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WALKS PROGRAMME No 153  SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER & NOVEMBER   2019 

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

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

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

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




Just a brief reminder – if you are leading a walk, you need to make sure that you have a Leader’s Pack containing First Aid, Phone and Safety Jackets.  
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.


September  2019


Walk  1328

Date  Thursday 5th September    5 or 6 miles  Moderate       Pub lunch
Meet        The Bell Inn, Selsley.  GL5 5JY  Grid 835 039   9.30 to order  9.45  start
Contact     Mike and Jenny     01684 772194      week before
Directions    M5 to J 13.  A 419 towards Stroud.  Just before Stroud turn right at roundabout to Selsley.  Keep Left in Selsley.  Pub is on the left.  Small Car Park, please share cars if you can.
Details    We walk the Cotswold Way loop.  A gentle climb over Selsley Common then through woods to Kings Stanley.  We walk along a short section of the recently restored Stroudwater Canal.  We go as far as weather and time permit then make a short climb back to Selsley for lunch at 1.30pm.  4 stiles, good paths.
 

18 of us assembled in “The Bell “ car park with an extra layer to keep out the chilly wind.
This Cotswold loop walk took us across Selsey Common,with good views either side.
The first coffee stop was tucked into Pen Wood,a beautiful beech wood.
Sticks at the ready, down the slightly damp path downhill off the ridge towards King’s Stanley, gave Stuart the opportunity to taste a few blackberries! A second coffee stop provided us with a more urban view of the outskirts of the town.   After crossing some busy roads we came onto the tow path alongside the restored part of The Stroudwater canal at Ryeford lock. The smart townhouses opposite were such a transformation from the woollen mills era of the past.
A short gradual climb back up to Selsey allowed us a good view of the saddleback tower of All Saints “Arts and Crafts” Church.
Back at the Pub we had a very enjoyable and well organised lunch. Thanks to Jenny and Mike for a walk of such contrasts   (Thanks also go to Sonia for her report and to Terry for his photos – SF)

Top of the world!   (Photo by Terry)

Very stylish!  
  (Photo by Terry)

Ryeford double lock  
  (Photo by Terry)

All Saints  
  (Photo by Terry)


Stroll      Tuesday 10th September

 
 

This Stroll is dedicated to the late Steve Dawe

Any voluntary donations will be forwarded to St Nicholas Church Ashchurch Fabric Fund

Meet: Morrison’s Car Park [far end on right by cycle track]; also on Bus Route 41.
Time: leave at 10.30

Details:  A Stroll looking at Tewkesbury’s Two Forgotten Railways

·         We shall follow the line of the First 1838 Railway on tarmac until we reach Healings Mill Quay Street.

·         We shall return via the 2nd 1864 Railway and those, who can cope with non-tarmacked paths and possible nettles and brambles, will discover the remains of the 2nd station before returning to the car park.  [The less adventurous can return via Station Road.]

Conditions: as described above; no stiles and railway gradients so none)

Contact Jan and John on 01452-780591 week before

Lunch not booked but available in normal way at Canterbury Public House



When the expected 24 walkers had grown to 27, John lead us off from Morrison's car park on a tour of discovery following the routes of Tewkesbury town's lost railways.  The weather stayed bright and dry for us, with even a few shots of sunshine. Our route took us into the town, past the Methodist church, where John shared his amazing knowledge of the railways history with us.  When we arrived at  the Oldbury road crossing, we were treated to the sight of a  30's BSA  three wheel car drawing up, driven by a lady of mature years suitably dressed in a full leather flying helmet.  Onward throughBishop's Walk into the town centre and down to Healing's Mill,  such a shame to see the area descending into such a ruinous state.  From here we made a short walk past the Avon lock and made our way to the Bredon road (remnants of bridge on the Tewkesbury-Malvern line)  We returned to the cars by way of Gas Alley. and the overgrown route of rail line - past the remains of the station platform.  All of us agreed that we had not only visited bits of Tewkesbury that we had never seen before, but had also leaned a great deal about our town's history.  Many thanks to John (and his co-pilot Jan) for an entertaining and informative morning's stroll - SF

It went that-a-way

On the dock

Tool hire

Through the undergrowth

BSA


Walk  1329

Date  Thursday 12th September   6.5 miles     Energetic  Pub Lunch
Meet        Golden Hart Inn, Nettleton Bottom. GL4 8LA. Grid 969142    9.45 for 10.00
Contact    Justin and Steve     01684 295438       the week before.
Directions    M5 Junction11A. A417 via Birdlip towards Cirencester. Pub is on the right    hand side  of  the road, in the dip.
Details    A scenic walk that includes some strenuous ascents and descents, hidden valleys, two  beautiful churches( Brimpsfield and Elkstone), castle ruins and beautiful views. A  mixture of road walking( NOT the A417)and mostly field paths, with approximately six stiles.
 

