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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 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, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.


For our last walk of 2012 the Medium and Long walking groups joined together and did a 5 mile walk from Ticknall. The original plan was to do the Anchor Caves walk but following several days of heavy rain we were informed that the area was under water and so we decided to find a dryer walk.
It started raining on Thursday evening and was still raining when we woke up on Friday morning, so not a good start! However the forecast looked promising and we met up as arranged. It was very cold but once the sun came out it turned into a beautiful sunny day.
From Ticknall village car park we walked through the churchyard and on to the main road and then picked up the road to Ashby for almost a mile. We crossed a stile and walked across several grassy fields towards Pistern Hill. For a change we were walking on grass and not mud but unfortunately the grass was so wet that we actually squelched our way across the fields. On reaching Pistern Hill we made our way to the top, stopped briefly for our ‘banana break’ and then walked a short distance and came back down a very slippery slope to begin our return to Ticknall. From this point there were wonderful views of the countryside and Calke Abbey estate. The second half of our walk turned out to be a lot muddier than the first and so by the time we got back to our cars we were all looking a touch mud splattered.
We tidied ourselves up as much as we could and then drove the short distance to the John Thompson Inn for lunch, where we all enjoyed a very nice carvery.

Ticknall Church

Our group on Pistern Hill

Coming down the slippery slope

The view from Pistern Hill


For our November walk, led by Liz, 6 of us met in the charming ancient town of Tutbury. It was a cold but very sunny day and the visibility was excellent. Most of the walk was across open countryside and it wasn’t long before we were appreciating the wonderful views all around us. We could pick out various points of interest and could even see as far as the Peak District. When we reached the Fauld Crater Liz told us a little about the accident that created the crater and we saw the monument erected in l990 to the 70 people who lost their lives on 27th November 1944. Gypsum has been mined or quarried in this area since 1870 and British Gypsum are still extracting around 650,000 tonnes per annum.

We left the crater behind and entered a wooded area and as we headed downwards we had to negotiate an assault course as there were several trees that had fallen over across the path. On the final leg we found ourselves walking alongside the River Dove with the 14th century Tutbury Castle standing proudly above the town, ahead of us. Once we had passed the cricket ground, it was only a short walk through the town back to our cars. We had all had a most enjoyable walk.

Our merry little gang

Not quite what we were expecting to see!

The Fauld Explosion

The Derbyshire Peaks in the far distance

Tutbury Castle

The River Dove


Alison led our walk in October starting from Markfield. The first section was along the Leicestershire Round path as far as Thornton and it was on this stretch that we met rather a number of other walkers. It began with a group of schoolchildren coming towards us, followed by another group and then another. We then found out that they were from the nearby South Charnwood High School and were doing a 13 mile sponsored walk to Bradgate Park – just over 600 of them in all! It was pretty muddy underfoot and most of them were only wearing trainers but they all seemed happy enough and were very friendly too, mind you they had probably only walked about a mile by then! From Thornton Reservoir we headed towards Polebrook Wood and then Old Hayes, walking along some delightful woodland paths. We had to do a slight detour to avoid walking across a newly ploughed field and then picked up our path again through Whittington Rough and on to Little John , finally emerging onto the A50. After a very short while we turned off the main road to join another path through the woods to reach Field Head and eventually back to our starting point. It had been a delightful walk through quite varied countryside and even though it was reasonably close to home, places that we had never been to before.

South Charnwood High School pupils on a 13 mile sponsored walk

Our Group after leaving Thornton Reservoir

A picturesque woodland path on the way to Old Hayes

Little John (near Groby)


On 7th September just 4 loyal members of the group turned up for the walk from Ticknall, the others being on holiday, on grandparent duty or defecting to Ludlow with the Days of Interest group for the Food Festival. Bob had kindly volunteered to lead on this occasion. It was a beautiful sunny day and we set off from the Village Hall and were soon passing Ticknall church and the cricket ground. The walk at the start was mainly through fields with far reaching views of the lovely countryside. When we reached Foremark Reservoir we decided it would be a good place to sit and have our ‘banana break’. We then took the path through the wooded area of Foremark which led us to Carver’s Rocks, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and a wonderful place for wildlife. Once back in the outskirts of Ticknall we entered the grounds of Calke and made our way across to the Stables where we were able to sit down and eat our lunch and have a welcome cup of tea. From there it was just a little over a mile back to our cars.

View of Staunton Harold on leaving Calke

Looking back towards Ticknall Church

Foremark Reservoir

The path through Carver's Rocks


Pearl was our leader on Friday 3rd August for a walk of around 8.5 miles from Barrow on Soar. Once we had all managed to find the correct car park in the village, we set off towards Walton on the Wolds. The walk was mainly through fields and the weather was ideal. When we reached the church in the village it seemed a suitable place to have our ‘banana break’ as we were all able to find somewhere to sit in the sunshine. We eventually got ourselves going again and continued our walk towards Prestwood. As we approached we could see Prestwood Hall and the village church ahead and after passing these we found ourselves in Burton on the Wolds, another lovely little village. We were all beginning to feel hungry by this time but as it wasn’t too far back to Walton we decided to eat our lunch at our ‘banana break’ stop. On the final leg back into Barrow we had a small shower but it had been sunny for most of the walk so it really didn’t spoil it in any way.

