Whitwick U3A logo

Whitwick & District U3A

Registered Charity no EW64245

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Thursday, 18 Jan 2018

U3A logo

This gallery is split over several pages. Each page displays pictures from a particular year or years as taken by members whilst on some of the longer walks, i.e. Ramblers and Striders. The most recent are at the top of the page. The links below can be used to select the relevant year.

Jump to 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

2017

October Striders

This month 6 of us had a lovely walk lead by Brian of 10.8 mls in the Rempstone area. It was hazy and warm with the red sun in the sky for the whole of the walk. We saw some Lammas near East Leake and stopped for lunch at Prestwold Church, which is next door to Prestwold Hall.

 

September's Striders

A walk around Calke led by Owen

 

September’s Striders walk started from the RSPB reserve at Middleton Lakes, just outside of Tamworth and over the border into North Warwickshire. It was a beautiful morning with a cool breeze so, bravely or foolhardily, we left waterproofs behind! We soon left the reserve to walk along the Birmingham and Fazeley canal and then turned off into Kingsbury Water Park. This site, once used for gravel extraction, has now been restored and consists of 15 lakes and covers over 600 acres. There were plenty of people enjoying the facilities, especially the small miniature railway, Echills Wood, where the volunteers are hoping to extend the track to 2km.

We stopped for lunch overlooking one of the many lakes close by the Broomey Croft children’s farm. Another stretch of walking along the canal took us to Bodymoor Heath and along the Aston Villa training facility. We arrived back at Middleton Lake where some of us succumbed to the lure of tea and cakes in the courtyard of the Craft centre.

In total we walked just under 7 miles, mostly along trackways, in glorious late summer weather.


Middleton Lakes.


Trainspotting.


Narrow boat in narrow lock.


Walking by the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.


Early autumn fallen leaves.

 

August's Ramblers

A walk from Mount St Bernard and over Warren Hills and Bardon Hill


Starting point at Mt St Bernard Abbey.


Learning about the Mt St Bernard Reformatory.


Small memorials at the base of the cross in the Reformatory burial ground.


Climbing Bardon Hill.


Banana break at the top of Bardon Hill.


View of the quarry from Bardon Hill.

 

Owen led 7 of us Striders on a lovely walk on a warm and sunny day in July. It was great to get out and walking again as we'd previously had to cancel this walk on two occasions due to wet weather!!

Anyway we started at Sutton Wharf, followed the canal for a short distance before going across fields for about 3 miles before stopping for a banana break by the canal once again. It was a good spot as there were a couple of benches to sit at plus loads of ducks along with three baby moorhens to watch whilst we enjoyed a drink etc.

Lunch was by the footpath in the shade just before we reached Shenton and this was followed by refreshments at Whitemoors, where we once again grabbed a spot in the shade in their lovely garden. It was difficult to get going again after the 30 minutes or so we spent there!! It was then only another couple of miles back to the Wharf via the Battlefied site and Ambion Woods where some of us treated ourselves to a well earned ice-cream!! Thanks to Owen for leading the walk.


Stoke Golding Marina


Whitemoors break


Shenton church


Views near Dadlington

 

June's Ramblers' walk from Market Bosworth to Carlton, taking in part of the Ashby Canal and the Leicestershire Round

 

February's Striders was led by Alison and included walking from Woodhouse Eaves through Swithland Wood, crossing along the edge of Bradgate Park, where we stopped for a banana break before going on towards Broombriggs and the Beacon. We had lunch alongside a very windy Beacon but the views were good. The walk was just over 8 miles and it was a dry if windy day. Nine of us walked and thanks to Alison for leading us and to Owen for taking the photographs.

 

2016

The November Ramblers walk was a combination of 2 separate Parish Walks which both started in Desford. The first was a 2 mile walk from Desford to Botcheston and back and the second was a 4½ mile walk that continued seamlessly in the direction of Newbold Verdon before turning towards Merrylees and back to St Martin’s Church in Desford.

