Autumn Walks 2007
19 August- The Diamond way walk, led by Kay, postponed from 29 July. Six of us set off from Chipping Campden on a mild but overcast and damp morning to tackle the next two sections of the Diamond way. As 'damp' turned to rain and 'mild' turned to cool, we found ourselves strangely attracted to the pleasant little pub at Broad Campden. After a comfy pub stop, democratic discussion and a vote, we decided unanimously to skip part two of the planned walk and to return across the sodden fields to the start of the walk. Our first four-mile walk - what wimps!!
2 September - Tony and Gill will took us for a walk in the countryside and grounds around Blenheim Palace. Blenheim Palace was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh and started in 1705. When John Churchill (1650-1722) the 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeated the French at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, Queen Anne gave him the manor of Woodstock and had the palatial home of Blenheim Palace built for him in gratitude. The palace is set amidst breathtaking parkland, in the heart of the Oxfordshire Cotwolds, eight miles from Oxford (information taken from official Website)
16 September - four of us set off for a longish (about 9 miles) walk starting from Burton Dassett Country park and taking in three lovely villages as well. Wonderful walking weather, great views and the hedgerows groaning with produce (blackberries and sloes especially). A little treat at the beginning of the walk (the last of Jeff's 2006 Sloe Gin) and a little challenge at the end of the walk - involving climbing over a graveyard wall to get back on track - book-ending a great day out. Where were you?
28 October. Jeff led us for a walk in Rutland - with sloe picking an optional extra - in the event enough sloes were harvested to make gallons(!) of sloe gin.
- Memorable sight: Solveig producing a little red bucket for the sloes. This will give its name to Jeff's 2007 vintage gin.
- Quote of the day: "I've had this bucket since I was seven" (an understandably proud Solveig).
11 November- a successful bus-enabled walk, starting from Leamington to Harbury and then walking back via the Centenary Way and the Grand Union Canal; Warwick walkers already minimise our use of cars by car sharing - usually cramming 4 (or 5) people, plus assorted backpacks, boots and sticks, into each car - perhaps more experiments with buses in the spring. Thanks to Martin for becoming the bus route expert.....We were almost thwarted in our carbon-reduction efforts by the closure of central Leamington for the Remembrance Day parade and the total lack of information about diverted bus routes. We probably did an extra mile round the back streets before finding the number 64 just in time.
- Memorable sight: a flock of sparrows taking repeated synchronised dust-baths on the canal tow-path.
- Quote of the day: "I was told to make up my own route" (our talkative bus-driver on Stagecoach's meticulous planning for Remembrance Day).
25 November -four of us on a shortened version of the Ettington, Halford and Idlicote: reduced from 10.5 miles to about 8 miles to fit the shorter days of late November. A very attractive walk with misty views across south Warwickshire - including the high point of Brailles Hill which was seen from every possible angle.
- Memorable sight: walking boots coming to resemble snow shoes as they acquired a thick platform of agricultural gunge.
- Memorable sound: a little voice telling the time (an hour fast) from inside Kay's ruck sack. It turned out to be her mobile phone; she was as surprised as the rest of us.
- Quote of the day: "Do not be tempted to go down to the river" (enigmatic warning in Kay's walk book). What is the dark secret of the Stour?