Our DECEMBER walk takes us to the Cotswolds, home of pretty countryside, open views
and ancient beech woods. This walk is now full, but if you are not booked on and
would like to join us, you may strike lucky if you are on the reserve list.
For our NOVEMBER walk we were bathed in glorious sunshine, so the fabulous views
we were promised did not disappoint. It was a beautiful and varied walk, climbing
out of lush valleys, over hills, through woodland and pine forests and down at last
to the pub at Marton. With the sun dropping below the horizon, the comfy sofas
and wood burning stove were a welcome end to a truly great day.
Our OCTOBER walk took us to the beautiful Dane Valley in Derbyshire. We were promised
lovely and varied scenery and interesting buildings, and were not disappointed. We
had spectacular views and wall to wall sunshine. And if that weren’t enough, we
not only had time for a drink in a pub at the end of the walk, but also had a stop
at a small brewery along the way.
On our SEPTEMBER walk both groups reached the top of Cadair Berwyn. Unfortunately,
low cloud reduced visibility on the top but the A group had the best of it with a
superb walk up the Llyn Valley, passing on the way the waterfall Pistyl Rhaedr which
was in fine form.
Our AUGUST walk took us to the Clwydian Hills, a beautiful and overlooked range of
hills in North East Wales, full of ancient earthworks, blooming heather, gorse and
stunning views. The weather matched the forecast and we had rain towards the end
of the day but it didn't spoil our walk.
What a fabulous walk we had in JULY. The sun shone brightly and we were walking
in a new area for the club. For the first time we travelled to the eastern side
of the country, to Rutland Water. The hills may not have been so grand, but they
were certainly exceedingly pretty. The countryside was gently undulating, so cumulatively
we had quite a good climb. We crossed rolling farmland and walked through stone
villages before lunching on a hillside overlooking Rutland Water in the middle distance.
The grand finale was a walk along the lakeside, with sailing boats skimming across
the bright water. There was even time to stop off for an ice cream.
Our JUNE walk lived up to expectations, with stunning views of distant hills, and
lush valleys divided into a network of small fields. Despite a poor weather forecast,
the sun shone on us for much of the day, and our waterproofs remained in our rucksacks.
Quite an achievement given all the rain we've been having!
In FEBRUARY we are off to beautiful Wiltshire and the Kennet Valley. What it lacks
in terms of steep hills, is amply made up for with stunning views and abundant archaeological
interest. It promises to be a grand day out.
For our JANUARY walk we expected heavy rain, but we were surprised by deep snow.
This was both challenging and tiring, but we hadn't had a snow walk for a long time.
The landscape looked beautiful, though, and we were grateful for the warm welcome
we received at the Lowfield Inn, which gave us an exellent Annual Dinner.
Our DECEMBER walk took us to the aptly names Christmas Common in the Chilterns. This
is a stunning area of rolling hills, beech woods and heath land. Red Kites were
spotted flying around and there was still the odd patch of snow on the shady borders
NOVEMBER's walk involved some pretty tough climbs, despite it being in the Cotswolds.
The hills may not be very high, but they are steep sided. Blue skies and sunshine
set off the remaining Autumn leaves, which were a glorious russet colour. Most of
the oaks and beeches were still in full leaf and there were still some flowers to
OCTOBER saw us climbing the steep slopes of Blorenge. The views were spectacular
and the autumn colours were just starting to show. The walk was a beautiful mix
of moorland, woodland and pasture, providing a wide variety of conditions underfoot.
Another great day out.
SEPTEMBER'S walk took us through beautiful and varied countryside along Offa's Dyke
path south of Knighton. We had a lot of ascents that were both steep and lengthy,
and by the end we all felt we had had a really good day out. Don't forget we are
now booking for the last quarter of 2017, so hurry up before all the seats go!
JULY's walk gave us stunning countryside along a section of the Offa's Dyke Path
between Welshpool and Churchstoke. Beautiful views, wild flowers and butterflies
were with us all day, and the lovely warm weather made for the perfect day out.
In MAY we returned to the Peak District, this time visiting the lonely high moorlands
and gritstone edges. Some were lucky and heard a Cuckoo, and most of us heard Curlieus.
