5.   The Tom Denny lancet window adds a refreshingly modern touch.

We went on to the stone grasshopper in Lousehill Wood - for the first of two refreshment stops -  and then past the tortoise and decaying stone hare to the site of  the Medieval Village of Pinnock. The path then took us uphill through an ancient wooded track to the Winchcombe lane.  We followed the lane towards Ford, then cut off right by the huge stone quarry before continuing along the quiet Gloucestershire Way to the Plough. Along the whole route we could hear the unforgettable calls of several skylark.  Pamela alerted some of us to the more discreet songs of chiffchaff and yellowhammer.

Lunch was served promptly and efficiently by the friendly staff at the Plough, a good place for this large group to eat in comfort.  Thanks to Pamela and Mary for an interesting and varied walk through this pleasant part of the Cotswolds. Thanks to Mike for his report and to Graham for his photographs. ["Stub"]

Is this Eygpt?


Modern stained glass

!st or second cofee break?

heading back for lunch

Is that a flamingo?

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.


Seventeen of us eventually assembled at the Queen's Wood Forestry Commission car park near Kempley Green on an initially cool but later warm, sunny spring day. The car park is quite difficult to find and this was made worse for some by a huge road-works generated traffic jam in Newent. Apart from the views stretching to the Malverns, the main sight was the masses of wild flowers carpeting the forest sections of the walk. Part of the walk is called the "Daffodil Way" for a reason but there were also lots of wood anemones. The daffodils were just getting to the end of their season, another week would have been too late, so we were lucky to see them.  The walk was mainly in the woods but with some short road and field sections; the excitement came with crossing both over and under the M50 and going for a paddle through a ford - some tested the water-proofing of their boots, others used the stepping stones (actually building blocks).
A very good walk of the correct length and difficulty for its "moderate" rating.  (Thanks to Hugh for his report, and to Bob and Terry for their photos - SF)

Blooming lovely    (photo by Terry)

Woodland frolics  
 (photo by Terry)

On our way  
 (photo by Bob)

Woodland folk  
 (photo by Bob)



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. 


There were 14 of us, including two welcome new members, on today's walk which enjoyed perfect spring weather.  After ordering our lunches in the Railway Inn, we made our way down the lane and track to the river at Uckinghall meadow.  We followed the river upstream to Ryall quarry, still busily extracting, washing and dispatching gravel - that essential ingredient of modern building.  From here, we crossed the busy A38 into large flat fields to the east of the road, which are mostly devoted to horticulture and, here at least, to growing spring onions.  (can so many be sold?)  At length we arrived at Naunton village with an obsolete telephone box fitted out as a book exchange.  Along a quiet lane now with hedges full of blossom and birdsong and back across the main road onto footpaths, through the grounds of the Equine Hospital and over fields of wheat back to the lovely village of Ripple and an excellent lunch at the Inn (such a shame one of our new members had a long wait for her meal!)
Many thanks to Jenni and Isobel for their planning and genial leadership.  SF.

Through farmyards

Along field paths

Noel contemplates Naunton library

Past the Equine Hospital


April  2019

Walk  1295

Date  Wednesday 3rd April            5 miles  Easy                 Own arrangements
Meet    Worcester Cathedral south door in cathedral close  Grid 850544 opposite the King’s School.  Toilets inside ambulatory.
Contact    Richard&Eileen    01684 274197  the week before             10.00 start
Directions    A38 north.  There are P&D car parks near the cathedral. 4 hrs to be safe.
Details    We visit a Civil War battle site with a splendid view, parts of Worcester that you may never have seen before and the Worcs&Brum canal before crossing town to the Severn and the Diglis crossing.  Lots of places in town for lunch.


It was chilly but bright when the 18 us us met up outside Worcester catherdral's south door.  We set off south for this unusual urban walk and soon found ourselves enjoying the magnificent view from the top of Fort Royal  park, the site of Charles II 's cannon during the battle that ended his ill-fated invasion of England with his Scottish army.  From here we toured through neat streets of Victorian villas, crossed the central High Street and made our way down to the river near the rail arches where we took our coffee break.  Ominous dark clouds rolled up, but still in the dry we crossed to the cricket club side of the river and made our way south.  On the way we were greatly entertained by the huge gang of swans that congregate here.  Onward, enjoying fine views of ancient and modern Worcester on the opposite bank when the first spots of rain fell.  We crossed over to the east bank over the footbridge - not yet collapsing under the weight of the lover's locks fastened to it - and made our way north towards Diglis.  Now the rain was becoming more serious, and, as we crossed the wobbly bridge over the mouth of the Worcester/Birmingham canal, the heavens opened and gave us a full-fledged storm complete with soft hail.  Quite the dramatic ending for a walk full of interest, history and, of course, good company.  Many thanks to Eileen and Richard for leading us so well. - Thanks also to Graham for his usual fine photos - SF

