Socials and Weekends Away (Click here for socials archive)
As the weekends away and meals out are always oversubscribed and tend to fill up almost as soon as they hit the website, we have to restrict them to current members of SWG40s. However, everyone is welcome on a pub night out, especially if you are new to the group or you are thinking about joining us.
Before booking onto a weekend, please read the weekends away booking information on the FAQ Page.
Walk Leaders Meeting/Social
Date: Monday 3 February 2020
Details: Walk Leaders Meeting, 7:30pm The Fat Cat pub in Sheffield (room upstairs). Curry and Beer downstairs at 8:00pm.
Email invite sent to all existing Walk Leaders, the meeting is open to all members especially if interested in leading walks for the group.
Meal at Persian QashQai
Date: 15th Feb 2020, evening
Details: Meal at Persian QashQai
Hillsbourgh area, More details to follow
New Members Night
Date: 6th March 2020, evening
Details: New Members Night
Sheffield town centre pub, more info to follow
[Fully booked] Introduction to Madeira - 6 days away in the sun
Date: 14-19 March 2020
Details: *** This trip is now fully booked ***
Member organised Madeira trip - by our very own Madeiran, Ze Nobrega.
** So far there is a high number of members interested which is great. However, due to the specific nature of walks in Madeira-"levadas, tunnels, high mountains, transport, etc the number of applicants will be limited to approximately 18 people in order to maintain Health and Safety during the walks. Therefore, could you please let me know firstname.lastname@example.org if you are thinking to book your flight. **
Hello everybody I am from Madeira and would like to introduce you all to this beautiful volcanic and rugged Island not only with tropical flowers but also with the 2nd highest sea cliff in the world. You will enjoy organised walks and site seeing with amazing views. There will be opportunities to explore the old “levadas”, natural pebbly beaches and tasting exotic fruits and local food and wine.
You will have plenty of hiking thrills when walking above the clouds! The walks, site seeing and activities will take place from Saturday 14th to Thursday 19th March 2020. Most flights to Madeira are on Fridays and Mondays with easy jet and Jet 2 from Manchester and East Midlands. Please note that there is a cheap flight with easy jet from Manchester on Friday 13th March and back on Friday the 20th March 2020. If you are committed going to book as early as you can! I would appreciate if by October 2019 I could have the number of people booked so that I can discuss further the arrangements with Madeira Travel Company in order to arrange transport for some walks.
The accommodation: Try to book your own accommodation, but please note that we will be meeting in Funchal to start most of our walks and sightseeing. Therefore, try to book any kind of accommodation around Funchal. Not too far away from the Farmers Market-Mercado dos Lavradores or the Historical Centre of Funchal ie Cidade Velha. There is the Oudinot Shopping Centre very close to Farmers Market and the Historical Centre. I was told that there will be Apartments T1 T2 and T3 to rent in March. You can mention that you belong to the Ramblers Sheffield group organised by Ze when contacting: email@example.com +351969496666 Address: Rua Brigadeiro Oudinot 2 9060-209 Funchal
Please note that Madeira has a lot of tourism and have a variety of accommodation to offer from hostels to 5 star hotels so feel free to choose your own accommodation around Funchal. Walks activities I will lead the walks myself, but will get a company to provide transport as necessary for some walks. It will be mainly B2 walks, but due to the nature of the Madeira volcanic terrain, irrigation channels- “levadas” and beautiful scenery across mountains some walks will have high drops but there will be some handrails on the side. However, not advisable for people who suffer from vertigo! Insurance in Madeira is an autonomic region of Portugal, therefore is part of the Common Market...so I assume that you will need your own insurance.
If you want more information please email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope when I know the number of people going I will be able to produce a plan for the week in Madeira.
Final Plan for Madeira Walking Holiday March 2020
AIMS Keep the group together safe both in Social and Walking activities
Therefore, AM Madeira Tours has agreed to transport the group for the above activities when public transport has proved difficult.
