Sunday 3rd March
Knowle & Temple Balsall
Easy 9 miles
This is a pleasant, flattish walk that visits ancient almshouses and several churches as well as walking on part of the Grand Union canal, where we can marvel at the 5 Knowle locks. Gaiters and a pole may be advisable as we do walk through a farmyard. At the end we can visit a local café/bistro for refreshments.
Sunday 10th March
Hatterall Hill & Llanthony Valley
Moderate/Strenuous 13 miles
This is a lovely walk in and above the easternmost of the three valleys in the Black Mountains. We will start off along Offa’s Dyke Path/Beacons Way up and over Hatterall Hill (with great views over Herefordshire) and then drop down to the atmospheric and historic ruined priory at Llanthony. Depending on weather conditions and energy levels, we will then either return to the start via Cwm Bwchel and Beacons Way (ie along the tops) or along the valley via Cwmyoy and its wibbly-wobbly church. Total ascent is up to 750m. If weather is poor, we will do a lower level walk.
Please dress appropriately for a mountain walk in winter – boots, warm gloves, warm hat, full waterproofs, not jeans, plenty of food & a warm drink are all essential.
Sunday 17th March
Kings Wood, Monmouth
Moderate 11 miles
Ancient Celtic legend has it that the country on the eastern shores of the Irish Sea is the place to be on Saint Patrick's Day (though Cheltenham races is as close as many an Irishman will get to said saintly place).
The walk skirts around the grey factory perimeter fences of Monmouth town and continues on out into the beautiful forest on Kings Wood hill. We descend the hill to Jingle Street with a short section of quiet B road before turning back towards the far side of Kings Wood, hopefully taking in fine weather and wide angle views to the Black Mountain range, Twmpa and Hay Bluff (a pleasing view for any Leprechaun enjoying lunch). We will head back to Monmouth largely along the Trothy river trail and Offa's Dyke path. We take a slight detour to listen to the river Monnow sloshing through the Archimedes screw turbines and to enjoy the downstream tranquillity along the embankment path below the castle ruins.
Sunday 24th March
Napton-on-the-Hill, East Warwickshire
Easy 10½ miles
This walk follows the Oxford Canal to reach Lower Shuckburgh. The gentle slopes of the Shuckburgh hills then follow with their wide-ranging views, before turning south-west to reach both Priors Marston and Priors Hardwick villages. The route then heads back northward via fields and the Oxford Canal.
Sunday 31st March
Easy 9 miles
A walk through woodland, pasture and farmland, maybe catching some early spring flowers and visiting a 16th century dovecote and church.