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---------- Summer/Autumn 2010 ----------

Sun 05 Dec

Mendips

Grateful thanks to Di for leading this walk. Susan had planned it but double booked herself for an AGM which she had to attend because she was Chair. No-one had a camera so the only photos are at the start when Susan dropped off Di.

The planned walk was start at Compton Martin, go south using part of a walk from the Butcombe Trail booklet by Sue Gearing and then walk along the ridge of hills above Chew Valley Lake and Blagdon Lake, dropping down into Blagdon and then return on the public footpath side of Blagdon Lake.

A view of the Ubley hatchery chimney was planned towards the end of the walk as Susan enjoys bagging chimneys. With help from Mike’s GPS and input from locals the walk was slightly modified, ensuring everyone got back to the start point with plenty of daylight left and the chimney will be “bagged” another time. The weather was good with blue skies and sunshine, despite fog on the M4, M5 and Bristol when the walkers were setting off to meet at Compton Martin. The grass was crisp with frost and all the mud was frozen solid, very different from when the walk was practised in November on a very rainy, grey day with puddles and mud at boot filling levels.

1 to 3

Sun 14 Nov

Black Mountain

Remembrance Sunday walk to a wartime aircraft wreck

Starting from Pont'ar Wysg Car Park, near Usk Reservoir, we proceeded over rough moorland till 11 o'clock when a minute's silence was observed and elevenses taken. The walk then continued to the site of a 1943 wartime aircraft crash site where Lancaster W4929 crashed into the hillside with the loss of the 8 crew members. There is a memorial cairn on site also bent crankshafts and a damaged cylinder block from the Merlin engines. A poppy remembrance cross was placed with the other memorials.

The walk then continued over the ridge to the source of the River Usk, then to the summit of Foel Darw where the 360 degree view was appreciated before continuing back to the car park.

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Fri 22 Oct
to
Sun 24 Oct

Swanage

We found the Swanage Auberge a very comfortable and friendly hostel. Our host kindly provided us with printed weather reports each day. There was a cold wind all weekend but with only a few light showers on Saturday and almost unbroken sunshine on Sunday there were no complaints.

On Saturday we walked from the hostel to Durlston Country Park to join the coast path to St Aldhelm’s Head, a repeat of our 1996 walk. We visited the Globe at Durlston, found shelter from the wind for our coffee break in a triange of grass between stone walls, gorse and a gnarled hawthorn tree covered in red berries. We lunched at Winspit amongst the remains of quarry workings. The predicted 50mph wind gusts hit as we left St Aldhem’s Chapel, which was much better timing than happening during our walk over the cliffs. We continued inland to Worth Matravers and had an apple stop on the village green, then back to Swanage along the Priest’s Way, completing our 12 mile walk.

On Sunday we took the 9.50am steam train from Swanage to Corfe Castle and then ascended the downs above Corfe Castle. We crossed Rollington Hill, Brenscombe Hill, Allwood Down and Nine Barrows Down in sunshine and with very clear visibility. We climbed the steps to the obelisk and continued to Old Harry, returning to Swanage via the coast path and stopping for a cream tea before leaving for home.

Many thanks to our leader for organising such an enjoyable weekend.

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Sun 10 Oct

Wye Valley

Starting from the riverbank in Monmouth the walk followed the Offas Dyke Path over the riverbridge to May Hill and The Kymin, the superb view was partly obscured by mist, the stainless steel sculptures and the Naval Temple were viewed the walk then continued on the Offas Dyke Path to Redbrook where the Wye river was crossed on the old railway bridge that once carried the Wye Valley Railway, a long steady climb through byways and sunken tracks came to Penalt Old Church where lunch was taken, after visiting the church we continued over fields to Troy House, supposedly designed by Inigo Jones, then crossing the Wye again on another old rail bridge that once carried the line from Monmouth to Ross, the Wye Valley Walk was then taken back to the start point in lovely warm sunshine.

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Sun 12 Sept

Black Mountains

A party of ten walkers left Llanthony Priory in bright sunshine and climbed steadily up to the Hatterrall Ridge from where we had lovely views looking over into the Longtown Valley.

After a coffee break we walked down Hatterrall Hill and out on to The Graig. The Graig, according to local legend, was broken off from Hatterrall Hill as the result of an earthquake during Christ’s crucifixion. We passed through Cwmyoy churchyard, admiring the tower of the church which leans at a greater angle than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, across the valley and then climbed up to the opposite ridge through very overgrown footpaths.

There was a strong wind blowing for the ridge walk over Garn Wen to Bal Bach until we turned into the shelter of Cwm Bwchel and then back to Llanthony Priory.

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Thur 2 Sept
to
Mon 6 Sept

Yorkshire Dales

The September break was a four-day stay at Ingleton Youth Hostel in Yorkshire. Under mostly sunny skies, the group enjoyed memorable visits to limestone scenery that is rarely seen elsewhere.

Day 1: A walk that started from Clapham, visiting Trow Gill and Gaping Gill (a VERY deep hole which could apparently accommodate York Minster) and the summit of Ingleborough with fine views all around including Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside, and the very impressive Ribblehead Viaduct. From the summit the path led to Sulber Gate amid the lovely limestone pavement scenery back to Clapham.

Day 2: A walk amid very beautiful Dales scenery that is often overlooked in the rush to high places. Starting from Stainforth, the route climbs steadily to a Celtic wall below the crags of Smearsett Scar. This short but impressively thick length of wall is believed to be very old, probably pre-Roman. From the wall the route goes to the top of Smearsett and along the undulating ridge before descending towards Wharf and then circling around to Feizor before turning south and then east along Giggleswick Scars and descending into Stackhouse before taking the path beside the river Ribble back to Stainforth.

Day 3: Starting from Horton-in-Ribblesdale and walking up part of the Penine Way before branching off on the Ribble Way to Birkwith and then turning south-west to Selside. At Selside Farm on payment of a small fee one can visit Alum Pot. Alum Pot at first is hidden by trees and vegetation but on closer inspection is very large and extremely deep. At the time the group visited, cavers/climbers were at the bottom of the pot a long way down seeming to be very small indeed. The route then went north to Sulber Gate for a second time this trip but turned south down Sulber Nick to arrive at Horton-in-Ribblesdale.

Day 4: Starting from Settle, a bustling market town, the route started out very steeply to fields above the town before levelling out towards Langcliffe. Climbing steeply out of Langcliffe up to the open moor the group visited Catrigg Force, a double drop waterfall. Turning south even more interesting scenery was reached, Langcliffe and Attermire Scars. There are numerous caves here. The group visited a number of these caves, namely Jubilee Cave and Victoria Cave and after a rather airy scramble, Horseshoe and Attermire Caves. Turning west brought the group back to Settle where they enjoyed cake and tea before the journey home.

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Sun 08 Aug

Bwlch-y-Clawdd Rhondda Valley

The drive to Bwlch y Clawdd from the top of the Rhondda Valley was awesome because unusually the walk was to start one of the highest points.

A short sharp ascent from the car park to and along the impressive cliffs of Craig Ogwr warmed us up nicely. Then we walked along the pre-historic ridgeway track on Mynydd Llangeinwyr. The feature along the path is said by some to be a defensive, boundary dyke others say it looks like a fault line. There are several earthworks, tumuli and cross dykes in this area. The seclusion of modern times may be in contrast with pre-historic and the middle ages. We stopped at the 530m “trig point” and went to look at the burial chamber of Carn yr Hyrddod.

Descending we briefly passed through Ogmore Vale and went up Cwm y Fuwch which is now pretty but gives clues to its industrial past. Climbing to the tree line of Mynydd William Meyrick we joined another ancient trackway and were reminded of its antiquity by Carn Fawr (Bronze Age 2300 to 800 BC) at517m.

Finally a descent to the cars which had been joined by an ice cream van

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Sun 11 July

Sand Bay & Kewstoke

On a bright and sunny day ten walkers set off from Whorlebury Hill Wood car park, walking down hill through houses to a flight of steps owned by the National Trust. Monk's Steps were constructed in medieval times to connect Whorlebury Hill to Kewstoke Church. The walk carried on down the hill eventually reaching Sand Bay and from there over fields to reach the banks of the river Banwell where coffee was enjoyed in the hot sun.

Gaining the high ground of Middle Hope the group enjoyed an airy tramp of more than a mile with extensive views over the Welsh coast from the two Severn Bridges to the cement works at Aberthaw.

Lunch stop was at Sand Point followed by a descent into Sand Bay where some of the group enjoyed a '99' ice-cream. After a walk of some two miles along the beach, it was back to the woods and a pull up to the car park on Whorlebury Hill.

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Sat 10 July

Troopers Hill LNR

The annual CHWC walk and BBQ.

This year's BBQ was held on a warm summer evening in Bristol. Before the BBQ we had a short walk over Bristol's only Green Flag nature reserve at Troopers Hill. We also visited the historic holy well in St Anne's Wood.

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---------- Winter/Spring 2010 ----------

Sun 13 June

Brecon Beacons

Following an easy start along the canal for approximately a mile, the group turned off to walk part of the Usk Valley walk across a series of fields. Having gained some height, we were afforded good views of the surrounding hills during the coffee stop.

