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PROGRAMME No 150 MARCH, APRIL & MAY
Due to the unpredictability of numbers attending each
walk it will be
appreciated if members advise the leaders by the dates shown. The
leaders may wish to limit the numbers, which they feel, are manageable,
taking into consideration car parking, lunch arrangements and the
number of obstacles en route which could slow the walk. Additionally by
leaving your telephone number you can be contacted in the event of
A walk number that is underlined
altered since its original posting or is a new inclusion
Earlier walk programmes have now been removed from the web
save space, but copies including the reviews going back to 2001 may be
obtained from Stan
Group Mobile phone numbers are : 0754 6069085 and 0752 2958435
Please note that the phones will only be operative on the
of a walk to enable members who are running late, are lost or delayed,
to contact the walk leader. If one number does not work, try
Just a brief reminder – if you are leading a walk, you need to make
sure that you have
Leader’s Pack containing First Aid, Phone and Safety Jackets.
They are held by Richard Hart and Anne Trott. It may be that
of both of those people are on your walk so they will bring it with
them but if not, you must obtain it.
The phone needs to be turned on
before you leave home so that you know about any delayed or lost
walkers, and then kept on during the walk. Don’t forget to
off afterwards and return the Pack to its owner.
If your walk involves roads or lanes with traffic, then you and your
backmarker need to wear a yellow safety jacket.
finally: The committee thinks that in future all walkers
carry either on their person or in their rucksack, some form of
identity with important details such as emergency contact numbers and
Doctor’s details. You will find an example attached with this
programme. Please adopt and use it.
Wednesday 6th March 5.5 miles Moderate Pub lunch
Meet Craven Arms, Brockhampton GL54 5XQ Grid 035 222. 9.30 for 10.00 start
Contact Mike & Jenny 01684 772194 the week before
From Southam go over Cleeve Hill towards Winchcombe. Just before
entering the town, turn R into Corndean Lane (signed Brockhampton and
Andoversford). After 4 miles, turn L into Brockhampton village and next
R to the Craven Arms.
and tracks. We follow the infant river Coln to Sevenhampton
church, then on to Whittington and Syreford Mill. Back to
Sevenhampton and return along a quiet road.
weekend's winters tail was still offering its worst as 20 hardy souls
met in the car park of The Craven Arms in Brockhampton. Under leaden
skies and a brisk wind we all prepared ourselves for the inevitable
showers we were to meet.
Brockhampton is the largest settlement in
the Parish of Sevenhampton. Today, it is a sleepy community but once
boasted its own brewery. The tall brick chimney stands proudly as a
reminder. The source of the River Coln, a tributary of the River Thames
is just to the north of the village and the rains of the past few days
had turned this tranquil stream into something of a minor torrent.
Valley has an extensive history of settlement but little of importance
seems to have happened over the centuries. The land was once owned by
the Bishop of Hereford, until the 16th century when it was divided up
between various families.
Along the walk, we passed through the
villages and hamlets of Sevenhampton, Whittington and Syreford. We also
passed by the remains of the medieval villages of Sennington and
Whittington and a Roman Settlement near Syreford.
this area seems to be the thing to do as the history tells us there was
once a Salt Way close by and a Pilgrimage route, Hailes Way, leading to
Despite the gloomy weather our route took us across and
through a variety of terrain and landscape; river valley, arable and
grazing land, and woodland.
Coffee was taken in the shelter of an
old quarry, now being reclaimed by the forces of nature. In fact our
walk took us through or by several old quarries, suggesting the stone
in this area once had a particular value.
In Syreford we squelched
past a converted water mill and its pond, complete with that
traditional Cotswold welcome of 'Private, Keep Out'.
Sevenhampton we had the choice of returning via road or path. Those of
us who chose the latter paid a visit to St Andrews Church,
Sevenhampton. There has been a church here since 1136, but, over the
years, it has undergone many changes and restorations, hence the
higgledy-piggledy nature of its layout.