It was quite dull and damp as we started our walk but it wasn’t long before the clouds cleared and we were blessed with quite a fair amount of sunshine. The walk was mainly along paths and across fields with a little road walking as well. We knew that there were going to be quite a few stiles along the route so decided to count them as we went along. By the end we reckon that we had crossed at least 40 stiles, which must be some kind of record!! We also encountered a fallen tree at one point which meant another object to climb over! The footpaths, particularly the ones that went directly across fields, were not well defined at all so, when we had to walk across 2 fields of turnips, which were very wet after the earlier rain, we all ended up with very wet legs.

I think everyone enjoyed the walk but we all felt pretty tired at the end, not from the actual walk but from all those stiles!!


On your marks, get set, and go.


This is one stile that we didn’t bother to cross


Knee deep in wet turnips


After crossing 40 stiles now we have a fallen tree to get over!

 

Lynda led our ramble on Friday 7th October which started in the picturesque village of Coton in the Elms. Ten members of the group set off through Coton Woods to do the 6-mile Coton Circular walk. The beginning was a little confusing as there were so many different paths to choose from but once on the right one we set off confidently. We passed through several new plantations along the way and apart from Coton Wood we also went through Grangewood, Top Tree Wood, Long Close Wood, Garlands Wood and Penguin Wood at Botany Bay.

The weather was kind to us and even though we didn’t get to see any sunshine it was dry and a comfortable temperature. At the finish we all agreed that it had been a very pleasant ramble.


The Woodland Trust welcoming committee


The cows don’t look too pleased to see us but the feeling is mutual


Group photo

 

Phryne led Ramblers September’s walk which was around 7 miles long and began at Staunton Harold Reservoir. There was no rain forecast but it was drizzling as the eleven group members set off passed the windmill. The rain didn’t last long though and we were removing our wet weather gear after a short while. We walked towards Melbourne and then veered off to St Brides, Robin Wood and Ingleby Toft before heading back via Ticknall to our start point. We decided to eat our lunch when we got back to Staunton Harold as we knew there were some picnic tables there, which was much nicer than sitting on damp grass.


The fruit of a Medlar tree


Some information about St. Brides


‘There must be something very interesting on the other side of that wall!’


‘This horse really didn’t want to let us through the gate’


A cave in the limeyards at Calke

 

For Striders August walk 6 of the group went up to the Goyt valley on a lovely wam and sunny day to enjoy the delights of a peak district walk.

It was a pretty long and strenuous day with 12 miles being climbed up hill and down dale, with the group setting off at 10.15m and arriving back at the cars at 16.15pm.

The route followed that given in the update and at the end of it all they all went to have a cup of tea in the village of Flash which is reputedly the highest village in England at 1514ft above sea level. Everyone really enjoyed the day even though they were quite tired at the end of it all, and agreed that it does make a nice change to go out of the local area to walk every now and then. Thanks to Les for leading the walk.

Below are some photos of our various stages along the way.

 

Ramblers had a very enjoyable 8-mile walk on Friday 5th August. Marlene and Neil were our leaders this month when 13 of the group met up at the car park in Swannymote Road. The walk took us through Cademan Wood and into Whitwick where we picked up the Ivanhoe Way which took us across several fields and along part of the old Swannington railway line. We walked the outskirts of Griffydam and into Osgathorpe and from there we made our way to Grace Dieu Priory and back through Cademan Woods again.

It was a varied walk partly through woodland, across several fields with a little road walking too. We noticed a few inclines along the way but we enjoyed some lovely views as well. It was a good day, warm without being too hot. There were several paths that had become quite overgrown and one in particular that took us a long time to get through. Fortunately we did have a couple of pairs of secateurs among our belongings but a pair of gardening gloves would have come in handy as we were surrounded by stinging nettles and holly.


A field of ripe wheat


Waiting patiently to cut our way through the overgrown footpath


A statue at Grace Dieu Priory


Setting off once more after lunch

 

On the 18th July five of us Striders braved the hot weather to go on a 9.6 mile walk which was lead by Owen. As it was forecast to be a very hot day - in the high twenties by 2pm, we opted for an early start of 8.30, which proved to be a good decision.

We started off by the canal in Donisthorpe and headed out towards Oakthorpe. There are some photos of some of us walking through quite high grass as we headed on towards Willesley Woods. We passed by the old pit heads which were capped several years ago and then made our way past what used to be a popular fishing lake before walking up to the cafe at Hicks Lodge.

