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WALKS PROGRAMME No 154  NOVEMBER, DECEMBER   2019. & JANUARY 2020 

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.



November  2019


 
Walk  1341

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.

 

 Walk   1341   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 Pittville.  No hills or stiles.


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.

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
   (Photo by Margaret M)

 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  Abandoned due to poor weather

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  Abandonded due to poor weather forecast

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.
Message from Richard :  

Sonia is postponing her Avon/Severn walk next week  because when she last checked the water was coming over the top of her wellies!  She will put it on again when her socks dry out.
 Instead, she will lead a walk starting from the Hungry Horse at Severn Springs, 6 milers Moderate, around the Churn Valley.  Don’t book on until Thursday when she can give you more details.
 Happy Sploshing,
Richard

Sadly Sonia was unable to lead her walk (we hope your back is feeling better now) and Margaret and Terry very kindly stepped into the breach.   With no recce under their belts, they ably led 13 of us on a wonderful - if Baltic - walk from Seven Springs and on up to Leckhampton Hill.  En route in scrubby woodland we spotted a group of the small jet black Dexter cattle grazing - then onward and upward to the windswept limestone grassland on the tops where we spotted just a few yellow gorse flowers.    It really did feel like the first day of winter and we were rewarded – despite the mist – with wonderful views across the valley.    The blood-red berries of the self-seeded cotoneaster which has spread close to the Devil’s Chimney will be a welcome sight for the flocks of wintering thrushes which have yet to arrive in number!   We rounded the morning off with a welcome warming (and very prompt) lunch at The Hungry Horse.
Many thanks to Margaret and Terry for a memorable walk.  (Thanks to Pamela for her report and photos, and to Maragret M for the other pictures - SF)

smiles before miles     (photo by Pamela)

browsing dezters       Photo by Pamela)

Devil's chimney   (Photo by Margaret M)

down there is Cheltenham - honest!


 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.

We were promised rain today but our heads remained dry even if our legs didn’t.  Jenny led 23 of us from the Queen Elizabeth in Elmley Castle steeply us the very wet and muddy hillside and over the top, past Lalu Farm and on to the derelict Sundial Farm where we had our coffee break.  Here we chanced on Jake Freestone, the Overbury Estate Manager who, delighted to see us,  insisted on taking our photo for his Facebook page.

Then we made our way to The Belt and up to the top of the hill overlooking the Elephant Stone.  Our way down was equally muddy and we were accompanied by 3 hounds, who seem to have been separated from the hunt pack and were charging about aimlessly.  (We later saw a rider out looking for them).

Lunch was good (with free scones) and several of us were rewarded on the way home with the sight of the large deer herd crossing the Ashton road and leaping the fence before disappearing into the hillside.  And it didn’t rain until we got home.

Thanks to Jenny and Mike for an energetic walk expertly led.  (Thanks also to Richard for the report and to Graham for the photos - apart from the group picture taken by Jake Freestone - SF)

Hello!    (Graham)

Mud don't matter   (Graham)

The Manager's photo   (Jake)

Quiet lanes    (Graham)




 Walk  1347

Date  Thursday 28th November      4 miles  Easy   own arrangements 
Meet        Newent recreation car park     grid  718257                10.00 start
Contact    Lesley   01452 840602    the week before
Directions    Down Newent main street and turn right along road to Newent school.  Playing fields are on right.
Details    One or two stiles and maybe a couple of slight short inclines - which could be cut out!

 Due to adverse weather conditions I have decided to lead the approx. 4 mile walk from Staunton Garden Centre, instead of from Newent. It will be to Eldersfield church & returning, mostly along quiet lanes.
( not sure about stiles yet as have only managed half the walkover and none so far, but alternative lane walking  if to prove necessary ).
Map Ref:-  312799 and meet 9.45 for 10am.
Own arrangements for lunch, as some people already booked will travel on to Newent for food.
I have phoned everyone already booked, to alert them to the change.
 
