Ramble Reports December 2023

Winter Wonderland Walk

Geoff & Rachel’s Lite Ramble – 2 December

Despite thick fog and temperature of -3 degrees, six members arrived on time at Ebrington car park. Ebrington is a small village with a population of about 600 and is known locally as Yubberton.

We set off quickly, hoping that a brisk walk would warm us up. After passing through the churchyard of St Eadburgh’s, named after Alfred the Great’s granddaughter and with links to Pershore Abbey, we began a gentle climb out of the village. Unfortunately, the views were hidden by the fog, but soon we found ourselves above the fog, with glorious blue skies. Scarves and hats began to be discarded as we began to glow in the winter sun, which also made the hedgerows and vegetation sparkle like a scene on a Christmas card.

A short walk along a lane, being very careful as the ice was creating a slippery surface, brought us to Hidcote Boyce. From here, we crossed the fields to Hidcote Bartrim and Hidcote Manor. Thankfully, the very muddy route was still frozen.

Just after Hidcote Manor we had a short climb up to a Boundary Stone, where we stopped for a quick coffee break. To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, Ebrington placed large Cotswold stones, known as Boundary Stones, on their nine parish boundaries. The bright blue skies and sun was in deep contrast to the fog which covered the land below us, which, while obliterating the view, gave a magical feel to the scene.

Descending Ebrington Hill, we arrived in Ebrington and had a quick refreshment in the pub before setting out towards Foxcote House.

On our way we came across another Boundary Stone at Watery Gate before reaching the impressive Foxcote Manor. On our way we had the company of many pheasants and partridges, which are bred for annual shoots held by the owner of Foxcote.

Soon after Foxcote House we came across the first (and last) really muddy section of the ramble, where a large farm vehicle had churned up the ground and unfortunately the frost had thawed , which made the ground very sticky…..but it wasn’t for long and we were soon on terra firma and back to the outskirts of Ebrington. Skirting around the village we were quickly back at our cars, to head back into the freezing fog of The Vale.


a.m. 5.6 miles 9.00 km p.m. 4.4 miles 7.00 km

A walk between the storms

Maggie’s Midweek Ramble – 6 December

On an amazingly bright and sunny morning, a day sandwiched between various storms that had raged across the country, thirteen members of the club met at the Waverly Street car park to undertake a circular walk along the Birmingham and Worcester Canal and the River Severn.

Given prior heavy rains, discretion prevailed, and we set off up the canal towpath instead of the path by the river in the direction of Perdiswell. After about 1½ hours of gentle walking we stopped at the Perdiswell Leisure Centre for an extended coffee break. Then we traipsed through several wet fields before our lunch break at The New Inn at Claines.

Over a discussion at lunch, it was decided that the fields along the Severn which would have been the path home were just too wet, more conducive to wading rather than walking. Instead, we undertook a more comfortable and dry walk in alleyways off Northwick Road and along the racecourse at Pitchcroft. 

Taking a chance, we continued along the river to the Millennium Bridge and fortunately no wading was required. Then back to the car park. All in all, a successful walk despite the modifications due to inclement conditions. We survived the walk without any wet feet and without climbing over any stiles! 


am 6 miles; pm 5 miles

Littleworth Village, Hadfield and Kempsey Common

Lindsay’s Short Ramble – 13 December

Sixteen members turned out on a fairly dry Wednesday morning and gathered at Littleworth Village Hall. As we had been experiencing very wet weather over the past weeks, we were aware we would be walking through muddy, soggy fields and lanes, and were not let down!

We headed off towards the back of the village’s allotments where we were presented with the start of the mud. Passing along the side of a gushing stream, Phil commented that he had never seen it so full. We then carried on to the main road where we crossed over to walk between two houses.

The lane led us to the hamlet of Hatfield where again we crossed the road to a muddy lane and down through fields where we were rewarded by the beginning of amazing views of the Malvern Hills.

Crossing over a bridge and turning right up a moderately steep hill we were met by the only stile on the ramble which turned out to be most difficult. Some of us clambered over whilst the more energetic climbed over the gate. As the weather was, fortunately, clear it give us even more spectacular views of the Malverns range and beyond. Then unbelievably another reward, the iconic steam locomotive, The Flying Scotsman came flying by, heading towards Bristol, after apparently starting off at Cambridge. This year marks 100 years of the 60103 Flying Scotsman since it entered service on February, 24 1923.

Walking on, we made our way through a small woodland giving us some respite from the mud as the leaves which had fallen were laid like a carpet on the ground. Heading along a field of turnips we made our way through gardens of what appeared to be an empty house. Here we stopped for a short coffee break and two members peeled off to take a shorter route back as they had a further appointment.

From here, Phil took over as leader, as he knew the area and found us a drier route than the one planned. Instead of turning left we turned right, down the road, before turning left onto Kempsey Common. On the way down the road, one of the members had a nasty fall, being tripped by one of the other member’s walking poles, leaving her with considerable cuts and bruises to her nose and chin. A message to all of us ‘pole walkers’ to make sure we have control of our poles even when not in use!

Walking over Kempsey Common, although swampy, was bracing with lovely views far and wide. Heading towards Stonehall Common we turned right into a field and instead of walking along the road, Phil made a shorter route which eventually led us back to Littleworth Village Hall. An enjoyable ramble with lovely views which was followed by lunch at the Plough and Harrow attended by eight of us.


5.8 miles

A right muddy forest!!

Carl’s Sunday Ramble – 17 December

A select group of six ramblers arrived at Sanders Park ready for the start of the ramble.

We were following one of the three overlapping Royal Hunters’ walks which go through the remnants of the ancient hunting forest of Feckenham. They consist of the Hedgelayers’ Walk (5 miles), the Chartists’ Walk (8 miles) and the Foresters’ Walk (12 miles). It was the Foresters’ walk which we were going to follow. The starting point, Sanders Park, was bequeathed to Bromsgrove by the Sanders sisters and is said to be an inspiration for the poet A E Houseman who was born in Bromsgrove.

We followed a lane taking us underneath the M5 motorway before passing through a kissing gate and over various fields and into the car park of the Parkgate Inn, this led to some discussion about whether or not it was still open. It didn’t look to be, but I had seen it open a few weeks earlier. From here we walked through various fields and into some woodland where we first encountered our old friend, MUD. A few more fields and lanes saw us passing through the imaginatively named High Wood and Big Wood before entering Chaddesley Wood with MUD coming with us for much of the way. To be fair it was not as muddy as expected considering all the rain that had fallen recentl

After a picnic lunch stop at Coal Pit Coppice it was a case of following the route over different types of terrain before reaching the New Inn at Bourneheath, which was definitely open. One thing which marked this ramble was pace. Being a small group, a good pace was maintained throughout which meant we were able to make an unscheduled stop for a drink at the New Inn without worrying about losing the light towards the end of the day. After this the route took us past the birthplace of A. E. Houseman, the hamlet of Alfred’s Well and Battlefield Farm. Interesting fact about Battlefield Farm, nobody seems to know what battle took place there or if one did at all. We did spot a couple of metal detectorists who were perhaps looking for evidence of this.

From here it was a case of retracing our steps back to the starting point. Around 13.5 miles covered in six hours including lunch, a drink and various stops. I did say the pace was good.

The Royal Hunters’ Walks offer varied scenery and terrain and are very well signposted. Thoroughly recommend.


am 6.5 miles 10.46 km, pm 7 miles 11.26km