Reports on club meets from members who took part. If you would like to send in a report please mail it to the Hon. Editor. Reports of members activites.


Northern Day Walk - Walking around Ravensdale, Peak District, April

This months walk saw participants gather in the Outside Store in Hathersage. Due to heavy rain at the time of the walk start plans were revised. Instead of the intended walk around the Stanage area a different plan was hatched over an extra coffee followed by retail therapy (well it was for Michele who bagged the most bargains).
The group then made a quick visit to the Ollerbrook Farm bunkhouse to check over the accommodation intended for the upcoming proposed Peak Meet next month.


As the walk had been delayed it allowed for Ian and Harvey the dog to meet up with us and join us for our walk, which started near to Foolow. In fact technically the route started at a small, very small place called Housley. Housley is marked on the map, it has official Housley signs as you enter, but is comprised of only about three houses. Waste of a place name, or rightly recognising their existence? Anyway probably some kind of ancient tax fiddle.

Our route started by crossing the busy A623 onto much quieter pasture land where young lambs were doing what they do best gambling. How young lambs can have any knowledge of betting, hang on poke in the ribs from Michele it’s apparently gambolling they do so I will move on.

The group descended along White Rake an old line of mine workings towards Wardlow turning left towards the top end of Ravensdale. At the end of the path there are good views towards Litton and it’s a good stop for a break. I know the club have stopped here before.

Time for a break

The walk continued towards the Peter Stone passing metal lids on potholes and soughs left by the old man a name given to the miners of old by the modern potholders. Upon reaching the Yonderman cafe it was found disappointingly to be closed. The group continued through the Wardlow Mires farm, home to a couple of the happiest and unhappiest farmers in Derbyshire, depending on which one you meet. The shortened walk soon found us back to our cars having pretty much dodged all the rain of the day.

the gang
The happy group

The day concluded with a well earned pint and or hot chocolate at the Peacock in Barlow. A most civilised and relaxed day. Or it will have be if nobody mentions again that I paid for all day parking at Hathersage and having got it wrong at the machine actually paid for a coach to park there all day, no seriously don’t mention it if you see me.

Attendees: Andy Burton, Steve Caulton, Michele & Marcus Tierney, Ian Mateer and Harvey, the dog

Report by Marcus Tierney, all photos by Ian

The forecast wasn't great - showery day with heavy downpours. At least I would get to use my new overtrousers! We were a depleted group with various regular attendees away on treks or with family commitments. So it was that three of us arrived at the carpark above Combe just as the rain was stopping.


Donning our waterproof jackets we set off, in improving weather, along the Bridleway above Combe walking over Walbury Hill along the ridge overlooking Highclere.
After a cooffee break in a small wood the waterproofs were discarded and the weather set fair for the rest of the day.
Just after Pilot Hill we turned off the bridleway and headed down to Faccombe.

We walked through the small village of Faccombe with a big church and continued along the track/road to Linkenholt. This was another small pretty village.

St Barnabas church in Faccombe
St Peters church in Linkenholt

Heading towards Combe Woods

At Linenholt we left the track and joined the Test Way through Combe Woods, which had seen some clearing of the trees.

We left the Test Way and after lunch we headed towards Buttermere and then continued up Ham Hill to join the Mid Wilts Way Bridleway.

We continued along the Bidleway overlooking Hungerford, shortly arrivng at Combe Gibbet. As we arrived back at the cars the rain started again!

We completed the 12 walk, with around 1000' of ascent in the five hour window between the rain showers.

Many thanks to Margaret for organising the walk.

Combe Gibbet

Attendees: Margaret Moore, Judy Renshaw and Mike Goodyer.

Report by Mike Goodyer

Our walk starts in Castleton, where the ruins of Peveril castle look down on the village. Completed in 1086, the castle was built for William Peverel, a favoured knight of William the Conqueror. Castleton’s fame equally lies below the ground, as the only place in the world where the semi-precious Blue John stone can be found, and our walk today takes us past several caverns associated with this rare stone.

