The group is open to all; this church, any church, no church.
Our March walk will be on Friday, 9th, meeting at 10:00hrs on The Green, Biddestone, nearest post code SN14 7DG, for a walk of about 8 miles. On street parking. Suggest bringing snack/picnic.
(Click or double click on the pictures to enlarge)
Leaving Bathford in a February shower of snow and sleet 17 walkers made their way across Bathampton Meadows to the Kennet and Avon canal. We then climbed steeply and emerged into a keen wind on Bathampton Down, skirting the university campus and crossing Claverton Down. From Brassnocker we dropped to the Dundas Aqueduct for lunch alongside the canal, which we then followed under blue skies for most of our return journey to Bathford and refreshment at The Crown.
It could be said that, in many respects, last year was not a walk in the park, neither was our first meeting of the new year for the 23 walkers setting out from the Hare and Hounds on New Year’s Day, bound for Slaughterford and Colerne. A period of heavy rain, an 11 mile route with 1249 feet of ascent, mud and floods kept us all entertained. Nevertheless we were still in good spirits back at the H&H for the post walk inquest and some refreshment.
On 12th January we were off again, starting from Marshfield and heading north on a ten mile route through the villages of West Littleton and West Kington. This time a group of 10 walkers found the weather and the terrain to be a little kinder but at the finish were pleased to be by the fireside at the Catherine Wheel public house.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.