A difficult journey - M5 11A/A417 Cirencester to the Golden Hart Inn, Nettleton on the Roman Road, Ermin Way, and it was drizzling, but as soon as we started the walk the sun shone in the glorious Cotswold countryside.  There were 18 on the walk, including new member Christine, and George, nearly new, but feel we know him well.  With leaders, Steve and Justin, we knew there would be plenty of laughs along the way, despite the ups and downs, a scenic walk, with strenuous ascents  and descents, hidden valleys, 2 lovely churches, Brimpsfield and Elkstone, castle ruins and views.  Steve put Betty out of her misery by announcing the coffee break would be at Elkstone, before she asked!
Walking due south past Brimpsfield church. famous for its yew arches, and ruins of a castle, we quickly realised how energetic this walk would be, but very good experience for the prospective pilgrims training for the Camino next May.  Turning eastwards through Brimpsfield Park towards the underpass beneath the A417, a boon not to have to cross the busy road, ahead we spotted the church tower of Elkstone church above the trees.  Elkstone, in the Domesday Book, is referred to by its Saxon name, the Stone of Ealac.  The church dates from 1160, with tower and gargoyles, 14th century South porch, Norman doorway, and carvings.  Inside, the Norman chancel arch - truly stunning.  Leaving the church, Steve reached the coffee spot, a fallen tree providing ample seating.  All refreshed, George announced he had lost his car key.  Frantic searching to no avail, George and Justin retraced their steps back to the pub, whilst the rest of us skidded our way through Cowley Woods, with a few tumbles - recent rain made paths like skating on ice - but only pride was injured. 
Returning to the Golden Hart Inn via the underpass, just a few more ups and downs, we finally made it, and found George who was elated having found his car key on his car.  A good lunch was had with plenty of good humour, but in everyone’s minds Anne was uppermost in our thoughts, and how much we miss her.  Thank you, Steve and Justin, for a wonderful day and a walk to remember.  Thanks also to Betty and Graham for the wonderful report and photos - SF)

Swinging down the lane   (All photos by Graham)

Waiting by the church

Bide a'while

Up and over


Walk  1330

Date  Thursday 19th September      5 miles Moderate/Energetic   Pub lunch
Meet    Beckford Village Hall, GL20 7AA at 9:30 for 9:45 start
Contact    Stuart & Gillian the week before. 01684 833751, 07971 387040 (phone/email gillie.griffiths4@gmail.com when you book, with lunch choice
    Beckford Inn:
www.thebeckford.com/storage/45/Beckford-Inn_Main-Menu_Spring-2019.pdf
Directions    B4080 from Tewkesbury  through Kemerton, Overbury to Beckford
Details    Steady climb up ‘the yellow brick road’, walk around Bredon Hill, down to Ashton under Hill, through Grafton, back to Beckford. 6 easy stiles.
 

Report

Walk  1330/2    (Additional walk added  26/7/19)

This Walk is dedicated to the late Steve Dawe

Any voluntary donations will be forwarded to St Nicholas Church Ashchurch Fabric Fund


Date: Wednesday 25/09/2019 Grade EASY Length 4 miles Max 25

Venue: Canterbury Leys Public House, GL20 8BT Grid: 905330 Start 10.00 Pub Lunch

Leaders: John Dixon & Jan Nattrass Contact: 01452-780591 Week before.
Directions: From Tewkesbury East on A438 [Ashchurch Road]; from Cheltenham via M5 to Junction 9 and left via A438 to pub on right.
Details: This is a walk, focusing upon the former routes of Tewkesbury’s Two Forgotten Railways.  It will be part urban and part rural with nettles.  There is one gate and a low stile.Note:    Please arrive in good time to order lunch. A menu will be provided for you to choose as the pub is not open nor is the toilet

Fifteen of us assembled at the Canterbury Leys pub in Tewkesbury for an unusual walk, part urban and part rural, with frequent historical commentary from John on Tewkesbury's railway past. The weather was initially cloudy,  turning to sunny periods with frequent heavy rain showers. John made the point that Tewkesbury's railway closure was in 1961 and pre-dated Beeching by some two years. Our route took us along the old railway line now a cycle and walking path, behind Morrisons supermarket to Station Street, along side the old rail route to the site of the old High Street station next to Domino's Pizza; only a single pillar of the old station survives. We then went down Quay Street over the old railway bridge by Healing's Mill and through King Johns's Court to the Avon road bridge. The entrance to the old Mythe railway tunnel was next, then over the tunnel hill to the course of the railway which is now a nature reserve. After a stop for coffee, we returned along the Severn river path, under the Mythe Bridge and across meadows to the old railway line route opposite the White Bear pub and so to the site of the old (new)station, only traces of the two platforms remain in the middle of what is now mature woodland, some 58 years after closure. An interesting walk, particularly as some of us had lived in Tewkesbury long enough to remember the railway past.  (Many thanks to John for devising and leading this informative walk, and to Hugh for his report and photos - SF)

The assembled troops      (Photos by Hugh)

On Tewkesbury quay

Railway?

The graceful Mythe bridge


Walk  1331    (Additional walk added  26/7/19)

This Walk is dedicated to the late Steve Dawe

Any voluntary donations will be forwarded to St Nicholas Church Ashchurch Fabric Fund


Date: Wednesday 25/09/2019 Grade EASY Length 4 miles Max 25

Venue: Canterbury Leys Public House, GL20 8BT Grid: 905330 Start 10.00 Pub Lunch

Leaders: John Dixon & Jan Nattrass Contact: 01452-780591 Week before.
Directions: From Tewkesbury East on A438 [Ashchurch Road]; from Cheltenham via M5 to Junction 9 and left via A438 to pub on right.
Details: This is a walk, focusing upon the former routes of Tewkesbury’s Two Forgotten Railways.  It will be part urban and part rural with nettles.  There is one gate and a low stile.Note:    Please arrive in good time to order lunch. A menu will be provided for you to choose as the pub is not open nor is the toilet

Fifteen of us assembled at the Canterbury Leys pub in Tewkesbury for an unusual walk, part urban and part rural, with frequent historical commentary from John on Tewkesbury's railway past. The weather was initially cloudy,  turning to sunny periods with frequent heavy rain showers. John made the point that Tewkesbury's railway closure was in 1961 and pre-dated Beeching by some two years. Our route took us along the old railway line now a cycle and walking path, behind Morrisons supermarket to Station Street, along side the old rail route to the site of the old High Street station next to Domino's Pizza; only a single pillar of the old station survives. We then went down Quay Street over the old railway bridge by Healing's Mill and through King Johns's Court to the Avon road bridge. The entrance to the old Mythe railway tunnel was next, then over the tunnel hill to the course of the railway which is now a nature reserve. After a stop for coffee, we returned along the Severn river path, under the Mythe Bridge and across meadows to the old railway line route opposite the White Bear pub and so to the site of the old (new)station, only traces of the two platforms remain in the middle of what is now mature woodland, some 58 years after closure. An interesting walk, particularly as some of us had lived in Tewkesbury long enough to remember the railway past.  (Many thanks to John and Jan for devising and leading this informative walk, and to Hugh for his report and photos - SF)

The assembled troops      (Photos by Hugh)

On Tewkesbury quay

Railway?