We don't normally stop at a cafe/shop for refreshments but as it was already getting very hot we voted for a break and a sit down. We then had to make a decision about whether to cut the walk short due to the temperature or to continue as planned. We decided to continue after our sit own and walked via Shellbrook to Blackfordby. There we had another unscheduled stop by the village spring for a few minutes, the seats there were very welcoming, but we didn't take the water as we saw a dog wash itself in the pool!!

Finally onto Conkers where we stopped for our lunch and then back along the canal, stopping once more on a bench near a willow tree, before moving on to the carpark at Donisthrope.

Below are some photos of our various stops along the way.

 

The Ramblers walk on 1st July was in the Quorn area and led by Brian. The walk went through Quorn Park (which was the camp of the 82nd Airborne division before they went to the D-day landings) and from there went on to Barrow upon Soar and along the river. It continued to the village of Woodthorpe, now getting very near to an ever expanding Loughborough, before going on to Woodhouse and back to Quorn.


Pestilence Cottage in Old Woodhouse


The story about Pestilence Cottage


Group photo

 

Seven members of the Ramblers Walking Group met for the June walk in Bagworth. Joyce led us on a delightful circular walk from Bagworth Heath towards Merry Lees and Newbold Heath and back to our starting point.

This really is a lovely time of the year. We walked through very pleasant countryside where the hedgerows were covered with May blossom and wild flowers were abundant. We heard and saw a skylark which enhanced our enjoyment.

Back at Bagworth Heath, Joyce led us around part of the Country Park. This was a new area for most of the group and it is well worth a visit as an excellent reclamation site. (It is the location of the former Desford Colliery.) We saw sand martins and goslings in addition to yellow irises by the lakes. Altogether, it was a very pleasant ramble.

Some pictures taken on the Ramblers June walk at Royal Tigers Wood, Bagworth

 

Striders' walk in May


Dunstall from the footpath.


Approaching Tattenhill


A proud parent with babies on the Trent and Mersey canal.


The group crossing the canal.

 

Our Rambler's walk in May was led by Alison, with a little help from Les. It was nice to have Les and Mary walking with us again. Thirteen of the group set off from Cademan Street in Whitwick on a beautiful sunny day. The walk took us via Whitwick Quarry to Mount St. Bernard’s Abbey and on through a few woods, namely Cat Hill Wood, Burrows Wood and Timber Wood Hill and back again via the quarry. It was a delightful walk with lovely views. We had a few rocky areas to scramble over, a few hills to climb, we saw some bluebells and we heard our first cuckoo of the year. We were lucky enough to find a nice shady spot to eat our lunch where we could enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside and then it was back onto our feet to continue our walk to Whitwick. Before we all went our separate ways several of us took the opportunity to wander around Les’s garden and admire his wonderful display of tulips and then were treated to tea and cake as well. A lovely end to a lovely walk.


Our group photo


It’s bluebell time again


The view from our lunch spot


‘I think I’ll just shelter under this tree and watch those strange people walking along’


Whitlock quarry in Whitwick

 

Eleven members of the Ramblers group met up in Shepshed for our April Fools’ Day walk, which was being led by Sue. The sun was just visible through the clouds as we set off, with high hopes that it would soon be shining down on us but we were wrong and the sun was still only just visible behind the clouds when we finished (April Fool!!).

We set off from the car park along a track and then took a footpath that led us alongside Piper Wood, which dates from at least 1775. Soon after we crossed over the M1 via a farm bridge and then continued on a succession of paths to reach Long Whatton. The last field that we crossed had the delightful name of ‘Paradise’ with the old ridge and furrow pattern still clearly visible. Once we reached Long Whatton we walked along Main Street passing All Saints Parish Church and a 16th century Elizabethan style house called Keepers Lodge, so named as it was once the home of the head gamekeeper from Whatton House.

When we reached the Falcon Inn we took a footpath to the side and shortly afterwards saw some old framework knitters’ cottages which were closed down in the 1930s but the building was later converted into a school (Arcott School) but that closed down too in 1974. Our route then took us back under the M1 from where we followed a series of paths which finally brought us back to the edge of Shepshed and the end of our walk.