Sorry for the inconvenience, but we couldn,t get to Newent 3 days ago due to flooded roads and parts of my original walk were through areas prone to much water.


Just 7 members turned out on a very pleasant morning for this rearranged walk from  Staunton Garden Centre.. We headed north up the lane before joining a wide track which bore the evidence of weeks of heavy rain, with the ditches on each side full to the brim. Those with wellies soon discovered they had made the right choice. The track turned north east and quite soon we approached the opulent village of Eldersfield with its impressive St John the Baptist church sporting a very tall spire. After admiring  a des.res. or three we took a similar, but drier, track heading south for a short distance before crossing meadows until we reached the road to Pillows Green and back along the lanes to Staunton where we enjoyed a very tasty meals at the busy restaurant of the Garden Centre. Many thanks to Lesley for a lovely walk.  (Thanks also to Terry for the report, and to Margaret M and Terry for the photos - SF)

Take it easy   (Terry)

Take notice    (Terry)

Where next?    (Margaret M)

Churchyard pano    (Terry)


NB   Note from Richard : 
 


                                 

Barry Walks.  Barry runs a small  walking group (not part of the U3A) where the walks are  3-4 miles long and are easy+.  On 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of  each month, he invites people to join him if there is no suitable EASY walk of our own on that day.  There would be non-U3A members on the walk and you would not be covered by U3A insurance.  There may also be dogs present.  As details are decided near the time, please phone Barry on 07751170833 if you are interested.


December  2019

 

Walk   1348   Wednesday 4th December       5 miles  Energetic         Pub lunch

Meet               Star Inn Ashton under Hill   WR11 7SN   Grid 997377         9.30 for 9.45

Contact         Noel   01684 772526   the week before

Directions     A46 towards Evesham and take left turn signed Ashton.  Park in front and at rear of pub.

Details           Long climb up east side of Bredon Hill; going  occasionally uneven/soft - walking sticks advisable. A walk of two vales:  Evesham to N and E and the Severn to the S

Please book for walk AND LUNCH .  Details to Noel when you book on.  http://www.thestar-ashtonunderhill.co.uk/lunchtime-menu.php

(Cheaper in a pair with some dishes) by Saturday before.  Pub can take 50 for lunch, so anyone wanting to book for lunch ONLY will be welcome!

 


Fifteen intrepid walks led by Noel met on a cold and slightly misty morning at The Star, to tackle a less popular approach to Bredon Hill.

We set off up Cotton Lane and wove our way around to the north side of the hill, by which time the sun had broken through, although the valleys were still hazy. None the less we had a good view out to Evesham and Pershore in the north.

After a coffee we tackled the final muddy climb to the crest of the hill to find ourselves enjoying the wide expanse of the Severn Vale. It was then a brisk walk in the sunshine with broad vista both south and east.

Finally, the steady descent through a field of sheep, heavily in lamb a hope of Spring, to the churchyard of St Barbara and a welcome drink and meal back at The Star.

Thanks to Noel for showing us the 'other face' of Bredon Hill and managing the weather.

The photos are from Graham and the report by Tony (B)   Webset by "Stub".


Well, I've finished before I start!

Best feet forward - at a brisk pace.

No time for cofee - I have to plan my website report! Are you listening, Tony?

What a beautiful day - and view!

There's [St.] Barbara - follow that "Star"

 

                                     Thursday 5th December

  Christmas Lunch



Don't we scrub up well?    (All photos by Graham)




Thanks for all the years of work on our behalf



Welcome to our new dynamic duo!



 

Walk   1349   Wednesday 11th December      5 miles  Moderate      Pub lunch

Meet               The Crown, Kemerton.GL20 7HP  Grid 946372.    9.30 to order food

Contact         Sally and Margaret  01684 274440 the week before.

Directions     Left turn off A46 or through Bredon.  Park in side road.

Details           We share cars to drive a mile to Overbury, turning left in village to park in road near the church.  Then 10.00 start.  We walk a steady, gentle climb up Bredon Hill and return via Overbury estate road.

