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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 2010


Please click the links below to view reports and photos:

26 to 29 March Gilsland, Cumbria (Hadrian's Wall)
21 to 23 May Coniston Coppermines Youth Hostel (Lake District)
28 Aug to 1 Sept Loch Achray, The Trossachs (Scotland)
15 to 18 Oct Patterdale, Ullswater (Lake District)


Patterdale, Ullswater (Lake District) - 15 to 18 October

Please click here to view the hotel website

Please click the links below to view the photos

Photos above by Pat Wilson

Please click here to view additional photos by Martin Housley (external web link)

Please click here to view additional photos by Penny Smith (external web link)

Loch Achray, Scotland - 28 August to 1 September

Please click here to view the hotel website

Please click the links below to view the photos


1. View from Loch Achray hotel

2. Outside the hotel


3. Loch Earn from the Glen Ogle railway trail

4. River Dochart, near Killin

5. Falls of Dochart

6. Killin Centre


7. Woodland above Callander

8. Bracklin Falls

9. New bridge near Bracklin Falls


10. Loch Katrine

11. Gang of Three

Photos by Pat Wilson

Lots and lots of Lochs, even one called Loch Drunkie(!) and in the middle of them all the Loch Achray hotel, well-seasoned in handling large groups and even willing to take on walkers.

Off to the wilds of Killin and hurricane conditions on the tops where, on the Tarmachan circuit, even the sturdiest were shaken but not quite stirred. Lower down winter gear was also donned and trail bike trials as well as 'open access' land (aka ankle-breaking yomping) were being negotiated . Determined to explore all modes of transport one group followed the Glen Ogle rail track and ended up at the stunning Falls of Dochart.

As if we hadn't had enough excitement the next day dawned hot and sunny. Legs and arms appeared and the air was permeated with a mixture of suncream and midge repellent. Was this Scotland or had we taken a wrong turning? No, the accent was right and so was the porridge.
Furthermore we were about to experience the intricate web of the Scottish transport system in the Higlands as a coach driver became a minibus driver, local drivers offered their cars and a taxi was commandeered. Several Bens and Glens and Falls were conquered in the process and Rob Roy's grave gave a fitting start for one group.

A different form of transport appeared on the third day in the form of the Loch Katrine Ferry which seemed to spend the day transporting one group or another from one end of the Loch to another. This enabled a close inspection of the Loch and its wildlife(no, not the human variety) Loch Achray was also inspected as was the Glen Finglas reservoir. More Bens were conquered, Ledi and Vane in particular and a breakaway group had the temerity to conquer two more. Where will it all end?

Altogether a very enjoyable few days in a well-run hotel with unbelievably good weather and stunning scenery - not forgetting the Highland cattle. There was something for everyone - even the tortoise at the back, who made the best of her circumstances and adapted accordingly. And let's not forget the dancing which brought several potential 'Strictly' entrants to the fore and gave the rest of us the chance to enjoy ourselves. We might even know how to do the 'Slosh' now!

Thanks to all the leaders, including the unofficial one, who had unexpected problems brought about by the Forestry Commission, poor signing, high winds, pathless routes and all the usual suspects. Thanks in particular to Diane Taylor whose idea it was and who worked very hard to make the holiday the success it was.

Report by Diane Exley

Coniston Coppermines Youth Hostel - 21 to 23 May


A warming orb in the sky Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Full advantage was taken of these near perfect conditions. On Saturday both 'B' and 'A' parties reached Swirl How via Levers Water and Prison Band. 'A' group put in Grey Friar before following the others along the ridge to the Old Man. Having managed to catch Norman's group up for a second time, this old man thought he could descend from Goats Hause, until an Oliver Twist character asked for more, pointing at Dow Crag......We duly enjoyed its rocky top, the ridge to Buck Pike and the steepish drop to Blind Tarn. A 'needs must' section of the Walna Scar track brought us to Cove Bridge and from here a 'circuitous beeline' was taken back to the hostel. (7hr 45 min).

Meanwhile, the 'B's were enjoying the sun at The Sun and toasting Norman's Conquest!

Sunday was even hotter! Yvonne led the 'A' party up Wetherlam and, after an interesting descent, to an idyllic lunch spot in tree-shaded Greenburn Beck. The return leg was via Tilberthwaite and its slate quarries. (6hr 45min). I am told that Mark led a splendid 'B' walk (@7hr), again in the Tilberthwaite area, whilst a small 'C' group strolled lakeside twixt Coniston and Torver.