We arrived back in
Brockhampton at 1pm for a hearty pub lunch. Thanks to Mike and Jenny
for a great walk in lovely environments. (Thanks to Ian for the
report and to Graham for the photos - SF)
Over we go (Photo by Graham)
Wide open spaces (Photo by Graham)
Wait a bit (Photo by Graham)
Swamp hopping (Photo by Graham)
Meet Park at side of road close to Kempsey church and meet by church gate.
Contact Eileen 01684 274197 the week before
Directions A38 north to Kempsey and turn left at cross roads by shop, signed Church.
Details We will explore some of the older parts of the village.
Stroll postponed due to stormy weather.
Wednesday 13th March 5 miles Easy/Moderate Pub lunch
Lower Lode Inn GL19
4RE Grid 879317 9.30 to
order for 10.00 start
Contact Noel 01684 772526 by Saturday 9th.
A438 over Mythe Bridge and turn left for Forthampton. Left in
village and follow signs. Limited parking so share cars.
Details Flat to undulating walk around lower Forthampton with plenty of views.
The dire weather warnings, issued by the Beeb, of Storm Gareth, failed to put off upwards of 30 walkers from meeting
up at The Lower Lode Hotel for a 5
mile circuit around part of the Forthampton Estate.
The rising levels of River Severn suggested we were in
for a wet walk, but conditions underfoot turned out to be a lot firmer and
drier. All that effort to put gaiters on over boots proved to be in vain.
Forthampton is a sprawling, agricultural settlement that was once
owned by the Bishop of Worcester before transferring, through marriage, to the
Yorke family who retain ownership to this day. The main property on the estate,
Forthampton Court, once served as residence for Abbots of Tewkesbury.
Our walk followed a variety of terrain, country lanes,
river tow paths, grass and cultivated fields. The odd stile proved a time challenge for the
numbers involved and one gate in particular required the destructive side of
Shirley's nature. A notice in the pub
later informed us that a reward of one guinea will be paid to anyone reporting
damage to any of the gates and stiles on the estate. The queue starts behind me.
The ground gently rose above the flood plain and it was
close to the highest point that we stopped for coffee, in the shelter of the
wood on Greenhill. The top of the hill gave us wonderful views across to
Tewkesbury and upstream to the Mythe Bridge. It was here Noel regaled us with
the information about the land around us, Bushley Park, a mediaeval deer park.
This area was once part of Malvern Chase, one of the royal hunting lands, that
was eventually sold off by King Charles 1. The new landowners' attempts to
enclose the land led to riots amongst some of the local commoners.
Descending from this vantage point we headed for Upper
Lode Lock. The term Lode
refers to an area of the river where it was too shallow for loaded, commercial
boats to sail through without being unloaded. This delay in their journey often meant a
public house would be built close by to provide rest and refreshment for the
boat people. The magnificent Upper Lode Lock was built in 1858, and
this along with the dredging of the river, enabled sizeable commercial vessels
to sail up and down the river. Two steam
boats in particular, were used to transport china clay from Poole to Worcester,
until the railways proved a swifter and more profitable option.
During this stage of the walk we appeared to lose 3
members of our party, only to be reunited at the lock. The one man and two
women claim to have looking for a lost glove. Prince Charming failed to tell
whether, and to whom, the found glove fitted.
Journey’s end was where we started, in the Bar of the Lower
Lode Hotel, where we all enjoyed good company and excellent food.
Many thanks to Noel for an excellent walk - and for ignoring
the threats of that storm in a tea cup.
(Many thanks to Ian for his comprehensive report, and to Graham for his
usual super photos!) Web update by "Stub"
Shall we get our feet wet?
Seems dry enough underfoot in this lovely avenue of trees.
What a hoot!
Best foot fowward for lunch!
Thursday March 21st 5 miles Moderate/Energetic Pub lunch
Meet The Plough, Ford GL54 5RU Grid 087293 9.30 for 10.00 start.
at back of pub
Contact Pamela & Mary 01386 725547 week before.
Directions B4077 from Teddington Hands roundabout to Ford
Details 2 steep climbs, through Temple Guiting, tracks, bridleways and footpaths. Lovely views.
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?
