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Whitwick & District U3A

Registered Charity No. 1181238

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Saturday, 21 May 2022

U3A logo

Whitwick & District U3A - Ramblers

(Previously called Medium Walks Group)

This group meets for a walk of approximately 7 to 8 miles once a month. It has been agreed by the membership of this group that no dogs are allowed on the walks.

All those members who feel able will participate in leading walks.

You may also be interested in the Striders group, whose walks are up to 9 or 10 miles.

Participants should also complete a personal risk assessment - this does not need to be shared with the Group Leader.




1st Friday of the month.


Fri Jan 7th - Led by Owen. We'll be starting from Swithland Woods North car park at 09:30 (not to be confused with Swithland Woods South car park). The address is Swithland Road, Woodhouse Eaves, LE12 8SS. The post code is half a mile away but putting "Swithland Woods Car Park North" into Google Maps finds it. There is a £2 charge for the car park and the machine is cash only.
The walk is to Newtown Linford then back through Bradgate Park. The distance will be about 7 to 7.5 miles. The terrain is mostly woodland and other tracks which are wet or muddy, but no more than is usual at this time of year, and the tarmac drive through the park. When walking the route recently we found three waterlogged fields and so the exact route is still a work in progress to avoid these. There will be no more than three or four stiles and there are some gradients and long distance views. Please let me know if you will be joining us.

Fri Feb 4th - Led by Ann. We'll meet at 09:30 on Friday 4th February at the Staunton Harold reservoir car park, the one for Dimminsdale (not the round car park nor the one by the cafe / sailing club). Please contact me if you need directions. Ann describes the walk: From the car park we will walk through Spring Wood and towards Melbourne over field paths. We will have a short break at Melbourne pool, and then continue towards Staunton Harold Reservoir and Calke Abbey where we will stop for lunch. Then we will make our way back through Calke park, Heath End, and through Dimminsdale to the car park. Approx 8 miles, quite a few stiles, inevitably mud, but on the plus side minimal road walking and fine views! Please let me know if you will be joining us.

Fri Mar 4th - Led by Joyce in the Shepshed area starting at 09:30 from Blacksmiths Avenue, Shepshed, LE12 9SF. For the walk we follow a bridleway over the M1 and just before Hathern go across to the River Soar. We walk along the banks of the river towards Loughborough, then follow the Black Brook Way through a semi-urban area and along the Oxley Gutter and back over the M1. The walk is 7 - 7.5 miles. There are no stiles, and it is mainly flat along tracks and bridleways. Walk cancelled because of inclement weather and ground conditions

It will be led by Tony Robb and will start at 09:30 from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood cark park on Heather Lane between Heather Fri Apr 1st - and Normanton Le Heath, post code LE67 2TD. The walk is through woodland and across fields to Sence Valley Forest Park, passing the Noon Column there. Then on across fields, that now show few signs that there was industry there, to the Manor House at Donnington Le Heath. Afterwards we head west to Snibston and on to Ravenstone, returning across fields and woodland to the Jubilee Wood. The distance will be between 7.25 and 7.5 miles, it could be quite muddy if there is a lot of rain and there are about four stiles but none of them too difficult.

Fri May 6th - This will be led by Joyce in the Shepshed area. This is the second attempt at a walk that had to be cancelled in March because of bad weather and ground conditions. Start time is 09:30 from Blacksmiths Avenue, Shepshed, LE12 9SF. This is a cul-de-sac with on street parking.


Shown below are scenes from a recent walk. Pictures from other walks are available in the Gallery


Owen Bailey at ramblers at whitwicku3a dot org dot uk

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

May2022's Ramblers

Our May walk was led by Joyce starting from Shepshed. On a better day than expected weather wise we crossed the M1 and headed to Hathern, then to the River Soar where we had Banana Break at a nice spot overlooking Normanton on Soar. We than followed the river to the edge of Loughborough before taking a pleasant path beside Black Brook through the outskirts of the town and crossing the ancient Stonebow Bridge. Return was alongside Garendon Park and back across the M1. An excellent walk.

Line of walkers on footpath at the side of a field of rape in flower
Heading to Hathern

Group of members sitting on grass river bank
Banana Break overlooking Normanton on Soar.

Low stone three arch bridge over stream.
The ancient Stonebow bridge across Black Brook


April 2022's Ramblers

On Friday April 1st, Tony led us on a walk from the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood. The weather was dry and bright and the route took us to Sence Valley, Donington le Heath, Ravenstone and Normanton le Heath. The distance was eight miles and covered a variety of terrain including old and new woodland, regenerated mining sites and fields with open views. A most enjoyable local walk.

lattice bridge crossing water with read bed in forgrpund and trees in background
Pelham Bridge Nature Reserve. The bridge latterly carried a conveyor used to transport coal from the Sence Valley Opencast Site to Ellistown.

10 walkers standing by fence in front of manor house
Banana Break was taken near the Donington le Heath Manor House.

Group of walkers examining markers set in grass.
Examining the Human Sundial in the Diamond Jubilee Wood.

Double-aisled church seen across meadow and henge
Holy Trinity Church Normanton le Heath.


February 2022's Ramblers

On Friday 4th February Ann led 12 Ramblers on a walk from Dimminsdale car park. On a surprisingly nice day weather-wise we climbed a flight of steps from the car park up to the Staunton Ridgeway then along the permissive path through Spring Wood and in the Breedon direction. At the end of the permissive path we turned north towards Melbourne and had our Banana Break on seats overlooking Melbourne Pool. Our route then took us past Staunton Harold Reservoir and to Calke where we had lunch at the Visitor Centre before heading back to the car park through Dimminsdale Nature Reserve and a good display of snowdrops. A lovely walk of a fraction over eight miles.

walkers on muddy path crossing a steam
The cows weren't at their watering hole this morning.

line of walkers on path across field heading toward a style in a headgerow
Heading towards Melbourne.

Group of seated walkers along side roadway around a large pool.
Banana Break overlooking Melbourne Pool.

Line of walkers heading downhill across grassland towards a stream and line of trees in background
Between Staunton Harold Reservoir and Calke.

Group of walkers standing on wide path.
Entering Calke Estate.

A carpet of snowdrops
Snowdrops at Dimminsdale Nature Reserve.


January 2022's Ramblers

Our first walk of 2022 took place on Friday January 7th. Starting from the Swithland Woods North car park we walked through the woods and alongside Bradgate Park to Newtown Linford, then returned through the park and a different route through the woods, a total of 7.25 miles. Although a little chilly it was a dry and mostly sunny day. There were some muddy stretches but not too bad for the time of year.

view over grassland with wooded areas in mid and far distance
A view from near Hunt's Hill

Group of walkers with sun in their eyes on path between wooded headgerows
Nearing Newtown Linford

Group of walkers standing in front of tree on river bank with weir in background.
By the River Lin, Bradgate Park

Bright blue sky with large tree in foreground and Bradgate House in background
Looking towards the Bradgate House ruins.


Page content updated 16-5-22