The graceful Mythe bridge


 
Walk  1332

Date  Thursday 26th September  7.5 miles moderate/energetic.  Picnic lunch
Meet    Park as near as possible to Great Malvern Station for 0945 train to Colwall £2.60 single leaving from the far platform.
Contact    Noel  01684 772526   the week before.
Directions    Take B4211 from Upton to Gt Malvern.  At the double roundabout take 2nd exit.  After 400m turn left down to station.
Details    From Colwall station, we walk below Malverns west side before climbing steeply, but steadily (no rush) up to Sugar Loaf summit; then around the northern hills along Lady de Walden Drive, descending via St Ann’s Well back to station for a 1940s tea.

“Pardon me Noel

Is this the Colwall Station Choo Choo?

Today is Thursday

We’re on a walk with U3A.”

15 cheerful walkers assembled in good time at Great Malvern station. Whilst the party organised themselves into small groups so they could take advantage of the cheaper group rate being offered by West Midland Rail, the Ticket Office Clerk took the opportunity of the time to enjoy her breakfast.

On time, at 9.45am, we boarded the Hereford bound train and no sooner had we settled into our seats than it was time to alight at the first stop, Colwall.

The weather forecast allowed us a degree of optimism but being England, and Autumn, we were all prepared for the odd shower that may blow our way.

Our route was to take us generally north along the eastern edge of the Malvern’s. We left the environs of Colwall via the playing fields of the Downs School and their miniature railway which circumnavigates the grounds and followed the small stream that acted as the ancient boundary between the Parishes of Colwall and Mathon. Despite both sides of the stream being bordered by a barbed wire fence, peace appears to reign between the two tribes and so our progress was very smooth and unhindered.

The map shows us that coffee was taken in a pleasant rural spot with glorious views back down the valley towards British Camp, but also very close to the local sewage works. Fortunately, the wind was in our favour.

We left Mathon along an old avenue of trees, whose days as a grand entrance to some rich man’s abode had long since fallen into disuse, other than as a footpath for the likes of us. It was in this avenue that a small frog was rescued from a certain death by the grass cutting tractor by Marlies , Ann Trott’s sister. It was good that both Marlies and her husband Ron were able to join us on the walk and bring something of the spirit of Ann with them.

From Mathon it was up into the hills, over Sugarloaf, before circumnavigating Table Hill and North Hill. Lunch was taken en-route in the OAP Corral. Much of the hills have been fenced off to allow Galloway Belted cattle to munch on the fern and gorse that threatens to take over the flora and fauna. We positioned ourselves behind some of this temporary fencing giving the impression to fellow walkers we were some form of human exhibits. We duly smiled at all passer’s by.

One of the features of the Malvern Hills are the Victorian gas lamps that are maintained on the town’s footpaths. On the way up onto Sugarloaf Hill, we passed a house where some of these lights are being lovingly restored. Today, there are still over 100 of these lights providing safe passage to the pedestrians of Malvern.

We descended the hill via St Ann’s Well. The weather had been very kind to us with only one brief shower and even then, we were in the shelter of the trees. During our final trek through the town we were bathed in pleasant autumnal sunshine. We returned to the Station, where the nostalgic tea room provided us with a refreshing cuppa and a calorie replacing, wedge of cake.

It’s a big thank you to Noel for the planning and executing of a wonderful walk, taking in so much variety of scenery, and not forgetting the wonderful views across Herefordshire and Worcestershire from the top of the Malvern’s.  (Our thanks also go to Ian for his very entertaining report,an
d to Kathy and Terry for their photos - SF)

Why we love country walking!   (Photo by Kathy)

Bide a while   (Photo by Terry)

On the top    (Photo by Terry)

Just resting    (Photo by Kathy)
 



October  2019

 Walk  1333

Date  Wednesday 2nd October    4.7 miles     Easy     Pub Lunch
Meet        Farmers Arms, Apperley    GL19 4DR    Grid 867278    09.40 to order food
Contact    Hugh      01452 780460 the week before
Directions    A38 south from Tewkesbury, turn right at second set of traffic lights onto B4213, pub is two miles on the left.
Details    A largely flat walk towards Coombe Hill and returning through Deerhurst Walton and Deerhurst. Though the walk is "easy", there are a lot of stiles (~14). Two gentle up-slopes, could be muddy in places if wet.

After several days of heavy rain, the day dawned fine with a little sun for the twelve of us to depart from the Farmer's Arms at Apperley for Hugh's walk through the fields and lanes around Apperley, Walton Hill and Deerhurst.

We started by going up a nearby drive and through a private garden - although it was a signposted as a footpath. Then it was across flat fields mostly of grass, but some ploughed. The weather improved to sunshine - and Deerhurst even lived up to it's name, as we glimpsed four deer in the distance. The real down side was the number of stiles - over fourteen, though some were on and off bridges and a couple had seen much better days.

A very pleasant, easy walk. Thanks, Hugh - and to Bob for review, Shirley for the excellent photos.  ‘Stub’.

One down only 13 to go!

Exhausted already!

Should we not be going the other way, Chaps?

The 'Chappess' insists this is the way!