AM Madeira Tours is a small flexible and very competitive company run by Father (Senhor Adriano) and Son (Emanuel).
Contacts Emanuel +351962168930 General +351291222790 e-mail email@example.com
Walk Leaders - Portuguese Emergency telephone No 112
Zé Nobrega English mobile +44 7713267003 Portuguese mobile +351 962770279
Ian Minogue English mobile +44 7967903748
Note – Insurance & European Health Insurance Card
Madeira is a Portuguese Island and therefore is part of Europe. Please make sure you check with your insurance broker that you are covered to walk in Madeira because in walk 1 from Pico Arieiro to Achada do Teixeira you have to climb a considerable number of metal steps. Make sure also that Ramblers’ Association covers you. Please check the expiry date of your EHIC!
Day 1 - Friday 13 March - Arrival
Transfers to accommodation by Aerobus, Taxi or Pre-booked with AM Madeira Tours
Aerobus: see timetables on https://www.sam.pt/informacoes-aerobus.html
Fares- Single ticket 5 Euros, Return 8 EUR
Duration- approx. 30 minutes. Get off at Stop 4 Mercado for the hotels.
For the people arriving at 14:00, the first Aerobus (currently) is at 16:30. However, there is a bus (No23) from Machico passing aeroport at 14:35 express, 15:25, 15:35 express, or you can get a taxi. Agree a price before the journey.
The people arriving at 18:55 will be met at Arrivals by someone showing a “Sheffield 40s Ramblers” card.
AM Madeira Tours will transfer you to Hotel do Carmo and Mercado (5 EUR, same as the Aerobus- make sure that you have 5 euros for the journey)
Day 2 - Saturday 14 March – Walk around Funchal, optionally Câmara do Lobos, Welcome Dinner
09:00 Meet in front of Mercado, Funchal
A guided tour around some highlights of Funchal led by Zé and Ian, including…
11:00 Wine tasting at Oliveira's Wine Lodge
12:30 Lunch by the lake in Santa Catarina Park, or in a nearby café
13:15 Finish the walk in Funchal, then either have a free afternoon (there are many local public (yellow) buses back to the hotels) or walk along the coast to the fishing village and small coastal town of Câmara de Lobos. This is where Churchill spent a lot of his time painting and writing. The owners of the Churchill Restaurant affixed a plaque on the wall which shows exactly where he worked! A “Churchill Hotel” has recently been built and his grandson was invited to the inauguration.
For the walk we can either go initially along a levada overlooking the coast, then along the coastal path (2 hours, Grade A2) or entirely along the coastal path (1.5 hours, Grade A1).
The return to Funchal can be back along the coastal path (1.5 hours, Grade A1) or people can take a bus!
Evening- Welcome dinner at Restaurante a Montanha at Ocean Gardens Hotel
(see www.restauranteamontanha.pt) - best folklore show and magnificent views of Funchal Harbour it is a must!
Specially negotiated set menu @ 25 EUR: 3 courses; starter, meat or fish or vegetarian, sweet,
including, during the meal, as much wine, beer, water, soft drinks as you like
Transport from Funchal is by public bus EACaniço No2 bus at 19:30 from Rua D.Carlos near the Cable Car
optional short walk before the meal up to Miradouro Pináculo to see the views
meal will be booked for 20:15
Return- AM Madeira Tours pick up 22:15 at restaurant (2 EUR each for 16 people - similar to public bus fare) to Hotel do Carmo. (Ian and Ze will go home in the opposite direction!)
Day 3 - Sunday 15 March - Public bus trip around the island, including Cabo Girão & Porto Moniz
08:50 meet by the Anadia Shopping centre
Rua do Visconde de Anadia opposite the main entrance to the Market
09:00 take public Rodoeste bus 139 to Porto Moniz (at the far end of the island) via São Vicente on the north coast (6 EUR)
10:00 10 minute stop at Cabo Girão miradouro (highest sea-cliff in Europe 570m, 1,870 ft)
Be ready to jump out to see the views and get back quickly!
