Walking with Friends 11-17 May 2015

We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to join the community for our first Walking Week in the beautiful Peak District.  Our programme shows off the great variety of scenery which surrounds us – there is some reliance on public transport but not a lot! See blog post here for some pictures taken during our route-finding expeditions . . .

We aim to go a little beyond a “normal” walking holiday as you can see from the programme (see footnote). The delights of “just walking” will of course still be there: of falling in with different companions as we go, getting to know them, talking about nothing and everything.

Note that we will have enough accompaniers for there always to be an easier and a shorter option if needed.

DRAFT PROGRAMME

Monday sees arrival and settling in.  Short walks from the doorstep up to the Ladybower reservoir, down to the weir and along the Hope Valley are all possibilities.

On Tuesday morning we begin with a sloping walk up to the village of Eyam, known locally as the “plague village.” We will have time to explore the village and learn about this remarkable piece of history before returning to Bamford with a choice of a longer walk ‘over the top’ with stunning views, or a shorter walk down a pretty wooded valley into Hathersage.

On Wednesday we will stroll along the broad valley floor of the river Derwent, before tackling the short, steep and beautiful ascent of Padley Gorge.  This is a leisurely day and we plan to do some stretches “walking in silence” and to provide guidance and materials for participants to create their own “sound journal” of the day.  We will also offer some insight into why the millstone is the symbol of the Peak District National Park. A yoga session will be offered in the evening.

Thursday sees us climb Bamford Edge and then enjoy the high moorland walk to Stanage Edge, a rock face 3½ miles long, which has been described as “God’s own rock.”  This walk will be led by Meirion who has extensive mountain experience and in the evening he will lead a poetry workshop, around themes of “earth, nature, spirit and the land.

On Friday we explore the wild upland landscape of Kinder Scout. Kinder is loved for its raw beauty but also because it was the scene of the mass trespass which was ‘the most successful act of direct action in British history’ (Roy Hattersley) which is widely seen as having given a crucial impetus to the creation of the national parks.

We will have the benefit of the knowledge and enthusiasm of a member of the Kinder archive project which will allow us to reflect on the themes of access, ownership (whose land is it anyway?) and direct action.

On Saturday we walk to Castleton offering a valley route and a route along the impressive range of hills which cradle the village. Castleton itself is very picturesque and also lies on the gritstone / limestone border. You can choose to view the castle, go fossil-hunting in Winnatt’s Pass , visit one of the Castleton caves, or just stroll around the picturesque village before all enjoying time together in one of the many pubs and cafes.

On Sunday we will be able to share in Hope Valley Meeting for Worship, followed by our closing meal together, before you leave on Sunday afternoon

Evening sessions will include foot massage, a cosmic walk, the poetry and yoga sessions mentioned above, discussion on the Kinder trespass, and a reflective session on the final evening.

Footnote

This is pretty well the final programme though amendments are still possible