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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 2006

Please click on the links below for details

24-26 March Betws-y-Coed (Wales) 2 nights
22-30 August Connemara (Ireland) 8 nights
27-29 October Bamburgh (Northumbria) 2 nights


Bamburgh, Northumbria 27-29 October 2006

(Photo: Bamburgh at Night by Martin Housley)

Please click here to see a closer view of the castle


Through driving rain, lorry splash and roadworks we came to Bamburgh on Friday night to join those who had had the foresight and the time to travel in more clement weather earlier in the week. However, we were soon pounding the seemingly endless stretch of whitesand beach dominated by the stark silhouette of Bamburgh castle and dashed by long rolling waves. At the Victoria hotel the food was excellent and the service efficient. The evening was rounded off with the usual conviviality and a fascinating performance by one of our folksinging members whose talents in singing and guitarplaying had hitherto been hidden from most of us.


Please click on the links below to view the photos

1. A new member??
2. THE Stile...
3. ...and the fence...
4. ...and the water jump
5. Coffee on the Common
6. One of the Fungi
7. Eating again!
8. To the Hills
9. What on Earth is it?
10. Is it a strenuous walk??

Saturday brought slightly overcast skies but we are always optimistic and made our plans accordingly. A small group of ladies stayed behind to accompany our intrepid organiser on a coastal walk. Reports of the day were not given in detail but it is believed that everyone enjoyed themselves!

The majority of the group boarded the coach en route for Belford and Wooler. 'A' party alighted at Belford and immediately flew out at a great rate of knots only to be slowed down by an interesting stile which required the assistance of both leader and backup to surmount. The watching llamas looked down their noses at such incompetence. It was soon clear that this walk was a GPS essential walk, an exercise in negotiating water traps, questionable stiles and pathless moors. Chatton Moor had its own delightful feature, a wood full of brightly-coloured fungi and fairy rings - a truly enchanted wood, but no sign of the little folk! Chatton itself revealed an interesting sculpture and an expensive-looking gallery. We were spared the excitement of swimming across the river and used the road bridge instead. We were also spared the pleasure of walking across a muddy field although we were given the option to do so. We therefore arrived in Wooler with clean boots, a rare occurrence in recent times.

Back on the bus to hot baths and showers at the hotel and another excellent meal followed by a performance on the Northumbrian pipes and violin by a visiting couple and another performance by our resident folksinger.


Please click on the links below to view the photos

11. Four green walkers...
12. Boots on the Beach
13. Not leading today
14. Des Res??
15. Reflections

Sunday dawned bright but very breezy. Those not occupied in private excursions made their way to Craster, kipper city of Northumberland. 'A' party set off for Embleton through grasslands and ploughed fields and arrived in time to sunbathe on the village green in the unaccustomedly hot weather. Then, noses in the air like dogs, we followed the scent of the sea to High Newton and to the beach at Low Newton. Dogs and children frolicked, adults supervised or joined in and we sat eating our lunch watching the kaleidoscope of activity unfolding before us. And then it was our turn to walk the beach, watch the helicopter and see the imposing ruins of Dunstanburgh castle come nearer. A final trot along the coast brought us back to Caster where car parties met up, drinks were to be had and a small 'A' party set off to conquer yet more of the coastal path.

We could not have had better weather. Sunburn is unusual in October. The setting was beautiful and dramatic. The walks were well led and we thank those who put such hard work and careful thought into them. The hotel was good and the organisation, as usual, was excellent. Although Lewis and Yvonne shrink from publicity we would all like to give them special thanks for continuing to give so much of their time to ensuring that the rest of us enjoy the weekends. Maybe the harem will be bigger next time, Lewis!

Photos by Martin Housley - Report by Dianne Exley



Please click on the links below to view the photos

1. The Start: Wooler - Our leader thinks of everything
2. Wooler Common
3. Coffee - Gains Law & Humbleton Hill
4. Into the valley
5."In the wilderness"
6. Lunch near Commonburn House
7. Lunch (2)
8. Above Gleadscleugh
9. Looking down on the Till Valley
10. Back at Wooler - Highburn House

Photos by Carola Maddox (1-3, 5-6, 8-10) Remainder by Penny Smith

I was asked if I was an English teacher, in the hope that I could be prevailed upon to write a report. As I was a Music teacher I will content myself with a few notes.