 Walk  1334

Date  Thursday 3rd October          6 miles Energetic            Pub lunch
Meet        Carpenters Arms, Miserden  GL6 7JA   Grid 937088   9.30 for 10.00
Contact    Jim & Margaret   01684 296773  the week before.
Directions    From Birdlip take the the A4070 towards Stroud taking the left turn at Fostons Ash and then shortly the first turning left signposted Miserden. Follow sign posts to Miserden.
Details    From Miserden we walk down the  secluded Holy Brook valley,through the hamlets of Througham and Througham Slad before returning along a wooded escarpment via Sudgrove and back to                 Miserden.  There are a couple of short but steepish climbs.


After such wet weather 20 met at the Carpenters Arms Miserden on a dry but cloudy morning. All were eager to explore this little known area.

The route started along a quiet lane onto a grass track and fields in the direction of Througham and Througham Slade both tucked away in wooded hillsides. The stony track continued downhill getting rougher until reaching the first hamlet, a stone wall overlooking stables with woodland beyond was the setting for the coffee stop. A little further down the hill to the first crossing of the Holy Brook, flowing faster than Jim expected. Next into a lush field of tufted grass, climbing slowly out of the valley to an awkward stile and another water jump over the Holy Brook (no fallers) someone remarked "are we doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award?”

A very steep incline brought us up to Througham Slade, a pause for breath before entering a wood and a more gentle terrain, passing a feeding area for pheasants. Ahead the trees had been felled in quite a large part of the woods, the ground churned up by big vehicles. We picked our way up to a track full of mud, a perfect place for a mud bath, but no takers to-day. The best-prepared walker was our very own Duke of Wellington's.

After crossing the mud and off to dryer paths we are soon to pass Sudgrove and rejoining the outward route back to Miserden after a challenging, invigorating, unbelievable walk.

Our thanks to Jim and Margaret for the experience  (Thanks also to Margaret M for the report and to Graham for his usual super photographs! - SF)

Let's talk about this!    (all photos by Graham)

Roll call?

Stepping stones

A helping hand



 Stroll

Date  Tuesday 8th October           Pershore                     10.30 start
Meet        Old Bridge car park on Evesham Road on left after houses end.
Contact    Ken & June  01684 772564   the week before
Directions    From town centre follow road towards Evesham.
Details    A stroll around The Abbey, some impressive properties and the river.

There were 12 of us for today's stroll around around this historic town.  Even before we set off from the Old Bridge car park, we had the interesting sight of the bridge itself undergoing repointing of the ancient stonework from an ingenious system of scaffolding.   We made our way along the main road towards the town square, admiring the elegant houses that line this approach road.  There were many tales to tell too - our leaders had done their homework, and, augmented with Nick's local knowledge, we were entertained almost at every step of the way!  From the square we ehtered  the Abbey grounds, and, after admiring the wonderful carved tree, we entered the Abbey, or rather that bit of Abbey that has managed to survive the flood, fire and earthquakes of history.  Well worth a visit too, there is much to admire and enjoy and we wandered about soaking it all up.  Outside, the weather was stil dry and bright, and after a stroll down through the market car park, we mad our way back to the cars.  Many thanks to June and Ken for leading us around this unspoiled and lovely little town.

Bridge repairs

Town tales

The carved tree

In the Abbey



 Walk  1335

Date  Thursday 10th October     8 miles    Moderate/Energetic      Picnic 
Meet        By roadside along from Black Horse Pub , Naunton, GL54 3AD
Grid 119235        10.00 start.
Contact    Betty & Graham 01684 594331 the week before
Directions    B4077 Stow Rd 1+ miles after Ford, turn right on Bourton road and after 4 miles turn right  onto B4068. After 1 mile turn right to Naunton.
Details    Gently undulating Cotswold countryside with 4 stiles .  From Naunton we walk by the River Windrush and through the Slaughters (ice cream?) along the River Eye. Return to Naunton for a pint at the Black Horse?

Once all 21 of us were assembled outside The Black Horse Pub we set off at a good pace to enjoy the lovely Cotswold countryside. First of all we were alongside the River Windrush , then the River Eye in Lower Slaughter. We paused at The Mill Shop and Craft Centre, where several of the group indulged in the homemade and organic ice-creams watched over by Boris and Trump (Luckily not the real ones) but small stone statues on the wall of The Stone shop! It was surprisingly quiet of tourists,but we had previously chatted to a large group of Japanese visitors,setting off on a country walk in the opposite direction.
 
We had a pleasant lunch stop on a grassy spot near the River Eye,which became a bit damp with a spot of drizzle,so we packed up and walked on. The weather improved shortly ,so we were able to enjoy more Autumn views away from traffic. We came across several horses on our route,but luckily for Betty they were not confrontational. Sylvia showed her rapor with animals when a long legged foal sniffed her hand while we walked through it’s field, although it’s Mum was keeping a close eye on it all!
A really good work out at nearly 9 miles with a welcome drink back at the Pub thanks to Betty and Graham’s arrangements.  (Thanks also go to Sonia for her report and to Graham for his photos - SF)

Going our way?     (All photos by Graham)

Lower Slaughter

Nice ice!

Lunch on the wall



 Walk  1336

Date  Thursday 17th October  5 miles  mod/energetic      pub lunch
Meet        Red Lion Inn, High St, Chipping  Campden  GL55 6AS
Contact    Noel  01684 772526 book week before
Directions    A 44 around Broadway.  After hilltop TL onto B 4081 for C.C.
Free car parking in minor road layby north of/parallel to High St: GR 148391, 300 m from inn.  Meet at Inn at 8.15 to order lunch then to bus stop outside Noel Arms for 8.45 bus to Blockley (no bus pass at this time.  Fare approx. £2.50)
Details    We walk back over the hills via Broad Campden.  Superb views of north Cotswolds.