After joining the Brinore tramroad, the walk continued via a shaded, leafy lane. We emerged to views of Talybont reservoir, which were improved by a short uphill stretch. Continuing along, with expanding views of the reservoir and valley below, we reached the foot of Tor-y-Foel mountain.

Anticipating lunch, the group quickly reached the top expecting a long relaxing break and an opportunity to appreciate the views. Unfortunately, this was short-lived due to increased wind, gathering black clouds and the possibility of forecasted rain.

We continued on over the mountain heading towards Llangynidr, from where the walk commenced, again with fine views. The group stopped to admire sections of a dry stone wall - the building of which has been on-going for approximately one year, then continued the descent via a number of fields. After an early "apple stop" the group headed back to the canal towpath to retrace their steps a short distance to the cars.

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Fri 04 Jun
to
Sun 06 Jun

Surrey Hills

A wonderful warm and sunny weekend staying at Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel which is hidden in the woods a mile or so from the nearest road.

On Friday evening we all assembled at Leith Hill for a short walk before heading to the hostel via a meal at the Stepping Stones pub.

On Saturday we walked from the hostel and took in Norbury Park, Juniper Top (for lunch) and then Box Hill before returning to the hostel via the real stepping stones. In the warm evening sunshine we were able to eat our self catered meal outside.

On Sunday after breakfast again eaten outside, we drove to the Devil's Punch Bowl near Hindhead. The circular walk included Thursley where we saw the grave of the unknown sailor who was murdered in 1786. Later on the walk we saw the stone marking where the event happened and then the celtic cross on Hindhead Common where the murderers were hung on the gibbet. The walk also included a view of the construction works for the A3 Hindhead Tunnels.

A great weekend finished with tea and cake at the Natonal Trust cafe.

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Sun 09 May

Woolaston

Nine walkers met at Woolaston picnic site for the start of a varied walk around the Forest of Dean. The weather was dry, sometimes sunny but always cold with a north-easterly wind blowing away any cobwebs. Setting off across farmland, a field of head-high oil seed rape had to be negotiated before views of the River Severn were spread out below.

The walkers then entered Ashwell Grove wood and headed for the Tidenham Chase car park. Since 1998, a lowland heath restoration project has been undertaken at Tidenham Chase. Birds such as nightjar, stonechat and Dartford warbler have all colonised the restored areas.

Leaving the heathland behind the walkers came to the Devil's Pulpit which is a large pillar of rock that overlooks Tintern Abbey and the River Wye. After following the Offa's Dyke Way through woodland with bluebells and wild garlic the walkers came out above Brockweir with lovely views of the Wye valley and the surrounding hills. Next stop was Hewelsfield for lunch and then walking to the top of the hill, the Severn was once again seen below. Two more miles over farmland brought the walkers back to the car park.

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Thur 15 Apr
to
Mon 19 Apr

Lake District

A four-day, four hostel trip to the Central-Western fells of the Lake District.

Friday:

Starting from Wasdale YH, we skirted the shores of Wastwater before climbing up Greathall Gill and onto Whin Rigg where had a sunny coffee-stop, sheltering from the biting northerly wind just below the summit. We continued over the Wasdale Screes, towards Illgill Head, with views in all directions, before dropping down towards Burnmoor tarn. Our route then climbed over Hard Rigg and, after lunch overlooking Wasdale Head, up across a snow field onto the deserted summit of Scafell - giving superb views of the rather more popular Scafell Pike. We then followed the ridge south, over Slight Side' and around Stony Tarn, before dropping down into the grounds of Eskdale YH through their nature trail. 18km 1300m ascent.

Saturday:

Leaving Eskdale we headed towards Hardknott Pass and, as many of us had driven over it on the Wednesday evening, boosted by the leader's assurance that we wouldn't have to walk up it, we then turned north along the River Esk and then Lingcove Beck, with glorious views around the ring from Scafell to Crinkle Crags. Coffee was taken just above Lingcove Bridge, with the plan to have lunch by Three Tarns - however, the strong, cold northerly wind forced us to descend a few meters down on the Eastern side where the beating sun allowed us to expose the shorts for a relaxing lunch, watching the hordes ascend The Band (our descent route) and Hell Gill. Descending into Langdale, we then followed the northern bank of the river, taking the byway to minimise the road walking. After 250 metres along the road, and then 60m of rather steep climbing from the road, the rebellious party demanded an apple stop. Suitably refreshed, the remainder of the ascent was completed, leading to a gradual descent into Grasmere where, intrigued by the mis-read sign the The Lamb (Free Horse), more refreshment was obtained. Having ascertained that the Lamb was, in fact, a Free House, we completed the walk to Butharlyp How, the Grasmere YH closer to the town. 19km, 1100m ascent

Sunday:

Following Easedale Beck, past the Sourmilk Gill waterfall, we arrived at Easedale Tarn too early for coffee - which was taken part way up the climb towards Sergeant Man. The trig point on High Raise provided an easy checkpoint before we turned to follow an indistinct path (which petered out completely) towards Stake Pass. Continuing in glorious sunshine, we climbed up to the well hidden Angle Tarn and thence to Sprinkling Tarn, where we paused for strength before continuing down to Styhead tarn and the base of Aaron Slack. The view up to Windy Gap looked far worse than it eventually proved (although assorted mutterings were voiced), while the descent down to Black sail was not as easy as it first appeared. Fortunately we had warned the warden that we might be a little late arriving, so there was very little 'time to kill' before dinner. 19km, 1400m ascent.

Monday:

We all climbed up to Black Sail pass which provided a suitable opportunity for those requiring an early finish to drop straight back into Wasdale Head (where the majority of the cars had been left). The reduced party then continued on the route over Pillar (another trig point), over Scoat Fell (and its Great and Little variants) to Haycock where we turned south to the final ascent (and trig point) onto Seatallan. A steep, grassy slope brought us down to Greendale Tarn, where a well marked path followed the left bank of the gill back to the road, and thence onwards and into Wasdale YH. 14km, 1100m ascent A quick car shuffle to collect the remaining car from Wasdale Head meant that we were ready to leave by 5pm, and able to take the scenic route back over Hardknott and Wyrnose passes.

Total trip: (4 days walking) 70km with 4800m ascent.

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Sun 04 Apr

Mendips

This circular walk, starting from the Forestry Commission East Harptree carpark, was quickly christened the "Wallowing Wander", thanks to the large amount of mud we encountered, particularly in Harptree Coombe.

We started the walk with a visit to Smitham Chimney , then continued, soggily, through Harptree Coombe, admiring wood anemones, fungi and the amazing Victorian stone pillars supporting a pipe taking water to Bristol. We continued our walk via West Harptree and Whistley Lane, following the River Chew to Coley. We lunched, looking at swans, cormorants and a fountaining sluice gate, perched on the stone wall of the upper reservoir overlooking the lower one. We carried on through Litton and past Litton Wood, pausing to admire a stone boar before continuing via Wooten Hall, Greendown and Pitt Farm to return to the carpark.

White and varying mauve shade violets were particularly eye-catching around the reservoirs.

This walk included parts of the Limestone Link, the Butcombe trail and Monarch's Way.

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Fri 19 Mar
to
Mon 22 Mar

Llyn Peninsular

Staying at Olgra - Abersoch on the Llyn Peninsular we had three walks in what was a new area for us.

The forecast was for a wet weekend, but the rain stopped on the Saturday just before we left the hostel and there was even some sunshine in the afternoon. There were some great views from the coast path. On the Sunday we walked from Trefor, unfortunately despite the morning sunshine in Abersoch there was some low cloud on the mountains. Because of the distance from Chepstow some walkers stayed in Abersoch on Sunday night and also enjoyed a short walk on Monday morning.

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Sun 07 Mar

Quantocks

A wonderful sunny day, though with a cold wind. Starting from Holford we climbed on to the top of the Quantocks via Smith's Combe. The route included two trig points; Bicknoller Post; Dead Womens Ditch and the hill fort at Dowsborough before decending into Holford Combe.

After the walk most of the group enjoyed a cream tea at Chantry Tea Rooms.

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Sun 07 Feb

Wye Valley

Our walk took us from St Briavels down to the banks of the River Wye near the Bigsweir bridge. We walked along the river bank for a mile or so before turning uphill and making our way back to St Briavels via Megs Folly,Hewelsfield Common,St briavels Common, and Coldharbour. It was a dull overcast day, but it stayed dry. Plenty of mud, as expected, but a lot of snowdrops. Spring is on its way!

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Sun 17 Jan

Black Mountains

Starting from the Castle Inn, we first climbed to Castle Dinas and then on up to the ridges of the Black Mountains. The thaw had set in during the week after the New Year snow but there were still large areas of snow on the hills making for some fantastic views. Though there was a cold wind at times and some mist there were also spells of sunshine which showed the mountains at their best.

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---------- Summer/Autumn 2009 ----------

Sun 13 Dec

Devizes

Starting from the car park at Caen Hill locks on the Kennet & Avon Canal we first walked up the canal past Devizes Wharf. At the next bridge we left the canal and headed up hill towards Roundway Down and the hillfort at Oliver's Castle. This was the site of a Civil War battle in 1643. It was a cold grey morning so the views weren't as magnificent as we had hoped.