 

After waiting for the landlord of The Crown to be woken up we ordered our lunches and drove to Overbury. 17 of us started in pleasant December sun along Pigeon Lane turning up the lane to skirt Conderton Hill and the steady climb to Shalden Farm, reaching the south side of Long Plantation for coffee. During coffee the wind got up and rainclouds threatened, so waterproof were out and hoods up. Facing a strong cold wind we walked alongside the plantation on a muddy track and turned on to the hill reaching Lalu Farm.

Fortunately the rain had others in mind and we enjoyed the gentle walk on the road down through Overbury Park, and safely back to the Crown before the heavy showers arrived.

Thank you Margaret and Sally for an enjoyable walk, new in parts to some of us.  (Many thanks to Tony B for the report and to Graham for the photos - SF)


Happy bunch     (All photos by Graham)


Up we go

Sometimes the sun shines!

Welcome break



Walk   1350   Thursday 12th December    5m    Easy/Moderate    Pub Lunch

Meet               Swan Inn Staunton GL19 3QA  Grid 793297      930 for 10.00

Contact         Margaret & Terry   01684 772278   week before

Directions     From B4211 Corse Lawn take B4213 to Staunton pub at Roundabout. 

Please car share if possible

Details           The walk on the Whitmore way has one short steep incline to Corse Wood Hill.  The remainder is easy on fields tracks and quiet lanes.  A few stiles.

 

14 of us arrived almost all at once at the pub car park. Given the forecast not exactly raring to go. Margaret organised a secret vote to determine who should write the report. I won, though it doesn’t feel like a win.
So off we set, to the sound of locals “You must be mad” Well we are, but we’re also active and up for a laugh.
The walk was one part of the Whitmore way, and some of the route follows the Three Choirs Walk trail too. Basically it was mud, squelch, mud and lots and lots of stiles and one 9 bar gate. Though one of our members, having seen the great escape too many times over Christmas, threw herself at two layers of barbed wire fencing rather than face the gate. We got easily up onto the ridge on Corse Wood Hill. (Much easier that the slipping and sliding and hauling oneself up using a fence the last time Margaret took us up this hill)
Here we tried to shelter from the rain and have our coffee break. We were lucky in that there was a view to reward us.
We then walked along the ridge and circled back to the pub. For this section the pace picked up by the ladies as I’d collected myself some mistletoe. This also had the reverse effect in that I had to fight off attention from Steve and Ian. (Told you you shouldn’t have voted for me, actions have consequences be careful who you vote for)

Back then for a very decent lunch, attractively served ;-) at the Swan.
Wet and muddy we may have been but lots of laughs and a good walk as always led my our lovely Margaret.  (Thanks to Calvyn for his entertaining report and to Terry and Shirley for their photos - SF)

Scraping off mud       (Terry)

Plodding on         (Terry)

Calvyn - irresistable?     (Shirley)

Just rewards        (Terry)

 



The Annual “Pudding Buster” on Friday 27th December (1352) will have an After Walk Lunch at the Duke of York, Berrow. To help with catering could walkers please make contact with Betty & Graham (01684594331) by Monday 16th December with their Email details `( leaving a message if necessary) and a Menu will be then be sent to everyone for their choices return asap.




Walk   1351   Thursday 19th December   5.5 miles   Easy.     Cafe Lunch

Meet               Wyre Forest of Discovery car park  DY14 9XQ at 9:45 for 10:00 start. NB it is £5 to park for more than 5 hours but the cafe on site Is very cheap! And there is no need to pre- book. Loos available.

Contact         Andrea and Bob 01684 294676 the week before.

Directions     J 6 on M5, A449, A4025 to Stourport and Worcester, A451 and turn Left on to B4195, then at roundabout 2nd exit to Long bank A456. The Forestry Site is on the right. 

Details           This is an easy  walk through the forestry commission land on mostly well defined paths, although we do share some of these with horses and bikes so they may well be muddy.