Try walking on the glass floor above the cliff to see if you have a problem with vertigo!
12:25 Arrives Porto Moniz
Lunch- Snack Bar Ilhéu Molhe (see Instagram or Facebook) small for locals- homemade food or
Cachalote Restaurant (see www.restaurantecachalote.com/en) large cater larger groups
Which one would you like? Better to give notice to owner i.e. pre-arrange!
Afternoon- swimming in natural sea pools or swimming pool, sunbathing (weather permitting!)
16:00 take public Rodoeste bus 80 back to Funchal via Calheta on the south coast (6 EUR)
19:40 Arrives Funchal
Day 4 - Monday 16 March - Big walks in the centre of the island
Full day- Walk options, partly dependent on weather.
Walk No 1- Pico Arieiro to Pico Ruivo & Achada do Teixeira
(Grade B3, 4.5 hours, 10km, up 490m, down 720m, Discovery Walking Guides Walk 61+)
Description- The most popular and challenging course from the summit of Pico Arieiro, 3rd highest peak in Madeira at 1,818m. Most days, we can stand and look down on the clouds. The air is fresh and clear and the sun is very bright. This route traverses steep ridges, passes through tunnels and steep slopes with narrow paths and challenging metal steps to climb. A fascinating walk with breath-taking landscapes where rock formations seem to want to reach heaven like giant sculptures! Pico Ruivo is the highest peak in Madeira at 1,862m.
Advice- Hiking boots, torch or mobile with light for the tunnels are necessary and dress must be suitable for all situations due to the possibility of sudden weather changes. Plenty of food and water is advisable. This is a stunning, diverse and pretty strenuous walk. Definitely worth the effort though!
Walk No 2- Ribeiro Frio to Balcões and Portela
(Grade B2, 4 hours, 14km, Sunflower Landscapes Walk 25 short + main walks)
Description- we first have the option to visit the trout farm at Ribeiro Frio (Cold Ravine)- small entrance fee -and then do a 3km (return) easy walk to Balcões (Balconies) for spectacular views of the great peaks and the river valley down to the north coast. From Ribeiro Frio to Portela - the first two-thirds of the walk follow a levada and so are pretty level and easy. However, the last 10 minutes of the levada is quite narrow and cut into a cliff, so there is a drop, but the way is safe with a handrail. The last third of the walk is quite steeply downhill, with beautiful views out to Penha de Águia (Eagle Rock) on the north coast of the island.
Transport Out- AM Madeira Tours will pick us all up at Hotel do Carmo at 09:00, drive first to Pico Arieiro to see the views and drop off people doing Walk No 1, then to Ribeiro Frio for Walk No 2 drop-off
Return- AM Madeira Tours will probably pick up Walk No 2 people at Portela and then Walk No 1 people at Achada do Teixeira and return to Hotel do Carmo.
Price- depends on numbers of people, estimate 11-15 EUR.
Day 5 - Tuesday 17 March - Free day and dinner at Zé’s
Bus 81 from near Cable-car terminal to Eira do Serrado and Curral das Freiras & back e.g. at 09:00 or 10:00
Boat or catamaran trip from Funchal harbour
Museo de Arte Sacra do Funchal, Rua do Bispo 21 (as passed on Saturday)
Cable car or bus No31 to Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botânico) e.g. at 10:00
Evening- surprise Madeiran fish dinner buffet at Zé's apartment in Caniço (bacalhau, peixe espada, tuna, whatever available in season etc.) Please bring your own drinks! (There is a Continente supermarket in Caniço Shopping below Ze’s flat)
Optional visit after meal to the Village pub nearby!
Transport- by public bus EACaniço bus No2; get ticket to Caniço Shopping Centre (bus at 17:45 and 18:45)
Return buses – 21:10, 21:45, 23:10 from Assomada passing in Caniço Shopping approx. 10mins later.
