Ramble Reports July 2023

A Jolly July Jaunt

Rachel & Geoff’s Midweek Ramble 12 July

Starting from the delightful village of Ebrington (Yubberton to local people), we passed the village church dedicated to St Eadburgh, reputed to be the granddaughter of King Alfred the Great and with links to Pershore Abbey.

On the Diamond Way, we followed gentle contours of Ebrington Hill to reach Hidcote Boyce and then Hidcote Bartrim, with its famous Manor. Hidcote Manor is an Arts and Crafts Garden, designed by American Major Lawrence Johnston and owned by the National Trust.

Here we had a coffee stop at some conveniently placed picnic tables. This gave us renewed energy for a short climb to Larkstoke, where the first boundary stone was spotted. To commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth 2nd, Ebrington revived an old tradition of marking its parish boundaries with large stones. These large boundary stones, made from Cotswold stone, can be found at Ebrington’s boundaries with Quinton, Admington, Ilmington, Mickleton, Stretton-on-Fosse, Blockley and Chipping Camden.

After a short walk along the road we passed some large fields of peas. Crossing one of them our pea-snatching and tasting skills were put to the test!

The path back to Ebrington took us across and down Ebrington Hill, with glorious views across the countryside to the Cotswolds. A second boundary stone was found as we entered Ebrington.

After lunch and refreshments from the local 1640s pub, some members left and the remaining group walked through the village and up Nash’s Lane to find a third boundary stone. Soon Foxcote House came into view. This is an 18th century Grade II listed building, valued at £20 million. It is owned by American billionaire Lex Wexner, who made his fortune with Victoria’s Secret Lingerie business. Passing the house, we looked back at to admire its grandeur before continuing along footpaths to Ebrington.

As the skies got progressively darker, we hoped we would make it back in the dry… but we were not so lucky! Just as we reached Ebrington there was a thunderous downpour and we dripped our way back to our cars.

Although we were damp, the weather did not dampen what had been an enjoyable ramble.


Morning 5.2 miles/8.3 km Afternoon 4.2 miles/6.8 km

Sailing around Heightington

Andy & Emily’s Evening Ramble 14 July

This evening walk around the wooded gullies and farmland near Heightington was more of a scramble at times than a ramble – as the rain fell, our intrepid walkers made their way up and down some slippery slopes with the aid of walking sticks and – at times – more than two limbs.

Spurred on by the promise of a curry and fine craft ales at the end, eleven brave mariners arrived at Heightington Village Hall ready to set sail. Despite the day-long drizzle preceding our evening’s circumnavigation, we embarked in our sou’westers – casting off promptly to voyage across the rolling waves of hill and vale in some of the finest countryside in Worcestershire. Fine, at least, when you could see it through the mist and spray.

Although our plotted course was only 3.7 miles, the challenges of weather and incline combined to make it feel at least 6 miles. Along the way, we took in the wooded stream Dick Brook, the 15th-17th century farmhouse Worsley House, the hidden damson-gin smallholding at Joan’s Hole, and a tiny stretch of the Worcestershire Way.

Fortunately, the winds were with us and we made good time, muddied but unbowed, back to port at Heightington’s world-class brewery-in-a-barn, Nothing Bound, and some very fine curries thanks to Indy’s Indian Kitchen. Of course, having weighed anchor and disembarked, the sun emerged from behind the clouds: such is the sea-faring life!

Andy & Emily

3.7 miles

An A-Maize-ing Walk

Rachel & Geoff’s Short Ramble 19 July

After welcoming new members Anita, James and Patricia and guest walker, Lina, this well attended walk set off from Defford Village Hall. Defford, meaning deep ford, was originally a clearing in the Royal Forest of Harewell (Harley Forest). The forest was cleared during the first Civil War, when it was used for timber.

Passing the church, with its distinctive black and white tower, we made our way towards Besford. A meadow of long grass led us to a road to nowhere. When Defford aerodrome was built during WW2, several of the roads were abruptly cut off when they reached the airfield.

Soon we reached a field of maize. With no sign of the footpath, we zig-zagged through it, keeping in touch by voices and a HV jacket on a stick as many plants were taller than some of our members! After a headcount to ensure no-one had been lost, we made our way to Besford Church. This unique church is timber framed and has the only timber framed nave in England.

