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Organiser: Richie Where: YHA Ilam Hall, Ilam, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 2AZ When: 25-27 October 2019 (Fri-Sun) Cost: From £139.00 (includes 2 nights accommodation, YHA Supper Club Meal on Saturday evening and guided walks) Summary For this weekend we will be visiting the Peak District National Park (White Peak), an ideal location for a late summer / autumn weekend away. We have accommodation booked at YHA Ilam Hall – a 17th Century gothic manor which sits in 84 acres of National Trust parkland next to the river Manifold, with Dovedale just on its doorstep. The beautiful Youth Hostel is full of character and nestled near the church and quaint village of Ilam. It is only a 3-4 hour drive from West London, meaning a decent arrival time on Friday evening. The hostel is ideally located for our planned hikes with all bed linen provided (just bring towel and toiletries). There is a well-equipped self-catering Kitchen (fridges, freezer, oven, kettles, toasters, microwave, cutlery & crockery) a Dining area, Lounge, Games Room, Drying Room, Showers and Toilets. If you need a car share transport option for this weekend, we can organise this for those who need it, details of this option will be announced nearer the time (please indicate this as a requirement when booking your ticket). You are welcome to make your own way to the accommodation and the starting points, if you prefer. On Saturday after breakfast we start the Manifold walk (18km) from our accommodation. This is an easy low level walk (3/10). We initially follow the River Manifold walking west before joining the Manifold Way pathway and heading north up the Manifold Valley Trail. We pass Thor’s Cave and head towards Wetton village before heading south above Castern Wood Nature Reserve before joining the River Manifold and tracking that back into Ilam. The route provides stunning scenery and wonderful picture opportunities. Once back at the accommodation, we will have showers before our evening meal (Ilam Hall Club Supper), but self-catering is also available for those who want this option. On Sunday after breakfast, we start the beautiful Doveldale walk (14km) from the front door of our accommodation. This is an easy low level walk (3/10). We initially head through Ilam village and track around Bunster Hill tracking through Dovedale National Nature Reserve. We follow Dovedale Wood north, before heading down across the footbridge across the River Dove. We follow the river south through Dove Dale and reach the Stepping Stones. We then pass Thorpe Cloud and track back into Ilam. Once back at the accommodation, we will depart back to London – you can expect to be back in London by about 7pm on Sunday evening.
Organiser – Richie Where – Snowdon Lodge, Lawrence House, Church St, Tremadog, Porthmadog, Gwynedd LL49 9PS When – 1st to 3rd Nov 2019 (Friday-Sunday) Cost – From £129.00 (includes 2 nights’ accommodation and guided walks) Summary For this Autumn Weekend we are visiting Snowdonia. We will depart on Friday after work and make our way to Tremadog (car sharing will be available for those that need it and options will be announced nearer the time). We have booked Snowdon Lodge as exclusive hire, for our sole use. It is a Grade 2 Listed building and the birthplace of T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and will be the perfect location for the walks and activities we have planned. The centrally heated property contains a mixture of doubles, twins and 5/6 bunk bedrooms. There are a number of showers and toilets, large dining room, self catering kitchen and a lounge with TV and log burning stove plus a drying room. On Saturday after breakfast we will drive to Rhyd-Ddu station car park which is a 20 minute car journey from the accommodation. The station is on the Welsh Highland Railway line and so you may see a steam train at the start. Our primary route is up via the Rhyd-Ddu Path, which is just over 13 miles (20km) and is one of the less busy routes up Snowdon. As you climb the shoulder of Clogwyn Du’r Arddu you will see a fantastic view of the Llechog ridge and Cwm Clogwyn with its three small lakes – Llyn Glas, Llyn Coch and Llyn Nadroedd. (Blue Lake, Red Lake and Snakes’ Lake). Once at the summit we will stop for a quick lunch and some photo opportunities at the trig point (1085m). We will then return via the Snowdon Ranger Path (used to be known as the Beddgelert Path since it was from this village that walkers started their journey to the summit – John Morton the self proclaimed ‘Snowdon Ranger’ used the path to guide Victorian tourists to the summit). As we