Noel has revised some of the details of his walk No. 1336
 
 Thursday 17th October
Meet at the layby car park (FREE) in Chipping Campden as per programme, but at 9.15 am.  Boot up and walk round to the Red Lion Inn, High Street, (100 m before Town Hall) to order lunch approx £8 to £13.  Walk on to Town Hall to catch 9.52 bus to Blockley with bus passes.  The Red Lion will do a lunch for us about 1.30/1.45 pm.
 
This means you can have a lie in and use your bus pass (but not at the same time!)
 



20 walkers arrived at Chipping Campden in bright sunshine for a walk with a difference. Noel, our Walk Leader, has a penchant for different modes of transport to the walk start, such as a train ride. Today we were catching a bus from Chipping Campden to Blockley using our bus passes and luckily we were the only passengers bar two, so seats aplenty.It seemed a long way meandering through several villages including Willersey & Broadway- hopefully our walk would be “ as the crow flies”. Arriving at Blockley,where there is a super cafe attached to the village store,except Noel didn’t know of this, maybe next time.
Blockley is situated at the bottom of all the hills around, water everywhere. At one time it was an important mill town with at least a dozen silk mills, now converted into apartments,  producing thread for Coventry ribbon weavers, .
We walked steadily upwards out of Blockley, roughly south to north en route for Chipping Campden, until reaching a panoramic view  and Noel announced a coffee stop even before I asked for one! In high Cotswold country with superb views Noel had put together a four and a half mile walk from the map showing his skill as delights were revealed along the way, with pauses for jelly babies, thank you Sylvia, and water stops ( with necessity for more stops! ) We learnt about the “copy cat murders” on top of Meon Hill - one mid 19th century, one in the 1950’s- very spooky.
Passing through Broad Campden , we were soon back in Chipping Campden where we had lunch at the Red Lion hostelry. A good feed, with a final flourish by Noel, the old romantic, reciting poems by A E Housman and Laurie Lee.  Thank you Noel for a memorable walk,  (Thanks also go to the dream team - Betty and Graham - for the report and photos - SF)

Cotswold harvest  (All photos by Graham)

Leaving Blockley

Noel tells all

The assembled troops



 Walk  1337

Date  Wednesday 23rd October    7.5 m    Moderate/Energetic    Picnic
Meet        Ravenshill Woodland Reserve (donation) WR6 5QP  GR 740539    9.30 for 9.45
Contact    Margaret & Terry   01684 772278     week before
Directions    The reserve is situated roughly mid-way between Worcester and Malvern. Follow signs for Lulsey from either Knightwick Bridge on the A44 or from the Bankhouse Hotel on the A4103.More details on booking.
Details    From the car park walk towards Lulsey then turn into woodland, later joining the Worcestershire way and further on the Suckley hills before descending to the Knapp Reserve and finishing back at the RWR. The route is undulating with an option to shorten if required A few stiles

17 of us braved the traffic - and the fog - on the Worcester bypass to meet at Ravenshill Woodland Reserve, a new area for us.  Uphill through woodland to our coffee stop in a field, where Margaret and Terry had kindly provided a picnic bench for us [did they carry it up there?]. 

We admired the view, we should have seen, on Terry's phone, then down and up again on the Suckley Hills. We sat on what should have been a sunny bank for picnic.   A watery sun did finally appear during lunch but never managed to completely disperse the mist.  Down again to Mousehole Bridge and familiar places to those of us who had ever been on Jeff Pumphrey's Knapp Paper Mill walks.  Here we met the expected mud but we all made it safely through, no one fell down and no one lost a boot. 

After many twists and turns through the woods, where we could have got hopelessly lost without our excellent leaders, we made it through an orchard to our third stop.  An apple was tasted but it turned out to be a cider apple.  We regained our outward route and retraced our steps back to our cars. Margaret and Terry deserve full marks for perseverance having made four visits to work out a walkable route for us in this new and attractive area. 

Thanks to Jenny (B) and Terry for the Photos [“Stub”]

Downhill - then Uphill!

Where is the Bench?

I do not know where it is either!

Twisting and Turning behind our Leaders, lookign for the Apple - the source of all Wisdom?



 Walk  1338

Date  Thursday 24th October   5.5 miles EASY    Pub lunch
Meet        Bluebell Inn    Ryall    WR8 0PP      Grid  867405            9.30 for 10.00
Contact    Sylvia & Hugh  01684 437462  the week before
Directions    A38 north.  Pub is junction of A38 and Ryall Grove Rd.
Details    Mainly flat, through Ryall, Baughton , Earl’s Croome and along the Severn.
NB.  Message from Sylvia received 16/9/19
  "Last week Hugh and I did a “walk over” of the above walk which is quite scenic and flat but has at least 10 stiles and although they are in reasonable condition, the walk should be graded as  “MODERATE” .
I have also attached a menu and I need to have the meal orders in by Friday 18th October.   The Bluebell Inn pub requests that we share transport in order that we do not take up too much of their parking."    Menu

NB.  Message from Sylvia received 16/9/19
  "Last week Hugh and I did a “walk over” of the above walk which is quite scenic and flat but has at least 10 stiles and although they are in reasonable condition, the walk should be graded as  “MODERATE” .
I have also attached a menu and I need to have the meal orders in by Friday 18th October.   The Bluebell Inn pub requests that we share transport in order that we do not take up too much of their parking."    Menu

