Walking Section

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Regular countryside walks are organised, normally on the 2nd or 3rd Wednesday of each month. They are around 5 miles and conclude with a pub lunch. All Branch members, their partners and friends are welcome to join us.

Reports of previous walks can be found lower down this page.

FORTHCOMING WALKS

We are an informal, friendly group and always open to welcoming new members.  If you are considering joining us or would like further information, please contact any member of the walking group or use the CONTACT US page and we will put you in touch with the group. 

THE NEXT WALK  – March 2019

Details of the 2019 walk programme has not yet been finalised.

FUTURE WALKS:

PREVIOUS WALKS

Bishops Cannings Walk, Wednesday 14th March 2018
We got off to a great start for 2018 with 11 members enjoying a splendid walk and equally splendid lunch.

We met at The Crown Inn at Bishops Cannings near Devizes and began with a gentle walk to the Kennet and Avon Canal.  Having crossed the canal on a swing bridge, we followed the towpath for about a mile enjoying the tranquillity of the canal and a group of anglers engrossed in a fishing competition.  The next section involved a gentle climb onto the downs during which we had a great view of Salisbury Plain in the distance.  We had a brief refreshment break near the water tower on the crest of the downs where once again we had spectacular views of Lansdown Column on Cherhill Down, Wroughton Airfield, Hackpen Hill and Barbury Castle.

We then made our way down to the Wansdyke (Wansdyke (from Woden‘s Dyke) is a series of early medieval defensive linear earthworks in the West Country of England, consisting of a ditch and a running embankment from the ditch spoil, with the ditching facing north.  There are two main parts: an eastern dyke which runs between Savernake Forest and Morgan’s Hill in Wiltshire) travelling East for about half a mile, before descending to Easton Farm.  The route back was flat and uneventful apart from a particularly large and difficult horse that kept preventing us from passing through his gate!   Once past that obstacle we safely made our way back to the Crown Inn (although Colin did attract the attention of three Shetland ponies that galloped towards him as we crossed the last field).

Once back at the Crown the staff made us very welcome, the food was very good and we enjoyed a very pleasant lunch.  Our next walk is on the 11 April and further details will be announced nearer the time.

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Bradford upon Avon Walk, Wednesday 11th April 2018

Our April walk was a great success thanks to Colin, Heather (and a little help from Roger) who organised and led this delightful walk in the beautiful town and countryside around Bradford upon Avon.  It was a 5 miles circular walk starting at the Barge Inn and then following the canal to the Avoncliff Basin where the canal crosses the river Avon. 

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We then made our way up hill to Winsley and enjoyed beautiful scenery and then headed back to Bradford upon Avon with spectacular views with Roger carefully guiding us through the terraced landscape back down into the town.  Our final stretch led us along the river with lots of wildlife including heron and kingfisher, then back along the canal to our starting point.

We enjoyed a very pleasant lunch at the Barge Inn and were delighted to be joined by Wynn and Dick, our next walk is on Wednesday the 9th May and we are very grateful to Louise for planning this one.

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Devizes Walk, Wednesday 9th May 2018

We are very grateful to Louise for arranging our beautiful May walk.  The walk was just over 5.5 miles near Devizes.  It followed country lanes, bridleways, fields, woodland with views of the Westbury Vale and Pewsey Vale along the way. 

We began on the edge of Devizes near Green Lane and proceeded towards Sleight Farm and followed Sleight Lane and then into the Sleight Valley.  We turned towards Potterne wood and skirted the edge of the wood, turned towards Nine Hills and Drews Pond wood, which were all very beautiful.

The last bit was through Drews Pond Wood which is an ancient woodland area dating back to the Saxon period. There are seven springs starting there which I think must drain into the River Avon. 

We were delighted to be joined by Neil for lunch at the Hourglass pub, which was absolutely splendid.

