The aim of the group is to provide gentle exercise on an easy short walk in varying locations within a short drive from Chinnor.
We meet on the second Wednesday of each month (excluding December) at a place decided by the walk leader. The walks start at 2.00pm (1.00pm during the winter months of November, January and February).
The walks are led by a different person each month and start within a 15 mile (approx) radius from Chinnor. The length of the walk is between 2 and 4 miles and is usually fairly easy walking – that is, no steep hills, not too many stiles, not too muddy (if we can help it) and limited road walking (although it’s impossible not to walk on roads sometimes). The walks last about 2 hours.
As a rough guide, the walks are usually in the countryside in the summer and sometimes round towns (eg guided town walks) in the winter. As well as this, in the winter, we try to have our walks not too far from Chinnor because of possible weather problems.
As regards the weather, unless it’s obvious that we must cancel the walk, the Group Co-ordinator (or his deputy) and the walk leader(s) turn up to the walk. Then if the weather is inclement we decide between us all at the start of the walk whether or not to continue. We always recommend walkers wear boots or walking shoes and to be prepared for rain etc.
We try not to repeat the walks too often and try to make the walks interesting. In the past we have had guided tours around towns, guided farm walks, orchid walks and walks on National Trust land. The walks can be in open countryside, in wooded areas or along riversides – in fact, pretty well anywhere. We try to include information about the area we walk through (such as history) to add to the visual enjoyment.
Lastly, we often try to end our walk at a café or pub if it’s convenient. This is very sociable, our members love it and the Short Walks Group has become quite popular. The normal turnout for a walk is about 20 people.
On a more serious note, whilst every care is taken to avoid accidents, members join a walk at their own risk.
To join the Chinnor U3A Short Walks Group, contact the Group Co-ordinator (details on this web site) via phone or email. The Group Co-ordinator will need to know your name, what U3A branch you are in, your email address (if any) and your phone number.
All members are encouraged to occasionally lead a walk – the group co-ordinator cannot lead all the walks. Assistance is available for walk leaders new to the role, such as informing the person where to get suitable books of walks, trying out and/or leading a walk with an established walk leader or perhaps just sorting problems with maps. Even if members can’t actually lead a walk, it is always very useful if they can suggest walks for the future.
A register of members attending walks is maintained and the Group Co-ordinator (or his representative) may take one or more photos of the group during the walk – this is purely for our bi-annual Chinnor U3A magazine Contact.
There is no Short Walks Group membership charge and generally no cost for coming on any of the walks, except for paying for parking at the start of the walk, paying for a guide on the few occasions when we have a guided walk, or paying for your own tea and cake (for example) at a café or pub at the end of the walk.
The Short Walk Group Co-ordinator issues a programme of walks bi-annually (usually by email) to the members to detail the “summer” walks (April, May, June, July, August and September) and the “winter” walks (October, November, January, February and March). The current programme is also displayed on the Chinnor U3A web site.
Although we have no walk in December, we do have our own Short Walks Group Christmas Lunch in December. This is usually on the same day as the Chinnor U3A Carol Concert and again is usually at The Crown in Chinnor.
Members of our other Chinnor U3A walking groups are always welcome to join us. Similarly, members of any other British U3A branch are permitted to join us on a walk at no cost. Any non-U3A friends you wish to bring on a walk may come for a first “taster” session (at a cost of £1) but need to join the U3A to attend further walks.
Members are permitted to bring their dogs on walks at the discretion of the walk leader. Owners will be fully responsible for the behaviour of their dogs at all times – particularly regarding sheep for example and other animals. Also be careful your dog does not trip people up or cause any other problems.
Exceptionally, members may bring children on walks WITH THE PRIOR AGREEMENT OF THE WALK LEADER provided that they are used to coping with the distance and terrain and are well behaved. And again, the safety of the children is the sole responsibility of the member(s) bringing the child or children.
October 11th (Wednesday) 2pm Grid Reference SU648912 Post Code OX10 6PG (approx)
Park at the Ewelme Recreation Ground Car Park. This is a 2½ mile walk around historic Ewelme, visiting the nature reserve, church, possibly the watercress beds and the courtyard of the almshouses. The church has a lot of history and is well worth a look inside. No steep hills or difficult stiles. Refreshments at the end of the walk at the pub (Shepherd’s Hut) or the village store which has a small café.
Leaders: Mavis and Tony Shortman
November 8th (Wednesday) 1pm Grid Reference SU702868 Post Code RG9 5AX
Meet at Nettlebed by the Old Brick Kiln. Take B481 from Watlington turning left at junction with A4130 Henley Road and then immediately left to the Lane near the Kiln (alternatively there may be parking space by the Sue Ryder Home Entrance Gates opposite). This circular walk (about 2¾ miles) passes through ancient Beech Woodlands and Nettlebed Common which was once a major Medieval Brick, Tile and Pottery Centre. Refreshments after the walk at The Field Kitchen in Nettlebed.
Leaders: Mick and Judy Keen
18 walkers, led by Mick Keen, enjoyed a 2½ mile walk around Nettlebed on Wednesday afternoon. The weather could not have been better - a beautiful, sunny day for the leisurely walk through woodland and the attractive gardens of the Sue Ryder home. The afternoon finished with tea and cake, of course!
The photographs were taken in the grounds of the Sue Ryder Home.
December 12th (Tuesday) 12.30pm Grid reference SP755008 Post Code OX39 4EX
No walk but ------
Christmas dinner at the Crown public house in Chinnor for the Short Walks Group (for those who have booked the meal). This is straight after the Chinnor U3A Carol Concert (which starts at 10.30am).
January 10th (Wednesday) 1.30pm Grid reference SP760031 Post Code OX39 4AH
Park at The Peacock at Henton. Mostly flat 2¼ mile walk with 3 (sturdy) stiles. The walk takes us past the Kilconnel kennels, through a bamboo plantation to Forty Green and, crossing fields and passing Cuttlebrook, we return to The Peacock. Refreshments afterwards at The Peacock (need to know numbers before we walk).
Leader: Jill Bloxham
February 4th (Sunday) 1.30pm Grid reference SU777912 Post Code RG9 6QE
For this extra walk park outside Fingest church. We shall walk about 2 miles and return to Fingest church at about 2.30pm to 3.00pm where we will enjoy tea/coffee and cake/biscuits (£3 per person).
Leader: Graham Stone
February 14th (Wednesday) 1pm Grid Reference SU611895 Post Code OX10 0BY (approx)
Meet in the Riverside car park at Wallingford Bridge (east side of river – £1 parking). Entering the Wallingford castle garden and meadow, we take country paths to meet the river and return back along the river to Wallingford Bridge. A 2 mile (approx) walk with no stiles, no hills. Tea/coffee and cake afterwards at Catherine’s Café in the town.
Leader: Graham Stone
March 14th (Wednesday) 2pm Grid reference SU743998 Post Code OX39 4RP
Park in the Crowell church car park (next entrance on the left after the road to The Shepherd’s Crook). This is a flat 3 mile walk with no stiles and a short part on quiet lanes in Kingston Blount, then back to Crowell. Refreshments at The Shepherds Crook, Crowell.
Leader: Jan Crompton