 E

"We [19 walkers] all went down to the woods today

We drove deep into Worcestershire under skies that were bright - then grey."

In an attempt to escape the rising waters of the River Severn we headed north to the Wyre Forest and follow winter, woodland trails.   On arrival we were greeted with the pleasant Christmas bonus as parking was £1 less than anticipated.

Our trek took on a political theme as we were instructed to follow the Blue Markers, and sure enough it was downhill all the way from the start. As we reached rock bottom it was time for reflection on the journey so far, over coffee, only to discover the chosen site had suffered from a dose of austerity: 1 bench for 19 walkers.

The return journey took a change in the political landscape as we now followed the Red Markers. Soon we started to dither and suffer bouts of uncertainty. Do we follow the obvious course or wander off into uncharted territories?  Divisions within the ranks started to emerge and the leadership came under a gentle challenge to his authority. Eventually all regrouped and our detour returned us to the well-trodden track. The uphill tested the stamina but soon the end was in site and, like the election, we were back where we started. [Historical Point of Order: that is definitely not correct!]

It was time to sit back, reflect on our efforts, and 'Get Breakfast Done!' or was it Lunch?

Many thanks to Bob and Andrea for organising such a great venue for the time of year and an excellent cafe.  Sadly a couple of walkers had to drop out at the last minute because of illness and so worth remembering that when planning your walk at this time of year.

 Merry Christmas Everyone! Ian [Photos Terry & Shirley

It all looks very colourful - certainly not grey! [Shirley]

Are the Red Factions looking a little Querulous? The Blues seem deep in thought. [Terry]

Will the day be swung my the "Undecided"? [Shirley]

Cheerup - lunch is all "downhill"! [Terry]


 Walk   1352   Friday 27th December   4.5 miles Easy/Moderate   Pub Lunch

Meet               Duke of York,  Berrow,. WR13 6JQ,  grid   782355. 9.30 for 10.00
Contact         Graham & Betty 01684594331 the week before

Directions     From Tewkesbury take the A438 Ledbury Rd , the DofY is on the left.

Details           We drive to Hollybush CP for our walk start at approx 10.15 for a familiar trek via the side of Ragged Stone & Chase End Hills and across Bromsberrow Estate for coffee-to return through the woods to the CP.
Many will remember that Anne Trott loved this walk and so we are dedicating our ‘Pudding Buster” this year to her memory.

 The Duke of York is now under new management and is being completely refurbished.

                        Walkers are invited to bring with them any Christmas left overs (apart from Turkey etc) or other contributions towards our Annual Raffle .

 Nothing about the weather reflected the spirit of Anne Trott, whose memory we celebrated on this the 2019 Pudding Buster. 21 members of the U3a Walking Group, assembled in Hollybush car park on a still, damp and murky December morning.

The walk, one well known to the group and, in particular, one well loved by Anne, took us south, over Ragged Stone Hill towards Whiteleaved Oak. We stopped for tales of paganism and Druid offerings that are laid on and around the ancient oak that struggles for life on a remote outcrop. The temptation to dance naked around the trunk never entered our minds and we made our way towards the tiny, forgotten hamlet of Whiteleaved Oak. Here the noticeboard raised a smile as it informed that periods in the stocks were promised for, amongst others, 'passers by gawping into the cottages of the inhabitants' and, 'Chelsea Fans'.

Coffee was taken on the trunks of slain oaks at the southern end of Chase End Hill on the Bromsberrow Estate. The entrance to the estate promised the opportunity to 'Meet and Greet' Long Horned White Cattle. Fortunately they were either sheltering indoors or hiding in the gloom.

The return trek, through the woods left some puzzled by the recent activities of the forestry workers as to why they had removed certain trees but not others............... answers to Jim Mitchel! It may cure his impending insomnia.

The ladies took advantage of the woodland covering for their weekly ritual of revealing cheeks to the undergrowth. On their return a guard of honour, made up of walking poles, greeted them.

