This was the third year of our women only weekend away.Numbers are restricted to 30 and the event was fully booked.
Lecky had an idea for this to be in The Cotswolds in 2018 but unfortunately she was unable to join us at the last minute.It turned into a great suggestion.
I picked Winchcombe out, not knowing anything about it and never having been there.
I found out that it is classed as the walkers capital of The Cotswolds.
I had gone there in February to reccie the walks and found it to be a most charming Cotswold town.
So the weekend finally arrived.
We assembled in the centre of the town for the Friday afternoon walk, a heritage trail looking at some old houses and other interesting Winchcombe buildings.
We had a little wander, being invited in to see a beautiful courtyard garden by one of the residents, then took a lovely riverside path towards the impressive Sudeley Castle before turning back in to Winchcombe for a well earned cuppa.
That evening some of us met up for a meal in The Plaisterers Arms a really old pub, and had an excellent meal, with more women joining us later for drinks.
The following day dawned sunny and warm. The planned walk was an 8 mile circular one around Winchcombe taking in Hailes Abbey and Sudeley Castle.
The terrain was very varied and we had excellent views in all directions.
We walked passed the campsite where some of our group members were staying, picking up some of our walkers there.
From there we climbed up through a lovely wood glimpsing a beautiful carpet of bluebells in amongst the trees.
We lunched on a green bank beside a lane and then carried on passed an apparent 40 million pound house and then meandering on a path called the Wardens Way.
Very soon we could see Sudeley castle in the distance.
We eventually made our way back to Winchcombe and a lovely cafe for refresments and scrummy cakes.
That evening refreshed after our exertions we met at The Corner Cupboard in the town centre for our evening meal.We had pre-ordered the food and the staff did an excellent job getting so many meals served all together piping hot.
Everyone agreed the food was most delicious.
When we emerged from the pub we found it was pouring with rain, accompanied by thunder and hail so some of us had to hastily make our way back to our lodgings trying not to get soaked through!!
On Sunday the walk was at Cleeve Hill just a mile or two away.It started near a golf course and meandered down to a large estate with horses and over a lovely bridge by a river before a few sharp steep ascents, one of them being through the beautifully named Breakheart Plantation.
We stopped for lunch by some dilapidated buildings that once would have been an impressive farm estate.
Vey soon it seemed we were back on the golf couse which does seem to stretch for miles.
We managed to negotiate a safe route through the golfers and made our way to the Trig point where Teddy who had been an ever present member all weekend, sat aloft wanting his photo taken to show "he was there!!"
Refreshments at the golf course at the end seemed a good idea before the long drive home.
This was a really fabulous weekend. I know everyone enjoyed and I had a thoroughly good time.
Many thanks to everyone who supported this weekend, contributing to some great walking, and excellent company with good food thrown in too.
It was great to catch up with the women who had been to the previous women only weekends but there was also a good blend of women I hadn't met before and it was great to meet them and hear the news from their local groups.
This event was well supported and had been fully booked for some time confirming this women only event is a really important event on the calendar.
I want to try and keep it to the same dates in April each year as far as possible, howver these corresponding dates next year happen to be Easter so this event will take place from Friday to Sunday 26th to 28th April. A suggestion has been made for an area in The Malverns so I am already on the case and hope to see you there then.