Ramble Reports for March 2019

Henley at a Canter”

Glyn & Alan’s Midweek Ramble 13 March

With Storm Gareth making its way across the UK and Cheltenham Races even considering cancelling the race day, thirteen members gathered with some trepidation in the car park of the White Swan Hotel in Henley-in-Arden and togged up appropriately for the March Midweek Ramble.

The whole route formed a figure of eight ramble taking in sections of the Arden Way, the Heart of England Way and the Millennium Way.

The morning loop consisted of walking over gently rolling Warwickshire countryside that remarkably was sparsely populated.  Indeed, this half of the ramble failed to pass through a single village as it initially tracked the Millennium Way before turning back towards the start.  The wind did not seem as strong as predicted and there was very little rain. As we returned to the edges of Henley we came across a local farmer sorting out his sheep according to whether they had twins or just single lambs. It made for a very springlike scene with the sun trying to break though.

The hotel provided an enjoyable lunch. There was some debate as to the authenticity of the Devonshire swordfish that Peter ordered.

The remaining ramblers (Sue and Maggie just did the morning) headed east out of Henley in the afternoon and started with a steep climb up onto “The Mount” as a loosener. With 23 stiles and a significant amount of up and down the afternoon course seemed more akin to the 14.45 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Races. However, the members, all thoroughbreds, were rewarded with some excellent views. The party paused briefly to admire the Pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows in All Saints church, Preston Bagot before turning back and returning to Henley.


“Magnolia Delight”

Marian’s Short Ramble 20 March

Sixteen ramblers set off from St George’s Hall car park walking through Blockley village passing the village shop and cafe and the Church of St Peter and St Paul.

From the village we followed a bridleway uphill towards Pasture Farm and then onwards to Batsford village where we spent some time looking at St Mary’s Church. At the coffee break we enjoyed a view of Batsford House and a deer herd in the parkland, the house being home to the Mitford sisters during the First World War. Crossing the drive to Batsford Arboretum we followed the Heart of England Way uphill, following the perimeter wall to Batsford Arboretum .Then it was downhill back to Blockley which looked tranquil but was once a hive of industry with several mills situated along the Blockley Brook.

Fortunately, no wind or rain on the day of the Spring Equinox and when we returned to Blockley the sun was shining and we saw magnolia trees in full bloom – so Spring has arrived.


“A Magnificent Meander”

Paul & Hazel’s Sunday Ramble 24 March

The March 2019 Sunday Ramble was a figure of eight starting from Hayles Fruit Farm near Winchcombe. It was a beautiful day with clear skies and very little wind. Air temperatures were a little cool but well compensated for by the warmth of the sun.

Everyone turned up bright and early and were ably directed to car parking places by one of the farm bosses. The walk took the group north on the Cotswold Way – a long steady climb to the monument called Cromwell’s Seat. From here we enjoyed great views across to Dumbleton Hill and beyond. The group followed the ridge above Farmcote and eventually returned to the Fruit Farm via Little Farmcote and Salters Lane for a well-earned drink and lunch.

After lunch the group returned to follow the Cotswold Way past Hailes Abbey Church and eventually took a fairly level set of tracks to Didbrook passing some very ancient oak trees.

We returned from Didbrook passing Hayles Abbey Halt on the restored Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway. We failed see a steam train but did encounter a ‘dirty’ diesel rattling by.

Eventually, we returned to the Fruit Farm with time to look around the farm shop before heading off to the Club AGM at Lower Moor.

Mileage: 5.6 miles in the morning and 3.8 miles in the afternoon.

Paul & Hazel

Viewing the route on a map

If you use GPX files you can view the route of this walk by downloading the file.

For more information about downloading GPX files and viewing maps online click here to go to our GPX Files page.