Castleton back streets

Our walk begins stutteringly around the back streets of Castleton, past the stream flowing through the village, and out onto the moorland, where others coming towards us speak of slippery paths in front. The ground is cut up in places, but we make the bottom of Winnats pass and Speedwell Cavern without mishap. Originally a lead mine, Speedwell cavern is unusual in the caverns in this vicinity in that most of the travelling underground is by boat.

Steve and Michele on top of Mam Tor, with the afternoon route behind them

Our path continues onward and upward, past both Teak Cliff and Blue John caverns, until we are above the pass itself, and there is a clear route across to the upper flanks of Mam Tor. Known as the Shivering Mountain, the original road still lies in pieces below us, after repeated landslides took it away some years ago. The way up to the top has a number of cast metal interpretation pieces reflecting the ancient past of the summit, with its bronze and Iron Age hill forts.

The route ahead, to Hollins Cross, Back Tor and Losehill – A popular ridge walk
Edale and Grindsbrook from Hollins Cross

On the tops, the wind is much stronger and colder, so we press on along the wide paved ridge to Hollins Cross before our lunch break, with its views back to Edale, and the Sheffield - Manchester train line. It seems that most people walking the route, and there are a fair few out today, are sheltering in the lee here for their lunch. From there, we can even see where our Peak meet will be in May, on the edge of Edale itself.

On the way up to Back Tor – Suitably insulated against the cold wind
Losehill, with Win Hill in the background

After our break, we continue along the ridge to Back Tor and Losehill, with continuing great views, before we descend into Hope, rather than the more direct route straight back to Castleton. On the way, we cross over a branch line to the nearby cement works, which is a reminder of the mineral wealth of this valley.

From Hope, our route returns to over fields to Castleton, alongside Peakshole Water for much of the time, with meanders any geography student would be proud of.

Meandering Peakshole Water

The weather continues to be kind as we catch some afternoon sun and mild weather in the valley, before arriving back at our start point. Another grand day out.

Report by Ed Bramley

Two of us (Margaret Moore and Judy Renshaw) were the only club members who managed to attend the Southern day walk on 8th March, so we picked a route roughly half way between us. The rest of the usual group missed out on a beautiful day with lovely views, sunshine all day, Spring flowers, new lambs, bees, a muntjac deer and many kites.

break break
Judy and Margaret enjoying a break

We started at Aston Rowant nature reserve near Stokenchurch and took the slightly unofficial path down the open field to the Ridgeway path, under the M40 and south to the crossing with the Oxfordshire Way. Then we went East past Pyrton Hill and up through woods to Wormsley Park and across on the Chiltern Way, through fields with many young lambs to Ibstone.

Judy by Wormsley Park
Then we went North to Studdridge and took a short section of road to make sure we were able to get back over the motorway to our car park. A very enjoyable day, walking a nice route in good weather.

Report by Judy Renshaw

It was a predictably grey and cloudy sky which greeted Andy, Ed and I as we parked at the Ladybower Inn by the side of the A57 at Bamford, close to the northern edge of the Ladybower reservoir.

Ed, Roger and Steve
We were soon availing ourselves of a rather tasty full breakfast which seemed the right thing to do given a chilly breeze promised to be with us all day. Roger joined us and that was the party for the day. Worth noting that if you have a breakfast and become a 'patron' for the day the car park is free

Suitably attired we began the slow ascent on the clear pathway up onto Derwent Edge looking back on Ladybower reservoir now reflecting clouds in a variety of greys. Beneath these waters lie the drowned villages of Derwent and Ashopton. Pretty cottages, a church and chapel, shops, inns and a Manor House were demolished, and all disappeared when the reservoir slowly filled in 1945. In 2018, the long dry spring and summer saw the rubble revealed and the architecture of a bygone era was on view to those adventurous enough to wade across the mud.

