A brief version of the 2013 programme is on the Ramble Programme page. On renewing your membership you will be sent the printed programme with booking form. Please complete this and post with your cheque to the Bookings Secretary.
Later in the month, I’ll put the full programme on the ‘Members Only’ page with a link to their approximate locations on Google Maps.
This year we have 31 rambles in six ‘Tours’ to keep you occupied.
We have an early start on 20th April with the AGM at Birches Valley Forestry Visitors Centre, Cannock Chase, followed by two rambles on Cannock Chase and then two in southern Derbyshire.
May sees us traveling a little further east to North Norfolk where we get to look at the sea before a visit to a stately home then on to Peterborough for a ramble along the river Nene and then one in Fineshade Wood.
June brings forth a big Tour of the north; 9 rambles in all. Starting in Northumberland, we work our way south calling at Hadrian’s Wall and the amazing Roman Fort of Vindolanda (Assistance Dogs only). Then a visit to the part restored Lowther Castle and Park before heading for the hills again in Swaledale where the Rangers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park will look after us (Assistance Dogs only at Gunnerside Moor) . We finish the tour with two rambles not far from Clitheroe which are still being worked on by our friends in Lancashire County Council.
In July we head for the sun down south with 5 rambles; from Beachy Head and Stanmer Park near Brighton then on to the beach at West Wittering before a couple of rambles in the New Forest, an area we know and love to visit.
Traditionally in August we only have a couple of odd rambles due to the cost and difficulty in finding accommodation. This time I have not planned any for the published programme but expect that some of our new Regional Reps will be offering rambles which will be advertised on the Web and by email. So please keep us up to date with your email address!
September takes us to Snowdonia . An easy ramble around Beddgelert Forest warms us up for the next two challenges. Although only about 4 miles in total, we need to take the ramble from Rhyd Ddu to Bwlch Cwm Llan quite slowly to avoid overheating on the sustained slope of this old track up to the disused slate workings. Let’s hope for good weather for the views of Snowdon are stunning. In fact, the first part of the track follows the path towards Snowdon summit. After a day off, we tackle the Drum Mountain Challenge. The summit lies at over 2,500 ft and we start from only 650 feet – so lots of climbing to do. The round trip is 9 miles and has yet to be accomplished without running out of battery! Will you be the first?
Lon Las Ogwen will be an easy day after this. The Penrhyn Estate ran one of the largest slate quarries in the world and we get to see a little of what was entailed in getting the slate to market. Starting from the extravagant Penrhyn Castle (now National Trust – bring your cards) we cross private land to the old Port Penrhyn from where slate was shipped. We then explore the lower section of the old railway which brought the slate down from the Bethesda quarries. After another rest day, we return to the hills first to look down upon and then visit the famous Aber Falls. We finish the Tour with a trip to Anglesey and a ramble out to an island across the sand called Ynys Llanddwyn.
In October it’s back to Hampshire for 3 rambles. Hurst Castle sits at the end of a mile long spit which almost reaches the Isle of Wight. All on loose shingle, only Trampers and Supersports please as an attempt by a different group resulted in rescue by tractor! At the end of the spit lies Hurst Castle where we can visit one of the finest examples of Henry VIII’s fortifications. The next day from the same car park we visit Pennington Marshes which may be full of wintering birds at this time of year. Finally we wander around Wilverley Inclosure in the New Forest where we hope to see the trees in all their autumn glory.