Sunny at the South Door     (Photo by Graham)

On Fort Royal Hill  
  (Photo by Graham)

Along the Worcester/Birmingham canal  
  (Photo by Graham)

Dark clouds gathering!  
  (Photo by Graham)

Sylvia, Eileen, a herd or bevy of swans and the Glover's Needle.    
  (Photo by Graham)

Walk  1296

Date  Thursday 4th April       7.5m Energetic   ( or 2.5m easy)       picnic
Meet        Kempley, Parking in Layby   GL18 2BP    Grid 672295     9.30  for  9.45
Contact    Terry & Margaret  01684 772278  the week before
Directions    M50 to J3 Turn L off slipway over M bridge at 1st J turn R past golf course on L.  Continue over a mile to R turning SP Kempley at next Junction  Turn R park on right.
Details    We all walk over fields & good tracks to St Mary's Church with an option to view the ancient wall paintings. This will be our coffee stop and where those choosing the shorter walk can retrace their steps back to the cars.  It is an easy route to follow with 2 or 3 stiles.
The longer walk continues over farmland to Much Marcle with a short stop at the Church. On past the old house called Hellens through its parkland into woods, farm and fields back to Kempley. The picnic will be en route.


 Heavy  rain and freezing conditions proved to be  no match for the 12 stalwarts who began this walk from Kempley. We started our walk across fields towards the old church of St Mary, crossing  on the way Kempley  brook , now a chocolate coloured torrent carrying three or four times it's normal ration of water. At St Mary's , still surrounded by daffodils, we took a break for coffee using the opportunity to look at the famous wall paintings preserved in this 12th century church.  From here we set off for Much Marcle crossing  acres of pasture , ploughed fields, oceans of wild daffodils and a couple of stiles  never intended to be user friendly . Arriving at St Bartholomew's Church  Much Marcle , we admired the old yew tree in the churchyard before taking refuge from the weather  in the church to enjoy our ' picnic ' ( very respectfully of course - no crumbs ! )   Back into the elements once more we passed  "Hellens". This is a 13th century manor house with a fascinating history from doomsday times, and open to the public.  Behind the house , we walked through  a garden area  which surprisingly held both a statuesque elephant, a golden opportunity for our amateur photographers, and an enigmatic stone circle .  Back  through woodland we reached  St Mary's again, finally returning  to Kempley . By now we were all looking forward to getting dry feet and a hot bath!
In spite of the weather, this had been  a very  enjoyable and interesting  walk and our thanks go to Margaret and Terry for their planning and leadership. (Thanks for the report from Jim,and  photos by Terry and  Gillian - SF)

. . . . they bring you flowers that bloom in May    (Photo by Terry)

Blow this! I'm off!    
   (Photo by Terry)

Fully equipped for April  
   (Photo by Gillian)

Wild daffodils and wet walkers  
   (Photo by Gillian)



Stroll

Date Tuesday 9th April                Prestbury
Meet        Rear of the Cheltenham  racecourse P&R    Grid 958243
Contact    Bob&Kath    01242 232527    the week before               10.30 start
Details    A gentle stroll around Prestbury.


Not the best of weather, but 14 hardy souls met at the Racecourse Park and Ride, complete with waterproofs, wellingtons and umbrellas, which were put to good use as we started on our circuit of the racecourse.

Our route took us past the Caravan Club Site, which is in a wonderful position to sit in your van and view the finishing straight. Then on past the stables and the impressive entrance to the Centaur Centre. A little further round and we passed the GWR station, where we were treated to the sight of several coaches being pulled by a steam engine. Our circuit then took us past the helicopter landing site, which also becomes their parking site on busy race days. Members remarked on how the home straight was quite a slope, which is lost on our TV screens. Then it was into the home straight and a gentle uphill slope to return to the starting point. Throughout the walk the backdrop of Cleeve Hill slowly cleared.

