Archive of Holiday Reports from 2014 to 2017





On Friday 13 October we arranged to meet at Corfe Castle for a stroll around the village and the castle.  A most interesting castle dating back to Roman times when it would have been made of wood. It was rebuilt in stone by William the Conqueror. In the village itself evidence has been found of civilization dating back to at least 6,000BC.


We then proceeded to Lulworth Cove to the HF Holidays house where we were greeted by our walk leaders and enjoyed a delicious cream tea prior to a walk around the cove and up to a viewpoint giving excellent views of the famous rock formations.


On Saturday our members split between the easier and medium walk with the easier group starting their walk at Langton Matravers making their way to the coast at Dancing Ledge, then along the South West Coastal path to Swanage for tea and a walk along the beach.


The medium walkers began at Worth Matravers, heading for the coast at St Aldhelm’s Head where we stopped for a break and to admire the Norman chapel on the cliffs. From there we too followed the South West Coastal path to Swanage stopping at Durlston Country Park – the site of The Great Globe – for refreshments.  The weather for October was unseasonably warm but dry - a pleasant end to our holiday programme for the year.


Sunday saw more of our members take the easier walk to explore part of the military ranges which contain some of the region’s most dramatic scenery and is a wonderful place for wildlife. They then walked the area above and around West Lulworth taking in the famous Durdle Dor.


The medium walk group also explored the military ranges then took a route to explore the deserted village of Tyneham. A very poignant experience as the village had been taken over by the military during the Second World War but the residents have not been allowed to return.  We stopped for lunch overlooking the sea then took on the rather dauntingly steep cliffs on our route back to Lulworth Cove passing the fascinating Fossil Forest on the shore line.


Monday was a rather disappointing day as our planned visit to Cloud Hill, the erstwhile home of T E Lawrence had to be cancelled as the property was closed due to the forecast of high winds in the wake of hurricane Ophelia. So we all made our way home accompanied by rather sinister yellow skies and an orange sun!!


Lulworth Cove Holiday Photos:

















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Tyrol Trails in Seefeld, Austria 17 -24 June 2017

Seventeen of us left Gatwick on June 17th bound for Innsbruck for a week’s walking holiday. As we were a foot from landing at the airport, the aeroplane suddenly accelerated upwards and we found ourselves rising above the mountains. The cross winds had changed direction and the pilot couldn’t land! Half an hour later, he brought the plane in safely from a different direction. 


We were based in a lovely hotel in Seefeld and enjoyed five walks through varied landscapes - up mountains, through meadows of wild flowers and orchids, along cool tracks in pine forests, on a walkway hundreds of feet above a gorge sometimes sampling beer or ice cream sundaes in almshouses (mountain cafes) These walks were expertly led by Graham and Sue Robinson of Bath and West Country Walks. On our day off, some of us visited nearby Innsbruck by train and wandered around the old town or joined a historical tour of Seefeld. 


Seefeld itself was an interesting town with attractive shops, concerts in the park and church and many cafes as well as a lovely walk around the nearby lake. Many of us enjoyed a swim and sauna in the hotel or relaxing in the garden with a drink. The hotel even served afternoon tea  which was very welcome when we arrived back to the hotel after our walk.


My Tomtom said I walked 54 miles in six days but the hotel food was so delicious that I did not lose any weight! Thank you to everyone who came and were such good company. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer or more friendly group.

The holiday was organised by Margaret.

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Stopping for a coffee break on the way home from the Gorge




Our group on the Leutasch Spirit Gorge




Sunset at Seefeld


Reflection of the surrounding mountains in Seefeld lake


Sue and Wendy by Seefeld Lake




Jean, Graham our leader, Sally and Sue relaxing by the lake near Seefelder Joch



Climbing down from the top of Seefelder Spitz


Gordon, Sue, Wendy and Jan on the mountain



Sylvia and Jan on the mountain


Gentian seen on the mountain





Seefeld church


Our hotel Bergland


The bandstand in Seefeld




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The High Weald Landscape Trail is 90 miles long and runs between Horsham and Rye.  Finding out about it is not easy but it appears to have been initiated by The High Weald Forum in around 1999.   An on-line map of the route with descriptions of sites along the way is available but we just followed the route marked on the map.  If there is one word to characterise our weekend it is “bluebells”.  Hundreds of them, thousands of them, millions of them, until we hardly noticed them at all.  Along with the ransoms, the stitchwort, the marsh marigolds and dozens of other wild flowers there were the birds that were all singing their little hearts out to our great enjoyment.  But what mostly contributed to the pleasure of our holiday for the twenty or so participants was the scenery.  It was that perfect, slightly craggy in places, high weald terrain that never fails to captivate.  In our four days we only managed about eighteen miles of the trail before turning off onto the Sussex Ouse Valley Way, near Ardingly reservoir, which took us back to Crabtree, a more convenient end to the weekend than Lower Beeding and with a very handy public house.  Noticeable sights along the way were any number of hammer ponds, a rather splendid show of shrubbery at Pickwell Estate, the vast fields of newly planted grape vines at Pookchurch Vineyard, the viaduct at Balcombe (all 11 million bricks of it and still impressive after 170 years) and a magical valley full of beech trees where we ate our picnic on Monday.  An enjoyable meal at Aqua on Monday evening rounded off the holiday which was led by Hilda and Graham.  Regency Coaches provided exemplary service and the weather would have suited Goldilocks perfectly.

