Stoke Newcastle Ramblers

Where walking is a pleasure

Content on this page is contributed by individual members of the Group, and should not necessarily be taken to be the views of the Group as a whole, or of the Committee.

5th Feb: Timbersbrook and The Cloud

Better a carpark that's closed than a pub that's not open! Our leader directed us to a better parking spot anyway so all was well to start. The cream of the Stoke/Newcastle Ramblers (9 of us) then enjoyed an excellent walk from Timbersbrook. In the morning we spent some time exploring several paths on the slopes of The Cloud with fine slightly misty views in different directions over the surrounding countryside. We then climbed to the trig point for our coffee break where we encountered a man with a tall mast talking loudly into his radio equipment, possibly to Australia. There was also a small dog energetically trying to dig his way there. Leaving the entertainment it was all downhill to the very welcoming pub (Coach and Horses) on the outskirts of Timbersbrook. With immaculate bad timing we left the pub just as Wales were about to kick off their rugby game against Italy. Our leader Brian, being Welsh, probably assumed his team would do better if he wasn't watching them. And so it turned out. The afternoon was a pleasant walk back to the cars, avoiding the worst of the mud that was lurking on most ot the paths to trap the unsuspecting rambler. Thanks Brian (and helpers) for enduring all the mud on the recce so that rest of us softies didn't have to go home with dirty gaiters.

Tony Ratcliffe


Stoke/Newcastle Ramblers contribute to BBC urban walking feature

Representatives from the Stoke/Newcastle group joined the BBC News Media and Arts Correspondent, David Sillito, and a recording team for a short walk along the Cauldon Canal and a discussion on the pleasures of urban walking. The focus of the recording was Dan Raven-Ellison who is currently walking across all of the UK’s 69 cities and 15 national parks and has said that Stoke was full of surprises. Dan wears a headset while walking to record his brain activity, collecting data to help illustrate how landscape influences our mood, health, and happiness.  When asked to suggest an interesting city, Dan said that Stoke had been full of surprises..    

The much-edited recording appeared on BBC 1’s Breakfast show on Monday 30th January at approximately 6.52 AM. If you are interested, you can currently access the program at where you can fast forward to the relevant part.

Tony Adair


22nd Jan: A winter's day on the Roaches

Hubbie Ken led a 10.5 mile walk on Sunday 22nd January. It was a racing start for the 16 of us as the wind whistled round our ears and nether regions on this cold, icy, frosty morning. We stopped at Gradbach to enjoy our mid morning break with snowflakes starting to fall. Ian was quite jealous this was not his Winter Wonderland Walk as advertised as last Sundays walk. We had our pub stop at the Winking Man where a few of us got quite competative at playing Skittles. Both Alans had secret weapons - one was left handed and one had teenage year's experience. It's amazing what hidden skills ramblers have!

After all this excitement we ventured out in to the thick mist to contine our walk via Hazel Barrow, The Blue Hills and to emerge between Hen Cloud and Rockhall. Our last climb was up onto the Roaches Ridge back to our cars. Unfortunately for Ken the Ice Cream Van was not there!!

Eileen Twigge

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Not taken from a bird hide, but weather was so cold it stopped the lens fully opening!



18th Jan: Turkey Trot and shorter walks in general

On Wednesday 27 colleagues enjoyed a short four mile walk in Dimmings Dale followed, for those that wished, by some excellent food and banter at the Ramblers Retreat tearoom; a former 19th century lodge. The weather was kind to us and the occasional mud underfoot added to the charm of the day. Great thanks are due to our leader, Malcolm, for both leading the walk and for liaising with the tearoom so we were all accommodated and welcomed.    

On the following day the group committee discussed shorter walks in general. This was at the request of some of our more mature members, but it was also felt that some newer members might also appreciate the opportunity to walk shorter distances to ‘get into their stride’. Hence there will be a small number of 4 mile walks within our forthcoming half day calendar replacing, on the odd occasion, our typical 6 mile jaunts. You will find these by scanning the mileages given for each walk in our walks’ programme that is freely available on-line and is distributed in hard copy to all our members. We also ask our leaders to consider whether they might want to lead such a walk in the future.