We did not exactly beat the time for the distance, but we had a very leisurely and enjoyable walk, with lots of good company and chatter. Many thanks to Bob and Kath for devising and leading the stroll, for the report and even the photos! - SF)

Under starters orders    (Photo by Bob)

Toot Toot ! !  
 (Photo by Bob)

Walk  1297

Date  Thursday 11th April      6 miles    Energetic   Pub Lunch.
Meet        Old Crown Inn, Uley GL11  5SN Grid  792986 9.45 am for 10.00am start.
Contact    Calvyn&Steve   01684 296684   the week before.
Directions    M5 to Junction 13, then A38 south. Take A 4135 to Dursley. Then B 4066 to Uley. Pub is at the top end of the village, opposite the church. Car park at the rear of the pub.
Details    Mostly footpaths with a little bit of road walking. The walk takes in Coaley Peak, Hetty Pegler’s Tump and Uley Bury Hillfort. Some stiles, two steep climbs, but spectacular views are the ultimate reward.
        NB:Please place your food order with Calvyn when phoning.                 
Select from pub menu at www.theoldcrownuley.co.uk.

From the Old Crown Inn 8 women and 11 men,
Left as the Church clock struck at ten.
Childish fun expected on the way,
'Fisher-Price' were in charge to-day.

  Soon we turned down a lane into a green, peaceful valley. With lush grass, dry boots below and bird song in the trees above, we were surrounded by wooded hilltops and, on the left, West Hill woods with glimpses of early flowering bluebells.  Once in the wood and on the first ascent a curving track with no end in sight, this took us onto more level ground soon reaching the road junction.  A little further on we paused at Hetty Pegler's Tump, the ancient burial mound called after a woman who had once lived near the site.  From here we retraced the path back to the road junction, crossing in a northerly direction while following a series of deep steps descending into a secluded pathway rising slightly then opening out onto the beautiful views across the Severn Valley into Wales from Coaley Peak, the coffee stop.  The weather conditions were brilliant and a bright sunny morning. Moving on, the route returned up the steps ( once is never enough for Fisher & Price) crossing into Coaley Woods on undulating tracks going south, finally reaching Uley Bury hill fort, a large fenced off area which we circumnavigated  before taking a descending path through pretty meadows sweeping down to Uley.    We passed the attractive-looking Church and heard the call to the bar of the Old Crown Inn.

Many thanks to Steve and Calvyn for an interesting walk and a good choice of pub and to Terry for the photos and to  Margaret for the poetic report. ["Stub"]


A difficult stile this early?

The Fisher of Men gathers his disciples around him!

Lethargy is allowed to take over - the Price of a steep climb?

That must be the Old Crown Inn!


Walk  1298

Date  Wednesday 17th April     5 miles   Easy/Moderate       Pub lunch
Meet        The Fox Inn, Bransford  WR6 5JL   Grid 805 532  9.30 for 10.00
Contact    Isabel & Jennie      01684 772216       the week before
Directions    A38 -Worcs  at 1st  r’bout 1st left A4440 straight across continuing on A4440 next  r’bout 1st left A4103 Bransford Road continue along this road until Bransford  Bridge just after crossing bridge, pub on left, entrance just after car park at  rear.
Details    Lanes, tracks and  fields.  Short gentle ascent and descent passing Chapel of St Edburga.   Good  views  approx  nine stiles, could be muddy in places.


14 of us were lucky enough to set off on this 5.5 mile walk through rural Worcestershire. It was misty and cool at 9:30am but by 10:00am the sun was breaking through and it grew warm enough for T Shirts as the morning went on. Quite early on the walk we were in Bransford wood and it was a picture with wild flowers including Bluebells, Wild Garlic and Anemone, with bird song all around, particularly the Chiffchaff calling out its name. Sadly no cuckoo was heard although this would have been a prime site.
We went on across both pasture and cultivated farm land ably led by Jennie, with Isobel bringing up the rear. We didn’t see much livestock, which was surprising,  but did come across some young thoroughbreds in a very secure field!
At the coffee stop Stan warned us that we were sitting down with one of the most poisonous of wild plants: Dogs Mercury, we didn’t pick any. Later on we came across Hemlock, another poisonous plant, how handy to have an expert on hand!
Shortly before we returned to The Fox Inn we paused by St Edburga’s chapel to hear about her life. She was a Saxon princess who dedicated her life to God from a very young age and gave her life to the service of others, an ancient noble soul.
Thanks to Isobel and Jenny for a very enjoyable walk in an area I didn’t know at all and must visit again. (Thanks also to Andrea for her report - SF)

Lots of chat

Blueballs and anemones in the woods

It's not all slog

Lovely blossom


Walk  1299

Date  Thursday 18th April       5.5 miles. Mod/Energetic  Pub lunch
Meet        Rising Sun, Cleeve Hill GL52 3PX  Grid 981267. 9.30   food for 10.00 start.
Contact    Bob and Kath. 01242 232527 the week before
Directions    On the B4632 between Prestbury and Winchcombe
Details    From the Rising Sun, we ascend Cleeve Cloud then descend to Prestbury via the south side of Queenswood, then across the fields to Southam and back to the Rising Sun.