After a pleasant night in the hotel-I had a four-poster bed but I can't speak for everyone-and a full and efficient breakfast, we marched out from the shelter of the castle, straight on to the coach, ready for the scenic route to Wooler. Or are all routes scenic round there? A short ride and we were deposited in the car-park, from whence, with David as vanguard, Carola as rearguard, and the rest of us blackguards in-between, we set forth. We had already been informed that our walk would take us higher than the A party, on whom we would be able consequently to look down, so it was no surprise that it began, as most walks seem to in my experience, with a heart-thumping, lung-wrenching, semi-vertical climb out of the town. However I've known worse, and once we were up we were up, and the second wind helped, especially as it came from behind. From there we went in a wide arc through the hills surrounding Wooler, in order to end up back where we had begun.

Despite contrary forecasts the weather was good, no rain, not too hot, and just enough wind to keep you cool without being ridiculous. Coffee-break in the shelter of a wall, lunch similarly arranged, the usual wildlife, though a surprising amount of it dead, two rabbits quite nastily so. Despite the tendency of a B walk to spread out over a distance, with sub-As out in front, super-Cs happily bringing up the rear, and the indecisive ones in the middle, we arrived back in Wooler dead on time, or perhaps not too dead. Wooler, however, was. Anything that might have been interesting was shut, and the rest tended to be not open, apart from the pubs, which clearly needed the money. Ours had quite a good frontage, but gave the impression that everything behind had been demolished and replaced by a slum.

And so to bed…..

The Sunday walk was from Craster (aka Crater), another long, thin circular one, led this time by Richard and Nancy, and once again the weather was fine. There was rain in the air, and even a rainbow, near enough to make us wonder about jumping over the wall to get to the end of it, but nothing worse. There was also a plane in the air, apparently practising towing a glider, though eventually it did let go. There were lots of oyster-catchers, and some eider, mostly females, the males having gone south and abandoned them to their own Devizes. We were fortunate to have Lewis with us, and to him we owe the bird facts, though you might have thought that after going off with three women on Saturday and coming back exhausted he would have kept off the subject. He did survive the walk, and confessed to being only slightly shattered afterwards, but the idea of any responsibility, such as being back-up, was too much for him. Richard took us round the sights, an interesting rock formation, a strange spring, and a Neolithic hut, which nearly met a sad end, since from a distance it looked very like the preparations for bonfire night. Coffee-break this time was most luxurious, in a car-park, well-provided with picnic tables, while lunch was taken on the rocks by the shore, just by a private holiday home where Lewis had earlier been told off for sitting on their bench. From there we continued along the coastal path back into Craster, where some of the party, wishing to prove that where there's hope there's life, continued along the path to Dunstanburgh Castle, while others, to demonstrate that where there's life there's alcohol, went into the pub.

The other thing that struck me was the high quality of virtually all the stiles and gates, most of which seemed brand-new. With few exceptions there was a gate as well as a stile, and unusually it wasn't locked. There was one anomaly on the Sunday walk, where one stile led into the corner of the next field, from which you had then to get into the adjacent field over another stile. Luckily it was quickly noticed that one gate led directly from the first to the third field. Altogether a most enjoyable, well-organised and satisfactory weekend. Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved, and Lewis in particular.

Report by Peter Taylor

Connemara, Ireland 22-30 August 2006

Please click on the links below to view the photos

1. Hotel at Clifden
2. View from Knockbrack
3. Coastal View
4. Clifden: beyond the boat house
1. Ferry there
2. Starting out
3. Harbour
4. Lots of Walls
5. Nature taking over
6. Little donkey
7. Beach View 1
8. Beach View 2
9. Beach View 3
10. Giant Haystack
11. Nature Reserve
12. Cycling 1
13. Cycling 2
14. By the shore
15. Shopping
16. Ferry back
1. Penny leading the way
2. Are we lost yet?
3. Just keep the sea on your right...
4. Mini Waterfall
5. Striding on
6. View from coastal path
7. Pat on the top
8. Audrey on the edge
9. Today's reading is from the Gospel according to...
1. Inishboffin Harbour
2. Strolling on
3. A grave moment
4. View from above
5. Looking down
6. One on top
7. Four on top
8. Across the bay
9. Out to sea
10. Blooming heather
11. Ferry away
1. Sculpture
2. Flags
3. Castle
4. Guided tour
5. Plaque
6. Skull
7. King's Head