descend, there are fantastic views down towards Llyn Cwellyn and the slopes of Mynydd Mawr rising from its shores. The prominent rock on the right at the far end of the lake is Castell Cidwm (meaning Cidwm’s Castle), folklore says that Cidwm was a giant who lived in a cave in the rock. This takes us back down to the vehicles and then we will drive back to the accommodation. We will then have time for a hot shower back and then most of the group are likely to eat their evening meal at a local pub which will be booked nearer the time - or you can self-cater at the hostel. On Sunday after breakfast we will quickly clear and clean the accommodation. The route today is 8 miles (10km) - we will make a short 20 minute journey to a car park near Nantemor from where we will do the beautiful Beddgelert Fisherman’s Path – the route follows Cwm Bychan up a gradual incline to just under 300m then back down to Llyn Dinas and we pass near the Sygun copper mine - the path climbs up through Cwm Bychan past the remains of the old copper mines - copper ore was extracted here and transported via a cable car system down the valley and then by horse and cart to Porthmadog where it was shipped to Swansea for refining into copper. On your return to Beddgelert we will pass Sygun Copper Mine, which dates back to the early nineteenth century. It closed in 1903 but underwent restoration work in the 1980s before opening to the public in 1986. We continue following the river back down to Beddgelert – which has a famous Ice-Cream shop (award winning artisan ice cream and sorbet) and some other local shops and cafes – before heading back to the vehicles near Nantemor. After the Sunday hike, we will drive straight from the hike finish to London (with some comfort breaks) and plan to be back in London around 8 pm on Sunday evening.
Organiser: Richie Where: YHA South Downs, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6JS When: 6 - 8 December 2019 (Fri-Sun) Cost: From £119.00 - (includes 2 nights accommodation and guided walks) Summary For this hiking weekend we will depart from London on Friday evening after work and head for the South Downs. Car sharing will be available for those that need it and options will be announced nearer the time (please indicate this as a requirement when booking your ticket). You are welcome to make your own way to the accommodation if you prefer. We are visiting the South Downs National Park (AONB: Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). An ideal location for a late autumn weekend away, we have accommodation booked at YHA South Downs which is surrounded by the rolling hills of the South Downs National Park, the site stands in extensive grounds and makes it the perfect adventure weekend destination for individuals and groups, and is ideal for us. Bedding is provided and there are showers and toilets, large dining room, a fully equipped self-catering kitchen and a lounge plus a drying room. The hostel features a comfortable lounge with plenty of sofas and arm chairs, great self-catering facilities and a handy drying room for muddy clothes. In the kitchen you find fridges, a freezer, a microwave, a cooker, a kettle and toaster, plus lots of pots, pans, cutlery and crockery. There is an option of a cooked breakfast (incl veggie) at the hostel, otherwise you will need to bring your own food for breakfast and packed lunches. On Saturday our walk is a based around the classic Seven Sisters and South Down Path and Coastal Walks. From our accommodation, it is a 15 minute drive to where the walk starts. Our circular hike will start and finish in the beautiful village of Alfriston which is just outside Seaford. Our route will initially take us through the Cuckmere Valley before heading south to connect onto the South Down Way – we will then reach the coast near Birling Gap and head west along the spectacular Seven Sisters. We then return back to Alfriston via Cuckmere Haven and Exceat. The 15mile (24km) route will see us mix the beautiful coastal walk with the stunning countryside in the South Down National Park. We will then have time for a hot shower and then most of the group are likely to eat their evening meal at a local pub which will be booked nearer the time - or you can self-cater at the hostel. On Sunday we will drive 60 minutes to Box Hill where our 7mile (12km) walk starts in the National Trust car park and the walk takes us around the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our route provides extensive views along the Riverside Walk, Stepping Stones, Happy Valley walks. We should be back at the vehicles in the car park by 3pm and so you can expect to be back in London by about 4pm.