18 of us met at the Blue Bell in Ryall on a misty morning for what was to prove an interesting walk near to home but largely unexplored previously. Owing to the remarkable amount of rain recently it was very wet underfoot and quite quickly we were making our way across a ploughed field inches deep in water. Spirits were high, of course, and even the mist turning into gentle rain for a spell did not daunt us. We proceeded across fields to the church at Earls Croome where there were benches to sit on for a coffee break for some, others decided to stand under the Lychgate. The home of the Earl was visible at the end of a long drive. There were quite a few stiles, mostly slippy ones but we had no mishaps as we went across farmlands.
Then we made our way across towards the Pepper Pot visible at Upton and after crossing the road we were soon walking over the bridge by the Marina to follow a well defined path parallel to the Severn on our way back to Ryall.
The Blue Bell was warm and welcoming and we enjoyed our pre-ordered meals.
Thank you to Sylvia and Hugh for introducing us to an interesting  5.5 mile circular walk close to home that we can enjoy again in our own time.(Thanks to Andrea for her report and photo - Thanks also to Shirley for her photos taken under the most trying conditions! - SF)

Squelch!    (Andrea)

Ready foe Christmas?     (Shirley)

What fun!  
  (Shirley)

Damp but not disheartened!  
  (Shirley


 Walk  1339

Date  Wednesday 30th October   5miles    Easy/Moderate    Pub Lunch
Meet        Bluebell Farm Worcester. WR4 0SQ     9.30 to order food  10.00 start
Contact    Shirley & Margaret    01684 275665   week before
Directions    M5 to J6 take 2nd turn off the next 3 roundabouts then 4th T on next R to Nunnery Pk Horn Hill Rd.
Details    The walk takes in Nunnery Wood Country Park and Spetchley Park via Old House Farm. Some gentle gradients.

13 hardy walkers met in the car park on busy industrial/building complex well wrapped up for the chilly damp start and iffy forecast. Having booked our lunches in Bluebell Farm Pub and seen the cheery staff already serving coffee and breakfasts emerged ready to start in a much better frame of mind.  It wasn't long before having negotiated car park and motorway hustle and bustle we were in the depths of the  quiet and still colourful countryside benefitting from patches of blue sky and occasional shafts of sunlight. Coffee stop was taken sitting (if you had long legs) or leaning on appropriately positioned somewhat damp straw bales with a views of Spetchley Park and further.  Later we saw distant glimpses of deer but closer unusually charming sheep with amazing long very curly fleece and then of course THE MAGIC CIRCLE which had us looking over our shoulders hoping to catch sight of robed figures through the trees. We had one very minor casualty caused by having to negotiate bogus electric fencing put across rights of way on more than one occasion. The lady in question insists she didn't actually fall but lowered her derrière gracefully and very gently into a patch of very wet grass -no injury was incurred. On return to the pub our eager expectations of good food were delivered many of us going for the indulgent two course deal. It was a lovely walk, Shirley's first experience at leading and we all agreed 'she dun good'.
(Thanks to Jennie G for her report, and to Terry for the photos - SF)

A convenient shelter

A fairy ring

That's the style!

Country walking?



 Walk  1340

Date  Thursday 31st October.  6m Moderate/Energetic        Pub lunch
Meet    The Queen Elizabeth  Elmley Castle WR10 3HS Grid 981411  9.30 for 10.00
Contact    Pamela & Mary          01386 725547       the week before
Directions    Eckington Road from Bredon, then right to Combertons and Elmley or  Bredon, Beckford, Ashton under hill, then Elmley.    Park in Main Street near pub.
Details    We walk from the pub through pastures and then a steep climb onto Bredon Hill. We walk a circuit on top of the hill taking in Parsons Folly and finish with a gentle downhill route back to the pub

Message from Richard  19/10/19 :
If you are booking on to Pamela and Mary’s walk on 31st Oct (was there something else on that day?)  you will need to give them your menu choice.  menu can be found at
N.B. Update on 22/200/19
Unfortunately Pamela was given the wrong menu for The Elizabeth – the pub used on her walk.  Something to do with BREXIT I suspect;  probably no spuds!
 The correct menu is
 https://www.elmleycastle.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Lunch-Menu-2019-05-01-v1.pdf

Despite it being All Hallows Eve, there were no fears of the unexpected as 15 walkers set out from Elmley Castle. The initial stage of the walk wound its way past a series of thatched cottages. One in particular was almost too perfect, especially as the thatcher had surmounted the roof-line with two cooing swans! Such architectural treats were soon swapped for a pleasant walk in the direction of the Combertons, across gently rising fields forming the base of Bredon Hill. Suddenly, the path took a turn to the left, and the slightly undulating fields were a distant memory, as the group slogged up the steep, muddy path and onto the slopes of the hill proper, (but not the infamous ‘North Face’ route). The encircling wood rewarded our efforts with an amazing display of autumn tints and encouraged, we found ourselves on a wide grassy plateau. A brief upward climb guided us to a well-protected gully where coffee was eagerly consumed.  Reinforced by refreshment, we made the final assault on the summit and as we did so a few splatters of rain and a cold-edged breeze reminded us that autumn was truly upon us. The views from the Parson’s Folly, towards flooded, but waterless Tewkesbury, were smudged with a misty haze that were nonetheless still impressive to behold. The group exited the ancient hill-fort by walking along the top of one of the large inner defensive rings, and started to circle around the top of the hill and back towards Elmley Castle. The descent took us through a stunning beech wood providing a panoramic view of a kaleidoscope of autumn leaf-colours on the adjoining trees of the neighbouring slopes. The route took us back to the welcoming Queen Elizabeth hostelry, where everybody had a delicious lunch that was well-presented and quickly served.  A regal end to a majestic walk. Many thanks go to Mary and Pamela for organising such a lovely autumn experience.(Thanks go to Steve for his great report, and our trio of photographers Pamela
, Sylvia and Tony. - SF)

The troops  (Photo by Pamela)

Cafe au mist    (Photo by Tony)

Puss in boots?    (Photo by Sylvia)

Great views?     (Photo by Sylvia)



 Walk  1341

November  2019


 Walk   1341  

Date  Wednesday 6th November      4.5 miles easy     Own arrangements

Meet    Catch the 351 bus at 10.05 outside Boots in Tewkesbury to get off in Apperley.  Your leaders will join the bus a couple of stops later.
Contact    Richard & Eileen  01684 274197  the week before
Details    We walk down to Deerhurst and then follow the river back to Lower Lode lane and then into Tewkesbury.  The only hill is down.  Lots of eating places to choose from.