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Alresford, Hampshire 23 – 26 September 2016

19 members of the Group much enjoyed this long weekend walking holiday in September 2016 based at the Swan Hotel in Alresford, East Hampshire.  Meeting on the Friday at the National Trust's Hinton Ampner property they enjoyed a short walk which included going to Cheriton, Hinton Marsh and New Cheriton.  The Saturday walk took them past watercress beds that were being farmed and then along the Itchen valley to Itchen Stoke and Itchen Abbas, where a stop was made for lunch. Going on through Martyr Worthy to Kings Worthy there was sufficient time for a welcome drink before taking the bus back to Alresford.  On the Sunday the Alresford Millennium Trail, with its clear stream water, was followed before joining the Wayfarers walk route to Abbotstone.  The return to the hotel was by way of Old Alresford and more watercress beds and there was then time for individuals to visit places of interest such as Winchester or Jane Austen’s house at Chawton  To conclude the weekend a short walk took place on the Monday morning at Selborne through the Long Lythe to Coombe Wood and Priory Farm  Having had good weather up to this point a shower was experienced as the return to Selborne was made through Dorton. The holiday had been organised and the walks lead by Robert Cheesman who is now retiring from undertaking this task in the future.


Holiday pictures supplied by Andrew.

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23Sep - On Wayfarers Walk (sml)

23 Sept – On Wayfarer’s Walk

24Sep - Crossing the River Itchen (sml)

24 Sept - Crossing the River Itchen

25Sep - The Fulling Mill on the River Arle (sml)

25 Sept - The Fulling Mill on the River Alre

26Sep - Our leader samples the blackberries (sml)

26 Sept – Our Leader samples the blackberries


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Seven of us set off for Church Stretton in Shropshire on 17 June, some by car, some by train, to enjoy a week’s walking in the Shropshire Hills. We stayed at the Longmynd Hotel, which is run by HF Holidays.


It is a particularly hilly area and so all the walks involved ascents to one degree or another depending on which grade of walk we chose. There were three choices daily – harder, medium or easier. Our members all chose either medium or easier.


The first day we headed for both Hope Bowdler and Caer Caradoc on the medium walk with those on the easier walk visiting Caer Caradoc only, where we stopped for a picnic lunch. The amazing views were ample reward for the steep climb.


On day two we went to the other side of the valley and explored Darnford Valley and the Betchcott Hills where the inclines and descents were a little more forgiving. From this we descended through the beautiful Carding Mill Valley to take shelter from the rain in the National Trust café at the bottom.


Monday was a free day and we all decided to explore the delightful town of Ludlow with its attractive and intriguing castle and pretty riverside location.


Tuesday we were taken by coach to The Clun Valley where we climbed Merry Hill then walked on to Hopesay and its pretty church before returning to Craven Arms for a well earned cup of tea at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, while those on the easier walk stopped at Stokesay Castle for tea.


The following day was spent exploring the famous Stiperstones.  Via Mucklewick Hill the medium walkers walked the full Stiperstones Ridge, while those on the easier walk took a lower route, then descending along a pretty track back to Stiperstones village.


Our final day’s walking gave us the best weather of the week and found us walking from the hotel to the summit of Long Mynd at Pole Bank – again picnicking at a beautiful spot surveying a wide panorama.  Finally descending down into the pretty medieval hamlet of Minton, then back to the hotel.


As well as the lovely walks and beautiful views another highlight of the holiday was the food at the Longmynd Hotel. A particular delight was the six-course tasting menu on Wednesday night when the focus was on championing local produce – delicious!


LFG CS - Day 1 a (2)

Day 1


LFG CS - Day3 Ludlow Castle (2)

Day 3 Ludlow Castle

LFG CS - Day 5 Stiperstones b

Day 5 Stiperstones


LFG CS - Day 5 Stiperstones c

Day 5 Stiperstones

LFG CS - Day 6 Long Mynd a

Day 6 Long Mynd












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Twenty-one members of the group recently took part in our Spring break walking in the Cotswolds. We stayed in the hamlet of Down Hatherly, situated between Gloucester and Cheltenham..