There was lots of good walking too!
For APRIL we went to the Peak District. It was a glorious sunny day, with spectactular
clear views and lots of spring flowers. Plenty of wildlife to be seen, too, including
a Peregrin Falcon, Curliew, Merlin, Sand Martins, and many more, as well as a lizzard.
A fabulous day out!
In MARCH we had a trip to the Welsh borders to walk partly on the Offa's Dyke Path
and partly on the Shropshire Way. We had some very stiff climbs and walked through
stunning scenery. It was a very varied day, with rolling hills, steep valleys, woodland
and farms. Spring flowers and spring lambs completed the picture. To top it off
there were a variery of pubs and cafes in Bishop's Castle at the end to slake ouir
For FEBRUARY we went to the beautiful Wye Valley. But the walk was far from flat.
We had a lot of steep climbs to get our hearts and lungs working and were treated
to some fabulous views, as well as carpets of snowdrops. Plenty of choice of pubs
or coffee shops in Monmouth at the end too!
Our JANUARY 2017 walk took us to Shropshire, and the steep ascent of Caer Caradoc.
The views from the top were worth the effort, although the day was a misty one,
as it lent the scenery an ethereal quality. We also walked through pretty woods
and over pastures, where the giant winter skeletons of trees loomed out of the mist.
There were some very stately specimens showing off their shapes without their covering
of leaves. The day ended with a sumptuous carvery as we got together for our annual
dinner. With lots of fresh air, exercise and a stomach full of good food, there
weren't many eyes open on the journey home.
The DECEMBER walk was closer to home because of the shorter day length. The hills
weren't as high, but nevertheless we had plenty of ups and downs to stretch our legs.
The views were stunning, and the weather mild. Plenty of mud, but on the plus side
it gave us more of a workout!
Our OCTOBER walk started in pouring rain, but it soon cleared to give us a beautiful,
sunny afternoon. We had stunning views as we walked along the edge of the Manifold
Valley, along Hall Dale and Dovedale. This really is a very pretty area.
AUGUST brought a light wind, but thankfully it stayed largely dry, after such a
wet few days. The heather and gorse turned the hillsides gold and purple, and there
was the scent of warm honey on the air. A very pretty walk, with some fairly strenuous
ups, and some even trickier downs, but stunning views all day. Those of us who opted
for the delightful station cafe in Carrog at the end of the walk were rewarded with
a visit from the local steam train on its way to Llangollen. Another great day
Summer finally arrived just in time for our JULY walk. We had a lovely day out in
Derbyshire, walking from Castleton to Hayfield, via Hollins Cross and Jacob's Ladder.
Some quite strenuous ups, and superb views. Back in Hayfield there was a choice
of a number of pubs and a fabulous cafe/chocolatier. The cake was well worth walking
all that way for!
For MAY, due to circumstances beyond our control, our walk changed at short notice.
However we still had a fantastic day out. The Forest of Dean was our new destination,
and we were rewarded with wall to wall sunshine, woods full of Ramsens in full bloom
and verges and field edges bright with bluebells. One bank was bursting with bluebells
and the beautiful white flowers of stithwort, a fabulous combination.
In APRIL our walk crossed the Welsh/English border, and fabulous scenery was promised.
Was a great day out!
For MARCH we head for the Gritstone Trail, and if the recent sprinking of snow is
still on high ground, the scenery will be spectacular. The coach is now full on
this trip, but we run a reserve list as there are always one or two each month who
have to drop out at the last minute.
In FEBRUARY a critical bridge closure caused a last minute change of plan, but we
still had a fabulous day out, this time in the Cotswolds. The weather remained favourable
and there were many snowdrops to delight the eye.
In JANUARY we returned to the Long Mynd, where we had fabulous views and dramatic
scenery. We all got a chance to stretch our legs on some steep inclines, and blow
the cobwebs away. There were even plenty of early snowdrops to brighten the day.
At the end of the walk we gathered in a country pub for our Annual Dinner. We had
a superb meal, and were made exceptionally welcome by the friendly staff. We had
such a good time, I'm sure we be making a return visit some time.
