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Beatrice Silcock


Sadly, I must inform you of the death of Beatrice Silcock who died in hospital recently following a long, hard fought illness.

Beatrice and her husband Ken were early members of the Vale of Clwyd Ramblers joining some 12 months after the group was founded in the 1990s. Both were active within the group and Ken was Chair from 2005 until 2008.

Beatrice's funeral will be held on Thursday, 21st June at St Asaph Crematorium, Glascoed Road, St Asaph LL17 0LG.

Ken would be grateful if you would pass this message to others who may have walked with Beatrice. Our thoughts go out to her family and friends at this difficult time.



Forthcoming events



Coach Ramble to Castleton - Saturday June 9th 2018

This spring we are heading for Castleton, an ancient village in the High Peaks dominated by a medieval castle and surrounded by glorious hills making for excellent walking country.

Two walks are on offer –

Walk 1. Grade: C+, strenuous – a scenic 11½ mile walk from the village of Bradwell to Castleton taking in many of the major local hills including Win Hill, Lose Hill and Mam Tor.

Walk 2. Grade: C, moderate with ascents – 7-8 mile walk with a fair amount of ascent. This offers views of Castleton and the surrounding hills.

There will be plenty of time after walking to enjoy the village and its wide variety of shops, hostelries & cafes.

The coach fare is £13 per person. If interested, please click here for a booking form.





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PAST EVENTS

Summer 2017 Evening Walks

This summer we revived our programme of evening walks. There were three walks on offer and the turnout proved that the VC has regained its appetite for them. For the record here were the walks: -

Tuesday July 10th @ 19:00 - Moel Hiraddug circular - Grade C, length 5 miles. From Dyserth walkway car park (ex-Anglia).

Wednesday July 26th @ 18:00 - Annual fish & chip walk - Grade D, length 3 miles. From St Asaph library car park.

Tuesday August 15th @ 1900 - Graig Fawr - Grade D+, 5 miles. From Dyserth walkway car park (ex-Anglia).

If anyone would like to offer an evening walk for 2018 then please contact John Kelly, the Walks' Programme Secretary,
on 01745 338798. Looking forward to seeing you on next year's walks.





Coach Ramble to Church Stretton – Saturday May 7th 2016

A full coach load set off on Spring 2016's coach ramble to Church Stretton, an attractive little town nestling in the Shropshire hills with the Long Mynd on one side and a variety of hills including Caer Caradog on the other side. The Victorians called the area 'Little Switzerland' because of its surroundings and there is a hint of an ancient Welsh past in the names of some of the hills, Long Mynd and Caer Caradog.

The walks on offer were: -

Walk 1. Grade: C+, 12 miles – The Eastern Hills. A linear walk which visited the hills to the east of Church Stretton including The Lawley, Caer Caradog & Helmeth Hill.

Walk 2. Grade: C, 7-8 miles – Long Mynd. A circular walk onto the beautiful & atmospheric Long Mynd above Church Stretton.

Walk 3. Grade: D, about 5 miles – Heritage walk. A leisurely circular walk which explored Church Stretton and the lower reaches of the Long Mynd.

The day was misty but dry. While the mist obstructed some of the views, it did add to the mystery of the place! Our visit coincided with a music festival in the town. Curiously there were also llamas corralled in one of the central car parks (see photos) again adding to its mystery.





Coach Ramble to Hebden Bridge – Saturday October 10th 2015

In October we took a party to Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, an attractive and historic little town nestling in the hills on the Yorkshire side of the Pennines. Originally a mill town producing woollen goods, it became so famous for its clothing manufacture that it was nicknamed ‘Trouser Town’. After the closure of this industry the town turned itself around and was recently voted the 4th funkiest town in the world as well as the coolest place to live in Britain. In keeping with its reputation it did indeed provide plenty of opportunity to chill out after walking!

The walks on offer were: -

Walk 1. Grade: C+, 12 miles – Blackstone Edge and Stoodley Pike. A linear walk crossing Blackstone Edge Moor on a section of the Pennine Way, passing a series of reservoirs and calling at Stoodley Pike with views of the surrounding area before descending into Hebden Bridge itself.

