24 September- Trudy led a 5 mile walk as one of the National Memory-day events. despite a discouragingly wet start to the day - nine people turned up for this walk for Alzheimers Society. More money was raised from other walkers who were not able to go out that day. I big thank you from Trudy - and big thanks to her for organising the event.3 September- Terry led a 5-mile walk around Rugby.... the first time the Warwick Walkers have explored the eastern limits of our territory. She reports that the summer vacations had taken a toll on the regular turn out.... . Just two walkers went exploring around Rugby, sometimes off map but - happily - found their way back to the car and then home for a well-deserved rest.
13 August - Wellesbourne and Chalcote; To be honest, a rather annoying walk! Footpaths refusing to conform to OS map, fields of valuable mud and weeds protected with barbed-wire and locked gates to prevent walkers following preferred route and, most annoyingly, National Trust pay booth restricting access to the grounds of Chalcote and the Teashop... and it was cold and damp! No more Wellesbourne walks for us!!
6 August- re-scheduled from 30 July - Three of us went on a 5 mile walk around Brailes Hill on a hot and muggy day - five miles was far enough! The walk included an outward-leg across a rather lush golf course where we obligingly made way for groups of male (absolutely no women) golfers passing through to distant greens (prompting discussion on sexism, class, economics and 1950's gender roles... as befits staff of a Russell-group University!). Then lunch on the green at Sutton-Under-Brailes and a trudge up the hill for great views and a few puffs of breeze to cool us down. Altogether a very good little day out.
16 July Marion led a short walk as Trudy was not, after all, able to lead the Compton Verney walk. Kay has been away so no news of this walk to report for the moment.
2 July- Jeff led eight of us (welcome to Julia and Debbie!) on a pretty and easy walk around Bradgate Park and SwithlandWoods on a HOT and muggy day. Having climbed up to 'Old John' (folly) in the relatively cool part of the day we took to the (Swithland) woods for a mid-day ramble and a lunch break. Then an ice-cream stop and a long promenade back to the start in company with the citizens of Leicester, all out for the day with picnics, prams and dogs, and all in colourful high-summer outfits; the Warwick Walkers passing through in boots, sensible walking clothes, beige hats and colourful personalities... Day ended with tea and very good cakes in a warm little tea shop - proving that no weather is the wrong weather for tea and cakes!!
18 June: Marion led this 5 mile walk on a warm mid-summer Sunday, She reports:
Had a great day walking in ‘millionaire’ countryside…..we couldn't understand why they all need 4 garages! Very rural, and a pleasant walking temperature. We stopped at ‘The Winged Spur’ for light refreshments before continuing to a lunch stop at Mockley wood (below left), Saw a variety of animals, including some fierce ginger Scottish cows/bulls (below right); we did not venture through this field! Light refreshment at Henley-in-Arden, stopping at the well known ice-cream parlour…very yummy.
4 June - Five of us set off to tackle the Snowshill, Stanway and Stanton circuit again, taking the new (and slightly shorter - 6 mile) southern route. We discovered that Shenberrow Hill is still 303m high and that the new route, once again, involves getting up and down it twice. Even in warm (not hot) weather this was a wee bit challenging to the more well-padded and mature of the walkers.However, the views were great, the terrain attractive and varied (woodland tracks, meadows, minor roads and quiet pretty village streets) and even puffing up and down the hills was quite satisfying. Most importantly there was time for tea at the Snowshill Lavender Farm teashop. Lovely moist iced carrot cake, full on chocolate cake and a superb and interesting lemon and lavender cake were all sampled on your behalf (how kind of us!). Warwick Walkers teashop rating: **** . This was the last walk with us for Soong and Lily who are returning to China quite soon. We wish them a safe journey home and look forward to hearing about their walks in China - sadly, it's bit far for us to join them....
14 May - the second bluebell walk - this time led by Jeff in Charnwood forest. Nine walkers set off for a seven(ish) mile walk though the lovely woods around Charnwood to catch the last of this year's bluebells. Only a few minutes of sun - but luckily no repeat of last week's continuous drizzle. The more doggy of the Warwick walkers were charmed to see a mass walk of dozens of pedigree Basset Hounds taking a constitutional in the woods with proud owners in tow. The lone cat-orientated person enjoyed insulting the bizarre creatures... Walk ended at the Nanpantan organic farm and cafefor cakes, tea and our usual 'what is a Nanpantan?' conversation. You can join in - no prizes.
7 May - Bluebell walk Trudy lead 10 of us on a 4.5 mile walk around Meriden Shafts looking for the first bluebells. This was a very pretty walk passing through two woods, meadows and fields of bright yellow oil-seed rape (atishoo!). About the weather - as usual a pleasant sunny week was followed by a damp and drizzling Sunday. But we had umbrellas and cheery attitudes.... and the bluebells were lovely. Pub stop to round off the experience and to dry out.
23 April - a Cotswold teashop walk. The promised 7 mile teashop-crawl. Six of us starting from Moreton in Marsh on a cool and damp morning, crossing fields full of lambs practicing for the ovineOlympics - sprints, standing high jumps and 'find the mother' competitions - and via the small hamlet of Dorn, and a tramp through a field of rapeseed, to the Batsford Arboretum and the first teashop break. Then onwards to Moreton and the second teashop break - sadly Tillys (favourite) closed but alternative venue perfectly satisfactory. Altogether a nice, if calorific, day out enjoying the first signs of spring in the hedgerows.
9 April Ilmingtom and Ebrington - six of us set off on this seven-mile scenic, interesting and hilly walk just north of Moreton in Marsh, taking in the highpoint of Warwickshire(265m). Last time - February 2005 - we were walking in mid-winter complete with snow/sleet showers. This time - early April - we were walking in (in order): cold, overcast and windy; mild and settled spring sunshine; unpleasant cold drizzle; overcast but warm; driving sleet; distant thunder and light rain. Driving home passing fields of settled snow and finally a very heavy rainstorm on the A46. Annoyingly for us list makers - no fog, hurricane or heat wave to complete the set. A good day out for all that - Cotswold stone houses, village greens, meadows with new lambs, busy streams and a little horse-event on a hill farm. The 'lost in the hills' adventure soon resolved - thanks to Tony.