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Church walks in spring and summer

May 2013


St Martin’s & St Michael’s Church, Eastleach Martin, Gloucestershire
St Martin’s & St Michael’s Church, Eastleach Martin, Gloucestershire

Suddenly summer is coming - our features in this May edition of Laterlife all reflect that after a cold winter when we had to spend so much time indoors, long summer days with warmer weather and extended daylight hours are now ahead; a time to get out and about and appreciate the great outdoors.

One lovely way to appreciate our countryside (and keep fit!) is by walking. For this spring and summer, the Churches Conservation Trust has put together a number of short and easy walks in most peaceful, and tranquil spots in the country. Each walk gives an opportunity to admire a wonderful old church and relax amongst some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside.

St Stephen’s Coastal Walk – North Yorkshire
St Stephen’s has stood majestically upon Robin Hood’s Bay since 1821. Echoing its ocean views, the church is engulfed in nautical history with graves bestowing tragic tales of forlorn seamen lost at sea. Walk from St Stephens’s church to Robin Hood’s Bay and see the stunning coastal views which are great for families wanting to combine culture and entertainment.
Expect to see: Breath-taking coastal and seaside views
Walking Distance: 1.2 miles, 26 minutes
Walk Suitable for: Families

St Stephen’s Coastal Walk – North Yorkshire

St Michael’s Historical Countryside Walk – Shropshire
This hidden gem sits in a quiet, idyllic valley west of Bridgnorth. With its stone walls and moss-covered roof this Norman church looks as much a part of the landscape as the trees that surround it. St Michael’s Church is located on an Elizabethan estate and is less than half a mile away from Upton Cressett Hall and Gardens, one of Britain’s most exquisite Tudor Houses. This walk is perfect for heritage enthusiasts and picnics.
Expect to see: Charming village scenes in a traditional countryside setting
Walking distance: 0.5 miles, 15 minutes from St Michael’s to Upton Cressett Hall and Gardens
Walk suitable for: Romantic amblers

St Michael’s Historical Countryside Walk – Shropshire

St Michael’s & St Martin’s Riverside Meander – Gloucestershire
This picture postcard medieval church is nestled on the edge of the river Leach. Perfect for a leisurely walk along the banks of the meandering river to Horseshoe Lake, St Michael’s & St Martin’s is just a stone’s throw from its sister church at Eastleach Turville on the opposite bank.
Expect to see: Idyllic scenery that inspired poet John Keble
Walking distance: 3.9 Miles, 1 hour 18 minutes
Walk suitable for: More ambitious walkers

St Michael’s & St Martin’s Riverside Meander – Gloucestershire

All Saints’ Bluebell Woodlands Walk – Oxfordshire
All Saints’ Church, Nuneham Courtney is a jewel in the heart of the Nuneham Park House grounds. Overlooking the Thames, the 1760s church is a monument to wealth and taste, with dazzling Italian fittings, magnificent memorial sculptures and busts. Just a 30 minute walk away is Bluebell Wood, an enchanted forest filled with springtime flowers.
Expect to see: A carpet of bluebells and wildflower meadows in late April and May
Walking distance: 1.6 miles, 32 minutes from All Saints’ to Bluebell Wood
Walk suitable for: Families

All Saints’ Bluebell Woodlands Walk – Oxfordshire

St Mary’s Norman Town Walk – Kent
Dating back as far as the Saxon era, St Mary’s, Higham, is steeped in history from Norman influences to Benedictine nuns. The church is only four miles from the centre of Rochester for visitors wishing to combine country and town visits with a pleasant walk across the marshlands. Continue the Norman theme and stop by the impressive fortress of Rochester Castle.
Expect to see: Ancient Norman ruins along your way.
Walking distance: 4.6 Miles, 1 hour 33 minutes – St Mary’s Church to
Rochester Castle
Suitable for: Active walkers

St Mary’s Norman Town Walk – Kent

St Mary’s Nature Walk – Hampshire
This dazzling and colourful Victorian jewel of a church overwhelms the senses. A truly exhilarating building, tall and imposing, St Mary’s, Itchen Stoke was inspired by the soaring elegance of 13th-century Sainte Chapelle in Paris, chapel of French kings. Walk alongside the exquisite Alresford sluices to nearby Old Alresford Pond, a medieval oasis well worth investigating.
Expect to see: Otters and wildfowl
Walking Distance: 2.2 Miles, 43 Minutes
Suitable for: Families

St Mary’s Nature Walk – Hampshire

St Mary’s Rural Walk – Somerset  
If legend is to be believed, St Mary’s, Stocklinch Ottersey, and close by St Magdalene’s were built by two sisters vying for the affections of their local vicar. St Mary’s stands on an old water source, one of Somerset’s many healing wells, and is an hour’s stroll away from Barrington Court, a National Trust Tudor House with stunning grounds and a fascinating past.
Expect to see: Wonderful tombs and monuments
Walking distance: 2.3 Miles, 48 Minutes
Suitable for: Families

St Mary’s Rural Walk – Somerset

St Mary’s Stately Walk – Hampshire
This prairie church is said to be all that remains of the Norman Gains Castle. Take in Mottisfont Estate, a glorious National Trust property and gallery set in beautiful riverside gardens, the village of King’s Sorbonne and stately Compton Park.
Expect to see: Countryside vistas that inspired Jane Austen
Walking distance: 6.1 miles, 2 hours
Suitable for: Active walkers       

St Mary’s Stately Walk – Hampshire

St Peter’s Classic Cambridge Walk – Cambridge
Ideally located for a day out in Cambridge, this simple building is a haven of tranquillity from the busy streets around it. Walk the outskirts of the city and take in all that Cambridge has to offer from stunning views of the river to the historic university buildings.
Expect to see: Coe Fen meadowland and River Cam
Walking distance: 2.5 miles, 50 minutes
Suitable for: Families and sightseers

St Peter’s Classic Cambridge Walk – Cambridge

St Andrew’s Hilltop to Reservoir Walk - Northumberland
Perched on Grey Mare Hill, keen hikers and photographers alike will appreciate the ambitious 289m climb to reach St Andrew’s, Shotley, and its rewarding breath-taking views.
Expect to see: Awe-inspiring panoramic views
Walking distance:  3.4 miles, 1 hour 11 minutes
Walk suitable for: Hikers

St Andrew’s Hilltop to Reservoir Walk - Northumberland



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