‘Here’s looking at you kid’


All Saints Parish Church on the corner of Mill Lane


Keeper’s Lodge


The old framework knitters’ building

 

Rose led our April Striders walk which started from the church in Belton. Six of us set off down a pathway between some houses which brought us into a very wet field. We squelched our way across and by the time we had reached the other side 2 people had soaking wet socks. The rest of the walk was uneventful although we did have one problem stile which didn’t have a step, so we all crawled underneath it in our various ways. We stopped for our ‘banana break’ in Osgathorpe Cemetery which is in a very quiet spot just off Breedon Lane. We then continued on through Osgathorpe village where we picked up a path that led us through to Low Woods and Fishpool Grange. This eventually brought us to Black Brook where we ate our lunch overlooking the water. We continued along beside the babbling brook for a fair way until we came to Hallamford Road. We only had to walk a short distance along this road before we reached a much quieter road. This was a fairly long and winding road, a good mile and a half, but we finally arrived back in Belton after a very enjoyable 8 mile walk.


Three ‘teddy bear’ sheep.


Our little group beside Black Brook.


One of 1,000 Millennium cast iron mileposts which were funded by the Royal Bank of Scotland to mark the creation of the National Cycle Network and found along cycle routes throughout the UK.


View of Belton church and village.

 

On 21st March nine of us gathered at the village carpark in Woodhouse Eaves to begin our 8.5 mile walk. Brian led us through the Outwoods and onto Buck Hill. We then returned through the Outwoods to Beacon Hill Park before stopping for lunch. We needed to find a sheltered spot as although it didn't rain that day it was quite windy and cold at times. The views were pretty good over the countryside around us as we did climb to some height during the walk. However, towards the end of the day visibility lessened as it began to mist over in the distance.

After lunch we walked back to Woodhouse Eaves via Broombriggs Park. I think we all enjoyed the walk that day as it is a lovely part of Leicestershire to spend time in and we're lucky to have it on our doorstep, so to speak. Attached is a photo taken as we were having our lunch. Thank you Alison!!


Lunch break.

 

On Friday 4th March the Ramblers group finally finished walking the 75 mile National Forest Way.

We all met up at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas where we left 3 of the cars and then travelled to Yoxall, the starting point of this section of the walk. By the time we were ready to set off a few flakes of snow had begun to fall but it didn’t last very long and remained dry for the rest of the walk. It was a cold day but with very little wind. Ann led this walk which followed much of another long distance walk ‘The Way for the Millennium’ and which predominantly passed through fields and meadows, all of which were extremely muddy and water logged. We were quite pleased that the walk was only 5 miles long as the going was pretty slow due to the slippery conditions and the frequent stiles. Towards the end of the walk we left the mud behind and crossed over the River Trent via a long bridge and then continued along the towpath to reach Alrewas and soon after, the end of our walk. Finally we drove back to Yoxall where we had a celebratory meal at The Golden Cup.

Obviously not everyone was able to complete all 12 sections of the walks but 3 members of the group did and 2 only missed one walk each.


Group Photo.


Even this young cow has got mud up to its knees!


Looking across the River Trent to Alrewas Church.


2 Cormorants.


Alrewas Lock.


‘We can see you peeping over the bridge’.

 

We’re almost there! Our February walk took us to Staffordshire for the 11th stage of the National Forest Way which started at Rangemore and finished at Yoxall, a distance of 7½ miles. We had a record number of 14 this month so sorting out transport arrangements was a bit of a headache but all went well and we were ready to start the walk by 10am. Pearl was our leader this time and she led us through the heart of the Needwood Forest, hunting grounds from around the 13th century. There was a fair amount of road walking this time and we were struck by how straight the roads were but these long straight roads were the original “rides” through the ancient forest. We did encounter a lot of mud along the route but fortunately no one actually fell over, although there were a few near misses along the way!


Treading carefully along the muddy track.


‘We hope those aren’t beef sandwiches you’re eating!’


Any excuse for a paddle!


Spring is on its way.


An old A-frame cottage in Yoxall.

 

January's Striders was lead by Pearl and was enjoyed by 6 members of the group. It was a cold day and we started from the church in Swepstone, went along tracks to Heather and then across fields to Newton Bourgland. We stopped briefly for the usual banana break as we left the village to walk to Snarestone. It was too cold to stop for long and lunch was taken behind a hedge for shelter from the wind and lasted about 10 minutes!! On the attached photo you can see that we made good use of the hedge, not only for shelter but also as a place to hang our rucksacks as the grass was very wet.