Ashopton Viaduct and Bamford Edge

We continued upwards along slippery open pathways, assailed by a cold and stiff Westerly breeze keeping any threat of rain at bay. (942)Ahead lay windswept moors and the famous rock formations which makes this walk so interesting and different. Much loved and visited, these geographical marvels of gritstone have been worn down by wind, rain and all that photography, into weird and wonderful shapes and precarious arrangements that baffle the mind. How they weathered into such complex shapes and parlous stability is perplexing, but I wouldn't put money on guessing how much longer they will remain as they stand.

Coach and Horses rock formations

They have been given some impressive appellations too, their origins born in local legend. The 'Coach and Horses' probably being the best known due to a passing resemblance from a distance to such a vehicle. 'Back Tor,' which marks the highest point of Derwent Edge and carries the appropriate Trig Point. 'Lost lad', where a young shepherd from the submerged village of Derwent supposedly got lost in a blizzard and died there but not before scrawling 'lost lad' on a rock. Now there is a cairn and a toposcope to mark his tragedy.

Retrospect Back Tor

From here, high above the Upper Derwent Valley, we had views of Derwent Head and well over to the West, Bleaklow and Kinder Scout. To the East were the outskirts of Rotherham and Sheffield and away in the far distance the just visible, cooling towers and the cranes of Goole or some other part of the Humber Estuary.

the well made path

Our route was along obvious, decent and passable trackway a good deal of which has now been impressively flagstoned. There were some waterlogged stretches and a few wobbly flags, as Roger found out the hard way, but all was navigable and made for easy walking.

(team)The loveliness of that open moorland we left behind as we descended steeply through Hancock Wood and Walkers Clough to the roadway beside the Eastern side of Derwent Reservoir. A convenient bench afforded us all the ideal spot for lunch whilst we imagined all that had occurred along the very stretch of water in front of us and between the twin towers of Derwent Dam to our left. This exact spot of course was where the famed Dambusters Lancaster Bomber crews had trained for their massive assault on those of the German Ruhr Valley in 1943. Hard to believe they could fly such an aircraft at speed at next to no height in the confines of a narrow valley but unfortunately there were some crashes nearby. Over the years many locals have reported sightings and hearings of an unmistakable Lancaster bomber over the area, linking them to a recorded disaster in 1945.

No such sightings for us sad to say and we passed the Dam towers to take in the spectacle of thousands of gallons of water cascading down in a thunderous, unbroken white sheet to wend its way into the households of Nottingham, Derby and beyond.

Derwent dam – cue theme tune…

The two Dams of Derwent and Howden are over a century old now and the style and architecture of their massive stones hark back to the castles of medieval times and wouldn't be out of place in Lord of the Rings.

From there it was a very pleasant and easy stroll along the northern banks of Ladybower Reservoir. Looking across the water we could see where we had spent our morning high up on Derwent Edge and reflected on how good a stroll at 11 miles thereabouts it had been.

It had been a superb walk of contrasts. Open moorland above with great natural scenery set against the manmade wonders of mightily impressive structures taming colossal amounts of water affording a modern landscape to be enjoyed by all who are drawn to the varied opportunities this area offers up.

Stanage Edge from Whinstone Lee Tor

We were soon back at Ladybower Inn and it seemed rude not to go in and finish the day with a little liquid refreshment before going our separate ways.

An excellent day, a very good choice of route and good company.
As our dear old friend Myles is wont to say, 'What's not to like!'.

Report by Steve Caulton

2022 saw the very welcome return of the Annual Dinner and AGM meet in the Lake District after a break in 2021 due to the pandemic.

It also saw our return to the Inn on the Lake after their re-furb was completed last year.
Forty one of us gathered in various spots across Glenridding and Patterdale including the Inn on the Lake, the George Starkey Hut and various B&B’s and AirB&B’s, all coming together on the Saturday night for the Annual Dinner.

Before that however, many of the group had been out exploring the area.

