home news walks past events newsletter members join photos links contact
past events
A winter scene in the Dales. Looking towards Ingleborough from Sulber Nick. Climbs of Ingleborough start from Horton or Ribblehead. We run these walks throughout the year.

Wharton Hall in the valley visited on walks from Kirkby Stephen. A favourite venue for many easier walks.

 

 

 

Weekends & Holidays 2013

 

Please click the links below to view reports and photos:

22 to 25 March 2013
11 to 17 July 2013
6 to 8 September 2013
18 to 21 October 2013
Keswick
(Lake District)

at the Keswick Country House Hotel
Please click here to view the report and photos
Brighton
(South Downs)

at the Royal Albion Hotel
Please click here to view the report and photos
Alnwick
(Northumbria)

at the YHA Youth Hostel
Please click here to view the photos
Beddgelert (Snowdonia)
at the Royal Goat Hotel
Please click here to view the hotel website

 


Keswick (Lake District) - 22 to 25 March 2013

 

Please click here to view the hotel website

Please click here to view photos by Penny S (external website link)

Please click here to view additional photos by Martin H (external website link)

 

Shall we go or shall we stay was the question hovering in many minds on Friday. Well, let's just go and if we get stuck in snow we'll make an igloo and live on our supplies. And so we went - 42 of us in all. We were rewarded for our persistence. Roads were closed, snow piled high but Keswick remained an oasis of calm amid the chaos which the media told us was happening elsewhere.

The planned walks were thrown into the air and floated down again in different formations. Derwentwater became the main focus for many and various modes of transport were used to get along it or round it. Some chose to go down the middle (with the help of the ferry - we're not walking on water yet!), others took advantage of the bus and some walked all the way. Saturday evening was alive with people vying for the longest walk. To the innocent listener it seemed that some people had done 16.50 miles(or was it 16.95?) Some had committed the heinous crime of staying in the pub after only 10 miles and catching a bus! Others peeled off at the ferry while the rest struggled bravely on. So three walks seemed to have become at least five if not six or seven. Did we have that many leaders?

Order was restored on Sunday, however. Bottom sliding down icy paths and snow yomping became the new sports and sticks proved their worth. Cold weather gear was tested in the horizontal 50mph wind and, if found wanting, provided a wonderful excuse for yet more shopping! All three groups strove for the top of Walla Crag and most achieved it. Ashness Bridge was the next goal for the B's and C's and the A's, coming from St John's in the Vale via Walla Crag strode on to Lodore. Others made their way back alongside the lake and enjoyed the delights offered by the café near the landing stage. Even from our relatively low level the views of the fells were superb, especially when the sun shone, although no one expressed a passionate desire to be on them!

On Monday some indulged their passion for retail therapy while others gathered themselves together and wended their way home. A select party set off from near Threlkeld and soon found themselves thigh-deep in snow. Notwithstanding, and in the true spirit of DalesRail, they girded their loins and strode out for Pooley Bridge and the shores of Ullswater before making their way back to their cars and driving home.

The hotel was comfortable, the food inventive and the company excellent. The leaders did a superb job in adjusting their planned walks and ensuring that everyone came back safely in conditions which were not always ideal. Many thanks to them and to John and Moya for organising the weekend with the help of Pat who, unfortunately, could not be with us.

Report by Diane E


 

Brighton (South Downs) 6 nights - 11 to 17 July 2013

Please click here to view the hotel website

Photos above by Pat W

Please click here to view additional photos by Penny S (external website link)

 

Glorious weather, excellent walks and a welcoming hotel. What more could we want? A coach driver who managed to insinuate the coach through narrow lanes so that we could start and finish at the right place is the answer. Add to that the many attractions of Brighton and its environs and the picture is complete.

The South Downs Way was our main target and we began by exploring the land to the east of Brighton, tipping our hats to Roedean as we glided by. 'A' party began in the best possible way by visiting a church and were thus strengthened to ignore the tantalising signpost pointing them 'To the pub'. The only male in the party of eight set off in some trepidation but seemed to survive! As we travelled, the beautiful rolling countryside of the South Downs revealed itself. Rounded fields of immaculately planted barley and wheat spread for miles and in the distance a small field of flax glowed bluely. 'B' party sprouted a Memsahib with an accompanying Punkah Wally (sorry, that should be Punkah Wallah) to shield the damsel from the sun, and one of the 'C' party took to lying across the path instead of walking on it. Ah, the spontaneity of youth!

'To the sea, to the sea' was the cry next day as we moved to the area of Beachy Head. Versions of how many 'Sisters' were climbed changed by the hour, especially as one of the leaders promised several times that there was 'only one more hill to climb'. Still, we're used to that sort of language . Once again our brave Alpha male survived - this time with an entourage of 12 females! What is his secret? 'C' party cleverly avoided the Sisters' and were led by the youngest member who managed to keep her 4 men in order on a delightful nature walk where butterflies ,flowers, rabbits and bees were in abundance. We all proceeded to Beachy Head, gazed at the Falling Sands, which didn't seem to be doing much falling and then headed for The Ship to find that the 'A' leader had become detached from her flock, but like bad pennies they all turned up in the end.

Sunday saw people disappearing in all directions; Arundel and Lewes being the main ones and all the delights of Brighton, such as The Pavilion and the tantalising shopping malls, a close second.

Booted up again on Monday we went west! There was some dispute about the ups and downs (When isn't there?) but our leaders managed to find a shady spot when we needed to rest and led us to a questionable 'dew pond' and a well-hidden hillfort with Roman remains beneath. Ah well, imagination is a wonderful thing. 'C' party had an encounter with an excited bull and some galloping cows but managed to survive intact.

The last day, exploring north of Brighton and another section of the South Downs Way, we found a proper dew pond , the Jack and Jill windmills (which didn't seem to have come tumbling down) and the rest stop from heaven, Saddlescombe Farm, which catered for every taste possible. Refreshed, we pushed on to Devil's Dyke but didn't quite track down the Iron Age Hill Fort - again! We consoled ourselves in the 'Shepherd and Dog' which we did find.

But the holiday was not quite over and the evening brought much laughter and delight as the Dalesrailers took over the Dodgem cars on Brighton Pier and released all their pent up energy in trying to destroy their erstwhile walking companions. As if that wasn't enough some proceeded to make themselves dizzy by riding on the Waltzer. No one could be persuaded to go on the Dive Bomber though - what a pity!

Many thanks to the leaders who led us carefully through the heat and got us safely there and back each day and to John, Moya and Pat who ensured that all the 't's were crossed and the i's dotted so that the rest of us could enjoy the holiday to the full .Research into end -of-walk pubs was immaculate. Last but not least thanks to Daz the coach driver who was always there when we needed him.

Report by Diane E


 

Alnwick Youth Hostel (Northumbria) 2 nights - 6 to 8 September 2013

Please click here to view the hostel website

Please click here to view photos by Martin H (external website link)

 


 

 

 

 

 

 



back to top of page