Walk 2. Grade: C, 8.5 miles – Stoodley Pike. A circular walk from Hebden Bridge that passed along the canal before climbing to London Road, an ancient byway below Stoodley Pike. We picked up the Calderdale Way and climbed up onto Stoodley Pike itself where we had lunch and took in the views albeit in a windswept way. Walking along the ridge towards the 19th century monument, we stopped to climb it and take in the extensive views before dropping down inot Hebden Bridge for well earned refreshmewnts.

Walk 3. Grade: D, about 5 miles – Heritage walk. This leisurely circular walk climbed up from Hebden Bridge towards the striking monument on Stoodley Pike. Lunch was had beneath the tower followed by a section of ancient London Road. A final descent took us down to the Rochdale canal where we strolled beside the canal back to Hebden Bridge.

We were blessed with fine if rather windy autumnal weather which capped a splendid and enjoyable day.





Coach Ramble to Much Wenlock – Saturday May 9th 2015

In May we visited the beautiful medieval town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire reknown for its lovely architecture, the dramatic ruins of an ancient priory as well as holy wells, whipping posts, stocks and all sorts of Olympic artefacts too because Much Wenlock played its part in the birth of the modern Olympic Games.

Three walks were on offer – a strenuous circular of 12.5 miles taking in the contrasting scenery between Much Wenlock and Ironbridge Gorge from quiet, rolling fields and woodlands to the dramatic Gorge itelf with its steep sides, early industrial heritage and the River Severn flowing through it. This returned across the estate of Benthall Hall, a 16th century country house, and passed two medieval monastic ruins.

A shorter & gentler circular of 8.5 miles took us along the beautiful Wenlock Edge, an area of rich history with thick woods and fine views and returned via surrounding farmland. The woodlands were especially beautiful with an array of wildflowers at their springtime best. A detour through a rapeseed field was required on the return due to flooding caused by recent downpours.

Finally some of our members took the opportunity for self-guided walks in the Much Wenlock area itself taking in the sights and history of this fascinating little town.

After recent heavy rain, the weather on the day proved to be fine giving rise to some glorious views.





Coach Ramble to the Gritstone Trail – Saturday October 11th 2014

In October we took a coach party to the Gritstone Trail in the western Peak District above Macclesfield. Two parties walked sections of the trail, one walking 12 miles from Bosley to Bollington and the other 8 miles from Walkers Barn to Bollington. Both visiting the famous Tegg’s Nose and White Nancy before descending into Congleton for well-earned drinks in a range of establishments.

Yet again the weather was kind. It was that sort of summer & we made the most of it.





Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Walking Weekend

Friday 19th September to Monday 22nd September 2014

In September a party of 38 visited the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley for a long weekend staying in Coleford, a small market town at the centre of the forest. This is one of the largest groups ever on a VC weekend away and our first to visit two countries! In addition, we were the first walking group to book a stay at the Bells golfing hotel and it was an interesting experience for all concerned.

Several walks were on offer each day highlighting the best features of both local areas. On the Sunday we provided 3 walks, a new departure for us & a successful one too. On our final day we had some lovely local leaders who led us around the forest’s fascinating outdoor sculpture trail. Again the weather was kind.

An increasing number of the party booked extra days in the area which is an interesting trend.





Coach Ramble to Anglesey – Saturday May 10th 2014

A full coach of 52 ramblers (plus 1 stowaway) enjoyed a trip to Anglesey on a blustery day with the rain holding off. One party walked a strenuous 12 mile section of varied and hilly coast between Moelfre and Porth Amlwch while the other party enjoyed a gentler 8 mile circular walk from Porth Amlwch along the coastal cliffs to Porth Eilian with an inland return. This group was joined by John our driver making for 54 walkers, the largest group the Vale of Clwyd has put together! There was plenty of time to enjoy the watering holes of Porth Amlwch and one cafe in particular accommodated 40 of us for coffee & cake shortly after hosting another coach party. What a windfall for them!




Pickering and North York Moors Walking Weekend

Friday 20th September to Monday 23rd September 2013

A group of 26 ramblers headed for Pickering in North Yorkshire for a 4-day break. Pickering is the southern gateway to the North York Moors, a national park since 1952 and with a large area of Open Access land. The Yorkshire Wolds and the Howardian Hills AONB are nearby too.

Pickering is a small market town with a long history. There’s a 13th century castle, a 12th century parish church with 15th century wall paintings and a preserved railway. It’s a “Walkers are Welcome” town too.