The last couple of miles of the walk was mainly along tracks and through planted woodlands between Normanton-le-Heath and Swepstone. It was a muddy walk due to the snow that we'd had previously and because of that it certainly felt that we'd walked more than 9 miles by the time we got back to the church.


Only a brief break!

2015

Our last walk of 2015 was on Friday 4th December when 11 of the group met up to walk Stage 10 of the National Forest Way. This section of the walk was relatively short at just 4 miles starting at Branston and finishing at Rangemore. We set off on the path that runs alongside the Trent and Mersey Canal as far as Tatenhill Lock, where we crossed over the water via the humpback bridge and stood and admired the view of the canal and lock cottages. Our walk took us through fields and woodlands with a few hills along the way which afforded us some lovely views of the surrounding area. We passed Battlestead Hill which some people believe to be the site of a bloody battle between the Angles and the Danes. We finally reached Rangemore having survived several slippery and rather rickety stiles and some very muddy patches. Once we had finished the walk we all drove back to where we had started and went for a lovely lunch together at The Bridge Inn at Branston; a nice way to celebrate another year of walking together.


Looking back along the canal to The Bridge Inn at Branston.


The Ramblers group taking a breather


Tatenhill Lock.

 

On 16th November 6 of us ventured out on a 9.5 mile walk led by Ann from Staunton Harold. It was a lovely day and we got great views along the route of the surrounding countryside. Although lots of the trees had lost most of their leaves there was still plenty of colour around for us to stop and admire. We had our banana break sitting on benches by Melbourne Pool before moving on to walk along the length of Staunton Harold Reservoir. We took a footpath that climbs above the tarmac/shingle path that runs alongside the reservoir and that afforded us lovely views of both the reservoir and the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately we could also see the huge wind turbine that has recently been erected by the A42/Ashby roundabout, but that demonstrates how far we could see that day.
Alison checked out the old telephone booth at the reservoir which contains lots of material on water and wildlife. Its next to the carpark and benches there.
Following on from that we arrived at Calke where we stopped for lunch - wisely sitting in the shelter of the walls outside the shop and restaurant before finally making our way back to Staunton Harold. The remaining pictures show some of us sheltering from the wind at lunchtime and then the fungi that we spotted on a tree as we walked through woodland towards Staunton Harold.


An unusual information point


Sheltering for lunch


Fungi


Our intrepid band

 

The weather was perfect for our Ramblers October walk, the sun was shining for the most part and there was a gentle breeze. This section of the National Forest Way started at Rosliston and passed through Walton on Trent, over the Bailey bridge which spans the River Trent and finally into Branston Water Park. It was a relatively short section, 5½ miles, and the 8 of us walked at quite a relaxed pace. The route was mainly across farmland, some newly planted woodlands and a nice peaceful stretch along the River Trent towards the end.

We had a short break halfway through our walk but saved our lunch until we reached Branston where we were able to sit outside the Hub Cafe and enjoy the lovely autumn sunshine.


The Parish Church of Saint Laurence, Walton-on-Trent.


A view of the River Trent from the Bailey Bridge, Walton-on-Trent


Only moments before we had climbed over this stile!.


A tranquil scene on the River Trent.

 

The Ramblers group are now well over halfway along the National Forest Way. We had 10 eager walkers for our September walk which started from the Conkers Waterside car park and ended at Rosliston Forestry Centre, a distance of approximately 7½ miles. Ann had the privilege of leading this walk. Fortunately the weather was kind to us. It was mainly cloudy but we did have occasional glimpses of the sun and thankfully no rain.

At the beginning we had a good mile of road walking through Overseal but once we got into the countryside we continued our way through fields and on tracks. We stopped for a break overlooking a fishing lake near Cadborough Hill and then carried on through the Grangewood Estate. Grange Wood is an ancient wood but beyond that there were several new plantations including Top Wood and the delightfully named Penguin Wood. We eventually reached Rosliston but still had a further mile or so to walk to the Forestry Centre. The bridge across Greenheart Lake was closed and we had to find another way through the forest and, at times, felt that we were going round in circles. I think we were all pleased to reach the end and none of us could resist having a very much needed cup of tea in the Hub Café.


