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Saturday 14th January
RAR 255
COVENTRY'S GBG

Meet at Greyhound, Sutton Stop, 12 noon
Sunday 5th February
HW 55
SNOWDROPS AT ALLESLEY

Meet at The Brooklands, Kingsbury Road, 12 noon.
Saturday 18th February
RAR 256
STATFORD TO WELFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am (X18 takes 1 hour 35 mins!!)

The No.27 bus leaves Welford at 3:16pm and arrives Stratford 3:29pm (opposite Maypole)
5:50pm arrives 6:12pm
6:09pm arrives 6:46pm

The X18 bus leaves B439 (Binton turn) at 3:19pm arrives Stratford at 3:56pm. This stop is supposedly 20 mins walk from Welford.
3:49pm arrives 4:26pm
4:24pm arrives 5:01pm
4:54pm arrives 5:31pm

The 6:30pm No. 460 National Express arrives Coventry 7:00pm
Saturday 18th March
RAR 257
WELFORD ON AVON TO BIDFORD ON AVON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives B439 (Binton turn) at 12:07pm
Saturday 15th April
RAR 258
BIDFORD ON AVON TO HARVINGTON

National Express 460 bus departs Pool Meadow Stand B 11:00am arrives Stratford 11:25am

The 11:54am X18 bus from Stratford arrives Bidford 12:11pm
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RAR 235 Putley

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I surveyed this walk as circular walk, going out by one route and back by another. However, when I walked these routes I found that the southern one was much longer, despite its being the route of the Herefordshire Trail. This is because it crosses innumerable small fields, quite often with stilerd at each hedgerow, and meanders left and right. The more northerly route uses bridleways and lanes and hence is much quicker.

Since we have a cider festival to get to, and a train to catch on our return, I intend to keep to the northerly route.

We meet at Coventry station at 11:10am and catch the 11:24am train. Changing at Birminbgham NS we arrive at Ledbury at 13.14pm and set off for the hamlet of Putley Green.

Leaving the station we cross the road and take the path that follows the railway. This leads up to a disused branch line into Ledbury, which makes a very good footpath. Where the path narrows at a footbridge we leave the old railway and take a path through suburbs and industry to the bypass,

Across the bypass we enter fields and, keeping orchards to our right, walk through the grounds of Haygrove Farm. The path is well signed here in an attempt to keep walkers and farm machinery seperate. We cross a curious stile-cum-gate and reach Falcon Lane. We turn right and follow the lane to Baregains Lane, where we go left and walk to Baregains Farm. Here we turn right and pass polytunnels to enter Ast Wood.

We follow blue bridleway signs through the wood, then downhill and we pass the timber framed Priors Court. Across the main road we take the lane to Aylton. At Aylton crossroads we enter fields again; over the hill and through four fields we emerge at the hamlet of Putley Green, alongside an ancient black and white timbered cottage. Here the cider festival will have started in the village hall at 2:00pm.

We should arrive around 2:30pm, so in good time. The festival continues until 6:00pm, but as we are aiming for the 6:25pm train we may have to leave before 5:00pm. If we arrive back in Ledbury in time for a drink, the GBG pubs are the TALBOT in New Street and the PRINCE OF WALES Inn on Church Lane.

Return trains leave at -

4:52pm arriving Coventry 7:13pm (Changes at Worcester & Birmingham) 6:25pm arriving Coventry 8:24pm (Change at Birmingham ) 6:48pm arriving Coventry 9:23pm (Changes at Worcester & Birmingham) 8:22pm arriving Coventry 10:44pm (Change at Birmingham) LAST TRAIN

If people wish to avoid the walk back, Ledbury taxi numbers are -

G&T Private Hire 07922 126136
Filip Umurski Taxis 07903 112849
Venture Private Hire 07889 299283 / 01531 636999 12 Bye Street
Somerville Private Hire 07854 223950
Ledbury Taxi Service 01531 633596

I have contacted two of these companies and they quoted £12 - £15

THE BIG APPLE, PUTLEY GREEN

The activities on the May Bank holiday around Putley Green are called 'The Big Apple'. The cider festival at the village hall is just one of these activities. These festivites are all organised by the fruit growers in the Marcle Ridge area, who grow cider fruit as well as culinary. I guess that most of the cider apples go to Bulmers, or Westons, or the like, but enough fruit is fermented on the farms to make this event possible. So here you will drink the products of the local farms: Bulmers, Westons, Taunton, Thatchers are most definitely not invited.

The format is that, on entering the village hall you are charged £1.50 and are given a thimble - sized plastic glass and six tokens. The tokens are exchanged for thimble-fulls of the competition ciders, the usual thing to do is to go for the prize winners in any of the categories - medium, sweet or dry cider and medium, sweet or dry perry. After that you buy bottles of cider from the stall-holders and, if the weather is good, sit on the grass, drink your cider, and chat all afternoon. The only edibles are local home made cakes. Cider and cakes - great! The festival closes at 6.00 p.m. but we will have to leave before then to catch our train home.

This is what the organisers say in their publicity -

For an afternoon, a day or a full weekend the Big Apple is a special opportunity to enjoy the spring countryside in the Herefordshire parishes on the Marcle Ridge. The local orchards are famous for their cider fruit and excellent eating apples. This is the 26th year that our award winning communities in these parishes have put together a collection of small rural events to enable you to share with us in our tradition of apple growing and cider making.

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