Our morning break in Walton on the Wolds churchyard

On our way to Prestwood

Prestwood Hall and Church

A beamed cottage in Walton on the Wolds


Near Market Bosworth - Jun 2012


For our walk on Friday 1st June, Brian took us for an 8 mile trek starting from Woodhouse Eaves. We headed first across Broombriggs and then up to Beacon Hill, where we had our ‘banana break’ while getting our breath back and enjoying the wonderful views. We continued on our way towards Charley and then eventually uphill again to Buck Hill, from where we had more wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. We passed through the Outwoods and continued our way back to Woodhouse Eaves. The cloudy skies and the threat of rain never dampened our enthusiasm, and I think we all agreed that we are so lucky to have such lovely walks on our doorstep.

Posing with a sculpture at Beacon Hill

‘Banana time’

A view from Buck Hill


On 4th May Roger guided 12 of the Medium walkers on a walk around Osgathorpe to show us part of the route of the 1790’s Charnwood Forest Canal. The majority of it has long ago disappeared but our group photo was taken alongside a part that could be recognised as a former canal bed. After several days of heavy rain we were lucky to have a reasonable day for our walk however the rain had made the going very soft and we were all slipping and sliding at various points along the route. Thankfully no one actually fell over and we had a lot of laughs helping each other over the very muddy areas. At one point our walk took us close to The George and Dragon in Thringstone and the landlady very kindly let us go in, with our muddy boots, for some welcome refreshment. At the finish we all agreed that we had thoroughly enjoyed our walk, despite ending up with very muddy boots and trousers!

Banana break alongside the route of the 1790’s canal

Trying not to get muddy

‘Well I’m enjoying this muddy walk!'

‘How am I going to get through this!’


At the lunch stop during the walk from St Bernard's Abbey - April 2012.


On Friday 6th April eight of us set off from Sence Valley Forest Park to do the National Forest ‘Birthday Walk’. This is a 10 mile walk which was launched in 2005 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Forest Company and was designed to link 10 sites created in the first decade of the Company. Our Medium Walk is generally around 8 miles, so we missed out the section through Heather and headed towards Ibstock first and then on to Donington le Heath where we found some benches to sit on while we ate our lunch. As it was Good Friday Sue had very thoughtfully brought along a Hot Cross Bun for each of us, which we all enjoyed very much. After lunch we finished off our walk through the Kelham Bridge Nature Reserve back to Sence Valley. It had been a very enjoyable walk.

This is it!

Ibstock Church from Shepherds Close Wood

Our banana break

A very relaxed lunch break


On Friday 2nd March 10 members of the Medium Walk group met up at Branston Water Park just outside Burton upon Trent. Lynda was our leader for the day and had brought along some bird food so we could feed the ducks before we set off for our walk.
We started off along the towpath of the Trent and Mersey canal as far as Tatenhill Lock where we turned off and walked up to Battlestead Hill. We continued on in this direction as far as Sinai Park where Lynda shared with us some of the information she had found out about the property and its links with the monks from Burton Abbey in the 14th/15th century. We eventually arrived back at the canal at Shobnall Marina where we ate our lunch and afterwards took a little detour along the towpath as far as Dallow Lock and then back again on The Kingfisher Trail. We finished by walking back along the towpath, which is part of a route called The Way for the Millennium, a 41 mile pathway which runs from Newport in the west of Staffordshire to Burton upon Trent in the east. We arrived back at the Water Park having had a most enjoyable day.

Tatenhill Lock

Sinai Park House

Our group

The Trent and Mersey Canal


The Swannington Hokey Cokey In Feb 2012, our Long Walks group was the first group to undertake this walk, one of several recently published by Swannington Heritage Trust. The walk constantly twists in and out while never being more than a couple of miles from the centre of Swannington. We explored the area around the sites of 12 mines, 2 churches, 2 horse drawn railways, the first steam railway in the English Midlands, a restored mill and an isolation hospital.

The walkers on Potato Lane Bridge an ancient green lane for taking midden waste to the fields

The walkers on the Swannington Incline as they look up at Potato Lane Bridge

Tracks on the site of the Stephensons' 1832 Leicester and Swannington railway next to the former Snibston No 3 colliery.

The 200 year old Hough Mill


On a February Friday with the temperature hovering around minus 4 degrees, thirteen of us set off for our walk from Smisby. We walked across several fields to reach Pistern Hill where we admired the view across to Calke Abbey. We carried on through Calke Park and took the road down to Dimminsdale to find the snowdrops were just beginning to come into flower. Despite the cold it was a beautiful day; there was no wind and not a cloud in the sky and everything looked so lovely covered in frost. We sat down to eat our lunch in the sunshine and then finished off our walk through South Wood and back into Smisby.

