The Monthly Newsletter of Chelmsford YHA Local Group
Our Cabin in the Woods
It was a freezing weekend at the end of January that saw us pull up to our cabin in the Forest of Arden. After we’d unpacked the car, it was still early enough to contemplate a meal down the pub. Cress had booked a table, so the only tricky part was deciding whether the lure of beer was enough to make us walk the 20 minutes to get there. Turns out it was. One yummy meal and several beers later we were contemplating the icy walk home, but were saved by Cynthia. Arriving late, Cynthia and Jonathan had to drive to the pub to be in time for dinner, and we were certainly grateful for the lift back.
A blissful night’s sleep in our log cabin and we were ready for a bracing walk around the Earlswood Lakes. Although still pretty chilly, the last of the snow and ice melted in the winter sunshine. This meant that although we had nice weather, we were walking through thick, slippery mud. Although not a particularly long walk, the slitheriness meant a full thigh workout and that our cake in the tea shop was fully justified.
The last part of the walk took in the Stratford-upon-Avon canal. It was getting chilly now and as the evening lengthened we were searching for a suitable pub with real ale and a welcoming atmosphere - luckily we found one at Lady Lane Wharf. Although they had some very nice real ales, they also had a local brew at £2 per pint which several people were willing to give a try.
The forecast for the Sunday was a little grim, so we decided to grapple with the intricacies of the ticket vending machine and take a train into the bright lights of Birmingham. We spread out over the city taking in museums, art galleries, architecture, the Bull Ring and even the symphony hall. Birmingham has a lot to offer and I think all of us had things we’d like to go back for some day.
Hampstead Heath Walk
Thanks to Cressida for leading us on a fascinating walk around Hampstead Heath and Highgate in January. Trees, lakes, views, art, history, tea, beer… this walk had everything…
· The three swimming ponds of Hampstead Heath (men’s, ladies and mixed)
· Kenwood House with its newly restored library – the "Great Room" designed by Robert Adam, plus Rembrandt self-portraits and other works of art.
· Parliament Hill for its panoramic views across London, from the skyscrapers of Docklands to the dome of St Paul’s, the London Eye and the BT Tower.
· Searching out the graves of the famous in Highgate Cemetery – from Karl Marx to Douglas Adams - one of London's great Victorian cemeteries - "the finest funerary architecture in the country".
· The Parliament Hill café for tea & cakes.
· The Adam & Eve pub at Homerton for its award-winning scotch eggs.
OK, so you’re supposed do your shroving on the Tuesday, but CYHA tradition has us tossing our pancakes on a Wednesday. After a break in 2014, we were back at Jane & Gordon’s this year for a banquet of wonderfully crispy pancakes garnished with combinations of lemon, sugar, apple and honey. Yum.
Thank you to Jane and Gordon for hosting a marvellous evening.
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