After coffee on Olivers Castle we followed a muddy path down off the hills and headed back to the canal via several awkward stiles. We had had to change the planned route because some of the rights of way were blocked. We rejoined the canal below Foxhangers and walked up the lock flight to get back to the car park just before it got dark.

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Sun 08 Nov

Brecon Beacons

Nine members of the Club started the walk from Neuadd Reservoir in the Brecon Beacons climbing steeply to the trig point on Graig Fan Ddu, from the path on the ridge a diversion Westward over boggy rough terrain eventually located the wreckage of the Spitfire X4588 that crashed there on 23rd. May 1942. Some poppies and a cross were placed there in memory of the pilot Sgt. D.P. Carruthers. who was killed in the crash.

The walk then continued along the ridge, over the summits of Corn Du, Pen y Fan and Cribyn, returning along the Roman Road back to the cars.

The National Park are to be congratulated on the excellent work they have done on the footpaths, the erosion is gradually growing over, lets hope walkers will now stick to the paths.

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Fri 23 Oct
to
Sun 25 Oct

Camarthen Fan

Based at the excellent Bunkhouse at Ynysmarchog in Trecastle this was a weekend with very mixed weather. Rain on Saturday morning then sunshine and frequent showers for the rest of the weekend but very mild for the time of year.

Saturday's walk started from Usk Reservoir with a loop through the forest and then over Mynydd Myddfai, Y Pigwn and Mynydd Bach Trecastell and included finding a stone circle. On Sunday we walked from Llwynroser, towards Carreg Yr Ogof, crossing Afon Twrch (twice) via Tyle Garw and return over Carn Fadog. The stream crossings were 'interesting' and with the evening drawing in we saw bats flying and hear owls hooting as we got back to the cars.

Both walks were very enjoyable despite the weather and the Castle Coaching Inn provided excellent evening meals on both Friday and Saturday.

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Sun 11 Oct

Cotswolds

When ten members of the club met at the picnic site and car park at the top of Fish Hill just outside Broadway, a light drizzle began to fall and by the time they got to Dover’s Hill for coffee, the cloud had thickened and nothing could be seen of the extensive views over the Vale of Evesham.

After coffee stop the group left the Cotswold edge and walked downhill past some very fine examples of ‘ridge and furrow’ cultivation. This type of land feature dates back to the middle ages and is caused by the way the land was ploughed.

In increasingly wet conditions, the group walked through the lovely village of Saintbury and on into Willersley for lunch stop. Willersley has a lovely church with prominent gargoyles on the tower. Lunch was eaten in the village near the duck pond. After lunch there were some challenging paths which were rather over-grown before the group reached Broadway. Broadway is the archetypal Cotswold town with lovely old buildings built with honey-coloured stone. At this time, the rain eased off and as the group made the long climb back to the ridge, the sun came out. There were lovely views of Broadway and the surrounding countryside as height was gained.

At the visitors’ centre on Broadway Hill, the group enjoyed an ice-cream before the short journey to Broadway Tower. Due to a rather jolly man giving the group a discount, everyone climbed to the top of the tower. The views were exceptional including the Malvern Hills, May Hill, the Black Mountains, the Clee and Clent Hills and even the tall buildings of Birmingham could be seen in the distance. From the tower it was just a short journey on the Cotswold Way back to the car park.

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Thur 24 Sept
to
Mon 28 Sept

Lake District

A return to Patterdale Youth Hostel, after a long absence, provided the basis for a long weekend with 4 excellent routes researched for us by our Leader.

A cool and breezy (some would say windy!), but dry, Friday saw us tackle an assortment of Dodds: Starting from the upper car park above Dockray (at a pleasing altitude of 400m), we followed Groove Beck over Matterdale Common, to the summit of Great Dodd. A short ridge section then took us to Watson’s Dodd and Stybarrow Dodd, and thence following the ridge back into Dockray – for a relaxing (!) “warm-down” along the road back to the car park (at a now not so pleasant 400m altitude) – although some of the group opted for a shortcut directly back to the car park from the top of Brown Hills. Overall, a 16km walk, with 700m of ascent giving lovely views across Ullswater and the Northern Lakes (Derwentwater, Basenthwaite, Thirlmere) and Fells.

The weather forecast for Saturday was the most promising of the weekend, so we set off towards Helvellyn in high spirits and bright sunshine. Walking straight from the hostel, we followed the popular route past the ‘hole in the wall’ and across Striding Edge, and onto the summit. Progress across the ridge was slow, so we had a late lunch by the memorial to the aviation pioneers, before taking a quick trip to the Summit Trig. Our return route took us over Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike before dropping down to Grisedale Tarn. With the sun still shining brightly, and refreshed from an ‘apple stop’ we climbed up onto St Sunday Crag, and followed the ridge back towards Patterdale. The sunshine, and daylight, were dimming a little by the time we returned to the hostel, for a well deserved meal. 17km, with 1300m ascent.

On Sunday, we drove round to the head of Haweswater (4 miles, as the crow flies, according to the Sat Nav, somewhat longer by recognised roads). A briefly flat path followed the water’s edge for a while, before taking us to the nose of Swine Crag, which lead us ‘gently’ (?) up over Heron Crag, Rough Crag and Riggindale Crag straight to the summit of High Street where we had lunch sheltering behind the wall. After lunch, and the obligatory trig point detour, we dropped down to Mardale Ill Bell, and thence to Nan Bield Pass and back up over Harter Fell and down to Gatesgarth Pass, and back to the Car Park. 11km, with 800m ascent.

Monday was our exit-day, so we had a shorter walk, after a short drive to Hartsop, we set off up Hartsop Dodd towards Stony Cove Pike and on via Threshthwaite Mouth to Thornthwaite Beacon where another wall provided the lunchtime shelter from the strengthening winds. After lunch we followed the obvious High Street route over the Straits of Riggindale and The Knott, and then down to the dam on Hayeswater. Another apple stop refreshed us for the track-walk back to the car park, and prepared us for a mug of tea and a biscuit (or two) in preparation fro the drive back South. 12km, 900m ascent. A shorter alternative, returns via Pasture Bottom direct from Threshthwaite Mouth – avoiding the climb to Thornthwaite Beacon.

Many thanks to the warden and staff of Patterdale YHA, and, of course, our intrepid leader who safely led us for the four walks.

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Sun 13 Sept

Wiltshire Downs

The group gathered in a windy hilltop car park to repeat a walk that we last did in 2005. Sadly it was cooler this time with no parascenders, but it stayed dry and the sun came out later for us.

We started by following the Wayfarers Walk along the chalk ridge past Combe Gibbet, before descending along the Test Way into woodland on the Wiltshire / Berkshire border. We crossed into Hampshire and walked through the picturesque village of Linkenholt before stopping by the duck pond in Faccombe for our lunch. Sadly, still no ducks...

After lunch we climbed back onto the ridge of the chalk downs, walking over Pilot Hill - the highest point in Hampshire. Continuing along the ridge with fantastic views, we followed the Wayfarers Walk through the iron age hill fort on Walbury Hill - the highest point in Berkshire – to return to our still windy car park.

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Sun 09 Aug

Dyffryn Crawnon Valley

Starting out from beside the canal at Llangynidr, the group made its way up above the Dyffryn Crawnon Valley with superb views of Tor-y-Foel and surrounding hills. Trefil Quarry could also be seen ahead as the group crossed open moorland before descending via a forest track past an impressive waterfall.

Another short ascent joined the Taff Trail where some members took off over the top of Tor-y-Foel and the remainder meandered down along a somewhat wet and muddy track again providing superb views of the valley below. The two groups met at the foot of the mountain and continued to make its way back down towards Llangynidr crossing through a field of Shetland ponies and a newly-born foal.

The weather was excellent and musical entertainment was provided during the descent by a live band performing at the beer festival organised by the Coach and Horses public house, Llangynidr.

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Sun 05 July

Vale of Neath Waterfalls

The July walk was at the end of a hot and steamy week so the waterfalls and their surrounding trees was an ideal, cool, walk. The almost uncountable torrents and waterfalls never cease to be attractive. It is difficult to decide whether the scenery of the Nedd Fechan, or the Mellte, or the Hepste is the most pleasing to the eye. Despite a relatively dry period the ground was quite muddy and slippery as some of our intrepid members found to their cost. We had passed a tent smelling strongly of alcohol perhaps there was a connection? – More whisky on your cereal?

The dappled light and the gurgling rivers kept us company most of the day . Having been slowly climbing all morning stopping for food was a pleasure. Lunch was graced by a lot of birds A Jay joined the feathered judges of our lunch boxes.. We had just reached the protective canopy of the trees when a sharp shower passed through as we examined the exit of Potth yr Ogof.

The paths were surprisingly empty although there were parties doing their DofE expedition with the obligatory tiredness showing on their faces.

We walked behind Scwd yr Eira ; which was open after last year’s scare concerning the overhang being unstable. I am pleased to say that the notice warning of the risks and advising one not to linger under the fall seems to strike a very good balance between common sense and safety. Well done authorities. Ironically, the wet rocks on the path near to the car park at Pontneddfechan posed the greatest problems to us and there was neither warning sign nor handrail to be seen. The light rain at the end of the walk was refreshing and did not prevent us from enjoying the walk

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---------- Winter/Spring 2009 ----------

Fri 12 Jun
to
Sun 14 Jun

Pembrokeshire

Staying at the newly refurbished Pwll Deri Youth Hostel this was a weekend blessed with sunshine in the magnificent coast scenery of the National Park.