The proposed walk is under water at the moment and even if the floods go down, the walking will be very soggy, so we will postpone it until the next programme.  The substitute walk is below. It is still an Easy walk.

Wednesday 6th November       Easy    3,4 or 5 miles     own arrangemnents

Meet               Pittville Pump Room car park Cheltenham             9.45 for 10.00

Contact         Richard & Eileen   01684 274197    the week before

Directions     A435 Bishops Cleeve to Chelt.  Left at racecourse and follow signs to Pump Rooms.

Details           Through Pittville Park and along the old Honeybourne line track to Chelt railway station.  You can catch the D bus from here back to Pittville  if you want to.  Then through Regency Cheltenham to the town centre for the D bus.  If you are feeling fit, you can walk back to

 

Twelve of us gathered by the old Pump Room,
through Pittville Park in autumn time
reflections in the lakes and flume
the trees all yellow, orange and lime.

After we crossed to the old rail tracks,
bridge paintings, among them Boris and Trump.
Historic scenes, gas works clock, chimney stacks,
new houses on approaching the station tump.

Queens road and Christchurch we by-passed
paused at Brian Jones' blue-plaque home,
on our way to Montpelier, drinks at last,
this is the end, its freedom to roam.

Thanks to Richard and Eileen Hart
the leaders to-day who played their part.

(Many thanks to  Margaret M for her clever poetic report and to Terry for the lovely photos  - SF)

Meet and greet    (All the photos are by Terry)

Lovely autumn colours in Pittville

Along the old railway line

Relections in the park

Report

 Walk  1342

Date  Thursday  7th November 8 miles  Moderate/Energetic  Picnic
Meet        Winchcombe Library CP (fee)GL 54 5PZ  Grid 024284    10.00 start
Contact    Betty & Graham 01684594331 the week before
Directions    B4077 TR signed Gretton & TR as you enter Winchcombe , Library CP is on left after approx 100 yds.
Details    Beautiful open countryside through the Sudeley Castle Estate & beyond. Tea shops await in Winchcombe after the walk.

Well we made it! 17 people expecting rain turned up for this 8.5 mile walk, many of them practising for the Camino trek next year, but not all of us, some were just seeing what a longer walk feels like!  The sky was clear and blue and the sun warm. We set off from the library car park in Winchcombe and after walking up the drive to Sudeley we were soon skirting around the outside and off into the fields full of sheep and few cows and calves. There were a variety of paths, some were firm, some were through grass and a few were muddy and slippery, but no problem to us. We enjoyed marvellous views once we had climbed upon to the ridge, especially at picnic time when we could see further than the Malverns on this lovely clear day. After that it did get a bit cooler and clouds built up but still no rain, the walking gods were in good form again. There was an interesting interlude when we stopped to talk to three men building a dry stone wall. It seems that after they had built the wall, the owner of the property decided he wanted it moved back a few feet!  On both sides of the drive! For more room to drive in from the road. Golly! > We went mostly downhill then enjoying the trees in their various shades of red and gold and Kites and Buzzards soaring overhead. We rewarded ourselves at the cafe at Sudeley with tea and cake before the last mile back to the carpark.
Altogether a most enjoyable walk. Thank you Betty and Graham.(Thanks to Andrea for her report and photo, and to Graham for his usual super photos that capture our lovely area so well - SF)

Dry stone wallers    (Photo from Andrea -  Bob?)

Sudeley Castle     (Photo by Graham)

Sunny skies  
    (Photo by Graham)

Storm coming?  
    (Photo by Graham)

All clear!  
    (Photo by Graham)


 Walk  1343

Date  Thursday 14th November      4.5 miles Easy            Pub lunch
Meet        The Crown Inn, Cerney Wick   GL7  5QH.  -Car park at the rear of the pub.
        Grid    UO77959         9.45am for 10.00am start.
Contact    Calvyn   01684 295438 the week before.
Directions     M5 Junction 11A Take A417 past Cirencester. Turn onto B4696 signposted South  Cerney/Cerney Wick.   Go past the De Vere Cotswold Park and after approximately  half a mile turn off B4696, signposted Cerney Wick and follow road through village.    The pub is at the far end of the village at the junction of two minor roads.
Details    Mostly walking on a mixture of field paths, a dismantled railway, a canal tow-path   and some road walking around lakes that make up the Cotswold Water Park.  It is a flat walk, with 5 stiles and a chance to see a five-foot penguin?  
And on the same day

Report

 Walk  1344

Date  Thursday  14th  November    6 miles  Energetic     cafe lunch   MAX 15
Meet    The Geo Café  Wyche Cutting  WR13 6PL   Grid  567435  9.30 for 10.00
Contact    Richard & Eileen    01684 274197  by week before.
Directions    Take Jubilee Drive from  Wyndes Point to the Wyche .  Café is opposite the  toilets.
Details    We follow the hills back and take the Evandine road down to Colwall then climb back up again via The Downs School and The Purlieu.
    You may remember that representatives from the café came to speak at the U3A General Meeting earlier in the year after being recommended by the Walking Group, so that we could support the young people working there

Report

 Walk  1345

Date  Thursday 21st November   6.5miles Moderate/Energetic No plans for lunch
Meet             Roadside next to Fleet Inn.GL20 6FL Grid 904365 9.30 for 9.45 Start
Contact        Sonia  01684 298409  week before
Directions    Take A38  towards Worcester, turn off rt to Twyning, and The Fleet.
Details         We walk along footpaths, lanes and tracks beside the Avon and Severn.
                    Mostly flat with some rough parts, and 2 climbs. 12 stiles.
                    N.B. I have arranged our coffee stop at Browns at Tewkesbury Garden
                    Centre, where delicious treats are available. Maximum of 20 walkers on
                    this occasion please.