September’s walkers.


Nobody knew what this tree was called but it looked very attractive.
(It is in fact a Guelder Rose, Viburnum opulus)


A ‘dragonfly’ at Rosliston Forest.


Rosliston Forest .

 

On Friday 7th August nine members of the Ramblers Group walked the 7th stage of the National Forest Way. Sue led this section which started at Hartshorne and ended at the Conkers Waterside Centre, a distance of around 6 miles. It was a cloudy day but perfect for walking. This section wasn’t a particularly exciting one as it was mostly flat walking across fields but we also walked through Smisby churchyard, alongside Bluebell Arboretum at Smisby and through the attractive village of Blackfordby. We had some wonderful views and saw many of the newly wooded areas.

We also came across a couple of obstacles en route. At one point, after crossing a stile into a field, a horse suddenly appeared in front of us which made some of us feel a little nervous. Brian kept the horse occupied while the rest of us got well clear of it and we all walked as quickly as we could to the other side of the field, very closely followed by the horse! The horse was probably just being friendly but we were much happier once it was on the other side of the fence. Another obstacle we encountered was a large crane which had completely blocked a narrow lane and the only way past was by ducking under and then over the stabilizers at the side.


Our rather too friendly horse.


Banana break over.


A ‘stream’ of flowers.


Two rather handsome donkeys we met along the way.


An obstacle we weren’t expecting to find!


We were definitely glad this fellow was on the other side of the fence!

 

July's Striders was led by Brian and was 9.75 miles in length and pretty tough going as there were quite a few hills to climb.
We started off in Woodhouse Eaves and climbed up Beacon Hill for the fabulous views. It was quite tough but well worth it as it was a clear day and we could see for miles. We then passed through Ulverscroft Lodge, Bardon Castle and Cattens Rough before having lunch. See photos of us on the log/seat. The only rain we had was around lunch-time but it didn't last long - thankfully!!
It was then onto the Paget Estate using a permissive path leading to the Outwoods and back via Pocket Gate Farm and Brook Lane to Woodhouse Eaves.
A lovely if tough walk which all 4 of us enjoyed!! Thank you Brian


Flowers on the wayside



Our lunch stop

 

June's Striders was lead by Pearl and started near Foremark reservoir. We passed by The Church of St. Saviour's before going onto Milton and Repton which was at one time the Capital of Mercia. We stopped for our banana break in the churchyard and went into the church to visit the ancient crypt.
The walk then lead us along by the Old Trent Water where we could see what remains of the Twyford Chain ferry. This was once an important river crossing before stone bridges were built across the Trent. The only part of it which remains today are the two wooden stumps/poles to which the chains would have been attached. Lunch was in the churchyard of St Saviour's Church - these seem to be popular places for a stop - before having a look inside, which was well worth it.
We then walked through the grounds of Foremark Hall which is now a private school before heading back to Foremark.
It was a very pleasant walk of 10.5 miles - a little longer than I had originally thought but I have to say nobody complained!!! Mind you there were only 4 of us in total so perhaps that's not a surprise.


Our lunch stop


The lovely pond in the grounds of Foremark Hall


Flowers that were on the wayside as we ambled around

 

On the 1st of May eleven of the Ramblers group set off from the Loudoun Memorial in Ashby de la Zouch on the 5th stage of the National Forest Way. We were blessed with a sunny day with a slightly cool breeze, which made for very pleasant walking conditions. It was a lovely walk with beautiful views and lots of variety. We walked through several wooded areas and across many fields, through kissing gates and over stiles and cattle grids. Our route took us through Dimminsdale Nature Reserve and Calke Park and along the way we saw bluebells, wood anemones, cowslips and lady’s smock. We stopped to watch baby lambs and young fawns and even heard our first cuckoo. After an enjoyable lunch in Calke Park we took the now familiar route through the park to reach Ticknall and the end of this section of the National Forest Way.


A good job someone knows where we are going!


Dimminsdale Nature Reserve.


The reservoir at Calke Park.