Two linear coastal walks both ended the Youth Hostel, which is in a wonderful spot high above the sea. Saturday's walk started from Goodwick while on Sunday we walked from Abercastle.

The wildlife was fabulous with a great view of some seals on the Saturday and choughs on the Sunday together with many different butterflies and flowers including many orchids; there were also some cows who obviously thought they were goats!

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Sun 07 June

Carmarthen Fan

On reaching the start point for the club walk over Carmarthen Fan, it was disappointing to see that the cloud was down and after the rain of Saturday, the river was in full spate, making crossing difficult.

The cloud began to lift mid-morning and the towering cliffs of the escarpment could be seen. By the time the ridge was reached, the cloud lifted and the views opened up all round.

After a very pleasant lunch stop the weather improved and the sun came out, tempered by a cool breeze. The river level had gone down during the day making it much easier to cross. The walk ended in bright sunlight and blue sky.

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Sun 10 May

Quantocks

12 members of the club enjoyed a walk in the Quantocks starting from the car park at the Triscombe Stone, down into the valley to Aisholt where the poet Coleridge once lived, the route then crossed farmland over Gibb Hill, then through woods to the high moorland of Cothelstone Hill with expansive views of Bridgewater Bay and Taunton Vale, here lunch was taken and we were lucky enough to see an Adder. The route then followed the Macmillan Way and the Samaritans Way over Lydeard Hill and Wills Neck which at 386 meters is the highest point of the Quantocks, before returning to the start point. A pleasant sunny day with little wind.

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Wed 22 Apr
to
Sun 26 Apr

Yorkshire Dales / South Pennines

Club members had a thoroughly enjoyable trip to the Yorkshire Dales.

Leaving the cars behind us, we left Hawes on the Pennine Way heading South. However, we soon left that to pass the Mill at Gayle and then climb to Cam High Road (the old Roman road), before leaving that to drop down into Marsett and the remote hamlet of Stalling Busk. The ancient tracks of Bob Lane, High Lane and Stake Road took us on to Thoralby - where our provisions awaited collection at the wonderful Post Office/Village Store. We stayed in the Old School at Cross Lane, which has been tastefully converted into a superb Bunk House, and is conveniently located about 150m (uphill) from the Street Head Inn.

Friday's walk took us through Newbiggin, up Wasset Fell Road and over the summit of Naughtberry Hill, which would have been quite a challenge in poor weather (or after a wet spell). We were lucky on all counts and had excellent views towards Buckden Pike and on to Great Whernside (our route for the day). We then descended into Kettlewell for an overnight at the unusually combined Youth Hostel/Post Office.

On Saturday, we started with a steep (but short) climb up and then down towards Arncliffe where we joined the Monks Road towards Malham. We detoured to the old Roman camp and then took one of the less popular routes towards the famous Malham Cove, where we had an extended 'apple stop' watching the (human) walkers & climbers and a soaring Peregrine Falcon. Reluctantly, we descended from the Cove and completed the journey into Malham.

Goredale Scar provided the early entertainment on Sunday. As we scrambled up the side of the flowing waterfall, despite the extended dry spell, there was more water flowing through Gordale scar and over Janet's Foss than we have seen on any of our previous trips to the area. An early coffee-stop at the top of Gordale scar allowed time for the adrenaline levels to return to normal before we resumed our route to, and around Malham Tarn. From the Tarn we followed the Pennine Way to the foot of Pen-y-ghent. Here the group briefly spilt, with the fittest ones staying on the Pennine Way over the summit, while the thirsty ones took a more direct route to Horton-in-Ribblesdale's famous Pen-y-ghent cafe for a refreshing cup (pint !) of tea and a sausage sandwich in anticipation of the long drive home.

With two cars already in Horton, the car-shuffle back to Hawes was quickly completed and a clear journey home meant that all were safely home by midnight.

Many thanks to the leaders for a wonderful weekend.

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Sun 12 Apr

Silent Valley
LNR

Due to an injury to our programmed leader our planned walk in the Black Mountains had to be changed. Instead we repeated the walk from Silent Valley Local Nature Reserve that we first did in October last year - thanks to Jan for standing in as leader at short notice. This was Easter Sunday so we were only a small group and apart from Jan we had all missed this walk last time.

A very enjoyable walk in Spring sunshine.

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Fri 20 Mar
to
Sun 23 Mar

Langollen

We had planned to stay at at the new Llangollen Hostel but unfortunately it was unable to open as planned. The owners of the hostel instead organised a special deal for us at a nearby GreenBank Hotel which gave us great service and an excellent evening meal on the Saturday.

There were two very enjoyable walks with some warm spring sunshine, particularly in the mornings. The weekend finished with tea at the cafe by the canal wharf.

On Saturday our route took us from Glyndyfrdwy up onto Llantysilio Mountain to the summit of Moel Morfydd (550m) and the Iron Age hillfort Moel y Gaer (504m). We then crossed the Clwydian Way onto Maesyrychen Mountain and the summit of Moel y Gamelin (577m). After visiting the disused Berwyn Slate Quarry, we descended to Llantysilio Farm to join the Clwydian Way which took us past Horseshoe Falls and along the Llangollen Canal back to Llangollen.

On Sunday we climbed up to Castell Dinas Bran from Llangollen and then up onto the limestone escarpment of Trevor Rocks and Eglwyseg. Descending to Bryn Goleu we followed a short section of the Offa's Dyke Path under the escarpment before joining the Clwydian Way to bring us back past Valle Crucis Abbey and along the Llangollen Canal back to Llangollen.

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Sun 08 Mar

Mendips

Starting from the car park at Goblin Combe we climbed to the top of the ridge for an early coffee stop in sunshine before the first of the day's heavy showers. Our route took us through Wrington and along part of the Two Rivers Way in the direction of Congresbury. There was a break in the showers as we had lunch near Iwood Manor with a view over the weir. We then headed north through the woodland to return to the cars in time to finish the afternoon at the coffee shop at Cleeve Garden Centre.

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Sun 15 Feb

Pen-y-Fan (the other one) Pond

Starting from Pen-y-Fan Pond this walk took us over Manmoel Mountain, with views down into Cwm in the valley below us.

There was still snow on the ground from last week's cold weather, but the day was dry and clear with a few glimpses of sunshine. A very enjoyable walk in an area that we do not walk often (the last time was probably Feb 1996).

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Sun 11 Jan

Nympsfield

Starting from Coaley Peak, near Nympsfield, we initially walked along the Cotswold Way and visited the Long Barrow on Frocester Hill. We walked through lovely woodland before reaching the open hill with views down over Stonehouse. Since the cold spell of the last few weeks had come to an end the previous night, we then experienced the joys of Cotswold muddy fields before reaching Woodchester Park where we found shelter in the old kennels for our lunch.

After lunch, and some improvised hand-held ice-curling to warm us up again, we completed our traverse of the park, including a detour to inspect the exterior of Woodchester Mansion before heading back towards the cars. The deteriorating weather then discouraged us from the optional 2 mile extension, and we finished our walk dry, if a little muddy.

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---------- Summer/Autumn 2008 ----------

Sun 14 Dec

Leigh Woods Area

Starting from Leigh Woods on a sunny and calm but cold winter morning we walked through Abbotts Leigh to visit the Green Flag winning site at Abbots Pool. From here we followed footpaths (including part of the Gordano Round) over fields; through woodland and alongside streams to bring us to Pill where we enjoyed lunch on a 12 seater bench on Watchman's Hill.

From Pill we followed the River Avon Trail back towards Bristol before the climb back up through the woods to the car park with a diversion to visit the grotto.

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Sun 09 Nov

Brecon Beacons

Remembrance Sunday Walk

In wet and windy weather 10 members of the club walked from Dolygaer through Cwm Callan across the moorland to Cwar yr Ystrad quarry, then a climb to the summit of Cefn yr Ystrad to place poppies at the memorial cairn that marks the 1940 aircraft crash site of Wellington T2520 where the 6 crew members lost their lives. Lest we Forget

The walk continued via the Trig Point and an inscribed stone then alongside Pontsticill Reservoir back to the start point.

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Fri 24 Oct
to
Sun 26 Oct

Boscastle

Coastal walks in Cornwall, based at Boscastle Youth Hostel

The club had not visited Boscastle since before the great flood of August 2004, so with this return visit, we hoped to discover the fate of the whole village, but in particular the Youth Hostel. There were many photographs of the flood and the warden had written an account of that fateful day. To see a photo of a wall of water which had just demolished the building next door to the hostel, pounding through a first floor window made for unforgettable viewing. The fact that there was no loss of life was quite remarkable.

On the Saturday the group of walkers drove to Crackington Haven and set off to walk back to the hostel. The weather was fine, if a little breezy. The coast path at this point is high on the cliffs, but there are many steep ups and downs which made it quite a strenuous walk. The scenery however made up for the effort. The sea was turquoise and because of the stiff breeze, the waves crashed into the base of the cliffs throwing white spray high into the air. Along the way there many highlights including spectacular cliffs of folded rock, natural arches and caves, sightings of seals far below and gulls soaring effortlessly.