Ed Bramley has written up the following account of his, Mike Goodyer, Mitch Sneddon, Andy Burton and Paul Stocks day out on Helvellyn on the Friday:

As Mitch had not been up Helvellyn before, we decided that particular itch needed scratching. Having consulted the forecast, it was due to be above freezing, but increasingly windy, so we opted for the classic safe route. Up to Grisedale Tarn, up and along the whaleback from Dollywaggon to Helvellyn, lunch at the shelter, and then down the Zig Zags, to finish in Glenridding.

the gang
Team on the way to the tarn

the gang
Selfie before the bad weather came in

By the time we had reached Grisedale Tarn, it was obvious that Andy and I were going slower than the other three, and also that the weather was getting worse with height, we were left rueing that we’d left full winter gear in the hut, including gloves. Ours were like a pair of sponges and offered scant protection against the wind and cold.

Mike, Mitch and Paul continued on their route and were battered by the very strong wind coming down from the summit to Whiteside, the wind kept up its strength down the Zig Zags until the Greenside mines! The summit shelter was virtually deserted, and as Andy and I quickly ate our lunches with our gloves still on. Going across the summit plateau, we could hear the wind like a jet engine and feel it pushing us towards the edge.

It was then we made our schoolboy error. Instead of still having our map handy (or consulting it in the shelter a few minutes earlier) and noting the bearing we needed to find the path down to the zig zags we assumed we knew which was the correct path, and followed the most obvious path away from the summit trig point. (For those in the know, a northerly bearing is needed to correctly locate the zig zag path.) As we slowly descended in the thick cloud, we cursed the state of the ‘new’ path, its unevenness and slippiness, wondering when the replacement path work had been done.

As we emerged out of the cloud, there was a clear view of a body of water, followed soon after by the sight of a road and traffic. It was now clear that we had taken the wrong path, but where exactly where we, and what were our options to get back to the hut? After a few more minutes descent I could see sufficient to know that we were on Brown Tongue and headed towards Swirls car park in Thirlmere! Looking at our watches made it clear that if we were to try and either retrace our steps, or find Stick Pass to reach Glenridding, then we would definitely still be out when it was dark. On top of that, we’d already burnt a lot of energy, and re-ascending at least a couple of thousand feet wouldn’t be easy.

Down we went to the car park. Phones not working, as they were suffering from the cold and wet, so no easy way of contacting the others, both let them know where we were, and to try and get help with getting back. It was at that point that disaster turned to salvation. A man and his dog were just about to head back to Carlisle in his transit van and he must have noticed things were awry, as he offered us a lift part the way to the Dockray turning on the A66. What a relief to us! And that relief went further as we approached the turning – “I'll tell you what lads. I can turn down by the lake and drop you at Aira Force. It’s not that much further for me”. The man was a saint in our hour of need. If you read this and are ever passing the hut, there will be a brew and cake waiting for you.

Still no working phones at Aira Force, despite tucking them close into ourselves to get some warmth back into them, but there was now a clear path back along the Ullswater Way, and we’d be back before dark.

Relief from both us and our friends as we walked through the door, just as dusk was closing in, and a salutary reminder. It does’t matter how many times you’ve done a route before, always check regularly where you are, even if the conditions make that a chore. It’s an even bigger chore getting back from the wrong valley.

Andy’s fish pie that he had made for the evening meal that evening was very much welcomed by everyone!

Friday night saw most people gathering at the The Inn in the Lake bar and it was fantastic to see everyone catching up with old friends and enjoying their company face to face once again.

Saturday saw various groups out and about. Storm was hitting the area so most people decided it was sensible to stay low and not venture too high up for fear of getting blown away!