Report

 Walk  1346

Date  Wednesday 27th November      5.5 miles Energetic     pub lunch
Meet        Queen Elizabeth   Elmley  Castle    Grid    981 411    9.45 for 10.00
Contact    Mike &Jenny  01684 772194   the week before
Directions    Take the Eckington Road from Bredon.  Turn Rt. Just before Eckington to Great Comberton, Rt. to Little Comberton.  Rt. to Elmley Castle.  On entering Elmley Castle keep Rt. along main street towards the church.  Park on the left in Main Street or small Car Park behind pub.
Details    Bredon Hill from the North side.  A steady uphill to the tower and down hill back to Elmley.  Mainly good paths with gates, and a few stiles.  Exact route will depend upon conditions on the day.

Report

 Walk  1347

Date  Wednesday 27th November      5.5 miles Energetic     pub lunch
Meet        Queen Elizabeth   Elmley  Castle    Grid    981 411    9.45 for 10.00
Contact    Mike &Jenny  01684 772194   the week before
Directions    Take the Eckington Road from Bredon.  Turn Rt. Just before Eckington to Great Comberton, Rt. to Little Comberton.  Rt. to Elmley Castle.  On entering Elmley Castle keep Rt. along main street towards the church.  Park on the left in Main Street or small Car Park behind pub.
Details    Bredon Hill from the North side.  A steady uphill to the tower and down hill back to Elmley.  Mainly good paths with gates, and a few stiles.  Exact route will depend upon conditions on the day.

Report




The next programme will cover December and January and I (or someone else) will need full details by the first week of November.  If you can offer a walk, then please let me know your chosen date and level of walk asap so that I can book it in.

I  (or could it be someone else?) aim to have an Easy walk each week as well as a harder one. 




.




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


NOTICE BOARD

The Walking Group has a mobile phone to be used before and during walks for emergency contact — see paper programme for number.


We are affiliated to the Ramblers Association and the membership card above may be used to obtain a 10 percent discount on walking gear in most local outlets.

If you require a paper copy of the walking programme, there is a charge of  £4 p.a., payable at the Walking Group AGM or at the U3A enrolment meeting. If you have internet access, then all information can be obtained by email, free of charge.

Walks are graded to give some idea of what to expect:

Stroll: A short walk at an easy pace with frequent stops.

Easy: Undemanding and mainly level with occasional gentle ascents or descents. There may be a few stiles.

Moderate: Some uphill/downhill stretches - unlevel walking - several stiles.

Energetic: Some longer steep hills and rough ground - may be many stiles.

Please book with the leader of the walk by the date given and arrive in good time before the start to boot-up and order lunch etc. Be sure to cancel with the leader if you are later unable to take part. Wear suitable shoes/boots and clothing for the walk and do not over-estimate your abilities. An attendance fee of 50p is charged for each walk attended. Dogs are not allowed on walks.

 

Walk Talk  

The Ordnance Survey has a service now that enables you, for an annual subscription of £19.99, to download and print off extracts from the OS maps that we use for our walks - anywhere in Britain!  - no more having to fold and unfold vast sheets of paper in the wind and rain - bliss! (Stop Press!  There is now an "App" for smart phones that does all kinds of amazing stuff!)  A real bargain - for a free trial go to -  http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/osmaps/


 

SAFETY POLICY

WALKERS

a) Carefully read the walk description to ensure that you are capable of walking the route at a moderate pace (about 2 miles per hour) without risk to health. Attention should be paid to the EASY/MODERATE/DIFFICULT grading as well as to any references to steep climbs, stiles, etc.

b) Dress sensibly. Make sure that you have suitable clothing and footwear for the weather expected. A walking pole or stick can be of great help.

c) Remember to carry any medications that you might need. Carry food, and water, especially on hot days.

d) Follow instructions given by the leader. Keep those in front and those behind you, in sight all the time.

e) Keep to the route indicated by the leader: do not devise shorts cuts, etc.

f) Walk in single file on roads and heed any advice about crossing roads given by the leader.

LEADERS

g) Classify your walk as STROLL/EASY/MODERATE/ENERGETIC. Mention any steep climbs and stiles.

h) Limit your walk to a maximum numbers that you think you can safely manage, given the nature of your walk.

i) Have a co-leader to act as back-marker: count the party at the start and at suitable points during the walk

j) Carry a first aid kit or ensure that someone else in the group has one.

k) Set a pace of about 2 miles per hour plus coffee and lunch/tea stops. Ensure that those finding the pace difficult have sufficient time to rest and recover, even if this is not favoured by more energetic members.

l) Carry a map, the group mobile phone and GPS receiver to make emergency calls and give exact locations.

 

To download a copy of the Leader's Walk Plan Form (In Adobe Acrobat Format ie PDF) — Click on the following link FORM

 

 

To go to further advice for leaders  -  Click on the following link Advice

 

To go to The Tewkesbury U3A main site click here; Tewkesbury U3A

 

 

Contacts:

 

Sylvia (Group Leader) 01684 437462

E Mail / 

 

Tony, (Administrator) 01684 276960  

E Mail  tonyandjenniferbarrett@btinternet.com

 

Richard, (walks coordinator) 01684 274197

E Mail / richard.hart13@btinternet.com

 


Webmaster . . . Stan Fagg stanfagg@freeuk.com    Updated 11th  September  2019

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