Friday saw an initial familiarisation walk from Pickering along Pickering Beck and past the castle.

Saturday provided a pair of walks in the area around Hutton-le-Hole, a longer walk of some 11 miles over Spaunton Moor and above the River Seven passing close to the 19th century ironstone boomtown of Rosedale Abbey once the site of a medieval priory and a 7 miler over the attractive moorland and byways of Spaunton Moor and visiting ancient Ana Cross. One breakaway group managed to spend the day in Whitby before they were rounded up and returned to us.

Sunday brought a pair of linear walks that began with a steam train ride on the North York Moors railway. The longer walk of 11 miles took us from Newton Dale back to Pickering via the Hole of Horcum and Levisham Moor. The shorter 7 miler went from Levisham back to Pickering along the wooded valley of Pickering Beck and across open farmland via a church with interesting carved mice on the wooden fittings!

Monday was our final day and we departed for home after a short walk from Kirkham Priory giving lovely views of the surrounding hills and of the River Derwent. This was followed by lunch in the grounds of the historic priory itself courtesy of the obliging custodian.

The group had a wonderful time in no small part due to the excellence of the local leaders from the Ryedale Ramblers who led all walks on the Saturday and Sunday. Thank you to Sam, Wendy, Martin, Penny and Alan for your hard work on our behalf. We hope we will be able to host a visit from their group to North Wales at some time in the future. The staff at the Beansheaf Hotel were also brilliant which made for an enjoyable and restful experience. Finally, at least one rambler made good use of his time in Pickering, as John Kummer now has a season ticket for the ‘Sun Inn’!



Coach Ramble to Haworth – Saturday October 19th 2013

A coach load of ramblers comprising the Vale of Clwyd and friends descended on the attractive West Yorkshire town of Haworth, famous for its moors, its connection with the Brontė family and for the heritage railway that runs through it. With a choice of walks on offe , everyone had a good time. The walks were a harder, longer one of 11 miles that explored long distance paths, the moors themselves and places of interest such as Hardcastle Crags,Withins Height and the Brontė waterfalls. The shorter, gentler walk of 7 miles that also visited the moors, Withins Height and the Brontė waterfalls and took in the lovely village of Stanbury too.

There was plenty of time for those who wanted to browse in the shops or enjoy the various watering holes. One delighted walker found a new microbrewery and he made certain that he enjoyed it to the full! See the photo gallery for some shots from the day...............



Coach Ramble to Devil’s Bridge – Saturday May 11th 2013

The venue for this day out was Devil’s Bridge in the Vale of Rheidol near Aberystwyth. It has been a tourist attraction for centuries. George Borrow wrote about it in his famous book “Wild Wales” of 1854. The village has cascading waterfalls, a narrow gauge railway and 3 bridges each built on top of its predecessor.

49 hardy Ramblers arrived in high winds & showers to visit the local hills.

The longer walk attracted 14 who walked for 12 miles exploring the valleys and woodlands of the area. They started with Cwm Rheidol and passed through the Coed Rheidol Nature Reserve before crossing Parson's Bridge and walking above the Afon Mynach before returning via The Arch to Devil's Bridge. They scarcely saw another soul all day save for bumping into the shorter group part way round! After this the heavens opened and rewarded us with several heavy hailstorms and thunder to boot. Undeterred the group headed back ro Devil's Bridge to arrive at the cafe shortly after the other group.

The shorter walk attracted 32 walkers (another 3 did their own things). This group tacked an 8.5 mile walk in a similar area to the longer one taking in The Arch & Gelmast farm as well as walking above the Afon Mynach as it heads towards Devil's Bridge. They also faced storms after passing the other group but enjoyed themselves as only ramblers can.




Coach Ramble to Bishop’s Castle – Saturday October 27th 2012

The venue for this day out was Bishop’s Castle, a small market town in Shropshire 20 miles from Shrewsbury and just 1½ miles from the Welsh border. It has some glorious walking country and long distance paths on its doorstep including Offa’s Dyke Path, the Kerry Ridgeway and the Shropshire Way. Bishop’s Castle has a timeless quality. The Normans built a castle here and Welsh drovers passed through it via the Kerry Ridgeway. The town has a claim to fame in the ‘Three Tuns Brewery’. This was established on its present site in 1642 making it the oldest licensed brewery site in Britain.

