Louise Nunan | 30 September 2017

Another Glorious Camping Trip

The first weekend in September saw walkers head south to Dorset for a weekend of camping and walking. The group camped near Langton Matravers and on Saturday took in the spectacular coastal scenery between Chapman’s Pool and Durlston Head on a refreshing 14 mile walk. Foregoing the campsite cooking option, the group headed to the pub for dinner on the Saturday evening and even managed to find time to take part in a tricky ‘UK place names’ cryptic quiz sheet produced by the local church. Perhaps this helped to distract the two members of the group who managed to forget their sleeping bags and had to borrow bedding from the friendly burger van at the bottom of the camp site!

Unfortunately, on Sunday the weather was typically British but this did not deter most of the group from attempting a walk from Studland to Old Harry Walks. For anyone unfamiliar, ‘Old Harry’s Rock’ is the name given to a large singular stack of rock which marks the most easterly point of the Jurassic Coast heritage site and is one of the most famous landmarks and views in the area. Next to ‘Old Harry’ stands the small remains of ‘Old Harry’s Wife’ who collapsed into the sea in 1896 (his second apparently, his first wife collapsed into the ocean in 1509). Various legends explain the name of ‘Old Harry’ with explanations varying from the devil, to pirates and Viking raids.

Unfortunately, the walk had to be restricted to 4 miles before a retreat to the pub was made (Editor: We’re sure that was a tough decision for all involved!)

Hampshire 20’s and 30’s camping trips are always brilliant fun and it’s so nice to be able to take in different walking scenery with such good company. There’s usually one or two camping trips every summer so do keep a look out on our Walks and Events page if you are interested.

Many thanks to Andy for organising.

Louise Nunan | 01 September 2017

Volunteers Help to Maintain our Footpaths

This summer saw a Hampshire 20’s and 30’s group first (at least in current memory). We joined Hampshire Ramblers Footpath Committee to learn how to survey and clear footpaths. A huge part of the work of the Ramblers Association is the maintenance of footpaths and in this, volunteers are crucial. Footpath maintenance can involve surveying for damage and obstruction, clearing vegetation and building new paths and bridges as well as maintaining them.

The first outing saw members head to Farley Mount, near Winchester, to use strimmers and looping shears to clear overgrown footpaths. The following month we visited Colden Common to carry out a footpath survey. In particular we were told about what to look out for including making sure there is a way marker clearly visible and that styles and gates are not blocked or overgrown. At Colden Common there were overgrown markers to cut back and a missing footpath marker.

Footpath maintenance is definitely on the agenda for 2018 so please do keep checking the walks and events calendar if you would like to help.

Louise Nunan | 20 May 2017

The Spring Committee Meeting

Path Maintenance, General Council Meeting and the National Young Ramblers

The committee met recently for the Spring quarterly meeting. Despite being very sad that Sam, our man in charge of the money, is leaving the group to move to Sheffield we are very pleased to welcome Jon to the role as of the next meeting.

Half of the committee attended the recent general council meeting and reported back to the remainder. The main point of discussion was a move to oppose a push by Cycling UK to open more rights of way to use by cyclists. Dom led a walk for all in attendance on the Sunday morning which was very much appreciated.

Pete attended the National Young Ramblers get together in Edinburgh. Interesting points were that Young Ramblers Europe have their own council and there is talk of trying to replicate this in the UK. Also discussed was the lack of diversity in Ramblers groups. Generally, ramblers groups are not ethnically or socially diverse and it is important that groups actively try to address this.

Amy announced that we should be able to join the Winchester group for a footpath maintenance session in July, a first for the Hampshire 20’s and 30’s group. Everyone agreed this was a very worthwhile avenue for the group to investigate.

Dan has kindly reviewed the trips away guidance and this will be available to support anyone wanting to organise a trip away for the group.

Finally, Mark reported that the new website is almost ready for testing which means it is well on the way to being live.

Louise Nunan | 20 December 2016

Our Walks Coordinator In Walk Magazine

In the most recent issue of Walk magazine, our Walks Coordinator featured as one of the reader panel members. In particular, Amy gave her thoughts on the ethical and environmental issues of walking gear, insulated jackets and winter walking.

Walk magazine is the flagship publication of the Ramblers Association, all members get a quarterly complimentary copy and the magazine is sold in Cotswold Outdoors stores. Approximate circulation is 83,138 – far higher than its nearest competitors. Helpfully for Hampshire 20’s and 30’s, over a third of its readership are aged 15-42 years which means a sizeable chunk might be looking for a group just like ours.

In any case, it’s always great to see the group referenced in national magazines like Walk so thank you Amy for contributing!

Louise Nunan | 29 October 2016

From Hampshire to Snowdonia

Adventurous members of the group headed for the north of Wales for a week of walking in Snowdonia National Park. Staying in a lovely holiday cottage the group conquered 4 mountains, 5 peaks, visited a castle, took a ride on a steam train and ate and drank in true holiday style. Various members of the group took turns in organising meals, leading works and planning other elements. Not including the ‘easy walks’, 3830 metres were climbed.

Andy Donovan | 09 October 2015

Autumn Winter 2015

As the nights draw in there’s still plenty going on in the group between now and 2016.  The usual walks programme will continue, plus there’s a wide range of social activities planned already:

  • The AGM in Swanmore followed by a meal out
  • A Halloween ghost walk
  • A barn dance
  • Two Christmas parties
  • A trip to the Peak District for New Year

For more details visit the Walks & Events page. See you there!

Andy Donovan | 21 July 2015

Summer Camping 2015

We had two weekend camping trips during July, one in Dorset and one in Wiltshire. First up was Wiltshire, where Chris B had found an interesting camp site in amongst the trees on a Bison Farm.

On Saturday there was a 12 mile walk from the site, going through the village of Mere twice (once to buy lunch and again later on for the pub). Although the area is mostly flat it is peppered with small hills that means you only need to climb a short distance to get a great view. The hills also create a perfect updraft for gliders, with a constant stream of them above us as we stopped for lunch.

Saturday night was a BBQ, with bison and elk from the field next door on the menu. The campsite also allowed campfires, although these were a little more tricky to light than the BBQ.

On Sunday we had a walk around the farm and enjoyed the bison and elk in a slightly different way. There was then a brief stop at the National Trust property at Stourhead to walk around the gardens before we headed home.

A couple of weeks later we were off to Dorset, near Swanage and Studland Bay. Despite dire warnings from the campsite staff about our tents blowing away in the night it was perfect weather almost all weekend. On Saturday a group went kayaking in Swanage Harbour while the rest explored the town’s cafes and shops. In perfect warm weather we didn’t even mind getting wet with a few games on the kayaks at the end.

After popping back to the site to dry off the afternoon was a walk to Dancing Ledge where it was back in the water for a quick swim halfway round before carrying on along the coastal path.

Back at the site it was BBQ time, briefly under drizzle but it soon dried out to a fine evening around the campfire. Sunday morning we awoke (some more easily than others!) and walked from near the site to Corfe Castle.

After lunch it was time to head back to the cars on the steam railway, much more fun than taking the bus!