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Due to the unpredictability of numbers attending each walk it will be appreciated if members advise the leaders by the dates shown. The leaders may wish to limit the numbers, which they feel, are manageable, taking into consideration car parking, lunch arrangements and the number of obstacles en route which could slow the walk. Additionally by leaving your telephone number you can be contacted in the event of cancellations etc.

A walk number that is underlined has been altered since its original posting or is a new inclusion

Earlier walk programmes have now been removed from the web pages to save space, but copies including the reviews going back to 2001 may be obtained from Stan

Walking Group Mobile phone numbers are : 0754 6069085 and 0752 2958435  -  Please note that the phones will only be operative on the morning of a walk to enable members who are running late, are lost or delayed, to contact the walk leader.  If one number does not work, try the other !

Just a brief reminder – if you are leading a walk, you need to make sure that you have a Leader’s Pack containing First Aid, Phone and Safety Jackets.  
The phone needs to be turned on before you leave home so that you know about any delayed or lost walkers, and then kept on during the walk.  Don’t forget to switch off afterwards and return the Pack, or pass it on to the next walk leader.
If your walk involves roads or lanes with traffic, then you and your backmarker need to wear a yellow safety jacket.

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

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)


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

Every bit of this 7.2 mile (by my reckoning) walk was lovely. The weather was perfect, sunny and not too hot and the 15 of us set off without donning any outerwear! The fields were full of buttercups and the lanes a myriad of wild flowers. Birds sang and with Pamela on the walk we were able to identify them: Whitethroat; Yellowhammer; Wren,  and Kite flew over as well.
We stopped at the beautiful village of Coln St Aubyn, first to watch a complicated unwinding of a huge long pipe and secondly by the village shop for our break, handy for those that fancied an ice-cream. The River Coln is  so picturesque flowing gracefully through and we had several chances to admire it. This area is full of stunning houses, one at least seems to have been bought by Chinese people as there was a sign saying ‘Private’ in both languages.
The big feature of walking in this area is the absence of any road noise. Thanks to Tony and Jennifer for a very enjoyable and memorable walk.
(Thanks to Andrea for the report and to Bob W and Cal for the photos  - SF)

The flowers that bloom in the Spring Tra La!   (Photo by Cal P)

Thrives best in a shady position   (Photo by Bob W)

Bridge over thhe River Coln  
(Photo by Bob W)

So lovely!  
(Photo by Bob W)

A sign of the times?  
(Photo by Bob W)

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  

What good luck with the weather for this lovely now annual garden party thrown by Terry and Margaret in their lovely garden.  An extra treat this year provided by a musical interlude  from Ian and Kath.

Next stop X factor?  (photos by Graham)

What parties are all about - cake!

In the lovely garden

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.

10 of us assembled at the holly bush car park, which is a convenient number as Jim didn’t need to take his shoes off at any point when doing headcounts. No sooner did we get ready and the first spots of rain appeared.then more as the walk progressed. A circular walk ensured we got rained on from every possible direction.This is a nice familiar walk along side of Ragged Stone Hill, Bromsberrow Estate paths down to Chase End Hill and on to Whiteleaved Oak.

The view of midsummer hill was pointed out, which is helpful as just a couple of weeks ago it couldn’t be seen while standing on it due to the mists. Apparently rhododendrons were seen in the woods but not by me, I guess they must be nervous animals and disappeared at the sound of my talking so much. We skipped the detour to do the pagan TUTA dance around the white leaf oak, it was raining too much for that.

Great pie at the pub, but I’m still not so sure about the beer ... great company with 10 of us sat round one table.

Just for interest, we visited the white leaved oak on Wednesday 27th June last year when it was “Another day of relentless sun”.