The view from Pistern Hill towards Calke Abbey

Calke Park

Our group outside Calke Abbey

The snowdrops at Dimminsdale


The weather was perfect for a January walk – cold and frosty at the start but lovely and sunny. Ten of us met up in Worthington and our leader this month was Jane. We started off along the Ivanhoe Way which eventually led us to Priory Golf Course and then into Breedon. After a short distance we took a footpath that led us directly up to Breedon Church. It was a short steep climb but we had lovely views to look at every time we stopped to get our breath back! After a ‘banana break’ in the churchyard we took a path downwards and eventually found ourselves back on the golf course. We walked through Wilson village and shortly afterwards joined the Cloud Trail and stayed on this all the way back to Worthington. It was a nice easy walk on the trail, a former railway line to Derby, but there were interesting sights along the way - a couple of unusual pieces of artwork, the old Tonge and Breedon station now converted into a lovely home and the remains of the Tonge and Breedon railway bridge.

A group picture

The former Tonge and Breedon station

An unusual sculpture on the Cloud Trail

Breedon on the Hill church from the Cloud Trail


For the final outing of 2011, the Medium and Long Walks Groups joined together in Newtown Linford on 2nd December. Les Unwin had kindly agreed to lead the walk by fourteen members from both groups. On a sunny morning, we walked in and around Bradgate Park for approximately 5 miles, keeping up a brisk pace. It was all very enjoyable.
After the walk, everyone relaxed at The Bradgate with a delicious carvery meal, Christmas crackers and plenty of festive cheer

Members of the Medium and Long Walks Groups enjoying winter sunshine in Bradgate Park


On the 4th of November the Medium Walks group awoke to pouring rain and a doubtful forecast, however, after a few telephone calls, it was agreed that we would still go on our walk, which was to be led by Sue. We met up at Sutton Wharf and set off along the canal towpath, and were immediately struck by the high level of the water. We then came away from the canal and walked through Dadlington village, past St. James Church where many of the dead from the Battle of Bosworth were buried. It was granted a Chantry Foundation in 1511 which was later suppressed in 1547 by King Edward VI. Shortly afterwards we were walking through Stoke Golding village which led us back to the canal. After passing under a few bridges we set off across several fields to reach Shenton where we stopped to eat our lunch. We continued on to Shenton Station and into the Bosworth Battlefield site. We walked up Ambion Hill and admired the new sundial feature. The path then led us to the canal once more and very soon we were back at Sutton Wharf. No one was in a rush to hurry off so we enjoyed a well earned cup of tea in the little cafe there, and congratulated ourselves on not listening to the weather forecast.
We all got into our cars and set off for home and immediately noticed rain on the windscreen which in no time turned to quite a deluge. How lucky were we!

An unconventional tufted duck

Dadlington Church

Strolling along the canal

An unusual picnic spot!


On Friday 7th October Rose Westram led us on an 8 mile walk around the Swithland Slate Trail. As we started our walk we were struck by the chill in the air after the wonderful weather of the past week but it wasn’t long before we started to shed some of our layers of clothes. We walked through a couple of fields of cows (!) to reach the Great Central Railway line, just as a steam train was passing by.
We continued on to Swithland woods, taking a slight detour to see the old slate quarry, which most of us had not seen before. There was just a short stretch where we could see through the trees to see the deep pool but it was absolutely delightful. Our walk continued on and upwards into Bradgate Park where we sat down in glorious sunshine, looking towards Old John, and ate our lunch. A group of school children were close by taking part in a sponsored walk and they were obviously having a great time.
When some dark clouds appeared we decided to get up carry on and our walk then took us through the Lingdale golf course and finally back in to Woodhouse Eaves. Here we made another detour to pass Woodhouse Eaves Church which stands impressively on a rock above a cave of an old quarry, something else which took our breath away.

A steam train on the Great Central Railway line

Our banana break

A glimpse through the railings of the Swithland Quarry pool

Woodhouse Eaves church above an ancient rock formation


February 2011


December in Bradgate Park.


November leg of the Charnwood Round.


September leg of the Ivanhoe Way.


June leg of the Ivanhoe Way.

Summit of Bardon Hill, the Highest Point in Leicestershire

Ivanhoe Way, Bardon Hill

Heading toward Bagworth


Some scenes from the May leg of the Ivanhoe Way.


Some scenes from the second leg of the Ivanhoe Way, Mar 2010

Start of Leg 2

Check the map

Another stile

Glorious snowdrops

Footpath through the snowdrops

Spring snowdrops


Finish in Dimminsdale



Scenes from the Ivanhoe Way

Start of Ivanhoe Walk

Ashby Canal

Enjoying the reflections

Arriving at Moira Furnace

First signs of Spring


Some more views during the walk at Eyam in Aug 09


Some views from Apr 09



Dovedale March 2009



Taking a breather in Dec 2008



A well-earned rest, walking Ulverscroft to Whitwick



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