Day 6 - Wednesday 18 March – Levada walk above Funchal
Day- Walk No 3 Camacha to Monte (Grade B2, 4 hours, 15km, Discovery Walking Guides Walk 58)
Camacha- One of the most rural and picturesque villages in Madeira. It is very well known worldwide for its wicker basket industry and colourful folklore. It is a beautiful small village a few kilometres in the hills east of Funchal. It is also famous for its 'Apple Festival and it was the place where football was first played in Madeira. We will visit Madeira’s willow craft – wicker factory -centre and probably drink a local cider.
Walk- via the levada Serra do Faial for about 15 km. Ascents 125m, descents 240m. This memorable walk passes through mixed woodland and dense pine forests. The route is relatively easy with no drops until approaching Monte. Here one can follow the path leading to the road or the lower path climbing to Monte and avoiding high drops (group can split temporarily in two with Ze and Ian).
Monte- this is one of the most emblematic places in Madeira Island and we can explain why! Perched up on the mountain has the magnificent panoramic view over Funchal bay that the 550 metres above the sea have to offer. Cooler climate hovering in the air and a peaceful environment, are for some, an asset that Monte has to offer. It was formerly a health resort for Europe's high society. Here we can visit the exotic gardens, visit the famous church Nossa Senhora do Monte and enjoy the Portuguese food “Prego no Pão” (meat steak in a “bolo do caco” breadcake) or “Carne de vinho e alhos” (pork meat marinated in wine and garlic).
Transport- out by public bus No 129 to Camacha at 09:00 by the Cable Car terminal
Return- by toboggan, cablecar (teleférico, 10 EUR), walking or bus.
Toboggan- Its appearance took place in the nineteenth century, when it became necessary to find a solution to carry the wealthiest people in Monte to Funchal without time-consuming. The cars are made of wicker and slide on wooden skids. The way back to Funchal is descending, so the force of gravity makes the basket-car slide, and the direction and speed reduction are controlled by two men grabbed at the back. The ride takes 10-15 minutes and is possible to glimpse a beautiful panoramic view over the bay of Funchal ... It's the perfect way to end your visit to Monte if you are that kind of person... English! Ah... Ah... !
Evening- Dinner at Santo Antonio Restaurant at Estreito de Câmara de Lobos (see restaurantesantoantonio.com and Tripadvisor)
Espetada (best famous, traditional & typical kebab of beef or chicken in Madeira) or bacalhau assado (baked cod)
Then: 'Hole in One' pub near Funchal Lido with live music & dancing
Transport- Rodoeste bus No 96 at 18:15 (from Anadia Shopping centre) to Estreito de Camara de Lobos return at 21:20 Rodoeste bus No 3 to Lido-Funchal with the option to get out at Hole in One pub and then after enjoying yourself, return to Funchal by any local yellow bus (Linha Verde) routes 1-6 to Funchal Centro.There is a local yellow bus at 23.10pm to Funchal centre.
Day 7 - Thursday 19 March - Big walks in the northeast
Full day- Walk options, partly dependent on weather.
Walk No 4- Queimadas to Caldeirão Verde (+ possible extension to Caldeirão do Inferno) & return
(Grade B2, 4 hours, 13km, Discovery Walking Guides Walk 55)
In Queimadas there is a guest house where one can relax and have a magic picnic or morning break.
From here (Queimadas to Caldeirão Verde) we follow the levada da Serra de São Jorge and enjoy the views of an enchanted green paradise. Shortly after the start we can enjoy the magnificent views of the villages which are located below. We shall walk through a waterfall and go through small tunnels and observe various plants and geological formations as well as observing wonderful views of Santana and São Jorge. Shortly after passing a 200m tunnel we will arrive at the incredible Waterfall of the Caldeirão Verde where we can have lunch.
