National Events: walking breaks and holidays
From Cape Wrath, the most north-westerly point on the British mainland to Lands End via the Peak District, Lake District, Pennines and the North and South Downs. From the Black Cullin of the Isle of Skye to the Blackgang Chine dinosaurs on the Isle of White, Footprints offers a selection of walking breaks at various locations around the country and sometimes overseas. We call these National Events and for insurance reasons they are open to members only.
The format of these breaks varies slightly from event to event, with the classic weekend format being two or more nights' accommodation at a country house, hotel, B&B, youth hostel or bunkhouse. There are one or, more usually, two led walks each day. Most weekend breaks are full board (ie packed lunches provided) subject to availability. Youth hostel accommodation offers the option of self catering for those who prefer that. If a break is in your local area you are always welcome to attend as a day walker.
For youth hostel weekends you do not need to be a YHA member as the club has group membership. Footprints does though recommend the YHA as a worthwhile organisation to join, and you can become a member online or at any hostel at a cost of £15 per year: for more information visit the YHA website www.yha.org.uk.
You can also see details of the National events which took place over the last 12 months by clicking this link:
National Events Programme
In the extreme circumstances caused by the Coronavirus and where Footprints cancels an event we will give those members booked on the event a full refund. If members individually wish to cancel for an event (for any reason, not just virus related!), please read the club cancellations policy in the Members Handbook. We recommend that you have Travel Insurance to cover for any losses incurred as the club cannot refund amounts paid unless we can recover that money from the venue or through someone else taking your place.
PONTYPOOL, SOUTH WALES, PRE-CHRISTMAS BREAK, Friday 10 - Sunday 12 December
Accommodation details expanded.
I plan to organise a Footprints pre-Christmas weekend break at Pontypool, South Wales.
There could be 2 days of walking in the Pontypool area/South Wales valleys or around Abergavenny and the Black Mountains. On Saturday 11th December during early evening, club member Paul has invited members to view his displays of Christmas decorations and lights at his house in Pontypool and will offer traditional Christmas hospitality to members in the form of mulled wine and mince pies. I have been assured that Paul's Christmas displays are excellent and well worth seeing. People who wish to attend the weekend are asked to arrange their own accommodation, but there is a Best Western Hotel and a Premier Inn in Pontypool. Evening meals would be taken in local pubs/restaurants. Alternatively, for those who might consider to travel to Pontypool by public transport, there is a Premier Inn in Cwmbran, near to Pontypool, which has better access by public transport. Lifts will be offered wherever possible to enable members to get to walks and evening activities.
Please inform the club treasurer if you wish to attend the weekend and when you have booked accommodation, so arrangements can be made for walks, viewings of Christmas decorations etc.
MADEIRA, 31 January - 7 February 2022
We have been unable to run this trip over the past two years, but are optimistic it may go ahead in 2022. Following several years of winter sun walking, in 2022 we intend to revisit Madeira. Nicknamed “the floating garden” Madeira is a Portugese archipelago in the North Atlantic Ocean boasting a subtropical climate making it ideal for Winter walking.
There will be walks arranged on 5 days with one free day for people to sightsee or chill. The arranged walks will mainly be “A” walks and are for people who are surefooted and have a head for heights. It may be possible for people to do less robust walks but this would be for individuals to arrange for themselves and the logistics of car use will need to be taken into consideration. We will be using car hire most days and intend to hire 3 cars so will need 3 willing drivers, but as in previous years would prefer to have two drivers per car i.e. 6 drivers. Allowing for a maximum of 5 people per car, places are limited to 15 people.
We intend to stay at the Hotel Dorisol Bouganvillea (half board) in Funchal. Packages by TUI are currently available with flights from London and Manchester on offer.
As several people have already booked please check with me before booking.
Anyone wishing to drive or lead a walk please let me know.
OVERSTRAND, NORFOLK, EASTER BREAK, 14 - 17 April 2022
The Pleasurance Hotel in Overstrand is just along the Norfolk coast from Cromer. It is a relaxed hotel in a 19th-century grade 2 listed redbrick mansion designed by Lutyens. It has stunning coastal views and a large garden with tennis courts. The hotel is run by Christian Endeavour.
On offer is half board with ensuite facilities or standard room with shared bathroom. There is no single room supplement. Extra nights can be booked either side of the break for those wishing to extend their stay. Rooms will be allocated on a first confirmed basis.
Full English and continental breakfasts are offered with three meal choices for the two course dinner. Packed lunches are available on request for a small charge.
Overstrand is on the Norfolk Coastal Path offering excellent cliff top walks and beautiful sandy beaches. There are plenty of things to do in the area other than walking. Sheringham and Sandringham are nearby along with a steam railway, National Trust properties, seal colony, bird reserve, Broadlands and more.
The price may have gone up a little since last year. Find out more by visiting: https://www.cehc.org.uk/centres/the-pleasaunce and https://www.visitnorthnorfolk.com/places/cromer.aspx
AMPLEFORTH ABBEY, NORTH YORKSHIRE, 29 April - 2 May 2022
The club has reserved 14 en suite bedrooms for dinner, bed and breakfast at Ampleforth Abbey YO62 4EN, for the nights of Friday 29, Saturday 30 April, and Sunday 1 May 2022, so that we will leave on Bank Holiday Monday 2 May. Ampleforth Abbey is about 2 miles south of the A170, about 10 miles east of Thirsk in North Yorkshire. The Abbey complex is a functioning Roman Catholic monastery, school and conference centre, but its visitor accommodation is available to secular groups like our club Photographs of the Abbey can be seen on its website at www.ampleforth.org.uk.
Although the fixing of prices for 2022 has been delayed until at least September 2021, for 2021 they are £55.50 for Friday night, £55.50 for Saturday night and £54 for Sunday night. The breakdown of the 14 en-suite bedrooms into the numbers of single, twin and double rooms is dependent upon building works which are nearing completion.
As yet no decision has been made by the club as to whether or not the AGM will take place during this event, but a suitable room for it would be available.
BRECON BEACONS NATIONAL PARK - AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY, 26 - 29 August 2022
Staying between Abergavenny and Brecon, the Club is running a trip to the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park, where the walking ranges from mountainous to easy. Whichever walk you choose, you can be assured of walking in beautiful Welsh scenery, together with your Footprints friends.
We are staying at the Llangasty Retreat House in the village of Llangasty Talyllyn. There are 10 single and 6 twin rooms, so there are places for a maximum of 22 people. If bookings are in excess of this number, I will suggest some bed and breakfast locations for members to book themselves.
The House is 6 miles from Brecon and 15 miles from Abergavenny (railway station here). Currently there is a bus service from Abergavenny to Bwlch (3½ miles from the House). Pick-ups can be arranged from Bwlch.
Walks will be led by Club members. Please let Ian know if you are willing to lead a walk.
These prices are for guidance only and are from 2019. 2022 prices have not been decided by the house yet. So add a percentage!
Half board - Monday to Thursday £65 per night, Friday to Sunday £70 per night.
Full board - £75 per night and £80 per night respectively – ie, including a packed lunch. There is nowhere in the village to purchase packed lunches and little available elsewhere.
How many nights?
The ‘core’ weekend is for 3 nights from Friday 26th August. Optional extra nights available on Thursday 25th and Monday 29th August.