Chelmsford YHA Group


The Monthly Newsletter of Chelmsford YHA Local Group

June 2014

A Perfect Walk?

At Lockton hostel

So what makes the perfect walk? A Lakeland hill? A Scottish mountain? Whilst height is good for views, it can lack a little in variety and (apart from Snowdon) there’s never a teashop at the top. So how about a walk that starts out in a wooded, bluebell-filled valley, takes in a geological wonder, crosses moorland for views of steam trains chugging through a natural gorge from a quaint stone folly?

North York Moors Railway

If our Saturday walk through the Hole of Horcum in the North York Moors still hasn’t wowed you I should add in the icecream stop, the tea and cake at the railway station, and the pint in the village pub. And that was just the Saturday.

Thank you to James and Marion for organising such a fabulous weekend.


John’s Easter

I spent Easter in the Lake District with the Club and had a thoroughly enjoyable time in the sunny weather. It is good to visit the Lakes in any season and great fun to return to this most beautiful and blessed area of England. Climbs up Sail Peak,  Dale Crag and Robinson gave us beautiful views into shining green valleys and glistening lakes and meres, all bounded by soaring peaks crowding the skyline like giant ramparts protecting the route into a favoured land.

I thought of the foreign visitors to the Lakes over the ages. At the Roman fort on Hard Knott slope soldiers from the relatively flat lands of Pannonia (Hungary) spent their time patrolling the road that carried precious copper from the mines of Lakeland.

Later, Wordsworth and his friends, in the spirit of the Age of Romantics in which they lived, fled the smoke and settled in the Lakes. Here, as political radicals and the hippies of their time, they could ‘find themselves’.  Wordsworth’s poems speak of the beauty of the Lakes and the boundless  joy of nature bursting forth riotously here .

A highlight of our trip this year was the boat ride from Keswick across Derwentwater to our hostel at Hawes End. This gave us good views of the banks and of the several islands in the Lake, including that with a stone folly. The eccentric owner of this barricaded himself into it at times during the 1780s and threatened the good townsfolk of Keswick with an artillery barrage if they continued to fish too close to his private kingdom.

A walk on Monday morning gave lovely views across Ullswater. This Nordic-like lake, with steep slopes rolling down into it on all sides, seemed especially favoured that morning, with the water gently rippling as sunlight glistened across it and small boats traversed without noise in perfect lines.

I am looking forward to the next trip to the Lakes.

John M

Patron Saint of Lost Things

Sadly, Doug couldn’t join us on our trip to the North York Moors, but his spirit haunted Jake with the gradual eroding of possessions. The first was a loss of his specs somewhere on the North York Moors and entailed a retracing of steps the next day to see if there was any sign of them. There wasn’t. The spirit struck again on the Monday, when one of Jake’s rings disappeared during the sandwich making. Despite a riffling of the butties, no trace was ever found…

The Hole Story

Once upon a time there was this giant called Wade who had a history of domestic tension with his wife, Bell, and his son Wayland. During one argument Wade scooped up a handful of earth to hurl at his wife. Big hands leave a big hole, and this resulted in the Hole of Horcum. Luckily for Bell, Wade was a lousy shot and the clod fell wide of the mark, forming the nearby hill of Blakey Topping. Two unique geological features for the one instance of spousal abuse. Fabulous.

Cycling to Hatfield Forest

A Perfect Bike Ride?

A warm and sunny Sunday in May, and Mick led us on a delightful route cycling on quite lanes to Hatfield Forest for the first tea break by the lake. The route back along the Flitch Way included a break at "Scrumptious Tearooms" in Great Dunmow, which certainly lived up to its name. And we finished at the Booking Office café at Rayne station for more tea and snacks. Perfect!

Please send any comments on these pages to Dave Plummer