Ramble Reports for August 2019

“Rain, Cheese and Malvern Views!”

Alan & Pauline’s Midweek Ramble 7 August

Ramblers: Jamie-Louise Dobbins, Phil Dobbins, Roger Hallam, Michael Hicks, Paul & Hazel Jennings, Alan & Pauline Saunders, Geoff Smith & Pat Whitehurst, Margaret Stokes (11)

The minor delay at the start of the ramble as we waited for the ‘Worcester contingent’ worked in our favour as we sheltered beneath trees at the Walker’s Car Park and avoided the only rain of the day- a torrential downpour. Thank you Paul, Hazel and Margaret!

We set off, following the Cotswold Way in a northerly direction, over Painswick Beacon, twice stopping to allow golfers to take their shots. We walked through Buckholt Wood, gradually climbing until we reached Cooper’s Hill, of Cheese Rolling fame, where we stopped for a break to admire the view, with the added bonus of Painted Lady butterflies flitting around us.

After a steep downward slope, we were soon following a good track through the woods, emerging at Cranham Common, our lunchtime picnic stop overlooking the village.

The afternoon took us on pleasant paths alongside Painswick Stream, passing Tocknells Court and Damsell’s Farm, both imposing properties with beautiful gardens. We passed several old silk mills on our route, glimpsing a kingfisher close to one of them. We were soon back in Painswick where we strolled through the churchyard with its famous yew trees and 17th and 18th century tombs. Following the Cotswold Way again, a short walk through the town brought us back to the car park.

Alan & Pauline

“Mickleton in the Rain!”

Ann & Kath’s Short Ramble 14 August

Ramblers: Chris Francis, Glyn Hayter, Hazel & Paul Jennings, Kath Morris (co-leader), Ann Shorthouse (leader), Rachel & Geoff Thould, Maxine Whittaker, Geoff Smith & Pat Whitehurst (11)

This was a Ramble where ERC optimism was rewarded. We set off from Church Lane in Mickleton with the rain tippling down and a dismal forecast for the day. By the time we reached our coffee stop it was (almost) fine and when we came to the last section, a break in the clouds revealed faint shafts of sunshine as we looked over the wide, green landscape of the Vale of Evesham and Warwickshire to the north west. 

Ann navigated successfully the complex network of footpaths from St James’ Church and took us through Bakers Hill Wood along the Heart of England Way.  Leaving the wood, we then headed east through Hidcote Boyce to loop round a disused quarry and make our way back to base passing through Hidcote Bartrim and skirting two famous gardens at Hidcote Manor and Kiftsgate.

We enjoyed the company of Maxine Whittaker, a new member from Evesham and look forward to seeing her again. Maxine also joined us for an excellent lunch at the Round of Gras in Badsey.

Ann & Kath

“But alas No Pubs!”

Pat & Geoff’s Sunday Ramble 18 August

Ramblers: Angela Fowler, Carl Hedderick, Michael Hicks, Paul & Hazel Jennings, Peter Lee-Smith, Geoff Smith & Pat Whitehurst (8)

Our walk started from the neatly manicured “Estate” Village of Salperton, with its unusual War Memorial with a stone base and wooden crucifix known as a “Hooded Calvary”. As we passed the fine country house and the Norman Church of All Saints, we were greeted by a shower of rain but thankfully this had stopped by the time we reached St. Andrew’s Church in Hazleton. We were in rolling countryside, with extensive views in every direction, and this would be the theme for the remainder of our walk. On to Compton Abdale, on the old Roman “White Way”, with the 13th Century Church of St Oswald’s high on a hill overlooking the village, and where we had our coffee break by the crocodile headed spring fountain. Here Peter gave a brief photography lesson to a passing lady rambler who was then allowed to take a group photo with his best camera.

With wheat fields on either side, we took the long winding track to another neat “Estate” village, Yanworth, which is owned by Lord Vestey. The houses in the village were all painted in dark green and cream in perfect harmony. Here we saw St Michael’s Church in the distance as the village moved away from the Church at the time of the Black Death. After lunch in the Village Hall, with tea and coffee provided by the very nice lady in charge, we walked on to join the Monarch’s Way to take us to Hampnett. The village church is the Grade 1 listed St. George’s, with its walls stencilled in a colourful “Medieval” style. This theme was, however, introduced by the incumbent, Rev. W Wiggins, around 1870 and was not appreciated by parishioners who tried to raise money,(thankfully) without success, to have it white washed out. Evidence of a Roman settlement has also been found here and a bronze statue of Hercules from that period now stands in Cheltenham Museum.

Onward then, in bright sunshine, which emphasised the beautiful views, to skirt Turkdean and go through a lovely valley, full of pretty mauve scabious, before eventually meeting the Gloucester Way which took us back, escorted part of the way by young partridges, to our cars. A number of the party then found a warm welcome and good food and drink at the Crown and Trumpet in Broadway.

Pat & Geoff

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