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Mildenhall and River Kennet Walk, Wednesday 13th June 2018

The walk was approximately 4.5 miles enjoyed by nine members of the group.  Starting in Mildenhall (pronounced Minal) we crossed a bridge over the River Kennet pausing to spot numerous trout before ascending a lane. We eventually crossed fields with beautiful views over the Kennet valley.  After several fields, copses and many stiles we descended to reach the picturesque River Kennet strolling along its banks for a short distance.  We passed Blackfield, site of the Roman town of Cunetio where in 1978 a hoard of over 55,000 coins was found.  The site was dug in 2009 by Channel 4’s archaeological television programme Time Team, which found many more coins and other objects.

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We had a clever elevated, if somewhat risky, (for Colin!) photoshoot back on the bridge where we started. We returned to the Horseshoe Inn, via the Minal Church, for a delightful lunch where we were joined by Neil.

We are very grateful to Pauline and John for organising this excellent walk, the scenery was magnificent, the weather was beautiful and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  We are also very grateful to our brave photographer Colin, who risked life and limb to take the photo from the bridge.

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Woolstone Walk, Wednesday 11th July 2018

Steve and Julie organised a great walk under the shadow of the ancient white horse hill settlement in south Oxfordshire, with eleven of us taking part, we were delighted to be joined by Mike Walker and look forward to seeing Mike again on future walks.

The walk took us through the beautiful villages of Knighton, Woolstone and Uffington where legend has it, is the site where St George fought the dragon and is thought to be 3000 years old.

Beautiful thatched buildings and ancient Inns are to be found amongst these villages, with walks through grass meadows, ancient walkways abound.  We rounded off the walk with a splendid lunch at the old “White Horse Inn”, Woolstone.

 

Potterne Walk, Wednesday 8th August 2018

We are very grateful to Kate for organising a splendid walk on the 8th August.  Eight of us enjoyed a great day out with perfect weather and beautiful Wiltshire countryside, which began at the George & Dragon pub in Potterne.  After a short climb we were taking in some fantastic views of Salisbury Plain and the surrounding area.  This was a 4 miles circular walk and we were able to pause for a few short breaks to really appreciate the beautiful scenery.  Following the walk we had a very nice lunch at the George and Dragon.

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Box Walk, Wednesday 12th September 2018

On Wednesday, 12 September Colin and Heather led us on one of their favourite walks at Box.  The walk was a ‘reverse walk’ of Route 42 of our Wiltshire Walks book.  We started off from the Quarryman’s Arms at Box, cutting down to cross the A4.  The first main hurdle was at the first step-though stile where we found a horse blocking the way  –  everyone stepped back to allow me, Colin ‘Bronco’ Hill, through and I, with more bravado than courage, took command of the situation and ushered the beast away!  Down through the very steep meadow we went following the route through fields alongside By Brook, through Box village before climbing quite steeply through woodlands returning to the pub for a welcome rest and refreshments in the form of lashings of ginger beer (well…. beer anyway!!) and a very pleasant meal.

This was one of our shorter walks at about 3¾ miles but it felt longer as it involved a degree of hill climbing.  It was a little challenging at times but we took it steady, taking as many breaks as we needed.  Despite weather predictions, and overnight rain, the morning was overcast but bright and just lovely for walking.  There was some concern about potential muddy areas but the ground remained firm and no problems were experienced.

As you are aware, I have stepped in for Phil for a while.

Colin 

Marlborough Walk, Wednesday 10th October 2018

On Wednesday, 10 October Dave and Denise led us on a lovely walk around Marlborough and the surrounding area.

We met at Dave and Denise’s home and started the walk from there in rather cool and somewhat misty conditions but the day soon brightened and presented us with a magnificently sunny and warm day, quite amazing for October.

We left promptly at 10:30 (or perhaps even a touch earlier). The walk took us into the town via The Green and along the High Street.  Dave and Denise pointed out the numerous blue plaque sites Marlborough has indicating Marlborough’s rich history.  Each location was explained and extremely interesting background information provided.  David also highlighted the (fair number in must be said!!) major fires that have occurred in Marlborough High Street dating from many hundreds of years ago to those that many of us had attended in our years in the Wiltshire Fire Brigade (as it was).  It was then on to the magnificent Marlborough College where again more background information was provided.  We continue our walk towards Manton before crossing the Downs and back to David and Denise’s house and the cars.  The walk took just under two and a half hours but it was carried out at a very comfortable pace and with many pauses for our ‘guides’ input.