The walk completed and it was time for a celebratory and reflective lunch at The Duke of York pub. Walkers were joined by Iain Murdoch and Anne's husband Michael. He had kindly brought along Anne's collection of silly Christmas hats, a tradition of the Pudding Buster lunch. No hat was sillier than that chosen by Calvyn who, for his own safety and to reassure the locals, had to be escorted whenever he left his seat.

The meal concluded with a couple of amusing monologues, recited in his rich Scottish brogue, by Iain. This was followed by some questionable musical entertainment from Kathy and Ian Barber.................. Kathy was the musical and Ian was the questionable!

To end the proceeding Andrea gave us lovely memories of Anne, her love of gardening and Bach, her caring nature, and a personality that made you pleased to be in her company. Yes, Anne was one of those people who gave. She is missed and will live long in our memories. In the days and years to come, whenever you think of Anne, I guarantee you will have a smile on your face.

Finally, a big thank you to Betty and Graham for the wonderful organisation of this special occasion and for the raffle that raised £83 for the Sue Ryder charity. (Many thanks to Ian for his wonderful reprt, and also to Graham for his usual superb photos _ SF)


All present and correct   (All photos by Graham)


Misty

A convenient seat

All Hail!

. . . and a good time was had by all !




 

January  2020  (Happy Hew Year to all our readers!   SF & Stub)


 

Walk   1353   Wednesday 8th January    5 miles     Easy/Moderate      Pub Lunch

Meet               The King's Head, Birdwood, Huntley,   GL19 3EF  Grid 737188     9.30 to order food at 9.45

Contact         Hugh    01452 780460 or Fran on 01684 491698 the week before

Directions     To Gloucester, then A40 west, direction Ross on Wye, for 5 miles, pub is on the left (south) side of the A40

Details           We walk part of the Gloucestershire Way, to Huntley Church and return via Solomon's Tump. Footpaths, minor roads and tracks, some stiles. Mainly flat with some gentle slopes, could be muddy in places.

 

On a warm, balmy, sunny …… winters??  day, 18 walkers, eager to continue their New Year fitness resolutions, gathered in the car park of The King’s Head at Birdwood, near Huntley. After suggesting that coffee would be taken at Huntley Church, a mere one and a half miles away, we set off in the opposite direction. Leaving the busy A40 behind us, we walked on to a section of the Gloucestershire Way and were rewarded with panoramic views towards the Severn Valley and the ill-defined misty outlines of the distant Cotswold Hills. The footpaths lead us past silent, leafless woods, but closer observation revealed buds forming early in the unseasonably warm weather. Fields were saturated underfoot, water literally oozing out of each footprint, but the many sheep we encountered seemed to take it all in their stride. Ascending the foothills of May Hill, we halted for coffee at Huntley Church. The adjacent primary school decided that the influx of strangers in the churchyard, was a cause for celebration and sent all forty-odd pupils out to play. Walkers, unlike a certain member of the Royal Family, were perspiring in the heat and disrobing was the order of the day. Exiting through the rear of the churchyard, past some magnificent pine trees, we headed for Solomon’s Trump, passing the ‘stony-faced ‘character guarding the entrance to a garden centre. Whilst the rest of the group turned right to traverse the lower slopes of the tump, one member was so determined to see the views from the summit that it took half the group and a local with a dog, to persuade him to turn back onto the right track. After skirting the edge of Huntley Village, the final stage of the walk provided an opportunity to strengthen those flabby leg muscles as we walked across fields layered in thick mud. Well, the pre-walk description carried a warning, “could be muddy in places”.  Lunch (£8 for two courses!) was very welcome and provided a fitting end to a well-organised, ‘stylish’ walk for which, many thanks go to Fran and Hugh. (Our thanks also go to Steve for his usual  entertaining report, and to Terry and Shirley for their photos - SF)

Wait your turn      (Photo by Terry)


Snacks      (Photo by Terry)

Stepping out       (Photo by Shirley)

Here's trouble!       (Photo by Shirley)



Walk   1354   Thursday 9th January   6 miles  Energetic           Pub lunch

Meet               Kemerton  GL20 7HP     Grid    946 371             9.00 for 9.15     

Contact         Mike & Jenny    01684 772194       week before

Directions     B4080 Tewkesbury to Bredon.  Carry on through Bredon to Kemerton .  Park in side road just after The Crown.

