Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gradbach Weekend

Just got back from a great weekend with Sheffield City Morris and assorted hangers on (including us), at Gradbach Youth Hostel.  Usual Friday night of turning up, eyeing up the bunk-beds, finding the showers, sharing nibbles and pre-dinner drinks and a meal provided by the hostel. Slight deviation from the norm was that one phase of the power supply to the hostel had gone, so some lights, sockets, heaters and showers worked, Some very cold, light bedrooms, some very dark warm ones. We had a cold, light one!  More importantly, parts of the kitchen weren’t working so the staff had to improvise, which they did very well!

After dinner, the usual gathering in the common room for singing, playing, monologues and assorted entertainment.  Highlights included a dancing, drunk panda, and the first outing of a certain person’s banjo…..

Next morning we were up early for a cooked breakfast, and the arrival of Electricity North West, who were given a round of applause! We had two walks to choose from. We went on the smaller walk to Three Shires Head where the Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Cheshire meet at a bridge and a waterfall. The story goes that criminals could escape the law by crossing the bridge to a different county. After a coffee break we climbed up (very, very up) onto Wolf Edge where we had a great view of The Roaches. Then we dropped down slightly into Flash, the highest village in the UK for a packed lunch and a quick pint and a sit down at the pub.

Instead of taking a direct route back to the hostel (that would have been too easy), we climbed some more, saw some interesting sheep (these are called Zwartbles…),

 and crossed many bogs. We only had one casualty who went up to her knees in boggy water but luckily didn’t lose her boots.  Got back after a 9 mile walk for tea and cake. This was closely followed by nibbles and gin and tonic!
Another hostel cooked meal, and more merry making later. We had songs, tunes, monologues, comedy turns, classical violin pieces, poems  - we’re a very versatile and talented crowd! Even the panda put in another appearance.

On Sunday some of us went on a shorter walk – about 4 miles – to take in Lud's Church.  More climbing (of course), and after a couple of miles we reached a deep, dark chasm which you have to climb down into– quite spooky but fascinating. Lud’s Church is definitely a place to visit, and the pictures don’t really do it justice.

Then a walk across a ridge, and a steep drop down, and we were back at the hostel, for another packed lunch which despite it being February we ate in the garden.

A great weekend with some great walking and good company. There’s some more pictures here if anyone’s interested.

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