Past Holidays

Kendal Rambling Holiday 2022

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Shorter Walks
Longer Walks

Despite two years trying to get to the Isle of Wight but thwarted due to the Covid restrictions this year we changed tack and decided to try the Lake District.

On a fine Saturday 23rd April 43 KRG members headed to the County Hotel in Kendal, 40 by coach and 3 self-drive. For the first time we had decided to use a company called Daish’s Holidays who own a coach company together with a series of hotels.

On the journey to the Lakes we stopped off for a refreshment break at Skipton on a very busy market day. The car/coach park was rather full but our driver managed to squeeze our coach, with ease, into a parking spot that none of us thought possible.
The good weather on the journey up was to last throughout the holiday.
 
On arrival we were met by the hotel deputy manager who directed us to the lounge for a welcome meeting whilst our luggage was offloaded and taken to our rooms.  
That evening we made our way to the dining area for a very enjoyable evening meal.
Later we met up in the lounge for a quiz followed by an evening of entertaining music.
The holiday was set up so that each day members had three options which consisted of a short walk, a long walk or use of the coach to take them to a different set location each day so they could explore at their leisure.

Day 1
Short Walk:  Started from Burton House Farm just outside Kendal finishing at Staveley. A beautiful 5.5mile riverside walk alongside the rivers Kent, reputably the fastest flowing river in Britain, and the river Sprint. We passed by grass meadows dotted with Lady’s Smock flowers.  On the walk we passed by Burnside Hall, a semi-fortified house with a Pele tower dating to the 14th century and built to keep out marauding Scots. The walk finished by the riverside enjoying a refreshing drink at the Eagle and Child.

Long Walk:  Started from our Hotel. A pleasant 9.5mile walk to Sizergh Castle via Scout Car and return along the river Kent. The first part of the walk was over open country with a steady climb of 450feet over 2 miles and then a steady descent to the castle which is a fine medieval manor house with beautiful gardens.

Day 2
Short Walk:  A 6.5mile walk starting from Staveley, the finishing point of the previous day, and on to Bowness with a slight detour to a vantage point over Lake Windermere. On the journey we passed Crag House farm and a stream which issues from a subterranean source and disappears again 2m later. Further on we spotted an illusive low waymark after which we stopped for a well-earned break with views over the Langdale Pikes and Coniston Fells. Further on Lake Windermere appeared and we made our descent to Bowness and a well-earned drink.

Long Walk:  Started from Burnside repeating the latter portion of the previous days short walk and then on to Bowness to join up with the other group.

Non walkers spent a relaxing day in Bowness and Windermere.


Day 3
Short Walk:  The most taxing short walk of the holiday starting from Grasmere on to Dove Cottage, along the Coffin route, with an ascent to Rydal Mount partly across meadows and partly through woodland, below the forbidding crags of Nab Scar. The descent took us past Dora’s Field which William Wordsworth bought for his daughter Dora and on to an early 19th century church where we stopped for lunch in the wonderful churchyard.  We then headed along the southern shore of Rydal Water and climbed up to the caves, giving views to Nab Scar and Rydal Fell beyond.  Then on to Grasmere Lake and into the village. Unfortunately, the Gingerbread Shop was closed for the day and our walk leader had to go without. Maybe next time. 

Long Walk:  Circular walk from Great Langdale to Blea Tarn and Little Langdale and return.  On a calm and sunny day, we commenced our walk with a short flat stretch in the Dungeon Ghyll area. This was followed by our steepest ascent of the day, surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, to Blea Tarn, the highest point on the walk. This was our coffee stop. A more gradual descent took us into Little Langdale. This included a short downward stretch of the minor road that, behind us, went up and over Hard Knott Pass.  Little Langdale Tarn was a picturesque backdrop to our lunch stop. Our path continued around the Tarn, over a Slater’s Bridge and up a short incline. A minor road took us towards Elterwater but we turned off this to take a path over a small rise, through a delightful wood back into Great Langdale.  The final two miles of the nine-mile walk, took us back to our starting point along a relatively easy track with more beautiful Great Langdale scenery.


