Tardebigge Walk - Saturday 10th November 2018.

After heavy overnight rain, the weather on Saturday morning was bright and sunny.

We met in the car park of Tardebigge Church, and 11 of us set off through the churchyard, then onto the lane past the village hall. Then it was across the fields, where there were good views over Bromsgrove and the Tardebigge Reservoir. We walked past Patchetts Farm, then along Copyholt Lane until we reached the Worcester and Birmingham Canal at Stoke Pound.

After stopping for a drink, we continued along the canal tow path on our way back to Tardebigge. As we passed the Tardebigge Reservoir, we noticed that the water level was very low. The weather had clouded over, and it started to rain as we made our way past 17 locks of the Tardebigge Flight. After the Marina, we turned off the towpath, and had a steep climb back to the car park. It stopped raining as we got back to our cars!

After the walk, 9 of us had a pleasant lunch at the Foxlidiate Arms in Redditch.

Our thanks go to Penny Owens for organising and leading the walk.






Barnt Green Walk - Saturday 13th October 2018.

After heavy overnight rain, there was still some light rain as we arrived in Barnt Green for the October walk. However, the forecast was that it would soon stop, which it did, and there were only the odd spots of rain during the walk. Despite the weather, there were 11 walkers ready to go.

We set off from the Victoria Inn, and soon had a steep climb to the highest point on our walk. We passed under the M42 motorway and went through Withybed Green. Soon we came to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal, where we met another walking group going the other way. After leaving the canal, we saw some Llamas in a field. We passed
Lower Bittell reservoir, where the water level was very low, as it had to be drained for some pipe works to be carried out. While crossing some playing fields at the edge of Barnt Green, we passed the other walking group we had seen earlier, and stopped for a chat with them.

We then had a nice lunch at The Victoria Inn, which had only re-opened that day after a refurbishment.

Our thanks to Sallyann for leading the walk







Lickey Hills Walk - Saturday 8th September 2018.

After a week of nice weather, the day of our walk started cloudy, with rain forecast. Sure enough, as soon as we got in the car, the rain started.

We met at the Lickey Hills Visitor Centre when they opened at 10:00, and had a drink before setting off. The rain was only a fine drizzle, and there were plenty of trees providing cover. The first part of the walk was downhill, to the Lickey Hills Golf Club. From then on, it was a steep climb up to the summit.

The rain had become mainly occasional showers, but we were in low cloud. At the top is a "castle" donated by the Cadbury Brothers to the people of Birmingham in 1907, and is 978 feet above sea level. Inside is a Toposcope, which is a map of what can be seen on a clear day. At times, there was nothing but cloud to be seen, then just seconds later, we could see for miles.

We returned to our starting point, but as it was still rather early, and the rain had mainly stopped, we had a short walk around the Country Park, where there are some sculptures.

We then drove to the Victoria in Barnt Green, where we had a very pleasant lunch.

Our thanks go to David Georgeson for leading the walk.



Crowle Walk - Saturday 11th August 2018.

We met on another warm, sunny day at the March Hare in Broughton Hackett, for our August walk. There were 14 adults and two children on the walk, which was led by Penny Owens.

The aim of the walk was to see where some of the men named on the Crowle World War 1 memorial had lived.

We left Broughton Hackett, and walked across the fields to Crowle. In one field that we passed through were some horses wearing fly masks. Our first stop was the village church, where we inspected the War Memorial in the churchyard. A sit down on a bench, and a drink, were enjoyed here.

We then meandered round the village. At each stop, Penny read out some details of those who had lived there, and where and when they died.

A hundred years ago, Crowle had a much smaller population, and was mostly orchards. We passed through some of the remaining orchards as we made our way back to the March Hare for lunch, where we were joined by two others. The March Hare are well known for their carvery, and many of us chose it for lunch.

Our thanks to Penny Owens for leading a lovely walk.





Shugborough Walk - Saturday 14th July 2018.

Following the success of the Bath Skyline walk a couple of years ago, it was decided run another coach trip with a combined walk and visit, and Shugborough was the destination chosen. There were over 35 people on the coach, and over 20 of these joined us on at least part of our walk.

On arrival at Shugborough the first priority was a visit to the tea room and toilets. It was a very hot and sunny day and we wore a varied selection of headwear to keep the sun off.

The first part of the walk was some distance from the mansion, along wide formal paths. We stopped at various points of interest, and crossed over the River Trent, before passing the Mansion. Here, a number of people left us, and the walkers continued back nearly to our starting point. Our route then took us across open country up to an arch overlooking the estate. It had been our intention to continue up hill and through the woods, but it was so hot that we decided to cut the walk short and return to the coach to change out of our walking boots into lighter footware.

