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On a bright and breezy autumn morning a group of 17 ramblers and 1 guest left Barbury Castle, the first of a number of iron age forts along the 85 mile long Ridgeway National Trail which include Liddington, Alfreds and Uffington castles. Following Smeathes Ridge with extensive views to Liddington Castle and the Watchfield windmills we descended to Ogbourne St. George and the Og Bourne, and on the outskirts of the hamlet of Southend parted from the Ridgeway to continue to Ogbourne St. Andrew, the lowest part of the walk.
From here there was a short, sharp climb to the second coffee break, followed by a steady climb on the old Swindon to Marlborough coach road. They walked past Barbury race course and Four Mile Clump, the half way point on the coach road back to the start, a rise of over 450 feet. At the car park we were treated to a display of kite flying by the local kite club.
On a wet Bank Holiday Monday, 10 members set off on a 6.5 miles walk from Lacock. Walking through the NT village of Lacock the group paused to look at some of the historic features of this beautiful village. They then made their way from Lacock towards Reybridge before walking alongside the River Avon and stopping for a coffee break.
Continuing, they reached the road to Bowden Hill then continued up the road for a short way and then along footpaths past Bowden Park. On paths, lanes and tracks the walkers made their way around the hill top towards Nocketts Hill and lunch. By which time it had finally stopped raining.
After lunch the group descended along paths until they reached the now disused Wilts & Berks Canal, which is undergoing some restoration. They crossed the canal using the restored Double Bridge and then followed the path alongside the canal to Reybridge and then back to Lacock where some decided to explore the village tea shops and enjoy the village fete and entertainment.
On 26th August 17 members took evening walk around Cirencester's Home Guard Defence Line. The walk was lead by Bill and Jane Irving, who are also members of Living Memory Historical Association. This is the local charity which runs Cirencester's 1940s Museum in Sheep Street and the old Hospital Air Raid Shelter.
The weather was fine and members found the information gleaned very interesting.
On Sunday 23rd August, 15 Ramblers and 3 guests went on a 6½ mile walk starting in the pretty village of Naunton. The weather started dry, but unfortunately, a prolonged, heavy downpour affected the walk. Thankfully, the rain eased after the group took refuge in Upper Slaughter church for a coffee stop.
The walk afforded fine views across unspoilt Cotswold countryside, particularly so on the approach to the picture postcard village of Upper Slaughter.
Leaving Upper Slaughter, the walk followed a wooded track alongside the infant River Eye before crossing the B4068 at the entrance to Eyford Park. The walk followed the Wardens Way long distance footpath across fields and through woodlands before descending to the starting point in Naunton, where some of the group enjoyed a pub lunch in the village pub.
21 members and two guests set out from Snowshill on a 7 mile walk taking in Stanway and Stanton. The weather was good and they were rewarded with lovely views.
Leaving Snowshill, they took a lane up to the ridge above the village and after crossing two fields, an early refreshment stop was made, looking towards Broadway Tower. Pressing on, they walked along a track and through woods to reach the road to Stanway. Leaving the road, the path went through an orchard and passed the watermill to the handsome gatehouse of Stanway House. Walking down the road they entered a field onto the Cotswold Way, opposite the thatched cricket pavilion donated by the author J M Barrie, who used to stay at Stanway House.
From here, they followed the Cotswold Way to Stanton, and a stop for lunch. Refreshed, they walked up this typical Cotswold village and passed The Mount Inn, starting a long steady climb to the top of the hill. A short walk to a wood, crossing over a field, led to a lane back into Snowshill.
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