19 of us arrived promptly at Rising Sun Inn on Cleeve Hill - some of us even arrived before our leaders Bob and Cath due to light traffic because of the school-holidays.  Having ordered our food, we set off at 9.45 with Bob leading the way up Cleeve Hill in his trade mark red socks. We were joined by 4 ladies from Kath's Southam Walking Group.

 The weather was slightly breezy on the hill, with hazy views. We met up with a group of 18 walkers from the Dursley Ramblers who were walking the Cotswold Way as part of their 50th Anniversary celebrations.  We descended to Prestbury via the south side of Queenswood, where a welcome coffee stop was taken.  Fleeces were now being discarded.  

We continued downhill to Prestbury before crossing the main road to head towards Southam. Part of the route was on the Old Cheltenham to Winchcombe road. We went close to Cheltenham Race Course which was in the middle of the two day April Race Meeting and along the way passed the imposing Ellenbourgh Hotel, formerly called the De La Bere, and  also a field of fast moving Belted Galloway cattle was encountered.  From Southam we had a fairly stiff climb, back to the Rising Sun Inn were a tasty meal was efficient and speedily served.

Sorry I was late,chaps - best  red leg forward!

So high, its hazy - and breezy!

Even the trees are bending in the breeze.

At last a banana break!

Thanks to Bob and Kath for leading an enjoyable spring-time walk.  (Report by Justin; Photos by Graham; website "Stubb)

Walk  1300


Date Wednesday 24th April      4.5 miles    Easy/Moderate         Pub lunch *
Meet        Slaughters Country Inn, Lower Slaughter GL54 2HS  Grid 165225 09.30 for 10.00

Contact    Lynn & Noel    07496909694  after Wed 17th April
Directions    A40 to Andoversford then A436 – left on A 429
Details    Undulating walk lower and upper Slaughter, good views
*Please pre-order your lunch from the File attached with this programme and let Lynn know your choice when you book on to the walk.   MENU


Seventeen of us assembled at the Slaughters Country Inn (which was a five-Star hotel rather than a pub). The weather was bright but a little overcast and became quite warm and sunny before turning to torrential rain for the last mile of the walk. This was Lynn's first walk as a leader and she bravely led us out of Lower Slaughter, along Macmillan Way, followed by Monarch's Way and the Heart of England Way , passing Hyde Mill, crossing the River Dikler and on to the southern outskirts of Lower Swell. At this point we had our coffee stop and Lynn realised that she would have to adjust the route as we had diverged from her planned route. We returned via the B4068, minor roads and footpaths, passing through Copse Hill wood where there were patches of bluebells and purple cyclamens. Well done Lynn and thank you for a good walk.  (Yes indeed, well done Lynn, and thanks also to Hugh for the report - SF)

Fields of gold (dandelions)

Spring sunshine

Near Lower Swell

Comes the rain


Walk  1301

Date  Thursday 25th April     6 miles.  moderate/ energetic  Pub lunch
Meet        Carpenters Arms, Miserden GL6 7JA  Grid 937088  9.30 to order food
Contact    Jim & Margaret  01684 296773
Directions    From Birdlip take the A4070 towards Stroud taking the left turn at Fostons Ash and then shortly the first turning left sign posted to Miserden. Follow signposts to Miserden.
Details    From Miserden we pass a couple of small lakes then up to Winstone, on to Syde and Caudle Green before returning to the Carpenters  Arms.Woodland walks with good views from  Syde and Caudle Green.  One or two steep bits.

After the scorching Easter weekend, we were promised rain and thunderstorms today but once again our luck held out and apart from a few drops here and there and the odd hailstone, we remained dry and very warm.

From the Carpenters Arms we headed down into Miserden Park through green woods and carpets of bluebells.  The garlic was not quite in bloom but its smell made up for that. 

From here we climbed up to Winstone and then on to Syde where we stopped to view the tiny church.  Our last village was Caudle Green before the slow climb back up to Miserden for an excellent lunch. 

