High Lane Logo Walking Away 2010
The Monday Walk
The Hotel
The Tuesday Walk
The Wednesday Walk
Click for Walking Group in 2010

(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.
Croome Park
Our first walk on a warm sunny morning took 25 of us through
the park on a 3½ mile route on paths
and lanes and included a very pleasant lunch stop by the lake with its summer lakeside population
dragon flies and damsel flies skimming over the water.

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 HotelThe grounds towards the village

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.

Sam and Irene Chappell