St. Bartholomew’s Walking Group

The group is open to all; this church, any church, no church.

We have two walking opportunities in January:-
Monday 1st, about 10.5 miles and 1,406 calories, joined by our friends the Corsham Wanderers, meeting at 10:00hrs at the Hare and Hounds P.H., Corsham, SN13 0HY. Permission kindly given for parking, please keep cars to a minimun and use far end of car park. Suggest bringing snack/picnic.

Friday 12th, about 10 miles, meeting 10:00hrs High St., Marshfield, opposite The Catherine Wheel P.H., SN14 8LR.  Ample on-street parking. Suggest bringing snack/picnic.








(Click or double click on the pictures to enlarge)

Fifteen walkers set out from The Bell Inn on Bowden Hill on our five mile December walk. We followed the River Avon to Reybridge before crossing the Wilts and Berks canal at Double Bridge and climbing to Naish Hill, then on to Bowden Hill and Bewley Green. We then enjoyed a very sociable Christmas lunch at The Bell.

Our 10 mile November walk took us to Box and back, twenty one walkers setting out on a glorious autumnal day, almost clear blue skies and crisp leaves underfoot. Our outbound route via Middlewick and the Macmillan Way was easy going, in contrast to our climb back to Corsham through Henley, Thorn Wood and Lower Rudloe. There was an option to do 5 miles by returning to our start at the Hare and Hounds by ‘bus. One lady member of the congregation, who had thought that 5 miles would be enough, resolutely completed the whole 10 miles. A sterling effort!

Our October walk was led by Charles Todd along an interesting route from Neston to Atworth, Broughton Gifford and Great Chalfield. Lunch was taken in front of the 15th century Manor but no sign of Cap’n Poldark visiting the Penvenen family of Killewarren House, Cornwall today! On an increasingly warm and pleasant day we resumed our journey through Little Chalfield, Stonar and Lower Wadswick. Returning to St Philip’s and St James’ we enjoyed tea, coffee and home made cake kindly provided by Pat Craddock, a fitting finale to a lovely day for 18 happy walkers

The 14 walkers who set out from Castle Combe on our 9 mile September walk were accompanied by a fairly persistent downpour along the Fosseway and across to Littleton Drew. The wet M4 looked an uninviting place to be as we walked westwards parallel to its eastbound carriageway for a while. St Mary the Virgin church at Burton provided sanctuary and the rare luxury of chairs and tables for lunch, our thanks to church warden Marje Caie. Back in Castle Combe, under sunshine and blue skies, we took some refreshment in the garden of the White Hart. Another epic nine miles completed today, complete with library, church luncheon in style, cows and maize.

Our 9 mile August walk was a game of two halves for the twenty walkers who set out from Corsham. The first half towards Neston, Gastard, Catridge and Piccadilly was a tale of paths obstructed by crops, including a 7′ high field of maize and of overgrown stiles, despite some energetic pre-walk path clearance. Several encounters with lively inquisitive horses provided a distraction from these mundane challenges. Some of us missed The Red Arrows when they turned up a bit later than arranged. By comparison the second half through New Farm, Ladbrookside and Corsham Park was an absolute breeze, easier still was getting a welcome drink at The Flemish Weaver afterwards.

JULY 2017
A beautiful summer day with temperatures in the twenties accompanied twenty walkers on a hilly 8 miles from Biddestone to Slaughterford and to Down Wood where a shady spot was found for lunch. We continued to Fox Corner, The Groves and Monks Wood and were pleased to find that The White Horse was still open upon our return.

JUNE 2017

MAY 2017
A strong easterly wind very helpfully blew 15 walkers westwards on our 8 mile May walk. Our route started in Ford, along the old coach road to North Wraxall and Upper Wraxall. Lunch was taken on the edge of Lucknam Park, then from Thickwood we dropped into the sheltered Bybrook valley to Slaughterford and back to The White Hart for well-deserved refreshment.

APRIL 2017
A beautifully sunny day welcomed a group of nine sun-worshippers to our eight mile April walk. Heading west from Monkton Combe we followed the Limestone Link path along the remains of the Somerset Coal Canal to Midford and Combe Hay, through the canal tunnel to our scenic lunch stop overlooking the Wiltshire countryside. We continued to Southstoke, Horsecombe Vale and back to Monkton Combe. Along the way we paid homage to Harry Patch, the last fighting Tommy, also to William ‘Strata’ Smith, the father of English Geology.

MARCH 2017
Our 8 mile March walk enabled 19 walkers to collect a fistful of Bees as we passed through Bathford, Bannerdown, Bailbrook, Batheaston and Bathampton. The views of the St. Catherine’s valley from Northend, also of Bath from Solsbury Hill, caused a buzz and The Crown at Bathford became a hive of activity as some had a glass of the amber nectar at the end of the walk.

The forecast promised a dry day with a very cold easterly wind for our 9 mile February walk from Corsham to Lacock and back. The day proved to be dry and the wind easterly but not particularly cold, nevertheless the 13 walkers who arrived in Lacock were grateful to Revd. Adam for allowing us to lunch in the comparative warmth of St. Cyriac’s. Rarely do we eat ‘indoors’ but as this beautiful building is about to receive a new heating system we may seek to return on a bleak winters day!

On the second day of 2017 we met with our friends the Corsham Wanderers for our, now traditional, post festive calorie cruncher. Richard Thackeray’s ‘phone app monitored the calories as we set out from Box under clear blue skies to Kingsdown, Shockerwick, Alcombe, Colerne and Ditteridge. Back in Box and Richard revealed that we had each burned 1,115 calories, that’s a group total of 30,105. Feeling guilty at having abandoned so many calories along the route, we went to the Queens Head in a desperate attempt to remedy the situation.

A frosty morning awaited 17 walkers on our monthly January walk. Finding ourselves treading on thin ice on Friday, 13th, we stepped very carefully on an 8 mile route from Biddestone to Yatton Keynell, Castle Combe and return. A bitterly cold wind then drove most of us into the Biddestone Arms.

Setting out from The Bell Inn, the nineteen walkers on our December walk ascended Bowden Hill and crossed Bowden Park, making our way towards Derry Hill. The fine views which can normally be expected on this route were, alas, obscured by low lying mist. At Nocketts Hill we turned towards Naish Hill and Bewley Green, then returning to The Bell in time for a very sociable lunch.