High Lane Logo Walking 'Weekend' 2009
The Sunday Walk
The Hotel
The Monday Walks
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High Lane U3A Walking Group head for the North Yorkshire Coast
Ravenscar – June 2009
At the end of June and on a sunny weekend, the walking group went to the Raven Hall Hotel at Ravenscar, a superb location, fantastic views and wonderful food… and that was before we had done any walking!

We met on Sunday morning at West Ayton and our “starter for 5 miles” was a walk through Forge Valley.  This could have been the Malaysian jungle since plenty of rain and warm sunshine had encouraged the undergrowth to enthusiastically overtake the path.  Quote from the leader “it wasn’t like this when we came in February” but we forged ahead to the lunch stop.  Here our ingenuity was challenged with 27 walkers and one picnic table and bench – needless to say it was cosy for those sitting down.  Now the return journey back along the riverbank was certainly an issue for the Health & Safety Executive.  The duck boards built over the boggy ground were deadly – covered in slime, moss and decayed leaves but the nimble footed folk traversed them successfully but some interesting  “oohh…, gosh…., aghs….” accompanied the slipping and sliding until we reached the safety of a traditional field.  

Back to the car park and time to head to the hotel, check in, explore, go for a swim and order a well-earned drink before our very welcome evening meal.

The Hotel

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On Monday we walked along the Cleveland Way to Robin Hood’s Bay famous for sea, sand, secret streets and smugglers.  It was another lovely day and there were spectacular views across the bay.

After a lunch/picnic stop we walked back along the beach (and yes… the tide was out). However since our hotel was 700 feet above sea level, so 700 feet had to be climbed on the return journey along the “ever steadily ascending coastal path”  – this is popular but deceptive walking terminology for jolly steep.  Never defeated, the resourceful walkers produced different coping strategies i.e.
a)    the steady pace approach – ok for some
b)    race ahead then slow down and collapse – some like it this way?
or  c)  the successful improvised tortoise approach, which is accompanied by a “Private Benjamin” style chant:  “1, 2, 3, 4; a few more steps and then some more” (say it aloud and practise marching = it works!!)

The 'B' walk trailblazers

Back to the hotel for another well earned drink (yes, walking makes you thirsty) followed by a delicious meal after which brain power was needed for a very challenging table quiz (at Christmas our leader acquired a large quiz book – beware).  With our brains drained some still active members of the group took up the gauntlet for a table tennis competition, whilst there was the option of watching Andy Murray play his epic evening floodlit tennis match. The statistics for these options remain a closely guarded secret.

After a good rest we had a more modest walk on Tuesday morning which some of the group had trail blazed the previous day.  Although there was a sea mist when the tide came in (early in the morning and in the evening) there was still lots of lovely sunshine during the day. At lunchtime we officially finished the holiday, although some of us stayed another night and then came home on a scenic route with perhaps a castle, stately home or impressive garden to visit.

All the group, with mixed abilities, were able to find enjoyable walks whilst the hotel was wonderful and so it was an extremely successful ‘weekend’.  There was good group bonding, plenty of laughs and smiles all round.  Our grateful thanks to Steve and Ann for producing, yet again, another winner.

Judith Ridgway