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Whitwick & District U3A

Registered Charity No. 1181238

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Saturday, 21 May 2022

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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 shorter walks, including SWANS. The most recent are at the top of the page. The links below can be used to select the relevant year.

Jump to 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021


December's Walk

The final walk of 2013 was very well attended with 21 members turning out for a circular walk from Ratby. Fran and Pete led the group and, as usual, gave us interesting snippets of information about the area through which we walked.
Our starting point was the Bullís Head in Ratby. From there we headed west towards Holy Well and Bury Camp, the Iron Age hill fort. There were pleasant footpaths on the edge of woods and, later, by the Forest Hill Golf Club greens. We turned back towards Ratby by Ratby Burroughs and saw the memorial to UK citizens killed in the Bali bombings.
Our four-mile walk finished at the Bullís Head where most of the group stayed on for a convivial meal. It had been a delightful walk and a positive conclusion to the Short Walks programme for 2013.

Queuing for a stile near Ratby

Some of the group walking through Change Spinney....

....and some more in Change Spinney

A well earned refreshment for some....

....and for others

Back into Ratby


November's Walk

Our last Swans of 2013 was held on November 28th and attended by a record number of 25! Some of these were only cygnets, but hopefully made to feel very welcome.
We met at the Lakeside restaurant in Moira and ordered our lunch before we set off. It was a good winters day for walking, dry and fairly bright. Our route took us along the old Ashby to Moira railway now called the Ashby Woulds Heritage Trail, through Donisthorpe Country Park and along the canalside at Moira. At Moira Furnace we stopped to catch our breath and have a group photo taken, seen below. Then, lunch beckoning we returned to the Lakeside Restaurant via Conkers Waterside.
Our lunch was served very quickly and was well presented. A list for signing up to lead next years' walks was passed around and volunteers rushed in to get their names down to lead! It is not compulsory to lead a walk, but is great when members participate, we get so much variation. We have lots of interesting walks lined up for next year. Do come and join us!


October's Walk

The Short Walks Group met on Tuesday, 1st October for a five-mile circular walk led by Valerie, starting from Barrow-on-Soar.

Best foot forward

Banana break over

Some inquisitive onlookers


September's Walk

The Short Walks Group met on Tuesday, 3rd September for a five-mile circular walk led by Pearl. Seventeen members met in Burton on the Wolds on a warm, sunny morning.
As Pearl led us along our route in the area around Burton on the Wolds and Walton on the Wolds, we had delightful views over undulating countryside and Loughborough.
One particular highlight was the section of the walk close to Prestwold Hall which looked most impressive. We took our banana break by St Andrew's Church wall, close to the Hall.
Afterwards, most people drove on to Hoton for lunch at the Packe Arms.

Crossing a tricky field

Banana break outside Prestwold Church

New members always welcome!!


On Tuesday, 6th August a record number of members, 21, participated in the circular walk led by Roger from the Gelsmoor pub. The theme of the walk was to visit sites of some of the former local rail and tram ways and to learn about their role in the industrial development of north-west Leicestershire.

Everyone was amazed by Roger's knowledge of these historical features and his recall of facts associated with them. The interesting information, combined with delightful views, resulted in a very pleasant walk.

Afterwards, most members stayed on for lunch at the Gelsmoor.

Here's where we're going...

Following the leader.

A record 21 participants.

Battling through the undergrowth.

At Highfield House (former isolation hospital).

An old boiler!

At Hough Mill.


July's Walk

On Thursday, 25th July, eleven members of the SWANS Group met at Staunton Harold for a circular walk to be led by Roger.
It was a warm and sunny afternoon which matched the mood of the walkers. The meadows and woods on the Staunton Harold estate provide ideal conditions for the SWANS Group
After completing the walk, everyone went to the Ferrers Centre for refreshments and took great pleasure in helping Beryl to celebrate her birthday.

The group taking a rest with the advantage of some shade

I'd better check the map!