Sunday dawned wet and windy but the group set off south from Boscastle towards Tintagel. The coast path here is less strenuous but has the same spectacular cliff scenery. The group visited Lady's Window, which is a natural arch high above the sea. This arch was visited by the group in April 1994. With improving weather, the group enjoyed lunch at the coast before turning inland for the return leg to Boscastle, walking through fields towards St. Nectans's Glen and finally into Boscastle.

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Sun 12 Oct

Silent Valley
LNR

On an unusually warm and sunny day for October, the group left the Silent Valley Local Nature Reserve car park and headed for the ridges of Cefn-yr-Arail and Mynydd Carn-y-Cefn.

The route provided extensive views of the site of the once highly productive Ebbw Vale Steelworks now demolished to make way for a new hospital, combined further education college/university and various other developments. The Brecon Beacons could also be identified in the distance, although the view was slightly marred by the mist.

Having completed the ridge walk and with terrific views across the valley of green terraces that were once slag heaps, the group took a route down through a beautiful wooded area where the majority of trees were touched by varying autumnal shades.

After a well-deserved "apple stop" the walk was completed by meandering back through the lovely nature reserve.

1 to 9

Sun 07 Sept

Devauden

After a week of heavy rain and floods in South Wales the venue for this walk was changed from the Neath Waterfalls to a local walk starting from Devauden. A very enjoyable walk, though with plenty of mud and a stream to cross that our leader said he hadn't seen flowing for nearly two years.

We visited three local churches - Kilgwrrwg Chapel; Wolvesnewton Church (coffeebreak) and Llanviangel Tor y Mynydd Church (lunch). In the afternoon we also saw the Hill Fort in Chepstow Park. Many thanks to Jon for organising this alternative walk at such short notice and for the post walk refreshment.

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Thur 21 Aug
to
Mon 25 Aug

Snowdonia

The club had a successful long weekend away in Snowdonia.

Based in the delightful ‘Luxury Bunkhouse’ at the Eagles in Penmachno, at the south western corner of the national park, we had four lovely walks over the weekend. Given the poor weather of the preceding week, and the fact that our visit co-incided with the ‘Late Summer’ Bank Holiday, this was better than we expected.

On Friday the party split into two groups, with the larger party (sensibly) opting for a visit to the Obelisk on the Nantlle Ridge, while a smaller (more-foolhardy ?) group tackled the Carneddau from Llyn Ogwen.

Nantlle Ridge – from Rhyd Ddu station up to Y Garn, round the ridge, out to the obelisk, back down round the edge of the forest, and back through the woods to the cars.

Carneddau – follow Afon Lloer into the cwm, then up to Pen yr Ole, on to Carnedd Dafydd, thence to Carnedd Llewelyn and Pen yr Helgi Du. Then follow the ridge down cross the A5 and follow the old road until it rejoins the A5.

On Saturday we all ascended Moel Siabod. Starting from a car park on the A5, we had lovely views of the Cyfyng falls on the river before crossing over the bridge to start our ascent up through the old Rhos slate quarry, then to llyn y Foel and the lovely scramble up the ridge to the summit of Carnedd Moel Siabod. Unfortunately some low wispy cloud obscured the views over Snowdon itself, but the lunchtime acrobatic mountain biker display on the trig point at lunchtime was most impressive. Our gentle descent along the main ridge brought us back through pleasant woodland, along the river back to the start point – unfortunately enduring light showers for the last half hour or so.

Sunday’s journey took us to the Northern edge of the park, via the Llanberis pass, for the round of Moel Elio. The day was windy, but when out of the wind and looking across to the sun-dappled Glyders, it gave the impression of a much warmer day. Parking at the end of a metalled road (as clearly shown on the map, but not so obviously metalled on the ground), we took coffee just below the final climb to Moel Elio, and lunch part way around the ridge. The (Snowdon) train-spotters amongst us were able to enjoy an extended apple stop as we watched the trains scampering up and down the track. Pete’s Eats provided a welcome cup of tea and a filling meal, after our day’s walk and a bonus film show was viewed at the Snowdon Mountain Railway terminus.

Having completed our allotted number of 4 high level walks and bearing in mind the low cloud and high wind, we opted for a shorter, low level walk on Monday. Starting from Dolwyddelan we walked south, parallel to Sarn Helen, towards the in-spate Afon Maesgwm waterfall, and then climbed up through the trees (which provided a sheltered coffee stop) to what should have been a lovely view across to Snowdon and Moel Siabod. Sadly the very low cloud restricted the distant views, but still allowed us to see the lovely Lledr valley. Sadly there were no trains while we were at the unexpectedly named Roman Bridge station, although we did see one as we walked on to our lunch stop at Dolwyddelan castle. After lunch, a short stroll brought us back to the cars and a short drive then brought us back into the bustling centre of Betws, for another well deserved Tea shop visit. Fortunately the chocolate cake was as good as it looked and it sustained us through the totally unnecessary delays on the A5 caused by a single set of badly-timed traffic lights.

Fri
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Sat
1 to 15

 

Sun
1 to 9

 

Mon
1 to 4

Sun 03 Aug

South Cotswolds

Starting from the small village of Cold Ashton this was a relatively gentle walk through the lovely valleys just north of Bath. Having started with a long down hill stretch into St Catherine's Valley the steepest climb of the day brought us up on to Charmy Down Airfield for lunch. Having admired the display of wildflowers on the old runway we descended to Monkwood Reservoir before climbing back towards the Manor House and the village. The weather was ideal for walking with only a few spots of rain and a cool breeze, though it was a bit wet underfoot in places.

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Sun 06 July

Gower

The heavy rain that stopped the BBQ was still falling when we met in Chepstow, and it was still coming down when we returned. BUT on the Gower we had a wonderful walk with lots of sunshine and not a drop of rain. Starting from Oxwich Bay our morning walk inland brought us to the beach within sight of Port Eynon for lunch in the sun with rocks giving shelter from the breeze. After a coastal walk back to Oxwich were able to enjoy ice-cream sitting on the sand.

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Sat 05 July

St Briavels

The annual CHWC walk and BBQ - or at least it would have been if the rain hadn't been so heavy!
Instead a very enjoyable indoor social evening.

None


---------- Winter/Spring 2008 ----------

Sun 15 June

Camarthen Fan

A slight variation on another old favourite.

The limited numbers meant that the select few that were on this walk were able to detour slightly from the 'normal' route and spend a little time searching for aircraft wrecks and Stone Circles - as well as enjoying some slightly (!) extended refreshment breaks. We completed the circuit of LLyn y Fan Fach, returning via the trig point on Fan Brycheiniog.

The only consequence of our leisurely day (and an extended apple-stop, relaxing to the gently rippling wave blowing across Llyn y Fan Fawr) was the slightly late return to the cars just before 6.

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Fri 6 Jun
to
Sun 8 Jun

Derbyshire

A return visit to the Peak District, staying at Bretton Youth Hostel, last visited in September 2005.

A large group enjoyed the similar walks to our previous visit, but in considerably improved weather. The two walks, from Ladybower Reservoir and Baslow respectively provided plenty of opportunity for (optional) scrambling on the rocks, grazing of knees and elbows, and sun-burning of arms and legs.

The Bakewell pudding, served in the Barrel Inn, had to be sampled to be believed - a request has already been made for another return in the not-too-distant future.

A wonderful weekend, enjoyed by all who were able to join us.

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Sun 25 May

Cotswolds

The forecast was for heavy rain for most of the day - we got heavy rain for most of the day!

Despite the forecast 11 walkers braved the weather and the Cotswold mud and enjoyed a walk linking the picturesque Cotswold villages of Upper & Lower Slaughter and Naunton. Between the villages the weather did lift enough to see some views across the hills. Lunch was had sheltering at the Naunton Dovecote and the Old Mill Tea Rooms provided some very welcome refreshment at the end of the walk.

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Thur 17 Apr
to
Mon 21 Apr

Lake District

The backpacking trip to the Lake District was extremely popular, with 21 people walking between the chosen hostels. Because of the numbers, we offered a choice of routes on each day:

Friday: Grasmere (Thorney How) to Elterwater: Both parties climbed up Sour Milk Gill to Easedale Tarn and on towards Sargeant Man where the routes split. The more adventurous party climbed went on to High Raise (with its lonely trig point), and then returned to the Langdale Pikes via Thunacar Knott. Lunch was taken near the top of Harrison Stickle. After a brief ascent of Pike of Stickle, the group descended into Langdale Valley and thence into Elterwater. Meanwhile, the main party had visited Stickle Tarn and Old Dungeon Ghyll. A small band ventured out to visit the Britannia pub in the evening.

Saturday: Elterwater to Coniston Coppermines - the whole group went over Slater's Bridge, and then the routes diverged - one party took the direct ascent of Wetherlam, and straight down to the hostel, while the other group slowly climbed Wet Side Edge to Swirl How, and thence to Wetherlam via Prison Bands. The early arrivals had time to visit the Coniston Brewery pub, while the late finishers sampled a range of bottled beers.

