Whitwick & District U3A - Walking Holidays
Each year, usually September or October, all WAD walkers are offered the opportunity to participate in a 4 night walking holiday. These holidays are booked with HFHolidays Ltd and are taken at one of their country houses in the UK. HF offers a very good standard of accommodation and we enjoy full board in en-suite rooms. A choice of 3 walks of varying length and difficulty are offered each day with a range of between 7 and 12 miles. Some evening entertainment is offered by way of light hearted quizzes or games, a speaker on topics of local interest, demonstrations or music. Travel is shared and we usually have enough willing drivers.
Bookings are now being taken for next year's holiday and there are still some rooms available, although singles are in limited supply. The holiday will be 4 nights from Monday 5th October 2020, and we will be staying at The Long Mynd run by HF holidays, Church Stretton in Shropshire. The price per person will be approx. £459 full board. Please contact Ann for more details.
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Below is a description and some pictures from the 2019 holiday. (More pictures recently added. Please scroll down.)
Pictures from 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are in the gallery.
Walking Holiday 7th to 11th October 2019
Derwent Water, Lake District
13 members of our U3A participated in this year's walking holiday in the delightful surroundings of Derwentwater in the Lake District. We stayed in HF's country house called Derwent Bank, and I don't think I need to describe the location as the name speaks for itself! Luckily for us the whole property had been refurbished this year and had been done to a very high standard.
Our mid-afternoon arrival was celebrated by a sharing of Afternoon tea, discussions about the journey and what sort of rooms we had. Being an old building, all the rooms are different shapes and sizes and enjoy different views of the surroundings. We were then invited to join in a short orientation walk around Portinscale, the village where we were situated. After dinner, some of us participated in some entertaining quizzes, nothing too taxing after our long journey.
Our first day of walking for the shorter and medium walk included the Castlerigg Stone Circle and ended back in Keswick where we had time to look around, visit the Pencil museum, walk back to the house, or return by shuttle bus. The longer group, brave Vanessa as ever, conquered Blencathra.
In the evening after an early dinner, we ventured out either to see a live event at the local cinema or to the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. Whatever we saw we all agreed this was a very entertaining evening. The theatre has a local connection, having been built on the site where our present Century Theatre in Coalville once stood. At that time it was known as The Blue Box.
The second day of walking took in Borrowdale and returned along the Cat Bells Terrace for the first two groups or up to Scafell Pike for the harder group. That evening we took part in the Inter-house quiz run by HF, being split into two teams which we named Whitwick Wonders or Whitwick Wanderers. We really must be slipping because this year neither of our groups took first place!
Our final day of walking was in the picturesque Newlands Valley for the first two groups and tackled the Coledale Horseshoe for the harder group. That evening the holiday was finished off by a 5 course Cumbrian Taster Menu dinner during which we sampled beautifully tasty and tender Cumbrian lamb as well as the famous sticky toffee pudding, rounded off with samples of the local cheeses.
Some of our group did not walk every day but instead decided to do some local sightseeing and they were really spoilt for choice. The visits included Hilltop and the Beatrix Potter museum, as well as Dalmain Mansion and Historic Gardens and meandering around Keswick and the famous Pencil Museum where 'Derwent' pencils come from.
While the weather could have been better, we all agreed it could have been a lot worse! Most days were showery but snuggly inside our weather and waterproof clothing we never got soaked or too cold. Our worst enemy was the strong and gusty winds, which when on high peaks came frighteningly close to blowing us off our feet!
Another successful walking holiday and we look forward to the next one.....