We saw lots of lambs, fields of yellow rape, a crow chasing off a Red Kite, heard lots of bird song and had a lovely walk. 

Thanks to Jim and Margaret for leading us.   (Report by Richard, photos by Bob W and Terry; website “Stub”)


Let's have a  meeting to discuss the route     (Photo by Bob W)

What a sweet smell!  
    (Photo by Bob W)

No mention of this waterway!
    (Photo by Terry)

Gosh, did I really get my leg over this stile?
    (Photo by Terry)

MAY  2019

Walk  1302

Date  Wednesday 1st May    7.2 miles  Mod/Energetic              Picnic
Meet        Batsford Arboretum - car park Grid 181334      10.00 start
Contact    Noel     01684 772526        the week before
Directions    A44 from Broadway to Bourton on the Hill; just after village turn left into the long driveway to the upper arboretum car park – FREE
Details    Batsford, Moreton, Sezincote (picnic plus reading of John Betjeman’s first visit to Sezincote in 1925ish), Bourton on the Hill.
First half flat; second half fairly hilly (easier option available for those preferring gateau to ‘plateau’).  Tea and cake in the café afterwards.

Our walk today was most pleasant.  No fiery winds from Spain or icy blasts from the North as predicted by the weather man.  Just good English early summer weather, with sun and light clouds with a few spots of rain towards the end.

From Batsford Arboretum, 12 of us followed the Monarch’s Way to Moreton-in-Marsh and out again  through lush meadows where Bob did a bravuro demonstration of cattle control  with a herd of steers intent upon holding their own rodeo, and then towards Sezincote and its wonderful trees and striking house.

Here, after lunch, Noel treated us to a dramatic recitation (all from memory) of part of John Betjaman’s  poem Summoned by Bells, in which he remembers a visit to the house whilst a student at Oxford.

Our return journey was through Bourton-on-the-Hill and along the ridge above back to Batsford for tea and cake.  Thanks you, Noel, for a splendid walk.

Thanks: to Richard for the report; photos: Bob P; website: "Stub".

Hello? Goodbye? Towards the Monarch's Way

Perfectly Framed.

"Sommoned by Bells"!

Walk  1303

Date  Thursday 2nd May     5 miles Easy        Pub Lunch
Meet        Holy Innocents Church c.p. Highnam GL2 8DG  Grid 797196   9.45 for 10.00
Contact    Hugh or Fran 01452 780460 or 01684 491698 the week before
Directions    To Gloucester, then A40 West; turn right after Over Farm Shop at traffic lights on B2415 Newent road; entrance on left after 400 metres through Highnam Community Centre car park to church CP behind.
Details    Footpaths and forest tracks, through Highnam Woods RSPB nature reserve, along part of Wysis Way to Lassington and back to Highnam, 3 stiles, could be muddy. Lunch will be at the Toby Carvery, Highnam (formerly “The Dog”); back along the A40 towards Gloucester, post code GL2 8D).


"While the Toby Carvery at Highnam is a possible lunch location, they are unable or unwilling to take a booking for a party of twenty. If you are planning on attending this walk then please expect to make your own lunch arrangements. The Wharf House is close to the Toby but has quite an expensive menu as well as a snack bar; alternatively there are many places in Gloucester especially on the  site next to the Tesco superstore.(  Nando’s, Harvester etc.)"  (Also, the  White Hart Inn at Maisemore is very good - SF)


.
On a slightly cloudy May morning, 17 walkers left all thought of local politics behind as they headed out of Highnam Church car park. Passing by two magnificent horse-chestnut trees that framed the steeple of the nearby church, the group exited the churchyard and walked parallel to the adjacent cricket pitch. A man and his dog were getting in an early season bit of fielding practice, hurling last weekend’s windfall of pine cones over the boundary and off the “sacred” turf. The route lead us through buttercup filled paths bordering Highnam Court Gardens and beside a modern sculpture on a tump that collective wisdom suggested was an earth-worm devouring itself? Once clear of the formal gardens, we crossed fields of bright yellow blocks of oil-seed rape, eventually entering the much calmer greens and blues of the newly-leafed trees and bluebells in the R.S.P.B. site-Highnam Woods. In the middle of this green, bird-song filled oasis, Fran and Hugh had had the foresight to have a tree cut down to provide ideal seats for the coffee stop. The route lead downhill to a lay-by where a white van, sporting witchcraft stickers, caught our attention. The driver certainly wasn’t a wizard as far as we could tell, but it was it coincidental that drops of rain now started to fall? The party trekked steadily uphill and across a well-marked path leading to the lost medieval village of Lassington. All that remined was the small, rather poignant church tower, as the rest of the church was demolished in 1975. As we returned to the car park, we were treated to lovely expansive views of Gloucester and the Severn Vale. A genuine ‘vote’ of thanks to Fran and Hugh for organising such an absorbing and beautiful spring walk.  (Thanks to Steve for his (as ever) entertaining report - SF)