We relocated to The Horseshoe Inn at Mildenhall (pronounced ‘Minal’) just 1½ miles away and had a splendid lunch.  We were delighted that Neil was able to join us for lunch and are hopeful that he will be well enough to resume walking with us sometime next year.

Nursteed Village Walk, Wednesday 14th November 2018

Louise organised a lovely walk for us around Nursteed Village, Devizes. 

Nine members met on Wednesday, 14th November at The Fox and Hounds, Nursteed Rd, Devizes and set off at 10:30. 

The walk was relatively easy going on this occasion as Louise was still not back on top form following her ankle problem.  The walk, a touch short of four miles in length, took us into the lovely Wiltshire countryside using lanes and bridle ways.  It was a beautiful dry, sunny day.   It had been raining leading up to the walk but there was only one short area where we came across a muddy section.  This caused us no problem and we continued over the Wiltshire downs, through wooded areas and back to the pub for a very pleasant meal.

We were delighted to welcome our two new members, Dick Chew and Win Huggett.  We look forward to them joining us for lunch and maybe the occasional walk in the future.  John and Jane Cox also joined us for lunch as did Neil Wright.  Jane was looking really well but we were disappointed to note that Neil’s knee was still causing him problems. 

Our next walk will be the Christmas walk on Wednesday, 5 December and Roger has kindly stepped forward to organise this one for us; further details will be circulated shortly.

Bath Walk, Wednesday 5th December 2018

Roger arranged a super walk for us around Bath as our ‘Christmas’ walk on Wednesday, 5th December.

There were 14 of us on the walk which started from just outside the main entrance of Bath Spa railway station.  It was overcast and gloomy but much better than was forecast.   We set off at a leisurely pace through the Xmas market being held throughout the centre for a very pleasant one and a three quarter hour walk around Bath.  We deviated where possible from the main thoroughfares using side streets, alleyways, and a route through Victoria Park passing many of the more significant historic buildings in Bath and Roger gave us an overview on some of them.  The route was fully paved and easy going and the weather was mostly kind to us, only really raining for the last quarter an hour or so. 

The end of the  walk took us along the river from Pulteney Bridge, along passed the weir to The Ram public house at Widcombe where we joined by Dick and Win for an excellent Lunch.  Unfortunately John and Jane were not able to join us for lunch on this occasion as we understand John was having surgery that very day (although there was some suggestion that it had been postponed?).  We wish you well John and trust that you will soon be returned to full fitness.  Steve and Julie had just returned from Spain and were unable to attend and Neil was also unable to attend due to a previous engagement.  We shall be losing Pauline and John as regular walkers with us as they will be moving to Malvern in the near future.  We wish them well and hope to see them on the occasional walk perhaps and maybe for our ‘Out of County’ walks.  We will of course keep them on our circulation list so that we will not lose contact with them.

Phil rose to thank everybody for their support through the year and very kindly passed a gift to Colin and Heather as a ‘thank you’ for stepping in to act as temporary Organisers while he and Eileen were otherwise occupied for a period of time.  Colin replied that he was pleased to help but that he was simply rolling the job along, the work having been already fully structured and laid out by Phil, Eileen and Neil.  Colin went on to say that he now appreciates just how much background work Phil has been doing on our behalf and was pleased to thank him in return.

Photographs were taken at locations along the walk; I hope you agree that they capture the group really well.  The photographs will be sent over two emails as the file sizes make this necessary.

I am sure we are all looking forward to the new 2019 season starting again in March.  Further details will of course be circulated in due course.  Please hold it in mind that it would be a great help if you would endeavour to organise a walk for the Club if at all possible for us all to enjoy? 

Phil and I would like to again take this opportunity to thank you all for your support throughout the year and to wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.

Colin