Ramble Reports for July 2022

Walking three ways from Dumbleton

Pat and Geoff’s Midweek Ramble 13 July

After welcoming Paul and Fran Sharpe, our group of 12 set off on the Winchcombe Way enjoying the fine weather and clear views of the Cotswold Ridge.

We then started the gradual climb by Alderton Hill and descended through the cool of Oxhill Wood where the extensive views made a good place for a short break. Going down the hill, the varied orchard of apples, pears and ripening Prolific plums proved a temptation for a little bit of “scrumping”.

Continuing on through the neat and tidy static homes park we soon reached our lunch destination, The Star at Ashton under Hill, where we were keen to quench our thirst and enjoy a nice meal.

After lunch we took the Wychavon Way past Carrant Brook Farm and The Alpaca Experience before arriving at Sedgeberrow. Phil explained that the different shaped wheat seen in one large field was Durum wheat used to make pasta.

The footpaths in the afternoon where quite varied; we squeezed our way through thickly planted maize on a field edge, carefully followed the grassy Isbourne Way and then enjoyed “walkers motorways” which good farmers had made through their crops of golden ripening wheat.

The afternoon had become quite hot and we returned happily to our cars parked in the shade.

Pat & Geoff

am 5.4 miles; pm 5.2 miles

Laverton lauded and Buckland to behold

Christine’s Short Ramble 20 July

After the heat of the preceding two days it was a relief that temperatures had returned to normal by the time we met up on Wednesday morning in Broadway.

We set off out of the village past the new flood alleviation scheme, which has some very interesting facts about the items found during the archaeological dig on its interpretation boards.

We then veered right across fields and through woods to beautiful Buckland. From there it was along an easy track to Laverton and its newly painted red telephone box, which is now a book library.

The amazing honey coloured properties made some of us wonder who are the lucky people who live in these quiet, out of the way villages. Maybe some houses are holiday lets; they are discreet if there are any.

There were fabulous displays of hydrangeas in the gardens as we made our way through the village, passing the sheep fields where the residents were resting underneath the trees, to return to Buckland.

As we entered the top of this village we had a marvellous view of Buckland Church and the Manor beside it, and were assured by one of our ramblers that it’s a good place to go to for Afternoon Tea.

A sharp turn right took us past the ‘Holiday Property Bond’ apartments which we all admired, their gardens too were adorned with a display of white hydrangeas. That lane wound its way upwards towards the Cotswold Way, and we turned left to join that on its descent into Broadway.

A slight mizzle had settled in, which we all thought most enjoyable, and a perfect ending to our morning’s ramble.

Christine Adkins

5 miles / 8 km

Summer saunter in the shadow of Bredon Hill

Rachel and Geoff’s Evening Ramble 29 July

On a sultry summer’s evening, a closed road led to a last minute change of meeting place for 28 members. Setting off from the village hall we made our way to the Queen Elizabeth pub in Elmley Castle.

The pub’s name came about after Queen Elizabeth I, who is supposed to have stopped there on her way from Worcester in 1575. According to local legend, she was presented with a hat on her arrival to the village on the road from Pershore. The slope out of the village at that point is still known as Besscaps.

Elmley Castle derives its name from a Norman castle, the ruins of which are located in the deer park on the slopes of Bredon Hill.

A gentle walk under the shadow of Bredon Hill led us to Little Comberton, with its interesting history. The church is thought to stand on the site of a Roman Temple and in 1066 it was said to belong to the Monks of Westminster (now Westminster Abbey).

Some of the group took the opportunity to have a quick look around the church during a refreshment stop and were intrigued by the carved handprints in the stone seats of the porch. These are said to be the handprints of newly married brides.

Passing Nash’s Farm, a former home of the sixth wife of Henry VIII, Catherine Parr, we went through an orchard towards Bricklehampton, admiring the first kissing gate that the Club put in. Bricklehampton holds the record for the longest place name in the English language, without repeating a letter.

Soon we reached Netherton, a small hamlet with remains of a 12th century chapel.

After a short while we crossed an immaculate cricket pitch in Elmley Castle to reach the High Street. Here, members had the biggest decision of the day….turn right and return to their cars or left to the pub for a drink. I wonder which was the most popular option?

Rachel & Geoff

5.7 miles / 9.1 km

Lost Villages and Fine Views

Rachel and Geoff’s Sunday Ramble 31 July

After welcoming guest walkers Marie and Eva, 19 ramblers set off north from Stretton-on-Fosse village hall towards Darlingscote. Stretton-on- Fosse derives its name from street dwelling on the Fosse Way. The Fosse Way was built by the Romans and stretches 230 miles from Exeter to Lincoln.

Before long we saw evidence of a disused railway line, originally a horse drawn wagon way, which was partly converted to steam in the 19th century before being closed in the 1960s.

Lack of water was obvious as we followed well defined paths across crops of golden wheat. The dry weather had created crevasse-like cracks in the ground, which had to be carefully negotiated!

After a detour around the edge of a newly harvested barley field, as the two bridges on the route were deemed unsafe, we arrived at Darlingscote, where a coffee stop was taken at the church.

Climbing out of Darlingscote we stopped to admire outstanding views across the edge of the Cotswolds. A short section of lane walking led us to Compton Scorpion Manor. The village of Compton Scorpion vanished in the 16th century, probably due to peasants being evicted by their landlords when land use changed from arable to pasture. 178 villages in Warwickshire disappeared at this time.

Sir Thomas Overbury was born at Compton Scorpion Manor in 1581. He was an English poet and essayist, also known for being a murder victim which led to a scandalous trial during the reign of James I.

Just before arriving back at the village hall for lunch a welcome rain shower caused some of the ‘less-hardy’ to reach for their waterproofs, but it was very short lived and soon the sun reappeared increasing humidity.

After a leisurely lunch,16 ramblers set of southwards towards the lost village of Upper Ditchford, Footpaths took us across newly harvested fields, through crops of wheat and beans, pastureland and harrowed fields, climbing gently to give views across to Paxford. A slight rain shower had brought out many butterflies, which danced in the hedgerows as we made our way along a quiet lane before returning to Stretton across open pastureland.

Rachel & Geoff

a.m. 7.2miles / 11.5 km; p.m. 5.8 miles / 9.3km