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Harrogate Weekend - February 2017

There were 23 for this event, staying at the Cairn Hotel. Fortunately Storm Doris had moved on.

On Friday, for those of us who arrived early enough, Peter led a 5 mile walk to Harlow Carr and Valley Gardens; a very nice start to the break. We arrived at Harlow Carr just as Betty’s tea room was closing but managed to get takeaways, which saved us some money.  In the evening Ian gave us a quiz based around comedians and comedy shows.

On Saturday we all went by bus to Pateley Bridge and later split into two groups. The B party walked via Brimham Rocks, an amazing collection of natural rock formations. We had our lunch here, taking advantage of the refreshment kiosk serving some very nice sausage rolls. We later passed a field containing two curious Alpacas.  The A party did a linear walk along the Nidderdale Way, first of all walking with the B party to a viewpoint just outside Pateley Bridge, where we stopped to get a fine view of the broad valley of Nidderdale.  The A party then carried on to Brimham Rocks where lunch was taken in sometimes quite windy and blustery conditions.  After lunch the A party had a wander around the rock formations and then continued to Ripley.  En route, the party stopped to view a black (possibly wild?) pig in a field, with small tusks growing out of its mouth - a few photos were taken of the animal.  At the end of the walk the party walked around the boundary of the Ripley Castle estate and gardens, where a large collection of wild deer was spotted with fine views of the castle and lake. Finally, the walk ended in Ripley village by the castle, a pleasant estate village, constructed with local stone and well laid out with a village green. Then a specially-branded bus on route 36 with leather seats and wooden floor escorted us back on the short journey to the Hotel (Mike P on the B party would be jealous!).  In the evening we played a game of Pictionary. I (Chris) stood in for Colin, and got away with a bit of mild heckling. 

On Sunday, we all caught the bus to Ripon and walked as one party, via Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Park. Arriving back at Ripon, a few visited the cathedral while some of us found a Café Nero.  In the evening, Alison gave us a short music quiz followed by a quiz on places we have visited. Peter showed us some photos of previous trips. Quite a few of us stayed an extra night and gradually went on our way home on Monday morning.

Thank you to Peter for organising another excellent hotel break, and to those who led the walks. 

Chris & Jonathan

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