Ramble Reports for January 2022

“And a cold frosty morning”

Marian’s Midweek Ramble and Annual Lunch 12 January

On a frosty sunny January morning 29 ramblers gathered at The Bakers Arms, Broad Campden for the first ERC ramble of 2022.

A short walk to the town of Chipping Campden and climb up to Dover’s Hill then along to Bold Gap where we were treated to a lovely view across the Vale of Evesham and saw the the tops of the Malvern Hills and Bredon Hill peeking out of low mist.

Down Kingcomb Hill, through The Dingle wood and time for a coffee stop where the gabled roof line of Burnt Norton House was visible. This house was the inspiration for the TS Eliot poem “Burnt Norton” from his Four Quartets poems.

Road walking and fields brought us to a very muddy stile/gateway where the horses did not pay much attention to us and continued eating the grass. Making our way back to Chipping Campden we walked through Wold’s End Farm and around Chipping Campden School. And so into the town, passing St James’s Church with an impressive tower built when Chipping Campden was very prosperous from the wool trade, Campden House gateway and the row of Almshouses.

A short walk from Chipping Campden to Broad Campden and the pub. Many thanks to Michelle and her team at the Bakers Arms for an enjoyable lunch.


7 Miles

On the right track

Mike & Val’s Short Ramble 19 January

The sun was actually shining first thing! Mike managed seventeen cars onto the car park at The Crown Inn, Peopleton before we set off on a footpath past St Nicholas and All Saints Church (previously named St Peter and also St Michael).

The path led to the road by Hallgarth House and the coppice and a very wet footpath and the first of our eight stiles. Back into the sunshine and across open land which led to the main road through Pinvin. The hidden footpath over the road took us towards another St Nicholas Church in Pinvin.

We walked across a field to a footpath where we could hear school children playing, then onto the A44, a busy road, at Abbey View and over onto the Council site footpath which led us to our first railway crossing. Mike pointed out the construction work for the new Pershore Northern Link Road and the new railway bridge. As ramblers carefully managed the walk over the rails, Mike gave attention to the up and down rail. Now in “urban industrial” land, i.e., Pershore Trading Estate, we walked to Pershore Railway Station for our coffee break.

Mike checked on times of the next couple of trains on the Hereford/Worcester/London line whilst the two Vals drew attention to John Betjeman’s famous poem displayed on the platform.

Moving on before a quick shower took hold, we crossed Station Road to go down to the ford and up the long Walcot Lane towards Drakes Broughton. Despite all the recent rain the ford was low. Many ramblers commented on the sad story of the man who lost his life when driving into the swollen ford. From Walcot Lane we turned right into a field of wheat, then on to the next level crossing which was up a very steep bank. Again, Mike managed all the ramblers safely over and into a meadow which led to the main road out of Drakes Broughton.

The route passed through the grounds of two bungalows called Mouche Corner before going down to a meadow and another stream. Here ramblers were supported one at a time as they negotiated crossing over a damaged wooden bridge.

Re-joining the main Drakes Broughton Road at its junction with the busy A44 and we crossed over to Stonebow House (now a Care Home) which was built in 1900 by the famous 1892 Derby winner jockey, Frederick Allsopp. Turning left here and into Peopleton, we were told about the house that is now Bowbrook School, where Barbara Cartland lived in 1901.

Retracing our steps, we reached St Nicholas Church and The Crown Inn. Here we were greeted with a warm fire, excellent service, a good range of beers and a splendid light lunch and Geoff gave a vote of thanks from the 22 ramblers.

Val & Mike

Canals, Carvings and Caves

Alan & Pauline’s Sunday Ramble 30 January

On a bright but cold morning we met at The Lock Inn in Wolverley and, after greeting new members, Ross and Chris, we set off along the towpath of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.

After crossing the River Stour we were confronted by a dragon, an amazingly realistic (for a fantasy dragon) carving from a fallen tree. It was a pleasure to walk along good firm paths with no mud as we continued through Debdale Farm, with its delightful scene of small children riding around a schooling ring on their ‘Thelwell’-like ponies.

Arriving at the Kingsford Forest Park, we gradually climbed on the North Worcestershire Path to reach Kinver Edge with extensive views towards the sheep walks in Staffordshire. We were now following the Staffordshire Way, before dropping down to Nanny’s Rock for coffee break.

Most of the group climbed up to investigate the imposing series of caves. Andy and Emily entertained the resident robin which enjoyed sharing their snacks.

In perfect walking conditions, with sunlight filtering through the trees, we paused at Vale Rock where Alan briefed us on the Drakelow Tunnels which stretched for 3½ miles under our feet. We were now back on the North Worcestershire Path and after climbing 121 steps (a verified number according to several members) we came out into open fields with spectacular views in all directions.

Lunch beckoned, so we made our way down through the village of Wolverley back to The Lock Inn for a leisurely meal served by a team of friendly and efficient staff.

The afternoon route had no ‘ups and downs, and downs and ups’ that featured in the morning ‘to work up an appetite for lunch’. We now followed the canal which is cut into the Silurian red sandstone. On the way, we spotted a heron in the stream below, concentrating on its prey and obligingly remaining there for photographs.

We passed an artificial cave close to one of the locks where towpath horses used to be stabled and walked through a short tunnel before leaving the canal at Austcliffe Bridge. We skirted the village of Cookley and then, at the imposing gatehouse, turned to walk through the grounds of the now demolished Lea Castle before arriving back at the canal and the start of our day.

We both thoroughly enjoyed the day (especially as there would be no boots to clean!) and we’d like to thank all those who joined us.

Alan & Pauline

am 6.8 miles; pm 4.4 miles