We then had lunch, and the afternoon was free to visit the mansion. We all had timed tickets to visit Patrick Lichfield's apartments, which were very interesting.

Our thanks go to Penny Owens, who led the walk, and Robert Trigger for driving us.






Hanbury Walk - Saturday 9th June 2018.

It was slightly chilly when 17 of us met at the Hanbury Hall car park for the June walk, but it soon warmed up, and there was sunshine by the time we finished.

The going was firm, with only the occasional small muddy patch. We crossed some fields, and had a fairly steep climb up to Hanbury Church, from where there were some wonderful views. From there, we skirted around Piper's Hill, then reached the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

We continued along the canal towpath, stopping for a drink by a lock. We left the canal and crossed the railway near Summerhill Farm, then climbed Summer Hill on our way back to Hanbury Hall.

Our thanks go to Sandy Eccleshall for organising the walk.





Astwood Bank Walk - Saturday 12th May 2018.

It was a sunny morning when we arrived at Astwood Bank, but a little bit on the chilly side. There were soon 9 walkers ready to go.

We set off south from the Bell Inn, and passed the Botany Bay Nurseries and were soon walking over fields with wonderful views over the countryside. We reached the Salt Way, then stopped for a drink near the Neville Arms. We then worked our way across to Edgioake Lane and back to Astwood Bank.

There was a Steam Rally in Bidford during the weekend, and during our walk we saw a steam traction engine going along the road, and then saw another one across some fields.

We then had a nice lunch at The Bell, where we again had the 2-course menu for £6.00 or £5.50 for pensioners.

Our thanks to Rosemarie Davies for leading the walk.

Claverdon Walk - Saturday 14th April 2018.

Wot no rain? Mud, mud, and more mud!

After many wet days, we awoke to a fine day, with clear blue sky and sunshine. Ten walkers met up at The Crown in Claverdon, near Henley-in-Arden. A lunch menu was passed around, and we all ordered lunch before setting off.

After the first couple of hundred yards along roads, we joined a footpath, or rather, a MUDpath! It was thick, clinging mud, and our feet sunk some inches into it, which made progress slow and difficult. Some of the fields that we crossed were also waterlogged, and is was always a relief when we came to a short stretch of road, where we could stamp off the mud, our boots feeling much lighter! There were several stiles and gates, and some of these had large puddles around them.

We had a stop at All Saints Church at Preston Bagot, where we sat in the sun and had a drink. In a field adjacant to the church were some sheep and lambs, who seemed quite interested in us.

After walking just over 4 miles, which felt like twice the length, we reached The Crown again, and after changing our footwear, had a welcome lunch.

Our thanks go again to David for leading an excellent walk.

Astwood Bank Walk - Saturday 10th February 2018.

The forecast was not good, and it was raining when we arrived at Astwood Bank, but there were soon 13 brave walkers ready to go. The rain stopped, and we just had the odd shower while walking. The original route for the walk was very muddy, so we walked along more lanes to avoid the worst of the mud.

We set off from the Bell Inn, and walked to Sambourne, where we stopped to inspect the war memorial. There was a nice looking pub called The Green Dragon. Then we continued across fields until we were nearly at Coughton Court. We used the Sambourne Lane to return to the village of the same name, and then back to Astwood Bank.

We then had a nice lunch at The Bell, where there was a daily 2-course menu for £6.00 or £5.50 for pensioners.

Our thanks to Julie Bird, Carol Christian and Anne Vernon for leading the walk.

Bromsgrove Walk - Saturday 13th January 2018.

For our first walk of 2018 we met at the Bromsgrove Golf Club on a cloudy, chilly day. There were 17 walkers, which is the best we have had for some time. Before the walk, we studied the lunch menu and the 16 staying for lunch placed their orders.

We left the Golf Club and walked back to their entrance, then had to walk alongside the main A38 for a couple of hundred yards before crossing the only stile of the walk onto the golf course.The footpath ran along the northern edge of the golf course before going across some fields. Some deer tracks were found where the ground was soft, but no deer were seen. (One was seen when the walk was tried a few weeks earlier).

After rejoining the golf course, the footpath turned off, and we descended some steps onto a track leading to Burcot. We soon arrived at the Burcot Garden Centre, where hot drinks (and a few cakes, etc) were enjoyed. Refreshed, and warmed up, we continued our walk around some fields above Burcot, before returning to the Golf Club the way we came.

A table for 16 had been set up for us, and we were soon enjoying an excellent lunch.

Many thanks to Penny Owens for organising the trip.