Thanks to Jim and Margaret for stepping in to lead this walk due to Anne’s hospital apt. We raised our glasses to you Anne. (Thanks also to Calvyn for his report and photos, and to Margaret M for her photos too - SF)

No! It can't be!     (Photo by Calvyn)

Who's got the machete?
    (Photo by Calvyn)

Down Chase End Hill         (Photo by Margaret M)

Pretty, pretty!  
      (Photo by Margaret M)

Walk  1310 - 1

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

16 members met on an overcast, but warm day at the Vegetable Matters Farm Shop, Ebrington and set off on a walk of the Northern reaches of the Cotswolds. From the Farm Shop there was a short walk uphill to the centre of the picturesque village, with the Ebrington Arms bedecked in an impressive display of Wisteria. From the centre of the village we then picked-up the path that would take us to the top of Nebsworth Hill. Initially we walked through buttercup filled pastures and fields of rapeseed – not a sheep or cow in sight! Looking back, there was a view of Chipping Camden and Broadway Tower in the far distance, which unfortunately was marred by poor visibility. Before we reached the top of Nebsworth Hill we crossed the county line and entered Warwickshire. The path then skirted the Foxcote Estate through a lovely wooded area. The property is owned by the American billionaire Les Wexner (founder of Victoria’s Secrets) who only visits the estate during October to host shooting parties. Once at the top of the hill we were greeted by an array of communication dishes and masts which indicated that we had reached the highest point (261m) in Warwickshire.  Setting off again we took the bridle path down to Hidcote Manor. Unfortunately, there was no time to view the lovely gardens. However, we could look forward to the walk being all downhill to Ebrington through lovely fields and meadows. Once there, we dropped by the Church of Saint Eadburgha. Bob and Noel then enlightened the group that St Eadburgha was a Saxon princess. She was a daughter of Edward the Elder and granddaughter of Alfred the Great. She became an abbess and her relics are now stored at Pershore Abbey.

A “Big” thank you to Bob and Andrea for organising a splendid walk in what was new territory for most of us. In addition, the lunch was exceptional, freshly cooked on site using locally sourced produce.  (Thanks to Stuart for the report, and to Gillian and Bob W for the photos - SF}

Sunny smiles     (Photo by Bob W)

Sitting pretty    
  (Photo by Bob W)

. . . the flowers that bloom in May . .      
  (Photo by Gillian)

Wat! No sheep?    
  (Photo by Gillian))

JUNE  2019

Walk  1310  - 2

Date Thursday 6th June      5.5 miles   Energetic    Pub lunch at The Beckford Inn
Meet    By The Yew Tree (now closed), Conderton  GL20  7PP Grid 963371   9.45    for 10.00
Contact    Mary & Pamela   01684 850433   the week before . (phone/email Mary when you book with choices    from the on-line menu)
Directions    B4080 from Tewkesbury to Bredon, through Kemerton, Overbury to Conderton.  Park along road by The Yew Tree (or main road) – space rather limited.                                                                                                                       
Details    A walk from the village, following the contour of Bredon Hill to above Ashton under Hill then fairly long pull up the hill and eventually down through Overbury Park and Conderton orchard.  Three stiles.

"In summertime on Bredon,

The bells they sound so clear...": 

So wrote A E Houseman in his famous poem "A Shropshire Lad"

On a lovely early summers morn', two 'Bredon  Belles' led 15 of us up Houseman's Hill to enjoy both glorious views and the sounds of returning migratory birds.  We met in the village of Conderton, before starting our steady climb.

Bredon Hill is designated one of the most important wildlife sites in England. During our walk we were privileged to see a resident Red Kite, listen to the singing of the Common Whitethroat and the Skylark.  In addition, Pamela, with her knowledge, and Stuart, by sitting on one, pointed out some of the many varieties of thistles that survive in these soils.

We circumnavigated the hill top before descending into the village of Overbury, en route to our cars. Once back at base camp most retreated to The Beckford Inn for lunch.

Many thanks to Pamela and Mary for a lovely walk on one of England's finest examples of our 'green and pleasant'. 

[Thanks also go to Ian for his poetic report, and to our photographic collective of: Graham, Pamela, Bob W and Margaret M]

Shall we proceed, Bredon Belles?     (Photo by  Pamela)

Descent to Overbury    (Photo by  Margaret M)

Watch out for Thistles!   (photo by Bob W)

See no evil?    (Photo ny Graham)

Down towards the Beckford Inn     (Photo by Graham) 


Date  Tuesday 11th June             Winchcombe   
Meet        Car park behind library (fee)     10.30 start
Contact    Stan   01684 293319  the week before
Directions    B4078 past Winchcombe School and straight over at X roads.  Car park on L
Details    We will explore some interesting parts of this town.