Details           Meet at 9am  on the corner.   We walk over Bredon Hill to the Tower for coffee then to the Star at Ashton for lunch 12.30pm . Mainly on good paths and tracks. 2 or 3 stiles. After lunch return by Bus to Kemerton.   Astons Coaches run bus 540 (Evesham to Tewkesbury)  2.04pm and 3.04pm from Ashton (20 mins) 

or the more energetic can do walk 2 back to Kemerton.

Walk 2            4 miles Moderate    After lunch at The Star we walk back through the villages. Not much ascent but more stiles and more mud.   We aim to be back in Kemerton by 4pm.   Total walk 10 miles

There is the option for people to only do the afternoon walk.  Park at Kemerton as above and catch the 540  bus to Ashton to join us for lunch.   Bus at Kemerton 12noon opposite The Crown  arrives Ashton 12.19pm. 

On this overcast day 19 enthusiastic, but bleary eyed walkers, congregated early in Kemerton ready to tackle the planned 10 mile walk.  We commenced a steady climb up Bredon Hill. This is the same track that Christians use to this day, to carry a wooden cross at Easter time. On the way up we passed the King and Queen stones. According to legend, if you walk between these stones all your illnesses will be cured.   The route was extremely muddy and a number of walkers slipped and fell.  Thankfully there were no serious injuries, so we didn’t need to walk back between the stones! Coffee break was spent sheltering in the leeward side of Bredon Tower, looking towards the Malvern Hills, which were bathed in sunshine. A few ventured down an escarpment to view the unusual bolder formation, known as the Elephant Rock. We then commenced the walk across the hilltop, through arable land, passing the isolated Lalu Farm, eventually joining the Wychavon Way, which took us down towards Ashton-under-Hill. A few more walkers tumbled as we slid down the treacherous muddy slope on the way to lunch.

 On arrival,  muddy clothes were deposited outside the pub and everyone reached for their stylish blue plastic overboots. After a well earned lunch our leader took a head count of those who wished to continue this adventurous journey. Surprisingly 13 were keen to walk on, the remaining 6 took a leisurely bus ride back to the cars. Therefore, at half time there were 9 falls and 6 submissions!

The afternoon walk took us to Ashton village churchyard, which is reputedly the only church in England dedicated to St Barbara, who is alleged to afford protection from lightening strikes - luckily not needed.  We continued through farmland, the unspoilt village of Grafton and a wood well known for bluebells, where we spotted many clumps of snowdrops. We then headed to Conderton and followed the road to Kemerton, through Overbury. Those with Smart phones checked their apps to see that we had actually walked nearer to 12.5 miles!  We were all pleased with our achievement. Our sincere thanks go to Mike and Jenny for a well organised, fun filled, splendid walk.  (Our thanks also go to Stuart for his graphic and engaging report, and to Graham for his usual excellent photos - SF)

Mob handed     (All photos by Graham)

Farm on the Hill

Over the Vale

Did you slip?


Walk   1355   Wednesday 15th       January 5 miles   Easy/ Moderate        Pub Lunch

Meet               Hunters Inn Buckbury GL20 6AR  Grid  846338   9.45 for 10.00

Contact         Terry & Margaret 01684 772278   the  week before

Directions     From Mythe on A438 R on B4211 pub on L please park at far end

Details           A mixture of lanes and fields through the Rampings and Forthampton

Fairly flattish terrain, some stiles.

