Group News

The Ramblers Association


April Week 2017 Newquay

All enjoyed the week in Cornwall.....great hotel, great company

and above all, great weather. Long forgotten were the frost
bitten noses suffered on the mountains behind Harlech just a year ago. This year we were blessed

with blue skies, mild temperatures and more sunshine than we dared hope for.

Stage 1 Suffolk Coast and Heaths Path Sunday 30 April

Ipswich to Trimley St Martin

Forty-eight people boarded the coach for the first stage of the Suffolk Coast Walk.

It was lovely to catch up with friends and meet members new to our coach rambles.

Leaving the town behind we entered Holywells Park and then

set off into woodland carpeted in bluebells and spotted a pair of Mandarin ducks

in the small stream.  Landseer Park and Pipers Vale followed which brought

us out under the impressive Orwell Bridge, along the foreshore of the River Orwell

and into Orwell Country Park. Woodland followed with banks covered in Green Alkanet.

We made our way up to a busy main road where we hopped on the coach for the short journey

to Nacton village. A short way from the village we passed the impressive Orwell Park School with its

dome housing the seventh largest private telescope in Britain.

A picnic lunch stop at Nacton Shore was welcomed by all, with the bonus

of good views of the river,  small boats and a Thames barge.

Another foreshore walk brought us onto Levington where someone pointed out a small herd of

deer in the distance. Boardwalks took us through reed beds and round a creek where Jim

spotted avocets, shell ducks and a little egret. We then passed through a small marina and along a

causeway between the fresh water Loompit Lake and the River Orwell.From here, we headed inland

to the Hand in Hand public house at Trimley St Martin for well earned refreshments before the journey home.

Stratford upon Avon June weekend

Forty two of us went to Stratford for a lovely weekend, stopping off in the Cotswolds

along the way for our first walk. Having time afterwards for a quick look around the beautiful gardens

of Hidcote Manor was a huge bonus for some of us, or an opportunity for afternoon tea for others!

On Sunday we took the River Walk through lovely countryside and on our last day the

Battlefields Trail before heading home.

Stage 2 Suffolk Coast and Heaths Path – Sunday 23 July

Felixstowe Ferry to Trimley St Martin

Forty-nine ramblers boarded the  coach for the second stage of our long-distance path. 

The group arrived in sunshine at Felixstowe Ferry where we walked along the sea wall passing the famous links golf course, two Martello towers and lovely

Victorian houses. A promenade walk followed, past some smart beach huts painted in pastel shades, sandy beaches and small formal gardens with colourful summer

 bedding. Our morning stop was near the Spa Pavilion with a view of yachts and a large container ship leaving the Port of Felixstowe. We continued along the promenade,

 passing the pier and numerous stalls set up for the weekend’s Carnival. Landguard Point and its nature reserve, which has SSSI status, was our next landmark.

Our lunch  stop was the busy Viewpoint Café, with the fort and fort museum across the road.

After lunch we boarded the coach again, were taken past the dock area and dropped off at the railway sidings. From here we continued onto

 Trimley Marshes Nature Reserve and on along the bank of the River Orwell. With umbrellas at the ready and waterproofs on we watched the dark clouds

 race towards us bringing heavy showers and a brisk wind. Turning inland by Loompit Lake we made our way into the village where the Hand in Hand pub provided

 welcome refreshments and a chance to dry off.

50th Anniversary Celebration Day – Sunday 30 July

This was a lovely occasion enjoyed by everyone.  A big thank you to all the people who provided and prepared our excellent meal.

Older friends contributed their memories of even older friends who had also played their part in our club’s activities.

Photographs brought back many happy memories. Our club means shared friendship, good company and great walking!

Stage 3 Suffolk Coast and Heaths Path – Sunday 17 September

Butley Church to Bawdsey

Forty ramblers set off by coach in early morning mist. Fortunately, the mist slowly lifted and we were able to see the lovely countryside interspersed
with several pig farms that Suffolk is renowned for. We started our walk  from the pretty Butley Church towards Butley River and Butley Ferry.

This is said to be the smallest licensed ferry in Europe, being a 4-passenger rowing boat. We then picked up the sea wall along the River Ore.

The tide was out so we had good views over the mud flats and salt marshes. Further along, looking back we could see Orford, Orford Ness lighthouse and the North Sea.

 A few container ships could be seen on the horizon making their way to the Port of Felixstowe. A few miles further on we headed inland passing Hollesley Bay Prison

and Young Offenders Institute. Apparently Jeffery Archer “did time” here. Lunch was at the Shepherd and Dog pub with seating at All Saints Church for those picnicking.

Suitably refreshed  we returned to the coast and continued along the shingle shore which was interspersed with seakale, yellow horned poppies and

 white sea campion. We passed Oxley marshes and onto Shingle Street with its Coastguard cottages first built from driftwood collected by fishermen in the 1800s.

From this point 3 Martello towers could be seen. We carefully stepped over a single line of white shells stretching from the cottages down to the sea.

This was constructed by 2 friends and artists who stayed here in 2005, as a measure of their recuperation after illness. Twice a year they return to repair the line.

The afternoon break was close to several excited twitchers who had their “scopes” trained on a distant area of grass and woodland.

 They informed us that a wryneck had been spotted and were awaiting its reappearance.

 At a disused WW2 gun site we headed inland to the village of Bawdsey and our coach.

 Stage 4 will be in May 2018.

Blind Walkers Group Ramble - 24 September

Once again this was a very enjoyable day. The walk began from Brentwood Rail Station, went through some parts of Brentwood as well as

 Donkey Lane Plantation, Thorndon Park North and Harts Wood, with a lunch break at Thorndon Visitors Centre.

 The weather was lovely, which always helps, there was an enthusiastic selection of our members and as usual a friendly and interesting group of people

who had come up from London to be assisted around the route.

Many thanks to those who came along. The next walk will take place on Sunday 23rd September 2018, details to be worked out.

So far, we have led the blind ramblers from Benfleet, Mill Green, Ingatestone to Margaretting Tye twice, Chelmsford and Brentwood.

October weekend 2017 Friday 20 –Sunday 22 October 2017  Great Yarmouth

A big snarl-up around Ipswich meant that the journey took twice what it should have, so we left out the morning walk and headed for Beccles for lunch.

As always with our group everyone was still in good spirits and a good time was had in this lovely town.

The rain had stopped and we had a good walk along the River Waveney before picking up the coach at the Wherry pub at Geldeston.

On Saturday we had a lovely day, sunny with a brisk wind. We had a look around the various sides of this interesting town before a walk along the

North Sea coast to Caister.

On Sunday it was very blustery along Breydon Water in the morning and then started raining just before we got to the pub at Belton.

The drive home took less than half the time that the journey up took.

It was such a good weekend. A nice hotel,  and  as always, a great group of walkers out for a good time. 

Footpath Working Party

The volunteers are enjoying the experience of helping to maintain the footpaths for the benefit of fellow walkers.