2017 Photos

  • 2011 Malham Moor
2017 Aston to Henley

Aston to Henley on Thames - 25th May 2017. After a tortuous journey with worse than usual traffic, it was a wonderful feeling to enter the field where we were parking in the little peaceful hamlet of Aston, and even better to see the familiar figure of Jim Mills! Jim and Dorothy had made a special trip from their home to say hello to all of those they knew, and it was a treat to see them, they couldn’t accompany us on the trip but wanted to put in an appearance. Also on the ramble it was so nice to see Jude and Carol and The Harris’s, Keith and Brenda. It was a sparkling, really hot day and around 20 of us comprising 12 scooters and approx 8 walkers set off from the Flowerpot pub and progressed along the Thames Path in the direction of Hambleden Lock. One fascinating sight was the number of Red Kites (as in birds!) we saw, we counted anything from 5 or 6 to 11 or so soaring above us. The countryside in this part of world is quite flat but very atmospheric with the River Thames wending its way through the fields, and the banks are flanked with willow trees, which in turn, are reflected in the water giving that lovely “olde English” effect. Lots of wildfowl - coots, canada geese, ducks, swans with cygnets and also a swans nest right beside the footpath and this was only separated by a make-shift barrier of plastic wire - however, most people wouldn’t want to argue with a daddy swan I shouldn’t think! Hambleden Lock is very picturesque with a massive weir and lovely old houses, we stopped here for coffee break trying to find shade while watching the Thames cruisers (gin palaces?) go through the lock. There were also some immaculate wooden Thames launches, gleaming and highly varnished going along the river, plus an energetic chap practising in a single scull. Another boat characteristic of this part of the world is the slipper launch with a lowered stern which someone suggested was to let the people in the boat have a swim and get back on board easily. En route was Temple Island, as in the photos, where apparently, weddings are sometimes held, usually very select events by the sound of it. We reached our lunch break by 12.30 under the shade of huge willow trees. This time of year the willows are shedding their seedheads and it seemed as if it was snowing at times with all the little fluffy seedheads floating all around us and the ground was coated in a thick layer of them in places along the Thames Path. After lunch we went on up river into Henley and went to The Little Angel pub for ice cream, cider, tea or a pint whichever took your fancy. An amusing pub sandwich board was advertising some rather unusual offers to draw you in - see the advert in the photos! After this refreshment we wended our way back to our starting point having had a very enjoyable day in this historic part of Oxfordshire. Many thanks, as usual, to JC, Judy & Bernard, Jan & Stuart, and especially Veronica for towing the MSU, and for all their hard work in making the day so enjoyable and to all those who travelled a long way to come on the ramble. Val.

2017 Ivinghoe Beacon

As part of the Chilterns Walking Festival, Gavin led a ramble to the summit of Ivinghoe Beacon - which marks the end of the Ridgeway National Trail

2017 Shipley Country Park

The Shipley estate is an ancient manor mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) when it was recorded as belonging to Gilbert of Ghent, the nephew of William the Conquer. Shipley has long had an association with coal mining, which played an important part in shaping the landscape. By 1722 coal mining was in full swing on the estate and around 1765 the Miller Mundy family took over the running of the mines. Unfortunately, the light rain today seemed to put off some of the group as there were only 13 of us as we set off from the Visitor Centre towards Mapperley Reservoir for coffee. We continued to the Nutbrook Café for lunch where we were spoilt for choice by the variety of hot, cold, sweet and savoury dishes on sale. After lunch we continued uphill to the site of the remains of Shipley Hall passing Shipley Lake. Retracing our steps towards Shipley Lake we turned left along Dog Kennel Lane and Shipley Lane to Derby Lodge where we met up with Vas our webmaster, who took lots of photos, and walked with us to the Visitor Centre. Judy

2017 Carsington Water

Our group of 25 set off in glorious sunshine around Carsington Water which was opened in 1992 by Her Majesty the Queen and is one of Derbyshire’s most important tourist attractions that cost £107 million to build. Severn Trent has planted half a million trees and shrubs in woodlands and the result has been not only to enhance a beautiful landscape, but to create many new habitats for wildlife. The route headed across The Dam towards Millfields. We paused at the Stones Shelter to take photographs of the wooden furniture so cleverly done, then onwards up to the highest point overlooking the reservoir for lunch. We continued via Sheepwash and the Wildlife Centre back to the Visitor Centre for teas and wonderful ice creams. Judy

2017 Hardwick Hall

A large group of members met on Tuesday 16th May at Hardwick Hall which is an architecturally significant Elizabethan Country house built between 1590 and 1597 for Bess of Hardwick. The weather was overcast and dry as we set off down the steep slope across farmland towards the Stone Centre and the Row Ponds. We stopped earlier than planned, because of a sharp shower, at the Park Centre for coffee as there was shelter there and toilets. The rain soon passed and we continued alongside Miller’s Pond. Our lunch break was at the top of Broadoak Hill where we had excellent views over Hardwick Hall and the surrounding countryside. We continued out of the park and along quiet lanes passing Ault Hucknall church and returning to the park along the road between the Old and New Halls back to the Visitor Centre for refreshments. Judy

2017 Clumber Park

Clumber Park 1703. On Monday 15th May a group of D R members and volunteers, 24 scooter riders and walkers, met by the Cricket Ground. The weather was showery as we set off around Clumber Park, a beautiful expanse of parkland covering 3,800 acres which was home to the Dukes of Newcastle for over 300 years and was once part of Sherwood Forest. The Bluebells and Rhododendron were in bloom which added to the lovely scenery, throughout the park. We stopped at Hardwick Village for lunch alongside the lake before continuing back to the Visitor Centre passing lots of wildlife and woodland. Judy.