Sunday: Coniston Coppermines to Coniston Holly How: The longer walk involved a direct ascent of the Old Man, and then a descent via Goat Water, on towards Coniston Water, and a walk along the lakeside. The shorter walk climbed up past Lever's water, Prison Bands, Swirl How and along the entire ridge to the Old Man. The group then climbed Dow Crag, to look down on Goat Water and Blind tarn, before descending along the Walna Scar Road back into Coniston village where tea and cakes were available on one side of the road, and Broken Legs and Old Man ale available in the Bull. Naturally (with donations to the local Mountain Rescue team) we all had a Broken Leg Ale.

Monday: Coniston to Grasmere: Those wanting an early finish took the scenic low-level route via Tarn Hows, Skelwith Bridge and Loughrigg, while the remainder found a route over Yew Pike, Furness Fells, Tilberthwaite Gill, Dry Cove Bottom, back over Slater Bridge, around Elterwater, and over Brigstone Moss.

A thoroughly enjoyable weekend was had by all.

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Sun 13 Apr

Black Mountains

The mountain forecast predicted snow, hail, strong winds and thunder. Nevertheless the group set off from a car park at the foot of the Cats Back to cross the Olchon Valley and climb up onto the Hatterrall Ridge. We then walked along the Offa's Dyke path to Hay Bluff where a single handglider entertained us over lunch. We enjoyed brief sunny spells at the coffee and lunch breaks and fine views of the hail showers as they approached. As we walked back along the Cats Back the showers became somewhat continuous but hail bounces off and we returned to the cars relatively dry.

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Fri 14 Mar
to
Sun 16 Mar

Mid Wales

Staying in Llys Ednowain Hostel at Trawsfynydd this was another great weekend away. 21 of us walked the Northern Rhinog ridge on the Saturday in increasingly wet conditions as the morning showers became steady afternoon rain. We visited Foel Penolau & Moel Ysgyfarnogod before decending descending down Bwlch Gwylim. The afternoon rugby result led to there being a fantastic and very Welsh atmosphere in the pub in the evening.

On Sunday the rain stopped while we were eating breakfast and we enjoyed the sunshine as we walked from Graigddu-Isaf to Llyn Du & Rhinog Fawr before descending to Bwlch Drws Ardudwy. There was a cold wind but we managed to find sheltered spots for our breaks on a most enjoyable walk.

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Sun 09 Mar

Malverns

On a sunny day with a cold wind the group set out from Hollybush at the South of the Malvern Hills to walk via Berrow Down to Little Malvern, where they admired the topiary and formal gardens at The Court then visited the remains of the Priory. A short piece of road walking brought them to the church where Elgar and his family are buried.

The route then climbed through woods to Black Hill with a lovely view of Worcester Beacon and the northern ridge. The group then climbed to the extensive hill fort on British Camp where they were able to find shelter from the cold wind in the ramparts and enjoyed their lunch and the 180 degree view. Afterward the route followed the ridge over Hangmans Hill, through Gullet Wood to the prominent Obelisk in Eastnor Deer Park, then over Midsummer Hill back to the start point.

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Sun 10 Feb

Brecon Beacons

Starting from Llangynidir Village Hall on a sunny frosty morning this was a fantastic walk. As the day went on the sunshine made it feel like summer; there were some magnificent views over the hills. Looking at the vapour trails overhead we wondered why anyone would want to travel abroad when there is such scenery and wonderful weather at home.

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Sun 13 Jan

Black Mountains

Undaunted by the less-than-inspiring weather forecast, and by the after-effects of the social evening the night before, we set off from the phone box at Pontyspig. While the main party headed off along the ridge, a small group of rebels checked out the hill fort on Gaer. We were all reunited by the time coffee was taken in the lee of a convenient wall, listening to the wind roaring through the bare branches of a solitary oak tree. We continued our route to the giant cairn on Garn-Wen and on to the picturesquely named "Pile of Stones". A left turn, followed by another brought us down into the sheltered confines of a wooded copse, and the well-hidden traces of the former nature trail which in turn provided a sheltered spot for lunch.

After lunch and some ascending forestry tracks, we detoured into the lovely little church at Partishow, and then crossed a couple of soggy and muddy fields to return to the cars, with some light rain for about the last 15 minutes - enough to dampen the waterproofs, without giving them the opportunity to prove their worth.

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---------- Summer/Autumn 2007 ----------

Sun 09 Dec

Nowhere

Cancelled due to severe weather warning - this is only the second time we have cancellled a walk, we won't make a habit of it!

None

Sun 11 Nov

Carreg Goch,
Black Mountain

A Remembrance Sunday walk to a wartime aircraft wreck on Carreg Goch in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Starting from the car park at Craig-y-nos the rain showers cleared as we climbed out of the valley. We observed 2 minutes silence at 11am just before a coffee stop amongst some rocks that gave shelter from the cold wind. We then continued our climb to the crash site of Wellington MF509 which crashed here on 20 Nov 1944. This was our first visit to this site since November 2002. On the way we passed a red sandstone 'erratic' that had been left amongst the limestone by a glacier.

In the afternoon we 'bagged' a trig point on Cribarth before returning to the cars for the drive home.

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Fri 19 Oct
to
Sun 21 Oct

Pembrokeshire

Coastal walks based at Newport Youth Hostel.

On Saturday we drove to the campsite at Poppit Sands and walked back along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to the hostel. It was a lovely clear and bright day, warming up as the day went on. We enjoyed stopping to see some seals below us on a couple of occasions and watched a peregrine perched on the cliffs whilst we ate our lunch. The car drivers retuned to collect the cars before joining the group just in time for our meal at the Golden Lion. The food was excellent and some members of the group stayed on to enjoy live music and dancing into the early hours.

On Sunday we walked from the hostel up onto the hills overlooking the bay and our previous day's walk. We walked over Mynydd Carningli (Rock of Angels), Mynydd Caregog and Mynydd Dinas before returning to the hostel via the coastal path. The weather was again kind to us, although it was noticeably warmer on the coastal path !

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Sun 07 Oct

Cotswolds

On a fine autumn day, 11 walkers left the car park at Chedworth Roman Villa on a walk through the Cotswold countryside.

Leaving Chedworth Wood behind, Chedworth village could be seen on the opposite side of the valley. Following the River Coln brought the walkers out to the very busy main road, The Fosse Way. Walking on the Monarch’s Way and passing through farmland, hidden valleys and woodland brought them out at the very pretty village of Hampnett. Joining the Macmillan Way, the walkers passed through more picture-perfect villages finally reaching Chedworth Wood and the Villa once more.

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Thur 13 Sept
to
Mon 17 Sept

Yorkshire Dales

A long weekend with 14 members staying at Hawes YH in beautiful Wensleydale.

The first day’s walk started in Swaledale in the village of Muker after a short drive over the high moorland. Swaledale is quintessential Yorkshire with its stone walls and barns. After a walk down the dale, we struck up over the wild moors with much evidence of old lead mines and workings. We then dropped down into Keld, a crossroads of the Coast to Coast Walk and The Penine Way. Following the Penine Way for a short way, we walked back into Muker.

The second day’s walk was a linear one over Wild Boar Fell. Starting near Garsdale Head we crossed the Settle to Carlisle railway line to ascend the slopes of Swarth Fell and Swarth Fell Pike, before reaching the high point of the day, Wild Boar Fell. On the summit there is a curious collection of stone cairns, some six feet tall. Unfortunately, the mist descended whilst we were on the summit but after lunch and as we descended, the sky cleared and sun came out. We could see extensive views over the Lake District, The Howgill Fells and the Penines. We descended to Uther Pendragon’s Castle and the end of the walk.

Sunday dawned wet and with high winds, so the decision was made to walk from Clapham to see the Norber Erratics, a large area of huge sandstone boulders which had been left by glaciers in the last Ice Age on the limestone rocks of the area. The wet and windy weather had been left behind so we enjoyed a walk at low level under Ingleborough through ancient green lanes and stunning limestone pavements. Unfortunately, the rain caught up with us and it was a very wet end to the walk.

The last day’s walk was another linear over The Calf, the highest point of the Howgills. At the start of the walk Cautley Spout looms at the head of the valley. The Spout is one of the highest waterfalls in England, but does not fall in a single span. The walk took us up by the side of the Spout and by the streams that feed it. A short pull up took us to The Calf where views over the Lake District, The Pennines running into Scotland and even Blackpool Tower were enjoyed. After lunch a high level ridge walk took us over a few of the many summits in the Howgills before descending into Sedbergh.

1 to 12

Sun 09 Sept

Neath Waterfalls

These waterfalls have have made regular appearances in the club's walk programme from the early days. Despite the longer than normal drive from Chepstow there is always a good turn out for what is always a very enjoyable walk. As you can see from the photographs this Sunday was no exception.

1 to 7

Sun 12 Aug

Blackdown Hills

The original plan was a circular walk starting from the Wellington Monument, however the reconnoitre the previous day encountered a number of obstacles to the proposed route. So, after assembling at the National Trust car park, we began the day with a brief detour to look at the obelisk (which is currently closed to the public) and then drove off to the start of the main walk.

From the (free) car park in Milverton, we headed off in a Westerly direction before leaving the roads to follow a lane towards our coffee-stop near Lower Lovelynch. The rest gave us some time to hack away at the nettles and brambles around a gate, the first of many such minor delays. Unfortunately, a number of stiles were so overgrown that we were forced to find alternative routes out of fields onto the roads !

