Pocklington Group members, plus guests from other groups and a few non – members, totalling 50, recently returned from an enjoyable walking holiday in the Lake District, staying at the Patterdale Hotel between 10th and 15th May.
Suggested and organised by Martin Hill, Walks Secretary, it was hoped that a couple of dozen people could be persuaded to sign up for a walking week. Initial, but significant interest, followed by firm bookings, surprised and delighted everyone. Thereafter, Martin's work really started - creating a selection of walk routes, recruiting volunteer leaders, preparing a variable walks programme etc. all of which took time.
For the first briefing, 26 walks had been suggested [later added to] by 12 Leaders and this enabled a programme of 5 walks [3 high level and 2 low level] for each day - a major caveat being prevailing weather conditions.
And so it proved to be! – Gale force winds resulted in some programme rearrangement on two days, but no walks were lost and everyone had an opportunity to do walks of their choice.
Hotel facilities were ideally suited for the group - restaurant service was efficient; a good selection of meals; pleasant dining room staff; and plenty of time after dinner in the bar and coffee lounge for comparing notes and experiences.
Photographs were taken on some walks and are identified below by date and title. Click on an image to enlarge it and use slider.
Mon 11th – Gowbarrow – Aira Force led by Chris Spencer [10 miles – 1700' ascent]
The route on the ground isn't always where it should be and our group of 16 was obliged to detour around a timber felling operation. Thereafter, a variety of terrain and countryside culminating with a visit to the spectacular Aira Force waterfalls.
Mon 11th – Pooley Bridge to Hotel led by Martin Hill [12 miles – 2000' of ascent]
17 enjoyed a bus ride to Pooley Bridge, before heading up onto the fells on the Eastern side of Ullswater. We enjoyed spectacular views of the Lake and the mountains behind before dropping down to Howtown and the ferry pier, for a lunch stop. The return to the hotel was alongside the lake along an undulating path.
Mon 11th – High Street led by Graham Hadfield [13.5 miles -3500' ascent]
Mon 11th – Howtown led by Janet & Phil Brown [7 miles – 1450' ascent]
Following a pleasant trip on the steamer from Patterdale to Howtown, a leisurely return walk along an undulating path to the hotel.
Mon 11th - Place Fell led by Paul Cook [11 miles - 3500' ascent]
Five walkers went up Place Fell, then down to Howtown via a welcome stop at Lowther Barn for refreshments followed by another ascent via Martindale Old Church up to Beda Fell and back to the hotel.
Tues 12th - Grisedale Beck led by Tony Corrigan [7.25 miles – 1425' ascent]
Following Grisedale Beck to Ruthwaite Climbing Lodge and returning via Lanty's Tarn to Glenridding this walk had an added bonus for the group of 24.
Straddling the beck was a 'red hump back bridge' constructed of 22,000 sheets of paper. Free-standing; no glue, screws, bolts, fixings or supports were used to hold the structure 5m in length, with a 4m span over the beck and standing at 2m from water to top of arch. Designed by Steve Messam [who kindly posed with the group] as part of the Lakes Cultures spring programme 'Lakes Ignite' – it was to be demolished a few days later and paper recycled.
Tues 12th – Aira Force to Pooley Bridge led by Martin Hill [9 miles – 1700' ascent]
On the bus again to Aira Force for a walk along the western side of Ullswater to Pooley Bridge. After the spectacular waterfalls at Aira Force, the 10 walkers ascended Gowbarrow Fell, before continuing along an elevated walk through woodland and fells, before enjoying the gradual descent to Pooley Bridge. The day was completed with a steamer trip along the length of Ullswater.
Wed 13th – Fairfield Horseshoe led by Martin Hill [12 miles -3400' ascent]
A short drive to Ambleside for the lucky 11 walkers to enjoy this spectacular classic Lakeland walk. The walk, on a prefect day, was undertaken in a clockwise direction with the initial ascent up to Nab Scar, then Heron Pike, Great Rigg, before a lunch stop at the highest peak of Fairfield. After lunch we continued to Hart Crag, then Dove Crag before starting the descent to Ambleside.
Wed 13th – Howtown led by Sally White [7 miles – 1450' ascent]
Another pleasant trip on the steamer from Patterdale to Howtown, followed by a leisurely return walk along an undulating lakeside path – that afforded an opportunity for ladies to relax.
Wed 13th - Helvellyn led by Alex Gymer [ 11 miles - 3000' ascent]
A total of 10 walkers conquered Striding Edge to reach the summit of Helvellyn with a much gentler return along Glenridding Beck.
Thursday 14th – Angle Tarn led by Tony Corrigan [8 miles -2000' ascent]
A chilly morning start for this group of 26 who quickly warmed up when ascending Boredale Hause. Great views were obtained overlooking Angel Tarn and again when descending Hayeswater Gill.
Thursday 14th - Pooley Bridge via High Street led by Martin Hill [14.5 miles – 3200' ascent]
On a very cold but clear day, a hardy group of 5 caught the bus to Pooley Bridge before embarking on an exhilarating walk completed at a cracking pace. The route joined the old Roman Road (High Street) from the 'Cockpit' up to Loadpot Hill, then Wether Hill before reaching our highest point of High Raise. The descent to the hotel was via Rampsgill Head, the Knott and Angle Tarn. It was exceptionally cold on the ridge, also being wild and desolate with only wild ponies for company. [This breed of ponies have been on the fells for many years and were mentioned in Alfred Wainwright's notebooks].
Notwithstanding such cold conditions, Keith continued his routine of wearing shorts, but Jarvis finally relented by donning cold weather kit.
Thursday 14th – The Dodds led by Graham Hadfield [11 miles -2700' ascent]
Panoramic views across the fells to include Derwent Water, Bassenthwaite, Blencathra, Thirlmere and Ullswater.
Everyone enjoyed an excellent selection of walks, friendship, food, hotel facilities and hospitality. Although windy weather conditions were disruptive, it was dry and the views were superb with the upper fells mainly clear of cloud.
No mishaps and all left full of appreciation for the organisation and effort put in by Martin. Conclusion - it was a very successful week.
Thanks to Di Barrett, Graham Hadfield, Janet Brown, Martin Hill, Sally White and Tony Corrigan for the photographs.
So onto 2016 and where next?