Stroll cancelled due to poor weather.

Walk  1311

Date  Thursday 13th June            5.6 miles. Energetic           Pub Lunch
Meet        The New Inn Waterley Bottom   GL11 6EF Grid ST759933   9.45 for 10.00
Contact    Calvyn    01684  296684  the week before
Directions    M5 Junction 13, A38 South, A4135 to Dursley and through
Woodmancote..Take the right turn, signposted steep, unsuitable HGV. .At staggered cross road at bottom of hill go right (small sign New Inn). At next junction go right (no through road).New inn is on the right.
Details    A cheeky little walk around the” bottoms” of Gloucestershire,  from Waterley Bottom via some lane walking, Cotswold Way and other footpaths. A vigorous initial climb, a few stiles, spectacular views over the Severn Vale and an opportunity to visit the Strip Lynchets above Wotton-under -Edge, Brackenbury Ditches and climb to the top of The Tyndale  Monument.

To put it mildly, the weather could have been a little kinder to the seven of us who met at the New Inn , Waterley Bottom. The pub sits in splendid isolation in deepest Cotswold, an idyllic spot surrounded by the heavily wooded escarpment,  it also boasts a magnificent Tulip tree, in full bloom for our visit.  Our walk began through lush, wet, very wet meadows and then a fairly steep ascent of the Cotswold  escarpment, the  canopy of the beech trees proving  to be a fairly effective umbrella from the worst of the weather. Keeping to  the top of the escarpment we came across the Strip Lynchets at Coombe hill,  Steve explaining how the creation of  these terraces were attempts in the distant past to  cultivate  the steep slopes of the Cotswolds. On now to the Brackenbury rings, an ironage  hill fort where we enjoyed  a very velcome coffee break. At the Tyndall monument, our next port of call, the topograph suggested that we might see across the estuary as far as the Sugar loaf in Gwent but for us, it was difficult to decide whether the drizzle had just got heavier or maybe we were standing in a cloud.  Nevertheless one of our group maintained that we could in fact still make out the Severn in the distance. From here we walked down through the woods and back to base to enjoy our lunch whilst being entertained by a couple of Greater Spotted woodpeckers flitting around the garden outside. In spite of the weather this was an interesting and enjoyable walk in a particularly beautiful area of the Cotswolds and we thank  the Fisher/ Price syndicate for all their efforts on our behalf.  (Thanks also to Jim for his graphic report and to Margaret M for the photos - SF)

A bit wet      (Photo from Margaret M)

Look! It's brightening up!
     (Photo from Margaret M)

At Tyndale's monument
     (Photo from Margaret M)

Swing high!
     (Photo from Margaret M)

Walk  1312

Date  Thursday 13th June   (yes, the same day)     4.5 miles    Easy           Pub lunch
Meet        Fleet Inn, Twyning      GL20 6FL       10.00 to book food
Contact    Bob & Andrea      01684 294676       the week before
Details    An easy walk, with some stiles to Showborough House to view the sculptures in the garden.  Free admission and drinks and cake for about £2.50

After days of inclement weather, fifteen intrepid walkers set off from The Fleet at Twyning en route to Showborough House. The weather was kind to us, but it was decided that two shortcuts would be advisable to avoid the more muddy areas.  We arrived, still dry, at Showborough where we could enjoy coffee and cake followed by a leisurely walk around the grounds and exhibits.  An uneventful return to The Fleet and lunch and the return of the rain.  Thanks go to Bob and Andrea for leading this lovely annual outing, and thanks also to Josie M for the report and Graham for his photos - SF

This is the way   (Photos by Graham)

Coffee, cake and good friends

Not just teddies

Homeward bound

Gettting a tan at Showborough

Walk  1313

Date  Wednesday 19th June               5 miles Easy/Moderate   Pub lunch.**   
Meet    Gardeners Arms, Charlton, Evesham GL7 6LE    9.30 for    10.00 
Contact    Bob & Gill  01684 292711  week before. 
** https://www.thegardenersarmscharltonhome.co.uk/menu-jkjar                  for main and lunchtime menu.  Choices to Bob when you book on.
Directions    B4084 Evesham - Pershore.  About 1.5 miles from Evesham turn right to Charlton, or from Pershore go through Cropthorne. Gardeners Arms is on left in the centre of the village.
Details    We walk through Charlton, along a ridge then through fields to Cropthorne. 4 stiles. 