Our NOVEMBER walk took us to Gloucestershire and the pretty countryside around Brockworth.
It was a great day's walking, some of it along the Cotswold Way, and much of it
through woodland, where we swished through piles of autumn leaves with great satisfaction.
Although there were no tremendously steep climbs, much of the day was up hill, which
gave our legs a good stretch. There were spectacular views for much of the walk,
and even a stop at the very impressive new services on the M5 at Gloucester on the
way down - worth a visit in their own right!
For SEPTEMBER the heather promises to be spectacular, so let's hope it is a sunny
day so we get the scent of warm honey as well as gorgeous purple hillsides!
For JULY we travel to Staffordshire and Hen Cloud and The Roaches. With varied scenery,
including edges and water, it promises to be a great day out. The coach is now full,
but as usual we are running a reserve list.
Our JUNE walk was to the Black Mountains, and was a great day out. We had a stiff
climb for the first two hours, and then our hard work was rewarded with a long, gently
undulating ridge walk, with panoramic views to both sides. There were many wild
flowers blooming amonst the bilberrys and along the roadside verges.
For MAY we were off to Wales and an exciting walk behind a Waterfall (featered on
the BBC recently). The scenery was very varied, with pretty riverside walks through
woods filled with wild flowers, across moorland and through fields. The weather
held, but the recent rain meant there was plenty of water coming over the falls.
Our APRIL walk was to White Edge in Derbyshire. With the warmer weather and an abundance
of wild flowers this Spring, it was a grand day out, topped off with a Bakewell Pudding
at the end of the walk!
The MARCH walk began with a stiff climb up to a ruined castle, then continued on
through spectacular scenery, following rivers and canals and across a long aqueduct
that was a bit of a challenge to those with a tendency to vertigo. However, there
was an alternative route and everyone made it back to the pub for a well earned pint
and a good sit down in warm sunshine.
Our JANUARY walk took us to The Malverns, which we walked from North to South. Despite
a forecast of cloud all day, the sun shone for most of the morning. It is easy to
under estimate The Malverns, in terms of a good hill walk. The ridge climbs steeply
up and down along it's entire length, so we probably did more cumulative ascent than
we would have done climbing a mountain elsewhere. We all felt we had earned the
spendid meal at The Wellington at Colwall, who did us proud for our annual dinner
after the walk. The food was superb, and the staff very welcoming. A wonderful
Our DECEMBER walk was to the lovely Clee Hills in Shropshire. There was a delightful
mix of steep climbs, woods and moorland, and the early mist soon gave way and opened
up the views, which were very extensive. A cold wind blew on the tops, but thankfully
it was behind us. There was an extraordinary amount of mud after all the recent
rainfall, but a freshing drink in a lovely old pub at the end of the walk soon put
the world to rights.
For NOVEMBER we headed to the southern Cotswolds. That meant gorgeous countryside,
spectacular views and much variety, including streams, deep valleys, woodland, steep
slopes and open vistas. The Autumn colours were still very much in evidence, with
beech woods, so typical of the Cotswold hills, giving a spectacular display. There
may not have been one tough climb, but this area has many very steep sided hills.
When you have done four or five of those, you know you have had a good day's hillwalking!
Our OCTOBERwalk took us to deep gorges and steep hillsides. It promised to be a
very interesting day out and it didn't disappoint!
SEPTEMBER'S walk was to the picturesque Tanat Vally, whose scenery is Alpine-like.
We had some stunning views, and even a downhill start when we got off the coach!
Needless to say, we went uphill again later.
For AUGUST we headed to Derbyshire and Ladybower Reservoir, and then crossed th eHowden
Moors to Langsett. It was a rather challenging day, weather wise, but we were compensated
with stunning views of heather-clad hillsides in all their purple glory. And when
the sun made a brief appearance the smell of warm honey wafted strongly on the breeze.