Birthday Celebrations


Thirteen members of the Short Walks Group met in Packington at the Bull and Lion pub for a five-mile circular walk to be led by Ann.
Following footpaths across farmland, we set off in the direction of Measham. Ann then led us towards Normanton-le-Heath. The views across the open countryside were wonderful and we stopped several times to identify features we could see some distance away.
After walking through the village of Normanton-le-Heath, we turned towards Packington. Back at the pub, everyone agreed that it had been a delightful walk.
Over half the group stayed on to eat lunch together and enjoy more of the convivial company.

Normanton Church

Maybe we should close the gate!

Group photo

Single file please!


June's Walk

For the June meeting of the SWANS Group, nine members gathered in the car park at Forest Hill Golf Club on the last Thursday of the month. Jean and Carol had volunteered to lead the walk to and around Ratby Burroughs.
We set off beneath overcast skies and we did have some light rain later but our walk was not spoilt. The meadows and woods, some of which are very old, were a delight. Many of the group enjoyed trying to identify some of the abundant wild flowers and flowering trees.
The area was new territory for most us and this only served to enhance the charm. Everyone appreciated the pace of the walk and the opportunity to chat to each other.
The afternoon was rounded off by taking light refreshments in the Club House of the Golf Club.

A buttercup-covered meadow in Ratby Burroughs

Walking in Ratby Burroughs


June's Short Walk

Thringstone, Whitwick, Belton and Osgathorpe

Alongside Charnwood Forest Canal

Info from Bis about...

...The Junction House

Crossing the brook near Grace Dieu Priory...

...fortunately no wet feet!

It was said 'some cherished relics'

Walking past bluebells

Some interested onlookers


Thirteen members of the Short Walks Group met on Tuesday, 7th May in Thornton for a circular walk of 5 miles led by Fran and Pete. The weather was glorious - sunny and warm; it made a pleasant change to walk in light clothing.
From Thornton, we walked in the direction of Stanton-under-Bardon and then turned to cross the M1 towards Markfield. Our banana break was at the disused Markfield Quarry. Few of the group had been there before. The views were spectacular and in the quarry itself, the golden flowers of the gorse bushes looked very attractive against the dark rock faces.
Refreshed, we walked into Markfield and were delighted to find handsome buildings and pretty gardens in the village. Following field paths, we headed back to Thornton. The countryside looked beautiful and we spotted a few early bluebells.
It had been a lovely walk. Most of the group stayed for lunch at The Bricklayers Arms which was, as usual, a very pleasant way to end the outing.

On the way from Thornton

Blossom in Brown's Wood

Poplars in Ashley's Wood

Banana Break on top of Markfield Hill


April's Walk

On Thursday, 25th April, thirteen members of the SWANS Group met at Donington le Heath Manor House for a walk along footpaths and lanes in Hugglescote and Donington le Heath. Sue led the walk which was based on a short walk featured in the leaflet "Strolls on your Doorstep" produced by Leicestershire County Council.
From the Manor House, we walked on paths across the fields to arrive near Hugglescote cemetery. A short walk up hill on Station Road took us to Dennis Street. This is the oldest part of Hugglescote and has several interesting buildings to see as you walk along. We reached St John the Baptist Church which dominates the village landscape and then rejoined Dennis Street via a jitty.
Taking field footpaths once more, we headed back to Donington le Heath where we strolled along quiet lanes back to the Manor House.
By special arrangement, refreshments were available to us in the Barn so the outing concluded with cake, drinks and pleasant conversation.