Wednesday 27th March 6 miles Moderate Garden Centre lunch
Meet Queen's Wood car park. Grid 677286 9:45 for 10.00 start.
Contact Sally and Margaret on 01684 274440
M50 to junction 3 , turn right on B4221 towards Newent, after approx
3/4 mile turn left onto Kempley road, after 1.5 miles turn left towards
Kempley Green. Queens Wood car park is on left shortly before
Details We start on the Daffodil
Way, head through Dymock Wood, Betty Daws Wood, Shaw common, and back
up Queen's Wood. Expect plenty of daffodils, some mud, few
stiles. Lunch will be taken at 3 Shires Garden Centre, Ledbury
road, Newent, GL18 1DL.
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)
Thursday 28th March 5 miles Easy Pub Lunch
Meet Railway Inn Ripple GL20 6EY Grid 873377 9:30 for 10:00
Contact Isabel and Jennie 01684 592226 the week before
Directions A38 north from Tewkesbury. Turn L at cafe 0.5 miles after 2nd roundabout.
Pub is on R in village.
A level walk over fields and along tracks to the Severn, through
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.
Along field paths
Noel contemplates Naunton library
Past the Equine Hospital
Worcester Cathedral south door in cathedral close Grid 850544
opposite the King’s School. Toilets inside ambulatory.
Richard&Eileen 01684 274197 the week
Directions A38 north. There are P&D car parks near the cathedral. 4 hrs to be safe.
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.
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)
Thursday 4th April 7.5m
Energetic ( or 2.5m easy)
Kempley, Parking in Layby GL18 2BP
Grid 672295 9.30 for 9.45
Contact Terry & Margaret 01684 772278 the week before
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.
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.
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
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)
Tuesday 9th April Prestbury
Meet Rear of the Cheltenham racecourse P&R Grid 958243
Bob&Kath 01242 232527 the
Details A gentle stroll around Prestbury.
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.
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
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)
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.
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.
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
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!
Wednesday 17th April 5 miles
Easy/Moderate Pub lunch
Meet The Fox Inn, Bransford WR6 5JL Grid 805 532 9.30 for 10.00
Isabel & Jennie 01684
772216 the week before
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
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.
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
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!
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
Thursday 18th April 5.5 miles. Mod/Energetic Pub lunch
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
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)
Wednesday 24th April 4.5
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
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
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)
Near Lower Swell
Comes the rain
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
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.
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
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)
Wednesday 1st May 7.2 miles
Meet Batsford Arboretum - car park Grid 181334 10.00 start
Contact Noel 01684 772526 the week before
A44 from Broadway to Bourton on the Hill; just after village turn left
into the long driveway to the upper arboretum car park – FREE
Batsford, Moreton, Sezincote (picnic plus reading of John Betjeman’s
first visit to Sezincote in 1925ish), Bourton on the Hill.
half flat; second half fairly hilly (easier option available for those
preferring gateau to ‘plateau’). Tea and cake in the café
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
"Sommoned by Bells"!
Thursday 2nd May 5 miles Easy Pub Lunch
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
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.
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)
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
Wednesday 8th May 6 miles Easy/moderate Pub lunch
Gloucester Old Spot GL51
9SY 9.30 for 10.00 start
Sylvia & Barry 01684 437462
the week before
A38 to Gloucester. At Coombe Hill turn left onto A4019 to
Cheltenham. Pass through Knightsbridge and pub is on the left.
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.
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!
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.
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)
Thursday 9th May 8
Little Black Hill Car Park HR2 0NL Grid
SO289329. Meet 9.45am
Contact Graham and Mike 01684 594331 week before
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
Pamela 01386 725547 the week
before. Please book on to this stroll.
Details We explore parts of this interesting Nature Reserve.
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.
At the hide
Wednesday 15th May 6
miles Moderate Pub lunch
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
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.)
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.
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)
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.
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
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
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.
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 -
Take it easy (Photo by Graham)
Wild Garlic (Photo by Graham)
All together now (Photo by Graham)
Was that a cuckoo? (Photo by Graham)
May 6.5 miles
Moderate/Energetic. Pub lunch
The Catherine Wheel, Arlington. GL7 5ND
Grid 117066. Start 9.45am.