Sixteen of us gathered at the Gardener’s Arms pub at 9.30 ready for a very wet walk around the villages of Charlton and Cropthorne, near Evesham. After walking through part of the very pretty village of Charlton we went through some wet, waist-high grass along a footpath. We climbed the one hill to the ridge above Evesham and went along a farm track to our coffee stop. This was a beautifully kept open area at the back of some houses with seats an benches to rest on for a few minutes. We continued on tracks for a while, but had to divert onto the Evesham – Pershore road for a way, due to a footpath closure. We then went through fields to the village of Cropthorne and back to the pub for a nice lunch. The real miracle of the day was that, despite the weather forecast, it didn’t rain.   Many thaanks to Bob and Gill (M) for bringing us here and for the report.  Thanks also go to Graham for his splendid (as ever) photos - SF

One short climb      (Photo by Graham)

Where's my coffee?
     (Photo by Graham)

In the woodland garden  
     (Photo by SF)

The man at work
     (Photo by SF)

A bit corny?  
     (Photo by Graham)

Walk  1314

Date  Wednesday 26th June       5 miles Easy          Own arrangements for lunch
Meet    Cheapside car park in Stroud GL5 2AD   849052   £3  next to station, busy, share cars
Contact    Stan  01684 293319
Directions    Follow signs to station
Details    This is the second part of the Stroudwater canal walk – We walk back from Stroud to Ryecroft bridge where we stopped last time.  A “There and Back walk. Gentle pace, lots of interest to see and flat all the way of course.  Plenty of places to eat in Stroud, -  Wetherspoons just the other side of the station.

14 of us met in the (elusive for some) Cheapside carpark on a warm overcast, but thankfully, dry day. Many of us had done stage one a while ago and were eager to find out what lay waiting for us in the ‘other half’ of the canal. In fact it was most interesting ramble through Stroud’s  industrial past, when the canal was the highway bringing coal to fire the making of cloth as far back as the 17th century. There were information boards all along the way telling us of the history of the area. Some cloth making was still taking place canalside with an unpleasant smell coming from the windows of the factory.
Part way , in the opposite direction we came across two familiar faces, Mike and Jenny doing a walkover for September!
There was much of interest, new buildings sympathetically in resonance with the old, lock-keepers’ cottages and just a few wildfowl.
Thanks Stan, as always, for an interesting and informative walk.   (Thanks to Andrea for such a good report despite the task being dropped  on her out of the blue! - SF)

An early casualty

Watching men digging a hole

Arriving at Ryeford bridge

On the way back

JULY  2019

Walk  1315

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

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

In the sun  (Photos by Graham)

At the races

Toot, toot!

In the shade

Walk  1316

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

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

Blue remebered hills    (Photo by Calvyn)

Through the hay   (Photo by Calvyn)

Hot ain't it?   (Photo by Tony)

Bide awhile    (Photo by Tony)


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

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

Past the church

The last ferry has gone!

Garden ornaments?

There is a ford here!

Walk  1317

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

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

A bit of level walking    (photo by Graham)

Lovely ice cream at Wynds Point  
   (photo by Graham)

Choose your path  
   (photo by Graham)

The wonderful Malverns
   (photo by Graham)

The whole team  
   (photo by Graham)

Walk  1318

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


Walk  1319

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


Walk  1320

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


Walk  1321

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


Walk  1322

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



Thursday 1st August will appear in the next programme (hopefully).

Thanks to all walk leaders for your hard work. 


Nearly all the photos on this page have been reduced in size and resolution to save both space and bandwidth.  Should you want a copy of any of the photos, Stan would be happy to supply a copy of the original file - just quote the walk number and the photo title.


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/




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.


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





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 12 th  July  2019

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