The SWANS Group in the gardens of Donington le Heath Manor House


On the cold, but dry, morning of Tuesday, 2nd April, nine members of the Short Walks Group met in Ticknall for a five-mile circular walk led by Rose.
Warmly wrapped up, we set off through the village and entered Calke Park near the Limeyards. We followed MUD-FREE paths towards the deer park. Here we saw a stag with its new antlers. We walked on to Calke Abbey itself where we took a break and enjoyed a warm drink.
Refreshed, we followed the route out of the park towards the lane by Standley's Barn, then shortly turned right back across fields to the park again. Although the scenery in this area is always beautiful, few signs of spring could be seen.
We were all pleased that Rose had included in the walk a visit to see the new-born lambs in the pens and marquee.
After this delight it was a straightforward walk back to the cars parked in Ticknall.
We concluded the outing with a tasty lunch at "The Staff of Life" in Ticknall.
March short walk, Groby Pool and Newton Linford

Not a SWANS walk!

Geese at Groby Pool

Martinshaw Wood

Banana Break

Snowdrops in Newton Linford


February's Walk

The area next to Snibston Discovery Park was the location for February's meeting of the SWANS Group. Twelve walkers, including new members, met at the Museum for a circular walk led by Roger on a dry, fine afternoon.
We began by taking the high path which leads to the Nature Reserve, the former Snibston Grange. This gave us clear views over the local area from an unusual aspect and we were able to identify nearby landmarks.
At the Nature Reserve, we saw snowdrops in abundance, the reason for choosing this location in February. Either clustered amongst the mature trees or on the banks of the wet area, they looked stunning. Carole had brought along a picture of the large house which used to stand here. Part of the Nature Reserve was the garden of that house. Roger led us around the fishing lakes and on to a route that took us to the edge of the Park. After walking up a slope, we arrived at the deer sculptures - frequently spotted from the car park but seldom inspected at close quarters. They are cleverly constructed from pieces of metal retrieved from Snibston Colliery.
To conclude the outing, most members drove to Sunnyside Garden Centre for refreshments.

By the Fishing Lakes

By the Fishing Lakes

Snowdrops - the highlight of our walk

Deer sculptures


A record-breaking number of 19 members met on Tuesday, 5th February in Shepshed for the monthly Short Walk. Starting from "The Jolly Farmers" pub, the circular walk was led by Sue in cold but fine weather.
We had clear views of Ives Head from Iveshead Lane before following Ingleberry Road back towards Shepshed.
The next stretch of the walk mainly followed the course of the now dismantled Charnwood Forest Railway which closed in 1964. We also saw the dry course of the Charnwood Canal.
As we left the railway track, everyone was intrigued by an unusual brick-lined tunnel built underneath it. Fortunately, Pete was able to enlighten us all when he explained that it was part of the Charnwood Canal route - on this occasion, an ideal spot for our "banana break". Back on country roads, we walked by the landmark of Fenney Windmill and enjoyed marvellous views over Charnwood Forest. A short walk across a field and lanes took us back to our starting point.
It was agreed to add on a visit to Morley Quarry, a Local Nature Reserve and important Geological Site with some of England's oldest rocks. It is a fascinating place and most of the group were discovering it for the first time.
Back at the pub, our pre-ordered lunches were waiting and everyone was able to relax after an interesting and relatively mud-free walk.

Walking the old railway track

Walking the old railway track

Steady does it!

Examining the tunnel

Morley Quarry

Anyone know the way out of this quarry?!


Eleven members of the Short Walks Group met in Calke Park on Tuesday, 8th January for a circular walk led by Ann.
Despite the overcast skies, we were able to complete the walk in dry weather. What's more, it was also dry underfoot! Ann had devised a route that took us along hard surfaces and firm ground with hardly a patch of mud to be seen - for which we were all extremely grateful.
Calke Park provides delightful walking opportunities no matter what the season. On this occasion, we even spotted a few examples of catkins which cheered everyone.
After completing the walk, we drove to the Ferrers Centre where a most convivial lunch was enjoyed. All in all, it was a terrific start to a new year of walking with our U3A.

Best foot forward

Best foot forward

What else but a banana break

Who stole the fence?

Short Walks Group by hazel catkins


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Page content updated 28-2-20