We do not promise a group meal at the end of every shorter walk, but eating your own packed lunch in a rural setting at the end of a gentle stroll can be a treat in itself!

Stephen Merry

17th Jan: Gun Hill

170104 ShadowWhile doing a recce over Gun Hill, as the sun was setting behind me I caught this amazing shadow of myself, spread out towards the Roaches.


15th Jan: Walking in a Winter Wonderland

This was Ian Swift's walk.....well let's now re- title it ...Trudging in a January Wetland!  Eleven brave souls turned up at Whitmore Village Hall for the start of the 12 mile walk around Maer Hills. There was originally talk of mutiny and going for breakfast at a nearby hostelry or even having a day out at Dagfields. However the rambler genes in us all said we are not wusses, and so we all donned on every waterproof garment we had and set off. The rain persisted and so did the banter. We enjoyed a cosy, dry lunch stop in a pub in Ashley where we had a snug to ouselves. Then back out into more heavy sludge, slurry, mud and rain. Ian had done his homework and made notes about the history and burial of Josiah Wedgewood at Maer Church. Unfortunately for him, he gave us a choice of a ten minute detour and speech or carry on up the hill. We all seemed to turn into hill sprinters whilst Ian stood, wet paper in hand. Never give a rambler a choice especially when it's pouring down!

Another enjoyable day out.

Eileen Twigge

7th Jan: Bus walk

A crowd of us met at Hanley bus station for Brian's walk through the city. Most had come by bus, but some had driven in and parked.

170107 BusStation

We caught the bus to Hanford, got off by the filling station and picked up the River Trent to walk into Stoke.  Kingfishers are regularly seen on that stretch but we weren't in luck - probably because of all the chattering going on.

We emerged briefly into the streets of Stoke before dropping again, down to the Trent & Mersey Canal. After a coffee stop at Etruria Industrial Museum, our route took us through Festival Park and up behind the ski slope onto Festival Heights. A tranquil walkway, unknown to most of us, led us to Burslem and a friendly pub stop. Since there was no food on that day, the landlord allowed a couple of us to bring in Wright's Pies from the shop down the road. Suitably refreshed, we enjoyed a stroll around Burslem Park, then followed the old loopline into Hanley Forest Park. Two of the group felt obliged to climb the old slag heap to enjoy the view while the rest had a cup of tea from the kiosk.

Read more: 7th Jan: Bus walk

4th Dec: Christmas lunch

The weather was dry and sunny as 35 of us left the Rose and Crown at Stanley on a 5 mile walk. 161204.4

Mavis Heath

Area AGM - Sunday 27th November

The nicely decorated Christmas-themed Burntwood Memorial Community Hall for the Area Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 27th November was pretty much packed with members from most of the 15 Staffordshire Ramblers Groups (approximately 85 members). We all settled down to the usual mundane, and predictable, election of officers for the next 12 months after enjoying a choice of two walks – 7 miles or 5 miles – in mild sunny weather, for those who arrived to take advantage of them. Well organised by the Chase & District Group – the cakes, tea & biscuits were excellent. After the main business was over, an interesting talk was given by Anne Walker of the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Incidentally, vacant posts on Area Committee are: vice-chairman, countryside officer and publicity secretary.

Richard & Anne Clamp

Rambling Away Eggheads victory features in local and national press


The success of Stoke/Newcastle Ramblers team 'Rambling Away' on the popular BBC TV quiz show 'Eggheads' has been featured in both the Stoke 'Sentinel' newspaper and the current edition of the Ramblers 'Walk' magazine.

The Sentinel article was published on 9/11/2016 and is currently available at

Ramblers members will find the Walk magazine feature on page 20 of their Winter 2016 edition of Walk.

The team of Susan, Doreen, Pete, Rob, Richard and Stephen would like to thank their colleagues for the kind messages of support they received.