2017 Penmachno Regional Ramble

Penmachno Forest Ramble. Another beautiful day, another wonderful ramble! Six people on scooters this time, with four trusty walkers, plus one dog. We started from the Mountain Bike Centre, but few cyclists about today, so plenty of parking space. Uphill to start, then into the woods for another longish uphill section, took us to an early lunch-stop, after an early coffee-stop, due to travelling quite slowly. One of us had grave battery concerns, at this point! Decision Time!! Do we continue, or do we return? I decided on the former, as we were at the high-point of our ramble. We carried on downhill, with this concern in mind, but the brave little scooter struggled on, to new battery-levels never seen by its owner! Ever onwards we went, mostly down-hill, into new territory for all but myself. Exciting! Then, end in sight, we entered the final and best part of our route, through the sun-splashed deciduous woodland, to the minor road. Almost there, more than one battery at unknown levels. One mile of single-file on the narrow road and we were back. Success! Great ramble!

2017 Nant Ffrancon Regional Ramble

Nant Ffrancon Ramble.Snowdonia. 8/5/17. A return to a ramble last done in September 2016, in very poor weather. This time, we were much luckier, having wall-to-wall sunshine, but with a very slight, but cool east wind. The mountains were resplendent, with not a single cloud in the sky. We were a small group of five scooters and five walking Helpers. Down the steep hill, the so-called 'Lord's Road', into the valley bottom, surrounded by beautiful mountains, so peaceful in the sunlight. Continuing on we skirted the giant slate tips of Penrhyn Quarry, passing Ogwen Bank Falls, where we had a very wet lunch-break in 2016. Not today! As we were just about to leave another DR member appeared, having 'raced' to catch us! The irrepressible ET! We had heard unusual sounds from nearby, so continued on to find their source, which turned out to be the 'Big Zipper' the longest zip-wire in Europe. After a short stop admiring the 'courage' of others, we then started back. This went very well, despite the steep hill, but everybody survived, to ramble again! The very next day, for most!

2017 Angmering Bluebell Ramble

Always a shame when MayDay is dull and overcast, as it always conjures up lovely sunshine daisies, morris dancers and such-like in one’s mind, but sadly this year’s MayDay was forecast as heavy rain in our area, so off we set togged up in our waterproof trousers ready for the first shower...which never came!!!! We had two cancellations already because of the forecast but it just never happened, it was dull but with a little sunshine here and there so we were more than pleased. 5 of us departed from the car park into the Angmering Park Estate, a private, traditional agricultural and sporting estate set in the heart of the South Downs National Park, activities include farming, a racing yard, shooting and other country pursuits including moorings and fishing on the rivers Arun and Adur. The Trustees of the Estate very kindly encourage the local population to walk, cycle, “scoot” and run through the many footpaths and bridleways that go all over the beautiful mixed woodlands. The Estate grounds at present are a mass of bluebells and it is a real treat to pass through the woods to see them. We found a lovely little coppice to have our coffee break sitting among a blue sea of these lovely iconic spring flowers, and we then proceeded along the bridleways to the little track that leads right through the Estate and past the lovely Angmering Park House and the stable yard, as you will see from the photos these are very lovely grounds and I think it is very generous of the Trustees to give access in this way. Lots of lovely scents in the air from the various shrubs en route and of course, among the bluebells themselves. We had lunch, again overlooking a hill of beech and hazel trees underlaid with bluebells, and were pleased to see 2 deer run along the top of the ridge. We could hear pheasants and one weird call which, in the end, we decided was a cockerel from the farm but it sounded like a banshee wail more than anything! All this time we kept our fingers crossed that it wouldn’t rain, and we were extremely lucky today as it kept as dry as a bone, in fact, we did an extra loop bringing the total distance to over 7 miles, we didn’t have any walkers today so we kept up a rather faster pace than usual and were back at the cars by just after 2 o’clock. We debated whether to explore another track but decided not to push our luck and perhaps we were wise as by 3 o’clock or so we started having showers once we got back home. It was a really enjoyable ramble, and the DRers we had were a lot of fun, namely David, Brian and Paul, Bob and Val - so it just shows that even if it is just a few people on the day it is still worth making the effort as it can, and did, turn into a very successful day. Our first this season and here’s to lots more during the summer. Photos supplied by Bob, Val and David. Val and Bob.

2017 Abraham's Valley

3-4-2017 Abraham’s Valley. A lovely spring day on Cannock Chase. The route has everything you might want in an easy Cat 3 ramble – undulating, winding paths, some challenging sections, two fords to play in, a mix of open heathland, coniferous and deciduous woodlands – and sunshine!

2017 Cannock Chase VC to Birches VC

2.4.2017. After leaving Cannock Chase Visitor Centre we wound our way through delightful birch copses and open grassland before crossing Marquises Drive and descending, sometimes on steep loose tracks, to the ford at Fariroak Pools. Soon we reached the Forestry Commission visitor Centre at Birches Valley (the location for yesterday’s AGM) for lunch. A fairly straight run saw us back at Cannock Chase VC in plenty of time for tea and ice creams.

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