For photos of previous years, please see the Menu on the left.
The sun came out for Regional Ramble number 2 for the Lancashire group. Five Tramper riders and five walkers set out from Cobble Hey Gardens, a working farm set high up in the Lancashire hills. One of the Farm buildings has been converted into a very popular café - surprising as it is miles from anywhere. The farm is geared up for children of all ages and as well as sheep (with lamps), pigs (with piglets) there were small kids with two legged kids taking them for a walk on leads! There must have been goats somewhere? After all that excitement we were out over the fields along an ancient green lane with only birdsong to be heard. This area is being cultivated with reeds to provide the habitat Lapwings thrive in and there were plenty of those. There were lots of hares running about and the wild flowers are now changing from the daffodils to bluebells and primroses with many other species such as the wood anemones that carpeted the woods further on. A beautiful route with lots of history, some of the farms dating back to the middle ages. We would like to say thank you to Duncan and his team, the Wyre Rangers who organised it and Ian (Lancs. Ranger) who led the walk. If you are thinking of visiting the area the Trampers can be booked anytime through Cobble Hey. Eileen
3rd April 2014. 6 miles Cat 2. A splendid day exploring the delightful Sutton Park, a real gem that will repay numerous visits. Set in the middle of an urban landscape, the park is so large that there is no sight or sound from the surrounding area. There are no large brown tourist signs to the park and the park itself is without any signs at all. Just a peaceful oasis where the bird song is the loudest sound you can hear. Thanks Jane for arranging a delightful day out.
Wyre Estuary Country Park at Thornton Cleveleys was the first 2014 official Regional Ramble for the Lancashire group. Four Tramper riders and four walkers enjoyed a bracing ramble along the shores of the Wyre Estuary, heavy cloud meant we did not have the warm sunshine of the day before but the daffodils and blackthorn blossom brought smiles to our faces. Peter, our knowledgeable leader, gave an interesting account of the rise and fall of the area as we walked around Wyre Country Park. The first surprise was this beautiful area had once been the council tip! The landscaping, children’s play area and outdoor education centre with it bee hives, bug hotel and willow sculptures gave no hint of this. As you can see from our photos today it was just us and the hardy dog walkers and we appreciated the warm room that was made available for us to eat our lunch. Yes another surprise – no huddling up to the hedge …we were given hot drinks and a comfortable seat to eat our sandwiches before setting out on part 2 of our ramble. This took us south along the shore on a good even path with little sheltered viewing areas for a walker to rest and watch the tide fill the bay until it resemble an enormous lake. This is a very peaceful area to visit. Eileen
First Warwickshire Regional Ramble- Friday 28th March 2014 Friday dawned as a balmy spring day in the Cotswolds- a great relief after the extremes of the previous week. As we gathered in the car park of the Howard Arms in Ilmington, it was good to look forward to the first ramble of the year. Ten of us set off through the back lanes and paths of Ilmington, a very pleasant village, enjoying the spring flowers and birdsong. A steep, and very quiet, lane out of the village led us up past fields of sheep and lambs. Although it was still misty, it was possible to catch glimpses of the fields and valleys below. From here we made our way to the Foxcote Estate, a privately owned property where Eileen, our leader, had organised access to the terrace behind the house, not normally open to the public, where we had a spectacular view of carefully tended formal gardens set againt the backdrop of the Cotswold landscape. Here we had lunch, our experience enlivened by peals of thunder echoing over the valley. After lunch we made our way over muddy bridle paths and country lanes back to Ilmington, accompanied by further thunder and a rainbow. Finally we gathered for a very welcome cup of tea on the terrace at the Howard Arms, now bathed in sunshine.
BURLEY, NEW FOREST, 16TH JANUARY 2014. Winter rambles are always challenging, it’s always quite an effort to make yourself get out into the cold, but this year has been so wet it’s even more difficult to get motivated – however, 5 of us did turn up for this ramble – which is usually one of the simplest there is locally, as it is dead flat being the site of an old railway track (unless you go off piste and then it is very hilly!). At 9am I did phone round to say I would understand if no-one wanted to attend, as in Hampshire we had a really torrential downpour at about that time, but everyone was en route so the ramble was on!! We met in the car park in the middle of Burley, a pretty little New Forest village, only to find part of the car park was under water – good start! Once unloaded we proceeded up the village on the pavements and partly on the road for approx ¾ of a mile, hazard lights, headlights and high viz in use, to the rather more remote car park from where we go down a little track to the old railway cutting. As you will see from the accompanying photos – there was water everywhere.