One group tackled an 11 mile linear from Snailbeach over the Stiperstones while the other explored the lower hills & valleys. There was plenty of time after the walks to enjoy the town, its shops, cafes and its micro-breweries. In fact a sizeable amount of tea, coffee & cake were consumed as well as a truly heroic quantity of beer from one of the local micro-breweries.




Barmouth Walking Weekend - Friday 28th September to Monday 1st October 2012

31 ramblers headed for the North West Wales coast on a 4 day adventure in Barmouth, a picturesque resort made fashionable by the Victorians. Lots of fun was had by all with walks for all tastes. We took the Panorama walk above Barmouth on the Friday followed by 2 walks from Tal-y-Bont on Saturday, one harder linear back to Barmouth and the other a pleasant circular to Pont Scethin accompanied by our own in-house choir! Sunday brought rain and mist but we enjoyed ourselves around Cwm Dwynant. Off home on Monday but only after a choice of linear walks along the Mawddach Estuary. The Arbour Hotel was excellent and the staff very obliging. A fun time was had by all.


Pendle Witches Coach Ramble Saturday May 12th 2012

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials, the Vale of Clwyd Ramblers will be taking a coach to the Pendle area of North-East Lancashire, an area with a rich and varied history. Its landscape is dominated by Pendle Hill. The name Pendle derives from the Cumbric language word 'Pen' meaning hill.

Pendle Hill has 17th century links to the founding of the Quakers, early barometric experiments and, most famously of all, to the Pendle witch trials of 1612, the most famous witch trials in English history.

The coach will be parked at the Pendle Heritage Centre, a lovely Grade II listed building dating from the 15th century with a museum, art gallery, garden and tearoom. It is the ancestral home of Roger Bannister the 1st 4-minute miler.



Northumberland Walking Adventure
Thursday 22nd September to Sunday 25th September 2011

We will be exploring the area around the "Walkers are welcome" town of Haltwhistle and there will be six walks available to choose from over the long weekend. Our main base will be "The Manor House" on Main Street in Haltwhistle which has six bedrooms and a restaurant seating 38 people where all those taking part will have evening meals together. We will be offering additional accommodation at two other establishments situated close by on Main Street.

Some pictures of the Haltwhistle trip


Church Stretton Coach Ramble 25th July 2009

The organized coach trip this year was very successful 47 of us set out early from Prestatyn, the weather was quite good. First drop of point was Dorrington for a lovely linear walk, 11 miles up to a ridge, partly by the way of the Shropshire way taking in some of the Port Way and Motts Way. Back down the Carling Mill Valley after a stop at the cafe and information point then over to Church Stretton.

Next group of walkers had a good circular walk led by Heather taking in Acton Scott Farm Museum, then a good walk back to Church Stretton. We all had a time to look round the town, nice cup of tea and back on the coach round 5pm for the journey home.


Isle of Man Walking Weekend March 2009

Well we had a good start to the long weekend break, the weather on the day of departure was terrible and stormy on the ferry going over to Douglas. The ferry was delayed by three and a half hours, and the waves you would not believe. Most of us were seasick, the crew were doing their best to look after us, landing was a bit tricky. We were all pleased to be on dry land and see the coach to take us to the Rudland Hotel, all well when we arrived, nice rooms, good service.

Next day a visit to Tynwald, the traditional meeting place for the annual Isle of Man parliament. With a eight mile walk through Glen Maye, pretty wooded valley and waterfall, leading us on the coastal path to Peel with time to visit the castle while a few went to a tea shop. Coach journey back to Douglas, with a very informative coach driver. Evening meal at the hotel followed by Quiz night organised by Ann Merigold, in aid of 'Give a Kid a Break' sponsored by Y H A. Winners of the Quiz Norman & Daphne Evans, Barry Jones and Ann Hufton.

Next day by coach to Port Erin. Coastal path to visitors' centre and café overlooking Calf Sound and Calf of Man. With great excitement we all witnessed the seals swimming, then a walk round the coastal path to Spanish Head and the Chasms to Port St Mary, pretty little harbour with sandy beach, coach back to Douglas.

Monday We packed our bags to leave at the hotel to be collected later in the day. Coach journey to Port Soderick for a morning walk. We were all hoped for a much calmer crossing and were not disappointed. All back safe and well.

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