The newly married Marcus and Michele Tierney were spending their honeymoon at a cottage with Rick Snell, Alison Henry and Mike and Maggie O’Dwyer.
They were joined by Andy Burton and some others to walk to the Brotherswater Inn who despite being struck by a power cut were still able to enjoy some mulled wine and some lunch.

the gang
Marcus spying Michele, Alison and Maggie

The two Julie’s (Freemantle & Jones), Heather and Dave and Anne Jago decided to walk up to view the Priests Hole in Dovedale. The wind was incredibly fierce even at low level and everyone needed to hang on to each to stop getting blown away. The route back involved a a short river tricky crossing during which Dave gallantly built a bridge of rocks to help Anne hop across to the other side.
the gang
Roger and Qing enjoying the weather

Other groups enjoyed walks across the weekend including Marian, Margaret, Roger and Qing who walked to Brotherswater on Sunday.

Paul, Mitch and Mike braved the windy tops again and enjoyed a leg stretch up to Baudale Hause and then a swift ascent of Place fell returning to the Hause so they could nip up Angle Tarn Pikes before returning to the hut. The wind was much less than earlier in the weekend, but the temperature reminded you that it was January!

the gang
Windy top

Saturday evening saw us gather first for the AGM and then into our favourite chalet style room, The Candle Room, which had been decorated by Heather with the flags and the club treasures. The meal was excellent and the waiting staff looking after all splendidly.
Catching the moment around the tables
group group group group group
group group group group group
group group group group group

Our after dinner speaker for the evening was Stevan Jackson. Stevan was a Captain in the Royal Navy and during his 30 years membership of the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Mountaineering Club he climbed in most areas of the UK and participated in expeditions to the Alps, Norway, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, USA, Pakistan, Nepal and Tibet. He gave us a thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking talk about his expeditions to the Himalaya’s trips in South America’s and climbs in Scotland.

President with Stevan Jackson

Thanks to everyone who made the effort to come to the dinner this year and we look forward to seeing everyone again in 2023.

Report by Julie Freemantle.

With the Station café being a favourite meeting point, with cheap and plentiful parking during the week, it was easy to return to this area for the first day walk of 2022.

Eight of us gathered and set off over the railway bridge by the entrance to the three and a half mile long Totley Tunnel, the second longest in Britain, through which trains pass to Sheffield from Manchester.

We followed the track road bending left past Padley Mill, and Padley Chapel which is all that remains of the 14th century manor house owned by the Fitzherbert family. In Elizabethan times the head of the family was imprisoned in the Tower, and died there refusing to renounce his Catholic faith.At this time two priests were arrested at Padley and subsequently hung, drawn and quartered. The chapel was purchased in 1933 by the Church and restored as a memorial, and there was a school group having an outdoor history lesson there as we walked by.

Millstones near the old quarry

We ascended up to the A625 via a circuitous route through boggy pastureland through Greenwood Farm. Here you cross over onto the lane opposite and walk till the end of the woodland on your right, to a fingerpost on your left that leads up a surfaced track which you follow as it bends right up to the house at Scraperlow, with its well-balanced façade.

Views across the moors

Here we spoke to the owner who explained that the house was built on the salt trade route from Cheshire to Sheffield as an overnight stop and shelter for both the traders and their animals, and that was why we were still allowed to walk up his driveway, before we turned right onto the moor proper.

Continuing over a couple of stiles and down to join a track around Mitchell Field Farm we turned right by a stone bridge and climbed increasingly steeply past a previously abandoned farm now being lovingly restored by its new owner literally piece by piece.

Nestled in the moor side some way down from the road was a small green car that had clearly missed the bend and tumbled several times before coming to rest. Much conjecture about how the vehicle could be recovered ensued, with no need for any of us to take any action as according to Pete it had been there some considerable time.

On joining the minor road and crossing it by way of two stiles we climbed the stepped path up to the top of Higger Tor at 434 metres, where we hunkered down among the boulders and had lunch.

Higger Tor from Longshaw Esstate
Lunch at Higger Tor

We then carried on to the outcrop to the south, Carl Wark, which shows evidence of having been fortified, probably in the Iron Age. The path then continues down to the brook where various crossing points were found before we all emerged on the relatively new wide footpath that runs under all the rocks in this valley from Burbage South End right up to North End.