We stopped at the village of Avebury en- route to our Hotel, taking part in a very interesting guided tour of the Standing Stones and braving the rain towards the end of the tour.


Our walks were unfortunately hampered by the mud and rain which dogged the rest of the break but we did manage to see some Cotswolds villages and countryside in the warm sunshine.


Our first days walk along canal and river paths gave us clear views eastwards to the line of the Cotswolds hills we were to walk on the next day and the Malvern hills which some of us had walked last Spring. 


Of particular beauty was the village of Stanton said to be the most picturesque village in the Cotswolds with its honey coloured houses. Passing along part of the Cotswolds Way onto Stanway we came across the wonderful gatehouse of Stanway Manor alongside its unusually high garden wall. The village of Snowshill was even more impressive looking back across a valley we had walked down in the rain and then up in the sunshine!


We now look forward to our one week’s summer walking holiday in Church Stretton and our weekend break in Alresford in September.

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IMG_1466 (3)


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The theme of the holiday was the Greenwich Meridian and the first afternoon on Friday was spent in and around Waltham Abbey where the Prime Meridian passes through the very middle of the town.  We had time before our walk to look around Waltham Abbey.  King Harold of the Battle of Hastings is buried here in the churchyard.  The Abbey was the last of the English Abbeys to be dissolved by Henry VIII but he spared the nave which remains the parish church of today.


We enjoyed a three mile walk on land that once belonged to the monks. On the southern boundary is one half of a large sculpture called Travel and Discovery erected on the Greenwich Meridian.  The other half is situated one kilometre north.  Each is carved from a granite block that was originally part of the old London Bridge. From the second sculpture we walked through an area which had once been the Abbey’s orchard and then followed a stream back to the Abbey and noted the ponds on the other side which were used as the Abbey’s fish ponds.


On Saturday the group was transported to Standon for the start of a walk down the Greenwich Meridian Trail.  Having passed the Standon Pudding Stone, a large, 45 million year old conglomerate stone mounted next to an oak tree planted to commemorate the coronation of King George V, the party proceeded to follow the meandering River Rib, enjoying some lovely scenery, to Barwick Ford where our coffee stop was interrupted briefly by a posse of bikers splashing across the river.  After crossing the Meridian we had lunch at Wadesmill, a small village on Ermine Street where Thomas Clarkson, in 1785, resolved to campaign to end the slave trade.  Some of the group caught the bus back to Hertford and the remainder plodded on to Ware, a busy little town on the River Lee and famed as being where the Great Bed of Ware was constructed in 1580 by Jonas Fosbrooke.  It is claimed to be able to accommodate four couples and it can now be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum which acquired it in 1931.  Whether or not four couples are allowed by the museum to test the size of the bed has not been ascertained.  Two more walkers chose the comfort of a bus ride but the survivors walked back along the banks of the River Lee, having first fortified themselves with some impressive rock cakes in a local café.  The rock cakes were so impressive that it was deemed prudent to eat only half a rock cake each.


The weather on Sunday was an improvement on the previous day.  From the hotel we enjoyed a circular walk north of Hertford, the final part being along the pretty River Breane.  At the outset of the walk we encountered a very large number of sweaty and exhausted people who were taking part in some sort of endurance event for which they probably paid good money.  It made our modest walk look quite feeble by comparison.  Nevertheless we persevered, even overcoming a path full of nettles at one point.


Monday saw us at the Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge in Chingford.  It was actually built for Henry VIII as a Royal Standing where the nobility gathered to view the hunt below in Epping Forest.  The walk took us to Pole Hill which lies exactly on the Meridian and has an obelisk which was used to line up the Bradley Transit Circle telescope at Greenwich.  The trees have grown up so that now it is not possible to see Greenwich from Pole Hill but there are views of London, including the newly built Shard.


The Salisbury Arms Hotel provided excellent accommodation and food.  Janet and Jeannette led the walks with flare and fortitude and the whole holiday, organised by Graham and Hilda, was enjoyed by all.

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Mary and Monk


Mary and Monk by Margaret

The Pretty Rib Valley




River Lee at Ware

Tough walking on Sunday

On the Greenwich Meridian at Pole Hill


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ISLE OF WIGHT 13 – 20 JUNE 2015

19 of our members enjoyed a wonderful holiday in the Isle of Wight.  We stayed at the Holiday Fellowship house at Freshwater with its wonderful location on Tennyson Down and overlooking the sea.  Our walks took us to Ventnor and the famous gardens there, to Carisbrooke Castle, the Needles and Alum Bay , Calbourne and the beautiful thatched cottages at Winkle Street and of course the wonderful walk over Tennyson Down.


