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.




Walking Holidays 2014


Please click the links below to view reports and photos:

28 to 31 March 2014 Cheltenham (Cotswolds) 3 nights
at the Best Western Cheltenham Regency Hotel
Please click here to view the report
13 to 18 July 2014 Loch Awe (Western Scotland) 5 nights
at the Lochs and Glens Loch Awe Hotel
Please click here to view the report
5 to 7 September 2014

Ambleside (Lake District) 2 nights
at the YHA Youth Hostel
Please click here to view the photos

17 to 20 October 2014 Livingston (Pentland Hills, Scotland) 3 nights
at the Best Western Hilcroft Hotel
Please click here to view the photos



Cheltenham (Cotswolds) - 28 to 31 March 2014

Please click here to view the hotel website

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

Off to Cheltenham, home to the famous Ladies College and many other prestigious buildings, not forgetting the even more famous racecourse. The Friends of DalesRail burst like a shower of sparks into Cheltenham and the surrounding Cotswold villages. The hotel was welcoming and the food was excellent. What about the walks?

Andoversford was the destination on Saturday and the three parties made their way there by more or less the same route. We were assured, by various leaders, that the countryside was 'undulating' and the miles shorter than those in the Dales! We set off in hope and expectation and were not disappointed. 'B' party did start off in jail but were soon released for good behaviour and began their exploration of the Cotswold countryside. Soon we were marvelling at the beautiful stone-built villages with their immaculate farms and well-kept village greens. Northleach, Hampnett, Withington woods with its side attraction of some watchful Alpacas, were all visited.

Chedworth Villa called but only the 'A' party managed to touch its boundaries before plunging onwards. Soon we were reminded that this area seems to have more animals than human beings as we mired our way along bridle paths, trying not to land face downwards in the mud. We made it to the end though and slaked our thirst in the Kilkenny(sic) pub where the barmaid gallantly kept her cool as we all tumbled in together.

On Sunday we were promised even more delights as we set off to conquer Cleeve Hill. Winchcombe was our destination and, as we gained height, the panorama of Cheltenham came into view. Other people also thought Cleeve Hill was a good destination and soon we were surrounded by runners, horses, bikes and finally golfers - a difficult combination! However, we skilfully escaped and made our way past beautiful Postlip Manor with its medieval tithe barn and came to Breakheart Plantation (more like burst heart in my opinion). A restful tea stop at a restored ancient barrow gave us back the use of our lungs and we all plunged down into Winchcombe, some of us waving a hand at Sudeley Castle and others getting a closer view.

Monday was full of various activities . Some fled northwards, others took a slower route home through the famous villages of Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow on the Wold, Broadway and others went for a walk to the west of Tewkesbury, just to get a different perspective.
Altogether a very enjoyable weekend. Thanks to the leaders who were very brave to lead walks in unknown territory and thanks to Moya and John for finding the hotel and especial thanks to Moya who took over John's role with aplomb and ensured that all was well.

Report by Diane E

Loch Awe (Western Scotland) - 13 to 18 July 2014

Please click here to view the hotel website

A coachful of eager travellers set off for Scotland under the strict eye of Morag, coach driver and farmer, from Perth. ('There's no social life attached to the job, but the food's great!') We soon learned the rules ('nae dirty boots on the coach') and settled down to listen to her dry sense of humour and historical knowledge as we travelled through the land of windfarms and hills to arrive at the Loch Awe hotel with its panoramic views of the loch and the distant hills.

However, we had not come just to admire the scenery. Next morning booted and spurred we set off for the first day of our Scottish adventure. 'A' walkers had Beinn an Dothaidh and Meall Garbh as their goal and the 'B's and 'C's intended to follow part of the West Highland Way. The weather, however, had other ideas, battering 'A' party into submission and intermingling the 'B's and 'C's in a frantic effort to reach the pub to escape the all-pervading midges and the stair-rod rain. Partners in wetness, an 'entente cordiale' was formed with a French party in the Bridge of Orchy pub and sealed with a tube of anti-midge cream. If only world peace was as easy.

The main goal next day for most of the party was Iona. Others sought spirituality in the clouds of Dun de Gaoithe on Mull and were rewarded with breathtaking views of the highlands and islands. Meanwhile, back on the coach, we were admiring the 'herry kews' and looking in vain for the otters, seals and highland budgies (golden eagles to you) as we bowled along to the ferry. A glorious sun shone down on us as we explored the nunnery, St Cuthbert's abbey, the gravestones and, inevitably, the eating places before retreating to the flesh pots of Loch Awe.

Wednesday promised much but delivered little unless you count the torrential rain and all-pervading mist. Some remembered that there was really something important to be done in Oban, others walked to the ruined castle on the loch and also visited the nearby St Conans church - a most interesting building with a very well run teashop next door which had home-made cakes - just the thing for a nasty wet afternoon. Meanwhile up on the fells weary limbs climbed the steep, rocky paths towards Ben Cruachan and vanished into the mist, which, for one party proved to be confusing as they seem to have done the same summit twice. Perhaps it was so good they couldn't resist it! The other party took a decision not to go for the top but two people bravely fought the wind, rain and mist and reached the summit covered in glory and wet clothes, of course!

Thursday proved to be the climax of the week as we all converged on the dark hills of Glen Coe. 'A' party, 6 strong, encountered packed snow and wet green grass as they made their way to the lost valley and the heights of Bidean nam Bian and Stob Coire am Beith. Limbs were certainly stretched and vertical descents achieved with heart-stopping slithers down the steep waterfall to the refuge of the Clachaig Inn in a state of ecstasy. 'B' party, 31 strong attacked the Lairig Gartain pass, honing their mud and water skills on the way and walking in the shadow of the Buachaille Etive Beag before dropping to the safety of Glen Coe valley.

Meanwhile, the 'C' party, 18 strong, walking at first on the West Highland Way and then on the old military road, had their own problems with deep mud, slippery stone crossings and fast-moving traffic. The compensation was that they had a grandstand view of the mountains where their colleagues were scrambling, sliding or just sitting in water while remaining on relatively terra firma.

All in all a wonderful holiday despite a couple of glitches in the weather. As well as walking, those of us who are dance-inclined were also catered for. Who could ask for anything more? Many thanks to all the leaders who volunteer to lead these unreccied walks and manage to keep their cool through thick and thin mist. Special thanks to John for his skill in attending to the overall organisation of the holiday and to Pat for her support.

Report by Diane E

Ambleside (Lake District) - 5 to 7 September 2014

Please click here to view the hostel website

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

Livingston (Pentland Hills, Scotland) - 17 to 20 October 2014

Please click here to view the hotel website

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




back to top of page