Our JULY walk was quite the opposite of the stiff climb we had last month. In view
of the hot weather, we had an easier, but spectaculary pretty walk, with chalk downland,
beech woods, wildflowers and butterflies galore, as well as fabulous views. As most
of the area around Ivinghoe Beacon is owned by the National Trust, it has been managed
with conservation in mind, and the air was thick with the scent of flowers and buzzing
with insects. To top it off, there was even the chance of an ice cream at the National
Trust shop and tea room!
Our JUNE trip to the Arans was a spectacular day out. Not only did we have a lovely,
sunny day, but the visibility was good too. We were able to see all the near and
distant peaks around us. The B group had a stiffer climb than they have been used
to in recent months, but everyone managed it without too much difficulty. Several
of the group even heard a cuckoo on their way back down to the coach. Rather late
in the season, but hopefully it was not because it was still trying to find a mate!
For our MAY trip to the Black Mountains the sun shone all day, while a light breeze
on the tops kept us cool. The first half of the walk was across open common land
with hedgerows full of bird song. A steep climb took us to the top of the escarpment
where the views were superb. Then a steady descent down a ridge known locally as
the Dragon's Back was a dramatic finish to the day.
For MARCH we travelled to Hergest Ridge on the Welsh borders, where Spring was well
under way. Once again the weather gods shone on us, quite literally, as we had blue
skies and sunshine all day long. The far reaching views were spectacular, and the
fields were full of Spring lambs.
FEBRUARY'S walk had varied scenery and also passed through a nature reserve. Despite
a poor weather forecast, were once again lucky, and had a glorious day with fabulous
Our JANUARY walk was Caer Caradoc and, as promised, we had wonderful views. The
forecast was for fog during the morning, but the sun shone on us all day from a cloudless
blue sky. There was a slight, chilly breeze on the tops of the hills, which you
would expect in January, but otherwise it was a still day.
This was a very special walk for another reason, it being a repeat of the very first
walk the club did 21 years ago. We never normally repeat walks, quite a feat in
all that time, but for our 'coming of age' we wanted to go back to where it all started.
And there were even three people on the coach who had been on that original walk.
As January is the month we have our annual dinner, we celebrated in style this year.
Jan made a spectacular cake, iced with the club's logo of mountains, trees and a
stream, and 'Midland Hillwalkers' perfectly iced around the edge. The cake was delicious
too! Hopefully someone has a photo that I can put on the Gallery Page. Here's to
the next 21 years.
The NOVEMBER walk was closer to home as the days are shorter. We travelled through
lush valleys, on top of the rocky crags of Froggatts Edge, and through beech woods
clothed in gold and orange leaves, where bright red berries added depth to the spectacular
Autumn colours. If you were not on this one, you missed a real treat!
For OCTOBER we went off to Mid Wales, starting the walk along the Llangollen Canal.
This gave us the chance to get into our stride before we began to climb. With a
forecast of heavy showers all day, it was tempting to find a cafe somewhere, but
we are made of stronger stuff than that, and in the end we were rewarded with a largely
dry day. There were a few very brief, heavy showers, but we still had plenty of
For SEPTEMBER, part of our walk was on Glyndwrs Way where we experienced lovely rolling
countryside. While the sun only peeped through occasionally, it remained clear and
dry so we were able to appreciate the superb views laid out all around us.
In AUGUST we were blessed with perfect weather and clear views for a very pretty
and varied walk in the Black Mountains. One of those days that could not have been
bettered. And to round it off, we had a pub stop in the picturesque town of Hay
Our JULY outing to the Arrans was postponed due to the extreme heat, and instead
we had a beautiful walk in the Witley Hills. The landscape was very varied, with
some welcome sections though woodland, which were wonderfully cool.
For JUNE we went to Wiltshire, for the stunning views and historical sites that this
fascinating county offers.
Ou r MAY walk revisited Cadair Berywyn, this time with considerably better weather!
In fact, the sun shone for most of the day, and it was gloriously hot. The walk
started with a climb through bleak moorland, which had a beauty of it's own. At
the top we even tramped through a small patch of snow, despite the heat. From then
on there was a great deal of variety, as we passed a magnificient waterfall, traversed
a lush valley, climbed a steep hill and descended through woodland and through scree
slopes. A wonderful day out.