Stephen Merry 

Real ale trail

19th November 2016

Brians real ail trail turned out to be a succsess once again. We all met up in the Green Man, a Wetherspoons pub in Leek. After enjoying a hearty breakfast we moved on to the Earl Grey where there was a good choice of real ales.

After one or maybe two pints we then made our way to the Fountain where the proprietor allowed us to eat our lunch. A few of us shared a pork pie that Brian had bought from the local market (well someone has to help him out.) From there we went to the Cobblers where we struggled to get to the bar, but we made it! Finally we made our way to the Leeky Tap where we sampled a few more real ales, before we made our way home.

Well done Brian, what a good dee out!

Alan Bell

3rd November

What a brilliant turnout of 35 members for our walk last Thursday. We started from Trentham monkey park, through to Swynnerton and after a lunch stop in the churchyard returned via Beech caves. The autumn colours were spectacular, thank you all for coming to share a lovely walk.

Steve and Mavis Heath

6th Nov: George Shufflebotham Memorial Walk


The large attendance at today's George Shufflebotham Memorial walk was a fitting tribute to a former colleague who epitomised the ethos of the Ramblers by producing several local walking guides and contributing to the maintenance of many of the footpaths that we regularly walk. No less than 55 walkers enjoyed a morning's stroll in pleasant October weather passing the memorial post erected by the Stoke/Newcastle group in George's honour. The event was certainly a success and everyone seemed to appreciate the butties in the pub at lunchtime.

Anne Clamp & Stephen Merry


Owt Foxt but not Out-Foxed!

Recceing last Sunday's walk out to Foxt was a challenge, but our wiley leader Malcolm would not be out-foxed. The original route (plan A) was too long, plan B was too steep, Plan C had too many leaves on the track and then when he thought he had cracked it, the Council closed a bridge due to a missing plank. Undeterred after 5 recces, I am pleased to report that plan E was a most enjoyable stroll from Kingsley to Whiston and Ipstones via Foxt. 

walking or talking

Read more: Owt Foxt but not Out-Foxed!

20 October - Middleport Pottery Tour

What a great day we had visiting the Burleigh Pottery at Longport. Thanks to all for a supportive turnout - 21 members- which began with a short walk (well stroll really!) through to Tunstall Park and returning via the canal. After an excellent lunch in their cafe, with our knowledgeable guide, Tony, we spent a very enjoyable 2 hours exploring working life in the Potteries, taking us through each process of manufacture and at the same time making us all glad we live in the 21st century. The whole experience was enjoyed by all.

Richard & Anne Clamp

Sun 16 Oct 2016

Twelve ramblers set out in the rain from Astbury Mere after pursuading a reluctant leader to get out of the car. Fortunately, the rain soon stopped, the sun came out and happiness was restored to all. We climbed up towards Mow Cop and then walked along Congleton Edge, with fine views across the Cheshire plain, to the Castle Inn at Dane in Shaw for lunchtime refreshment. Some of us sat outside in the warm sunshine while others sat inside by the even warmer open fire. A gentle afternoon stroll, mainly along the canal, took us back to the mere.

Tony Ratcliffe

It's a hard life being a Rambler!

Had the frivolities of the previous evening caught up with him? Was he just lulled gently by the sunny babbling brook?  Whatever, John grabbed this chance to 'rest his eyes' after lunch in the Glenderaterra Valley.

KeswickJohn Jan Bigley 

A moment of Serendipity at Castlehead

...looking toward Castle Crag where Alan's group were enjoying the rain you can see behind us !


 Brian Lewis

Keswick on a Sun-day!


Walking on Sunshine ... and don't it feel good. View South from Latrigg.

Brian Lewis



This blog is for everyone

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Cotswold Outdoor

As a Ramblers' Member, there is now a 15% discount available at Cotswold Outdoor. They have a stores at the Wyevale Garden Centre (Bridgemere), Bakewell and Manchester.

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And a 20% for your first purchase with the voucher which comes in the membership pack.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018