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Fortunately the rain cleared and the 7 ramblers and 3 guests who met to walk off some of their Christmas excesses left The Jolly Tar to walk through the village to the grade 2 listed Hannington Hall, built by the Freke Bros and used in WW2 for the training of members of the British Resistance.
From here we continued past Hannington Church, over the disused Swindon/Highworth branch line and on toward Highworth Cemetery. On exiting we continued into Highworth ( Roman Vorda, Saxon Wyrde ) past the 11th century St. Michaels Church and into the High St. a conservation area with many fine Georgian and Queen Anne buildings.
Leaving the town via the leisure centre we stopped for coffee break at the golf course then climbed Red Down followed by a long steady drop to Swanborough passing the Freke Arms and on to Staplers Lane which eventually took us back to Hannington and a welcome visit to the pub.
A footpath sign in Highworth – we decided not to take on this route
Apologies from deputy photographer to the 3 walkers omitted in our walk group photo
On the damp and misty morning of 13th December, 27 members set off in their festive headgear for a 4 mile walk around Cirencester to work up an appetite for their Christmas lunch. On leaving the Waterloo car park they crossed the road and headed along footpaths to the City Bank area. Continuing on footpaths they crossed the bridge over the A419 to walk through the Kingsmeadow estate, and saw many of the green spaces that break up the houses.Continuing through the village of Preston they eventually reached the Tesco superstore which was extremely busy in the run up to Christmas, but were cheered by the band playing carols at the entrance.
The walk continued to pass the lovely wooden carved ”fox seat” at The Old Nursery Site, a new wildlife area for Cirencester near City Bank Road in Watermoor. Returning to the car park they then drove to the Royal Agricultural University where they were joined by a further 22 members for an enjoyable three course Christmas lunch. After the meal the raffle was drawn and the Chairman thanked everyone for coming and wished them a Happy Christmas.
On the morning of Sunday 6th December, 17 ramblers walked a circular route of the Golden Valley. Starting at the top of Cowcombe Hill, they dropped down to Westley Farm. Cutting between farm buildings into a field then down a slippery zig-zag slope to the bottom of the valley. Only to climb back up a stretch before a gentle stroll down a narrow tarmac road which crossed the Golden Valley railway line cut by Victorian labour in the 1840s and the Thames and Severn canal,completed in 1789, down into the characterful village of Chalford. They took a path between the jumble of cottages and hillside houses to climb out of the village before turning into the well-kept Parish and Oldhills Woods.
Then following the canal and river and over the railway level crossing before the steep climb up to Frampton Mansell, which takes it unusual name from the river Frome and the Maunsell family who held the manor in the 13th century. The sky was overcast, the air fresh. Although the weather might have seemed uninviting it was a fine day for a country walk. Then came the last mile, mostly flat, along the ridge of Cowcombe Hill and back to the start point at Aston Down.
On what was forecasted to be a very wet and windy day, ten brave ramblers, including two visitors, set off on a 10 mile walk from Bourton on the Water. The walk took us along the Wardens Way firstly, through the lovely village of Lower Slaughter (no rain yet) and then on to the equally lovely village of Upper Slaughter where we stopped for morning coffee (still no rain!).Continuing along the Wardens Way we made our way to Naunton and its lovely Church where we had our very welcome lunch stop (no rain yet!!). The return journey back to Bourton took us along the Windrush Way and its very muddy tracks, but the group was buoyant due to there still being no rain! We were all very happy to make it back to our cars windswept but still dry and on our return journey home the rain finally came but too late to spoil our day out.
On Sunday 22nd November 2015, 27 Ramblers plus one guest enjoyed a 5½ mile walk in the Quenington area on a fine and bright late autum day.
The walk started at The Keepers Arms in the village of Quenington, and headed towards the Rover Coln. The walk followed the river for a while before heading over farmland owned by the Ernest Cook Trust towards Donkeywell Farm. The walk then headed towards Conyger Wood before crossing Akeman Street and passing through more woodland where a coffee stop was taken, before rejoining the River Coln. The walk then followed the River Coln to the pretty village of Coln St. Aldwyns.
On leaving Coln St. Aldwyns, the walk continued along a lane to the edge of another attractive village, Hatherop, before once more meeting the River Coln and heading across beautiful parkland back to the starting point in Quenington.
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