New signs abound in the Lake District warning that the path on the map may not coincide with where it is on the ground! We found proof of this on both days. On Sunday, Yvonne's spot-on map reading led into a bog, whereas the sheep bereft of map had a track on a rib of dry ground and along which humans now walk.

Similarly Norman's planned route from Levers Hause to Seathwaite Tarn, although clearly shown on the OS map, is not discernible on the fellside. (Nobody complained when he said they'd have to miss out Dunnerdale!)

As to the Youth Hostel itself, Coppermines provided opportunities not available at Boggle Hole. Companies pay exorbitant prices to send people on training exercises to gauge their reactions to certain situations........
Take a hostel not geared up to provide a cooked meal for a full house at a set time with cramped, cluttered living conditions lacking 'a woman's touch'
- add two front men, largely invisible and probably without a Michelin star between them
- stir in the spotted mash
- and, lo and behold, for a fraction of the cost, Penny's unknowingly set it up for real.
How did we react? Ask the people watchers! - but even I recalled many and varied little acts of kindness as I reflected on the stay, sitting in the sun with a mug of coffee in hand and enjoying the views after breakfast on Sunday.

Report by Jack Wood

Organiser's comments:

I confess the weekend was the usual delightfully quirky mixture of brilliant scenery and fantastic walking with organisational chaos! It started well with too many men (I'd mis-counted), solved by creating a mixed dorm. Mick will now be a legend in the club for satisfying three women all weekend - well, they all looked very cheerful in the morning! He also deserves a prize as Chief Dishwasher Stacker. He and Julie could run Fawlty Towers better than John Cleese any day!
I shall announce the date for next year's YHA weekend in the next Newsletter so you can add the date to your holiday planners.

Penny Smith

Gilsland, Cumbria (Hadrian's Wall) - 26 to 29 March

Please click here to view the hotel website

Away to the land of Slaggyford and Twice Brewed went 38 stalwarts ready to defend the borders from allcomers. The Gilsland Spa Hotel, with a history dating back to the fashionable habit of taking the waters, gave us a warm welcome and fed us very well.

Surrounded as we were by the evidence of Roman occupation, what could we do but follow in the steps of the legionaries. And so on Saturday all parties ascended Hadrian's Wall. 'A' and 'C' parties gave it a bit of a go with an interesting zigzag by the 'A' party to put the miles on and a historical trip to Vindolanda by the 'C's. 'B' party stuck it out, steadily losing people as they went and, in fact, losing the leader at one point. The cry of 'Is this the last hill?' went up many times before they eventually descended. But all good things come to an end and they landed thankfully in the Twice Brewed pub to meet up with the 'C' party who had kindly taken on a lost 'B' sheep who had mistakenly stumbled from the bus too early. 'A' party, streaming from pub and teashop at Greenhead, completed the set. Battered by the strong wind and the occasional shower there were plenty of red faces on show.

'C' party loved the Wall so much that they tackled another part the next day, cunningly walking with the prevailing wind instead of against it. Why didn't we think of that? Avoiding the treacherous bog near the hotel, they measured their steps from Gilsland to Great Chesters via a welcome stop at Walltown Visitor Centre for a coffee and from there to the metropolis of Haltwhistle (not as small as it sounds). For the 'A's and 'B's it was a day of Ways and Trails; Pennine, Maiden, South Tyne and plenty of Roman Roads and disused railway tracks into the bargain, not to mention the amazing Victorian viaduct at Lambley which stunned us all with its sheer size and architectural excellence. 'A' party felt the need to escape to the hills after this and looped off over the moors only to be rewarded by a heavy soaking and a few mud baths. 'B' party fared no better. Imagining a gentle stroll by the river, they instead found themselves struggling with mud, tree roots and heavy rain until, passing through the POW camp near Featherstone Castle, they found the road into Haltwhistle and the real ale pub.

Monday saw the scattering of the troops to sightsee, visit friends and family, walk in small groups or join the 'official' walk from the hotel planned so that there was an easy escape if the promised deluge arrived. 11 people went up to the Popping Stone, back to Gilsland and up to Hadrian's Wall as far as Birdoswald Fort. They returned just before the rain started - luckily, they beat it.

But this is not the end of the story. Evening entertainment was provided for us and many hidden talents such as Irish Jig dancing and the art of sloshing? were displayed on the dance floor, not to mention the ever-vigilant photographer ready to immortalise a rash moment. We were, unfortunately, not eligible for the ballroom dancing or the bingo and we missed the morning games but you can't have everything, can you?
As usual many thanks to the organisers, John and Moya for their careful planning, fund of walks and Patagonian views and to all the leaders and backups who bravely took the map in hand and led us into the unknown.

Report by Diane Exley

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