Thanks must go out to all of the walk leaders who interpreted the walk information supplied to them and ensured all of our members enjoyed the walks and returned safe and sound.
Thanks must also go out to our driver who managed to get us safely to and from our walks despite some challenging roads.
Finally, thanks to all of the hotel staff for a very enjoyable break.
 

* Daish’s Holidays is a family owned and operated business with their roots going back to 1979. They now have 12 hotels throughout England and Wales

For further details visit:
Daishs.com or visit them on facebook.com/daishs

 

Selworthy 2021 - A self drive holiday in the midst of a petrol crises

 
An intrepid collection of 19 members and one very welcome guest made their own way to Holincote House, an HF property* situated near Selworthy in Somerset. Sufficient petrol was acquired to both arrive and return home without too much drama. One electric car driver tried reasonably hard not to be too smug.
 
We arrived on Monday, 27th September in the afternoon, to acclimatise, sample the delights of the bar (which some embraced a lot more enthusiastically than others) and a very pleasant evening meal.
 
Monday night (and early Tuesday morning) rang to the joyous laughter and chatter from two of our North Eastern colleagues. Anonymity has understandably been requested by our Chair (and her sister, Margaret).
 
Tuesday’s walks were damp, very damp, but the volunteer walk leaders did a sterling job in trying conditions.  Rainbow coloured waterproofs were much in evidence; Dougal decided that shorts were the sensible option.
There were some great views (when the clouds allowed) and the “chocolate box” tea shop in Selworthy was experienced by all in the shorter walk group as well as a couple of others from the longer walk (clearly they needed more exercise). Unfortunately, Sue tripped on some slippy rocks and broke her fall with her nose; Malcom is still denying any culpability. Still, they both gave 5 stars for the Minehead minor injury unit.
 
Helen had invited two long-term friends to join us for the walk and evening meal. To keep it easy for those of us unable to remember names, they were both called Linda.
 
Wednesday was the best day of the week with sunshine that more than justified Maria’s dark glasses.
 
Much agitated pleading from Terry had failed to acquire the OS App on a mobile phone, meanwhile Viv remained calm and unruffled. More traditional map reading skills were successfully deployed - all returned safe and sound despite part of the planned route having been consigned to the sea years ago.
 
Steve led the longer walk on Wednesday and, deciding that it was way too short, led the party significantly off course within a 100 yards of the start. Initially planned at under 9 miles there were two enforced diversions and a wandering around Porlock. The leader has conceded that it was over 9 miles. Allegations it was nearer 12 are ongoing… 
 
The parking at Porlock Weir was not cheap and Norman came bearing pockets-full of welcome change, once a well organised merchant seaman always a well organised seafaring officer.
 
Wednesday evening saw us consume a “Pub Specials” evening meal followed by a quiz. One of the two KRG Teams took the prize and it’s oh-so-modest members can be spotted when they wear their winnings - a much sought after green HF tubular bandana each!
 
The final walking day saw the longer walkers meeting with the short walk group on a somewhat damp and blustery day. As we returned to our meeting point the group split into three; one to drive back to Holincote House, one to walk back and five (Lin, Ian, Jenny, Pete and Carol) lingered to experience the “warm welcome” at a Somerset cream tea provider. The refreshments were fine; the welcome was colder than a KRG walker picnicking in the middle of winter with ice on their nose, snow in their boots and a gaping hole in their kagool…
 
An impromptu Committee meeting was called to consider the Christmas lunch arrangements (more details to follow) and Wendy joined her first committee meeting in the bar. We’ve explained that committee meetings don’t normally include alcohol - more’s the pity?
 
That evening there was a fine display of talent in “Killer Skittles” (3 lives each, one lost each time you miss the varying number of skittles). Cathy demonstrated a fearsome determination to beat not only the rest of the field but, most importantly to her, her dutiful husband.
 
A special thanks must go Pauline for all her tremendous work in organising the holiday, us and her dog walking.
Janet designed an excellent walking programme to allow us to see the best of the local area.
Warmest thanks to both.
 
 
* HF holidays were first established in 1913 to provide simple holidays including some abroad (thus becoming one of the first overseas tour operators). Today it provides a range of walking and special interest holidays in the UK as well as around the world. For further details visit
https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/country-houses/locations/selworthy-exmoor