We also had the opportunity to visit the house of Julia Margaret Cameron, the celebrated Victorian Photographer and to see an exhibition of her photographs and learn more of her life and her famous set of friends, perhaps the most famous one being Tennyson who lived nearby.


The weather was perfect and everyone agreed it had been a wonderful holiday.

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We began our weekend by meeting at Croome Park, near Worcester to explore the estate. We took a short walk out to one of its follies, Dunstall Castle, along the river, up to the Park Seat then back through the park resting for a while at the Rotunda.


After much anticipated tea and cakes we made our way the short distance to Malvern and the excellent Abbey Hotel.


We took time to recover from the long journey before enjoying a delicious dinner followed by Bridge and Scrabble for some and an early night for others.


Up bright and early on Saturday morning we walked down to Malvern railway station for the one-stop journey to Colwall Stone to begin our walk on the Malvern Hills. Here we split into two groups with Graham leading those who wanted a longer walk starting further south whilst Sally led the rest of the group on a more direct walk back to the hotel.


The initial climb to the top, though strenuous, was amply rewarded by the marvelous views and the warm sunny weather. The hills still presented a few challenges with three or more peaks or beacons, which could be climbed or avoided as desired!


The route took us very neatly down to gardens just behind our hotel where we enjoyed a well-earned picnic lunch. The afternoon was spent exploring the town and Abbey.


For the Sunday walk we piled into our cars and drove to West Malvern for a circular walk through fields and woodland via Cradley, a pretty village at the base of the hills. It was a lovely walk through beautiful undulating countryside filled with new lambs and bluebell woods. Graham led those wanting a longer walk over the top of the hills and back to the hotel. 


On Monday morning we packed up and set off for Worcester to visit the Royal Worcester pottery museum, a fascinating insight into the pottery’s history with some stunning exhibits on show. Some of us also visited Worcester Cathedral which was nearby.  We were lucky with the weather which contributed to a very enjoyable holiday.

LFG - Malverns - Here we go (3)

LFG - Malverns - Time for coffee (2)


Here we go

Time for Coffee


LFG - Malverns - Nearly there! (2)

LFG - Malverns - At the top 3 (3)

LFG - Malverns - Along the top 3 (2)

Nearly there

At the Top

Along the Top

LFG - Malverns - Lunch in Rosebank Gardens (3)

LFG - Malvern - Cradley 2 (2)

LFG - Malvern - Cradley 4 (2)

Lunch in Roesbank



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Our autumn holiday in the Mendips was blessed with tee-shirt weather throughout.

19 of us took part and we stopped off on the way to Somerset on the Friday to visit Lytes Cary Manor, a National Trust property in Somerton.  We were able to look round the medieval manor house and beautiful Arts & Crafts garden while some of us enjoyed a walk around the estate.


On Saturday our walk started from Wells and took us along the moat of the Bishops Palace to Tor Hill.  Then it was over the golf course and open pastureland to the villages of Croscombe and Dinder before returning to Wells with time to visit the beautiful cathedral and the still bustling market.


Sunday we walked from our hotel to Compton Bishop and the village of Cross then through woods to Wavering Down.  We climbed Crook Peak before descending back to the hotel where most of us took advantage of the splendid indoor pool and spa.


On Monday morning we visited the market town of Glastonbury and followed a circular walk on the Somerset Levels before tackling the famous 520ft high Glastonbury Tor with spectacular all round views to rewards us at the top.


We stayed at the comfortable Webbington Hotel in Loxton and our walks were led by the very experienced Sue and Graham from Bath & West Country Walks.


Coffee stop with view of Croscombe


And the sun came out and shone on us


Glastonbury Tor.
We have to climb up there?


Yes we do!


 After a break


We got to the top





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Based at Lancaster, fourteen members enjoyed a week of fine walking in fine weather along and around the Vale of Lune, organised by Ramblers Holidays.  We were fortunate to be led on our walks by Simon, an experienced walk leader who also happened to live locally.  His knowledge of the local countryside greatly added to the enjoyment of the walks.  Two of the walks were along the valley of the River Lune where flocks of sand martins and oyster catchers were seen in abundance.  A walk along the coast of Morecambe Bay ended at Carnforth railway station where some scenes in the film Brief Encounter were filmed.  The final day’s walk was across some limestone pavements, with deep cracks called “grikes”.  The path led us through a very narrow cleft in a limestone cliff, some twenty five feet high, where one gets to the top by way of the “Fairy Steps”.  Legend has it that those who manage to get to the top without touching the sides will see the fairies.  None of our group was so blessed.  A good time was had by all.

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21 members had a super walking weekend at Lulworth Cove in Dorset.  The coast there is quite spectacular and the coastal walks breathtaking.


Photos by Margaret.

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