East Berks Ramblers

Berkshire Area

Walks Reports

Autumn Break in the Gower

9 – 12 September

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For Zena and I, this was our first walking holiday, having joined the Ramblers at the beginning of 2018 and what a wonderful introduction to a walking holiday we had on the Gower. Fantastic views and a fabulous walks programme organised by our walk leader Simon from Secret Hills. Twenty-nine of us travelled to Llangennith and were able to choose from three different walks on each full day, with an optional short walk to Rhossilli Bay on the Sunday afternoon. We certainly appreciated the picturesque landscape, with its stunning beaches; hills colourfully covered with heather & gorse, grazing sheep and Welsh ponies, together with woodland paths and sunken byways – a relic from the days when the drovers would take the flocks and herds to market.

On the first full day, all groups had a circular walk organised from the hotel, with coach transport provided on subsequent days to take us to our various start points for a wider variety of walks. All walks were graded to length but more importantly for some of the groups, the levels of ascent were also given. The next day’s programme was discussed in detail each evening before dinner, but being a holiday we were all just happy to enjoy the area. Most of us stayed with the same walking group during the holiday with the groups appearing quite evenly split.

All groups spent some time exploring parts of the Wales coastal path, but as Simon was keen to point out, the Gower is more than the coastal path. The wide variety of countryside we explored was testimony to this. Some of the walks took in the three peaks of the local area that provided the group with magnificent views of the peninsula and beyond. We also viewed Worms Head, Oxwich Bay, Port Eynon and Rhossilli beach with the remains of the Helvetia – a ship wrecked in 1887.  All the walk leaders were helpful and knowledgeable, providing their groups with an array of local information about the area and surroundings. Group A was even treated to information on dry stone walling and lichen!

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Our hotel, the 17th century Kings Head Inn at Llangennith, was comfortable and provided us with a plentiful supply of good food served by friendly staff.

A great few days spent in a lovely unspoilt part of Wales. Many thanks to David Bailey, for organising this trip.

Mike Sherren

Spring Break 2018 at Sedbergh

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April 30 - May 3

This year the Spring Break took place in the first week of May. The quiet little town of Sedbergh is located in the Howgills Fells, between the Lake District and the charming Yorkshire Dales. This corner of the Yorkshire Dales National Park offers high peaks, rugged dales, quaint market towns and sweeping panoramas.

We were staying at Thorns Hall, a HF Holidays centre on the edge of the town. The Hall itself dates originally from 1535, with later additions and extensions. It retains its historic charm with wood-panelled rooms, fireplaces and a cobbled courtyard outside; it has Grade II listing. The dining hall in particular is a sympathetic and imaginative conversion of the stable wing and hayloft.

The Hall was fully booked, with 34 Ramblers looking forward to 3 days of inspiring and potentially challenging walking. We weren’t disappointed! The weather was kind to us, predominantly sunny with some light rain on one day. The HF guides, as ever, were professional and knowledgeable, taking us on some fine walks.

Each day we were offered 3 walks – option 1 was generally about 7 miles, with 400 to 500 feet of ascent; option 3 would be up to 11 miles with around 2,000 feet of ascent. Option 2 was intermediate between these. Those Ramblers who chose the easier walks enjoyed quiet river valleys and picturesque villages, while the hardier walkers climbed the rugged fells to spectacular peaks with broad vistas. Thanks to the excellent weather we were able appreciate the beauty of the Dales to the full.

Many thanks to Arthur for organising the holiday, and to all the staff at HF Sedbergh for making it so comfortable and enjoyable.

Next year we’re going to Lulworth. Book early to avoid disappointment!

Bob Pedley

Dawn Walk

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Nine early birds set off with the chorus of birds welcoming us for our 12th Dawn Walk of about 6 miles, to Taplow.
 
Dark, misty and light rain to start and quite atmospheric when we visited the Anglo-Saxon Taeppa’s mound overlooking the Thames. Taeppa was thought to have been a chieftain after which Taplow derived its name.  We walked around the paths of a newly established garden walk near Taplow church, and returned by the Thames pathway by Brunel’s Bridge.

We finished the walk with a hearty breakfast at Wetherspoons in Maidenhead.

Great Stones Way

July - October 2017

The Great Stones Way and on to The Ridgeway! write Chris and Nigel Roper

As those who joined us over the past four months will know, we certainly experienced the most extreme of ‘summer weather’ for our introduction to organising the long distance footpath walks. However, we were thankfully rewarded in October by perfect weather for our discovery of Avebury and its surrounding prehistoric monuments! For those who were unable to join us on these adventures please do visit the website, which Nigel put together, and enjoy some of our experiences and photographs from the comfort of your armchair over the forthcoming winter months. We thoroughly enjoyed our first experience of organising these walks; the discussions, planning walks and even the daunting task of looking after 45 plus keen walkers on each leg and ensuring we didn’t lose anyone or the coach!!!

We are now looking towards the next stage of our adventure - The Ridgeway - and will be heading off from Avebury on Wednesday 4th April. We hope to complete the walk to Ivinghoe Beacon in Hertfordshire by May next year. If you would like to join us, taking in more of the archaeological monuments en route, then please do contact us. We are looking forward to our next round of walks along the Ridgeway with, no doubt, more unpredictable weather. It will certainly be entertaining we are sure!!!

Do hope you can join us …. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Chris : 07793 739 732 Nigel: 07872 558 664

As a footnote for those who might be interested: Nigel and I attended the National Trust AGM in October where a Member’s Resolution was tabled and discussed on the plans for the A303 at Stonehenge. A very interesting debate, particularly in the light of new archaeological discoveries - Blick Mead Mesolithic site. If you would like to hear this debate then please visit the NT web site, scroll down the home page to AGM, click the link ‘More about our AGM’, whereupon you can choose the discussion as one of the options. www.nationaltrust.org.uk 

"New Year" Ramble and Lunch

January 14 2018

A clear dry morning saw 26 members meet at the Winter Hill golf course to set out on a five and a half mile ramble led by Pera and Gordon M. The walk took us through the lanes of Cookham and Cookham Dean, along Winter Hill (including clambering over a fallen tree trunk) and then down to Cockmarsh, where there was evidence of some waterlogged ground.We got back to the golf clubhouse in very good time for lunch. Eighteen of the walkers were joined there by other members, making 49 in all, seated convivially at five round tables. It was good to see many longstanding members present, keen to socialise even though they may now walk only infrequently, and everyone enjoyed an excellent meal. New chairman of the group, Phil Smith, welcomed us all and issued thanks to David Bailey for his five years as previous chairman. As well as thanking those who had helped to organise the walk and lunch, Phil expressed his appreciation of all committee members and volunteers who give of their time to make East Berks Ramblers such a successful and happy group.

Monday, December 10, 2018