This dry graded path has been made to allow everyone a chance to enjoy this part of the Peak District by allowing wheelchair/pushchair access with plentiful car parking at either end.

Outside the newly revamped National Trust cafe on the Longshaw Estate

We crossed the A625 and followed the track to Longshaw Lodge where there is a newly revamped café and toilets. This hunting lodge was built in 1827 on an estate of some 11,000 acres owned by the Dukes of Rutland, and was used during the First World War and its aftermath to provide a place for injured soldiers to convalesce once they had sufficiently recovered from their injuries in hospital in Sheffield.

Woodland walk

The Country Park now covers only 1600 acres, and has been protected by the National Trust since the 1930’s. Here you bear right along the enclosed path around the lodge, and fork left at a junction of two paths, through two hand gates to follow the level track though open woodland and managed moor.

After about one mile, having crossed another track turn right over a stone stile at the end of trees, and descend along an old paved path and then bear right down a gorge. At this point we chose to stay high and traverse the woodland edge path above the Totley Tunnel, which eventually bought us out on a lane which meets with the B6521. We crossed the road and went right for a short distance and then left down the enclosed surfaced series of steps back down to the station.

Another great day out in the Peak with Steve Caulton, Pete Hammond, Lyn Warriss, Heather Eddowes and Dave Matthews, Michele Pulford (not for long) and Marcus Tierney.
Report by Andy Burton.

Map of the walk

The drive to Streatley was misty and rainy and this was the poor weather stayed with us most of the day. What with family commitments and recovery from illness we were down to a hardy group of three! After Mike had parked in the Golf Club overflow car park instead of the National Trust one we met up and set off, slightly delayed!

Mike and Margaret at Goring

Thames Path

The track through the woods and steeply down to the Thames at Streatley gave us a taste of the mud and slippery conditions we would have all day.

We followed the Thames Path for a few miles to Moulsford, where we left the river and after a coffee stop headed towards Aston Tirrold. The rain was now intermittent.

As we walked towards Aston Tirrold we passed the area of a large battle fought between the Saxons and Danes in Jaunary 871. The Danes had come along the Thames from Reading and set off along the Ridgeway (this was a major route at this time) to take Wantage. Prince Alfred was camped at Kingstanding Hill near Cholsey and took his army up the Fairmile towards Lowbury Hill where the Danes were camped. King Aethelred was camped at Blewbury Hill and delayed his departure to battle so he could pray at the nearby church in Aston Upthorpe. This nearly caused an upset as he arrived late after Alfreds army and the Danes had set to! The Saxons won the day and the Danes were sent in disarray back to thier boats via Dean's (Danes?) Bottom.

We found temporary cover under the porch of the village cricket pavilion for lunch. After a short break we headed off up to the Downs and the scene of the battle.

looking across to Langdon Hill

muddy conditions on the track

Judy and Mike atop Lowbury Hill, no battle today.

The hills and track loomed up out of the mist and slowly the rain stopped. We didn't much fancy slogging up here preparing to do battle! On Lowbury Hill, we were on the highest ground but could see only mist. Very soon we dropped down to the Ridgeway and followed this back to the golf club, cut uphill along the footpath back to the car park.

An interesting walk of 14 miles and around 1000' of ascent. We were, however, glad to get out the rain and head off home.

Map of the walk

Attendees: Mike Goodyer, Margaret Moore and Judy Renshaw

Report by Mike Goodyer

The group at the hut

A jovial and fun meet took place at the hut over New Year, despite wet and extremely windy conditions on the hills.

New Year’s Eve saw me rock up outside the George Starkey Hut just as Judy and Mary and her crew were leaving the Hut. Quick donning of boots and a group photo and we were on our way. (extra comments from Andy B.)

