Club Weekend 4th to 6th October 2019
The annual club weekend was held at Newton House Hotel near Ashbourne in Derbyshire. 26 members attended and we were joined by four leaders from Secret Hills the organisation who arranged our accommodation and led the walks.
When most people had arrived after lunch on the Friday we set off for a 5 mile walk which left from the hotel along the Tissington Trail down to the pretty village of Parwich , through Alsop en le Dale and back to the hotel. It certainly proved quite a challenging walk as after all the rain the gateways and stiles were very muddy.
The stiles came in a range of shapes and sizes and the squeeze ones being particually troublesome to those with short legs!
On the Saturday we split into two grades of walk. The more adventurous (or daft) did a circular walk of just over 9 miles which included 1900 feet of ascent. They headed from the hotel down to Milldale which is a pretty valley with a packhorse bridge. From there they crossed the river Dove and up a sharp ascent to Ilam Rock. A packed lunch was very welcome after the climb and the views from Bunster Hill over the Manifold Dale were beautiful. They then dropped down to the river again at the popular tourist spot of Dovedale, enjoyed an ice cream before making there way to the Stepping Stones.
Not only was the water quite high it was also very busy with anxious children and dogs causing a bottleneck.
Our leader Keith eventually crossed the stones and picked up a nervous dog carrying it back to the side. Everyone completed this challenge successfully and after a walk up Lin Dale arrived back at the hotel.
Group B meanwhile covered a distance of just over 6 miles taking a slightly tricky descent down Nabs Dale to Milldale. By the time they arrived there a tiny coffee shop was open making a welcome break. They then walked upstream and enjoyed their lunch at Coldeaton Bridge. Following the ascent out of the valley they reached the Tissington Trail before descending to Alsop en le Dale. A short climb brought them back to the hotel and a welcome cup of tea.
The weather forecast for the Sunday had been dire but the day dawned reasonably bright if a little breezy. Two levels of walk were again organised. Group A covered similar ground as the B walk the day before with a few extra twists whist the B walk headed off to Tissington for morning coffee before using farm tracks to return to the hotel. A roast lunch was laid on by the hotel with such enormous portions we could all have done with another walk to burn it off! It was then time for goodbyes with people setting off in different directions. Some were staying another night, some having a holiday elsewhere and others straight home.
An excellant weekend. Looking forward to Cromer next year!
Thanks to Sue H form organising this very successful weekend. Even with the help of Secret Hills it stiill involves an enormous amount of work on her part. Sue also provided this report and several of the photographs.
Also a special thanks to Sue C for handling all the financial matters associated with the weekend.
Thanks also to Teresa M and Judith E for providing additional pictures many of which are shown below.
(Apologies for not including every picture but it is one of the drawbacks with our current website is that loading pictures takes an inordinate amount of time. I have tried to show a representative sample of people and scenery. David H.)