Please note: We require the food order to us by Saturday 11th Jan.

 http://www.huntersinn.co.uk/lunch-time-menu

 Report

 

 Walk   1356   Thursday 16th January    8.75 miles   Energetic          Picnic

Meet               Park on the road by Wormington Church. Grid 039364.   9.30 start

Contact         Ian or Kathy  01684 290542, the week before

Directions     From Tewkesbury take the A46, at Toddington  roundabout take the B4077 for nearly 4 miles, then left onto the B4078. After 2.5 miles right to Wormington.

Details           Good paths and tracks. Some lane/road. Across farmland and through quiet villages. 1 longish steep hill (Ascent 130m). 3 stiles.

 

Report



Walk   1357
   Thursday 23rd January       9 miles   Energetic         Pub lunch

Meet               Stanton Village Club  WR12 7NE   Grid  068 344       9.45 for 10.00 start

Contact         Betty & Graham    01684 594331  the week before

Directions     Tewks.-Stow Rd, TL Toddington roundabout, TR to Stanton in approx 2 miles,TL to Stanton Village Club

Details           Undulating walk through 3 beautiful Cotswold villages, Stanton, Snowshill, & Stanway, with lunch-time stop at Snowshill Arms Pub for a light lunch!  In case of inclement weather, the walk will be shortened if necessary,
omitting Stanway.

 Eighteen walkers met at Stanton Village Club, on a damp day, cheerfully preparing to walk nine miles through the inevitable mud. We began by climbing up through the pretty village of Stanton and into the countryside. After a short walk Betty pointed out the area of hillside that she had camped on, as a 16 year old. It was her first visit to the area, from her home in Birmingham, - and it began her love of the Cotswolds.

After continuing to climb we stopped to catch our breath, whilst enviously watching a pair of horse riders. We eventually reached the top of Shenberrow Hill and were able to appreciate the mist covered view. The coffee break was very welcome and Graham used the opportunity to take a photograph of the Camino pilgrims! As we headed towards our lunch stop, to be taken at The Snowshill Arms, we met a walker dressed in shirt, tie, tweed jacket and carrying a copy of the Times under his arm. We were surprised to find him already seated in the pub when we arrived.

Lunch was efficiently served and, thanks to our blue overshoes, boots did not have to be removed (thank you Sylvia). We set of in good spirits for the remaining 5 miles. Mud was the main highlight of the afternoon as we headed to Stanway and there, after admiring the gate house, we split into two groups. Some took The Cotswold way and others the road, back to Stanton. Thank you to Betty and Graham for a very enjoyable walk.

PS. The road walkers were back first, and no, we don’t expect the men to wear a shirt and tie next week.  [Thanks to Mary; photos by Graham. Website: “Stub”]

Cheerfully Preparing - but no mud yet!

Descending - to find the mud?

Resting by the mud - was this Betty's first campsite?

Caminio Pilgrims?

Walk   1358   Wednesday 29th January     4.5 miles easy     Own arrangemenMeet               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.

 

Report

 
Walk   1359
   Thursday 30th January   5 miles Energetic     Pub lunch

Meet               Winchcombe Library Car Park, (fee)  Back Lane. GR 023284.  Meet 9.30

Contact         Ian & Kathy      01684 290542, the week before.

Directions     Past Winchcombe school, straight over at X roads and turn left after library.

Details           The Sacred Tombs of Belas Knapp   Following the Cotswold Way for the first half of the walk, then fields and lanes. 8 stiles. Long steep hill at the start (Ascent 216m)

 

Report



The next programme will cover February and March and I (or someone else) will need full details by the first week of January.  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. 




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


NOTICE BOARD

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Walk Talk  

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


 

SAFETY POLICY

WALKERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEADERS

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Contacts:

 

Sylvia (Group Leader) 01684 437462

E Mail / 

 

Tony, (Administrator) 01684 276960  

E Mail  tonyandjenniferbarrett@btinternet.com

 

Richard, (walks coordinator) 01684 274197

E Mail / richard.hart13@btinternet.com

 


Webmaster . . . Stan Fagg stanfagg@freeuk.com    Updated 13th January  2020

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