Simonsbath Weekend

A group of 22 enjoyed a wonderful weekend in October, walking in Exmoor. We stayed at the Simonsbath House hotel, which was a very comfortable base for the 3 night break. The welcome was warm, and the food excellent.

We were lucky with the weather too – sunshine nearly all the time, so we were able to enjoy the autumn colours, with views across the moorland, home to several groups of deer and, of course, Exmoor ponies.

The weekend was deemed a great success, and our thanks go to Malcolm Fellows, who masterminded the whole thing. It was pleasing to see him once more.

Next social event – a Barn Dance

The club’s next social event will be a Barn Dance on Friday November 9th. It will take place at the

Solihull Sports and Social Club, Brick Line Lane, Solihull B91 3LE

and starts at 7.30 p.m. There will be our usual favourite caller and a ploughman’s supper (including a dessert), and the venue has a well-stocked bar.

Tickets cost £10 per head, and all members, their family and friends, are encouraged to join in and make the evening one to remember. Use the ‘Contact Us’ tab or the booking form circulated to members to get your tickets.

Geopark Way

Our next long trail will be the Geopark Way, from Bridgnorth to Gloucester Cathedral – a total of 109 miles. This will be done over 10 legs, of, on average, about 10 miles each, and the first one is on September 1st. Each walk takes place on a Saturday.

If any club member who would like to join in on any of these walks, and has not received details of the legs, please get in touch via the ‘Contact Us’ tab on the website. It is not necessary to commit to all of the legs.

Shakespeare Way – the final leg

The last weekend in July saw the completion of the Shakespeare Way, when the group walked the 9 or so miles from Putney into the centre of London, finishing at the Globe Theatre.

Most of the walkers went down to London the day before, and took the tube out to Putney on Saturday morning. Luckily the weather had cooled slightly from the heat of the previous day, making for a pleasant walk along the banks of the Thames. There are many and varied apartment blocks along the river, at prices that would probably astound most of us Midlanders, along with many familiar sites that characterise our capital city. The area round the old Battersea Power station was a hive of activity, as the buildings are being converted to residential homes that promise to be of the high-end variety!

Once at the Globe, the group dispersed to their various hotels, returning later for an early evening meal at a restaurant near the Globe. After this, they took their seats in the Globe Theatre, for a performance of Othello. It proved a wonderful and fitting end to the long trail from Stratford-on-Avon to London, which had itself been a varied and enjoyable walk.

Navigation for Walkers courses for 2018

Derek Jones is planning new courses for 2018. When he has about 20 names on the list an email is sent to everyone asking what days and dates they cannot attend. The courses (3 x 4 hour sessions) are then arranged to suit the responses and are at levels one or two.

Please contact Derek if you have any questions, or would like to go onto his list of interested people.

These courses have been a feature for a good few years, and many have benefited from them, including several Pathfinders members. Courses focus on appropriate levels of the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) accreditation: Bronze & Silver. Programmes are mainly practical, and course charges cover registration, certificates, badges, assessment, maps, facilitation etc.

The 3 weekly sessions will run from 10am until 2pm and the cost in total will be £30.

If you have any queries please ask (0121 744 7881)

Typical Level 1 course for beginners and improvers; suitable for any walkers who wish to increase their map reading skills so as to be able to navigate with confidence – includes map reading, compass skills, basic navigation techniques; leading to (optionally) Bronze level in National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS).

For those who decide to be formally assessed for the Bronze National Navigation Award (NNAS) there will be an extra session arranged and cost for this session including registration and the certificate will be £10 in total.

Names are also being collected for Level 2 course which is suitable for those who already have first level skills.

Derek Jones, Trainer/Assessor.

Two Moors Way – the final weekend

A group of club members has been undertaking the Two Moors Way, from Wembury, on the south coast of Devon, to Lynmouth, on the north coast of Somerset. The route included crossing Dartmoor and Exmoor, and the group did the walk over 3 weekends.

October 6th to 8th saw the group complete the walk. Apart from the beautiful scenery, which almost goes without saying, the weather contributed greatly to a fantastic three days walking. Friday and Sunday were like very pleasant spring days, but of course it had to rain sometime, so Saturday morning, going across Exmoor, was very wet.

Friday was the longest day, walking around 14 miles from Knowstone to Withypool. The walk was varied, but the highlight was the Tarr Steps across the river Barle.  Saturday morning proved to be rainy, but a shorter walk took the group on to Simonsbath, which they reached in the early afternoon. Sunday found the group treated to another lovely day, as they walked on across Exmoor, catching sight of several red dear on the moor. Finally they descended steeply into Lynmouth – icecreams all round!

Overall the event has been a huge success. Tasty meals were eaten (to be walked off next day) and the occasional celebratory drink consumed. Everyone who took part enjoyed the walking, the scenery, and most of all, each other’s company.

HF holiday in Alnmouth

A group of around 30 members have just enjoyed 3 days walking in Northumbria, whilst staying at the HF house in Alnmouth. Walks varied from easy strolls round Bamburgh and Lindisfarne, to more strenuous days out across wonderful heather-covered landscapes. As usual, the hotel was very comfortable, and the meals excellent. Entertainment in the evenings included a quiz, a bat walk and a visit to a local hall, where there was a live music concert featuring Northumbrian pipes.

These holidays prove consistently popular, and we hope to try another HF break next year – watch this space!

Navigation for Walkers courses

Derek Jones, who runs these NNAS acredited courses, has recently contacted the club about the next round of courses he plans to run:

“I am starting a list of people interested in the next set of courses. How it works is when there are about 20 names on the list an email is sent to everyone asking what days and dates they cannot attend. The courses (3 x 4 hour sessions) are then arranged to suit the responses and are at levels one or two.”

Several club members have attended these courses in the past, and found them both enjoyable and of great value. If you would like to be added to Derek’s list for his next course, or want further information, please contact the club via our ‘Contact us’ page, and we will pass on your email to Derek.

Or contact him directly via .

North Wales Pilgrim’s way

Whilst a group of Pathfinders members were walking in Snowdonia, on our recent autumn weekend break, we met a couple of fellow walkers, and stopped for a chat. They told us about a new trail, which they had had some part in formulating, called the North Wales Pilgrim’s Way. They have since sent us some leaflets, detailing what looks like a very attractive trail.

It runs from Holywell, in Denbighshire, along the north coast, down the Lleyn peninsula, finishing at Bardsey Island, a distance of 135 miles. Stamps can be collected for your ‘passport’ along the way.

Further information can be found at