Friday, 24 January 2014

Ravenstor YHA Weekend 24 th - 26 th January 2014

First weekend after the New Year celebrations in Grasmere did not have a promising weather forecast either.  The three of us had  a traffic ridden exit to the Stockport area, but the rest of the journey was fine apart from the constant drizzle and low-lying cloud spoiling the views.

There was a good crowd at the hostel. In addition to our group with the London contingent, there were two families and a group who were doing the Duke of Edinburgh navigation skills.

The open fires in the main lounge and hall were a welcome sight. After supper, some brave souls headed down the valley to the Anglers Rest to enjoy the local beers, while others split into the “fireside in the hall” chat and the noisy lounge chat with lots of laughs.

Saturday morning was quite fair and the group split in three, with 2 of the 3 groups starting off on the main 9.5 mile walk aiming to head for the Church Inn at Chelmorton and back via the Monsal Trail.  There was a pretty tough ascent out of Miller’s Dale, with very high steps (they never think of those with short legs!) and what seemed a never ending rise. Near Priestcliff, Campbell, Pam and Joan diverted to a less up and down route to the Church Inn at Chelmorton.

There was a pleasant coffee stop in the churchyard at Taddington, followed by an ascent which gave lovely views before a level path with many stiles by Sough Top and the descent to Chelmorton with views of the locust weather-vane on the church.
Pam, Joan and Campbell were ensconced in the stone floored area of the bar and those who were loath to remove their boots decamped to the picnic tables after the landlord said he did not mind us having our own lunch there.  The third group joined us here to enjoy the local ales (Ken, Robbo & Martin).

Unfortunately the second part of the walk was somewhat marred by a big storm with thunder, lightning plus horizontal hail and rain and a part of the path where it looked as if the farmer had tried to block off the right of way.  Eventually we descended to the Monsal trail where the rain eased off and after a tea break at the old Miller’s Dale Station, we headed up the hill to the hostel. It turned out to be a nearly 12 mile walk, so no wonder some of us were feeling it!  It was then down to eating rocky road and drinking mugs of tea before the meal. Big thank you to Jack and Peter for leading the walk at the last minute.

A larger group went down to the pub on Saturday night and reported that the usually taciturn landlord was very forthcoming and helpful.

Sunday dawned wet. A core group headed out to do an approximate 7mile circuit in the other direction on the Monsal Trail, while others high-tailed it for home, as boots and clothes had not really dried out properly.  Brownie points to Chris Hughes who turned up promptly at 9.30 am to join the walkers.

A jolly good weekend – the only downside being the weather and the extensive queuing for meals.  Think they need a Time & Motion study to organize it a bit better.  Many thanks to Pam for organizing a good weekend.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Winter Hill in Winter

Winter Hill should have been a wonderland of snow but stated as a bit of a grey day. Our leader had promised sunshine and he didn't disappoint, by 2 it was clear blue.
This meant we had a bit of a backwards walk doing the home-bound leg first with a spritely walk along the reservoirs up to a cricket pitch preparing to stand in for us against the Aussies.

No cricket today. The up hill onto Anglesark moor and a squelchy couple of miles Missed winter hill as too wet but dropped down through the landscaped 

gardens, Japanese pool and waterfalls Unfortunately our leader still works in Derbyshire miles and understands that 12.5 English miles was a little more than advertised. Sorry for the misunderstanding.


Sunday, 12 January 2014

White Nancy & Kerridge followed by a Sunday Roast at the Poacher’s Inn

Happy New Year !  A  great  start to the Sunday walks programme for 2014 when cold weather, clear views,

a roast dinner and excellent company combined to make a  very pleasant day. Setting off from Bollington - seventeen people  enjoyed a  walk led by Pete.   
Our first ascent of the day was to White Nancy ( a sugar loaf structure  built to commemorate the Battle of Waterloo)


on the northern end of Kerridge Ridge. From there we all did a big wave to Sue's friend in Bollington while enjoying  extensive views across the Cheshire plain  towards the Welsh Hills. 

We continued along Kerridge to Rainow and back via Blaze Hill to the Poachers Inn- a traditional pub .