Leaving the wonderful Highnam church

Lots to see and chat about

Spring is in the air

Highnam Woods


Walk  1304

Date  Wednesday 8th May      6 miles  Easy/moderate    Pub lunch   
Meet        Gloucester Old Spot    GL51 9SY        9.30 for 10.00 start
Contact    Sylvia & Barry        01684 437462       the week before
Directions    A38 to Gloucester.  At Coombe Hill turn left onto A4019 to Cheltenham.  Pass through Knightsbridge and pub is on the left.
Details    The walk is on open farm lands and quiet lanes, mostly flat with only 2 stiles. It crosses Boddington Estate, passes the hamlet of Barrow and heads towards the village of Leigh.


Despite the weather forecast, 19 members met at the Gloucester Old Spot pub in good time and in a dry spell. We agreed to brave two fields of long wet grass in preference to a bypass by road and set off as drizzle came and went. Heading off through the Boddington Estate and beside the river Chelt all went well till we arrived at a locked gate. Some climbed the fence whilst others found a bypass. On reporting to the farm office it was explained that there had been unwanted night visitors and keeping the footpath open had been overlooked. A stile was promised asap!

We paused at Boddington church but found it was locked so had to be satisfied with Silvia’s image of a famous picture of a large oak tree long gone from the churchyard.

Next stop was by the MOD site with tales of an underground bunker that was a major telecoms hub and where one member had spent much time when nuclear war was threatened. The coffee stop by the river Chelt was kept short when the light rain increased although, on the whole, we didn’t get very wet.

Next we headed across the A38 through the village of The Leigh, with an inspiring report of a farmer opening his farm to a group of visiting Chernobil children. We then quickly walked a short distance along the A38 before heading back across fields. The tracks here had been dry a few days ago but were now the sort of mud that sticks to one’s boots making it hard work. Crossing the Chelt for a fourth time the sun was appearing so we arrived back dry and warm for a good meal in a pleasant pub. Thank you Silvia for an enjoyable walk in a less frequented area. We hope that Silvia is now untangled from her map case!  (Thanks go to Maragret W for the report and to Bob P for the photos - SF)

All in a line     Photo by Bob P)

Come this way  
    Photo by Bob P)

Brollies up!  
    Photo by Bob P)

Just a bit of drizzle  
    Photo by Bob P)

Walk  1305

Date  Thursday 9th May       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.


‘Only a hundred and fifty something peas left to eat,’ thought Margaret as she surveyed the remains of my dish of Herefordshire Pie.  ‘ Only a clean plate to wash’, I thought back, glancing across at what had been a tasty dish of Cauliflower au gratin, as my dear mother called it in the 1950s.
Even so, I had been asked to cast my mind back into the misty past of four hours or more, when enough members to form a rugby team had gathered at the Farmer’s Arms, Birtsmorton, to order lunch and then on to Hollybush.
Sensibly, the weather being as it was, Graham and Betty had postponed their much awaited Cat’s Back walk until the following (?) programme, with Jenny, like Henry the Fifth at Harfleur, bravely stepping into the breach.  Splitting up the team into two, Jenny led the half-backs up to the damp and misty summit of Midsummer Hill, while the rest of the team created their own story around the west side of the hill to the rendezvous: a spot height of 232 m.  From there, we took the potentially tricky wet track down to the Gullet with its lake, blue on the map, green to our eyes.
Then, as we climbed back up into the mists of Swinyard and Hangman’s Hills, Betty regaled me with a true love story; of how a young man named Graham had called at her home without even a date!  Sixty years after that brief encounter they were still together, taking coffee with us outside Clutter’s Cave.
By now, the sun was threatening to reveal itself, but Jenny had other plans; to the still mistier heights of British Camp which, in these conditions, really did feel like gaining a mountain summit.
Time, however, was marching on, so our leader changed tactics, ordering an ‘about turn’, thus saving half a mile or more, returning via Gullet Wood and Midsummer Hill, west side.  From here, we were delighted to gaze at the Ragged Stone to the south, coated in swathes of misty green and blue or, as A E Housman would say: ...with bluebells on the azured hill.
Thank you, Jenny, for bringing promise to a day which had begun with so little, and for finishing off with lunch at a good old English country pub.  Cheers!  Now, to finish off those peas.....  (Thanks to Noe for the entertainingl report, and to Terry and Graham for their phootos - SF)

