YHA Youlgreave in the Peak District National Park was taken over by HAWOG members past and present for the weekend for our final 75th Anniversary Event. We had exclusive use.
On Saturday all completed a 12ish mile walk from the hostel. We followed the signed Limestone Way footpath south over rolling hills taking in Robin Hood's Stride to Winster village in less than 2 hours for an early lunch. Unfortunately our early pace and the pub not being open until lunchtime meant an alternative was required. Brian G quickly spotted there was a pub further on route in Birchover which most would reach in about 40 minutes. Four though took a bit longer as they had gone AWOL in Winster, their punishment was a five minute lunch as opposed to thirty for the rest of us! Well deserved I think.
Post lunch and with most of our ascent completed for the day we enjoyed the higher views around Stanton Moor including the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. With our good pace continuing we reached Caudwells Mill Craft Centre which I had been told had an excellent cafe. A thirty minute stop for afternoon tea followed although some who wanted cake needed longer due to the wait to be served.
I made my customary navigation error following a track rather than the intended footpath shortly after leaving Caudwells. When the uncertainty appeared, a footpath was not visible to the eye up or down (there should only be one in the area we were walking) and I had to make a choice between two mounds to walk around. I ultimately chose the wrong one. The direction of the road we reached confirmed this so we corrected and headed on to our intended route and Stanton Hall. The village of Alport beckoned and we finished with a walk in the valley along the River Bradford back to the hostel.
Saturday evening and three courses were served for all in the hostel. The food and hospitality shown by the hostel staff throughout the weekend was excellent. The third course was a special 12 inch square cake emblazoned with our group's and the YHA's logos in full colour and rich in taste and texture. After dinner many went to one or more of the pubs in close proximity to the youth hostel.
Sunday and a number of different activities were on offer: the Tissingdon Trail and a cycle ride for some, a steam train ride for others, sight seeing around some of the many historic and cultural options nearby and an 8 mile walk for those who wanted more of the countryside.
For the 8 mile walk, we again departed the hostel where we headed north-ish over the River Lathkill and up and over to Haddon Hall. Again unfortunately we arrived too early for teas (note to self: must slow down) so cracked on to Bakewell in good time for lunch. We stayed for an hour which gave all enough time to eat, look around and try some of the famous local tarts.
After lunch the weather turned. On Saturday it had been cloudy, mild and dry. Sunday morning we had had some sun. But now the rain started and after a while, continued for the remainder of the walk. We continued south to Over Haddon and then down to the River Lathkill, but this time walking alongside it. Some lovely views were enjoyed as we saw the changing width of the river and the plants alongside it. All encompassed by the valley.
Those of us on the walk arrived back at the hostel just after 3pm, in good time for our journeys home.
Thank you all (36 of us) for coming on our biggest weekend away for quite a few years at the super cheap YHA group's price of £17pppn for bed, breakfast and 3 course dinner.
Thanks to (girls) Anna, Anneke, Carol, Efisia, Emma E, Helen W, Jackie, Jan, Jane, Karen, Kate, Maria, Mary and Rita and (guys) Brian F, Brian G, David S, David T, Humay, Jeff, Jiten, Keith, Maher, Mark O, Martin J, Mike D, Paul S, Pete, Phil, Raj, Rich, Simon H, Simon S, Steve T, Tim K for joining me on another top group weekend away.
Report by Steve R
Group photo - Photo by Phil
Playtime for HAWOG boys and girls - Photo by Keith
Youlgreave Council cutbacks - Steve realises he'd wasted his time bringing his swimming trunks - Photo by Keith
I think you're lost, let me see that map! - Photo by Anna
What, no thumbs-up, Brian? - Photo by Phil
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil - Photo by Keith
Paul and Dobbin discuss this year's elderberry wine vintage - Photo by Keith
What do you mean we've not got a virgin to sacrifice? - Photo by Keith
Offerings to the wood spirits. That, or Christmas is getting earlier and earlier! - Photo by Keith
The Nine Ladies stone circle - Photo by Anna
On our way to Caudwell Mill Craft Centre - Photo by Anna
Arriving at Caudwell Mills - Photo by Keith
The cake! - Photo by Phil
On our way to Haddon Hall - Photo by Anna
Haddon Hall - Photo by Phil
Peruvian hikers - Photo by Anna
Regrouping under the viaduct - Photo by Keith
Railway cutting walk to Bakewell - Photo by Keith
Getting ready to cycle on 'The Tissington Trail' - Photo by Emma
Big smiles despite being covered in mud splash - Photo by Emma