Here we were joined by other members for a pint and a well earned turkey or beef roast dinner. Thanks to all for sharing the day with us.

Sue Hudson

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Leeds & Liverpool Canal walk, 11 January 2014, Chorley to Wigan

The forecast for our canal walk had been for a bright and sunny day, so I was

decidedly miffed to throw open the curtains on Saturday morning to discover

that it was pouring with rain. By the time I was due to leave for the station, it

had eased off but was still wet and murky.

I met up with the ‘gang’, Linda, Tracy and Sue in Manchester and we proceeded

by train to Chorley, where, lo and behold, the rain had cleared to give a bright

and sunny morning. We made our way through the environs of Chorley to the

canal and enjoyed a leisurely walk towards Wigan.

After all the rain recently, the towpath was rather muddy in places but not

excessively so.

 Displaying DSCN0328.jpg

 The canal runs through pleasant countryside with good views

over the hills towards the Horwich and Bolton direction.

One problem we did encounter was a distinct lack of pubs along the way.

We passed various boarded up and closed down establishments (truly a sign

of the times).

 Enquiring with various locals only elicited much head shaking

and convoluted directions to distant hostelleries; we decided to press on and

were rewarded with a most welcome stop at a well appointed pub at the top

of the locks at Wigan.

From here it was a comfortable walk down the flight of locks (past yet more

boarded up pubs) to Wigan, just in time to catch the train back to Manchester; All this with no running or sprinting to make train connections !

An enjoyable day out after all; and thanks to Linda for various (very) sweet treats and

Sue for yummy Xmas cake (plenty more for future walks, so do come along and

try some).

John H

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year 2013/2014

Thirty One people arrived in Grasmere  spread over two hostels to let the New Year in.

 Some of the ones who booked 2 bed rooms ended up in four bed rooms so they were lucky to have bottom bunks each. The evening meal in the hostel was to a high standard and I think the Chicken Balta came out tops. In the evening we went down to Tweedies bar where we spent many nights there sampling the every changing beer.

Sunday was going to be the best day for the weather for the whole holiday time. Three groups went out on different walks. A fourth group joined the Fairfield group later on as they set of early.  Another group did Helm Crag.

We woke up on Monday to rain and this was going to be a very wet day. One group went to Ambleside by bus and returned by bus. Another group walked to Ambleside by grasmere lake and spent most of the time in flooded roads and paths. Or paths that turned into fast flowing rivers. So wet feet when we got to the pub in Ambleside. Then we had a choice bus back or walk back.  So we went for walk back which was the best option as the ones who said bus had to wait in the cold for the bus that was over a hour late due to the flooded walks. So we were back before them.

In the evening we went to Tweedies for a meal and they got 26 meals out in time a spot on for the taste. The scallops with pork Belly,  Cumbrain Lamb and Venison seem to be the best. But you could not fault any of the food choice.

 Peter and me could have done with a slice of bread to mop up the red wine jus on the lamb dish. At the end the bill was hard to work out as there was a 10% surcharge added to the bill and some people only paid the correct amount for the meal.

New year Eve day had three groups out. Elterwater, skelwith Bridge.  One group went to Sticlke tarn and the final group was around Loughrigg fell area.  In the evening few put on their best glad rags for the buffet in the hostel. This time it was a lot better then Borrowdale with more choice to choose from. More hot items then last year and the amount had increase, but then the price did as well. But every seem to enjoy it and looked stuff at the end.  We then went down to Tweedies where had tickets for their party. We was not sure what we were going to get as last time were here we had the disco to go to as well. This time we were not allowed in the hotel and that was going to be a Jazz band in there. We could only go in the bar area where the singer was going to be. There was no seats at first but slowly we picked up odd ones as the night went on.

The singer who was on just played from 9.30pm non-stop to midnight and came back on just after midnight to 1am. He just played full range of hits that had the place rocking all night long.

New year day everyone just packed up and was going to wander round Grasmere or Ambleside window-shopping. We did 5km easy run around the lake before heading into a café for hot drink and toasted teacakes.