Field of blue     (Photo by Terry)

At Clutter's Cave  
  (Photo by Graham)

All present and correct    
(Photo by Graham)

Misty and magnificent    
(Photo by Graham)

Stroll

Date  Tuesday 14th May                      Kemerton   
Meet        Kemerton Church            10.30 start 
Contact    Pamela    01386 725547     the week before.  Please book on to this stroll.
Details    We explore parts of this interesting  Nature Reserve.


What a lovely sunny day we had for our stroll today around the Kemerton Nature Reserve.  Our guide, Pamela, was as informative as ever - having been involved with this most worthwhile project since it's inception. Our route took us through a ancient orchard rich at the moment with lovely blossom, and then through woodland around the reed-fringed lake with it's feathered inhabitants .  A peak inside the watcher's hide then back to the village via ancient green lanes.  Such a pleasure to see the rich variety of trees, flowers and wildlife in such a natural setting.  Many thanks to Pamela for guiding the 22 of us so well.

Blooming lovely

Woodland walk

At the hide

Green lane


Walk  1306

Date  Wednesday 15th May        6 miles  Moderate      Pub lunch
Meet    Courtyard of Dog and Partridge  B49 5BB.   Alcester.   Grid  088 572.    9.30am  to start at 9.45
Contact    Mike & Jenny  01684 772194      week before
Directions    A46 / A435   (Arrow)  R at 1st Rbout into Evesham St.  (Alcester).  1st  R Newport Drive, 2nd  L Bleachfield St.    Dog and Partridge is on the left.   Park in Bleachfield St.  FREE  car park just past the pub on the left ( or limited street parking.)
Details    Primrose Hill and Oversley Wood.   Easy walking on roads, tracks and woodland paths, (might be muddy in places.)  One stile, several small ups and downs, one longer up hill in the wood.  406 ft ascent in total. The route can be shortened if it is wet.   Lunch (soup or sandwiches) can be ordered when you book.  The gate to the pub yard should be unlocked so we can use the toilets on the right in the yard.

19 of us set off in bright sunshine heading towards Primrose Hill.  Jenny pointed out a folly, Oversley Castle - one man’s home.

We continued, skirting the edge of Exhall village - and on through the dappled paths of Oversley Wood - formerly part of the Forest of Arden.    Our leaders informed us that in the past this mixed heritage woodland formed the southern end of the Forest of Arden and has links to old wild wood of the Ice Ace - 12,000 year ago!   

On the more open paths we found several flowering White Helleborine and later the leaves of Common Spotted Orchids (please can we return in June next year!).  Blackcaps were also much in evidence and a Sparrowhawk was spotted calling and flying through the trees.  We looked for the rare Wild Service Tree -  next time!

Many thanks to Mike and Jenny for a lovely walk. 

 (Report by Pamela - photos by Pamela and Tony; website: ‘Stub’)

Is it a Common Spotted Orchid? no a photographer!    (Photo by Pamela)


Heads down! on through the dappled paths   (Photo by Pamela)


Lots of caps in evidence - but Blackcaps?    (Photo byTony)


The escape of a rare Wild Service Tree   (Photo byTony)



Walk  1307

Date  Thursday 16th May       5.6 miles  Energetic      Picnic
Meet        NT Car park Dover’s Hill Grid 137395 9.45 for 10.00
Contact    Sonia      01684 298409    the week before.
Directions   Tewkesbury to Broadway, onto A44 Fish Hill, then left turn on B4081 to Chipping Campden. Turn left through the village and follow Dyer’s Lane uphill. Go straight across the first cross roads and find car park on the right.
Details         A very up and down walk through fields, edge of woods and hopefully     bluebells! Picnic will be on Dover’s Hill, so needn’t be carried. NT cards will give you free car parking (I will bring a spare card) or is £3 per day. Depending on weather may be a chance to have a drink before climbing up the Cotswold Way for a picnic.