 

We could only muster 5 walkers for the April Striders but what we lacked in numbers we made up in enthusiasm. We set off at a good pace from Breedon, mainly because it was a bit chilly, but slowed up a bit as we walked up the hill to reach the golf course. We then cut across the course and continued onwards to reach the outskirts of Melbourne. Here we changed direction and headed southwards and after a couple of miles picked up the Ivanhoe Way. By now the sun had come out and the temperature was rising so when we found a suitable place for lunch we were able to sit and enjoy the sunshine for half an hour. The next part of our walk took us into Worthington where we picked up the Cloud Trail and after another couple of miles we were back to our starting point, a total of 8 miles. It was just 4 degrees centigrade when we set off on our walk but by the time we finished four hours later it had risen to 15 degrees!


Enjoying our lunch in the sunshine


Cloud Quarry from the Cloud Trail


The impressive church at Breedon on the Hill


A wonderful display of tulips

 

On March 6th the Ramblers Group completed the 4th stage of the National Forest Way. Twelve members of the group set off from Sence Valley Forest Park to walk 6 miles to Ashby de la Zouch. It was a fine day, cloudy but dry, with a keen wind at times, but over the course of the walk the sun appeared and the temperature rose. We walked from the Country Park towards the Woodland Trust’s Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood. The path that we took through the newly planted wood follows the line of the Via Devana which was a Roman Road that linked Colchester and Chester. It was not long before we reached Normanton le Heath after which we continued on through fields to reach the attractive village of Packington where we took some time to have a closer look at the lovely old church of Holy Rood. From this point it was only a mile or so before we reached Ashby and the end of this section of the walk.


The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood – one day maybe!


A walking stick tree.


Our merry band


Inside Packington Church


Steps to nowhere at Holy Rood Church, Packington

 

In March 6 members of the Striders group tackled a walk entitled The Grange Walk. Its a 14 mile walk which we started at Snibston Discovery Park at nine o'clock which is slightly earlier than normal but we thought we needed to as we don't usually walk this distance and we weren't sure how long it was going to take us!
On our way to Donington-le-Heath we passed St Mary's church in Snibston which is one of the smallest churches in the country, built in the 11th century. We picked up another member of the group at the Manor House and continued on up towards the quarry at Stanton under Bardon. We stopped for lunch there and had really good views of the quarry, but we didn't dally for too long as at that time we weren't even half way around.
Shortly after lunch our luck with the weather ran out and we had a hailstorm which seemed to last for ages, however I'm sure it only lasted about 10 minutes. After one more quick stop for a breather and drink we made our way back to Snibston, via Maynard Park and Battram Wood. We arrived there at three o'clock feeling pretty good about the whole thing, but very pleased to be back and surprised that we'd managed to do the walk, with breaks, in 6 hours.
Thanks to Ann for leading us and here's some pictures of us stopping off at the Manor House on our return and getting our boots off at the very end.

 

On Friday the 6th of February 13 of the Ramblers Group set off from Thornton Reservoir on the third leg of the National Forest Way. This section of the walk could be called ‘King Coal’ country. Mining has played a significant role in shaping both the landscape and the heritage of the people who lived and worked in this part of the Forest and our walk took us through the ongoing transformation of this once-scarred landscape.

It was a bright and sunny day but very cold so we were all keen to get started. We set off along the side of the reservoir and then turned away from the water towards Bagworth and on into Battram where one of our eagle-eyed walkers spotted a garden full of snowdrops. We carried on through woodland areas and across fields to eventually arrive at the Manor House in Donington le Heath. One of our members had pre-arranged for us to be allowed to go in and eat our lunch in the grounds and we were delighted to find that tables and comfortable chairs had been put out for us to use, for which we were extremely grateful. After leaving Donington we only had about another mile to go but it was a tough mile, uphill and across muddy fields, but we eventually reached our destination - Sence Valley Forest Park.


Ramblers ready to ramble.


A tranquil morning at Thornton Reservoir.


We don’t normally get such comfortable chairs to sit on during our walks.


One of the 6 Noon Columns in the National Forest.

Jump to 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

Previous Gallery (History)
Back to Gallery choice
Next Gallery (Eating Out)

If you have any items that you think would be of interest, please contact the webmaster. webmaster at whitwicku3a dot org dot uk

Please note that as an anti-spam measure e-mail addresses on this site are NOT links, but should be manually copied

Page content updated 5-12-17