From Bindon Farm, we headed towards Langford Budville, with its attractive church, where lunch was taken. After lunch, we followed the West Deane Way through Runnington and along the course of the former Grand Western Canal, through Tone, before crossing the river Tone on an impressive bridge - apparently in the middle of nowhere, but almost certainly related to the impressive Nynehead Court. More fields - including one of fully-grown corn, and a quick look through a fence to view a small aircraft neatly parked at the end of a grass strip left across another harvest field - and a late apple-stop, followed by another overgrown path brought us back into Milverton.

Unfortunately, the slightly late end to the walk, combined with the forced relocation of the walk (such that it was entirely in Somerset), combined to result in the absence of a Devon Cream Tea at the end of the walk :-(

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Sun 08 July

Wye Valley

Following the twists and turns of the Wye Valley from Chepstow Leisure Centre we had some magnificent views of the river. Much of the morning's walk followed the paths laid out in the Piercfield estate by Valentine Morris in the 1700s. A short diversion allowed us to look at the ruins of Piercefield House. A heavy shower just before we climbed the steps to Wyndcliff and Eagle's Nest was the only wet spell on an otherwise dry day. Having visited two trees planted in memory of past members of the club, we returned through fields and a range of different stiles.

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Sat 07 July

Avon Valley

The annual CHWC walk and BBQ.

A short walk including Bristol's best wildlife site at Troopers Hill Local Nature Reserve which looked magnificent with the heather in full bloom. We then walked down to the River Avon and followed the river through Conham before climbing the deer path to Dundrige Park. An evening BBQ included watching several hot-air balloons passing overhead.

1


---------- Winter/Spring 2007 ----------

Fri 15 Jun
to
Sun 17 Jun

Dartmoor

A celebration of the club's first 30 years.

We booked the Dartmoor Expedition Centre near Widecombe for the weekend which also coincided with the 50th birthday of one of our regular walkers.

Saturday brought ideal walking weather as we set off from the centre with the birthday girl wearing a cake on her head. The walk included a wide range of scenery including some 'gerts' that were the remains of tin mining. Lunchtime excitement was the removal of a tick from the leg of one of our party - something you should always be on the look out for in this type of country.

Saturday night celebration included a wonderful meal with contributions from many of the party and three cakes. Some of the photos of the evening may appear at the our New Year Party, but not on the web!

The threatened heavy showers again stayed away on the Sunday for a walk that included Haytor Rocks, Smallacombe Rocks (coffee), Greator Rocks, Bonehill Rocks (lunch), Top Tor, Pil Tor, Tunhill Rocks, Rippon Tor & Saddle Tor. We also walked along part of the Templar Way on an old granite tramway. At lunchtime we saw a practice session for a bike trials championship with some very skilled riders on mountain bikes without saddles.

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Sun 10 June

Brecon Beacons

Starting from the Storey Arms car park in sunshine, we headed off in a westerly direction. Gradually climbing and bearing round to the north, under the shade of a lonely cloud, we soon arrived at the top of the cliffs of Craig Cerrig-gleisiad.

After coffee and a discussion about the location of the Blackdown Hills, we continued our journey to the summit trig point of Fan Frynych, and then descended into the lovely hidden valley of Nant Cwm-du. Here another short rest gave time for a search for Peregrine Falcons, sadly unrewarded, before we reached the surprisingly bendy Roman road.

Our lunch hour (!) unfortunately allowed the storm clouds to gather, and we experienced a short, sharp, shower - which eased off again as we started our climb up the nose of Fan Frynych. We soon turned off the track to head south and eventually reach the main road by some picnic tables - what better place could there be for an apple stop? We then dashed across the road in the gap between the motor-cycles and descended into the valley opposite to reach the Taff Trail which brought us back to the cars.

1 to 10

Sun 06 May

Cotswolds

Starting from the picturesque Cotswold village of Snowshill, we followed a 20km walk through beautiful, and interestingly named, countryside: Shippy Plantation, Beechy Bank, Pig Trough, Jackdaw's Castle and Cutsdean with its pretty little church. After weeks of dry weather the notorious Cotswold mud was absent, which meant that we arrived back at the cars without the need for a major boot-cleaning exercise!

1 to 6

Fri 20 Apr
to
Tue 24 Apr

Peak District

A four day backpacking trip through the heart of the White Peak area of the Peak District.

Staying at four luxurious hostels, we left the National Trust luxury of Ilam hall and followed the Dove Valley and Tissington Trail to reach Long Dale and Gratton Dale, before following the river Bradford into Youlgreave.

Our accommodation in Youlgreave was the recently refurbished former Co-operative store, where we occupied "Ladies Underwear" and "Haberdashery" (whatever that is!). Our evening meal was generally agreed to be the best (and largest !) of the trip. Our route from Youlgreave to Ravenstor followed sections of the River Lathkill and then followed the River Wye (the other one !) through Monsal Dale, the Monsal trail and then through Miller's Dale to reach the isolated Ravenstor Youth Hostel from Belamy's ridge.

After a night with the hostel to ourselves, we crossed back over the Wye and climbed up through Priestcliffe Lees to reach the weekend's high point at Sough Top, where some convenient walls around a reservoir provided some welcome coffee-time shelter from the wind. After a few more stiles, we reached the Midshires Way cycle trail and thence the High Peak Trail, where a convenient bridge provided lunch-time shelter from the persistent, if light, rain. In the afternoon, some more stiles were negotiated en-route to Hartington where we had time to investigate the local stores (but sadly not the pub). After a refreshing break for "window-shopping" we climbed the hill to Hartington Hall, our destination for the night. The flagship hostel delivered all that was expected and the Hartington Ale (from a local brewer, unfortunately not brewed on the premises !) went down well - as did the red wine.

From Hartington, we followed the river Dove down through Wolfscote Dale, where the first coffee-stop of the day was taken. At Milldale, the group took advantage of the shop and various ice-creams, pasties, pies, teas and coffees were purchased. A further twenty minutes later, halfway down Dove Dale, the official lunch stop was taken opposite Ilam Rock. Fully refreshed after lunch, the group traversed the base of Ilam rock and then began an interesting climb up to the top of the valley, providing lovely views over Tissington Spires. A short while later, we sighted the Ilam Hall Country Park, and car park, and then completed the 45 mile circuit - before "popping into the National Trust tea-rooms" in advance of our return journeys....

1 to 18

Sun 15 Apr

Black Mountains

A repeat of a classic walk in the Black Mountains. Starting from Llanthony Priory, we climbed up on to the Hatterall Ridge to follow the Offa's Dyke path in lovely sunshine. We then descended into the valley passing the Capel-y-ffin churches.

After lunch in continuing warm sunshine, we completed the climb to our second trig point of the day on Bal Mawr, and then descended back to the cars just as the heavens opened with a heavy thunderstorm.

1 to 6

Fri 23 Mar
to
Sun 25 Mar

Mid Wales

Staying at Corris Hostel this was a really memorable weekend with fantastic walks on Cader Idris and Tarren Hendre for a record 25 walkers. The weekend started with an evening meal in the Slaters Arms in Corris, which must surely be one of the friendliest pubs in Britain and was able to provide us all with an evening meal at very short notice; the beer was good too.

Saturday's ascent of Cader was made under brilliant blue skies to give us magnificent views of the mountain and across Wales. Sunday had a cold wind but also plenty of sunshine. Starting from Dolgoch Falls we climbed over Tarren Hendre and then down through the woods and remains of slate quarries to catch the 3pm train from Nant Gwernol on the Talyllyn Railway back to our start point travelling in our reserved carriage. A half hour stop at Abergynolwyn allowed us to have a very welcome cup of tea.

1 to 20

Sun 11 Mar

Gower

Some glorious spring sunshine as we explored the area around Three Cliff Bay. We visited Pennard Castle, Parc le Breos Burial Chamber and the site of the first Babtist Church in Wales. A good mixture of coastal walking and wonderful wooded valleys inland. All this, great company and a cream tea to finish the day - what better way is there to spend a Sunday?

1 to 7

Sun 11 Feb

Mendips

Starting from the same car park at Axbridge that we used last April we headed first onto the Somerset Levels and alongside Cheddar Yeo before climbing up to Crooks Peak. We then walked across Wavering Down and through Kings Wood. A loop over Shute Shelve Hill brought us through the edge of Sidcot and on to the Strawberry Line. We followed this through the tunnel that we had walked over in Kings Wood to return to the cars.
A great day, dry apart from an early shower and although there was a cold wind on the top of the hills the afternoon sunshine was quite warm.

1 to 7

Sun 07 Jan

Wye Valley

A small group braved the weather for a local walk in the Wye Valley/Forest of Dean.

Starting from the delightful Alms Houses opposite "the Cathedral of the Forest" in Newland, we slithered across some rain-soaked fields to join the Offa's Dyke Path, which brought us to the Naval Temple and Round House on the Kymin - where we sheltered for coffee. Next we descended through woodland to pass the Near Harkening Rocks and Suck Stone before climbing back to Staunton and returning to Newlands.