Six people braved the conditions on New Year’s Eve, taking the riverside route to Lanty’s Tarn, along to Glenridding Hostel and up to the col of Greenside Mines. Judy continued along to Glencoyne dale and Aira Force, through a few more unavoidable fallen trees, and back on the new(ish) lakeside path which forms part of Ullswater Way. The rest of group set off down the descending path along Bleabankside with views of Judy traversing the path running all the way round the head of the dale, as we made our way down to the National Trust properties at Seldom Seen. Here again was evidence of the power of the recent storm. A couple of very large old trees had been blown down from the upper bank across the road taking half of the road and its supporting walls down the hillside with them.
It was at this point that Anna spotted a red squirrel, and everyone in the group was able to see this iconic British mammal for themselves.

climbing through the trees

emerging from the trees

below Seldom Seen

The most ‘interesting’ part of the walk was getting through numerous fallen trees, which had gone down in Storm Arwen in November. The worst section for this was on the footpath near to Lanty’s Tarn. Though the path was officially closed at this point, we decided to take the challenge getting through, which added a certain degree of interest to a low level walk!

Don had done various essential jobs in and around the hut, including mending a storage heater and unearthing the water meter from underneath a large quantity of water and mud, before taking a local walk.

In the evening, a mix-and-match shared meal was enjoyed by 12 of us, including a home-made Christmas pudding with suitably flaming brandy and accompaniments.

During dinner prep and after dinner some of the twenty or so games that Rachel had brought with her were played, savoury snacks and chocolates and some deliciously warming drinks were shared in front of the glowing Hut stove.

Also one of the party taught us a wassail song and we went out at 12.00 in the rain to sing it and to welcome the New Year.

Party games!

New Year's Day dip

On New Year's Day Judy was up and out early. She did a circuit up and around Place Fell and Boredale, while Don went to view the swimmers at Glenridding Pier.

There were no steamers due to the high winds, but around 30 people braved going in to the water.

Marian was helping out at the pop-up café in Glenridding, in aid of village community activities.

The rest of the group dawdled a bit in order to allow the improving forecast to actually improve, before we set off in two cars to park at the disused quarry on the road up to Dockray, now run by the National Trust, as it allows access to a gate in the wall across the road and down to the top of Aira Falls where the Aira beck starts to cascade into its gorge proper.

Across the relatively new wooden footbridge and up and out of the trees towards Dockray before turning right and heading up the newly constructed stone stepped path to Airy Crag, which in parts is still a work in progress.

windy day on Airy Crag

wind on Gowbarrow

looking up the valley towards Kirkstone Pass

Airy Crag lived up to its name as the photos of us all on top show.

We then continued down and around Gowbarrow to where the path joins the Ullswater Way where it comes out of the forestry at Swinburn’s Park.

Lunch was enjoyed close to the Memorial Seat with views across to Sandwick and Pooley Bridge, before setting off down and back across Aira Beck where it passes through the collection of specimen trees and carved logs and tree trunks.

Here having spotted a little feeding box lowdown on a tree with just a lift-up lid to gain access to the nuts and seed inside, we saw a red squirrel showing us all how it is done, much to the delight of most of the passers-by.

With the main waterfall only being viewed easily from the bridge above, due to fallen trees having blocked the lower bridge and viewing platform, this area was quite busy, so we continued on up past the various cuts and cascades, spotting a dipper feeding off the rocks, before exiting back out to the carpark.

A swift half in the Royal at Dockray whilst learning a new card game, and back to the Hut for another delicious shared evening meal, which was followed with some enthusiastic a capella style group singing, and another new game to learn, so it was no surprise that everyone was ready to call it quits before midnight. Happy New Year everyone!

We all managed to have a safe and enjoyable meet, having tested ourselves beforehand so that we could socialise in a normal way and have fun. It was well worth it!

Report by Judy Renshaw, additional reporting from Andy B.

Present: Andy Burton, Anna Kaszuba, Don Hodge, Judy Renshaw, Karen Dickinson, Marian Parsons, Mary Eddowes, Mike Parsons, Nanette Archer, Pam Holt (AC), Rachel Howlett, Simon Palmer.

Archived reports from 2001 to 2021.