11 December. Trudy led seven of us around Aston Cantlow: pretty villages and two lunch stops in 6 miles, so ending the year in a leisurely fashion. The two photographers enjoyed taking pictures of mist: lots of mist in the hollows; gothic mists in the woodland, less mist, more sunshine, more views on the hills. And still some trees resisting the full leaf fall and posing in their full gold and bronze glory; this must be the longest autumn on record!
27 November - A day walk around the villages of Adlestrop, Cornwell and Daylesford. Seven of us set off under threatening skies for a seven-mile walk (yes, we chose to do the shorter version; by late afternoon with the temperature dropping we decided that tea and cake in Moreton in Marsh was more important than clocking up another Cotswold village!). This is an affluent and well kept part of the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border with big country house estates, fields of (apparently) friendly horses and tidy little villages (see pic below - thanks Frank!). Also - great views from the ridges overlooking the Evenlode valley, the woodlands still in bright autumn colours and plenty of sticky yellowish mud to decorate boots and trousers......, altogether a great day out.
13 November, Claverdon and Wootton Wawen Marion led a fabulous 8.5 mile walk in brilliant sunshine taking in wonderful views, woodland paths, canal paths, and open meadows. The mud-enthusiasts were able to sample 'claggy' 'slippery' and 'sloshy' varieties of local mud, and Trudy and Gill directed the walkers back to the Wooton Wawen teashop at the end of the walk - so, altogether a very satisfactory day out, more than making up for the disappointment of the two previous cancelled walks
The 6 mile Aston Cantlow walk, a mixture of pretty villages and countryside passing through the villages of Haselor and Great Alne. Starting at the pub car park in Aston Cantlow (a pub which is happy to serve tea and coffee in the afternoon.....).
Note: This walk was rained off on 30 October AND was rained off on 6 November too! Instead five 'walkers' set off to the Hilltop farm shop and tea room for lovely cakes and a nice view of the (wet) countryside. Trudy will definitely lead this walk some time this winter - probably on a Sunday with no walk scheduled - keep checking this page
23 October: A record breaking 16 walkers set of for a six mile walk around Moreton in Marsh starting and finishing at the Batsford Arboretum. It was great for us old hands to walk with the cheery librarians (and their significant others) who had been persuaded to take a walk on the wild side.... It was perfect walking weather in the Cotswold countryside; some of the walk on the ridge overlooking Blockley village - worth the puff up the hill to see the view. The new walkers, happily, were easily persuaded to have a mini coffee break (at Dorn) as well as a lunch stop at Blockley (a lovely golden village) and a teashop stop at the Arboretum. Then a light shower in sunshine after tea - a rainbow end to a lovely day out.
9 October: Marion led a big Chilterns day out along the Ridgeway. Six walkers enjoyed the lovely autumn sunshine, the woodland walking and, once out of the woods, the spectacle of around a dozen red kites giving a rather magnificent gliding display. Other highlights - a very pleasant pub-lunch - warm enough to sit outside - and in the last half-hour of the walk some blackthorn hedges dripping with ripe sloes. Enough for Jeff to make several pints of a favourite tipple - Sloe gin. Well worth the longish drive down the M40 to the start.
2 October: 8 people set off on a 7 mile walk in cool but bright weather, starting from Knowle then across country to Temple Balsall, stopping for an early mini-lunch in the Churchyard (very mellow and poignant, with the modest gravestones of the women who had passed their last years in the Almshouses); and then, after a second little picnic and drinks in the pub garden by the Grand Union Canal, walking by the Knowle locks back to the start. A nice day out - and really great to meet some new Warwick walkers - hope to see you again!