CYHA News December 2022

Posted on Thu 01 December 2022 in News

Chip Butties All Round!

Another much postponed trip was finally undertaken when we managed to get to Bretton Hostel for our November weekend trip. Our last visit there was 22 years ago and it’s impossible to imagine why we’ve not managed to get back to such a fabulous location in all that time.

Bretton Hostel is stunningly situated high on Eyam Edge overlooking the Hope Valley in Derbyshire. It being winter, almost all of us arrived after dark, so it was the next day that the view was laid out for all to see. We awoke to rolling dales as far as the eye could see, accompanied by blue skies and fluffy pink clouds. Sadly the stunning start to the day didn’t hold for long and by mid-morning we were walking in an eerie mist. Golden larches and brown bracken glowed out of the fog and we had to pull on waterproofs as the dampness increased to a light drizzle. There were a few muddy sections and the odd skid on a leaf-covered rock, but somehow we made it to lunch largely intact. The rain dried up and, as we tucked into our sarnis, little windows in the mist opened up to reveal the views we’d been missing. Dave insisted on a visit to the trig point on top of Sir William Hill, but only Ali and Debbie followed – it was worth the extra few yards. From the trig there was a 360 degree view of the Derbyshire Dales, including all the way to Kinder. Sunshine gently kissed the surrounding hills, making the most of all that autumn colour.

The rest of the gang were hot-footing it down to the tearoom in Eyam. Anxious not to miss out on a tasty treat, we followed them down the hill, arriving just in time to nab the table they were vacating. Luckily there were still some cakes left, so we sat down to some refreshment whilst the others headed off to the pub in the next village.

Our slower progress, weighed down with all that cake, meant the main group had downed their pints and left the pub before we even got there. Not to worry. The reason we carry headtorches is just so we can have a leisurely drink without having to worry about finding the hostel in the dark.

Our tour of local provisioners was not limited to Saturday, but Sunday too. A walk from Longshaw out to the Derwent Valley took us to Grindleford Station where there was a spontaneous outbreak of chip butties from the infamous café. The return leg took us up Padley Gorge and the beautiful twisty autumn oaks above the Burbage Brook before ending fortuitously at the NT tearooms at Longshaw.

This was not a low calorie weekend. Ali

Sir William who?

On our trip to the Peak district it was impossible to miss references to Sir William. We walked up Sir William Hill and passed the Sir William Hotel, but just who was this guy? It turns out that the answer is not that simple. One candidate is Sir William Peveril - he of the castle that so dramatically over looks Castleton. This Sir William was the “natural” son of William the Conqueror. He was certainly powerful, but as the local bailiff he might not have been that popular. What seems a bit more likely is that it’s named after one of the Cavendishes of Chatsworth House. They’ve had a couple of Sir Williams, including the first Earl of Devonshire knighted by Henry VIII for helping with the dissolution of the monasteries. That’s one way to get stuff named after you. Ali

Oxford and Beyond

Delayed due to flooding, then Covid, and then the hostel closing down, it seemed like we’d never get any further on the Thames Path upstream from Oxford. But a good weekend in October saw us complete another 20 miles, making 148 miles in 16 days of walking over 15 years! Three days to go to the source – planned for our Cotswolds trip staying in Cirencester next June. Dave P