Tony & Jennifer 01684
276960 Sunday before
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
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 email@example.com 01684 772278
Wednesday 29th May 4.5 miles
Easy/ Moderate . Pub lunch
Duke of York ,Berrow WR13 6JQ Grid782355 9.30 to
order food then to Holly Bush CP. Share cars as much as possible
Contact Anne 01684 294859 the week before
Directions Over Mythe Bridge on A438
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.
Date Thursday 30th May 6 miles Moderate Farm shop lunch
‘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
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.
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
to all walk leaders for your hard work.
all the photos on this page have been reduced in size and resolution to
save both space and bandwidth. Should you want a copy of any
the photos, Stan would be happy to supply a copy of the original file -
just quote the walk number and the photo title.
Walking Group has a mobile
phone to be used before and during walks for emergency contact — see
paper programme for number.
are affiliated to the Ramblers
Association and the membership card
above may be used to obtain a 10 percent discount on walking gear in
most local outlets.
you require a paper copy of
the walking programme, there is a charge of £4
p.a., payable at the Walking Group AGM or at the U3A enrolment meeting.
If you have internet access, then all information can be obtained by
email, free of charge.
Walks are graded to give some
idea of what to expect:
walk at an easy pace with frequent stops.
Undemanding and mainly level with occasional gentle ascents or
descents. There may be a few stiles.
uphill/downhill stretches - unlevel walking - several stiles.
Some longer steep hills and rough ground - may be many stiles.
book with the leader of the walk by the date given and arrive in good
time before the start to boot-up and order lunch etc. Be sure to cancel
with the leader if you are later unable to take part. Wear suitable
shoes/boots and clothing for the walk and do not over-estimate your
abilities. An attendance fee of 50p is charged for each walk attended.
Dogs are not allowed on walks.
Ordnance Survey has a service now that enables you, for an annual
subscription of £19.99, to download and print off extracts from the OS
maps that we use for our walks - anywhere in Britain! - no
having to fold and unfold vast sheets of paper in the wind and rain -
bliss! (Stop Press! There is now an "App" for smart phones
does all kinds of amazing stuff!) A real bargain - for a free
trial go to - http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/osmaps/
Carefully read the walk
description to ensure that you are capable
of walking the route at a moderate pace (about 2 miles per hour)
without risk to health. Attention should be paid to the
EASY/MODERATE/DIFFICULT grading as well as to any references to steep
climbs, stiles, etc.
Dress sensibly. Make
sure that you have suitable clothing and
footwear for the weather expected. A walking pole or stick can be of
Remember to carry any
medications that you might need. Carry food, and water, especially on
given by the leader. Keep those in front and those behind you, in sight
all the time.
Keep to the route
indicated by the leader: do not devise shorts cuts, etc.
Walk in single file on
roads and heed any advice about crossing roads given by the leader.
Classify your walk as STROLL/EASY/MODERATE/ENERGETIC. Mention any steep
climbs and stiles.
Limit your walk to a
maximum numbers that you think you can safely manage, given the nature
of your walk.
Have a co-leader to act
as back-marker: count the party at the start and at suitable points
during the walk
Carry a first aid kit or
ensure that someone else in the group has one.
Set a pace of about 2
miles per hour plus coffee and lunch/tea
stops. Ensure that those finding the pace difficult have sufficient
time to rest and recover, even if this is not favoured by more
Carry a map, the group
mobile phone and GPS receiver to make emergency calls and give exact
download a copy of the
Leader's Walk Plan Form (In Adobe Acrobat Format ie PDF) — Click on the
following link FORM
go to further advice for
leaders - Click on the following link
go to The Tewkesbury U3A
main site click here; Tewkesbury
Sylvia (Group Leader) 01684 437462
E Mail /
(Administrator) 01684 276960
E Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
coordinator) 01684 274197
E Mail / email@example.com
. . .
Stan Fagg firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 23rd May
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