Photos above by Pat Bottomley

Additional Photos by Penny Smith - please click here to view

Tranquil lochs reflecting sunshine or beaten by rain. Awe-inspiring mountains etched against the skyline or hidden by clinging mists. Piles of peat drying, squeaky clean sheep and well-fed cattle. Beautifully clear rivers, magnificent waterfalls and wonderful Guinness.
We enjoyed all of that and more as we travelled from gleann to gleann and up the mountainside. We learned bogtrotting skills and that it was best to have one leg shorter than the other for coming downhill and strong arms to wrest unfortunate companions from the mire. Rivers are there to be crossed whether there is a bridge or not and deer fences are to be scaled one way or another (by all groups) and paths are a luxury. Expert map and compass skills are essential and a GPS can come in very handy.
In spite of this Diamond Hill and Leenaun Hill were conquered, half of the nails of the Gleann Mhor Horseshoe were visited and Gleann Lettery was thoroughly inspected even if the Ben had to be foregone. Walking along the coast to Killary Harbour, over Salrock Pass and along Lough Fee was a delight. Kylemore Abbey proved a magnet for many and the Connemara Visitor Centre was a very welcome refuge on the only really bad weather day.
And then there were the islands, Aran and Inishbofin, bathed in sunshine while the mainland still glowered. Braving the turbulence of the sea and the excitement of the waves crashing against us, we were rewarded with breathtaking views of pounding sea as we biked, hiked or took the bus.
And when the walking day was over and we had scrubbed ourselves up and eaten our fill of excellent food, some of us set off on the trail of the 'craic' - which wasn't always where it said it was going to be. However, with persistence, we found the singing and even managed a modest bit of dancing.
We left with the feeling that we had been in a very friendly, hospitable place, with a very interesting visit to Galway on the way to the ferry. The companionship was excellent and the organisation brilliant. We could not have done it without Lewis and Yvonne and all the other people who helped with the navigation. Our sincere thanks to them for making the week such an enjoyable one.

Report by Dianne Exley

Betws-y-Coed 24-26 March 2006



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1. Up past Llyn Bochlwyd
2. Climbing up Cwm Bochlwyd
3. Snow on Gribin Facet
4. All good....so far
5. S'now joke!
6. Nant Ffrancon down below
7. Nant Ffrancon in the sun
8. Made it - Blwch Tryfan
9. Blow - I have forgotten my poles
10. Up to Glyder Fach
11. But it is down (?) for us
12. But doesn't get any better
13. Far South Peak (of Tryfan)
14. Across the Glyder Fach screes
15. And another snowy ascent
16. The Group in the Gathering Gloom
17. What's Susan doing now?
18. Oops a daisy - Diane
19. Susan coming down more sedately
20. Mist in the Conway Valley
21. Swallow Falls

Photos 1-21 by Martin Housley

After dropping the moderate walkers at Capel Curig, the coach swung up a narrow road and into sunshine and headed towards spectacular scenery. Sixteen hardy walkers made their way up into the hills, negotiating tricky streams and enjoying wonderful views back down the valley. Soon we found ourselves in snow with peaks towering above us and disappearing into the mist. We watched half a dozen walkers progressing and slipping on slopes above our heads, with two aborting their attempts. We were ably led by Alan Kemmenoe, GPS in hand and in consultation with Yvonne to the cairn on Foelly Goch. We could have been anywhere! The mist deprived us of any idea of location, scale, or views. We squelched our way across moors; slid our way down slopes (two of us particularly enjoyed sledging down on our bottoms) and crossing snow fields. John dived into the bogs to claim the title of champion Mud Snorkeller!! All too soon we were back down to Capel Curig in heavy rain. Had we had enough? Of course not! No waiting for the coach for us! We opted to walk back to Betws-y-Coed across the fields, by the Swallow falls in spectacular full spate and through the mud to our excellent hotel. What an exciting and exhilarating day with special thanks to Alan who stepped in to navigate along side Yvonne. What a team!

