HIGH LANE WALKING GROUP “WALKING AWAY
(28th June – 30th June)
Croome Park, where this year’s walking group trip to the
Cotswolds began, was Capability Brown’s first complete 18th
century landscaping project, with impressive eye catching structures
and follies dotted around beautiful parkland. The house,
currently empty but once home to the Coventry family until 1948, is in
the process of being restored.
Our first walk on a warm sunny morning took 25 of
the park on a 3½ mile route on paths and lanes and
included a very pleasant lunch stop by the lake with its summer
of dragon flies and damsel flies skimming over the
A short drive from Croome Park took us to Dumbleton
Hall Hotel, about 6 miles south of Evesham, a traditional 19th century
manor house set in 19 acres of private gardens and woodland. A
delightful lake, giant cedars and resident black swans completed this
most picturesque location. Having checked into the hotel our
group of 33 members enjoyed a welcome pot of tea on the lawn terrace.
Dumbleton Hall was originally home to the Cocks family for 200
years. However the hall fell into disrepair in the late 18th
century and was eventually demolished. It was then rebuilt in the
mid 19th century using traditional Cotswold stone and became home to
the Eyres family. It became a hotel in 1959. Our
accommodation in this lovely hotel was spacious and comfortable with
beautiful views from most bedrooms.
The main walk, was on Tuesday 29th, another hot
sunny day. The walk started from Winchcombe, a small-unspoilt
Cotswold town, situated between Broadway and Cheltenham. After a
fairly energetic climb up to Salters Hill we were rewarded with
wonderful views north towards the Vale of Evesham. The route continued
on the ‘Gloucestershire Way’ to Lynes Barn where we turned
south towards Deadmanbury Gate with a stop for a packed lunch (complete
with a hungry horse lunch guest) at about the 4 mile mark. Now
following the ‘Wardens Way’, with views of Winchcombe and
Cleeve Common we continued west towards Sudeley Lodge, passing Sudeley
Castle and returning to the car park in Winchcombe. Afternoon tea
on the lawn terrace at Dumbleton Hall was once again a very popular
relaxation after quite a long 8 mile walk.
Wednesday, our last day, was also a very sunny
day. After checking out of the hotel we walked into Dumbleton
Village and on to Wormington Village to the charming church of St
Katherine, passing College Farm and over the little River
Isbourne. The return route on this easy 4 mile walk followed the
River Isbourne Valley back to Dumbleton Village Church.
Our thanks must go to Jean and Roger Drinkwater for arranging and
managing this High Lane U3a ‘Walking Away 2010’
event. The weather was excellent, the location first class and
the walks were most enjoyable.