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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

BRECON BEACONS NATIONAL PARK - AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY, 26 - 29 August

This trip is now fully booked.

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.

Accommodation
We are staying at the Llangasty Retreat House in the village of Llangasty Talyllyn. There are 10 single and 6 twin rooms, but at present the accommodation is fully booked.
Alternatively, if you want to book your own accommodation, please do so soon! Ian can advise on the location relative to Llangasty Retreat House (LD3 7PX) and any other questions.

Walking
Walks will be led by Club members. Please let Ian know if you are willing to lead a walk.

Meals
These prices are for guidance only. 2022 prices have not been decided by the house yet. As an estimate add 10% to the figures below.

Half board - Monday to Thursday £65.50 per night, Friday to Sunday £73 per night.

Full board - £78 per night and £83 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.

Organiser: Ian

ELLESMERE, 23 - 25 September

Staying at the Red Lion Coaching Inn, Ellesmere. Prices per person per night including breakfast are:

Evening meals will be taken out in Ellesmere which has a selection of restaurants and takeaways. Ellesmere is in Shropshire’s 'mini Lake District' with 9 meres in the area, and the Shropshire Union canal also close by.

Organiser: Dave

GREAT MALVERN, 28 - 30 October

I have booked a weekend at the 4 star Abbey Hotel Great Malvern on the weekend of 28th - 30th October last visited by Footprints in 2011. All of our single rooms have been booked however there are still twin/double rooms at £85 pppn half board. An extra night can be booked on the Sunday night at £65 bed and breakfast with evening meals taken at Wetherspoons, a short walk away.

Great Malvern is situated immediately below the Malvern Hills which will be the main walk of the weekend. It is easily accessed being a short distance from the M5 and only an hour by train from Birmingham New Street station.

Organiser: Peter

HARROGATE, 9 - 12 December

I have booked 20 places at the Cairn Hotel Harrogate last visited by Footprints in February 2017. Harrogate is very attractive at Christmas time.

There are 6 single rooms at £62.50. Twin/double for sole use is £79. Twin/double for double use is £89. It is possible to stay for 2 nights rather than 3.

Organiser: Peter

ASHBURNHAM PLACE, BATTLE, EAST SUSSEX, 6 - 10 April 2023

The club has reserved 20 en suite bedrooms for the nights of Thursday 6 April, Good Friday 7 April, Saturday 8 April, and Easter Sunday 9 April, so that we will leave after breakfast on Easter Monday 10 April.

The accommodation is at Ashburnham Place which was built as a stately home but is now a Christian retreat centre which is available to secular groups like ours. The Grade II listed house and its 220 acres of Grade II* listed grounds (laid out by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in the mid-18th century) can be seen in photographs on the website at www.ashburnham.org.uk. The total cost for 4 nights for anyone sharing a bedroom is £232, and for anyone having sole occupancy of a bedroom is £280. These prices include two-course evening meals on the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, hot breakfasts on the Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and packed lunches on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but not the Monday. Balances will be due by 31 December 2022.

Organiser: Chris

TORQUAY - SUMMER WEEK HOLIDAY, 7 - 14 July (Friday - Friday) 2023

In 2023 we are returning to the Derwent Hotel Torquay last visited by Footprints in 2016. The Derwent is part of the TLH Leisure complex of four hotels with leisure facilities in between the hotels. The charge for D B and B is £89 pppn with no single supplement.

The walking is mainly coastal but there is some inland walking on the foothills of Dartmoor.

Organiser: Peter

AMBLESIDE, LAKE DISTRICT, 25 - 27 August 2023

The club has reserved 20 single en-suite rooms at the University of Cumbria, Rydal Road, Ambleside, LA22 9BB. Each room has shared access to a fully fitted kitchen (fridge, freezer, oven, hob, toaster, microwave, cutlery, crockery) along with a dining space. There is also a communal area. This is student accommodation which is available outside of term time.

Cost for the 3 nights is £105 i.e. £35 per night, accommodation only. It will be necessary to bring supplies for breakfast or lunch, or to walk a short distance  into Ambleside to purchase what you need. There is a Tesco Express, a Co-op and several independent shops.

I intend to book places for the group’s evening meal at a pub for both the Friday and the Saturday evenings. On Sunday evening we could again visit a pub to eat, or organise a get together at one of the houses. I will canvas opinion on this at a later date to see what people prefer.

There will be at least one walk daily (moderate) from the house to avoid using public transport as much as possible. It may be possible nearer the time to arrange two grades of walk.

Ambleside has good transport links with rail services to Windermere just 5 miles away, then bus or taxi to Ambleside (bus stop outside accommodation). We would encourage use of public transport to reach Ambleside. For those wishing to drive, there is a charge to park on campus. The university operates a cashless parking system and currently a 3 day pass which can be used both at the campus and at other car parks in the area currently costs £18. This of course may be more by 2023.

Organiser: Gail