Please click on the links below to view the photos

22. The start
23. Towards the mountains
24. Looking back..sunshine
25. Towards Trefin
26. Onto snow
27. Coffee break
28. More snowy tracks
29. Single file...
30. The descent

Report and Photos 22-30 by Diane Taylor



Please click on the links below to view the photos

31. Start, Capel Curig
32. On the wrong route -
33. - on the right route!
34. Getting higher
35. Coffee stop
36. Through the gap
37. Back up, wondering where his party is!
38. Descent to lake Llyn Grafnant
39. After lunch ascent

A walk of two very distinct halves, as will become apparent.
The coach left the "Swallow Hotel", at 9.30, up the valley, passing "Swallow Falls" (awe inspiring sight in full flood), to deposit the 'B' group, about 30 members, at Capel Curig. Dry with bright overcast and light breeze, with the clag down on the high peaks. Led by Lewis, assisted by Harry and backed up the Chairman and his wife, we set off across open fell that would be a dream come true for the south east water boards! Lewis, craftily made a deliberate mistake, by heading off in the wrong direction to test those with maps to see if they were paying attention. Apparently none were and Lewis decided to return to the correct route. A meandering, rocky path undulating steadily upwards and with the sun occasionally breaking through with Crimiau on our left. Passing through a gap in the ridge, a superb view of Llyn Grafnant (lake) and its steep sided valley, opened up, followed by a steep, and in places slippery, descent to walk along the lake side. Now very bright and longer periods of sun. Lunch was taken in a picnic area at the bottom end of the lake where only those well in front managed to get seated tables! After hunger and thirst were satisfied, a climb through an ancient slate quarry, along a diabolical rough path round the shoulder of a hill and down to the bottom end of Llyn Geirinydd (lake). By now, the sun had gone and heavy cloud had rolled up. As we started to climb away from the lake, down it came!! Up to the ridge, then across some soggy fields, we began to descend through dripping forest, riddled with long abandoned mine shafts. On the slippery, rocky path, Kath performed a "flying arkwright with pike" landing heavily on her right side. Fortunately, only her pride was hurt and probably bruised thigh. Coming out of the woods at the hamlet of Tai, we had to wait in pouring rain, for a car rally to pass before we could cross the road! A steep, minor road down to the Conway Valley at Trefiw. A lovely flat walk, crossing the river by a suspension bridge, brought our sopping bodies to the finish in Llanwrst and various welcome, dry refreshment venues. After such a good morning, it was a pity the afternoon let us down. Many thanks to the leader and back ups.

Report and Photos 31-39 by Trevor Grimston


Please click on the links below to view the photos

40. High above Conway
41. The Chairman & Conway Castle
42. Coffee above Conway
43. Where the hell are we??
44. Yomping up
45. Above the Conway Valley
46. It must be Wales
47. The shining on the righteous
48. Warm work
49. Quarrying out some lunch
50. What now??
51. The Menaii Straits
52. Great Orme in the gloom
53. Last look back from the Coastal Path

Photo 40 by Diane Taylor. Photos 41-53 by Martin Housley

A last minute change of plan because of the mist, drizzle, snow and ice on the mountains and promise of heavy rain in the afternoon…Seven headed for the hills above Conway. We set off from the Sychnant Pass up onto the hills to enjoy views of the bay and towards Anglesey, which lasted until the weather closed in .We yomped across moorland and bog, spotting many wild ponies until we found the elusive North Wales Footpath which took us back down to the carpark.The drive back to Betws-y-coed was through torrential rain..glad this held off while we were walking. Our thanks go to Christina who navigated us round a tricky route and to the assembled company for an enjoyable walk.

Thank you to Lewis and Yvonne for organising the weekend and for finding such an excellent hotel. Thank you to all those who led the walks in less than ideal conditions…another excellent weekend. Though why this country is experiencing water shortage is mystifying as there is clearly plenty in Wales!

Report by Diane Taylor



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