(Note: From here, depending on the feasibility of transport timings, there might be an option to carry on to Caldeirão do Inferno (Grade 3) & return (another 2 hours) for the more adventurous. (Others can just relax here and wait for the return of the adventurous!) However, this final sector of the levada presents various areas without protection so one needs to have extra caution. During the last part, one follows the levada until reaching a very steep staircase that you need to climb until you find a tunnel where 2 levadas converge, following the levada on the right to reach Caldeirão do Inferno which has a stunning view of a very narrow river throat! The waterfall at the end of the trail is like something out of a Hobbit film with water cascading like lacework hundreds of feet down the cliff.
The combination of the levada cut into the side of sheer cliffs, tunnels with windows out on to a gorge with rushing stream, steel bridges over a canyon and the final waterfall will make this worth the effort and absolutely enchanting !
Advice - as described in walk No 1
Walk No 5- Santana (Hotel do Furão) to São Jorge
(Grade B2, 4 hours, 9km, Discovery Walking Guides Walk 49 + to Farol & Vigia)
Description- This walk is along a coastal path on the north coast, firstly along the cliffs, then dropping down to the coast before climbing up again. There are stunning views of the coastline - east and west - and the mountains to the south and beautiful flora all around. At the end, we will visit the Farol (lighthouse) and the miradouro (viewpoint) at Vigia before the walk into the centre of São Jorge village.
Transport Out- AM Madeira Tours will pick us all up at Hotel do Carmo at 09:00, drive first to Queimadas to drop off people doing Walk No4 , then to Santana start point for Walk No5 drop-off.
Return- AM Madeira Tours will pick up Walk No4 people at São Jorge and Walk No5 people at Queimadas or vice versa and return to Hotel do Carmo
Price- depends on numbers of people, estimate 12-17 EUR.
Evening- farewell dinner, may include “Fado singing” - to be arranged later
Day 8 - Friday 20 March – Departure
Transfers to airport by Aerobus, Taxi or Pre-booked with AM Madeira Tours
4 people are departing at 19:30 and 8 people at 15:00
Check the SAM website near the time to see if there is a suitable Aerobus time.
AM Madeira Tours quoted 4 people 20 EUR and 5-8 people 25 EUR. This can be arranged during the week with the company.
I assume that all of us will be
- interested in the walks choosing either the harder or moderate ones at the time.
- attending the evening social activities organised meals including Ze’s buffet
Ian and I will be going to Madeira in the New Year and we would like you to confirm please, the walks and Social activities by 25/12/2019
Could you please let me know
- if you are not joining any of the walks or evening social activities
- if you have any food intolerance and
- which restaurant would you like to eat in when we go to Porto Moniz on Sunday the 15th March Ilheu Molhe or Cachalote?
All the best, looking forward to hearing from you, Ian and Zé
Meal and a walk
Date: 25th April 2020
Details: Meal and a walk
Travellers Apperknowle, more details to follow
North Kesteven Walking Festival Weekend
Date: 17th-19th July 2020
Details: A group booking will be arranged in the Lincoln area to tie up with the Festival.
More info to follow.
Pitlochry Walking Week
Date: 21-28 August 2020
Details: We are planning a week away in Pitlochry, Perthshire (the heart of Scotland) on 21 August 2020.
Pitlochry is a town with a number of interesting shops, cafes and hostelries and is on the edge of The Cairngorms National Park which offers some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery.
We are going for seven days so there will be plenty of time to do lots of walking and sightseeing.
If you are interested in staying in group accommodation please let us know by the
Thursday 12th DECEMBER (election day) so that we can secure the property.
We have seen a fabulous property for 14 people. The cost will be approximately £200 per person for 7 days based on full occupancy (double and twin rooms)
Bookings and deposit will be open in January on a first come first served basis day with an opening day.
The house may be used as a base for anyone wanting to book their own accommodation for 7 days or less.
Dates for your diary...
More details and full booking information will be available nearer the time.