1 to 6


---------- Summer/Autumn 2006 ----------

Sun 17 Dec

North
of Bath

Great weather, cold but sunshine and blue skies most of the way. Starting from Bathampton, we walked up St Catherine's valley; past St Catherine's Court and then Monkswood Reservoir and then over Charmy Down Airfield before climbing up on Solsbury Hill where as it was just starting to get dark we could see the city lights.

1 to 6

Sun 12 Nov

Black Mountains

For our Remembrance Sunday walk we again visited the site of a Second World War aircraft crash.

This year it was the site where Flying Fortress 42-5903 (Ascend Charlie) struck a ridge close to Pen Twyn Mawr in the Black Mountains. Our eleven walkers reached the site at 11.00am and observed 2 minutes silence after placing our poppies on the memorial.

On a windy and sometimes wet Sunday we then continued our walk over the wonderful open country, finding shelter behind some trees for lunch. There was some sunshine in the afternoon as we returned to our cars through a very picturesque valley.

1 to 6

Fri 27 Oct
to
Sun 29 Oct

Dorset Coast

19 walkers had a very enjoyable weekend, based at Lulworth Cove Youth Hostel.

It was very mild for the time of year, and stayed dry for both days. On Saturday we walked from the hostel and visited Durdle Door as well as Lulworth Cove, both part of the Dorset Coast World Heritage Site. The steepest climb of the day came at the end with a 120m flight of steps on the range walks east of Lulworth. The excellent hostel meal and a few glasses of wine were very welcome in the evening.

On Sunday we drove to Abbotsbury to walk inland to Hardy's Monument and then to St Catherine's Chapel before exploring Chesil Bank. The highlight was the excellent cream tea at The Old School House Tea Garden.

1 to 10

Sun 22 Oct

Mendips

Heavy rain all day was the forecast, it wasn't quite right, there were times when it was hardly raining at all. 11 hardy souls set off from Burrington Combe for a cicular walk through mixed Mendip scenery including Velvet Bottom Nature Reserve.

The cream tea in the warmth of the Burrington at the end of the walk was very welcome.

1 to 5

Sun 24 Sept

Black Mountains

A slight change to the usual routes in the Black Mountains. The route took in Mynydd Troed, Mynydd Langorse and Pen Tir, giving lovely views over Llangorse Lake. Due to time constraints, and other inexplicable reasons, the leaders of the route carried out the reconnoitre of the route on the Saturday, and spent the night in a small tent near to the trig point on Mynydd Troed. The night was enlivened by a heavy downpour, accompanied by thunder, lightening and strong winds. The morning views as the intrepid leaders returned to their car to drive to the official start point were beautiful.

1 to 10

Thur 14 Sept
to
Mon 18 Sept

Lake District

An adventurous 4 day program based at Wastwater YH, Wasdale.

Friday - Gloroious weather as we climbed up Scafell Pike using a slight variant of the Piers Gill route. This brought us out on to the Corridor route and gave excellent views back over Great Gable. From Scafell Pike, we went across to Scafell, up the notorious Lord’s Rake, and then down a very steep descent back to Wasdale Head.

Saturday - Parking (again) at Wasdale Head, we followed the tourist trail up to Sty Head pass, where the party split, half going directly up to Great Gable, while those whose knees had recovered followed the climbers traverse, and after a diversion to Napes Needle, and the Dress Circle, we climbed up Little Hell Gate to the summit of Gable. At this point the mist descended, and map and compass were used to locate the path to Beck head pass (where the mist briefly lifted to reveal the route up to Kirk Fell). The mist returned, and we descended back to Wasdale Head….

Sunday - True Lakeland weather returned, cooler, windy, wet and misty. Undeterred, we returned to Wasdale Head, and climbed to Black Sail Pass, where the part split into three. One Group tackled Kirk Fell in the mist, the sensible group bypassed Kirk Fell towards Beck Head and back down the previous ascent. The adventurous ones continued with the programmed walk, and climbed Pillar via Robinson’s Cairn. Views were somewhat restricted, and the new waterproof maps proved their value (as did some excellent navigation in really nasty conditions). Yewbarrow was bypassed.

Monday - Departing Wasdale, we drove to Ravenglass and, leaving the cars at the station, we went up and over Muncaster Fell, returning by miniature train.

1 to 16

Sun 20 Aug

Brecon Beacons

The walk covered the Beacons circuit taking in Fan y Big, Cribyn, Pen y Fan, Corn Du and the Craig Fan Ddu ridge taking us back to Lower Neuadd Reservoir and then to the cars.

There were 9 people on the 12 mile walk and we started in reasonable weather. However conditions deteriorated rapidly and we were forced to eat lunch just below the summit of Pen y Fan crouched in the rocks to avoid the wind and rain! The weather improved steadily and we were able to enjoy our apple stop on the banks of the reservoir. The sun finally appeared on the last mile along an attractive bridleway back to the cars. Unfortunately no photographs were taken, but the walk was enjoyed by all the participants.

None.

Sun 09 July

Cotswolds

Setting off from the Roman Villa at Great Witcombe, we had a lovely cool and sheltered day in the Cotswold woodlands around Cranham. Our route took us through Cranham and Sheepscombe, before climbing up to Painswick Hill and back through Popes Wood. After the walk, we were able to get home in time for the World Cup Final (and, the highlights of the final day of Wimbledon). Perfect !

1 to 10

Sat 08 July

Nr Chepstow

The annual CHWC walk and BBQ.

None


---------- Winter/Spring 2006 ----------

Fri 23 Jun
to
Sun 25 Jun

South Downs

A weekend of glorious summer weather based at Alfriston Youth Hostel.

A short walk on the Friday (for those who's work committments or car problems allowed them to get there early enough) was followed by a self catering meal in the hostel.

Saturday was wall to wall sunshine for a walk from the hostel. This was then followed by a coastal walk on a warm but hazy Sunday, including the Seven Sisters.

Another really enjoyable weekend, suberb views and lots of wild life in a part of the country that many of us had not visited before.

1 to 9

Sun 11 June

Thames and Severn Canal

On a very hot and sunny Sunday six walkers explored the Thames and Severn Canal and visited the (dry) source of the Thames. This was a route that we last did in February 1998.

A good day for wildlife - orchids in the wood, butterflies and a grass snake.

1 to 5

Sun 21 May

Not Carmarthen Fan

Due to the very wet weather this walk became a visit to Dan-yr-Ogof caves.

None

Thur 20 Apr
to
Mon 24 Apr

Snowdon

A backpacking trip, staying at a different hostel each night.
Great weather, great walking, in fact it was great there!

1 to 8

Sun 09 Apr

Somerset

A wonderful Spring walk starting on the Strawberry Line from Axbridge and then climbing to get views across the channel to Cardiff. Coffee at Winscombe station led to discussions about the Battle of Sedgemoor which is mentioned on the timeline on the platform edge. Our apple break was taken in Spring sunshine overlooking the sailing boats on the reservoir.

1 to 3

Fri 24 Mar
to
Sun 26 Mar

Mid Wales


Another great weekend with 19 walkers staying in a self catering Bunkhouse, for walks in the Elan Valley area.

The weekend started the Friday with a visit to Gigrin Farm to watch the Red Kite feeding. This was amazing to see and is not to be missed if you are in the area. In the evening we had a meal at the Elan Hotel (menu).

Saturday started with sunshine as we walked from Carreg Ddu Reservoir and although there was some drizzle later, the day was much better than forecast, giving us some great views from the moorland above. The evening meal was self catering with contributions from several different people combining with a few bottles of wine to make a really enjoyable evening.

Sunday's early brightness gave way to mist, drizzle and then heavier rain in the afternoon. We climbed to the large stone cairns on Drygarn Fawr, the highest point on the Elenydd, which we had last visited in March 2004 from Dolgoch Youth Hostel. The afternoon rain meant that getting our feet wet crossing a stream near the end of the walk didn't seem to matter and the tea at the Elan Visitor Centre was all the more welcome.

1 to 8

Sun 05 Mar

Black Mountains

A lovely walk in "White" Mountains
Starting from Capel y Ffin, a steep climb through the snow brought us to the Blacksmith's Anvil. After a sheltered coffee stop below the ridge, with lovely views across the Grwyne Fawr Reservoir to Waun Fach, we continued on to the unnamed trig point where we had superb views of the snow clad Brecon Beacons glistening in the sunshine.
We sheltered for lunch before the climb to Lord Hereford's Knob in bitterly cold wind. Walking back along the ridge, the wind dropped and we had a brief apple stop overlooking the valley before descending to the cars.

Snowy scenes
1 to 8

Sun 12 Feb

Quantocks

A cloudy but dry and mild day to explore the Quantock Hills. Starting from a very busy car park in Holford we did a circular route with views over the Bristol channel to the north, Exmoor to the west and south towards Wellington, where the monument could just be seen on the skyline.

1 to 3

Sun 08 Jan

Bryn Arw and Sugarloaf

It is always disappointing when you reach the top only to find that thick mist obscures all the views. This happened twice today, depite promises from one of our leaders that it would be bright and sunny when we got there.
There was a dusting of snow on Bryn Arw and a light covering on Sugarloaf, which together with a very cold and strong wind meant that it was not the place to stop for lunch. Instead we returned through light falling snow and then drizzle to have a late lunch in the cars. It was still though a very enjoyable walk, many thanks to our leader(s).

1 to 8

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