An impressive serpentine wall was admired as we made our way through the village and across fields to Besford Court. This Grade II listed building was built in Tudor times. In 1917 it was established as a Roman Catholic school for “mentally defective boys and girls”. Later, it became an Approved school for boys, before closing in 1996 and being residentially developed in 2001.

After a short coffee stop we picked up the Millennium Way to the edge of Tiddesley Wood, before turning off to follow a track across a large field of ripe flax.

Entering a coppice, we followed a clear, overgrown path to reach the road, before turning off again across a field with glorious views of Bredon Hill and the distant Cotswolds. On overgrown shrubby, swampy area challenged us but we triumphed and soon crossed a bridge into a large field which we crossed to pick up a lane back to Defford.

After a short drive, 25 members enjoyed a well-deserved lunch at Revills Farm Shop.

Thanks to Phil Taylor who helped to clear footpaths and was a third leader with this large group.


5.5 miles 8.8 km

The calm between the storms

Fran & Paul’s Evening Ramble 28 July

After a week of near constant rain, and a forecast of a further week of near constant rain, Friday 28th July was blessed with a break in the wet stuff falling from above. Which is why, earlier in the year, we chose it as the date to lead our Evening Ramble!!!!!

An amazing 31 Evesham Rambling Club members turned up at the Oak Pub in Upton Snodsbury for a ramble of five miles. The route took us through Bow Wood, then on to the hamlet of Libbery, followed by North Piddle before heading back to our start point. For much of route the church at Upton Snodsbury stood out on the hill to our right, acting as a guide to ensure that we were always circling it and hadn’t wandered off.

Fran took on the teacher role and told us about the history of Bow Wood, Libbery and North Piddle. Did you know that in 1896 there was an earthquake in North Piddle which followed an ‘earthquake light’? Don’t know what an earthquake light is? Google it. By the time we had got back to Upton Snodsbury, the call of food and drink was stronger than the will to listen to a lecture about the history of the village, so that research will be saved for a future walk.

Not long into the walk, at a small holding, we were treated to a sheep shearing demonstration – don’t expect it on all of our walks folks!

As well as the wooded Bow Wood, our route took us across plenty of fields, ie, stiles! The organisers had thoughtfully chosen one stile beside a small market garden, which some of the gang took an interest in – don’t expect it on all of our walks folks!

The fields contained the usual sheep, horses, cattle and crops including barley and rape seed. Oh, the rape seed field – the farmer had unhelpfully planted the crop across the marked path, so discretion being the better part of valour, we circled the outside of the field on that one.

The evening ended back at the Oak Pub, where feedback from members was that the food was excellent, as were the drinks and the company.

Thank you to everyone who attended.

Fran & Paul

5.25 miles

The Malverns Reign

Hazel and Paul’s Sunday Ramble 30 July

Ramblers: Marie Beale, Diane Harrison, Carl Hedderick, Michael Hicks, Hazel & Paul Jennings, Alan & Pauline Saunders, Geoff Smith & Pat Whitehurst, David & Julie Tyrrell, Geoff & Rachel Thould and new/prospective members Jayne Cook, Joanne Davis, Paul Peters, Rob Rowley, Sarah Street [/wpmem_logged_in]

Nineteen people assembled at the top Hollybush car park on the Malverns on a damp day ready to walk to Ledbury and back. The weather forecast was threatening but it wasn’t raining yet.

We climbed up Midsummer Hill, a sharp beginning to the day. The path was slippery in places due to the damp conditions. Fortunately, everybody made it to the top and then were rewarded with views both towards the Vale and Herefordshire.

Once we got our breath back, we walked across the Malvern ridge past Peacock Villa, past Netherton, down over the London rail track and the Hereford Road, to begin another climb to Kilbury Camp, an Iron Age hillfort.

A dry picnic was enjoyed in the dry overlooking Ledbury, but then the rain started which lasted for the rest of the day. Once into Ledbury, a very picturesque market town, we found hot and cold refreshments to fortify us, ready for the ascent back up towards Eastnor, the Obelisk and the top of Midsummer Hill again, following the Geopark Way. Most walkers then went to the Robin Hood Inn, Castlemorton, for a welcome meal at the end of the walk.

Hazel & Paul

5.5 miles am, 5.5 miles pm