On a sparkling, glad to be alive, May morning a dozen walkers assembled in the car park adjacent to the summit of Dover’s Hill, near Chipping Camden. The initial route lead down the side of the hill, enabling the group to appreciate the panoramic views below, and to marvel at the size of the practice fences used for the equine version of cross-country. We headed for the relative shade of Weston Woods and followed a stream uphill, flanked on our left by a carpet of garlic plants in full flower, a snow-scene in Spring and a delight for all those with or without blocked noses! Amidst these sensory delights, coffee was consumed and Bob was moved to sing a song about the nearby babbling brook. Out of the woods, now a private nature reserve, and via some road walking to lead us back towards Chipping Camden. The path continued parallel to a bright-yellow crop of oil-seed rape, but allowed all the walkers classic picture-postcards views of the nearby Chipping Camden church tower, encompassed by the marvellous Cotswold countryside. Through the outskirts of the village, past a domestic letter-box, eight foot or more up a tree trunk, suggestions ranged from the obvious, a ten-foot-high postman to a unique form of Cotswolds air-mail? The steep climb out of the village was the prelude to a very relaxing picnic, in lovely warm weather. The après-lunch part of the walk involved a circular route through the calm magnificence of Dover’s Hill Woods. However, there is no gain without pain, at least I think that is what people said as they exited the woods by a series of steeply rising steps. A gradual upwards slope lead the group into the natural amphitheatre where the Cotswold Olimpicks are held. Sonia outlined the various events that take place here, shin-kicking striking a chord (remember to pack straw down your trousers before you take part). Looking around at the track littered with sheep droppings, I think Mo Farah would be mightily relieved that the 2012 event wasn’t run here.  A final rise and we were back on top of the world.
 A gold medal and many thanks go to Sonia for an Olympian effort in providing us all with an outstanding walk.  (Thanks go to Steve for his super report, and to Graham fo the his usual evocative photos - SF)

Take it easy      (Photo by Graham)

Wild Garlic  
     (Photo by Graham)

All together now  
     (Photo by Graham)

Was that a cuckoo?  
     (Photo by Graham)


Walk  1308

Date  Wednesday  22nd May        6.5 miles  Moderate/Energetic.   Pub lunch
Meet        The Catherine Wheel, Arlington. GL7 5ND   Grid 117066.  Start 9.45am. 
Contact    Tony & Jennifer        01684 276960       Sunday before
Directions     M5 to junction 11a, on to A417 to Cirencester by-pass, turn left on to A429, and almost immediately at traffic lights go straight on to the B4425 signed Bibury. In 5 miles entering Arlington/Bibury the pub is on right.
Details    Walk along fields and tracks to Coln St Aldwyns, the return follows the River Colne into the attractive village of Bibury and past Rack Isle and Arlington Row. There are a few moderate climbs.
        Food menu will be available on booking


Report





Tea & Cake      Thursday 23rd May
Grand Garden Party
(starting at 2.00 p.m. at the earliest!)
at Half Acre  Bredons Hardwick
In aid of the Air Ambulance
Organised by Terry and Margaret
rsvp   mrmorris@sky.com    01684 772278  




Walk  1309

Date  Wednesday 29th May    4.5 miles   Easy/ Moderate     .    Pub lunch
Meet    Duke of York ,Berrow  WR13 6JQ   Grid782355 9.30 to order food then to Holly Bush CP.  Share cars as much as possible .please.
   
Contact    Anne   01684 294859   the week before
Directions    Over Mythe Bridge on A438
Details    We walk along woodland on East side of Ragged Stone Hill and Chase End Hill then up onto Howler Heath.  From Whiteleaved Oak we follow the path round the bottom of Ragged Stone Hill back to Hollybush CP,returning to D of Y for lunch.


Report

Walk  1310

Date Thursday 30th May       6 miles  Moderate     Farm shop lunch
Meet    ‘Vegetable Matters’.  Ebrington. Grid . 183 394.  GL55 6NJ. (45 minutes driving) 9:30 to order food leave at 10:00.
Contact    Andrea and Bob 01684 294676 the week before
Directions    J 9 M5, A46, A44 to Broadway and Chipping Camden, Turn R to B4035, after about 2 miles turn left into May Lane, signed to Ebrington. Vegetable Matters is 0.2 miles ahead on left.
Details    We walk the northerly hills of the Cotswolds from Ebrington via lanes, fields and footpaths to  Hidcote and then return via Foxcote Hall. Some climbing and descending with good views on the tops


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  23rd  May  2019

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